Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just to clarify!

After being asked by several friends how we plan to hide our baby for 6 months, I realized that I needed to return to our blog to clarify our previous post and explain the adoption process in Ontario...

On March 11, 2008 Grant and I finally received the official signature of approval to be able to adopt. We submitted our profile album to the adoption worker, which will be presented to birth parents and now, we just wait for a successful match! We have been asked not to post about the matching process on our blog to protect the identity of the birth families we meet. And once there is a successful match there are 3 big dates we have to be aware of...although we will be able to bring our baby home directly from the hospital, the birthparents cannot sign the adoption papers until the baby is 8 days old and then they have 21 days to change their mind. The adoption isn't finalized through the courts until after the baby has been in our care for 6 months...We've been advised to wait until the adoption is finalized before we make pubic newspaper announcements, post on our blog, etc. etc. We do not intend to go into hiding for 6 months though. We will communicate the arrival of our newest family member face-to-face, by phone, via email and word of mouth. To us, the child we have in our home will be our son/daughter and we hope to be able to live our life as any new parent, snapping pictures and bragging about him/her to our family and friends - we just have to honour the legal system and right to privacy for the birth parent(s) and their family.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And then we jumped

**We used this picture on the cover of our profile album**

Last night was our final meeting for our home study. We read over the report before signing our names on the last page. Grant & I are finally ready to dive into the pool of adoptive parents and we have been waiting for this moment for over a year. We stood at opposite ends of the hallway after our worker left, Grant in the kitchen and me still at the front door, and individually digested the significance of last night's appointment. At the exact same moment we both started jumping and danced towards each other and shared the longest hug... it's sometimes very eerie how connected we are and how many times we do the same thing without needing to say a word. Before she left, our worker suggested we submit our profile album as soon as possible so the adoption worker can start presenting us to birth parents!! Grant & I have been sitting on our profile for over a year, working on it a little bit here and there, but last night was the motivation we needed to finally complete it. We had it printed and bound today and will be submitting it tomorrow!!!! I returned home from work to find that Grant had finished off the nursery. Being at this stage, the next step in our adoption journey seems so unreal and so exciting all at the same time. The next thing on our to-do list is to buy our car seat because we do not want to be stuck not being able to bring our baby home because we don't have a car seat!

As we move onto this next stage in our adoption journey we will have a "blackout" period on our blog. We wish to maintain and respect the privacy of the birth parents we meet. On the advice of our worker we will refrain from posting updates or pictures (it's going to be very difficult to do) about how our adoption journey is progressing until our adoption is finalized, which will occur approximately 6 months from when our baby is placed in our home...and on that day everyone will know we are the extremely proud parents of the most beautiful and precious 6 month old!!!

This is not a good-bye post, because we WILL post about our newest family member, this is a post to say "see you soon" and thank you so much for your support, your abundance of prayers and your constant encouragement.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Vacationed as a family of two...hopefully for the last time!

Grant & I just returned from a two week vacation - one week in Mexico with my cousin's family and two days at Disney World before our final stop to Sanibel Island with Grant's parents to finish off the second week at the place we were married!! It was quite the whirlwind vacation with a lot of running to catch connecting flights and packing and unpacking and packing up again. Grant & I noticed a slightly different theme and feel to this vacation...we kept talking about how much fun it will be to vacation with our bambino and share the excitement of exploring different cultures and experiencing new adventures with our child(ren). It's probably because we are in the adoption process ourselves, but we noticed a lot of adoptive families at Disney World - mainly white families with little Asian daughters and sons. The next time we return to Disney World we hope to be a family of three or more and introduce our child(ren) to the magic of Disney. Our home study is almost complete. We have our final (hopefully) session next week to read over the report before it is submitted for approval.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One Down, One More to Go

Grant & I met with the social worker last night for our first home-study visit. She was very open, honest and compassionate, which made it easy to open up to her and discuss the most intimate details about our relationship and my history. Next session she will focus on Grant's history, which gives him time to memorize the years his parents were born!

The worker shared some interesting demographic information about what they are seeing at the Waterloo Region F&CS - First of all, there has been a dramatic increase over the past 6 months in the number of infants being placed for adoption in our region (good news for us); however, the number of infants exposed to narcotics inutero is also on the rise. She asked how open we were to adopting an infant who was exposed to drugs - The question caught us off guard as it is something Grant & I have never really thought about. We have discussed in length our views on adopting an infant who was exposed to alcohol, but our discussions never ventured in the direction of prenatal drug exposure. I attended a conference back in the fall regarding FASD and if I am remembering correctly (my notes are at work & since today is a snow day & work is closed, I can't refer to them), the research presented indicates minimal long-term impact of prenatal exposure to drugs such as cocaine, unlike the permanent brain damage that occurs with prenatal alcohol exposure. Regardless of an infant's birth history, Grant and I strongly believe that God will guide us to our child and we will love him/her unconditionally and be committed to tackling all challenges that come our way (especially in the teen years - we're youth workers so we know what happens when puberty hits!). The worker said we will receive emails & phone calls from the adoption worker when an infant is available for adoption and we can ask as many questions as we want about the infant's birth history and health and it will be our decision whether or not to accept the match. To be completely honest, of course I want to be aware of our baby's birth and family history and that is why an open adoption is very important to us; however, I have complete faith in God's perfect timing and His ultimate design...

For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Psalm 139:12-14 (New International Version)

Below you will find the lyrics to a praise & worship song that is near and dear to my heart...

He Knows My Name
Written by Tommy Walker

Verse 1:
I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call

Verse 2:
I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One step closer...

I was getting ready to leave work yesterday for my dentist appointment (found out I have an infection in the root of two of my molars - my wisdom tooth needs to be extracted and I'm seeing a specialist to see if the second molar can be saved with a root canal & if not, I'm losing that tooth too) and my phone rang, I almost didn't pick it up b/c I was running late, but I am so glad I did...Grant & I have our first home-study scheduled for Thurs. Jan 31 at 6:00pm!!! The worker conducting our home study is anticipating we will only need two home visits and then she will be able to write her report b/c Grant & I are eager beavers and all of our paperwork is already completed and submitted! Words cannot express how excited we are to begin the next step of this journey. Grant & I celebrated by ordering Greek food and ate it on our good China, said a prayer of thanksgiving & praise and raised our wine glasses and made a toast! Grant was so cute all evening/night, he told our cats numerous times that we are going to be parents and leaned over to me and proclaimed the same exciting news!

We are finally motivated and encouraged enough to complete our profile album - wooohoooo!!!!

The night before my mom had a dream that I placed a baby in her arms....soon, umma, very soon this will be reality!

Thank you for all your prayers & support.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Life

Our newest god-son entered the world this morning! Grant & I went to meet him as soon as we could after work. He is absolutely precious - God's perfect handiwork!! I had the privilege of feeding him and in that moment everything I know about handling and positioning when feeding a newborn and observing the suck, swallow, breath sequence, etc., etc., went out the window, I threw away my OT lenses and I found myself lost in the beauty and awe of the new life I was holding in my arms.

Today marks a significant day in our adoption journey - January 3rd is the anniversary of when we officially began the adoption process with F&CS. I was aware all day of the significance of today's date and yesterday was a tough day emotionally in anticipation of today, but when I held the baby in my arms my hope was restored. As Grant & I waited for the elevator back to the lobby we realized that the next time we take that same elevator ride will probably be to finally bring our baby home. I am hopeful again that this journey will have a happy ending. I heard back from the supervisor at F&CS and unfortunately there is another delay to the start of our home-study.......

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8~