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.