Saturday, 31 December 2011

Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year!

2011 was an amazing year! New connections were forged, some were lost, but all and all, it has been a blast. 

I had my first short story about a garden fairy and a gargoyle king called "Killing Kindness" published in "Shelter of Daylight."  I have to acknowledge Tyree Campbell who is the editor of Aoife's Kiss who has accepted almost all my poems that I have submitted and has given me a firm belief that I do have talent!  THANK YOU!

Currently I'm working on a Novel series, I have several started, but after writting about half way through them I've learned I needed to go further into the history, so having three half finished novels, with brief outlines on a few others I found the start of the series. Which seems to be flying now that I've set a word goal of 5000 words a week (with some exceptions coming into play).

I've enjoy the time I've spent with my sisters and friends, and I always look forward to hosting potluck Friday nights.  My kids are growing up and are happy, Alex has started working a McDonalds and is such a hard worker.  He has a girlfriend whom he seems to adore and she him.  Preston has friends this year and I'm hoping this year we can have a party with him.  Cyrus is my Prince Charming, the one who always watches out for me in the way that little boys do.  His smile is quick, and his is my darling.

I've rediscovered my love of fishing, and have often taken the boys out over the summer.  I'll even confess that I'm seriously considering ice fishing this winter.     

Life with Dale continues to be amazing, he is my sun and touches every aspect of my life with such wonder.  He is my best friend, and I love him more with each passing day. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the coming new year will bring new friends, new experiences and most importantly that we will have a daughter to call our own. 

I wish you all well and hope that the coming New Year will bring many joys to you life.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Moment to Share....

As we are getting ready for Christmas the boys have been excited as they know they we'll be getting a new game system (just not which one) and it has been a heated topic of debate between them.  While his two older brothers were in another arguement over what games they would purchase with their Christmas money at the kitchen table, Cyrus asked what my favourite colour was.  I told him purple, but lately I've been into pink, making a joke about how I have to make up for all the boyishness in the house.

Cyrus laughed and said, "don't worry mom you won't be alone cause we're getting a sister."  His expression because serious and then he said, "you know what Mom, I love her already."

I hugged him and and told him that I do too.  It touches my heart to see how open he is to having a sister to share his life with.  I know I shouldn't be surprised, as Cyrus has been asking for a sister since he was in kindergarten, but this is the first time I've heard him him say this.

Merry Christmas Everyone & Have a Rock'n New Year!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Waiting to start Part 2 (completing the dossier)...

Things have been quiet on the adoption side of things.  We are just in a holding patterned for the most part until our adoption agency tells us when we can start working on paper work.   I know people said the adoption process is a long one, but somehow I had hoped that things would be faster for us.  It certainly didn’t help that our former family doctor’s office put a 2 month delay on us and then another “friend” delayed us another few  weeks on top of it.   

I was hoping for a late winter or spring adoption but I am not certain it will happen before summer hits.  I am keeping my fingers crossed and my spirit in good faith.  I feel so close to having a daughter in our home for Christmas, and the fact that I don’t puts a damper on me this year.  I enjoy my boys’ excitement at this time of year, and there are plenty of giggles and laughter going around, but that feeling of not being a complete family sticks like a thorn in my heart.
If I don’t write more this month, let me say Happy Holidays to all, and may your holiday celebrations be filled with all the happiness the season has to offer. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Coming up to the year mark...

It was almost a year ago that we decided to adopt internationally (even though I had long to adopt from the Ukraine).

This has been a long process with many hidden debts, stalling, disappointments and heart breaks (and we haven't even started dealing with the Ukraine side of things).  We finally have our papers being sent to the adoption minstery, and have been informed that a Government office (unclear if it is ours or the Ukraine's) will be closed for the month of December.  It looks like we've got our papers in the nick of time, and I am not complaining. 

Thank goodness for Christmas.  I throroughly enjoy the season, not so much the reglious side of it, I must confess, as I view it more of a season of giving, being kind to your fellow man and so forth.  I know life should be like that all the time, though too often most of us our caught up in our own lives.  Having a season that encourages people to take a kinder look to one another is a magical thing to me.  If every day was Christmas, what a world we would create.

