Friday, May 27, 2011

Cat mom hugs baby kitten

This video is too brought tears to my eyes! I could not resist sharing it.
I know, I's just a cat video. Still, it's a very sweet and tender moment between a mother cat and her kitten.

I guess it kind of epitomizes what being a good mother is all about: someone who protects you, someone who makes you feel safe, warm and secure...someone who loves you unconditionally and gives you a hug when you need it!

In this video, what is so touching is the instinctual, natural action with which the mother soothes and calms the little kitten experiencing a bad dream...simply using physcial contact and warmth, she knows exactly what to do to get the little one comfortable. It's a reminder of the importance of touch and body contact...a sense which we sometimes under-estimate the value of.

I hope that I can share this kind of bonding experience with our child someday. Then I will know that we have succeeded as far as bonding and attachment are concerned!! Or, at least it will prove that we are on the right track...

But, I'm getting way ahead of myself here. One step at a time! For now, we continue to wait patiently (!) for the phone to ring...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

LADY GAGA - Born This Way (Cover)

Hello to my bloggy friends! Yes, we've reached the two year mark. We are now at 25 months since ICAB approval. To be honest, I never thought we would have to wait this long. The twenty-four month mark was pretty my mind, I was so sure we would receive a referral before we reached the two year mark. When we started the adoption process, they told us the longest we would have to wait after ICAB approval was twenty-four months. Of course, circumstances have changed. Certain issues with ICAB that are beyond our control have increased the wating time considerably for all future adoptive parents!! It's very frustrating. It has made me feel powerless...and it is a big test of patience and faith for both Raphael and myself. For me it means learning to let go and to just trust that whatever life throws at us, we can handle it. Things will go the way they are meant to go...even if I don't understand the reasons behind it now, who am I to question the path that God has seemingly chosen for us?! (destiny, or whatever you want to call it...)
Okay, so this isn't how I planned things...this isn't how I envisioned or imagined my life growing up...but that doesn't mean this isn't the right path. This is the true sense of "going with the flow."
I have to trust that it will all work out in the end. I have no control over this...and that's probably the hardest part to accept! My mantra for the adoption process, and for life in general (the Serenity Prayer): God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

It's been a while since I've posted anything...mostly because the wait has been so long, and there just hasn't been much news on the adoption front! Basically, we're still waiting. Patiently, most of the time! Some days I feel very discouraged and wonder if it's ever really going to happen...will the phone actually ring one day with the news that we've been matched and that we finally have a referral?! Will our turn ever really come? It just doesn't feel real yet. We've been waiting for so long, and it feels like we're not a step further than we were three years ago when we started this process. I know this isn't actually the case, but sometimes it feels that way.

We try to keep our lives going and we don't let the adoption stop us from doing the things we want to do. We are keeping busy with lots of different projects. For example, we are making plans to go on vacation in Italy for three weeks this summer. It's very hard to make plans though, not knowing when we'll have to drop everything and travel to the Philippines to bring home our little one. Still, it could be another eight months (nearly enough time for a full-term pregnancy...I'm very aware of this fact!) before we hear anything...I don't want to just sit around and wait for the phone to ring either! We have to go on with our lives and live our life to the fullest...
So...we made tentative plans for this summer, booked our flights to Italy...and remain flexible, open-minded and ready to change our plans at the last minute as need be. It's the best that we can do at this point.

On a more positive note, we did get some news from the Philippines right after the Christmas holidays. We received an e-mail from ICAB asking us for an update. So, we contacted our Psychologist back in Amos, the one who did our original report, and had him update our file. We made a little photo album to send to the Philippines as well. It felt good to be doing something concrete and productive towards the adoption. Now, we sit back and wait...

