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.


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.