A part of me feels a great saddenss in my heart that this year I don't have our daughter celebrate with.  I was hoping to that it could happen, but the fates decreed that this year was not to be.  Still I can't help the images of belting out Silver Bells with my sons and daughter while we bake Christmas goodies.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Photo Album ~ A Time Killing Project...

If you have ever had the experience of meeting family you didn't know.  Other than knowing you are related to them but names/faces and how they fit in the family, things can easily become a blur.

My father kept us estranged from his side of the family throughout our childhood with one or two exceptions, and even then we only saw them one or twice a year.  It wasn't until after I was married that I reconnected with my father's side of the family, and there were over twenty people I was related to and didn't have a clue who they were.  Some of them used to babysit me, and do my hair, none of which I remember.

If meeting this side of my family was overwhelming for me, can you image how it must be for an adopted child?  My Aunt Kay put together a family ablum for me and my sisters, so we could see how we all connect. It was a lot of work on her end but I treasure it. We trade off the album at Christmas, and it has become something of a tradition now.

With this in mind I've decided to do the same sort of thing with our adopted child.  I've emailed several family members to send me pictures of their family.  I've asked for a group photo with all of their immediate family members in it, as well as another photo that may or may not have everyone in it.

The plan is to help the child intergrate within the family and not be overwhelmed.  I do plan on doing small douses with family visits.  But there is no getting around the Albers Thanksgiving which has almost 30 people crowded around an immensely long table.    I've also put in pictures of our house/her bedroom/ kitchen and family room so she can get a feel as to what to expect. And labels, names, what the picture is about and so on.

Even with the busy Christmas season rounding the corner, I still find myself getting impatient and wanting things to hurry along.   I'm not a scraping booking sort of person, but this is enough for the time being to make me feel closer to bringing our daughter home.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Abused as a child & wanting to adopt...

Part 1 Finished (Dare I say offically?)

With international adoption, I've surmise that it happens in three parts.  Part one being dealing with an adoption practitioner.  A complete expose on on you, your husband, your children (though not as much) and other adults living with you should you have them.

I will say for those who have grown up with abuse, regardless of the form it comes in, and you want to adopt.  The home study process can strike a cord that you may not expect and fill you with a heavy load of self doubt, and remind you of things that you had thought you had overcome.  There are questions in the questionaire that you may not want to answer truthfully, are ashamed of, and may even be in complete denial with it.  My advice as someone who has gone through this and faced some personal demons.  It is okay to be truthful, and as long as you understand that how you were abused/raised/ treated/ was wrong, and you do not incorporate it into your own life and beliefs you shouldn't have any thing to worry about (though I suspect that you will).

Having gone through this twice, I will say that find an adoption practitioner who will not judge you because of your parents mistakes (it pains me to say this but there are some out there who believe that the apple always falls close to the tree).  It is okay to go to therapy and discuss your childhood issues and work them out if you need to, before you being the home study process.  In fact I would encourage you to do it before the home study ~IF you haven't come to terms with your abuse, as well as your abusers.  If you have and found other ways to overcome your abuse and your abusers then kiddos to you! Nevertheless be forewarned, you are going to have to visit the past, recall painful memories and share aspects of yourself that won't be pleasant, and you may discover that you really haven't put it all behind you.  Or maybe the opposite just might be true, one thing I can tell you it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster of a ride so brace yourself and have the tissues handy.

On a side note, should you decide to go to therapy your adoption practitioner will need a letter from your therapist, however, this letter will show that you are working to overcome your past, if you haven't already.

My advice is to be honest with youself and your adoption practitioner.  The best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of yourself , and show your adoption practitioner that despite how you were raised and the abuse you experienced, you've overcome the challenges and have broke the cycle of abuse.  I know it isn't always easy, but paying attention to yourself helps.

Somethings I have done and still do when dealing with my children are:

Go over what went well and what didn't, and what you could have done better.
Learn what your triggers are.  (hunger, and lack of sleep are mine)
Learn what your child's triggers are stay ahead of them.
Be patient.
Pick your battles.  (If you child doesn't want to wear mittens, it is okay, when their hands are cold they will, so stuff them in their pockets or bag.)

