Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Better New Year!

I know it's not socially accepted to not be all cheery and happy on New Year's Eve. I know every single one of us is expected to smile so wide our cheeks hurt when we distribute happy and hopeful wishes to those we love.

But Hey! It's my party and I cry if I want to!
So if you're going to be shocked to read something depressing on New Year's Eve, have a happy new year and skip the rest of this post.

In all honesty, I don't feel like celebrating much today... I'm usually the first to wear Christmas lights earrings and to write long emails to reminisce all the sweet moments of the old year. But this year, the holidays are bitter-sweet.
I've spent 2011 in a job I love. Pablo and I have traveled a lot this year. We spent the very first minute of the year hugging my sister and brother-in-law with the Sydney Harbour fireworks in the background. We got married and decided on a beautiful way to have a child. We got an adorable new niece. I spent my 30th birthday being spoiled big time by my friends and family. For all that, I am grateful. Yet, I have a hard time seeing 2011 as an overall positive year. I have spent most of the year navigating from Hope to Shattered Hope, or trying to fill empty hours, days, waiting for time to pass.
And I dread the year to come. 2012 is going to be another 12 months of waiting, with a fun little surgery in spring, just to make it spicier. It's also going to be another childless Christmas and another bitter-sweet New Year's Eve.
I'm going to try very hard to have a good New Year's Eve party (we're having a friend over tonight).
I'm also going to remind myself the cool stuff that this new year has in store. A trip back to Australia, a new goddaughter, 2 very much anticipated visits from friends in out little western heaven, another year with the man of my life.

To all of you, I wish a healthy, happy 2012, filled with love and good surprises. For ourselves, I wish a lot of courage and resilience.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Pho in Town

Everytime we go to Calgary (or almost), Pablo and I go to the same Vietnamese restaurant.They make a great Pho Ga that warms you up from the inside...
The lady who owns the place is this lovely vietnamese woman with a very limited knowledge of the English language. She always walks the rows to chat with the customers in her broken English, making sure the food is to their taste. Because we go there so often, she knows us. She often comments to Pablo on how pretty his girl is (how could I not love her?!), or just throws a few words on how long it's been since we last went for her soup. What she cannot say with words, she makes up for with her smile.

We went yesterday. They had decorated the restaurant for Christmas and Christmas music was playing in the background. The Buddha that always stands on the counter was still in the same spot. Before we left, this lady just yelled across the restaurant: "Merry Christmas! Baby boy this year!".
I laughed and said we were working on this. We never told her we were adopting...

I sure hope she has a gift of foresight!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Image from http://images.elephantjournal.com/
A very Merry Christmas to all!

Regardless of your religion, background, beliefs, age or situation, may Santa bring comfort to the grieving, health to the sick, hope to the hopeless, satisfaction to those waiting and love to all!

Have a wonderful Christmas time and remember to enjoy every moment with the ones you love!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Birthmother...

There is a good chance you don’t celebrate Christmas. But for me, it’s a time to think about family and loved ones, near or far. And I can’t help but think about you.
Who are you? Where are you? I hope you are well... Are you already pregnant? Have you already made a decision for the future of your child? If so, you’re probably going through the most difficult moments of your life...
I hope you are living well. I hope you have all the food and water that you need, a roof over your head and all the love and support that you deserve.
I wish I could tell you that you are in our hearts and that you will not be forgotten.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to Waste Two Months for Nothing

There is an expression in French - To Cut a Hair in Four...
That's along the length of the hair, of course... It means to spend tremendous time and energy on tiny little details that are perfectly useless.

Well I think our government is trying to cut a hair in four! We got a call from our agency. Apparently, our government doesn't know what to do with our Home Study since Pablo's name is not exactly the same on all documents. I'm not talking John vs Pablo!
You know how, in Canada and the US, we have middle names? These second names appear on the most official documents (birth certificates and such), but most people never use it and have only one first name on bank statements, passports and driver's licenses.
Well in Ecuador, where Pablo is from, there is a similar concept for last names. Every child receives the last name of the father and that of the mother, without a hyphen. Most people just use their dad's last name and most documents only show one last name. But the birth certificate and other government issued documents have 2 last names. Actually, Pablo has 4 names (including first and middle) on his birth certificate and passport, and only 2 on his driver's license.

