Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

The whirlwind of Christmas is now dying down. It felt kind of crazy - between working on Christmas Eve, getting my turkey cooked and ready for transport and then heading to Mike's Granny's house. the weather was great on the way there. We had a really nice time with Mike's brother and his family, cousin Ryan and Andrea, Uncle Frankie and Granny. It was nice to catch up with everyone and just spend a nice evening together. The drive home was not so great - major white outs - but we were happy to be home by the time we got here.
Christmas Day we headed to my parents home. Luckily, the flu bug that had been going around a few days ago had made its rounds and was gone. We had a good time playing Wii, opening presents and eating way tooo much!!! Val and I battled it out in fishing and shooting ducks, pop cans and whatever else we could - when the kids were distracted from 'Rock Band'. Baby Mosey (as our baby is know in my family - the kids are responsible for that one) even got spoiled with his/her first Christmas gifts - some new books, a teddy bear and a Christmas bib for next year.
Boxing day was pretty quiet. We spent the day lounging and reading the new books we got. In the afternoon we headed to my Aunt's house for a little party for Aunt Dorthy. Had a great time there!! Then it was off to 'Cober' Christmas to see my Dad's side of the family. Good to catch up with everyone again!
Phew - not sure why we feel the need to pack so much into such a short time frame. But i guess that is what Christmas is all about - celebrating with family. Mike has declared that next year Christmas is at our house!!! Yippee - see you all then :)
Now to enjoy the rest of our time 'off''. We are both back to our regular work schedules - with the exception of New Years day and the 2nd for me. We are celebrating New Years Eve with some friends by going out for dinner - i look forward to it every year!!!
Hope you all had a nice holiday and have a happy New Year!!!
Oh ya -there were also a few referrals announced over Christmas - congrats!!!! We are slowly moving up the list.

Monday, December 22, 2008

From our house to yours...

We will soon be starting our Christmas 'running around' - visiting family here and there. Hopefully the weather will co-operate. We are definitely looking forward to celebrating the holidays and hopefully (?) a little R&R before its back to work again.
Congrats to those with recent referrals and to those travelling to Ethiopia right now!
Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!! I hope you enjoy good times with family and friends, good treats and good eats. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle don't forget to take a minute and reflect!! For us this past year has been crazy - beginning this adoption process and learning ALOT!!!!! It is so amazing to be that much closer to starting our family! It would be easy to dwell on the wait and how hard it is, but this Christmas I am trying really hard to remember how far we have come and the amazing gift we will eventually receive :) Don't worry - in a few weeks i will be moaning again about the wait times and how it seems like forever -but for today and hopefully this Christmas season - i choose hope.
Ho ho ho!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas at our house




So this is what 'Christmas' looks like at our house this year.

I think my shopping is done. There is just one more thing I would like to pick up. However, with me there is always 'just one more thing'. I actually think i am starting to get better. I did a bit of shopping tonight and i am still doing OK. I should probably soon head for the couch though. There is a new Muppet Christmas special on tonight and I love the Muppets!!!
I am looking forward to the weekend. There is supposed to be a big snow storm - which i love as long as I am at home and don't need to go anywhere - which is exactly what will happen this weekend. My niece Dayna is coming for a few days. She lives about 1 1/2 hours away so we don't always get to spend as much time together as we would like. I am going to get her to help me with some gift wrapping (she is an expert!!) and some baking! Looking forward to it!! It will be so much fun. She is here for a few days and then off to my brothers to do the same thing with Auntie Val. Then we will take her home on Christmas Eve on our way to Mike's Granny's house.

Of course never far from my mind is what it will be like to have a baby in the house for Christmas. Last year at this time we were still trying fertility treatments with no real hope that they would work. Although the wait for our baby may be long, we know for certain that at the end of all this waiting there will be a baby coming to this house and thats what counts.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2 down

Well - the ticker says its been 2 months since we started waiting for our referral. Hmmm - i won't go into how it feels like forever. But i will say i am glad that first 2 months is over with. Some of it i spent on the couch with some good drugs and my heating pad...i think that helped to get my mind of the waiting (mostly cause my brain was so foggy I didn't know anything!!).
If the wait times weren't always changing i could calculate how many months are left but we just don't know. I was shopping with my mom the other night and we saw the beautiful little baby Christmas party dresses and she told me that next year we will be buying one - so I am going to go with that!!
So, here's to 2 months down!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

out and about

well - this weekend i managed to get out of the house a few times!!! it was so worth the pain and minor set back. Yes i did over do it - but you gotta live a little! Friday, Mike and i had a mini date. we went to this Christmas market i had heard about. it was fun - lots of people and good smelling food. i realised the other day when i was decorating that we didn't have a Santa anywhere - must have at least one Santa on hand- so that way my purchase. i picked out one i thought was cute. then the cashier showed me how to press a hidden button - and Santa breaks out into song a dance. hmmm - not exactly what i had in mind- but it was cute so what they hey. We also managed to have a late lunch and do just a wee bit of shopping. I slept good that night
Saturday i woke up feeling energetic and got to some work around the house that i had been dreaming of doing for so long (like ironing is a momentous occasion!). So, i puttered to my hearts content - but when i finally stopped and sat down - i realized i had way over extended myself. So we took it easy Saturday night and i think i was in bed before 9.
It was soooo nice to get to church on Sunday!!! It was great to see my friends, sing some carols. But i think i knew by the time i got there that it might have been a mistake. Sitting still isn't so great so between the car ride and the hard seat...well you can guess that i was looking forward to my couch again.
Sunday evening Mike's brother and family came over to watch our local Santa Claus parade. They all bundled up and headed down town and AJ and I watched from inside. AJ is our new little nephew. I think he liked the lights anyway.
Needless to say, i didn't manage a full day of work today. And i felt guilty but a girl's gotta get out of the house some time!!! I am really hoping that tomorrow will be my first full day. I have been a good girl this afternoon, resting and relaxing so I am thinking it will be all good tomorrow! I am also looking forward to a hair cut - its 4 weeks over due so i am feeling a bit shaggy.
Congrats to Karen and the rest of the families who will soon be travelling to pick up thier Christmas presents (aka babies!!) VERY excitiing for things to be moving along!! Can't wait to hear of your travel plans!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

congrats

Congrats to 2 families who received referrals this week! One set of twins and a single boy!!! The referral for the single boy only took 7 months - so here's to nice time lines! What a great Christmas present for these families!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Updates

