mardi 8 juillet 2014

Writing as a journey...

I have been told to write more. 

-       Write about everything she said, write a minimum of 3 pages a day, just write. 

I like to write but for some reason writing is a difficult exercise for me.  First, I am not good to follow the traditional structure of writing everyday (or several times a week).  I tried many times to record my thoughts in a journal and so far nothing has been successful even my son’s adoption journal that I constantly remind myself to complete one day.  I started a blog four years ago in the hope that being accountable to few readers will help me to keep up with my writing.  However, after two years, my entries (already posted one time a month) drastically declined.  In this perspective you can imagine my reaction when my PhD advisor suggested me to keep a journal.  For me it was a lost battle.  If I never kept a journal more then few weeks or months why this time would work better?

After three years in the PhD program I need to face the sad reality that I did very minimal creative writing.  This situation is critical because I have chose to use writing as a method.  Why? Unfortunately, for now, I can’t explain.  However, for some reason, everything makes me going back to writing but I still don’t write.

I am scared.  I am scared to see incomplete ideas on a piece of paper.  I would like to see all my ideas write as good as they are in my head.  When I think everything seem to be so natural, fluid, organize, clear.  When I write everything seem confuse, partial, artificial.  I understand that writing is a journey and revision allows you to make change and refinement.  However, patience and perseverance are not my strongest qualities.  Don’t yet me wrong I am very determinate.  Determination and perseverance are not the same in my opinion. A combination of both is the best but I have notice that most of the time I am very determinate to reach a particular goal but not necessary perseverant to get it.  How it possible?  I am an 80 % girl.  For me 80 % is easy to get and enough.  I can go over 80 % but it will take me a lot more effort.  Since general expectations in our society seem to be around 60-70 % (and unfortunately even lower in some situations) I am rarely expected to work above the 80 % level.  Never, except in the PhD program.  Now the game is different, as all effort you can put in a project seem never enough.  For an 80 % girl “never enough” is a traumatizing reality, as I now have to work above what I usually expect from myself in the hope to develop a culture of perseverance, precision and patience.  Working on these qualities will directly have an impact of the way I experience my identity and how others will perceive me.  Accepting to work on something I am not will directly affect me, as I will allow change to happen in my life.  Why being so worry about change?  Change is a scary reality because you have to be open to see something different of what you are use to see.  At first, what you will see will be incomplete and partial.  The transformation usually occurs at a low pace (which why patience and perseverance is require to successfully complete the processes) and with time become permanent.  To accept this new identity you have to let go some pieces of your old one that are so familiar (and comfortable) and wear brand new shoes that does not fit at first the shape of what you are so use to see.  Why only stays the person you are if changing is a too painful reality?  Good question.  I hope to be able to reflect about this in a near future.

dimanche 15 juin 2014

5 years already !

5 years ago our dream to become parents was shattered by the tragic new of the bankruptcy of our adoption agency.  It was a very difficult and awful time.  With hope, courage and resilience, prospective adoptive parents choose to keep faith and a miracle happen our agency was rebuild and as you know 16 months later (in November 2010) we received the referral of our beautiful son.  However, the wait is still not done for some families. 5 years of wait, cry, hope, faith…..

On Monday the trial of the former executive directors will start.  May justice be done….

dimanche 23 mars 2014

Pakistan adoption rejected

Pakistan adoption rejected

Recently a decision in this case has been made.  Despite the emotive side in me that would like to see this family reunite, the reality is that when the ministry of social services refuse to give a Letter of no objection if because some basics rules does not seem to have been respected before parents being able to take full custody of their adoptive child.  I am not able to discuss about this specific case however I can share about my personal experience as an adoptive mother.  First of all, you cannot go in another country, take custody of a child (even a relative) and ask Canada immigration to allow the child to come to Canada.  Why ? As much as we want to help orphans or vulnerable children this regulation is in place to protect the safety of the children.  If Canada and others countries would allow this practice it will not take long to unfortunately see an increase with child and human trafficking.

In order to have the Letter of no objection prospective parents need to follow several rules.

