Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happy Mothers Day...

... to all the mothers at heart,
those who haven't yet met their children,
those who's children are angels,
those who take on the role of Mom without fitting into the mold,
those who are not parenting the children they gave birth to...

To all of us who have come to dislike Mothers Day because we feel left behind,
this is our day too.
We are mothers too.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

How to Fake Patience - Tip #7

This tip is one that is really close to my heart. It is one that I find very helpful when my mood isn't great and I start feeling sorry for myself:

How to Fake Patience - Tip #7: Lend a Hand!

Last fall, I thought a lot about why it hurt so much to be childless. And I found that I needed my life to have a meaning. Something bigger than my own entertainment.
That's when I decided I needed to volunteer my time for a cause that I found important.

I would have liked to volunteer to support patients at the local hospital or to help out children in my community. But with work, my availability didn't fit with what those organizations needed. So I found a program with Alberta Health Services that supports families who have lost a baby to miscarriage or still birth. As part of the services this wonderful program offers to parents, they dress the babies before presenting them to the parents. Some are born so tiny that even preemie clothing does not fit. So they have volunteers who hand sew little bunting bags and hand knit little blankets and tiny hats. They also put together a memorabilia box with pictures and keepsakes.

I started knitting for them late last year. It's perfect because I can do it at my own pace! To be honest, I didn't knit everything in the picture. There is a small group of amazing women who knit at work, and I asked if they wanted to help this program. They were all so generous with their time and talent.

And when I feel sorry for myself because of the wait, doing something to support people who are in such a rough place makes me feel a little bit more connected to others who suffer.

So if the wait is hard on you, start looking around. I'm sure there are ways you could lend a hand. And you may find that you'll get more out of it than you expected!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Latest News: Nothing New!

I have received an email from our agent, citing directly the Commissioner of the Department of Probation and Child Care Services in Colombo.
She confirms that the program is fully open again. At the same time, she outlines that the waiting list is pretty swollen by now. She has asked our agency to not send any new applications.
This confirms the latest rumors...
It also confirms that we will wait for a really long time before a child is proposed to us!
I guess that's really good news for families who have been waiting for longer than us and are close to the top of the waiting list!

I consider this information to be of a sure source, I have seen the signature from Ms. Perera at the bottom of the email.

On another note, I miss this blog! I wish there was more hope for families waiting to adopt from Sri lanka.... I hope everyone is doing good, and coping as they can...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Losing Hope

I know, I've been neglecting this blog lately.
The latest news is very confusing. Our Canadian agency assures us that all orphanages will soon be able to refer children internationally. At the same time, the French Government web page states that no new applications are accepted and that healthy children are not available from Sri Lanka anymore.

The program has been still since December 2011, that's over a year.
Sure, we get updates that give us hope every now and then. But in reality, nothing is moving.

As I have hinted to before, we are pursuing other options, now. We are leaving our file in Sri Lanka and still hope to adopt from there one day, but we're not counting on it.
When we first started this process, we spoke with an mom from BC who had adopted from Sri Lanka. She advised us to not leave all our eggs in the same basket. She had put in a second application and succesfully adopted a first child from a different country before ever getting a referral from Sri Lanka.
Well, S., it took us over a year to understand and accept the value of your advice.

And since our focus has changed a bit, I find it harder to maintain this blog...

I will keep updating it, but I may not post as often for a while. I hope to eventually pick up the pace again, if our Sri Lanka adoption ever happens, or if the adoption of another child gives me valuable material.

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Fake Patience - Tip #6

Adoption is stressful. It's scary, and painful. And it's a very personal life challenge.
We all cope in a different way.

Sometimes, we may tell ourselves how we want to react, but we can't always make it work.

If you are like me, you sometimes feel guilty for not being the stoic, graceful person you would like to be. If that's the case, well this tip is for you...

How to Fake Patience - Tip #6: Praise yourself!

Whenever you beat yourself up over your reactions and coping mechanisms, try to name at least one thing that makes you proud.

Feeling guilty about your jalousy over your girlfriend's third pregnancy since you started your journey? That's fine. But take a minute to pat yourself on the back for being able to maintain this friendship in such painful conditions!

Beating yourself up over that fight you had with your partner over delay in filling out a form for the adoption? So normal! But you certainly deserve some praise for making your relationship work through this horrendous stress!

If you need to, say these things out loud, or keep a list on the fridge. After all, you are amazing! A less amazing person would not have made it this far without breaking a few relationships, losing their job after a few public breakdowns or being accused of murdering their social worker*!

