Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What is in a name? That which we call a rose, that any other name would smell as sweet?

Okay, a BIG topic of debate in our house is names. I would like to change Miss K's name. My plan would be to keep her current name as a middle name, but I would like to give her a name. Mike feels strongly that her name is her name, and that at 6 years old we should not be changing it. I understand what he is saying, and my desire to "rename" her is not from disrespect for her or for who named her before. We put so much time and thought into our girls names, and their names mean something to us, and hopefully to them someday. I want to give Miss K the same.

My problem is that her name is perfectly fine, and common here in Canada, and Mike is so resistant, so I need to fine the Perfectly Right name, something that is much better then just fine, or what would be the point in changing it. Recently another RR mother welcomed people to offer name suggestions for her new joy, and I thought it was an excellent idea. I would love for any and all of you out there to suggest a name for our new princess. We are open to pretty much anything, but here are some that will not make the cut (because they are already used in our family).


Destiny
Emily
Maire
Sara
Elizabeth
Ann
Kristina
Mary
Nicole
Kelly
Jessica


We are open to names that are different, and have different spelling. Classic names are okay, but we try not to use overly popular names. Other then repeating names, my own minds limitations could be why I'm having so much trouble finding the perfect name for her.


Look at this little angel, and please leave a comment with a suggestion for her new name.



IMPORTANT!
FOR THOSE IN THE KNOW, PLEASE DO NOT SAY HER CURRENT NAME, AS WE ARE NOT ABLE TO DISCLOSE THIS INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG AT THIS TIME.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our Story, coming soon

I sat down tonight to answer the question, how did you know which child was right for you? I thought that I would write an honest, and thoughtful answer. Because it's me, I figured that it would end up being long, but this has become crazy long. And because it came out of my brain, it requires little side notes to fill you in, and of course my opinion on all of it. Yeah, I need to re read all of it to see what actually needs to be in there. I was writing it to inform, but also to help those who are asking that question. So stay tuned, because it should be here soon.

I will continue this post a little longer, as I do have other things to say, and it's been about a week since I last posted. So, here are a list of things to remember, consider, and comment on:

  1. We will now have a weekly table at the Sutton's Farmers Market, know as FARM. If I can get myself together, we will have some Christmas gift items on Sunday. For anyone local who has not stopped by, please do. The market has much more to offer then I thought that it would, and as the holidays approach I'm told that it will get better.
  2. Our homestudy should be received in the morning, and hopefully sent off to the ministry by the end of the day. I'm very excited to hear from them tomorrow:)
  3. I am working on some fundraising ideas, but I'm not sure it they are any good. So, if anyone local is reading this I would LOVE your opinion on the following,
  4. Pumpkins pies and Apple Crisp - I was thinking about putting out fliers offering these fresh desserts 1 or 2 times per week. They can be delivered or picked up.
  5. Some kind of fresh oven ready dinner. Perhaps Friday night lasagna, where I would drop off a tray of fresh homemade lasagna. Could be a 1 time thing, where you could also get all the fixings for a salad and fresh bread and maybe even dessert, or a weekly thing of just the lasagna.
  6. The lasagna and or the pie/apple crisp would come ready to heat or freeze.

I guess with all of this fundraising talk, what I'm really saying is that I'm looking for ways to bring in extra money for the adoption. This last week has felt like forever sitting and waiting, and we are in a time crunch to get everything done and sent overseas. But once it starts moving tomorrow, there is no slowing down. Once all of the papers are finished in Canada, and I no longer have to paper chase, and everything is mailed off, we will have to start packing and getting ready to leave, because we could have anywhere from 2-8 weeks notice before we have to be in country for our appointment. Considering the time change and the fact that the day starts there 7 hours before it starts here, if we only had 2 weeks notice of our appointment date, that would only be about 10 days notice before we had to travel. Things are happening very quickly, even if at times it seems that they are not. Before we know it, we will have to have all of the money for this adoption ready and in cash...and let me tell you, it's a lot of money. Much more then the $24 000 you read on the RR web site. For some reason adoptions into Canada seem to cost much more then into the US, and the US (for this year) has an adoption refund program instead of the tax credit, which is awesome for all of the US families. But we do NOT have that here. I'm hoping to keep costs as low as possible, but there is only so much you can do.

