Thursday, January 24, 2013

So Many Changes!

Hello ICLWers!  Sorry I haven't been reading & commenting much this week, and I can't promise that I'll do better yet...  Not entirely sure why I signed up this month, lol, but I guess I just didn't predict how crazy busy I would be!

I have been stressed, stressed, stressed with all the decision-making that comes along with renos, and I've discovered my stress is amplified when people volunteer to help - or worse, when they help without asking first.  And then organizing these helpful people, and trying to make them get along with each other - ugh!  THANKFULLY everything has turned out well so far and, although there have been days I have spent in tears, there have actually been relaxing, fun days as well.  Painting is all done, and flooring is next.  We move in the first weekend of February.  My current house?  Totally neglected lately.

Hubby started a new job.  Yeah, it was rather sudden.  But then again, rather drawn out.  He'd applied,  gotten an interview, then they'd decided not to hire anyone, then the job was open again, he applied again, then he e-mailed after a while just to see what was up because he wasn't hearing anything and the position still needed filling, then he got another interview, was told he was liked by a high-up guy he thought hated him and it all around felt like a good interview, a couple days later was told they wanted to hire him, and a couple days later was his first day!  So now he is no longer a truck driver and is OFF THE ROAD (Read:  Wife can stop worrying so much) and has an office job as a fleet manager (aka dispatcher) training to tell those truck drivers where to go!  I'm very happy for him.

Things are still moving forward with the adoption process...although some days we're moving so slowly I think we're almost moving backwards.  Selling our property, selling our house, Christmas, buying a place, renos, new job AND adoption process - we're crazy people.  Plain and simple.  Crazy people.  Yesterday I contacted our agency to see if all our stuff was in - I just couldn't wait any more to know.  Found out they're still waiting for one of our reference letters.  Now, we know this person wrote their letter a lo-o-ong time ago - but I guess just forgot to send it in!  SO, we're getting on their case, lol, but even so, we're told we can set up our first homestudy appointment (once one of the workers is back from the holidays she is on this week).  EEEK!!!  Now I'm hoping the appointment isn't too soon, lol, because we still have stuff to complete!  Hubby has promised me we're working on it tonight!!

Gotta go.  I hope things are going well for all of you, and you're often in my thoughts!  Thank you SOOOO much for your comments :)   

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013

Of course I cannot predict what will happen this year, but already some big things have happened:
  1. We bought a place.  I have yet to feel excited about this, which is out of character for me.  I mostly just feel stressed or apathetic about it.  We'll be moving out of the country and into town, which has both pros and cons.  We bought a condo, which is not something I ever expected us country people to do, but we had very few options.  Possession date is today and we're looking forward to getting our keys and going there on our own.  We'll be doing renos over the next 3 weeks, as possession date on our current house isn't til beginning of February.  Big positive:  new place has a second bedroom, unlike this house!  (Read: nursery).
  2. Everything required to start our homestudy has been sent to the agency - 4 reference letters, our medical reports, and our criminal record checks.  We are just waiting (very impatiently on my part, I might add) for the agency to call us and tell us that everything is in and get moving on this homestudy.  Apparently we are not supposed to call them (too many impatient people calling them, I guess) but wait til they call.  Easier said than done!  Our medicals and criminal record checks "staledate" after 3 months, like, our homestudy has to be started before 3 months are up.  That means our homestudy has to be started by March 17.  I know that is still 2 months away so really I should just relax about it - ha!  On the other hand, we only have 2 months to get our photos together and finish up our various paperwork.  In the middle of moving and renos. 
What I imagine will happen in the rest of 2013 is:
  1. Renos.
  2. Move.
  3. Start homestudy.
  4. Get approved for adoption!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Start waiting.
  6. Probably not get chosen because the average waiting time is 2 years.
  7. I really haven't thought beyond that!
Of course I really have no idea what God's plans are, so 2013 could look very different.  We shall see!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Summing up 2012...Looking Forward to 2013

2012 was a big year and 2013 is shaping up to be a big year, too.

