Monday, December 8, 2008

Gram-Gram's Moose

My mom used to make us crocheted stuffed animals when we were kids...I still have this one...
When thinking that we were going to have a child, one thing was sure, I wanted my mom to crochet a stuffed animal for them. So, we decided on a theme...moose...for a boy or a will be I commissioned my mom. I asked if she could make me a stuffed moose for our baby. We looked everywhere for a pattern, but we could not find one, but that didn't matter to my mom, she created one!
She used a teddy bear pattern, a pattern we purchased from here on Etsy, and her own creation. I absolutely love him! I think he turned out great! He's sitting in the highchair waiting for our little one. Thanks Gram-Gram! He will be well loved!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The beginning

How our journey began
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrom (PCOS) when I was sixteen. I knew then that getting pregnant and giving birth to biological children would be difficult if not impossible for me. So before getting married, Eric and I discussed adoption as an option for creating our family. We did try to conceive naturally, and with the use of fertility drugs, but in the end, we were not able to conceive. After researching other infertility treatments we did not feel comfortable with the "success rates", so we started considering adoption and foster care. The two years that we spent trying to conceive took a toll on us and we decided that we needed to take a break from trying to conceive and just focus on us.
Foster Care or Adoption
We researched foster care first and were not comfortable with it because the laws in Quebec tend to be in favor of returning children to their biological parents/family. We knew that it would be too difficult for us to finally have a child and then lose them so we knew that foster care was not the way to go for us (at least for our first child). We then began researching international adoption (because we live in Quebec, all adoptions that are not through foster care are considered international adoptions). Around this same time, Eric's aunt adopted two girls from Haiti, after having one unsuccessful adoption in India. We were able to see first hand as his aunt adopted first one and then another how the adopted child could integrate into the family, community and country. Neither of the girls spoke French when they were adopted, however it was not long before they were able to communicate easily. We thought that we would adopt from Haiti too, we even attended an information session to help us to prepare. We were not quite ready to adopt then (around 2005), so we waited awhile, and then in December 2007, we realized that we were ready to adopt (knowing that the process takes between two and four years). Before announcing our decision to our families, we decided that we would research the country and actually register with an adoption agency before making it official with our family and friends. When we contacted the agency that Eric's aunt used, they informed us that we no longer met their criteria (we were not yet 35 and we had not been married for 10 years), we could not adopt from Haiti. We contacted another agency that facilitates adoptions from Haiti and were told the same thing. It was official, unless we wanted to wait another two years before beginning the process (and then wait for two to four years for the adoption to be finalized), we would not adopt from Haiti, we were saddened, by this news, but we decided that we would investigate other countries. Eric was doing most of the research for the countries, he contacted a bunch of agencies, asked all of the questions and then we discussed the information he collected. I was really happy that he took the lead on this part of the process, I was feeling discouraged and did not feel up to all the research. After much research, we realized that there was only one agency that was available for us, I must say that I was discouraged and was struggling with the decision of the agency. One day I was praying and asking God why the process seemed so difficult, and I was reminded that throughout the years, everytime I prayed about our adoption, I asked God to help us to find the child that he wanted us to have. I then felt comforted knowing that there was only one agency that was available for us. The choice was clear.
We were looking for an agency that would help us to adopt a healthy child, from an orphanage where the children would be well taken care of, where we could adopt within a reasonable amount of time, all while staying within our budget. Our agency meets all of that criteria. There was a moment where we were not sure about whether we would adopt from the Philippines or from China, but after attending information sessions and having all of our questions answered, we decided on the Philippines. We are both so excited to embark on the next chapter of our lives!

The announcement

After deciding on a country and putting financing in place, all that was left to do was tell our families. We were each responsible for creating our announcement to each of our families.
Tammy's Family
We gave Tammy's Mom, brother and sister-in-law each a key chain, each key chain was identified (Grandma, Uncle Tim and Auntie Charleen). The key shows a penguin family of three. Each key chain was put in a box and they were all wrapped the same way. we gave them their presents after Tyler (5yrs) and Britney (2yrs) had gone to bed (we thought that they may be too young to understand, and wanted their parents to decide when they would be ready to hear of the adoption). There were more than a few tears of joy that were shed! I was surprised at how emotional I was, all I could squeak out was "We're adopting". It was so exciting to see them open their gifts and to tell them that we were officially (finally) on the path to adoption.
Eric's Family
Eric created a series of clues on cards and had one card for each family member. The clue cards were numbered and had a snapshot of the historical discovery of the Philippines by Magellan... It took them a while and some prompting - but after actually saying "We're adopting from the Philippines" they all got it... The best part was Eric's mom getting all nervous and acting out by sweeping the floor and cleaning the kitchen table (neither was dirty). So a D- for history and an A+ for cleanliness.

One month

It's been one month since we heard the fab news that we were officially approved to adopt from the Philippines... and time has since moved forward like a dead sloth going uphill in a blizzard. So like we don't know if it's because we have been talking more about the adoption together and with others, but, wow...

We find ourselves daydreaming about being parents; about having a little furless monkey around and how that will change and challenge our family dynamics; about names for our child (like Van-Troy which is an awesome name); about our trip to the Philippines; about other adopting families and how they manage to deal with the wait.

and...the wait continues...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ugh...this wait is going to be long!

Yesterday I read a post on the agency's adoption forum, there is a family who is leaving this weekend to go to the Philippines to pick up their child. They are so excited and are looking forward to spending their first Christmas with their child. I am happy for them, but at the same time, my heart aches thinking we will probably have at least two more Christmases until we spend our first Christmas with our child.