* Just to be clear, we love our social worker...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Adoption Is Scary

I'm linking this post to Adoption Magazine's Adoption Blog Hop... If you don't know this blog, make sure you have a look, they have a lot of high quality posts!

Adoption is scary.
I mean, sure, having a child is always a scary adventure.
But adoption is different. It's more complicated, doesn't provide you with a timeline and, in most cases, isn't something that your Mom can advise you on.
Where a pregnant woman worries about miscarriage, birth defects and labor, a waiting parent worries about failed adoptions, pre-natal malnutrition and a long, emotionally painful process.
But there is so much more fears in adoption... Family acceptance, racial issues, attachment problems, difficult discussions with a growing child, alcohol or drug exposure, openness and dealing with this other family, finances...

In all honesty, I have been terrified every step of the way, ever since we decided to jump onboard this roallercoaster.
But the one biggest fear I have is the only thing that I can't say for sure will turn out fine. Are we doing what's best for our children? Are our kids going to resent us for taking them to this country where they look different? Will they feel like we have stripped them of the culture they should have grown up in? How do we instill enough pride and self confidence in our children to make them feel good about their stories?
What do we know? We haven't been in this situation. How can we fully sympathise with the challenges, the pains our kids will endure?

So while we wait, I try to prepare. I learn about Sri Lanka, I read about adoption, I spend time with kids, I talk with other parents... But the fears are always there. They are part of the journey. And though I'm scared silly every step of the way, I'm not turning back!

What fears do you have, as you wait for adoption?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Some News From Sri Lanka

Well, this is what we have all been expecting for over a year!
We got an email from our agent and, from what I understand, the new rules are out for charity homes to place children internationally! This means that these homes could start referring children again soon. And it means a lot of hope for the families that still have a child in one of those orphanages, waiting for placement!
We do not know what the new rules are exactly and how they will affect number of referrals. As soon as I find out, I’ll post something on my blog.
I believe we should not get our hopes up too much. There is a good chance that children who are already matched will finally get placed with their families. But for waiting families, it’s hard to tell how much slower the process will be with the new procedures. And I don’t know how many new families have joined the list in the last year, so I’m still counting several years for Pablo and I...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Home Study Yearly Update

When we received our Home Study approval letter, dated Jan 5, 2012, it said on it that our approval was valid for one year. I know some provinces approve Home Studies for 2 years, but it seems like Alberta doesn’t. (And yes, it’s been that long since we got approved.)

In December, we contacted our agency in Calgary and asked how to go about getting approved for the new year. They sent us a one page form to fill out and send to the government. It was so easy! The form asks if there has been any change in your life since your Home Study in terms of Health, Employment, Family Situation and a few more like this. If anything has changed, you have to provide a short explanation. But if nothing has changed (like is our case – I guess there are some pros to this stagnation in our life), you just tick “no” to everything, sign it and put it in the mail. A few weeks later, we got a letter stating that we were approved for one more year under the same Home Study. We emailed a scanned copy of this letter to our Ontario agency and we’re off for another fun and exciting year of waiting!

Actually, when I called our Ontario agency to ask how they wanted to get this letter, they didn’t even seem too interested in it. I believe they expect this letter to be long expired before we get a referral.
I should specify that the letter said that, in a year, we will need to get a full Home Study update. I don’t quite know what this entails, but that’s how it works in Alberta: our Home Study is good for 2 years, but we have to get reapproved every year!

Anyway, now we’re all in order and ready for a miracle. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Looking Back

As you know, our little escapade has brought back the old Gen. I had forgotten how it felt to not be unhappy. Since I came back, I have found a renewed interest in my job, I am again dreaming of life projects (not just that one life project), my passion for travelling has come back and I am again reading just for fun.
My life had become a bit crazy, over the last few years and I had gradually let go of everything that makes me who I am.
Actually, I have sacrificed so much to this journey (I'm not talking about money or time, here) that realizing that my real self had been out of my life for years made me question whether this is all worth it. Seriously, are we ok with continued unhappiness and emotional empoverishment? How long can this go on before we realize we will never get these years back?

I had to dig deep inside to figure out the right thing to do, and it took me several days. And I believe I know what I need to do. I do want kids. I would love to adopt, it makes so much sense. But there are other things I want for my life. And there will need to be some sacrifice. Things are not going to go as per my original plan, that I know for sure. So I need to decide what is more important.
I believe having children comes pretty high up on the list. The path that we have chosen for this has not proved very straight. And I need to stay focused on the end goal. Does my child have to come from Sri Lanka? Or even be adopted into our family? What price am I willing to pay?