1-  First of all, prospective parents need to be registered with their provincial social services ministry and a home study need to be done by an adoption practionner (social work accredited by the provincial ministry).  A minimum a 4 visits and interviews will be done and a report will be submit to the ministry.  Prospective parents will after receive a letter from the ministry allowing them or not to pursue an adoption process.

2-  Work with a country accredited by your province.  International adoption is not allow in all countries and each provinces have their own regulations.  Despite the fact that Saskatchewan does not have a provincial adoption agency, this province strongly recommend to work with an accredited agency from another province and discourage private adoption in order to avoid corruption and conflict of interests.

3-  In many countries, international adoption will be granted as the last solution in the best interest of the child.  Therefore, domestic adoption need to be consider by extended family members before considering the option of international adoption.

When all these requirements are respected, Letter of no objection will be issue in order to allow the child to apply for a permanent residency of a Citizenship visa.  As you can see bring a child to Canada is not easy (and should not be).  As much as we want to see this family reunited, the rules in place need to be respected in order to protect the safety of all the others vulnerable children who could unfortunately be trap in abusive situations.

La version française de ce commentaire sera publiée demain…….

samedi 22 février 2014

Officially expecting !!! / Officiellement "enceinte" !!!

La version française est à la suite de la version anglaise….

I don't know if I still have some readers… However I am reopening this blog because we are now expecting our second child from Ethiopia, a little boy between 2 & 4 years old.  Last June we officially signed with our adoption agency.  Since this time we have been very busy with all the paperwork we need to include in our dossier.  Since we are doing this process for the second time, I though it would be easier.  I was wrong.  Sometimes it better to know and sometimes it better to not know what going on.  As we knew, we started with our home study an evaluation of our family's life, home, medical, income, employment, and security verification.  We were not worry about the conclusion of the report but more exhausted to have to go through this daunting procedure.  Gathering all the necessary papers with two full-time job is not easy as most of the time government office were close when we were able to go.  Medical appointments were another challenge as we had to go several times for different tests (that could not be done all in the same time).  After all the blood tests requested (counted over 8 vials) we waited for the results (some of them need 3 weeks), references letters from family and friends, confirmation of employment, income verification, digital fingerprint and criminal check record, birth certificate + official translation of mine (because my birth certificate is in French), marriage certificate, pictures of our home (inside, outside and recreative areas), school (classroom and playground) and our family's life we were able to send our file to our provincial ministry to have their approval.  Then our file went to our adoption agency for review and send to Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs in Ottawa for official authorization.  Since over 2 months our family's story (dossier of 71 pages) is moving from one desk to another to finally been send to Ethiopia.  I am not talking about all of that to complaint about this procedure but only to help people to understand why it took us so long to have our file officially send to Ethiopia.

Since I know our file is now in Ethiopia I feel much more relax.  Not because we are expecting a referral in a near future because waiting time are very unpredictable.  However we are hoping to welcome our second child in the next 3 years.  The Ethiopian adoption program is like a roller coaster.  As you can see in my previous posts, our first adoption was not easy.  Several things change over our 3 years process.  Some days are easy other are not as this program can be very unpredictable.  Rules that are in place today can be change tomorrow.  We have no control over this whole process except keeping faith and pray.

Why Ethiopia ?  Mainly, because our first son is from this country and we would like they are able to share their cultural heritage.  We have embrace our first adoption with the idea that this experience will be an unique one.  However, quickly after our son's adoption we knew in our hearts that another child from Ethiopia will be part of our family.  We have an empty chair in the kitchen, an empty seat in our car and an empty bedroom in our house.  As much as we love our son, someone is missing.  As a parent we are waiting for our second child and our son is waiting for his little brother.

Thanks to embrace this second adoption journey with us.