I saw this video of Maria, a sweet little Filipino girl singing a new Lady Gaga song. I like the message of the song, which is basically that you're beautiful the way you are. It's a song about loving and accepting oneself. She's so adorable! What a cutie...and so talented! Makes me wish for a little Filipino girl :)

Of course, boy or doesn't really matter to us. Either way, we will be very happy! We just want the phone to ring and finally receive our referral! We are so fact, Raph and I have been ready for the last two years!! Yes, our lives will be changed forever...and we're probably not as ready to become parents as we'd like to think...but we sure are ready to give it a try! Something tells me no parent, biological or adoptive, really knows what they're getting into until they actually have kids. I don't want to sound whiny...that's not very becoming or mature...still, I can't help wondering, when will it be our turn?!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eleven months since ICAB approval!

Yes, that's right...eleven months since we received our ICAB approval! It's starting to get exciting now! I'm hoping that 2010 will be our year...
I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year; wishing you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2010...may all of your dreams come true!!

Christmas went by very fast. Raph and I went to Cuba for two weeks during the holidays. We spent four days together in Varadero just the two of us, and then Raph's family came and joined us. The day we arrived, it was nice and sunny...but after that, we had four days of rain and thundershowers. There's not much to do at a hotel resort like that when the weather's not nice! Most of the activities are centered around the sun and the pool or the beach! We basically stayed in our hotel room and read our books and watched tv for four days. Still, it's great to just get out of the cold and the ice and helps to pass the winter months!! The day after Raph's family arrived the weather turned nicer, and we were able to enjoy the pool and the beautiful beach. The sand was soft and white, the ocean was turquoise-blue and warm. We did one excursion, the Jeep Safari. It was amazing! We visited a local farm, went snorkeling in the coral reefs with the fish, swam in a cave (and had the best pinacolada ever!), went on a boat ride, went horse back ridding...all in one day!! And Raph was happy because he got to drive the Jeep :0)
The hotel we stayed at was very kid friendly, and there were a lot of young families there. My mind often turned to thinking about what our future vacations will be like, once we have children.

We flew back to the cold on my birthday! Yes, that's right...I'm another year older. I won't dwell on that one for too long! Oh well, at least everyone at the airport is very nice and friendly when they see that it's your birthday on your passport!!

I've added a new song to my playlist, "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble. I was inspired by my bloggie friend Joanna...she posted the cutest video of her son Jerome on facebook, set to this song. Both the video and the song struck a chord with me. I absolutely love it! I think it's the perfect song to express how I'm feeling during this long wait for a referral:

I Might Have To Wait
I'll Never Give Up
I Guess It's Half Timing
And The Other Half's Luck
Wherever You Are
Whenever It's Right
You Come Out Of Nowhere And Into My Life

And I Know That We Can Be So Amazing
And Baby Your Love Is Gonna Change Me
And Now I Can See Every Possibility

Mmmmm ......

And Somehow I Know That It Will All Turn Out
And You'll Make Me Work So We Can Work To Work It Out
And I Promise You Kid I'll Give So Much More Than I Get
I Just Haven't Met You Yet

Yes, I just haven't met you yet...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My new find of the week!

I just added this song to my song's from a new tv show called "Glee" which I discovered last week. Love it! This song got me hooked! Very cute show, and I really enjoy the songs. The message is great. Just wanted to share my new find :0)

On the adoption front, there's not much going on over here in Quebec just yet...but there have been some proposals in the U.S. and in France as well, I believe. So that's very good news, and very encouraging!! A bloggy friend from the States whose blog I've been following for the past few months is in the Philippines right now with her husband, bringing home their two year old son...and another local bloggy friend is leaving for the Philippines in just a few short days. So exciting!! It's great to see that things are moving again over there. I also came across a fellow blogger from Belgium, adopting their second child from the Philippines. It's very cool meeting people from all over the world going through the same thing as us!! I'm particularly excited that she speaks Dutch :0)

There's not much else new. My husband and I got our H1N1 flu shots. He was kind of against it at first, but I convinced him that it was important to get it done if we were planning on travelling. Some countries even require it right now for travelling. That convinced him, since he doesn't want to miss out on our trip to Cuba! Besides, I went to the clinic and got him a coupon, and he didn't really have much choice in the matter! Hahaha!! In exchange, he insists I let him put up the Christmas tree early this year. Oh well, I guess you win some, you lose some...the art of negotiation!

