Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adoption Panel

Yesterday I attended an adoption panel hosted by my agency. It was wonderful to hear the experiences of a birth mother and 3 adoptees.
The story of the birth mother moved me to tears. It was so beautifully told. She called her son, "our son" meaning both hers and the adoptive parents. That was so meaningful to me.
The adoptees covered three age groups; teenager, twenty something, and thirty something. There was a recurrent theme around identity, especially around racial identity. Another theme was around the concept of loss. It was interesting that their might be a gender difference with relation to the issue of loss, or maybe just a lack of interest in discussing the topic among boys. That will be an interesting issue to follow. The advice from the panel was to acknowledge the feelings expressed by the child, and for children experiencing difficulty verbalizing the feelings to give them a creative way to express themselves. And then leave it alone. They is an overwhelming need by parents, especially adoptive parents, to want to talk about things when the child has no need to talk, or actually to listen to a parent. We just need to listen, acknowledge, and ask what the child needs.
All four speakers were eloquent. I learned a lot and was reassured that such panels will be available to me as I continue on this adoption journey.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meeting a New Canadian

Yesterday, I went to the airport to meet Sheila, Clarence, XiuZhu and the new little Canadian, Dastan.

I arrived at Pearson airport and found Clarence waiting outside the International Arrivals doors. I checked Sheila's blog so I could remember what Clarence looked like and I found him very easily. I introduced myself and we chatted for about 15 minutes until Sheila and the children came through the doors.

It was my first time meeting Sheila, but I felt like I knew her so well from exchanging emails and from reading her blog while she was in Kazakhstan. Her new son was fast asleep and barely opened his eyes while we stood in the airport and caught up with news from Uralsk. Sheila told me about my friend Loretta and how her bonding is going, and told me about some other families in Uralsk now and how they are doing.

XiuZhu and her dad enjoyed some fun checking out the airport. I didn't know they had a TimHortons inside the arrivals area, but I saw from the chocolate timbits XiuZhu arrived eating that it certainly does exist back there. You're a girl after my own heart when TimHortons is one of the first places you want to go when you arrive back in Canada. What a world traveller XiuZhu has become. She was bright and happy and after such a long trip. Where did you say you want to go next, Paris to see the EiffelTower?

Sheila and family will be staying in Toronto until tomorrow when they will fly home to St John. I wonder how many coffees from Starbucks you'll have had by the time you get on the plane????

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome to my blog

I've finally started my blog about my adoption from Kazakhstan. I began my journey August 2006 when I began my home study. I think I had the longest home study in history as I didn't have my final meeting until April of 2007. I sent my paperwork to my agency in August 2007 and got provincial approval in November 2007.
But I wasn't ready to proceed. So I worked on a number of issues until this November when I was ready to proceed. On Monday this week I sent my completed dossier to my agency.
I've asked where I'll most likely be going in Kazakhstan and I learned that I will have to wait for my LOI to learn where I'll eventually go. I have 3 potential cities, and I need to learn about all three.
Well, I checked on-line and found out that my package was successfully delivered to my agency on Wednesday. Whew. That's a relief. Now to make sure it is complete and ready for all the wonderful stages it has to go through in the next few months.