Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can we talk about this Russian situation for a minute?

*Not Artyem

I know I owe you all a lot of updates about my own little one situation, but I have to post about t his topic. This is so heartbreaking and so awful. Every time I hear about adoptive parents rejecting their children I lose a little more faith in people. This story really takes the cake, though.

Torry Hansen, a Tennessee woman, adopted 7-year-old Artyem Saveliev. Then, unhappy with her child, decided to return him. She put him on a plane back to Russia and found a strange man on the internet and paid him $200 to escort the child to the Russian Ministry of Education. Here is the letter that she sent with Artyem, word for word:

"To Whom It May Concern,

"This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues/behaviors. I was lied to and misled by the Russian Orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability. ... After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child. As he is a Russian National, I am returning him to your guardianship and would like the adoption disannulled."

I'm so sad, and completely stunned. How... why??? How was this woman ever approved to adopt any child? How did she come to be matched with this particular child? Why did she take him in if she truly didn't believe in her heart that she would love him and parent him for the rest of his life? How could she ever - EVER - put a tiny little boy on a long flight 'back where he came from' all by himself, back to a world of orphanages and uncertainty? How could anyone take a child into their home and not love the hell out of them? Why did she do this, and why must so many other parents suffer now that she's permanently damaged the Russian international adoption program?


Through our training we met a lot of couples who were in the process of adopting from Russia. Today I am very sad for them, because while this immediate sanction only affects the U.S., in practice it will likely affect the full program much more widely.

And all those children... those sweet children who've done nothing to deserve this, who spend their lives in institutions just praying for a real home. What will happen to these kids now?

I pray that this will be resolved soon, and without major damage to waiting families and children, but my hopes are low. These things have happened before, and countries will shut down their entire programs over one lousy parent.

Torry Hansen: There is a very special place in hell reserved just for you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cause the times they are a'changin

Hello lovelies! Long time, no post. My apologies. I feared I'd been outed in real life, and decided to lay low for a little while.

And it sucked. I really, really missed this outlet while it was shut down! So, screw that. Here is my life, here is our journey to family, and here is what has been happening in my life for the past six weeks or so.

As the post title suggests, things are a little different now. We have a big update on our adoption, and it looks as though it will have to be postponed indefinitely.

"Whaaaaaaa???", I hear you say.

It's true. Surprise!!!

"Whaaaaaaa???", I hear you say again. "How did this happen??"
Well. That might be a story for another day. Or later today. We'll see how my schedule is, but for now let's just leave it at two very, very happy people who will be holding a new baby this fall.

Life is good.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

If you haven't already (or even if you have)

Please, please consider donating to Haitian relief. We all know it's happening, and we all know it's bad. This morning aftershock rated at 6.1 on the Richter scale rolled through an already devastated country.
These people really need us, and even the smallest donation on our part can go much further than we could ever expect. Reach out.
If you choose to donate online, please ensure that you're giving on a secure site. The key difference:
http:// is not secure
https:// is secure
That one little s is very important. Here are a couple organizations accepting online donations.

Canadian Red Cross

World Vision Canada

Free The Children, accepting donations in both Canadian and American funds

Please remember when you give that the Canadian government is matching every dollar donated in Canada. Your $5 is really $10. Your $25 is really $50. Your $100 is really $200.

We can do this. We can help them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In the meantime

I can use all these months of waiting to knit! I started learning last summer, and I've finally graduated from rectangles (read: scarves) to more complicated projects.

I'm amazed at how addictive this hobby can be!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The thing about grief.

It's been about a week and a half since I last posted, and a lot has happened in my life since then - all family-building related.

I'm not even sure I feel like putting it all down in words. I think that I don't, but I do feel like I need to mark it as a difficult time, if nothing else.

Many, many, MANY more roadblocks have been thrown down in front of us in the past 10 days. It's shocking to me how sometimes things can go from bad to worse and then to worse still, but here it is.