Please, if you are reading this and you have any idea, opinions, comments etc, please leave them. I love to hear feedback and to know that someone out there is following along.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And, we're at a stand still

Can't believe any of this. Just got word that the people at our agency will not be back in the office until September 29th. Really!? Do you know what this means? It means that our homestudy will NOT be submitted this week, and we will NOT have it back next week. Between the CAS and this we have been held up by more then 4 weeks. That's crazy. Anyone who is completing their homestudy in Ontario, if your sw doesn't hear back from your CAS in regards to your clearance letter within 2 weeks, start calling. Call every hour if you have too. Call supervisors, and directors. Call the your MPP and the ministry if you have too. It was made very clear to me by all who finally called me back, that these letters are NOT a priority for them, and that 2 + months is not unusual to get a response. If you want your letter, you may have to go after it yourself. The longer you wait, the longer they may wait.

Did I mention that our country stops taking new dossiers in November and doesn't start taking them again until sometime in February, and that all of your paperwork expires after 6 months and needs to be redone at your expense? Well, now I have. Also, did I mention that children are transferred sometime between the ages of 4 and 6 years old, and that Kameron will be 6 at the end of November? Yeah, that's true too. We REALLY need our paperwork done very quickly now, so it will arrive in time before the closure, and so that we can be there before they transfer her to somewhere else (and who knows where that somewhere else would be).

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's finally finished

That's right, our homestudy is finally finished. I have it sitting right here on my dining room table, in it's envelop and all ready to go. Mike will put it in the mail first thing tomorrow morning, Express Post. Our agency will have it by Wednesday at the latest. Still holding out hope that it will be at the ministry by the end of this week. I had thought that if it got there is week, we would still be ahead of the game, as I was told that they are processed much quicker then I thought that it would be. But a second look at my timeline today tells me that we are in fact a month behind in my timeline. So, lets REALLY hope that it gets to the ministry before the end of the week, and that our approval comes in before next week is over. Also, please let me receive the list of still outstanding documents, ones needed for the dossier but not the homestudy, SOON, and that I'm able to get these all together QUICKLY. Once this is all together it will still be another 2 weeks before it can be sent to the country as it still needs to be notarized, legalized, and authenticated before mailing over seas. I have been told that it MUST BE IN COUNTRY BY OCT 11TH, and that is not looking possible right now. Once it arrives in the country it will still need to be translated, and there are lots of people with there paperwork sitting over there right now waiting for that step to happen. I'm kind of hoping that they do this with a little bit of a priority list, where the children who are needing immediate medical attention are done first, followed by the kids who are in intuitions or are about to be transferred to one (especially if this can stop them from being transferred - like what I'm hoping for our little girl), and then the other children. Of course I know that you can't just keep letting kids jump to the front of the line, there does have to be some level of first come, fist serve, but there are some little ones, like Miss Layla who need to come home NOW. And I would do anything to make sure that the director of Kameron's orphanage knows that we are on our way and to keep her there until we are able to come for her (which will hopefully be VERY soon)!

Pleaes surround us with your love and prayers that we are able to meet all of the time restaints that I was told I was fighting. I have done EVERYTHING in my power to make them happen, it's no longer in my hands.

The Wonderful Nalle Family

Today is a day of happiness and celebration, Aaron is now official the son of Julia and Rob Nalle, and as such he will be the first child ever to walk out of the intuition that he has known as his home to learn what a real home is. This beautiful child will be home in the US meeting his new brothers, and spending all day with his parents (not just visiting hours), hopefully by this time next week. Please take a look at their blog, as their journey has not been an easy one, but certainly does have a very happy ending. Their story fills me with hope and love, and it will fill you too.

