Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2009

Congratulations to Sven, Jocelyn and Yannik who were told "YES" in court yesterday that they may indeed adopt Mlle O - Annabelle. That was the best gift any family could receive on Christmas day.

Truthfully, I found Christmas this year and mass in particular very difficult. Behind me was the sweetest little 3 month old girl, dressed in a red velvet and white fur outfit, her parents were filled with joy and pride. In front of me was a 3 year old girl playing with her mothers scarf, and beside her, her 6 year old brother pretending to be so serious, their mother looked at her children with joy as weel.. In fact all around were happy children and proud loving parents. And what kept running through my head was this Christmas was suppose to be MY first with a child. Waves of grief would pass over me. Maybe the children's mass wasn't the best idea.

But, it isn't my way to wallow in grief, so I dusted myself off and reminded myself that I will adopt a baby, not on my schedule but on the real one that will reveal itself according to life's plan.

So, at home we enjoyed opening gifts, then I made a brunch feast of Cinnamon Waffles with sausage and bacon. We enjoyed a little quite time, with the sounds of Lawrence Welk in it's endless strains when Kathryn is home. In the evening we braved the rain (thank goodness it all fell as rain or we would have needed the army again) to drive to our cousin's house for a lovely Christmas dinner with 25 of our relatives. Finally home again around midnight to share a little eggnog and rum (my first and only drink of the day as I'm designated driver) and the day was over.

Next milestone to survive is New Year's. Last year I was so certain as we marked the change, that 2009 was the year I would become a mom. Well, it is time to let that go, and now time to focus on 2010 as the year of Motherhood.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter's First Appearance

Winter arrived in Toronto this week. The rest of Canada is wondering if we need the army to help out. Come on, it was one time and that's after 100cm of the white stuff fell in 3 days, we needed help that year (1999).

The weather up till now has been very mild. I was wearing a fall coat even on Saturday last week. Some days in November were so warm people were dining on outdoor patio during the day.

Well, the white stuff fell for the first time Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. It was that heavy wet stuff. And then it rained later in the day. Now it is a solid icy mess. The streets are narrower as they were not plowed and now there are icy ridges on both sides of the road. Winter driving, hmm maybe I SHOULD have already had my winter tires put on the car. Wonder what my mechanic is doing next week?

Last night I was downtown for a taping of the Royal Canadian Air Farce's New Year Eve's special. We had to walk from the subway to the CBC building. Downtown planning is so well thought out, not! WIND TUNNELS when the temp is way below 0 Celsius, and the wind chill factor is in the teens, bad planning. As we walked and grumbled last night, I actually had to remind myself that I do love winter. 4 years without regular yard duty has made me a wimp. Another reason I need to get back into the classroom.

Have a great weekend all. I'm enjoying Lawrence Welk right now. All is right with the world.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Unexpected Depths

On Sunday my sister and I went to get our seasonal and H1N1 flu shots. There was a clinic at the local civic centre, so I figured that would be a good place to go. We used her wheelchair, think toddler - well very tall toddler, so much easier to push her where we are going rather than pulling and waiting!

As we got out of the car, she was asking if we were going shopping ("bank, going to go bank?" to be exact - as kids we had to go to the bank to start our shopping...) I kept saying, "No, we're getting our needles." But as I rolled her past the swimming pool towards the civic centre she turned in the chair, looked at me and asked, "Book?" We were right in front of the the very nondescript office tower looking public library. I don't know the last time she was in the library, maybe well over 20 years ago. Who knows what goes on inside her head? She never stops amazing me, there are memories, and knowledge in her head I have no means of accessing.

I constantly wondered what she'll make of her niece/nephew. A social worker at a workshop on preparing for adoption suggested creating a social story for her with a picture of me standing at the empty crib, an airplane, and then the picture of me with my little one. The group home staff would go over it every day to help her understand.

I spent a lot of time last winter trying to make my sister jealous. Not to be mean, but to learn how she'd react. I would go swimming with her and her group home housemates. My sister doesn't need any support in the water, instead she floats away with a noodle. I would support and pull around one of the others. My sister was never jealous. Instead she'd interact and try to engage the 'friend' I'd swum with. A good sign, eh?!

