Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yummy Curry!

You have to try this Parippu Curry.

It's a recipe from Chamari's blog, again. A vegetarian lentil curry.
It. is. fan.ta.stic!!!

I think it's my favorite out of all the Sri Lankan recipes I have tried so far... We made it tonight, with some rice and steamed asparagus, and a glass of white wine too. It was a wonderful meal!
If you're going to try it, use more lentils than in the recipe. I had the little red lentils, and I had to use 2 full cups to make it work...

Cooking Sri Lankan (or Indian) food requires a few spices you wouldn't have otherwise, but once you've got them all, there are so many different dishes you can make! It's worth it. Really!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Perfect Plan

If you’re new to adoption, you are probably making the same mistake we made... Let me be the bearer of bad news, if that can help straighten expectations!
When we decided to adopt, in July 2011, we researched different countries, spoke with lots of agencies, read blogs and websites and asked all kinds of questions. When we were told that a referral from Sri Lanka usually took 1.5 to 2 years, we calculated that we would have our child around July 2013.
That was our first mistake.
The timeline they give you is from the moment your dossier is received in your country to the Call. It takes time to go through the Parents Preparation, do the Home Study, gather all the documents for your Dossier and get it all authenticated! You should probably count 6 to 9 months just for that.
But there’s something else agencies won’t tell you: it never goes as planned!
Wherever you’re adopting from, whatever your situation, you should expect at least one of the following to occur during your journey:
-          Program closing, either temporarily or permanently
-          Program slowing down
-          Birthparents “change of heart”
-          Red tape and paperwork issues (from lost documents to absurd misunderstandings)
-          Changes in procedure (which may force you to re-do part of the work)
-          Agency bankruptcy
-          Medical or other worries which may force you to refuse a child
-          Natural or human catastrophe, delaying travel or suspending adoptions
-          A pregnancy, illness or change of situation on your side of the equation
-          Other perfectly unforeseen situations which will have you roll your eyes to the sky and ask “What the ^%#%@&?!?!”
I’m sorry to tell you that, but I yet have to meet one adoptive family who ended up exactly where they had planned, within their timeline and budget...
Some situations are easier to take than others. Some of us will have to re-plan their whole adoption, while others will just wait longer than expected. Some will lose sleep for a few months, others will go through the full grieving process.
I know, I’m not much fun today... But I think expecting the unexpected can help protect you in all sorts of ways. And believe me, it’s not much more fun finding out about this months into the process! On the brighter side, when it happens to you, just remember this post: you’re not alone, other families have made it through this and adopted successfully!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sigiriya

Photo from http://sigiriya.org/
We watched episode 2 of My Sri Lanka this week end. This time, the host takes us inland to the ancient fortress of Sigiriya.
What a gorgeous sight! Ruins of a fortress lie on top of a gigantic rock in the middle of a plain. Ancient gardens, frescoes and architectural features make it one of the must-sees in Sri Lanka. I can’t wait to go!!!
Peter also visits a vegetable plantation (this one is way too remote!) and cooks fish he has fished himself, in a traditional boat.
Pablo and I talked about it, and we’d both really like to go to Sri Lanka one day, whether we adopt from there or not. We’ve been dreaming about this for a while, and the more we discover about the country, the more we want to visit!
Of course, we don’t know what life has in store for us... It wouldn’t be a cheap vacation, that’s for sure! And even when (if) we go to pick up our child, we don’t yet know what our trip there is going to be like. Are we going to have time to visit the country? Is it easy travelling the distance from Colombo to other regions? We don’t even know what city we’ll be in! But we’re dreaming of one day touring around these beautiful sights with a little bundle sleeping in a backpack or sling...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Our Collection

If you remember, I said a few weeks ago that I wanted to start gathering baby stuff when I find really good deals, to make use of the long wait.
We have found a little space behind the washing machine. It's completely useless, because it's so hard to reach. That's perfect for storing stuff we won't need for another 2 years!

So, just for fun, here is our collection so far:



My sister and brother-in-law gave us a few accessories that they had received in double. My week-old niece didn't seem to mind donating them to her future cousin!




Then, after I returned from Australia, our good friends C. and N. where here with their little X. I just realized I didn't blog about this! They spent a week at our place. It was great!
In addition to spending time with them (which is always a treat), it was awesome to have an 11 months old at home with us, just after spending 2 weeks with a newborn. We asked to be matched with a child no more than 12 months old, so this really gave us a feel for the range we can expect! We now have a better idea of how big or how developed our child could be when we get him/her. We know he could be starting to stand up, but that walking is very improbable. We know that, if we get a child close to 12 months old, she'll need some time to adapt to our language because, even if X. doesn't talk yet, he understands a lot... Also, it was great because X. is formula fed. So we got a crash course on what was needed to feed our baby!
Anyway, I disgress...


When they came here, they brought most of their stuff (stroller, car seat and such). But C. had found a high chair for $25 on Craig's List. So we got it for little X, and now it's part of our collection! It's a pretty sweet one, fully adjustable and all. I looked it up, a new one like this would cost at least $80...

The last bit got here this week. It's a sling that I got for free using an online promotional code given by a friend. I just had to pay shipping. It looks nice, doesn't it?
I don't know how well-designed it is (you really can't know until you've tried it, anyway). But if it is comfortable enough, I think I will enjoy this very much. I'm not a big fan of big, bulky strollers. I think carrying our cinnamon bun against us will be awesome.
So far, that's what we've gathered. Not too bad, if you consider we're not even officially waiting!
I'm keeping an eye on Craig's List, and watching for sales. I usually hate shopping, but this makes me feel a tiny bit more in control. And right now, every once of control is much welcome!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Honest Agent

Did you ever stop and think about how vulnerable expecting adoptive parents are?
They are impatiently waiting for something that's very important to them. That something is tied up to a great emotional load. They have tremendous amounts of money, time and energy invested in this. Add to this that the success of their project depends completely on others (for approvals, match, legalization and so on), and that, for the most part, they have a limited knowledge of how adoption really works, and you can understand why the waiting game is so terribly difficult!
It's a scary thing to think about... Imagine Adoption could have happened to any of us.
In this world, honesty and integrity are pretty valuable...

I phoned our agency in Ontario today, to check if they had any new information. As expected, they hadn't heard anything.
The program is still on hold until further notice...
I won't tell you I'm enjoying this part of our journey very much. But something good is coming out of it: our trust in our agency has grown so much!
We are not registered with them yet, so no fees have been paid. Our agent could very well have talked us into registering with them right away to minimize delays when (if) the program reopens. Instead, she asked that we do not send anything their way until they know for sure that the program is back up. She won't commit to us until she has a better chance of delivering. This means that we still have our money with us and, with it, the freedom to switch countries and agencies, should this situation not resolve by itself.
Our agent has manged this with great honesty and integrity so far, and that's reassuring.