The biggest things in 2012 were:

  1. My sister E's breast cancer diagnosis on February 8th.  She had a lumpectomy on March 12th.  She had chemo 4 times from May 28th - July 31st.  During the month of August she did very poorly mentally & emotionally.  From September 10th - October 24th she had radiation every day except for weekends.  She has two daughters, aged 8 and 13 at the time, whom everyone in our family did our best to take good care of during this time.  It was not an easy time for anyone during this time, though.  But there are still things to be thankful for.  She is alive.  She doesn't have cancer anymore.  She is slowly getting better physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, although all those things will take time.  
  2. Another difficult thing was my best girl friend's sister passed away from breast cancer, on September 9th.
  3. On the adoption front, we finally started the adoption approval process, which included going to a wonderful weekend seminar.  We finally announced to family & friends our plans to adopt.  Feel free to go to my timeline to read more about all that exciting stuff!
  4. Our property finally got subdivided.  We sold both the empty side and the side with our house on it.  We got paid for the empty side.  That is on my timeline as well, since it relates to our adoption, in that we need the money from it for adoption and we need to move into a different house big enough for a growing family.
  5. Oh, and I turned the big 3-0 in 2012 as well!
  6. I also started going to physio which has been a very positive experience.
  7. Of course I started this blog as well :)
  8. We gave away our cat Smacky which was very difficult at the time but turned out to be just fine.  We also found a home for our outside cats - not the easiest thing either but has worked out, too.
 I will tell you more about 2013 in my next post!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Q & A About Adoption

I would like to answer some of the questions/comments Hubby & I have gotten from people when they find out we're adopting or ask how things are coming along.  There are a lot of misconceptions out there about adoption and I'd like to do my best to clear some of them up. 

What kind of adoption are you doing?

We are doing what is called "Division 2" adoption.  This is a private adoption where the birthparents choose and meet the prospective adoptive parents (us).  We are doing an open adoption.  This means there is full disclosure of identities from both sides.  Private adoptions are always open.

What country are you adopting from?

From within our province.

What age child are you adopting?

We are applying to adopt a newborn.  We hope to and will most likely meet the birthmother before the child is born.

Do you "pick" your child?

No, there is no nursery lined with bassinets and we just go in and pick the cutest baby!  We do specify what we feel we can and cannot accept in birthparents and in a child.  The birthparents also choose what they can and cannot accept in the prospective adoptive parents.  Then a double-match is made. 

Can the mother "take" her child back?

The mother must wait 48 hours after the birth of her child to sign consent.  When the child is placed with us, a waiting period of 21 days start.  During this time the mother can choose at any time to reverse and we would have to give her baby back.  Reversals usually happen within the first few days of the 21-day period.  Approximately 10% of placements result in reversals.

What a wonderful thing you are doing/So many children need homes!

Thank-you, but to be 100% honest, we want a baby, and our original plans didn't work out, so adoption is the route we've chosen to grow our family.  To be blunt, if we'd been able to conceive, we very likely never would've gone down the route of adoption.  Also, contrary to popular belief, there are WAAYY more prospective adoptive parents hoping to adopt than expecting parents planning to place their child for adoption.  I believe there are about 80 singles/couples/families waiting to adopt at any given time and only about 10 children placed per year (with our agency).  But don't get us wrong, just because "adoption is our second choice, does not mean it is second best!".

Isn't adoption really expensive?

Yes.  It varies a lot with what kind of adoption you do, with who you go through, etc.  For example, the average cost of adopting from Ethiopia is $20 - 25,000; from China is $30 - 35,000; from the USA is $35 - 45,000.  If you adopt a permanent ward of the province, my understanding is you pay very little, if anything.  For private adoptions through our agency, the fees come out to around $9,000.  However, they use a sliding scale according to your income, so we are paying only about half of that, wonderfully!  Also, there will be about $3 - 4,000 in legal fees.

When will you get your baby?

We don't know!  There is no set gestation period in adoption!  The AVERAGE time from approval to being matched (or til placement, not sure) is 2 years.  However, it COULD be a much shorter wait than that, and it could also be a much longer wait than that.             

I love talking about adoption, so please, if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask me! :)  I can answer them privately or on my blog.  Also if you know if I have answered anything above incorrectly, please let me know.