And remember no one is perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  Just do your best.

Again, I will stress make sure you are comfortable with your adoption practitioner.  Discuss your concerns in that first meeting.  You will most likely have to pay for their time, but it is well worth the effort. I hope this helps ease some of the fears abused propective parents may have about adopting, or at least give you a better understanding of what to expect in terms of the homestudy process. 

It isn't easy, and yes while I wait for the government's approval saying that I can adopt, a part of me is terrified that they will say I am unfit.  Why would they? I have no logical explaination.  I am just scared that I have a black stain in my records, even though that stain really belong to someone else.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Adopting Internationally with a child in tow.

I've heard or rather read about families who have done this.  Personally, we would love to take the whole family with another adult in tow.  However, we are not rich people.  Dale being away hunting has been hard on our youngest child.  He is extremely sentistive and worries a lot.  I suppose my car accident two years ago really struck a chord with how fragile life can be. 

We weren't planning on taking any of our children, but I think it would be best if we brought Cyrus along with us. The others are teenagers and they'll probably have a blast without us.  (Don't worry we have trusted adults who will be filling in the role of caretaker while we are going through this).

I'll need to read up again of tricks and tips to entertain when travelling with kids.  The Complete Guide to International Adoption had a whole chapter on how to deal/entertain kids.  I'm looking forward to reading it again. 

On a side note I purchase a grief box today for our daughter.  Winners has some lovely cardboard boxes shaped like treasure chests done up in pretty paper.  I picked up one that is covered in butterflies.  I thought it would be fitting since butterflies are a symbol of change, and stating the obvious "adoption is change."

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Hunting Hold Up...

Dale took the week off of work to go up north and do some hunting with his buddies.  I'm excited for him as he has never done anything like this for himself.  However, we recieved an email from our adoption agency that we need to sign some papers.  Dale's in the wilds and cell phone towers are far and few.  He only calls at night and keeps his cell phone off during the day as the battery dies fast searching for signals. 

So we have another week delay, unless they can bag all their tags and come home early.  Personally I can't wait to experiment cooking with bear and vension, not to mention that this will cheapen our grocery bill. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Home Study Papers Signed...

Four months along and finally we have pasted the first milestone.  Now we find ourselves in a holding patterned while we wait for our stamp of approval saying that we have the Ontario’s government’s permission to adopt, and the agency’s go ahead to start collecting the papers they are are in need of.

Dale’s VOG certificate came in the mail yesterday and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. 
I wish I could go into more details about some things (especially with what transpired in the past two weeks) but I won't.  I am too emotionally drained but needless to say there were bumps, bruises and hurt feelings along the way.  Nevertheless what is done is done and it is time to move forward.
I am excited, nervous and incredibly happy.  I pray that the fates will be kind.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


This has been an extremely draining week.  If you've read my previous post then you can more or less gather what has happened.  I've decided that I'm not going to blog about the on goings just yet....but I will.   Things are still up in the air and are very senstive.  I'll post more later.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Homestudy Visit Done!

What a difference!  Compare to the first time I did this, this one a huge success.  I did warn our adoption practitioner that it would make for a crazy time, (just after school with my daycare kids) and it was, but the kids were good and happily decorating cupcakes while we toured the house with her. 

The only one glitch was hearing back from her that one of my friends still hadn't submitted the referral.  So I gave her another friend who is more than happy to do it for me.  I will add here make certain that your friends are willing to give you a good review/and be on time with submitting the referral. 

My emotions are drained, and my heart feels like it has been put through a wringer.  If the tables were turned I would not have done this to her.

*I've been debating about going into more depth with this, and decided that this isn't the time.  Just take my advice and be extremely selective about who you ask to do your referral.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Being Calm & Collect ~ Easier Said Than Done

It is amazing how some things can be amplified over the course of a night. I thought I had my need to have a perfect house under control, only to have lists of tasks jumping around in my head bringing along a surge of panic.  