I got laser eye surgery a few days ago. It's pretty impressive what they can do with technology nowadays! The operation takes all of five minutes: they put a suction thing to keep the eye open...they start the laser and it smells like burnt hair for a couple of seconds...then they explain to you it's going to go black for thirty seconds...then you find the red light of the laser again, and the operation is done. And the do the other eye, same thing. It's very fast! When you come out of the operation, your eyes want to stay closed, and your vision is pretty blurry for a couple of days. It's kind of like opening your eyes underwater. There is a burning and itching sensation for a few days as well. It's about a week later now, and my vision is improving everyday. By the time we leave for Cuba I should be 100% recovered, and I'll be allowed to swim. Yay!! For now, my eyes still tire easily and I get blurry vision when I watch tv or read for too long. Staring at the computer screen for too long is not recommended either, obviously!! That will take a few weeks, but it's so worth it for the freedom from glasses!!

On that note, I should go and rest my eyes...hope you enjoy the song!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nine months since ICAB approval!!

Yep, it's official...we've been waiting for nine months now!! Although the wait has actually gone pretty well so far and the time has flown by for the most part, I've been having a bit of a hard time the last few weeks. I could see the nine month mark looming, the equivalent of a full pregnancy, with nothing to show for it!! Since we received our ICAB approval, there hasn't really been any news to report on the adoption front. The realization that we will likely be waiting another nine months before we hear anything hit me kind of hard, and I find this thought pretty depressing. But, as Raph always reminds me when I talk like that, what does it help or change to worry and stress about the adoption?! It's not going to make the wait go faster, it's a waste of time and energy. It's much better to put that time and energy into something positive and useful. His attitude is to simply go with the flow, and trust that our turn will come. In the meantime, we should enjoy our time together as a couple, because everything will change soon enough. I know that he's right and that this is a healthy attitude to have towards the wait. I'm probably more emotional and open about showing my emotions and fears than Raph is, but I'm trying to take a page from his book. Now that we've reached the nine month mark, I'm feeling calmer and more at ease about waiting for another nine months. Last weekend, we were invited to breakfast with some local families in the process of adopting from the Philippines. It's always so nice to meet other people going through the same thing as us!! I feel very lucky to have that opportunity. We got a chance to catch up a little and exchange some information with Tangie and Michel as well, a couple whom we've already had the occasion to get togethet with a few times since this summer. It was super interesting and fun to hear about her adventures in Morocco :0) Also, we finally got to meet a family whom we've been in contact with through e-mail for the past few months. They're adopting their second child from the Philippines, and have a lot of experience and knowledge to share with us. It's so wonderful to get to know these different families, especially since they all live so close to us. It will be great for our children in the future :0) Who knows, our children might come from the same orphanage in the Philippines!! I really appreciate having been invited to this event.

Raph and I celebrated our nine month anniversary by getting our vaccination for hepatitis. It's a vaccination that's given in three parts 9or three shots!) to be protected for life, basically. So it looks like we'll be celebrating our ten month anniversary with a second shot :0) It's actually quite expensive to get the vaccine! I was quite surprised. We'll have to see if our health insurance will cover it, but I doubt it. Raph and I are flying to Cuba during the Christmas holidays, and we were told that we need to get vaccinated for hepatitis anyway when flying to the Philippines, so we decided to go ahead and get the first two shots before travelling. The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended. We got a tetanus shot as well, which they also recommend for both Cuba and the Philippines. This shot is good for ten years, so I think we should be okay :0) Thank you Tangie, for telling us about the vaccine and giving us information on the travel clinic where you went!! The nurse was very kind and helpful, she was patient and understanding and took the time to explain all of the vaccines to us. We had good, rapid and efficient service!! We'll be going back in December for our second hepatitis shot, and then in May for the rest of the vaccines she recommends for the Philippines. It feels good to be doing something concrete towards the adoption process. I've been feeling like we have no control and that all we can do is sit by and wait it's really nice to actually be doing something. Who knew I would feel happy about getting shots?!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On reaching the eight month mark...