There are many other boys in this institution who have been forgotten, but are available for adoption. Here are 2 of them,

This is Brady and Heath. They both have down syndrome. Brady was born in September 2004, and has a birthday coming up. Heath was born in April 2001. They are 9 and almost 6 years old. That is a very long time to live without a family, without a home. You can learn a little bit more about these boys on the RR web site. If you are someone who considers the idea of adoption, then please take a moment to consider the joy that either (or both!) of these boys could bring to your family.
Congratulations Nalle family, we couldn't be happier for you :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

How to help

Okay here is another link for a variety of ways that you can help. This link will take you to the page for the malnutrition program at the orphanage where Olga was when she passed away. There are tons of other ways that you can help too. Please take a look at their web site when you get a chance, and consider if there is anything you may be interested in helping out with. I can tell you that this organization has been around, and they do what they say they do.

http://www.life2orphans.org/cms/fmct

If you are moved by any of my posts from this evening to help, please leave me a comment and let me know what you're up to. You could be the inspiration that someone else needs to get them helping too:)

Olga

No matter how many times I scroll through the other angels profiles I always look at this little girl and think of my Destiny. I often thought of what Destiny's life would have looked like if she was born in a different country or a previous era. Having our foster son, and learning of his death brought these thoughts on even more, but not just for Destiny, but for little ones everywhere.





Olga, girl born November 30, 2004

Olga is a beautiful girl with brown hair and deep brown eyes. She is almost 5 yrs old and has severe CP. She is not able to walk or do much of anything on her own. But she needs a FAMILY!

From one of our families who visited with Olga in August of 2009: "Little Olga really touched my heart, and I SO hope that she finds a family!!!! She is such a pretty girl with a very, very sweet spirit. Her CP is pretty severe, and I don't believe she sees well. Also, her hips look either to be dislocated pretty badly, or else they are just in a bad position. I didn't hold her or try to do anything with her on this first visit, but I did talk to her, and stroke her face and whisper sweet nothings in Russian to her. At first she seemed a little wary, but after awhile she softened and I could see what a beautiful little girl there was inside. To the right family who could handle her issues, oh, what a blessing she'd be. I just fell in love with her. I do have more pictures if anyone is interested."

This photo was taken during the visit. Unfortunately no one came forward to adopt Olga from the baby home, and she was transferred to an institution. She was very lucky for everyday over the age of 4 yrs that she was able to stay at the orphanage.

Most children like Olga pass away within the first year after being moved to an institution. Olga was no exception to that rule. She passed away in August 2010, alone in an institution.

Most of you will not read this whole post, perhaps you think that I'm advocating for Olga, and don't want to go there. Or maybe it became to sad and you stopped reading. This is a real little girl, who had very complicated needs, but basic needs as well. She needed a family, love, nutrition. Unfortunately, none of her needs where ever meet. If you have read this far, maybe you are wondering what you can do to help children like Olga. Asking you to consider adopting is a really BIG thing, and you would know if you were up for something like that (if you are please email me and I can help get you on the right path). There are much simpler ways to help though. You can donate to a child or a family fund at the www.reecesrainbow.org. For free you could pray and advocate for children all over the world. Another great thing to consider is giving your financial support to organizations who go and help educate people in other countries about how to help these children. Teach them therapies, bring donated equipment and show them how to size and use it...or just make it available. Part of the RR team are in Ukraine right now, you can read about it here http://www.connectingtherainbow.net/. I know that many families in Ontario who have speical needs children end up with a lot of equipment that their children have outgrown and has been replaced, if you are interested in donating any of it please send me an email or comment. I like to get a truck load to ship to a lady in the US who takes the equipment to EE countries for these purposes. With out a wheelchair for children who need it, they will never get to go outside.

Wow, this turned into a rambling post. But I think that it's important, and it is a lot of things that I've been wanting to say. I hope that I have you all thinking, but that I haven't sent anyone into a depression.

Send love out into the world, and it will come back to you. The world could use it.
ooxooxooxooxooxooxooxoo

Fundraising Update

Okay brighter and happier news! Although I have heard of many people bringing in hundreds and even more then a thousand dollars (which is awesome for them), we are very happy with the $310 that our garage sale brought in. I can't imagine what would have happened if we had been able to it the way we wanted....on the coroner of 48 over the long weekend.... It is more then any of us have made at a garage sale before. Thank you to everyone to prayed, sent us love and good thoughts, who donated items, and who helped to make the day (Rox & Julie).