Hey! Its me again! Thought it was about time I let you all know I am still alive (but not exactly kicking yet).
I am feeling much better these days! A run in with my sciatic and a pulled hamstring landed me in bed for a while but i am feeling much better. i am still taking it easy though and working 1/2 days this week till i feel like i can sit again for a period of time. I am also working from home and managing to get caught up from the 2 1/2 weeks that i missed. Mike has been amazing. Its pretty humbling to be completely flat on your back and helpless. He gets an A+ for looking after me so well.
Hard to believe its December -November seemed to fly by (could have been those muscle relaxers!!!). Over the past week i have managed to decorate for Christmas. Mike got all the stuff down for me and the tree set up and the outdoor lights set up. Little by little i got the tree decorated and found homes for all the rest of the stuff. I have decided to make Christmas a bit easier - won't be baking the 6 or more kinds of cookies - maybe one or two will have to do this year. After being cooped up in this house for close to 3 weeks, I am hoping to be able to do something 'Christmasy' this weekend. There is a Christmas market in down town Kitchener and I am hoping we will be able to go and check it out this weekend. Also, we have our small town's Santa Claus parade on Sunday night. The parade happens to go down our street, so we will have the opportunity to watch from our house. Mike's brother and his family are going to come and watch with us.
Reno updates - well, things have kind of slowed down in that department. I think after Christmas we will get at it again. The rooms have really come a long way - but its nice that we can close the doors and not think about them till we have the time to work on it again.
Baby updates - well, nothing is really happening for us right now. We are waiting of coarse for our referral. Seems like time lines are getting longer every day. When we started this process we were told to expect 12-18 months from start to finish. I had heard stores of the process taking as little as 9 months!!! Now, I think that could be expanded to 24 months. It all hinges on when we get our referral. Right now its taking 8+months. That will bring us to June or longer. This also brings us dangerously close to court closures (courts close for 2 months every fall). Folks who got stuck in court closures this year will probably be traveling in Jan/Feb/March to pick up their babies. Now i know this is alot of speculation and chances are pretty good that we might miss the closures. BUT if we get stuck in closures the reality is that we wont be bringing our baby home till 2010. Now you might call be pessimistic - but i call it realistic. I am starting to try to accept that there is a good possibility we won't have a baby home for next Christmas. If we do i will be the happiest mommy on the block!! BUT I guess i am trying to guard myself from more disappointment. So, I am trying to get myself used to the idea of 2010. Trying to think of the positives - more time to get that baby room done, more time to pay off adoption loans before mat leave starts, more time to learn to be patient?! :)
Didn't really want to leave this on a depressing note. I am extrememly thankful to be feeing better, for my wonderful hubby who takes such good care of me and I am getting very excited about Christmas! Although i hate it, I think the snow helps me to get in the mood. Thanks to all of you for your kind wishes while i was sick. I think Mike had fun posting and hope he does it more often.

brenda



This is our house decorated for Christmas last year - just a little more snow than we have right now!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Family Time

Hello again. I'm still writing in place of Brenda, she's better, but not well enough to sit at the computer yet. Last night my in-laws brought supper over and sat with Brenda as I had band practice at the church. It was nice to see them, and the meal was great! (Oh yeah, I didn't have to cook!) The house needed a quick clean and tidy before their arrival, so I got up around noon (I know what you're thinking, but I work nights, so noon is early!) and got some laundry done and the floors vacuumed. I was thinking this week of single parent families, and how much work is required to keep things running on your own. I miss Brenda's help, and she's getting cabin fever being stuck on the couch! Wednesday she had a physio session, and it helped short term. This week physio comes here, and hopefully she'll be up and around soon. I'll try to keep you updated when I can!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rough Week

This is my (Mike) first blog post, so please bear with me! Brenda's back is acting up, so she's unable to get to the computer to post anything. Not much has happened latley, but I did get the chance to attend a skin and hair care class on Saturday. I found it kind of odd, being that I'm a bald guy learning about hair care! I was surprised to see a few other bald heads in the crowd too! It was great to learn about the differences in caring for dark skin, there are things that had never occured to me. I didn't realize that redness from infection is almost impossible to see, but now i know what to look for. They also supplied us with yet another useful handbook on all of the topics covered in the class. We are slowly collecting all of this information, and I'm finding it to be like an "owner's manual" for our child!! How cool is that!! I must get back to caring for my wife, hopefully she will be posting again very soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

remembrance day

Today is a day many adoptive families will always remember. I think i counted at least 6 families that had successful court days!!! this means that they are legally parents of the children that they were referred!!! Wow! Unfortunately these families have been waiting a long time for court. they mostly all got their referrals in the summer. Court closes for 2 months and so they had an extra long wait. A successful court date now leads to passports and visas being issued - and then travel!! The way the wait times are going, we might get caught up in court closures too.
Now that they babies are legally adopted, parents can post photos on their blogs and let me tell you - they are some of the cutest babies i have ever seen!!!!
Its pretty exciting to see things moving. Congrats to all the families who are one huge step closer to realizing their dreams!!
Also unfortunate were 2 families who did not have successful court dates - per usual paperwork is holding them up. Must be rough for them to come so close and have a set back.
In a very selfish way i love to hear good news. It is so great to live vicariously through others!! Good news means that these babies will be coming home to Canada soon - making room for more babies to come into the system, causing more referrals and causing our file to inch its way closer to the top.
So congrats to all with good news today. For those who got disappointing news - i am so sorry - keep holding on. For those of us just starting out - live the joy of others and hold on to your dreams!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

big picture

ok -so if you are wondering - i am feeling a bit better these past few days. Partly because of the support of all of you. i also had to listen to some of my own advice - and take a step back and look at the BIG picture. Dissecting this wait down into days is just too much for me. Need to step back a bit.
It also helps to live vicariously through others - a referral was announced today - and a ministry approval and files landing in Ethiopia!! Good news all around! Congrats everyone!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

thanks guys

I am not exactly up on blog management -but i did post the following in the comments from yesterday's blog:

thanks everyone!! i had lots of expectations when we started this adoption - but i did not expect to have the support of other people in our same situation. It sure helps. I still feel crappy but its great to know we are not in it alone. I also feel so glad to have a place to 'vent' where people understand. I felt guilty writing that post - cause we have only been waiting for a few weeks and others have been waiting for months - but i think it doesn't matter how long you have been waiting - its still the hardest thing to do. thanks again

Its true - i really had no idea that we would become involved in such a cool support network. I am so grateful.
For those of you out there just starting - this is a process that will probably put you through the wringer. They told us that when we started and i figured we could handle it - and we will but there are times...
For those of you out there who have been waiting... and i don't mean just waiting for referrals - (our waiting started almost 3 years ago), there is waiting for homestudies, waiting for reports to be written, waiting for approval and the list goes on. My heart goes out to you. Some of you have been waiting for a year or more. Wow - all i can say is - i know on the other end of this wait there is something beautiful and i am glad to be part of your wait and I am glad you are part of ours.