Je ne sais pas si j'ai encore des lecteurs… Cependant, je me permet de réouvrir ce blog pour vous annoncer que nous sommes officiellement en attente pour adopter notre deuxième enfant, un petit garçon qui aura entre l'âge de 2 à 4 ans.  Au mois de juin dernier, nous avons officiellement signé notre contrat avec notre agence d'adoption.  Depuis ce temps, nous avons été très occupé avec la recherche des documents nécessaire à la construction de notre dossier.  Puisque nous sommes en train de vivre cette expérience de nouveau, ma première impression fut de croire que se serait plus facile.  J'avais tord.  Parfois, c'est mieux de savoir et parfois c'est mieux de ne pas savoir.  Sans surprise, nous avons commencé le processus avec notre évaluation familiale.  Cette évaluation comprend l'écriture d'un rapport qui présente notre vie familiale, notre maison, notre situation médicale, financière, nos emplois et les vérifications judiciaires.  Nous n'étions pas inquiet des conclusions de ce rapport mais plus éreinté d'avoir à passer au travers cette procédure longue et ardue.  La recherche des documents nécessaire avec deux emplois à temps plein n'est pas de tout repos puisque la majorité du temps les bureaux gouvernementaux étaient fermés lorsque nous étions disponible pour s'y rendre.  Les rendez-vous médicaux furent un autre défi puisque nous avons dû pendre plusieurs rendez-vous pour compléter différents tests (qui ne pouvaient pas se faire en même temps ou au même endroit).  Après toutes les prises de sang (j'ai compté plus de 8 fioles de prélèvement), nous avons attendu les résultats (certains avaient un temps d'attente de 3 semaines), des lettres de références écrites par nos familles et nos amis, la confirmation de nos emplois, les vérifications financières, les empreintes digitales et judiciaires, nos certificat de naissance + la traduction officielle du mien (car il est en français), le certificat de mariage, plusieurs photos de notre maison (intérieur, extérieur, parcs), l'école (salle de classe et cour d'école) ainsi que des photos de notre vie familiale nous avons été en mesure d'envoyer notre dossier aux services sociaux de notre province pour avoir leur autorisation.  Notre dossier a ensuite été envoyé à notre agence d'adoption afin d'être révisé et par la suite envoyé au ministère des affaires étrangères de l'Éthiopie à Ottawa pour recevoir les étampes officielles.  Depuis plus de deux mois, l'histoire de ma famille (un dossier de 71 pages) se promène d'un bureau à l'autre et finalement a pu être envoyé en Éthiopie.  Mon choix de vous révéler tous ces détails n'est pas pour me plaindre de cette situation mais plutôt d'aider les gens à comprendre pourquoi ce fut si long avant que notre dossier puisse être envoyé en Éthiopie.

Depuis que notre dossier est maintenant en Éthiopie je me sens beaucoup plus détendue.  Non pas parce que nous attendons une proposition très bientôt parce que les attentes sont difficiles à prévoir.  Cependant, nous avons espoir de pouvoir accueillir notre 2e enfant dans les trois prochaines années.  
Le programme d'adoption en Éthiopie est comme des montagnes russes.  Comme vous pouvez le voir dans mes messages précédents, notre première adoption ne fut pas facile.  Plusieurs changements ont eu lieu pendant nos trois années d'attente.  Certains jours sont plus faciles et d'autres sont plus difficiles car ce programme peut être imprévisible.  Les règles qui sont en place aujourd'hui peuvent être changé demain.  Nous n'avons aucun contrôle sur l'ensemble du processus à l'exception de garder la foi et de prier.

Pourquoi avoir choisi l'Éthiopie ?  Principalement parce que notre premier fils vient de ce pays et qu'ils pourront partager cet héritage culturel.  Pendant notre première adoption notre idée était que cette expérience serait unique.  Cependant, très rapidement après l'arrivée de notre fils nous savions au plus profond de notre coeur qu'un autre enfant provenant de l'Éthiopie viendrait se joindre à notre famille un jour.  Une chaise est vide dans notre cuisine, une place est libre dans l'auto et une chambre est disponible dans notre maison.  Malgré tout l'amour que nous portons à notre fils, quelqu'un est absent.  En tant que parent nous attendons notre deuxième enfant et notre fils attend son petit frère.

Merci de vous joindre à nous dans cette aventure extraordinaire qui nous mènera vers notre deuxième enfant.