The bake sale went so much better then I could have ever imagined. We sold most of what we brought, and came home with a little more then $80. Unfortunately we did have a visitor who stopped by the table to give us a piece of her mind (which was very loud and negative). At the end of the day though, it was positive, and we plan to return next weekend. Again special thank you to Roxanne and Julie who braved the cold shade for more then half of the day to do this for us.

Tomorrow there will be a money order on it's way to our FSP fund for $400 USD. YEAH!!!! Here, we call that a successful weekend :-)

The horrible possibility....

I never wanted to post this here. It is so very sad and disturbing. But, after what happened toady at the bake sale I feel the need to share the information that I have. Please do not take this wrong. We are NOT adopting Miss K to "save" her. We are adopting her because we strongly believe and feel that she is OUR daughter, and that she is meant to be home with us.





This is Serbia, but it is the same across Eastern Europe. I want to believe that this could not be our little girls future, but the reality is that she has been placed in a special needs room since she arrived at the orphanage, separated from "typical" children. So who knows what her future without a family would hold. At this time we are blessed that she seems to be in one of the better orphanages, but she can NOT stay there. She is lucky to have been there this long. She turns 6 years old in November, at which point (without a family coming for her, and possibly even with one) she will be moved. To where exactly, we can not know, but this is a real possibility.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And the good news keeps coming

I finally got the phone call I have been waiting for since last Friday. My social worker finally has the missing piece of our homestudy puzzle. The York CAS finally faxed his our clearance letter and he now has all of the required documents needed to finish everything up. We have an appointment with him on Monday evening, where we will go over everything and make sure that it's complete. Then he will finalize it and send it off to our agency!!!! The agency only has it for about a day or two before it gets sent to the ministry, which is where it needs to be, as we are VERY behind according to my time line, but we should be caught up soon!

Fundraising Weekend

It's going to be a fundraising weekend, thanks to my baby sister! She is so cute, she just started driving school bus, she has a 2 yr old daughter, she is expecting in April, and she is running around like a crazy lady trying to put together a garage sale on Saturday and a bake sale on Sunday. She is so dedicated to helping to bring her new niece home. She's such a good Aunti:)

This Saturday she is hosting a garage sale at Mum's place. She is still accepting donations, and we can pick them up if you need us too. We have some good stuff. There are bikes, a bike trailer that's barley even used, baby stuff, a paint ball gun, clothes & shoes, bake sale items, and tons more. My father has even donated one of his boats!

On Sunday, she has rented a table at the Sutton's Farmers Market, which is at the Sutton Fair Grounds. She has been busy baking, and so have I, and she is accepting donations as well. There will be lots of yummy treats for all. She will also have some of the hard covered books from the store, for a donation of $2 each, as Mum is closed on Sundays.

Hoping for a great outcome for both, not just for Kameron's fund, but for all of my sister's hard work.

THANKS ROCKY!!!!! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH : -)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feeling a little frustrated

Okay, hang on tight because this is going to be a "venting" kind of post. First, I've spent the last 5 hours working on the new RR web site, and although I am SO VERY EXCITED to see how many families are adopting these children, I am still very saddened by by work tonight. I had to remove 11 children's profiles from the site because their files have been returned to their country....11 children no longer being advocated for on this web site, 11 children who had a chance for their forever families to see them listed here, but who are NOT being adopted...and my little Maggie was one of them. Also a beautiful young girl who reminded me of Destiny was removed because sadly, she passed away in August. And lastly on the sad news, one of the commitments fell through and I had to place a child's profile back on to the web site. There was good things though! I moved many families along in the process, steps closer to being with their child or children. I was also able to move a few children's profiles into the rescued children's area, and I added New Commitments of families who are just starting out. There was also I mixed feelings post, where the family was committed to adopting a little girl, but her birth family has decided to take her home (very happy for the birth family and the little girl, but very sad for the family). The committed family was able to make a commitment to a different child and are getting closer everyday to meeting their son (Yeah! They are still going to adopt and grow their family, and now 2 children from the web site have homes).