I took a break from blogging for a while...I've been feeling quite discouraged and frustrated lately. There's not much new to report these days, and I haven't really felt like writing. We hit our eight month mark, and I barely noticed. Or rather, I barely acknowledged it. All I could think was "wonderful, we've been waiting for eight months! Hurray!!, now what? I guess we just sit around and wait another ten months or so by the phone to get the call...great! If I'd gotten pregnant, I could technically have had two kids by then!!" This is my inner dialogue, as I go from celebrating being one step closer to having our child home with us, to feeling completely discouraged and frustrated with how long the process is taking!! Actually, a few of our friends and family have gotten pregnant and have given birth (or will soon), while we still wait for our referral!! Now I know that it's not a race, and I am very happy for my friends, Raph's cousins, and my older sister...but it's still pretty frustrating. Frankly, it's really hard when these happy pregnancy announcements are made, followed by the inevitable question: "so what about you guys? How's the adoption going?!" To which we can only answer time after time again that we still haven't heard anything, and don't expect to hear anything for another ten months or so!! Of course, if people don't ask, then it might be taken as a sign of lack of interest, so I guess I will continue to smile and politely answer that inevitable question for the next ten months or so :0) Such is required by social etiquette...

Things have been moving very slowly over here in Quebec on the adoption front...there haven't been any new referrals in the past couple of months. Of course, it's very understandable...the Philippines has been hit hard by three different Typhoons and flooding in the past couple of months. I know that it's very selfish of me to even be thinking about our adoption when people have lost their lives...and yet, I am thinking about it a lot. I feel very helpless in the face of this destruction by mother nature...we sent a donation, but it doesn't feel like it's enough. I wish I could go to the Philippines and help out, be there in person to provide some sort of assistance or humanitarian aid. I know that our turn will come to travel to the Philippines, and that it's only a question of time at this point...but in the meantime, I feel so powerless and helpless!! Patience has never been my strong point...nor Raphael's!! I sometimes wonder if we aren't being put through this adoption process by some higher power just to teach us a lesson in patience :0)

Everyone says that the best thing you can do to get through the long process of the wait, which I completely understand is a necessary part of the adoption process, is keeping busy. By keeping busy with positive projects, you don't have time to fret and worry about the adoption. While we were moving and I was teaching at the College, this was the case. I didn't see the time go by. Since we've settled into our new house, the fall has started and I'm working part-time with young children...well, I have too much time on my hands to think about the adoption. I am looking to change jobs...something more full-time...and I am looking for a new project. There are a few writing projects that I've been wanting to try for a couple of years now...but never had the courage. I have the time now, so I'm thinking of trying it. I just need to be very self-disciplined about it. A recent e-mail from a bloggy friend reminded me how much I enjoy writing, and how therapeutic it can be as well! Another bloggy friend e-mailed me to invite us to a breakfast for local families adopting from the Philippines. I want to thank my bloggy friends for being there for me and for cheering me up!! thank you :0)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Prayer for the People of Manila

On Saturday, Manila was hit with nine hours straight of torrential rains, the result of a tropical storm. This caused major landslides and floods, the worst in forty years, and most of the city was under brown water on Sunday. The government has declared "a State of Calamity." The images are quite heart wrenching. The poorer areas of the city were hit the hardest. Here are links to two different articles and some images:

I cannot help but wonder about the orphanages in Manila and the little ones and their caretakers. I hope that they are safe and sound, that they are not cold, hungry or frightened. But, we all know how important children are to the Filipinos, and this reassures me that they are in very good hands and that they will be the first to receive help. I have no doubt that they are being well taken care of.

My heart goes out to the people of the Philippines; my thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the floods. Through the adoption process, my husband and I are forever connected to this country and its people. We would love to find a way to help. Making a donation to the Red Cross is a great way to do this. Or sponsoring a child. There are unfortunately a number of scams out there, people who try to take advantage of situations like this to pull on people's heart strings and make some money off of them. So please be careful, be aware and stick to the well known, reputed organisations like the Red Cross.