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Tuesday, 22 March 2011
That is Rowan's order.
Two sisters, please.
Named Rose and Moose.

Well, maybe not.
But maybe so (except for the named 'Moose' bit).

We are working towards adopting.
Given the time frames and many unknowns, we don't say much about it yet, other than to acknowledge it is 'in our plans'.  Perhaps this reticence goes back to our first adoption experience.

When Rowan was 18 months old we completed a home study and were in the queue to adopt through an American agency (in a southern state)~ we are in Canada.  At the time (2007) the Hague Convention was just coming into full effect in the USA and we were expecting (on good authority) to be 'grandfathered' in (changes under the Hague included not being able to process international adoptions through an agency or third party).  there were more babies due than families to adopt them in the month of September when the agency called to tell us that the State Department closed up all their Canadian files.  So here we sat, ready and waiting for a newborn child~ immigration papers in hand and we were out in the cold. End of story.

And that took a lot of getting over, really. 
Adoption itself had always been a welcome possibility for us.  Having struggled with infertility issues and an incredibly difficult pregnancy, and now living in a more remote (to services) area, pregnancy didn't make a lot of sense. But the home study process, the soul searching and boundary setting was heart rending at times~ we literally had to go through pages upon pages of health issues and social history possiblities and put down in black and white a yes or no to a legion of  choices.  Alcohol use in pregnancy? Family history of schizophrenia? Club foot? Cleft Palette? Child of rape?

And that is incredibly difficult, leaving you feeling wrung out and like a horrible human being because you have had to say no to some children, who deserve to be loved, based on facts beyond their control (and what would you do if it were your biological child where such choices are not available?).  In the end we settled on a profile that matched our own family history, risks and so on, while also considering what we could afford (a premature child needing heart surgery in a US hospital while we sit up North in Canada? Not possible.).

Ready and waiting for a phone call... only to receive a call that our file was closed, permanently.

It has taken several years to come back around to the idea.
We have tested our will and explored our sense that our family is not yet complete.
We have talked and prayed and decided that this is true, we are not yet complete.
And so we made that great big scary leap into the public adoption process (through the Children's Aid Society~ adopting a Crown Ward/ ward of the state).  I say 'big and scary' because no matter which way you slice it, your child will have come through the foster care system, whether at its worst or best.  Unlike an open private adoption, where a mother has chosen adoption for her child, in most public cases, the children have been apprehended from families unable to care for them.  So along with the grief of losing their birth family, no matter their age, comes the potential of a traumatic, even abusive history.
In Ontario, all applicants are required to take the PRIDE training (30 hours).  We went into this earlier this year with apprehension, but came out fully committed to this course~ there are children who need parents and we are parents who need children, who want them and have love, patience and a safe place to give.  We know our limits and our resources.  We know where we can go for help. It won't be easy.   We know that.  But when is parenting ever easy?

So at this point we have been given the hopeful indication that our Home Study will be completed in the next few months (vs. first indications that the backed up system would take 1-2 years). And then we are good to go!  Our hope (knowing that sometimes God has other plans than what we have decided!) would be to adopt 1 or 2 children (siblings) younger than Rowan, preferably preschool aged to allow for bonding time before the leap into school.  For bonding across age and genetic differences, we really do hope for a daughter or two, but again, we are open to what the universe has in store!

So that catches you up (I know, you didn't ask!).  I just thought I would share, so that as this becomes a more prominent part of our lives, we can continue to share our journey! ♥


MamaWestWind said...

Good luck with your adoption plans!

Andréann said...

I wish you the best of luck in this big process

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

The adoption process is quite the journey, but well worth it.

Having adopted two daughters who are now 8 and 10 (they were 10 and 11 months at the time of adoption in 2001 and 2003), I wish you and your family the best on this exciting chapter in your life!

Annicles said...

My very good friends had one natural daughter and decided to adopt siblings. just as the adoption was made legal the birth mother gave birth to another little girl. She had hidden the pregnancy because she knew the baby would be removed at birth, she was and my friends added her to thier family. A boy was born, kept, rejected and removed and is now a part of their family. They are prepapring to welcome a little girl from the same mother in a couple of weeks! So the two girls became five children. add to this fact the the birth mother already had given birth to 5 children who were living with grandparents when the first adoptions took place.

My friends are very firmly Catholic and always wanted a large family. They are also very firm that they couldn't take any more children, even if more were born. I am in awe of how much love and happiness there is in their family. i always learn something when I see them. They are an amazing example of how the love grows with each child and that a child does not have to grow in your womb to be your baby.

You just can't tell what will happen! Good luck!!!

FairiesNest said...

Best wishes to you and your family! How wonderful to open your home and hearts to a child/children in need of a home.

mom2girls said...

I am adopted, and I am always thrilled to hear about people adopting :) I can not adopt because I am bipolar - or I would be, there are SO many children needing homes that can care for them, and you are right they will have needs that Rowan did not. There are supports for that now though, even if you are in a community were there are not many/no other adopted kids they can be on the internet on websites designed for adopted kids. There are amazing kids books for them (and you) Anyway, good for you! And Rowan's names rock my world (though I do think they will come with names they already like LOL - being kids already :)

Donna said...

You have so much to give, I pray a little heart (or hearts) will find their way to your family to share, and recieve, blessings beyond imagination.

RhondaLavender said...

Thanks for sharing this story. All the best in this journey.

Unknown said...

Thank you all for your comments and sharing your own experiences! I really appreciate it ♥

Anonymous said...

Ella asked for a baby sister the other day. It broke my heart to tell her no. She was a miracle baby and we had a stressful pregnancy. Downs runs in Colin's family so now that we are 40ish I really wouldn't want to press our luck trying again. I hope the adoption goes well.


3 chicks for this hen said...

Just discovered your blog while pulling resources together at work (shhh, don't tell...). I have an adopted sister (older, smarter and much, much cooler), my family lived in Thunder Bay for a while before I was born (we're Australian, but my father was a minister who worked in North America for five years and I was born there), and now I teach children with challenging behaviour, many of whom are in foster care, so I'm signing up to your blog out of sheer curiosity and interest! I hope you can add to your family sooner rather than later and I wish you lots of joy in doing so. Cheers

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