Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adoption Metaphor

I am a knitter. So it was the most natural thing in the world to begin a sweater for a baby when I began this journey to motherhood through adoption.

In September of 2005 when I began my journey (5 years ago) I purchased this pattern and some lovely bubbly yarn to make a sweater for a toddler. And I began the sweater as I investigated my options and checked out agencies.

Eventually, I decided that journey would take me to the Republic of Kazakhstan simple because I love the idea of the bonding period. 2 weeks of small periods of time when the baby gets to keep everything normal except the time with me. How simple child friendly and humane! I began the paperchase and my home study and I would work on this sweater.

Now, I like to knit a lot, and I knit for different reasons, to try a new pattern, to make a gift, to use a new yarn, or even to wear myself (go figure). So this sweater was picked up and work on and then put down and forgotten, in many ways just like the paper chase for the dossier.

As I get close to receiving my LOI I decided it was time to finish this sweater so I can bring it to Kazakhstan for my child to wear. I thought I had quite a bit to do to finish it, but this is what I discovered All the knitting is complete and all it needs is to sewn together.

Is that not a metaphor for the international adoption process. All the work of the home study, paper chasing/notarizing/ authenticating/ approving/ dossier travel is done, and now my adoption just has to be sewn together to actually become a parent by meeting a son/daughter to be.

I now remember why I didn't sew the sweater together earlier, I can't find the ball of the variegated yarn used as the trim. The bubbly yarn is impossible to sew with, I do remember that wonderful experience.

On Thursday I went out and bought a new ball of yarn to sew the sweater together. Then I'll use the yarn to knit a hat to go with the sweater.

Time to get this sweater and this adoption journey sewn up.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Secret Weapon

This is my secret weapon.

I received this beautiful baby blanket on Wednesday from a good friend Mary Ann.

Mary Ann has made many of these blankets for friends trying to conceive. After receiving their blanket don't they find they are pregnant.

So, now that I have my baby blanket I will very soon hear the wonderful news that I have my LOI.

Thank you Mary Ann! I can't wait to wrap my son/daughter into the warmth of this special gift.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Predictions from Patterns

I think I might travel in March.

All throught the process of this adoption I keep looking for patterns to help in predicting the future. If the LOI was issued after the dossier was in country for X number of months then I should be receiving my LOI in Y month, etc. I'm constantly checking blogs and updates looking for information to make my predictions. This is really a useless past time. There really isn't a pattern. Even when two families from the same country arrive in Kazakhstan on the same day their experiences can end up being completely different.

Even though I know this is a useless past time, I still spend countless hours a week collecting information to make and check my predictions. As I stated earlier, I'm hoping for a March LOI at the moment.

But then tonight I read where someone also hoping for an LOI in the near future was told that it may not arrive until September. Okay, that's a pattern I'm not even looking into, I'm going to ignore that little piece of info and hope that my predictions are better.

I'm think I might travel in March.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Home Study Update

I had my appointment with my social worker to up date my home study. It was really fast and totally painless, so why have I been in a tizzy all week????? I even vacuumed the underside of the carpet runner down the hall. I drove my brother right around the bend cleaning the house for the visit, and we sat in the kitchen for the entire time. Well, at least my house is REALLY clean now.

The paperwork with a home study is unbelievable. The social worker has a file about an inch thick and I have a file 1/2 inch thick. I had to give her my brother's reference letter, the medical form, and my local police check. My local police check arrived on Thursday, unfortunately my brother's hasn't arrived yet, hopefully it will arrive tomorrow. As we talked, my social worker said she realized I'd, well we'd, never had a Children's Aid screening done, so more paperwork.

Hopefully the finished update will be ready to send to my agency later this week. And then it will VERY slowly go through the channels until I get my Letter of Approval. I've heard rumors to the fact that the process is taking over 6 months. When my LOI arrives, and if my home study hasn't been approved they'll expedite it. I stating it here and now, I want my LOI in much less than 6 months. There I said it, and as Jean-Luc would say, "Make it so."

Monday, January 11, 2010

RCMP / Interpol Clearance Rock

As I'm updating my paperwork for the provincial approval, it made sense to update the paperwork I'd need to have current for court. That meant also doing the Interpol/RCMP clearance.

I had planned to go and get fingerprinted during the Christmas holidays, but it was never the right day. I was trying to make it into a family outing as both my brother and I need clearance as we share the house and my sister was home for the holidays. But, it never seemed to be the right day to go. The last 3 times I've had my prints taken, I've had to wait a very long time in the office waiting my turn. My sister can be patient, but it must be a really good day, and frankly her good days didn't coordinate with our other plans.

As I'm meeting with my social worker this weekend to update my home study, I decided that last week was the latest we could go and get printed. I got a chance after work on Wednesday to go by the office. I brought my knitting and gave myself an hour and half before I'd have to leave to make my chiropractic appointment.

Well I was very happily surprised. I was the ONLY person in the office. I was able to immediately pay for the prints and then get printed. Then the computer accepted every single one of my prints the first time. That has never happened as usually it takes multiple attempts for each finger.

When I was finished, I was chatting with the nice retired police officers who run the office about their hours, so that I could share that information with my brother, and they told me he didn't need to come in as his prints would still be in the computer. 2 seconds later they called up his prints and sent the request off to Ottawa.

And the best part is today I received both letter of clearance. They said when I was in the office that the RCMP now have a 72 hour turn around for sending off the letter, but it must have been put in the mail on Thursday, the day it was printed. That's less than 24 hour turn around.

That is the fastest aspect of this whole journey.

RCMP office, you people rock.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wouldn't You Know It

These are the beautiful Christmas ornaments Two Hearts For Hope , an organization started by adoptive parents of children born in Kazakhstan. The money is paying for some wonderful playground equipment at a Children's Home in Almaty.

I ordered 4 on December 3rd. I knew I would be seeing Marie-Claude and Martin, Diane, and Loretta later in December for our 2nd annual Christmas outing to the pioneer village. Well, come on, wouldn't you know it, they didn't arrive in time for our outing. Nope. And they didn't arrive before the end of the Christmas/New Year's holidays. They arrived at my house on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010. I really shouldn't be surprised, nothing to do with adoptions from Kazakhstan seems to go on a time line I predict.

Here are some photos from our outing to Pioneer Village. In attendance were Sandy and Hector with Maggy, Diane with Ciera, Martin and Marie-Claude with Yerlan, Loretta with Alex and grandmama Aline, and ME. Carrie, Edwin and Aimee were greatly missed.

(Yerlan on his dad Martin's shoulder, Loretta holding Alex)

(Starting at the back, Hector, Maggy, Ciera, and Diane)

While we walked around, Maggy and Ciera decided they were tired and pretended to have a nap on the bench. So Alex decided to join the game and had a nap while sitting in the wagon.

We had a lovely morning at the village followed by a 'great' lunch at a McDonald's with an indoor playground. It is always wonderful to be with my fellow IA families. Diane, Marie-Claude and Martin, and I all had our files go to Kazakhstan about the same time last June. Waiting together is great. Just wish I was going to Karaganda too! I feel like a high school student complaining about my classes every time I do say that.

So Diane, Loretta, Martin and Marie-Claude I'll get the ornaments to you the next time I see you.

Wouldn't you know it! LOL