Friday, April 27, 2007

Good news…and then some bad news…

Grant & I have some praiseworthy news to share – we will begin PRIDE training next Tuesday night for 10 weeks! The training is being offered by Woodstock CAS and our adoption recruitment worker was able to get us in! Woodstock is about a 45 min drive away and the training begins at 6:30pm and ends at 9:30pm, which will make it a long day for us. We will be submitting our weekly “homework” to our recruitment worker here in Waterloo.

Now, it’s time to share the bad news…We found out yesterday that our adoption recruitment worker is filling a one year contract position that expires at the end of July. She let us know that all of our documents, including our homework from the PRIDE training will be passed on to her supervisor and “wait” until another recruitment worker is able to take us on to complete the home-study. According to one of the private adoption practitioners I spoke with, the homework completed for session 3 of PRIDE training initiates the home-study process, but since our current recruitment worker is wrapping up her caseload, she is unable to conduct our home-study. When I think of the caseload I carry at work and how often I have room to pick-up someone off the waitlist...I’m anticipating it’ll be a while before another adoption recruitment worker will be able to take on our case – unless we bug the supervisor enough that she conducts the home-study herself!!

Have a fantastic weekend everyon and thank you so much for your prayers and words of support!
Love, Janet

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We celebrate with you!

I have had this conversation with a number of friends, family & of course Grant - The longer our journey towards parenthood takes and the more roadblocks we encounter, the easier it is to hear the news of someone else's pregnancy - let me explain...I have learned that no matter how quick & easy or difficult & long it is to conceive, each conception is a beautiful gift of new life. This journey Grant & I are on right now has very clearly revealed to me how precious each life is and that every newborn baby is a special gift from heaven. When Grant & I finally get the call to let us know we get to bring home our baby, I will be jumping, screaming, crying, laughing, dancing & sharing the great news with anyone who will listen.....and guess what, I plan to also celebrate the news of each pregnancy announcement that comes my way because God has just knit together another new life in a mother's womb!! I'll admit, early on in our trying to conceive journey I had to fight back tears when I heard someone else say the words I longed to say "I'm pregnant." I believe my turning point occurred the day I received news from the fertility clinic that natural-unassisted conception was not going to happen for us. Somewhere during those hours. I shed my final why-can't-I-be-the-one-announcing-I'm-pregnant-tears because Grant & I felt our hearts being pulled clearly towards adoption and we decided not to pursue medical intervention. As an old Taoist proverb says "the journey is the reward" (the cover of my TTC/Adoption journal) and in our journey towards parenthood I am learning so much about who I am, the amazing husband I have, and the strength of our love and relationship.

Love, Janet

Friday, April 20, 2007

A few more prayers please...

Grant & I really appreciate all the prayers and words of encouragement and support from our family, friends and people we have never met before but are connected through cyberspace :) Your prayers must be working, but we could still use a few more - Grant & I heard back from our adoption recruitment worker today (I'm pretty sure we have officially become an annoying thorn in her side). She indicated in her email that she may not be able to advocate on our behalf to other CAS jurisdictions to complete PRIDE training with them (b/c technically Grant & I are not providing a home in an emergency situation), but, her office has a potential solution to be able to provide PRIDE training to the 5 couples who were bumped from the spring session - this is where your prayers would be greatly appreciated - please pray that the solution is feasible with the resources they have, not only for us but, the other 4 couples as well.

Grant & I did connect with a few private adoption practitioners in the area - what we learned was PRIDE training will be made mandatory for all adoptions - domestic public & private & international - by about December 2007/January 2008 (currently only public domestic adoptions require PRIDE training) and although we could pay to have a private home study conducted (average cost $2300+) it wouldn't be completed until August at the earliest, so it was suggested by one private practitioner that we wait to have it completed in the fall through our local CAS at no direct cost to us in conjunction with the PRIDE training. There are many pros & cons when looking at public vs. private domestic adoptions, but the most obvious difference is the cost to the adoptive family - going the public route (what Grant & I are trying to do) does not come with many fees for the adoptive family, compared to the private route, which is quite pricey b/c the home-study, PRIDE training, lawyers, care for birth mother, etc. are all financially covered by the adoptive couple.

So, Grant & I continue to practice the gift of patience and put our praying hands together for this slow process to continue with minimal delays and roadblocks.

Good night
Love, Janet C.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Almost 30...

Tomorrow is the big day...I turn 30!! This milestone is surrounded by mixed emotions - Do you have a "life plan" for yourself? My life-plan used to include getting married by 25 (check) and having a baby by 30 - I thought for so long I would be a mom by 30, but the whole 3 years of unsuccesfully trying to get pregnant, confirmed infertility and delayed adoption is like rubbing salt into a very deep wound. I'm trying not to get too down about it all because I have so many things in my life to be thankful for - by the age of 30 I met and married a wonderful man; I am surrounded by loving and caring family, friends and colleagues; I am connected to a fantastic church community; I own a home; I have a career & job that I love; I have a very friendly and snuggly cat (my very own fur-kid); there are so many blessings in my life that I am very thankful for...there's just one more little thing that would help my 30's seem be a mommy.

Still haven't heard from our adoption recruitment worker about PRIDE training starting tomorrow - Grant & I haven't made dinner plans for my birthday yet b/c we are both really, really, really hoping and praying a spot opens up for us last minute and we'll receive a call tomorrow telling us to show up for the training, now, wouldn't take make the best birthday gift ever!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hope Floats...