So to this I am going to write a list and do the things on the list as most important and not worry about the smaller things like dusting the window sills, or touching up the chips of paint in the hallway, and do my best to remember no mother is perfect.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Preparing for Home Study Visit...

After finally getting the VOG (certificate of Good Conduct) forms to the Netherlands, we are schedule to have our home visit from our adoption practitioner next week. 

 I know when we went through this the first time around I was obsessed  with having the house perfect and that turned out to be a disaster of a visit.   The house was immaculate but the kids were too stressed out and nervous.  Their learning disabilities and behaviour hit the fan so to speak,  not that they were bad, but having Cyrus ask if he can have a glass of wine to drink, (which never happens) left me so flabbergasted I didn’t know  to say.  Needless to say I am not making that mistake again, I will remain calm so my kids will be calm.  Ever notice how parents are the spearhead of emotions, and when one is cranky everyone else follows suit?    
With this in mind I am aiming for clean and tidy instead of perfection.    
I might post some of the kids drawings on the fridge, or maybe on a bulletin board.  I haven’t decided on that.  We need to make changes to Preston’s routine, so a bulletin board may be the way we go.
But other than getting a lock box for the medicine I think we are pretty much all set.  Keeping my fingers crossed and taking plenty of relaxing breathes. 

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sibling Group Adoption... (International or not)

With everything that I`ve read I have to say that at some point I would love to adopt a sibling group.  Not just a small one but an insanely big one.  I am talking 5-7 kids, they are out there, and though I will give a cautionary warning that though adoption isn`t for the faint of heart, and adopting a sibling group would offer its own unique challenges.  It is on my life list of things I would like to do.

Despite our intial plan of adopting a pair of siblings, and reading up on R.A.D. (Reactive Attachment Disorder) we switched to adopt a single girl.  I don't regret this decision as it is not just myself that is involved.  However, I do tend to view this adoption more as getting "the feet wet before jumping into the lake" experience.  

With all my heart I want to open my home and my life to a large sibling group, and I hope that, that one day, will come soon enough. 

If you do wish to adopt a sibling group, take lots of time with the children before you make your final decision and be informed.  Some siblings groups have issues with jealousy, and view their siblings as threats rather then friends.  Living in different homes/orphanages can compound these views. 

Adopting a teenager can be a wonderful thing, don't be threatened if they take on the role of parent.  Work with them on it, they've been parenting their siblings for years, and that isn't easy to reliquish. 

On a final note, Life can royally suck. It kicks, bites, and even spews septic gunk at you.  But sometimes, just sometimes there is a soft bed, a kind word or even a smile that shows someone noticed you.  I want to give that to feeling of worth to others who have been through the worst of life.  And if the Fates be willing I will do so, again, and again, and again, and again.

Monday, 26 September 2011

AHH! Certificate of Good Conduct (Vog)

Why is something so simple as filling out a form can be so tedious?

Dale filled out the form via the link he was directed too, and submitted it to the appropiate department.  Good Grief!  The Netherlands are no longer accepting the form in foreign languages (and that is including English).  Trying to look at the bright side of things here despite it is a down right pain in the derriere. 

We now know what exactly Dale needs as well as the cost involved in getting this certificate, and for finially being able to see the light at the end of this tunnel, I am happy.

Dale`s Dutch is rusty, not to mention most of the words on the form are beyond his recogniation to which I give a big THANK YOU  to  Google Translator! 

I thought we were done with VOG, but I`m daring to be hopeful this attempt will be a home run.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Netherlands Police Check ~ Certicate of Good Conduct or VOG

Yes! and Finally!

We found someone who knows what we, rather Dale is suppose to do.  It was extremely frustrating trying to find someone who would get back to us on what it was we needed to do.  But with the help of someone from the Dutch embassy we managed to get back on track.  They sent us a link that had the appropriate forms to be filled out. 

The only glitch was our adoption practitioner said that she wasn't suppose to do the form letter we needed and that the agency had to do it.