In doing all of this work I have been becoming more familiar with the different families who are in different stages of the adoption process. I am amazed at how quickly some are able to get through their paper work etc, and how slowly some other people's process take. People who committed after we did have all ready finished all of their paperwork. There is no way that we would be able to get things done that quickly here in Ontario. I find it very interesting to see how different the laws and legislation is in different countries, provinces, and states, and how sometimes it's as easy as finding a different social worker to get what you want. We would have had to move to get what we really wanted....to a different province, and possibly to a different country.

Now for the super frustrated part...What the heck is wrong with York CAS!!!? I don't need a list, I have one of my own. The real question is, how can they get a way with just not responding to people? I remember in 2008 when our foster son came to live with us and Metro called them, a few times, to see if we could use a room their for visits. They couldn't even be bothered to call them back to say "No", they just DON'T respond. Our social worker sent them a fax request more then 2 months ago now asking for a standard clearance, as is required with all homestudies completed in Ontario. After over a month he then has called them 2 or 3 times to inquire about this. On Friday I called. Guess what, no answer, leave a message. Usually I actually prefer this. I like to be able to call and leave a message of exactly what I want and am looking for, that way they can call me back informed, no long pauses or going on hold indefinitely, no messed up mumbled answers as they try to figure it all out. Well, I left the message, and I guess what....No reply. Well, I will be leaving another message tomorrow, so it will be there for Monday morning, and I will be calling Monday morning. If I don't here back by Monday afternoon, I will have to call and ask for someone else. I don't want to have to go down there on Tuesday as we start swimming lessons on Tuesday, but i don't want to leave it either. We need to get this so we can see our social worker sometime this week so we can FINISH our homestudy. Our deadline is FAST approaching and we are WAY PAST DUE on having our homestudy finished. My original goal was to have it completed by the end of August, but with PRIDE training running so late we had to extend that to include early September. Well now it is the 11th, the ONLY thing keeping me sane at this point is the fact that I was told that we should be able to get our approval within a week of submitting our homestudy, because if I was still thinking that it would take weeks, I would be crying right now instead of just feeling frustrated. I don't understand how other people are allowed to have so much power over your life. Does anyone else feel that way in the adoption process....the sw has to like you and say if you can adopt. They recommend the age and the number of children they think you can handle, and everything rests on them. Without them you can't even start. Then the agency and the country (even if it's your own country) and/or the birth mom....they do the paperwork when they have time, they have info when their ready, they call all of the shots, and then everything else like directors, workers, judges.....I'm not saying that any of these people are bad or slow or anything like that, I'm just saying....I guess I'm saying that I'm a control freak and I hate how little control I seem to have over this whole process.

Okay, I've taken a deep breath and I see what time it is.... I think that it's time to go to bed. Our niece is here for the night, so I'm hoping that I didn't "waste" the time that I couldn't have sleeping to watch movies, work on the web site, check my email, and write this post (most of that all at the same time).

Good night everyone:) Oh, and PLEASE, if you have ever thought about adoption do consider checking out the RR web site www.reecesrainbow.org and wonder if your child is listed there.... If you are someone I know, I've likely matched you with a child already, as I tend to read the profiles as I move them and often a family that I know (and sometimes these are people who I don't know well, just that I know you) comes to mind as I think of personalities clicking, physical traits that are similar, etc....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still Waiting

I know, I know, it seems my post start out like that a lot. I'm not really doing very good at keeping this updated, at least not the way that I hoped that I would. I don't know how much I actually have to say in this post, but there are a couple of things that I wanted to comment on. First an update on our adoption process. We have completed the required PRIDE course, and are waiting for the York Region CAS to supply our social worker with a letter stating that we have never had any child protection issues. Why it's taking them over 2 months to do something that is a standard requirement for all homestudies in Ontario, I'll never know. I'm calling them tomorrow though. I'm done with them holding up our process. Once we have that we can have our final meeting with our social worker and be done with this step. The next step is sending it to the agency so they can pass it on to the ministry for approval. Once we send it to the agency that means that we are officially adopting and we sign a contract with them. Also, that's when all of the big money starts to be owed out. There is a rush on all of this as we need our info to be in country for the fist week in October so that it can be translated and submitted to the powers that be. Let's all hope that I get somewhere tomorrow with my phone call.

