Friday, January 24, 2014

NAC - Not YET operating.

As many of you may already know, LAN (Little Angels Network) has been contacting their partner agencies across the globe, confirming the the reappointment of the committee, however a Chairperson has not yet been appointed. This needs to be done before the NAC can convene their new meeting. They are hopeful that this will happen soon. 

It is important for all those waiting, to know that there is now a back log. In the past, we have always been told that the NAC processes 20-24 cases a month. It is unclear if the NAC will be holding extra meetings to make up for the missed ones in 2013 or not. Either way, you can expect delays in application approvals. It may take several months for your dossier to be seen by the NAC. 

Expect the worst, hope for the best. or....

Thursday, January 23, 2014

'F' Words

(NO, not those kind of F Words! ;) Luckily, our struggle is with the pronunciation of the good F words and NOT that she is saying the bad ones!

Since we have had our IDP, we have had an assessment with the speech therapist and have also gotten Z's hearing tested. All is well with her hearing, and while her language is great for an internationally adopted child, we have decided to take advantage of the services available to us in Canada, and get some assistance from the speech therapist.

Zahra's vocabulary is growing, and her sentence lengths are also growing, but Daddy and others still have a difficult time understanding her. Speech therapy helps us identify the problem areas and gives me the tools to work on these areas with her.

Today the therapist identified one main contributor of the misunderstandings is Zahra's interpretation of the 'F' sound. Commonly children of her age, will substitute a 'P' or a 'B' for the 'F' sound, pronouncing 'Fish' as 'Pish' or 'Bish'. Zahra uses a 'Sh' sound, pronouncing 'Fish' as 'Shish', which, apparently is difficult for our ears to interpret.

I thought I would share some simple exercises in case you also have a child who also has difficulties in this area.

We started by instructing Zahra to bite her lower lip and breath out, making the F sound.

She did so in front of a mirror, so she could see herself. We practiced this a few times, and then played a couple games. Her favorite game was the stamping game.

At home, I allow her to draw the stamping circles, then she stamps them as she pronounces the word. One stamp for the 'f' sound , and another stamp for the end of the word. (I was out of ink pads, so we used my office stamps. She didn't seem to mind! Ha.)

One day in and we are nailing the words about 50% of the time. In a couple days she won't even have to think about it anymore.

Here is a link to some picture cards and other activities you can try if you also have a child who struggles with the 'f' sound. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Good Bye 2013!

Welcome back! Hope you all had a great holiday! I went offline for the holidays and focused on the family. It was a nice break, many days not even turning my phone on!

Now for a quick recap to finalize the year!

We chose to spend the holidays out of town this year to further promote peace and family.

We packed up the kids, the dog, Grandpa, suitcases, all our outdoor gear, Christmas gifts, baking, food and cheer, a home oxygen machine and a wheel chair to boot and shoved them all in to our van.

I know a number of you got a kick out of this photo from Facebook. Was not the most comfortable drive! We were all squished!
A little ski condo in a beautiful location, offering us a winter play land (and hot tub!) was where we spent Christmas.

We enjoyed treks in the snow, hunting the elusive 'Christmas Tree'.

Dan, Koda and the kids with Aunty Kato. The tree has been chosen!
We didn't exactly have a tree permit, so we let the children cut it down! Ha!

Mister and Z hitch a ride back to the van.
We also enjoyed Cross Country Skiing, of which I only have a video to show for. It's a comical video, as I had just turned on my iphone to video my brother in law. It was his first time, and he had fallen. The snow was so deep which made it really difficult to get back up. I was laughing at him so hard that I ended falling myself and twisted my ankle. We make quite the comedy act. lol.

Zahra's first time decorating a real tree! Hanging Kenyan Angels and Grandpa looks on.

A Micheal Jackson Tree Topper Moment as Daddy holds Zahra over the stair railing.
In their Christmas PJ's. Cookies and Carrots set out for Santa. 

In the morning, I woke first and quickly snapped a photo of the gifts that Santa left, started a fire and put the coffee on. (Baileys was standing by!)

It was a great Christmas spent with family.

Back home, we welcomed the Gibson family, who stayed for a few days with us. (The Gibsons adopted from Kenya the same time we did.)