Then our agency said that the adoption practitioner was to do it.  (images of another bout of ping pong with people danced before my eyes.)  So I emailed them both copying each other on what the other said and took myself out of the equation. 

The end result was that my adoption practitioner had the form that the agency needed and Voila! Cooperation!

Dale now has the form ready to send and it is another item checked off our list.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Ukraine Adoption Update...(Netherlands Interpol check)

Does twiddling your thumbs count?

It is the waiting part that I find so tedious.  I called our agency worker yesterday to give her an update on our status which is pretty much the same.  Waiting on papers, but what is killing us is that Dale is having an extremely diffcult time trying to track down who to contact in regards to an Interpol check for the two years he was in Holland for.

No one is emailing us in regards to what is needed and how to go about this process so we can get it done.  Dale has done both the Dutch embassy here, the Canadian embassy there, the Netherland's version of the RCMP, and so far his requests have been met with silence. 

Our adoption practitioner says that it is a relatively quick process but it would be awesome if we could figure out who to contact so we can get started with the "quick" process. 

So we are at a total stand still until we can get this sorted out. 


Monday, 5 September 2011

Ukraine Change Up...

I kow that the Ukraine Government has a habit of changing things a lot when it comes to dealing with international adoption.  I am not complaining by any means (though it often does throw a wretch into adopting parents plans) in fact I am please that the government has taken such a strong interest in the welfare of their children.

I am a little slow on the up take on their latest change as out agency had informed me a couple of weeks ago that the Ukraine Governemt has issued a new change in which children over the age of 5 are only available for international adoption.  This is a moot point for us as we are hoping to adopt a girl 6-9 years old. 

I have read up a lot of RAD.  Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is a main concern when adopting orphans.  I believe that there is a need for people to look to adopting older children.  It bothers me when I tell people that we are adopting an older child and all they see are the negatitives.  As one relative put it recently, "that is a lot of money to put out for a bag load of problems."

I get their point, better than they do.  They want me to adopt a baby, or toddler.  Babies and toddlers make me exetremely uncomfortable, they are so fragile and I am not very good at figuring out their needs, though I do try to meet them.  I know I have had three babies of my own, but the idea of adopting an older child that I can relate too on a more personal level does appeal to me.

I've heard it before, and I'll say again.  Adoption isn't for the faint of heart.  Dale and I know that this is right for us, and we are willing to learn and adapt to meet our child's needs.  It bothers me when people can't see beyond the negativity of adopting. To me it is no different that giving birth to a special needs child, there are no guarantees: things go wrong, and things go right. You get the card you are dealt and deal with it the best that you can.

So to all those who thing we're making a big mistake, I say God Bless You! 

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Last bits of Paper for Home Study


I can't believe it has taken this long to get our papers together for the homestudy report.  Dale still needs his Interpol report from the two years he lived in Holland.  One of my friends didn't send in her forms, (it was an exetremely busy Summer for her), and Dale is waiting on another friend to fill out forms for him (it turns out that you can't have recommendations from the same household).  All well, that is how things go.

Still it is at the nail biting stage for me.  We are so close to having step one completed, and then it is a couple of months till we get approval from the Ontario Government then another set of papers to be gathered that the agency needs.  I am hoping for a very speedy part two.  It has been a draining part one. Once we have the papers handed in, our adoption practitioner will do the home visit and meet with the boys. 

I wanted to be done this stage weeks ago!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I Just Want The Brownies To Bake...

It has been one of those days where the time crawls, or flies really fast and I've fallen behind. Nothing get done (at least the way it is suppose to) and I'm just floundering.

I am so ready to pull my hair out, and possibly shed a couple of tears.  Not that I am one for crying but I am in the mood for a "Good Cry," not that I really have anything to cry about.  :P 

I suppose I could say that my bad day really started last night with my two younger boys yelling at the neighbours who had friends over (no it wasn't even a party) to "Shut up!"  I smacked myself in the forehead over this one.  I know that they might have gotten confused due to  another neighbour having a pool party on a weekday night complete with actual and constant screaming from their guests, however this was nothing like it. 

So making brownies was on my to do list and have the boys go over and apologize with them.  This making brownies has taken all day!