Monday, November 3, 2008

grumble grumble

Can I just say - waiting sucks.
If you see me on the street and ask me how things are - and where we are in this crazy process - i will give a nice pat answer that i have been practicing. "things are good - our file is Ethiopia now - we are keeping busy" etc etc.
But the very truth is that waiting sucks. I have these tickers on the blog - they move so slow(are they going backwards when I am not looking??!) "2 weeks, 6 days waiting for baby", i have a spreadsheet where i keep track of people i know from blogs and the yahoo group. We are all waiting - but it seems like the list doesn't move -and if it does - someone is coming out of the woodwork and is ahead of us - bumping us to the bottom - again.
In my head i know that i need to suck it up - we have a LONG way to go and no one likes a whiner. But it just seems like its never going to happen.
Most of the time i can find something to be excited about - something to be optimistic about but I don't feel like it tonight. When are you coming baby????
So, let me complain a bit, grumble a bit and be mad for a while. I feel like a bit of a funk right now. Next week I will be excited again about the nursery, crib shopping and all the fun stuff. But for right now this all just stinks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

the best




Well - i think we had the best Halloween last night!!
The pumpkins were carved with loving care, the treats were ready to go and this year we had some help handing out the treats. My cousin Lorie, hubby Chris and Winnie the Pooh aka Luke came over. Luke is about 2 1/2 and got a real kick out of waiting for kids to come and checking out their costumes. He eventually got the hang of giving the kids candy and not trying to take what they already had. Life is so much more exciting with a 2 year old around- and when that 2 year old is on a sugar high - lots of fun for all. Can't wait till next year when we have our own kidlet to go trick or treating with!!
The reno's continue - the hall and baby's room are now painted. If i ever tell that i like to paint you can call me a fibber!! Ugh - i will be happy to not have to paint for a while. i really don't mind it - but it has been a big job!! I am reminding myself that we still have 2 bedrooms to go and miles of trim but we'll think about that another day. For now the dingy white hall is gone and the barney purple is no more. It is a huge change. Now i can dream of cribs and rocking chairs and babies who will fill these rooms and our home with so much love!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

what we've been up to

Seems like we have lived one week in one day. Every have a day like that? This morning seems like a life time ago.
This morning we went to a workshop put on my Imagine (our agency). It was on "Lifebooks". I learned lots. Lifebooks are a way to share our child's story with them - from birth until they come to live with us. You can do it in a form of a scrap book but its not exactly the same as a baby book. Have I confused you yet? We want to be able to provide good answers to the many questions our child will have about its birth parents, country and how all of it works. This is a pro-active approach to answering those questions. Gave us lots to think about. Now, I am not the scrapbooking type - so I am not sure exactly how it will all turn out but I am looking forward to doing it.
Then from there, we headed to the funeral for my former boss. Marv Frey was CEO of Ten Thousand Villages until brain cancer forced him to step down over a year ago last fall. If I learned anything from Marv it would be to finish well. He was such a Godly man and had an amazing faith. Right down till the end he had total Peace. He was a great boss too - not afraid to get his hands dirty. We miss him but know that a perfect eternal life can't come close to this earthly one.
In between, we ended up being early for the funeral and did some crib shopping. TOO MUCH FUN. Wow - its starting to feel real. Found some really cool stuff.
Then I came home to check out some stuff on the web and found more exciting news about referrals. This week there have been 4 referral announcements including one set of twins. Such an exciting week in the adoption world. What a life changing week for those 4 families!! And to be selfish - it makes our referral all that faster. As babies move out of the 'transition house' there is then room for new babies to come in and so on. Now we all know my job is in accounting - but i bet you didn't think i would have my own referral spreadsheet. its all colour coded and everything. I have been trying to keep up on who gets a referral and who's file makes it to Ethiopia. My limited research has 26 people ahead of us - so lets make that 46 because there are probably lots of people out there that I don't know about. The fact is that we are moving up the line. It is so cool to see progress being made. Lots of the new referrals are little babies - 3 months old. Oh how I hope and pray for a young one like that.
So, it's been one week in one day. Its 6:30 and Mike has fallen asleep on the couch and i feel like i could soon follow. Tomorrow we head to London for an open house to celebrate our new nephew AJ. And - my best friend/cousin is home from Calgary so you never know what will happen this week. I am also planning to take a few days off to do some painting next week. Could be some new reno pictures soon!! Lots going on.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mike's bargain



Since Mike just had a birthday, he was blessed with gifts and some gift cards. He is the proud new owner of a router bit set - which will help to make trim for our reno project. He also just let me know that he bought HIS first baby purchase. He is the proud new owner of a bicycle trailer! We have a local Homehardware and it has a pretty awesome 'bargain basement'. He checks it out regularly and finds some pretty sweet deals - including a neon-light-up-pool-ball-clock (which i am learning to appreciate), our bola ball game, wheel barrow, rakes and all manner of yard tools. So, he is now into retail therapy too :) I am just wondering if i will fit with the baby and he can take us both for a ride :)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

thanksgiving

The news today is that our file arrived safe and sound in Ethiopia yesterday!! It was pretty cool to track the package - from Kitchener to Ohio to New York to Germany to Ethiopia. Those papers sure have been around! Now the waiting really begins. Seems like referrals have been few and far between lately. Hopefully things will pick up soon.
We had a great thanksgiving weekend. Managed to get some more work done on our project. I got most of the baby's room primed. Mike worked on painting the ceiling in the hall. Good news that the colours are all picked for the rest of the rooms - so now we just need the paint and a few good days to get at it.
We enjoyed a family dinner at my parents house on the weekend as well. I feel like we have so much to be thankful for. Its been a long road but we are so much closer to starting our family than we were last year at Thanksgiving.
I found myself daydreaming on the weekend. It's so hard not to sit and imagine - next year we will have a baby home at thanksgiving - we will need to reconfigure the table a bit to get in a high chair, we will have to find a quiet spot (unlikely) for a nap, etc etc. Am I setting myself up for disappointment by imagining 'next year at this time'?? I sure hope not - I can't imagine waiting for 12 more months!!!!!! There are some people with other agencies who have waited over 12 months for a refferal!! I suppose its quite possible that we still have 12 more months as refferal times keep gettting longer and longer. I like to think though that we will be home with baby by next fall.
Some well meaning friends think that since our file is now in Ethiopia maybe we will be getting our baby before Christmas (as in this year). Some times i smile and so 'oh maybe - you never know' and then the rest of the time i launch into 'time lines' and explanations on why it's still going to be a good long while. That would be a nice dream though. For now I will just imagine - 'next year at this time'. Next year at this time I will have forgotten all about how hard it was to wait 'last year at this time'.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

leaving on a jet plane!!

Well - its not me or Mike leaving - its our file!!!! Our file has been to Ottawa and back and tomorrow its off to Ethiopia!! DTA is one week. So next week this time we will be on the list of people waiting for referrals!!! In my own time frame i thought it might get to Ethiopia by Christmas - i always pad time frames - i 'built in' time on our wedding day because i really didn't want to be rushed. So its exciting to be ahead a bit more. this said - i know its very possible that our 'extra time' will be eaten up waiting for something else- but for now it feels good!!!
Oh me of little faith, who yesterday was saying that i hate waiting. Well, i still hate waiting, but its all worth the wait!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

nothing new...

