Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Some Hope

Well, here is a little bit of information that I know some of you will like!
Our agent has emailed me yesterday that a family from Canada is due to go to court in November in Sri Lanka. They had received their referral before the program closed, so that doesn’t count as a new referral. But it confirms that the program is up and running again!
The child is in a government run home, though. Unfortunately, children who are in charity homes still cannot be placed internationally, as far as I know. Hopefully these open up soon!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Practical Book About Attachment

See this book on Amazon
Adoption parenting is, in a lot of ways, very similar to biological parenting. 
But there are a few very important differences. 
One major difference is that adopted children may have gone through traumatic events or abnormal attachment patterns. And this means that some parenting techniques need to be adapted to these children.

Lark Eshelman's Becoming a Family is somewhat of a guidebook to the healthy attachment we all want for our kids.

This is not the first book on the subject that I have read. But I really liked that this one presented a lot of realistic, concrete solutions. Some books talk about the risks of unhealthy attachment and paint the very scary picture of a severely hurt child, yet keep the constructive comments to some very general guidelines. Becoming a Family paints the same scary picture, but it also offers lots of advice to help avoid reactive attachment disorders. The book is grounding, yet generates hope.
For an example, you may have read that the Cry It Out strategy that can help a secure baby learn to get to sleep alone can be very damaging to an already fragile attachment. Becoming a Family says exactly the same. But it also offers a practical routine for a slow transition to get baby to sleep by himself. 

I personally learned a lot reading this book, and also feel more confident about parenting a child for attachment. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Big Piece

I have been on the lookout for baby furniture for a while, now.
Did you ever stop to calculate how much having a baby will cost your family? There's the cost of the adoption, of course, but diapers, formula, clothes, nursery furniture, stroller, car seat and high chairs aren't included in the deal. And it adds up!
I've looked for new cribs in stores, they cost up to $600 where we live! Given that we'll only need a crib for a few years, at the most, that's a pretty high yearly rate!

I finally found what I was looking for on Kijiji, last week.
This family was selling their convertible crib for $125. I went over and picked it up, and I couldn't believe the shape it was in! 2 kids have used it, and the wood is not even marked. Not a single tooth mark or scratch!
I'm not posting a picture because it is unassembled and nicely stacked behind our washing machine.
This particular crib can be converted into a toddler bed or a twin size bed. I've looked it up on the Internet, and new cribs like this cost around $500.
We'll get a new mattress for it when we get the baby's room ready.
I'm so happy with my find :-)

If you're going to consider used cribs, make sure you read through this web page from Health Canada. It's important to obtain model number and manufacturing year before you commit to buying. You can then check for recalls and make sure the crib was made after the new rules came out in 1986.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Running in the Family

You know those stories – almost legends – that each family carries around and magnifies from generation to generation? My family has one about a character nicknamed Simard-Banane (because of his amazingly long chin) whose family would host funerals in their living room and who spent his life going to random strangers’ funeral services in the little town where my mom grew up (and her parents before her). The man really exists, I’ve met him once – at my Grand-Father’s funeral.
In all reality, he was probably only an eccentric with a slightly strange interest for funeral services. Half of the stories about him may or may not be true. One thing is sure, his character was magnified and swollen from years of story-telling.
I love those stories and have all intentions of sharing them (and maybe creating new ones - he he...) with my children. Pablo’s family also has billions of them, and they have a much different taste given that they are set in small town, Ecuador.
Find Running in the family
 on Amazon here
This is exactly what this book is about. It’s not a novel, not even a fiction, really. And it doesn’t have a straight storyline. Michael Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-Canadian (he’s the one who wrote the English Patient, by the way). Running in the Family was born from a trip he took to Sri Lanka with his children to explore his origins. He jumps from one family story to another, from present to past. The characters – his extended family – are magnificent. The stories are all bigger than life, like that of his Grand-Mother’s drowning in the monsoon floods. The setting is so exotic, you can almost smell the moist rain forest air, like when he tells the story of crazy rainstorm showers (with soap and all) he took with his kids in the middle of the jungle. And the words he uses are beautiful.
If you’re adopting from Sri Lanka, you have to read this book. If you’re even slightly interested in Sri Lanka, you still have to read it. And if you’re into good story-telling and poetic beauty, then you also have to read it.
On top of that, I love the picture on the book cover!
I’m leaving you with a few jewels from Running in the Family:
Asia. The name was a gasp from a dying mouth. An ancient word that had to be whispered, would never be used as a battle cry.” p.22
“They all went swimming again with just the modesty of the night. An arm touched a face. A foot touched a stomach. They could have almost drowned or fallen in love and their lives would have been totally changed during any one of those evenings.” p.52
“[...] a pendant off the ear of India. [...] This pendant, once its shape stood still, became a mirror. It pretended to reflect each European power till newer ships arrived and spilled their nationalities [...]” p.64
“Across the valley, a waterfall stumbles down. In a month or two the really hard rains will come for eighteen hours a day and that waterfall will once again become tough as a glacier and wash away the road. But now, it looks as delicate as the path of a white butterfly in a long-exposed photograph.” p.167