Now for my super say news...... My little Maggie is no longer listed on the RR web site. Her file has been returned to her country, and we were NOT able to find a family for this little angel that my heart is completely breaking for. Not that children are interchangeable, but I would like to start advocating a different child. This little girl has completely stolen my heart, and I hope that she finds a family soon. She has a large grant to help with the expense of her adoption. I would love to talk to Mike about the possibility of adopting her after this adoption is completed, but I'm pretty sure that financially there will only be 1 international adoption for us. But if we were able to build her up to a full grant........



This is Victoria F. She is listed as having no brothers or sisters. Her birth date is May 2005, and she has blue eyes and brown hair. She is described as being active and social. She has down syndrome and possibly a cleft lip. This is taken from her RR profile (which for some reason I could NOT cut and paste), "The girl is alive, radiant blue eyes, winning smile, and open face." "..a child wants to love, embrace..." "...and she is always glad to new people, smiles all around, laughing loudly.." "A lovely little girl, clockwork, energetic, affectionate, and sociable, and in general, little girl, whose place at home, at the table with mom and dad, where you can happily talk down, sitting on a high chair, twist and tuck into cakes with apples..." "Likes to play with doll, feeding her, shakes and washes. Girl with easily imiate adults, able to dress with a little help, eating, washes hands, loves affection."

Single Mom's Welcome!!!

Miss Victoria F. has $5018 in her grant to help her family adopt her.

Yes these things were written in a different language by her caregivers and then translated, so it may not all make perfect sense, but you get the picture of what a great daughter she will make someone.

And now some Happy News....the other day I was showing Mike the blog and how to get to our family page on the RR web site and I saw the most beautiful surprise. Someone has donated $20 to our adoption. I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, we feel so blessed to have received your gift. It has also opened our eyes to the fact that we are not as alone in this process as I once thought that we may be.

Fundraising!! My wonderful mother has made up a fundraiser for us. She owns a book store which sells new and used books. Her inventory of used hard cover books at this time is as such that the store does not have enough space to house them all. For a minimum $2 donation you get your choice of hard cover book. She has a table set up in the front of her store, completely dedicated to bringing Kameron home. We even made up flyers to inform everyone of our adoption and RR. So far this week it has been met with interest and kindness. Many people have taken flyers to share with others in our community. My Mum is also making up "packages" of books, flyers, and collection tins for others who would like to help. They can take their package to work, church, family events, or any other place they can think of. We are grateful to my Mum for all of her help to bring our daughter home, and to everyone else who has helped.

Prayers. I recently found out that the amount of people who are praying for us, and sending us love and good thoughts to help us through our adoption process is much greater then I ever thought. Last year we were so touched and moved to see all of the people who surrounded us after Destiny had passed. I wasn't really surprised though, Destiny was a VERY special little girl, and once you meet her she held on to a piece of your heart. See, I thought that those people, the sheer volume of people, were there because of her. I never in a million years thought that there were that many people out that loving and supporting us...yeah, I know, so what does that say about me and my own sense of self worth....well that's a whole different thing. The point is, WOW and THANK YOU. How amazing it is to know and feel your support, and truly how wonderful to not feel as alone. Please keep sending them our way, we are blessed by each thought.

So this turned out to be much longer then I expected. I will be posting again soon, as I'd like to post a copy of the Book Fundraiser flyer. Also there is discussion of having a yard sale next weekend. I'm not sure though, as that's not much time to plan and organize, as we would need to receive donations, pick them up, sort them, and still get everything else together as well. We would also still need to secure a location. More news on that to follow. Wish I could come up with more fundraising ideas, where we are not begging people for money, or doing something where they feel obligated to go to and spend money on.....any ideas would be greatly appreciated:)

OH, can't believe that I almost forgot to mention it. A HUGE congrats to the Nalle family!!!!! I cried and cried with overwhelming joy that Aaron is now officially their son :-)

Blessing of light and love to all
ooxoo