So here i go with the - 'there is nothing new' post. Really - nothing new - just plain old waiting. I keep reminding myself that this wait will be short compared to the next one...but it doesn't really help. I just plain hate WAITING!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike did have a birthday last week!!! We celebrated by going to Pumpkinfest -just like how it sounds. Its like a country fair - with all the really good food - too bad for the diet and really HUGE pumpkins. i am talking 1300 pounds!!! The other big draw to Pumpkinfest is the car show- hundreds of classic cars in one town - lots of fun. It was really good weekend away - no laundry, dishes or drywall dust.
We also had our famous Warehouse Sale at work on the weekend and before we left for pumpkintown i bought my first 'baby' stuff. A little wooden bowling set made in Sri Lanka and some very cute picture frames. They probably won't match anything else we buy for the nursery- but it has lessened the urge to buy something baby related(for now). Retail therapy - can't hurt can it??

Here is the #2 pumpkin - over 1300 lbs!!

Veggie Tales eat your heart out

Lots of pies from those fellers!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

updates

Well, this week we have been working on getting the rest of our paperwork together. We just had a few more things to add to our file. Looks like its all in order, including photos of our home, us and our families. Next our file heads to Ottawa.
Its still pretty exciting that we got our ministry approval!! I wasn't real worried that we wouldn't be approved - although our Adoption Practitioner did mention a few issues that the ministry might have been concerned about. Its just a really good feeling to be over this hurdle - and 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I have probably mentioned before that i always take the outside time lines when we are given a wide range. I would rather be pleasantly ahead of schedule than disappointed and waiting forever. Anyhoo - this next wait will be short and sweet (we hope).
Until then, the reno's continue. I put my back out last weekend, so my part is falling behind a bit. Mike is motoring right along. All the dry wall is now up and he has been working on the mudding/sanding.

Here is the hall - done except for some priming, painting and trim work. (so i guess not so much done - but really close and looking really good!!!)
I am going to love the new closet!!!

Its kind of hard to tell, but we put 2 closets in the baby's room. I figure if we have a girl you can never have enough closets and if you have a boy - he can share with Mommy :)

The last bits of drywall go up!! Yippeee. I think Mike will be more excited when the mudding and sanding is done. All those new closets have lots of crazy corners to fix up. He's the best!!! The new windows are also in!!! Very fancy to have windows that open and close!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Approved!!!!

Well - today was the one of the most exciting days so far in our adoption. We got our ON Ministry approval!!!! oh goodness! I did a happy dance around the office - then had to take a walk through the building to find my mom (yep - we work at the same place). then I had to find my 'other mom' and spill all the good news.

I was so excited -that its hard to believe what it will be like when we actually get the referal. I think our caseworker was a bit surprised at how excited i was :)

What a relief!! And in only 6 weeks. Through this whole thing we are given time lines. I tend to want to believe the longer time line - which was 12 weeks -so now it feels like we are 6 weeks ahead of 'schedule'. I have no doubt that those 6 weeks will get used up waiting at for something else.

So - i did call Mike up in the middle of the day (well - night for him) to tell him the news... He forgives me now - i think.

So - i know i was just complaining about waiting just a few days ago . I guess that is part of this whole blog thing - you have to listen to me complain and then in a few days be over joyed with the way things turn out. I did tell you that the rantings of an 'expectant mother' may just be a little irrational. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

do the math...

Ok - so it turns out i am not always that smart. I even work in accounting - in my heart of hearts I am not really a lover of numbers - sorry Len. But today - out of the blue - i realized that our baby could be born any time now.

People are always asking me if i think our baby is born yet - and my usual answer is "i hope not - i hope that our baby is as young as possible when we pick him/her up". Then i got to thinking - i know someone having a baby in the spring and i was thinking how cool it would be if they are close to the same age. Then i started doing the math - if our file gets to Ethiopia by December 08, then we get a referral by June 09 (i know - again with the wishful thinking) its very possible our baby could be born in October 08. We have requested a baby younger than 9 months at referral. Holy Cow - that means our baby could be born very soon. Now - you might think - duh - have you never thought this through??! Well - i guess i really haven't.

There is a certain amount of distance i think that you put between yourself and this adoption - in my case anyway. There have been many hurts along the way - so I try not to get too overly excited till something is the real deal. But today it just really hit me - our baby could be born any time now. Wow - it gave me goose bumps today at work and again just now.

All this to say - all i can think of is birth mom. What she must be going through, feeling and coming to terms with right now. This is an unbelievable woman we are talking about. She no doubt will be giving up her baby so that it can have a better life. Not sure i would have the strength to do what she is going to do. Please remember to keep her in your prayers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

adoptive mothers

I thought i might share this writing. Its been going around and I dont have anyone to credit to or I would. I wanted to say a few things before you read it: #1 Adoptive mothers are not perfect. #2 I dont want to 'glorify' adoption but do want you to know that there are some special aspects to parenting an adopted child. #3 this goes for dads too. #4 Since i have not yet been a mother I only hope to live up to it.

ADOPTIVE MOTHERS

Being an adoptive mother is not for every woman. She must possess not only the natural mother instinct but an understanding and appreciation of the situation that brought a child into her arms making her a mother. The adoptive family comes to be by choices made, choices made by the first parents and by the adoptive parents. This bond the adoptive mother has with her child grows over time, like the child did within his first mother’s womb.

Day by day, touch by touch, with each tear, kiss and memory made they become a family. Adoptive mothers have that special knack to let love grow.

Adoptive mothers know that she’s a mender of wounds, not just of the physical skinned knees with a band-aid and a kiss, but of the heart. She gives love, acceptance, and permission to ask and talk about the day he was born and of his first parents.

Adoptive mothers are embracers, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses, but of the child’s heritage and history. She embraces the facts of her child’s past with strength for herself and the child. She’s not only a memory maker planning family vacations, activities, and birthday parties, but also a memory keeper.

She’s a tier of shoelaces and of hearts. She weaves lives together into a tapestry of a new family, with many different brightly colored threads showcasing their individualities and family origins. Together they create one unit attached to each other.

Adoptive mothers are experts at finding lost objects, but understand and validate the profound, deep loss left by adoption. She allows the tears to fall and grief to be felt, allowing the mourning of the mom not there. She is secure in knowing that she’s not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer.

This role is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded. Loving a child not born to her but calling him her own, but this is what she does, it is her calling…..She is a mother

Thursday, September 11, 2008

waiting...

Waiting.

Seems like when you talk about adoption the key word is waiting. Our file has now been at the Ontario Ministry for 5 weeks. I heard some one just got their approval after 6 weeks - so maybe... Well, I won't get my hopes up too much. The sad part is that we are not even 'officially' waiting. Most people say the waiting begins when all the approvals are in and you are waiting for the referral. Then the REAL waiting begins. I don't know. We started this adoption business 6 months ago (although we started the research, etc long before that and really i have been waiting all my life to be a mom) and it looks like we have another 12 months to go. Not sure how much more of this waiting business i can handle. I guess its good that we are 1/3 of the way through - lets try to stay optimistic?? I never was all that patient - maybe i will learn something through all of this waiting. It's a good thing that the wait will eventually be worth it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

4 years have gone by fast!!!

Tomorrow we celebrate our 4th Anniversary!! Hard to believe!!! Seems just the other day i was gathering up 'my girls' into the bridal bus to shop for dresses. We had alot of fun on our wedding day - no drama!! It was a great celebration and wonderful day with our families and friends. I wouldn't change a thing.