What worries me is the leaving of both my sister and the my new little one. I hate Sunday evenings when I bring my sister back to her group home. I cried all the way home for the first six months after she moved into the group home. The staff takes great care of my sister and she loves living there, but it feels wrong for her not to be at home with my brother and I. The longest my sister and I have been apart is 7 weeks, but at that time my parents were alive and she lived at home. The idea of traveling for 3 months and not being able to explain, argh! And the idea of going somewhere for two trips isn't any easier, as then I'll be leaving my little one. No one ever said this adoption stuff was easy, did they!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Busy Week on the Blog

It's been a busy week on the blog. In fact it has been a busy few months.

Back in June, I put Site Meter onto my blog. At the time I wasn't sure if anyone was actually reading my blog. I know my blog is listed on Lots of Kaz Blogs and I use that blog to find and get updates on lots of blogs that I follow, but get this.

Since I started the Site Meter in June I've had 1256 visits to my blog. WOW!

This week alone I've had 80 visits.

Hey, that's great and weird at the same time. I have survived most of this incredibly challenging wait by reading others' blogs. I have learned ever so much by reading the day to day experiences of both waiting families, families in Kaz, and the families finally at home.

I have to admit, in the beginning I read the blogs without leaving a comment. I didn't actually know the writers, so it felt intrusive to leave a message. Comments seemed to be from people the authors knew.

What I didn't realize at the time, that exchanging comments is how we all get to know each other. We have this wonderful Internet community of families in different stages struggling through the ups and downs of international adoption.

I'm ever so lucky, as I leave in an area where there are lots of families adopting from Kazakhstan. We have 2 to 3 parties a year, where we get together amazed at how the children have grown, meet the new children with their proud mamas and papas, and encourage the waiting families that the LOI will actually come for them. So I know many families in real life. I also belong to a group of single moms who are adopted or adopting from Kaz. And there is a group of families that we try to get together for play dates and our commonality is international adoption.

But, it is in the Internet group that helps to keep me going. While reading a blog post about a successful day in court, with tears pooling in my eyes, I think about my own experiences to come. I marvel at the posted pictures of the children and how they blossom each day as the bonding progresses and they begin to feel safe with their new parents, and I consul myself to see the bright bubbly child waiting to emerge. Reading the ups and downs, at home waiting or in country bonding, I learn and prepare myself as best as possible for the reality and challenge this process can be at times.

So, today, when you read my blog, drop me a comment so I know that you are there. And let me know what your there is all about. Where in the world do you live? What stage of adoption are you presently grappling with?

So, Hi there, I'm Michele, and you are...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Name's Not Murphy

Have you ever heard of Murphy's Law? It's not generally known in Ireland, however, it states that if it can go wrong it will go wrong. Well, let me tell you a tale about redoing my paperwork for my provincial approval.

I need a local police clearance for my provincial approval. I knew this the moment I knew I need to update my home study. My local police take a LONG time to do a clearance for adoption, from 4 to 6 weeks. As I want to have my paperwork for the update done as quickly as possible, I kept asking for the forms to request the police check.

A week ago Sunday I finally got my AP to give me my police clearance (up to that point I think she believed I'd be able to get an extension). When I collected my form, it was just that, my form. There was none for my brother who also requires a police check as he lives in the same house. I call my AP, remind her I need another form, and the next day collect the form.

At that point, of course I've misplaced the first form. (If it can be done, it will be done.) It took me a few days, but finally I located it. I wasn't it a great rush as I ended up working way across town and would not be able to go to the central police station to deliver the forms.

Today I was able to go downtown. I went during lunch. I stood in line for 20 minutes. Got to the counter and ...oh... the AP didn't sign one of the forms. I'm required to take the form back to the AP to get her to sign it.

I pay for my check. Go back to work fuming. Leave work. Drop off form at AP's place (I'm lucky that she actually lives relatively close to me) and leave a rather peeved message on her phone. Not impolite because it isn't in my nature, but abrupt.

AP calls, totally apologetic, explains what happened but explaining and taking responsibility. As an apology she offers to deduct $50 from the cost of my update. I thought that was reasonable. And then she quotes an amount $200 more than she'd told me the month before. HUH.

Anyway, everything will come right. I will have the signed form in my hands tomorrow morning. I will go downtown again tomorrow after work and stand in line for however long it takes. I will take my brother's ID with me to prove that he is who I say he is. (He is always who I say he is, cause I'm the boss LOL). And then, cause I don't believe in negativity. I'm going to have some fun shopping downtown. I might even treat myself to dinner downtown.

And I will only be paying the original amount for the update minus $50 dollars.

Just remember, my names isn't Murphy. This shouldn't be happening to me. Right?!