For some reason, it's OK for me to omit my middle name for not for Pablo to go by only one last name!
Our agent said she would talk to her government contact and let us know if we had to do anything about this. She said we may have to re-sign our Home Study.

I don't know if that'll be necessary, but if we have to re-sign the whole thing, I'm estimating a 2 months time loss. What a silly reason to delay getting our child!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Requirements to Adopt from Sri Lanka

Thanks to Dean, a reader of this blog, I have gotten much more precise and reliable information to hand down to you! He has obtained documents that detail the actual requirements to adopt in Sri Lanka from another country. We knew we were eligible, but some people asked me if I thought they were and I couldn’t tell for their specific situation... So here it is:
-          You must be legally married. There is nothing about same sex couples in the document, but I doubt they would be elligible.
-          Both parents must be over 25 years old, and at least 21 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
-          A Home Study done by an organization that is recognized by the country of residence must be sent with the Dossier.
-          Both parents are required to attend the Court hearing in Sri Lanka. There is an exception to this: If one of the parents is too ill to attend and obtains a Medical Certificate issued by a practitioner recognized by the government of their country of residence.
-          There is a 4 to 6 weeks stay in Sri Lanka. The applicants are expected to travel only after they have received the Letter of Allocation from the Commissioner.
-          The Dossier has to be sent to the Sri Lanka diplomatic mission in the country of origin for authentication. They will then send it to the authorities in SL.
That’s it! No minimal marriage time, no maximum age or specific financial requirements! Thank you Dean!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Some Good News!

Pablo phoned our agency in Alberta today, to get a status update on our Home Study report. It turns out it has been sent out for government approval earlier this week!
So we can expect an approval letter in the second half of January.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Any News?

I have been keeping an eye on the news stories from Sri Lanka, but haven't seen anything new with regards to the Mother Teresa convent arrest.

So I want to offer this post as an opportunity to share our information. We have quite a few silent readers from around the world. I'm assuming some are waiting adoptive parents. Please leave a comment to this post to share with other waiting parents any information your agency has given you.
Even in a little while, when this post starts getting a bit older, I would love to know when one of you first hears of a post-arrest child match from Sri Lanka!

After all, we're all in the same boat!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hail to the Hague Convention!

As you can imagine, we called both our agencies today.
I'm glad our Home Study agency is separate from our matching agency, it gives us access to knowledgeable professionals who are unbiased, as they have no particular interest in seeing us adopt from Sri Lanka.
We were both very worried about the risk of adopting a child from illegal traffic without knowing. I'm not saying that the child trafficking allegations are true, but it's not completely impossible... And I don't want to spend my life wondering if our child has been abducted or bought from their birth family!
Our agent in Alberta has assured us that the adoptive family would almost certainly be aware of the situation, if the child was trafficked. She says they would have to be involved in the crime. Also, Canadian immigration and adoption laws are very tight. If our Ontario agency is licensed and we obtain the legal paperwork to adopt, it's that every little detail along the way, including the child's situation, has been closely monitored by Canadian authorities. I believe this also applies to a lot of western countries. It was a huge relief to know that we would not unknowingly be involved in such horribly unethical actions!
Our matching agent, the one in Ontario, did not sound too worried for the future of the program. She said adoptions may slow down for a little while, but she trusts it will go back to normal. We'll have to wait and see...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Facts About the Adoption Ban

Talk about a bump on the road!
There are rumors circulating...

Here are the available facts:
The superior nun of a catholic convent South of Colombo has been arrested last Friday. The Mother Teresa convent in Moratuwa is suspected of having sold children for money by the National Child Protection Authority of Sri Lanka. The sister has since been released, but there is a ban on foreign adoptions in this particular convent. The sisters, backed up by the catholic church, deny all involvement in child trafficking.
Sri Lanka is a member of the Hague convention and has strict adoption laws.
There is a BBC article here.

So far, the impact this will have on international adoptions from other convents and orphanages is unknown. We do not know what the consequences on this particular convent will be. We will be sure to call our agent in Ontario on Monday!

I have no idea wether these accusations are true or not. I sure hope this will be investigated fairly and thoroughly. Pablo and I really want this Cinnamon Baby and we can't wait to meet him/her. But NEVER in the world would we want to adopt a child who has been bought from his family!

I'll keep you posted as we find out more. In the meantime, my thoughts are with those who have a child waiting for them in this convent.