The past 4 years have not always been easy. But we have grown together and supported each other through the good and the bad and the ugly! I look forward to more of the same!!! I love you Mike!! :)








Good bye summer





Well, i always feel like there isn't much to say- but then end up with a huge post :)

Our file is still at the ministry getting approved. In the mean time we have gotten the rest of our paper work together. The last thing we need to do is put some photos together. We are hoping that our file is done very soon. In my mind, I think our file will make it to Ethiopia by November, referral by April, travel by July 09?? Might be wishful thinking.

The most exciting thing that happened last week is the birth of our new nephew!! Andrew James John Manning (aka AJ) was born last Tuesday! He is a real cutie! We went to London to visit last week and I even got a chance to hold him for a few minutes. He is still in hospital but we are all hoping that he is able to come home soon. We are very excited to have this new member of our family. He is a great blessing to all of us! Its so cool that AJ and our baby may be pretty close in age. We really look forward to them growing up together with AJ's big brother Kyle leading the way!!

The renovations continue to move along well. The hall is now dry walled and has a first layer of mud. I even got to do some mudding - i figured i can ice a cake - i can mud a wall. So far so good. The bed room is looking good - we are waiting on a new window.

We also got to the beach on Sunday. It was a great family day - my parents and sister's fam were all there. I love the beach!! The weather was perfect and we had a great time. Its hard to say good bye to summer - i would like to think there could still be one more beach day...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

holidays

Well, next week we have our last week of holidays for the summer. The electricians have been here and are done with their part. Next week will be begin the re-construction. Not exactly sure what my job will be - but looks like I will be learning how to hang dry wall and be the #1 go to guy. We also have an appointment with the lawyer to get a few things notarized and get our wills set up. We are very bad - have not yet had wills done so its about time. We also have an appointment with the beach :) I have talked (i think, i hope, pretty please?!!!) Mike into a one last day at the beach day. I can't wait.
Our file is still at the ministry getting approval. Its been there 3 weeks out of 8-10, although my cousin Janice told me it only took them 4 weeks last year - who knows. More than ever i am feeling totally confidant about this adoption. There have been a number of circumstances in the last little while (if i told you all the nutty details you would just shake your head) that have just made me realize more than ever that God has a beautiful little African jewel planned for our family. I haven't always been so sure - and i still wonder how we will deal with raising a black child in a white world. But after all the crazy bits, I know He has a plan and will guide us through the rest too. My good friend Duane (who I haven't seen in ages except through the miracle of technology) helped me to put things into perspective the other day when I thought i was really loosing it. He told me to read Psalm 33 and it talks about God looking down on us - i wont quote the whole thing but it talks about Him having a plan for each one of us - and that he is in control. And its a good thing too - what a mess things would be if I were in control!!

Good bye old friend

This week we said a sad good bye to Mike's truck. 12 years ago he bought it as a run down old farm truck and lovingly restored it back to its original glory. He then enjoyed many years of taking it to car shows and probably being one of the youngest owners of a 'antique'. He has lots of good memories of travelling all around the province with his mom and dad and showing his 'baby' off at different car shows.
Now you might be wondering why on earth he would sell such a treasure (especially if you are male). Well - around the time we got married he thought it would be a good idea to sell- extra $ for the wedding. Then he thought when we bought our house it would be a good time - extra $ for a down payment. But the timing was all wrong. It surprisingly sold this past weekend to a Dodge nut (its a 1972 GMC) but we didn't argue. God's timing is perfect and our truck sold when we needed the $ for a more family friendly vehicle. So now we go from hot rod to mini van...just kidding we have our eye on a 4 door SUV that we think will do the job just fine.
I should also add a disclaimer that I am not the wife who made her husband get rid of all his 'toys' when we got married. He still has his bike, the jeep and his drums :) The truth is we didn't drive it much any more and didn't have a garage for it to sit in. It was rusting in our driveway. We do have good memories and of coarse our wedding (especially when friends decided the church had too much extra toilet paper sitting around :)










Wednesday, August 13, 2008

updates...

Well - there really hasn't been much going on to blog about. Our file is in TO being approved provincially. We should be working on more paper work that Ethiopia requires but haven't quite got that done yet :)

The reno's are moving along. The electricians were here today to take out some old 'knob and tube' wiring. Once this job is done 'we' (and when i say we I mostly mean Mike - although i have been told i will soon be learning how to dry wall and i have actually always wanted to try mudding - i know crazy talk) can start framing in new closets and straightening out some of the walls. i tend to think my job is the painting and decorating end of things :) I will also be sanding down and prepping all the door and window trim. Lots of fun.

The other thing i learned today is that there seems to be lots of babies in Ethiopia!!! I belong to a Yahoo group for Ethiopian adoptive parents. One person just returned home from picking up their new baby!! She said that she toured the new baby house and there were 30 un-referred babies. By a guess i would say there must be a minimum of 75 people in line ahead of us for referrals - so there will be about 30 lucky family's getting their referrals in the next while. How exciting. What does this mean for us? Well technically we aren't officially waiting for a referral yet - our file needs to be approved and sent to Ethiopia first. This MIGHT mean that we will get a referral sooner than we anticipated. Crossing my fingers that this will be the case - but also guarding my heart and trying not to get hopes up at the same time.

It is sad to think that so many precious babies are out there needing a good home - but also very cool to know that they will be coming to Canada and could possibly be friends with little Manning Jr. My sisters kids have given our baby a name - they decided he (its going to be a boy dont you know) should be called Moses - Mosey for short. Maybe Aaron just needs to have his own baby brother...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Renovations!!!

So - now that we are 'expecting' there were a few things around the house that needed to be done. If you have been here - you will know what i am talking about. I had decided i would like to paint our upstairs hall before the AP came to spruce it up a bit and this led to a bit of a job.

The famous 'purple room' has been gutted and is getting a face lift. It will be the nursery. The hall and ceiling also has been gutted and we look forward to adding a new closet. So - we went from painting to this...


Gotta love a long weekend and a handy husband!!! Its a bit of a mess - but I can't wait to post the 'finished' pictures!!!

We're back!!



Mike and I just got back from a GREAT week away. I was worried that 7 days of camping might be a bit to much time in a tent - but it was wonderful. Of coarse I didn't want to come home - but am happy to not be sporting my 'camping hair' any longer - ughh - i live for my hair dryer!! Anyway - it was a totally great time and i am so glad we could get away.

We went to a provincal park about 2 hours from here - and it seemed like we were 'surrounded' by bi-racial families. Maybe we didn't notice them before and this adoption has opened our eyes abit - but on one little (and i do mean little) beach we counted 3 families with asian kids and 2 sites down from ours was a family with an african daughter. I didn't get the nerve up to talk to any of them but i did enjoy watching them play on the beach - interacting with their 'white' parents and grandparents and it made my heart happy to see these very well adjusted, well loved kids. I can not wait till we are taking our little 'bundle of joy' camping with us. Am already making plans for a bigger tent :)




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Now what?