I woke up with a headache that turned into a migrain.  I don't get them often thank goodness, and Advil helps make it at least bearable.  My daycare kids arrived, and I served grill cheese sandwiches for lunch without incident.

I did what I wanted to do today for the most part, and my kids weren't bad, a little loud perhaps but gentle reminders that if they didn't cease the yelling I'd be taking their DSI's away worked.

The kids went with me to Svetec Farm where they could run around catching chickens, petting goats and play in their yard.  It took longer than I had thought to get my order, but the kids were happy playing while we waited.  I just don't know where the rest of the day went.  Phone calls, running a quick errand for my sister and still at 10 minutes to 7pm the brownies will not cook.  They are still in the oven and I still want to decorate them.

I need sleep, a good night sleep without any adoption worries.   I started the brownies at 4:30, I don't know how they managed to take this long, I did put Preston in a "Time In" there were more phone calls, and a few arguements but I still have unbaked brownies, and the oven is working fine.

I haven't even started dinner yet, I just want to say stick a toothpick in me, "I'm done," but alas I am no batch of brownies, (or maybe I am).   And so I'll go and make dinner, and hope it won't take as long as these dang brownies.

***Brownies were made at last and decorated at 8:30pm but no one was home.  Good Grief!  Dinner was a bust, my chicken quesdillas (sp?) were way too spicy for the kids so we ended up doing something we've tried really hard not to and ordered in. 

It's days like this were I just adore my husband.  He makes the screw ups so easy to bear, and is everything I need to get through them.  God I love him.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Still putting pieces together...

There hasn't been much to write about these past few days.  At least not about our adoption proceedings.  We have our third meeting with our adoption practioner and than it is the home meeting.  Our house is almost ready to pass inspection.  I just need to purchase a lock box for our medicine and organizing my collections of loose papers.  I loathe dealing with papers.  I find it very satisfying to go through a handful of them and discovering the ones I can actually toss into the recycling bin. 

But as for this meeting, there is 44 questionaire. The first 20 Dale and I had to answer individually, and it was emotionally draining for me.  Dale's family might as well have been "The Cleavers," from "Leave it to Beaver".   Just picture June Cleaver with black hair and that is Dale's mom right down to the dresses she wore, and still does.

The stuff about my present was easy, but digging through childhood memories wasn't pleasant at all. 

How sad is it that I don't have one truly happy memory of my me and mother.  I know she was happy when she was visiting friends, and had friends over.  I know we made Jell-o once when I was really little, but even that I recall a tension in my belly.  She wasn't a happy person to say the least.  I think I summed it up best when I said she liked the idea of being a mom, but resented the work involved. 

Being a mom is work, it can be gruelling, and you will be unappreciated at times, but also it can be a whole lot of fun if you put the effort into it.  I find myself suckered into a game of Zingo, (like Bingo) with Preston and Cyrus, but there is something delightful about sitting at the dinning room table and playing Sorry, or another board game.  Some days the kids want to play Monopoly, and we have the game set out for days, playing an hour or so every evening, until someone wins, or they loose interest.

In fact as I am writing this, I do feeling like playing "Sorry".  Preston and Cyrus had a sleepover in Preston's room, and the two of them were up late giggling and talking.  "I'm tempted to wake them up to play, but alas I'll guess I'll let themselves wake up on their own, maybe after breakfast...or maybe not, as I did promise to take them fishing this morning. 

All well, there is always time after dinner.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

TDH Ukraine Christmas Hosting Program for Orphans.

Dale and I already decided that we arent' going forward this year, due to our own adoption plans however, I wanted to pass this along. 

Dear friends,
We are happy to announce the Urkaine Hosting Program for this Christmas, tentative date of arrival 18th of December, for 2 weeks.

It is a program that TDH Canada runs where kids from orphanages in Ukraine come to spend a vacation in a Canadian family.

What can be a better Christmas present for yourself, your family and a person whose life you will change forever?

Good news this year:

-no age requirements for your children (they can be younger than the child you host)

-single parents can participate.