One thing I have gained with this time off is detachment. And I realize it has been missing from this whole adventure. If I can keep this state of mind, I think I'm able to continue. But a Cinnamon baby may never happen for us. And though we are not giving up the process, we may need to open up a few more doors. 
It can't be simple, but it doesn't have to be plain depressing.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Liebster Award

Well, it's the first time I do something like this... Mia, over at Gypsy Mama's Misconceptions, has nominated me for a Liebster Award :) Thank you Mia, you're so sweet!

This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow.

Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves.
Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked.
Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate.
They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post.
Bloggers must be notified of their award.
No tag backs!

11 Things About Me:
1- I'm a Quebecoise living in Alberta, and I'm deeply in love with both my home city and my Rocky Mountains.
2- I'm an outdoors addict. Rarely do I get a rush like when going down a fast hill on my cross-country skis or stopping to catch a breath on the summit of a mountain.
3- There were only women in my home as I was growing up.
4- My husband and I dated for 10 years before getting married. Really, we got married for the adoption.
5- I have a challenging and stimulating job as an engineer...
6- ... but my secret dream job would have been as a travel guide author.
7- Whenever I travel to a country where I don't speak the language, I do the "Word of the Day": I learn one new word a day and make efforts to use it with locals.
8- I know the trick to a lasting relationship: marry your best friend!
9- I knit, and so does my Grandma. It skipped a generation in my family :)
10- I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a girlfriend a few years ago.
11- I worked as a museum guide in a Space Science museum when I was a teenager. I learned tons and loved this job.

11 Questions From Mia:
1- What was your favourite food as a child? My Grandmother's tourtiere, a sort of pie with hare, moose and other meats.
2- Where do you want to retire? Probably back in Quebec, close to my family.
3- Favourite cookie? You know those packed shortbread cookies with the red jelly sprinkled with sugar in the middle? Well I still like them as much as when I was a kid...
4- Introvert or Extravert? I think I'm extrovert... 
5- What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Vacuuming. I'd rather clean the toilet bowl for a month than vacuum my house.
6- What is your favourite time of day? Conversations on the pillow before falling asleep.
7- Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures? Take pictures, if the subject is interesting.
8- Is toilet paper hung over or under? Over, of course!
9- Who has the sexiest accents? People from Southern France. In English, I'm a sucker for a light British accent. Wait... Was I supposed to say Latinos???
10- Favourite Disney Princess. Hum... I guess Belle is the one I liked the most when I was a kid. If I can cheat a bit, I'll says Shrek's Fiona (though it's not a Disney character). I like that she is unconventional...
11- What was your first job? Burger King. That was before the museum. 

11 Questions From Me:
1- What is your favorite movie?
2- What kind of student were you in elementary school?
3- Your biggest success?
4- What is your oldest memory?
5- Who was your hero when you were growing up?
6- Describe a place you love close to your home.
7- What's your go-to meal to entertain friends?
8- One song on your playlist right now?
9- Name one quality you hope one of your parents has passed on to you.
10- Are you more into Science or Arts?
11- How much time do you spend blogging and reading blogs each day?

Bloggers I Nominate:
I only have a few blogs that I follow that have less than 200 followers:

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Fake Patience - Tip #5

Don't know what to do with yourself as you wait for your child?
This is How to Fake Patience - Tip #5:
Take up crochet! Or knitting, or sewing, or woodworking. You get the idea...

Get yourself a book, a class or an online video explanation and start handcrafting baby things!
And if you don't want to see baby things in your home, then make something for someone else. Start something that will take you a while, like a blanket or a sweater. Believe me, it kills time!
It has taken me months to make these few items. I'm working on a blanket now.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back Home, And Back To My Old Self!

I'm just back from Greece.
Travelling was not the wisest financial decision, given that we still need to save for our adoption. But it was total salvation for my mental health and I regret absolutely nothing!
A full 3 weeks without paperwork, focusing on anything but the dread and sorrow in our lives (namely, antique ruins, baklavas and sunsets over olive groves), seems to have restored some of my sanity. I haven't felt that serene in months, maybe years (I've also put on 5 lbs, but every single baklava was worth it). Actually, I recognize good old Gen, the one with an optimistic outlook on life and a taste for adventure. I hadn't seen her in a long time!
There is no question, if we're still childless by then, we're running away from Christmas 2013 as well!

I hope everyone had the best holiday season possible!