When we realized our homestudy was done we looked at each other and said "now what?" It seems like the homestudy totally ruled our life for so long that we didn't know what was next! But, it seems like more paperwork is in order. Ethiopia wants a few more things that Canada didn't want - no big deal - just a few more pieces of paper.

Right now as we speak our homestudy is on its way for ministry (provincial) approval. This can take 8-12 weeks we are told. So... hopefully by October(??) we will go to the next step and send the paper work off to Ethiopia.

So, now its a matter of sitting back and waiting -that's the name of the game from now on out I am afraid. Part of me says - we have waited this long whats another year or so and the other part says - bring it on now!!!!! oh boy. definitely not looking forward to the waiting.

The good news is that i am on holidays for 2 weeks!!! This week is a do stuff around the house and R&R week and on Friday Mike and I leave for camping. Can't wait!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Homestudy done - check!!

We just got back from our AP - with a copy of our report - signed, sealed and delivered. What a day!!!! Its hard to believe we are done and will now join the ranks of 'the waiting'. From here on out its a waiting game - waiting for ministry approval, referral etc etc. But i am not complaining!!! It feels so good to be on to that next phase and to get one step closer to our dream!! Yippeee!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is the room spining or is it just me???

Wow - what a week its been! Thursday i did get most of the cleaning and fixing up done. Mike did more on Friday afternoon. At first it really freaked me out to only have 2 days notice before the home visit - but it was kind of like riping the band aid off fast - it hurt for a short while and then it was all over. I am sure if i had weeks to clean i would have driven mike and everyone else crazy.

I am very good at playing head games. The adoption world has a very definite 'sub-culture'. There is so much support out there. So many people have blogs, there are chat groups and info everywhere you look. i have loved to read other people's blogs- they educate, inform, support, give hope and are fun. I love to see pictures of kids that are home and read the stories of how they are adjusting and bonding in their new families. I was also shocked/surprised that other prospective adopting parents are reading my blog - i felt almost famous -almost anyway. thanks for joining in. Anyhoo - all to say that all this info is very helpful but can also freak you out. I often compare my situation to others and then get into trouble. That is one reason (i think) that i had a major melt down this week. As i mentioned earlier this week, our home study was just really dragging along. We had done all the paperwork - and it felt like nothing was happening. Then all of a sudden things really picked up. Then i started 2nd guessing myself and this process. it seemed to be moving too fast - i had totally convinced myself that it was moving so fast because we were getting rejected. Now some of you will scoff at that and say - are you kidding - chill out. But you have to realize that having a family is out of our hands. We are asking other people to assess us to see if we will be good enough to be parents - its really scary -they have to power to deny us. Of coarse - i know we will be great parents - but does the rest of the world?? I know God is in control - but we all know that I would like to be in control - its a lesson that i learn over and over... Anyhoo - thanks to Nancy for keeping me grounded (at least she tried) on Friday. Also, it seemed that our home study was progressing in a way i had not read about and it freaked me out. Fast forward to Friday evening - the AP came - loves our house (even the dirty windows, crazy renos and creaking floors) and loves us. We have passed with no objection on her part. We got to read her report and i was very impressed. She asked if there was anything i wanted to change - and i was just so happy we weren't rejected that i couldn't think of a thing.

Today - i feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted off my (our) shoulders. I am happily doing the million loads of laundry that i hid all around the house. We are on to the next step... We will go Monday night and sign the 'document' and then it gets sent to our agency and then to the ministry. Now - believe it or not - there is more paper work to be done. Our Ethiopian Dossier requires a few more things that our home study didn't. I have been ignoring it to concentrate on the home study so - its time to get that done too. We are one step closer!!!!!!

In the last week 2 different people have reminded me that at the end of this circus there is a real live baby that we will meet and bring here. Some times the baby seems like an abstract concept to me. Maybe its a coping mechanism (we have had lots of disappointments)- and really - its still a long way off - but we will have a baby!!!! These 2 friends have reminded me that God has one specific child in mind for us - the timing of home studies and medicals and visas all happen for a reason - that one child will be ready for us when we are ready for her/him.

Can't wait to meet you baby!!!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be careful what you wish for...

Oh boy - just the other day i was complaining that our home study was taking FOREVER!!!! So i sent a quick email to our AP on Tuesday. She said - well why don't you come by on Wednesday! So we had our second meeting with her last night. Then last night she said " why don't we do the home visit on Friday" - good thing her back was to us cause i just about fell off my chair - oh sure, ya that should be fine i said. so of coarse instead of cleaning and getting ready i am blogging. We also set a date for our last meeting - Monday. that means our home study is very close to being done. Wow - all of a sudden things are moving at a crazy speed - hope i can keep up. We also decided last night to stay with the Ethiopia program. The only real reason i wanted to switch was in the hopes that it might be a faster program. Our AP advised that new programs can have big problems - and the less 'surprises' the better. Which i do agree on - so Ethiopia here we come. Now back to the cleaning... Why did we ever buy such a big house?????

Sunday, July 6, 2008

one more thing...

I just wanted to add one more thing about the starfish blog. i really hope you don't get the idea that mike and i are 'saints' because we have chosen to adopt. That is not at all how we feel about ourselves or this whole process. actually i feel selfish - for wanting a baby to complete our family when there is a whole bunch of older kids out there who need a good home. This baby will be giving up alot in life to be in our family - his culture/roots/people. we hope to teach and instill as much as we can regarding his culture but in some ways he is getting the raw end of the deal. International adoption is not easy for anyone. So - no we are not saints and adoption is not the solution to the millions of AIDS orphans in Africa but we are doing what we can.

boring

I really hope that you aren't counting on this blog for entertainment. I haven't posted anything because it really feels like nothing is happening. We are waiting on our Adoption Pract. to have our next meeting. I had this idea that our home study would take a month or so - but now i am thinking i wasn't very realistic. All of our paper work is in so we are assuming we will meet with her again very soon. We need to meet with her 4 times - so i am guessing we wont be done the home study till the end of the summer. Then she will write her report and i am not even going to guess how long that will take. Its kind of frustrating especially when this is the part that is supposed to go fast. Anyhoo - enough of that.

One good thing is that we got our physicals done. We are just waiting on our HIV tests. The Dr says we are both healthy as horses and great candidates for parenthood. One more thing off the list - yippeee.

We received news that our agency has opened a new program in Ghana - which is west Africa - one country south of Mike's dad Chuck (who is in Burkina Faso). We are investigating this new program. When we decided to adopt internationally we really didn't have a preference as to where to look. Africa in general did seem to call to us. Its still really up in the air if we would switch - we have learned so much about Ethiopia and it would be a bit of a upheaval to pick a new program. We are still able to switch at this point but would need to decide soon. This is a bit of a curve ball. The program looks like it will run smoothly with shorter wait times - but you never know where the catch will be. We are definitely considering it. We wouldn't really be too excited about being one of the first to try it out - but you never know. The Ethiopia program is only a year old so we have the benefit of the experience of those who have gone before. It just seems like there are sooooo many people in line ahead of us in Ethiopia. I am really just being impatient!!!!!!!!!

