Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday, my brother, sister and I celebrate Thanksgiving by going to our local Pioneer Village for a traditional turkey dinner.
We've been going to the village for

our Thanksgiving Dinner for over a decade. It was my late mother's idea that we do something special the first Thanksgiving without my father. She said, he may be gone but we still had a lot to be thankful for. Since my mother's passing, my brother and I have continued to pass the day in the same way as it is still special, and we have much to be thankful for.
This year I had thought to give the tradition a pass. Eating out, especially for a special meal is expensive, but I decided the experience is very special for my sister. Next week is her birthday, and truly there is nothing she really needs or wants. Kathryn's favourite thing in the entire world is eating out, especially with both my brother and I, so, I caved. My brother said it was the idea of having to cook something myself that swayed my thinking. He's a smart guy eh?!
As I sat in the dining room, I kept thinking about next year. Of course, I thought about having a little one at the table for the past 3 years, but this year with my LOI in hand the thought of a little one is stronger than ever. As I sat at the table, I wondered if next year I'd dare to bring a little one to village for a meal. Some how I don't think it will be that relaxing.
We learned something new this year about my little sister. She has forgotten how to stop eating when she is full. She ate everything on her plate and then suffered from a new sensation, feeling stuff. Just as she finished her last bite of pie she began to pull at her clothes and indicate discomfort. My poor baby. She kept asking me to help her. How do you explain that I can't take the discomfort away.
I'll have to remember in the future to take food off her plate. I've never had to worry about this as Kathryn has always stopped as soon as she was full, but I guess this is an unexpected side effect of living in a group home, she's learned to eat everything presented. I guess it's a kind of institutional think.
Luckily, after a little walk through the village, she seemed fine when we returned to the group home. I know I could hardly keep my eyes open, so I'm sure she had a little nap in her chair soon after we left. One of the major things I am thankful for is the care and love she experiences at the group home. Her joy in returning to the house, with a cry of glee and a little dance is such a relief to me, it makes leaving her there bearable. I miss her though, and even for that, I give thanks, I'm so lucky to have her in my life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

VISA is Gone (Sort of)

I am delighted to say that my VISA application is on its way to Ottawa, sort of. Well actually it won't start the journey until Tuesday morning as Monday will be Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. But bright and early Tuesday morning it will begin the 4 hour journey to Ottawa and promptly on Wednesday morning it will be delivered to the embassy.

The web site says the Visa generally takes 2 weeks to process. I figure I have over 4 weeks before I will be leaving, so I think I'll be fine.

I have to admit it took me more than 6 copies of the forms to get the information written properly. At one point I told my brother if I screwed up one more time I was going to have him fill it in for me. I kept making silly mistakes like misspelling my own name. Once though I filled in information in one line that asked who had denied me entry into the country, I meant to be filling in the line asking who had invited me to the country, oops.

Next step, find out when I'll be traveling so I can book my tickets.


This past week wasn't the best. In fact yesterday I felt a hair trigger away from a major explosion.

I still don't know the date that I'll be leaving for Kazakhstan. I have a LOI window from mid November to mid February, and usually you plan to be there on the first day of the window, but my coordinator is still checking with in-country staff to be sure. So even though I have my wonderful LOI, I'm still waiting to learn when I'll travel.

For the past two weeks I've been struggling to get my VISA application sorted. I know that my friends who had a total of 2 weeks from LOI to travel would think I'm insane that it's taken me two weeks to get the deed done, but I keep getting interrupted. Last Friday I spent a bit of my lunch hour getting new copies of all the forms and a print out of the PDF file of my LOI and I planned to work on it on the weekend. See I've been coming home from work with the intention of getting everything organized, only to be so tired after the frantic day at work that my brain lets me down. Only thing, I left the bag with all the paperwork in my office, so I couldn't work on it last weekend, and I didn't get back to my office all this week (not looking good for next week either) (Oh, a bigger catastrophe, I left my knitting in the office too - oh the horror of not having my knitting)

Yesterday I was determined to get the deed done and have my VISA application all complete. I went into work early and re-re-reprinted everything, wrote my cover letter, had my passport , photocopy of the important page of my passport, my certified cheques and the VISA application (2 copies because I know I'll make silly mistakes filling it in - I've already misspelled my name twice) when I realized I didn't have the 2 passport photos that I'd had done the two weeks ago. I tell you I hope they are not in the bag at my office. If I don't find them today I'm going to redo them.

Oh, the other fun of the week was my missing money. My agency requires families to put the amount that is required to cover all the in country costs of the adoption in a trust account with them, so that when families do get the frantic call that they have days to travel the family isn't scrambling to arrange the money.

The money was wired to my account at the end of last week, BUT it didn't reach my account. It got lost. Now rationally I know it's just not in the right place and all those smart banking people will find it, but I'm not completely able to cope at the moment. ARGH. I later found that my money had gone to New York City. Hey, I'd go there too if I could. Hope it had a nice visit. I came home yesterday to find a nice voice message from my bank to say the money was safely in my account, it made the journey correctly the second time. YEAH!

The week and all it's stress left me exhausted. When my sister opted to go to bed last night at 7:30 (the usual time at the group home) I thought that sounded like a wonderful idea, and I too went to bed at 7:30.

A good night's sleep and a holiday weekend should help to even out my temper, and I'll get that VISA application off to Ottawa today, so hopefully next week will just be the usual stress of October doing 3 different presentation to 3 different groups of about 75 teachers and principals on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. OH and did I mention that I was just informed about the Friday presentation on Thursday of this week - I don't have time to really prepare for it, so I'll have to spend some time this weekend working on it. ARGH. And I still don't know when I'm leaving for Kazakhstan. NOPE not going get away from that hair trigger temper any time soon.