Unfortunately, I was only able to get a couple photos as I became quite ill with the death flu. Now that Baraka is a bit older, they are able to communicate and interact with one another better, which meant they played quite well. They had a lot of fun, running around the house after one another, giggling up a storm.

I brought in the New Year in a horizontal position from the couch. I was glued there for 4 days straight. I guess it saved me a lot of calories I would have otherwise ingested, but it also gave me a lot of time to think.

2012 & 2013 we spent with a primary focus on the adoption. It feels good to have that past us, and often surreal when we look at her. It's hard to imagine what we did to get here. Unbelievable really.

2014 I am going to make a better effort to focus on myself now. Anyone who knows me, knows that Dan and I rarely do anything for ourselves. I get my hair cut every 8 months if that, my nails and skin look after themselves. No massages, pedicures or yoga classes. Not that I'm about to start to do all that either, but I am taking myself off the back burner.

I'm taking baby steps to a healthier me... mind, body and spirit.

I've started a 30 day juicing challenge. Good and easy, they even provide the weekly shopping list!

I've promised myself to start to maintain my nails. I think nail stickers is a realistic avenue for me.

I've finally (thanks to the help of a good friend), invested a little time and money into a green makeup line. I ordered a couple pencils and some sample powders. I am so impressed with these products, and the price point is fantastic, so you should check it out! ($6 shipping to Canada!) Lucy Minerals.

I've started doing brain exercises to coax my brain out of the fog. Lumosity, a phone app, check it out, I really enjoy it.

I spent a little money and purchased a set of Cross Country Skis. We hope to get the kids outfitted soon, but at least Dan and I can sneak off now and again. (Crazy it took this long, considering the trail is right behind our house!)

I've decided to focus less on relationships/people that are not a positive influence on my psyche and more on those who are, in addition to seek out more and make time for others.

And finally, I have decided that 2014 will be the year of this man...

The most giving, generous, kind, man I know, who is constantly at the beck and call of others. Constantly giving selflessly to all those who know him or not... and yet the man cannot catch a break. He has done more for others than anyone I know, never expecting anything in return. His happiness lies in the happiness of others. Yet, he has suffered a great deal in the last couple years, often at the hands of others. I'm starting to believe the expression, 'No good deed goes unpunished', was invented for him.

It's time this was turned around. Karma needs to realign itself. I am putting this out to the universe. Please stop dumping on my man. Open those storm clouds and let the sun shine down on him. Stop knocking him down. Help me pick him up, shed his stress and let him become the man he once was, carefree and happy.

NAC disbanding/reformation Gazetted!

I went offline for the holidays, so I'm a little late bringing you the news. Hopefully you have all heard by now. On December 27th, 2013 the disbanding and reformation of the NAC has been Gazetted. This means it is now official and international adoptions can now resume. I'm so happy for many of you who can now approach the New Year with hope reinstated!

Page: 5610
(No. 8 of 2001)
IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 155(1) and the Ninth Schedule to the Children Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services revokes the appointment of—
Under Paragraph (b)—
John Ondeche*
Anthony Mulongo*
Mary Musyoka*
Under Paragraph (c)—
Christopher Maina (Dr)*
Under Paragraph (d)—
Loice Mutai*
Under Paragraph (e)—
Faith Waigwa (Dr.)*
as members of the Adoption Committee, with effect from the 30th September,2013.
Dated the 17th December, 2013.
Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services.

*G.N. 13475/2011.

Page: 5610
(No. 8 of 2001)
IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by section 155(1) and the Ninth Schedule to the Children Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services appoints —
Under Paragraph (a)—
Ahmed Hussein
Under Paragraph (b)—
Saad Khairallah
Benson Nasongo
Anne Kyoya
Leah Mamicha
Under Paragraph (c)—
Poly Okello
Under Paragraph (d)—
Zipporah Gatheru
Under Paragraph (e)—
Rose Mbanya
Under Paragraph (f)—
Stella Orina
Under Paragraph (g)—
Mariam Adam
to be  members of the Adoption Committee for a period of three (3) years, with effect from the 1st November, 2013.
Dated the 17th December, 2013.
Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services.