Here's a quick little update - - - Although Grant & I laid out all the reasons why we should not have been bumped from Waterloo's April PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education), the Pre-Service training for adoption, they are still unable to squeeze us in - unless a couple drops out. Something about the change to legislation giving priority to foster parents and KIN adoption. Grant & I haven't given up hope. Grant suggested we look into other Children's Aid Societies around us, so I called a few today. The good news is, they are holding PRIDE sessions in the spring and summer, but the adoption recruitment workers I spoke with today need to speak with their supervisors to see if Grant & I can attend the course as we live out of their jurisdiction. Pursuing adoption privately was always an option - not an inexpensive option - but is an adoption route that is still available for us. I made a few calls today to re-explore the costs & timelines.

We haven't given up hope - We have faith that parenthood is in our future.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You've got to be kidding me?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!

Grant & I came home today after dropping almost $1400 on the Corolla (that's another story) to a voice message from our adoption recruitment worker telling us that too many people have signed up for the mandatory 9-week training session that starts on April 18th and a difficult decision was made by the team and Grant & I have been "bumped" to the next session which won't be taking place until September! You have got to be kidding me!!! We were already bumped from the March 20th start date to the April 18th session and now we are getting bumped again and this time the next session isn't until September!! A huge flood of emotions took over me as I listened to the rest of her message - tears welled up in my eyes, I was soooo furious, frustrated, angry, upset, devastated, sad, and lost. Now what?? She also sent us an email explaining the reasoning behind why we were one of the couples to be bumped from this session of training courses - I responded to both her voice message and email (I called and left her a message before seeing/reading her email). Why, why, why is this happening right now?? The first time we found out we were bumped from March to April, we thought maybe it's meant to be b/c it's my 30th birthday on April 18 & what a significant and memorable day to begin our adoption training courses...but to be bumped again, what does this mean??? Has God been trying to tell us something and we haven't been listening and this new roadblock to parenthood is more obvious so we don't miss the message??? My emotions are all over the place, I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling right now. Grant made us dinner & it smells great, but I'm not hungry. How can I possibly eat now, my world has once again been flipped upside down & inside out. Grant & I assumed we'd be taking this 9-week training from April to June, have our home study completed somewhere in there too and maybe, just maybe bring our baby home in the fall. We already started shopping and have our stroller & crib picked out. We have been secretly (not anymore) been painting the nursery (btw I absolutely love the way it looks so far)...all this for be bumped to September!!! Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, I am so tired of waiting - we waited each month for 3 years to see if we were pregnant. We waited for a referal to the fertility clinic. We waited for the test results only to have our biggest fears come true. We waited for adoption application forms to arrive. We waited to hear from the adoption recruitment worker for our initial home visit assessment. We were anxiously waiting to start the training course next what do we do? There's nothing more to do now than to have faith and hope that Grant & I will become parents and to continue to pray for our future child because I know in my heart of hearts that God has our baby already picked out for us and I need to be patient for a little bit longer for him/her to be delivered to us.

I guess Grant already warned you that our blog will be filled with ups & downs...well, here's a big down.

Thank you all for your love and support.
Love, Janet Carioni

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Won't look like me...

I was sitting in church this morning and I couldn't help notice all the families sitting around us. A mom sitting with her two teenaged daughters in front of us. A young couple with their newborn baby sitting behind us to the left...and then I noticed a young women, maybe in her late teens or early twenties sitting a few rows in front of us. I found myself examining her and her unique appearance and began to wonder what our adoptive child will look like when he/she grows up. Chances are when you have a biological child you sorta know your child will have one of your eyes, nose and lips, but for Grant & I our child will likely not look like either one of us. Am I being too vain?? I shared my thoughts with Grant during our drive home - let me start by saying I have the most amazing husband - Grant reminded me that our child will be a beautiful and percious gift from God who we will cherish and love with everything we have and that is more important than outward appearances. Our child will be surrounded with love and support from our family & friends and we will do all we can to raise our child to be confident in who he/she is as a person and not find worth in worldly possessions. So, our baby may not look like me, but our child will definitely be loved by me!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Babysitting is great practice!

Grant & I are definitely the luckiest godparents around (to a few cute kids!). We had the opportunity to babysit our goddaughter for two nights and boy is she cute!! These last two nights provided great practice for us. We fed her dinner, played with her, changed her diaper, dressed her in her jammies and put her to bed - quite the adventures! It was absolutely wonderful watching her crawl everywhere while exploring toys and hearing her laugh, but the biggest highlight for me tonight was holding her in my arms and singing her lullibies until she fell asleep.

**This picture with our goddaughter was taken on Valentine's Day - we babysat her while her parents enjoyed a romantic date night!**

Do we just tell them the truth?

So, while Grant & I were trying to concieve and undergoing fertility tests we were constantly being asked when we plan to have children, why we don't have children yet, etc, etc., although quite annoying, we got used to answering those questions and figured out creative ways to respond. Last weekend while out for lunch with my family we ran into one of my mom's old friends and she asked if we had any kids yet - "not yet" - she asks how long we've been married - "almost 5 years" - I know she only meant well, but she told us that we really should have children if we've been married for 5 years. Driving home Grant turns to me and says we should just start telling people the truth when asked why we don't have kids and see how they like our response - I really don't think people want hear the real reason why we don't have children yet or maybe they do want to hear the raw & uncensored truth?!?!?? It might be a bit funny to see their reactions...