The kicker is that the dumbest, stupidest things ever can really just set you off down the road to tears with no notice. You can be happily going about your business when all of a sudden, completely out of nowhere, something otherwise seeming innocuous happens and you're reminded again of all you've lost.

I don't envy people who are in regular direct contact with people who are grieving. I can't imagine it's very fun, never knowing when something can suddenly make someone break down.

And I'm so tired of being so sad. I'm tired of being that person who can cry over nothing. I'm tired of being that person who can just suddenly bring everyone down. I'm tired of not being strong anymore. I'm tired of not knowing how to fix it, how to just be happy despite the shitty hand I've been dealt.

I'm tired of grieving. I wish I could stop.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Well, we may as well make ourselves comfortable.

We've officially been added to the queue of Ontario parents awaiting approval to adopt. It's going to be a bit of a stretch ahead of us. Thanks again to our friends at Imagine Adoption, whose director embezzled funds and screwed up hundreds of pending Ethiopian adoptions, the ministry is incredibly backlogged. In the fall we were told 6-8 weeks for approval. Then 12-13.
And now? *drumroll please*
Four months. Eep.
But that's okay. What's another four months in the grand scheme of things right? Right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Am I a bad mom if I dress my kid in these?

Because I think they're hilarious.

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Why are you adopting?"

Over the past month, the husband and I have been spreading the news of our adoption plans on a larger scale. It's still not Facebook appropriate, but we've let our larger groups of friends and extended families in on what's up in our household. We figure this will take care of any questions about baby-proofed cabinets and the crib before people come over.

I've written a bit already about some of the reactions we've gotten. Many have been hilarious, many are 'things-that-make-you-go-hmmm'? But there's one question that we keep getting that we're still having trouble finding the right answer for:

"Why are you adopting?"

Now, don't get me wrong. We know exactly why we're adopting. We know the many reasons, some practical, most emotional, and others undefinable. For us, we know that right now this is the best way to build our family.

I know that adoption is the less common way of having children. I know most people get knocked up and grow babies in their bellies and it's just the way things are done. I know these things. So I get that people are probably a little less familiar with the decision to adopt. Even still, I find this question hilarious. What do you mean, 'why?' What kind of answer are you looking for? Do you ask people why they got pregnant? Probably not.

So every time we get asked this question, it still seems a little awkward. It is, of course, a very personal question. We're getting better, but it's still weird.

And then we have the follow-up questions:

"Ooooh is it because you *have* to adopt?"
What? Like, is there some requirement for us to adopt? No, we're doing it because we want to.

"So can I ask? Is it because you can't have children?"
No, you can't ask. Do you ask everyone about their fertility? Because that's going to make you 'that guy' at a party. The one who no one wants to hang out with.

"But don't you want any of your own?"
Sure do! And the one we adopt *will* be our own. That will be our child.

"Is it weird for you that your baby won't look like you?"
...really? I want a kid. Not a clone.


The point of this post: if someone tells you they're adopting, don't ask them why. Because does it really matter why? Really? Or are you just being nosy - nosier than you'd be in any other situation?

And here's my answer, if you plan to ask why:

Because we want to. This is how we want to build our family. We're very excited to meet our baby.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear Baby,

Today is the very last day of 2009. Woohoo! The year is over, and we're that much closer to bringing you home to us!

Today we wonder what you're like. Did you already have your birthday? Are you still growing in your birth mom's tummy? Are you still just a beautiful idea that we're dreaming of?

What will be your favourite colour? What kind of foods will you want to eat? When you first meet your silly little dog, will it be love at first sight, or will you be a little scared? (It's okay if you're a little scared, but I promise that he will love you as much as we do. And even though he doesn't know it yet, he can't wait to play with you.)

What kind of adventures will we have together? Whatever your heart desires, little one. We can't wait to show you the big, amazing world all around us, and help you find the beauty and joy and excitement that life will offer you.

We love you, sweet baby. Wherever you are, however old you are, we love you already. We'll see you soon - as soon as we can. Happy New Year, and we hope we'll be counting down together in 12 months.

Hugs and kisses, from around the world,
Your Mom and Dad.