In other news...We went to the beach today. i love the beach -we went to the Pinery at Grand Bend. It was so beautiful and there was a great cool breeze. Mike is a bit lobsterish. Live and learn i hope.

We also started a reno project this week (i hope the Adopt. Pract. will be able to see our 'vision' when she comes here to inspect the house!!). I am taking holidays in 2 weeks and decided i would like to paint the upstairs hallway when i am off. Well - painting has lead to the walls (old plaster) coming down, walls coming down lead to ceiling coming down, lead to new lights and who knows what all before we are done. The demo is great fun and hopefully the rest will be as well. Its a nice feeling to be making some progress in the house dept.

Anyhoo - that's about it for now. I am going to add a bit of a time line so you know what we are working on - we are still at the very beginning. Ahhh - some day i will be so busy with a new baby that i wont have time to fool with a computer!!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Starfish

Good news - got more paper work done and delivered tonight. Our finger print checks are done and back. So as far as papers go - the big stuff is all in except our physicals which are going to be done the end of the month.

This weekend i gave up my 'required reading' for a more recreational read. It is still on topic and very relevant but not on the 'lists'. It is called "There is no me without you" by Mellisa Faye Green. Its not exactly 'light reading' but i would highly reccommend it. This is the manning account of the book: Its the story of one middle aged woman in Addis Ababa (capital of Ethiopia) who was not afraid to love the children around her orphaned by AIDS. While grieving the deaths of her husband and then her daughter, a priest came to her door with a child and begged her to look after this little orphan. Before too long she has 60 kids living with her. Its just a moving story of a woman making a difference. It really brings the issue of AIDS and lack of medication, all these orphaned kids and poverty to the surface to me. Eventually this woman found out that Europeans and North Americans were willing to adopt these orphans. The whole story touched me in a deep way. They talk about the older kids - when the adoption people would come for the babies -the older kids would get all dressed up, clean themselves up trying to impress the adoption people - hoping that they would get adopted too. It breaks my heart to think of these kids whose futures look pretty grim. It made me wonder if our wanting a baby is purely selfish. Hard things to come to terms with. I was telling my friend at work today about how i was feeling and her response to me was - "one starfish at a time". Its from the poem below - we will adopt the child that God has planned for us. We can't save all the kids - but we can save them one starfish at a time.


There once was a man walking down a beach that was completely covered in starfish that had washed ashore. They were absolutely everywhere that the old man looked. As he walked along, he bent down and picked up one starfish at a time and deliberately tossed it back into the sea.
A young boy watched curiously as the old man continued tossing starfish one at a time into the sea. He approached the old man and asked him "What in the world are you doing? Why are you even bothering? You will never get them all back into the sea! There are so many it just doesn't even matter!"
The old man looked at the young boy, bent down, and picked up another starfish. With purpose he showed the boy the starfish and said, "Young man, to this one starfish it matters!" And with that he flung the starfish back into the sea.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sigh of relief

The other night we handed in some of our paperwork!!! Yipppeee - I am starting to be able to see my kitchen table again. It feels great to have some of the hard stuff behind us. We are still waiting on physicals, finger prints, references and a few more pieces of paper. Next we will start meeting with our AP (Adoption Practitioner) to finish up the home study. She will eventually come here for an inspection of our home - kind of scary - no doubt my house will never be that clean again.

I joined a group on yahoo this week. Look at me - first a blog and now a group on yahoo!!!! Its a group for Canadians adopting from Ethiopia. Today there were about 4 people who received visas from Ethiopia and will be travelling in the next 2 weeks to pick up their kids. I tried to imagine what that would be like - after soooo long of waiting to have a family - to get a phone call saying - get your butt to Africa and pick up your kid!!!!! Not sure that i will get any sleep after that call comes!!! Just seems surreal to me right now.

Anyhoo - that's about it for me. Its too nice outside to be sitting at a computer - my weeds await.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Well - taking off yesterday and today has helped tremendously in getting the paperwork done. Its almost ready to go. I feel like i can breathe again. And Mike has enjoyed having me cook for him for a change :)

Yesterday I talked about the support we feel from family and friends. i forgot the comments we get from complete strangers. When we got our fingerprints done - the lady was pretty excited and told us all about her experience in adoption. When we got our police checks done, the Sergeant told us all about a friend that has adopted (and gave us a bit of a deal). When Mike got his passport photos done, the clerk gave him a mitt full of coupons so we can have photos of our 'blessed one' developed for free. When he went to the passport office, the clerk was all excited. Its really neat to feel the support of the larger community.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Thanks!

Its really cool how everyone is so excited for us. I always knew we had supportive family and friends - but this is over the top. I really appreciate it. This adoption thing is going to be tough sometimes and its so cool to know we have lots of people behind us.

Its fun telling people 'our news'. We have brought tears to the eyes of more than one person -and its really neat the reactions we get. I am so thankful our baby is already loved by so many.

One down a million to go...

So we now are finished our PRIDE training. Still feels like we have a million things to do - and true to my personality - i am blogging instead of doing what i should be. The stress of all this paperwork hanging over my head caused me to take a few days off from work and actually 'ground' myself. So now i am grounded and supposed to be getting stuff done.

We really got lots done last night so i am thinking we are on a roll. I really want to be able to hand most of it in by the end of the week. Seems like they ask the same questions over and over - so hopefully we are giving the same answers.

One cool part of the PRIDE training was meeting people in the same 'boat' as us. We are at the same stage as many people so it could be that we travel to Ethiopia at the same time! That would be cool. Anyhoo - a shout out to our PRIDE friends.

Well - i guess i should get at the work - knowing me - I will get the laundry done, clean the house and all that other 'fun' jazz before i get to the homework. Reminds me of high school!! Procrastination is my middle name.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Ethiopia?

This is a question that we get asked alot.

When we were deciding to adopt there were many ways to go. We could adopt Domestically - within Canada. We could foster through FACS with the intention to adopt. We could adopt privately (find our own Birth Mother) or we could adopt internationally.

We decided to go internationally for a few reasons. One is that there is a greater chance of adopting an infant internationally (especially from Ethiopia). Domestically there aren't too many infants being adopted any more. Lots of Birth Moms are choosing to keep their babies these days. However, it seems like these babies aren't so cute when they get to be toddlers - so the chances of adopting a toddler is much higher. Birth Moms who do put their babies up for adoption often get to choose the adoptive parents - and sometimes people can wait for many years. For our first child :) we decided it was important to get a baby as young as possible. Who knows - maybe for 2, 3 and 4 (ha ha - just threw that in to freak Mike out) we will adopt a toddler from FACS. Also - for us - adopting from FACS really scared us as first time parents. We feel we could handle some experience before going that route.

