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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A rant post

Okay, this is a rant post!
I truly believe that working in the field of adoption requires a certain tact, a certain sensibility. Those who don't have it naturally should either receive a training or simply work elsewhere!! I received a phone call about a week ago from our local Youth Centre to inform me that they were missing a few documents in our adoption file. I gave her the name of the lady who helped us back in Amos, where we lived before. The lady back in Amos is a very nice, helpful lady and she had promised to forward our documents to our local centre over here in Gatineau. Amos is a very small town, and everything was very personalized over there. The people were all very helpful and understanding and always had all the time in the world to answer any of our questions. Our registration went very smoothly, and I was sad when I had to call them to transfer our documents to Gatineau. Apparently, they did not receive all of the paper work in Gatineau, and there were still some documents missing. So I gave the lady the contact information, and she was going to contact the Youth Centre in Amos concerning the missing documents. She left me a message on my answering machine, telling me that everything was in order. Yesterday, the lady from our local Youth Centre called me back, telling me that the documents were still missing. Huh?! Then she told me that they need the originals of these documents in order for us to go into adoption. What did she say?! In order for us to adopt? Uhm....we received our acceptance from the Philippines almost eight months ago...we sent off our file a long time ago!! And they're asking for these documents NOW? The originals left for the Philippines eight months ago!! What is this?! Maybe I'm overreacting, but I felt very frustrated...she was very insensitive and unsympathetic...and not helpful in the least. I got together copies of the originals of the documents that she asked for, and gave them to my husband to fax to her from his office. When I told him the story, he was very upset too. My practical, logical husband reacted quite emotionally, to my surprise...which made me realize that maybe I hadn't overreacted, and that the wait for adoption is going very well for my husband, but only as long as there are no bumps in the road!! Usually he's the strong one and he sees bumps in the road as a challenge and a learning process, not as a deterrent. But when it comes to adoption, he seems to find this more difficult to do!! Anyway, he wanted to talk to her himself to find out exactly why they need the original version of these documents all of a sudden. We can understand why they might need a copy of our birth certificates and our marriage certificate, but why didn't they have it in Amos already!? Most importantly, why wasn't she more helpful and understanding? She should be working with us to figure it out, not against us! Like I said before, working at a fertility clinic or in the field of adoption requires a certain tact, a certain level of sympathy and understanding. If you don't have it, then you should probably work elsewhere!! Arghhh.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

The best day of all...

This is from an e-mail that my mom forwarded to me, on motherhood:

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is this the long way?” she asked. And the guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.” But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than playing with her children, and gathering flowers for them along the way, and bathing them in the clear streams. Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children,” A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.” And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I have given them strength.”
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said, “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”
And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.” And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. Her love is eternal.” (Author unknown)

I think it's quite beautiful, and very fitting! I only hope I can be this kind of mother for our child someday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Seven months since ICAB approval!!

Today is my dad's birthday!! Happy birthday...have a great day!
My parents were in town for the long weekend. My husband and I went to Montreal for labor day. We went out for lunch at a really nice restaurant by the river. We sat outside and ate in the garden of the hotel restaurant. The weather was beautiful and the food was delicious! I got to see my sister and meet her new boyfriend as well, which was great. He seems like a very nice guy! We had a BBQ at my brother's house in the evening, and then we drove back home. On Tuesday, Raphael went back to work. We had a good time together, especially the last week of his vacation. The first few days, he did a lot of projects around the house and ran errands. It took him a few days to relax and unwind...
We went to the hot air balloon festival in our town. It was actually fun! It's kind of like a big fair. We checked out the stands and the shows. In the evening, we went to go watch the hot air balloons set up and take off. Unfortunately, there was too much wind and they weren't allowed to take off. It was too dangerous. Oh well, maybe next year...
At night, Kenny Rogers gave a show. Our bracelets gave us access to this as well, so we decided to go and check it out. There were a lot of people! We're not huge fans of his, but Raphael likes his song "The Gambler."
My parents came to visit us in Ottawa on Tuesday. They had lunch with some friends, and then came over to see our new house and have dinner with us. It was a short but sweet visit!

Job wise, I've started working for the Y. I'm enjoying working with the kids! I've been offered the Supervisor position for the kindergarten group. The pay and the hours aren't great though...compared to my job where we lived before!! I'm also doing some substitute teaching here and there. Still, I continue to send out my CV and go to interviews to find something more interesting, something more in my field...even if it's part-time. So, we'll see what happens...

I just realized that it is also our seven month anniversary. I usually think about it a few days ahead...I didn't see it coming at all this month. I haven't been online as much lately, I've been spending time with Raph...and job hunting! Yay!! We're another step closer. I think about the Philippines and the adoption a lot. My mom asked me what exactly Raph and I expect from her and his mom when we go to get our child. I couldn't really answer that question. I'm not quite sure what to expect myself! She wanted to know if we want them waiting for us at the airport, or did we see this. It's a very reasonable made the whole adoption suddenly seem very real!! I will definitely want to introduce our child to his grand-parents and his aunts and uncles as soon as possible!! I haven't figured out how to do this yet without overwhelming the child. Also, I want to be protective and ensure that bonding and attachment happens in those first months. I think my mom had the best plan when she suggested that we simply introduce and integrate our child into our life gradually, with one couple at a time. All of our family and friends will be eager and curious to meet our child. We'll have to slowly build our way up to big group get togethers!! Raph and I can't wait...and I realize that my family and friends(especially my mom and Raph's mom!) are very eager and excited for us too. It's nice to feel such support!! We're going to have to think of a nice way to announce our referral as well...well, we still have some time to come up with an idea. The problem is, I keep thinking "oh, it's still far away...there's still lots of time..." But, it's going to happen when we least expect it...