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Dreamed It Was Our Turn

It may be because of Gina's post, last week...
I dreamed last night that we were told by our agency about a couple of twin girls, due to be born on November 1st. They had told us we would get a proposal for them, but that it would take a few months after they were born.
I know, that's not exactly how International Adoption works, but isn't that what dreams are for?
I woke up feeling serene :-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving week-end again, in Canada.
And since I'm writing this in an airport, on my way back home after a full week with my family in Montreal, I have to say something about them. I am so very grateful that our baby, when she finally comes, will have accepting grand-parents, amazing aunts and uncles and the cutest cousins in the world. We are really lucky that everyone is so anxious to meet our kid.

Each birthday, holiday or milestone we hit is a reminder of how long we've been standing here; how much the whole world is moving and changing and how stuck our life is since we decided to start our family. This is my second Thanksgiving post on this blog... Last year, I was trying to find the silver lining in all the clouds. This year, I want to start creating more opportunities to highlight it. To do this, I'll follow my own advice and plan all sorts of non-baby-friendly activities.
These years are making me stronger and more compassionate. They are giving me tools for survival and I think they'll make me a much better Mom. This is something to be grateful for and, though it's hard to see right now, I know I'll be glad things happened this way, when it's all over.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Fake Patience - Tip #2

Months are flying by, seasons are starting and ending, years just keep on piling up and you’re still standing in the exact same spot. Waiting.
It’s hard to stay graceful and stoic when you’re waiting for your child to come home!
That’s why I give you How to Fake Patience – Tip #2:
We all know that parenting is a demanding job. However badly you want this child to join your family, there will still be some sacrifice.
To help make the wait more bearable, try to think of a few things that you’ll have to give up when your adoption is complete. Then, plan for those things in a given time frame. For an example, you could try to do one thing per month that you know you won’t be able to enjoy as much once your kid is here. This won’t make up for not having your child with you, but it’s a bit like a consolation prize!
Having a hard time coming up with ideas? Maybe these can inspire you:
-          Have a romantic date with your sweetheart, without having to worry about what’s going on at home.
-          Stay up late on a weekend night. You could go to the late movie show and get up reeeaaallly late the next morning. And why not have coffee in bed, too?
-          Go on sports outings. If you like bicycling, go for a long, tough ride. Pick a hike that would be way too long for a toddler. Sign up for an ice-climbing class.
-          Walk around the house naked, have some fun with your partner in unconventional places, and be loud. The living room couch will forever be for watching TV once your kids are there...
-          Eat at a restaurant where kids are out of place. Eat osso bucco, spinach and risotto.
-          Plan a trip you won’t want to do with kids. Go winery hopping, take a super long road trip, backpack through Africa, go on a culture trip and visit museums until you drop.
-          Already have kids? Remember that some activities will get more expensive once your family is bigger! Why not go to the local amusement park?
-          If your kids are not going to be of the same gender, you could do something super girly with your daughter, or something boyish with your son.
-          Spend some quality one-on-one time with your kids. Take an extra half hour to rock them to sleep, play or do something crafty together.
Any more great ideas? Feel free to share in the comments!
And when you’re up cleaning stomach flu accidents at 3am on a Wednesday, you can think back to that sweet safari in South Africa you did while you were waiting!