So - why Ethiopia?? When we were starting out, we knew that it didn't matter what nationality our baby was - that really wasn't an issue. Canada only allows you to adopt from certain countries. If not - we would have been in Burkina Faso by now adopting little ones that Mike's dad has come in contact with in an orphanage near where he lives. So - the list of countries you can adopt from is a short one. Some countries place various restrictions on adoptive parents that we didn't meet - and some require extensive travel/living time in country that we couldn't do. Africa was drawing us in - and our agency deals with Ethiopia and with Zambia. In the end we chose Ethiopia - it seems like a good fit. There are so many orphans in Africa - i wish we could bring more than one home - but for now - we will change the life of one child. This child will change our lives more than they could ever know.

Here we go...

So last night in my cold-induced-stooper we had our first meeting with our adoption practitioner. It went really well and helped to re-enforce our desire to adopt internationally and from Ethiopia. We left her office with a huge stack of papers - even more paper work than we knew about previously. So now its time to 'buckle down' and get moving. It was good to know we are on the right track with some of the stuff we have been doing - and books we have been reading. But if we thought we were prepared we got a wake up call last night. Things we need to think about/figure out - day care plans for after the parental leave, checking out local schools, figuring out legal guardians and so much more. Not sure that newly pregnant couples think through all this stuff - but we will. My head was swimming by the end of the evening and it wasn't from cold medication!

So now the ball is in our court. Lots of papers to fill out and then we go from there. Still pretty exciting.

Sometimes i need to stop and remember why we are doing this. Sometimes the paperwork seems bigger than the adoption. One day we will go there and bring home a baby that will change our lives!! Over in Ethiopia at this point (or some time soon) there is a pregnant woman... and one day she will give us the chance to be parents to her child. Unbelievable. I pray for her at night. I would love nothing more than to have a child - so I can not imagine what giving one up for adoption must be like. If you think about it - and pray for us in this process (which I know many of you do) then please remember to pray for this amazing woman.

Monday, May 19, 2008

back to school

It feels like Mike and I have gone back in time - back to school that is.

The first Saturday of May we attended our first of three PRIDE training classes. This (as i have mentioned before) is a required class on parenting adopted kids. I wasn't sure what to expect - but have found the info to be helpful. One presenter is a woman who has adopted from Ethiopia - so its good to hear her experiences. Its also great to meet other people who are also adopting.

This past Saturday we took part in an Ethiopian Culture class put on by our agency. Once again its great to meet others who are adopting - from people like us who are just starting out to a couple who will travel in 2 weeks to pick up their boy - to people who have already adopted. It was a great class where we learned some language (some - well a very tiny little bit), about customs and culture. Pretty exciting.

Our other bit of news is that we are having our first meeting this week with our social worker. That is pretty exciting! at the same time - a bit scary - but still looking forward to it. This is a major step in the process - so will be good to get rolling.

That's it for now. I came down with a doozy of a cold this weekend- so i must retreat back to the couch.

Goobye

This week we said goodbye to Grandma Cober. She passed away on Mother's Day in the wee hours of the morning. It was really wonderful to have a chance to say our good byes. My heart is happy knowing she is rejoicing in Heaven at this moment. She died very peacefully, surrounded by her family. Her funeral was a true celebration of a life well lived. We will always miss her.

By the way 'goobye' is not a typo - grandma would call and then once she was done talking she would say 'goobye' and hang up on you - wither you were done or not.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's new??

Up until today there really hasn't been much going on. We still need to find a social worker to do our home study but other than that we have been plugging along.

So today was pretty interesting. We went and got our fingerprints done. Kind of cool to be doing a real, live, purposeful activity related to our adoption. The lady wondered what kind of work Mike does because there are parts of his fingers that are just plain missing. She was pretty excited about our adoption. She told us that she has a 15 year old adopted son. Kind of cool. So many people are interested to hear about what we are doing and have all been very supportive.

On Saturday we start our PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training. This is our first of 3 all day sessions. I am really looking forward to it - and to meeting other couples who are also adopting. We were told our class is full - 11 couples. I am not totally sure what we will be learning - guess i will let you know. I just hope there isn't much role-play - i hate that kind of stuff -especially with strangers.

On a sad note: My Grandma Cober has not been doing very well. I went to see her today. Its sad to see her so weak and fragile looking. I know she looks forward to going 'home' so I try not to be sad. She was enjoying having her family near by and didn't want to miss out on what we were talking about or doing. Some things never change. I will miss her.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Overwhelmed

I am hoping that its true that most 'expecting' parents feel overwhelmed at some point in their pregnancy. Today we got a package from the agency filled with papers to sign, forms that we need to have filled out and have notarized, stuff we need to do and to top it all off a fee schedule. None of this is new - we knew it was coming - but all of a sudden it seems like a mountain of work and a huge dose of reality. I keep telling myself that this is the fun part - this is the part we have control over. In a few months all this info will be in the hands of one government and then another and we will just have to sit back and wait for other people to make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives.

So mostly we just need to take a deep breath and make a list or two (if you know me - you will know that i am queen of the list makers) and get at it. Eyes on the prize -by the time we hold our baby in our arms we will have forgotten all about reference letters and appointments with the lawyer.

One exciting thing that happened this week is that we got signed up for the PRIDE training. It is a mandatory parenting course that all perspective adoptive parents in Ontario must take. This is a new requirement implemented just this year. Part of me thinks that anyone can have a baby - why are we penalized with this expensive course - but the other part is totally excited to learn about what it will be like to parent an adopted child. We have been reading some books that have shed some light on the topic but look forward to hearing 'real live people' talking about their experiences. Our presenter has adopted a child from Ethiopia so that is kind of cool.

So, this week it really feels like things are moving along. This whole adoption thing is happening. Wow. Pretty exciting.

bren

disclaimer: if you haven't noticed yet... i have a feeling that this blog will be a bit of an emotional outlet for me. My cousin Lorie will tell you that my (mostly) daily emails to her are a good therapy for me when i am going through 'stuff'. So... take it or leave it. I won't be offended if you find the emotional rantings of an 'expecting' mom to be a bit much to handle. Just remember poor Mike puts up with it all the time and loves me anyway! :) Oh - the other disclaimer I wanted to make is that i am a terrible speller and even worse when it comes to grammer - deal with it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Addicted already?!

No - I am not really addicted - but thought i would talk about the adoption since that is the purpose of this whole thing.

Mike and I have been very happily married for 3 1/2 years (time flies) already!! We have been wanting to start a family and have decided adoption is the way for us. It was a huge step - and lots of decisions - international/domestic - what country? Boy/girl? what age? Lots to think about. We have decided to work with Imagine Adoption - an agency based in Cambridge. Their Ethiopian program seemed to fit us so we are going for it. We did not choose a gender - they will do that for us and have asked for an infant. Sheri (my sister) is trying to talk us into twins - but for now we think one baby is plenty to keep us busy!

At this point we are soon starting the home study. So we are at the very beginning of things. We are estimating that it will be 1- 1 1/2 years till we bring our baby home. Although - we have learned of 2 cases now where it only took 10 months from beginning till end.

Even though it will be a long road -we are prepared for that and are still excited!!!! It is sometimes hard to comprehend that we will be parents but we do have some time to let it all sink in.

So, there you have the basics of what is going on. I can let you know more specific details later.