Please find all the details, requirements, FAQ and application form at

YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROGRAM JUST SPREADING THE WORD and forwarding this information to anybody that could be interested or could help find other families.

There is no advertising budget!

Thank you.

Don´t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Luba Grakhova
TDH Canada
514 658 49 66
514 632 23 62 cell (available on cell starting from 26 August)

If you don´t want to receive this message or received it by error, please reply to it indicating so.

Chers amis,

Nous annonçons le programme des vacances pour les enfants de Ukraine ce Noel, de 18 décembre pour 2 semaines.

C´est un projet que TDH Canada fait ou les familles peuvent accueillir un orphelin pendant les vacances.

C´est le mieux cadeau de Noel q´on peut faire pour soi-meme, vos enfants et une personne la vie de laquelle vous allez changer pour toujours.

De bonnes nouvelles cet année:

-pas de requeriments de l´age de vos enfants (il peuvent être plus jeunes que l´enfant qui vous accueillez)

-les familles monoparentaux peuvent participer aussi.

La page en français va sortir bientôt, pour maintenant s´il vous plait trouver des détailles en anglais, des questions fréquents et formulaire d´inscription ici:

VOUS POUVEZ CONTRIBUER EN ENVOYANT CETTE INFORMATION a tout les personnes que peuvent être intéressées ou peuvent aider a trouver des familles d´accueil. On n´a pas de budget publicitaire! Merci.

N´hésitez pas me contacter pour tout les questions

Luba Grakhova
TDH Canada
514 658 49 66
514 632 23 62 cell (vous pouvez me rejoindre au cellulaire des le 26 aout)
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Monday, 22 August 2011

Back from Camping...

It's hard to see how bright, funny, kind and thoughtful your kids are, and yet at the same time so disadvantaged. 

The term "Micro Managing" has been a coin phrase in our family these past few weeks.  Due to Dale's impulsive nature to manage everything thing.  He isn't controlling in how he does it, he just offers adviced, I give him the look which says, "I know how to do it." and he raises his hands, and backs off laughing. 

Camping this year has been an experience.  The kids are older now, I have two teenagers, but they ALL  need to be mirco managed to some degree.  Common sense and following simple instructions is not easy for them.  Alex believes he understands, wants to PROVE himself.  So when it came time for him to take the backseat out of the van, which I repeatedly told him it was the backseat I wanted out.  Alex refused to listen to his younger brother and took the middle seats out of the van instead. 

I realize that it's really is no big deal, but I could tell he felt his LD weighing him down.  It is so frustrating that language confuses him.  So after letting him vent off his frustration together we put the seats back in the van and took out the backseat together.  Then I put him in charge of packing up the van while I did things inside.  Alex wanted the coolers in the van right away, which I hadn't finished packing, and after repeating several times that they weren't packed I showed him all the stuff that needed to go into them before I could let him have them.  After that he gave up on the coolers, and put his focus into packing the tents, lawnchairs, beddings and other camp items, Dale had pulled out the night before.

Preston packed up his and Cyrus' things, I only asked for the basics, swimming shorts, PJ's, Hoodies, and extra socks.  Preston can be a rock when he wants too, and this was one time he shone.  He made sure Cyrus had two sets of Pj's, five pairs of underwear, two pairs of pants, shorts.  He did an incredible job.

However, when packing for a camping trip, there are a lot of things that need to be done, the house cleaned, dishes and cooking untensils, camping gear, food, matches, sleeping bags, pets looked after, I can't count how many times I was being "MOM!"ed and had to stop what I was doing to re tell, demostrate, problem solve and so on, from everything to our dog's food container missing the lid to showing Cyrus where the fishing tackle box was, (right where I said it was).  I realize that to some this may seem normal to some degree, but not when they aren't being lazy, or diffcult.  It is hard to see them struggle when they are really excited and are really trying hard to do what needs to be done.  We laugh a lot, and help each other out, without trying to step on toes. 

The end result was a fully packed van, albeit with some items left behind, (which I have only myself to blame), two broken fishing rods, and a somewhat tidied house.  But I have learned long since, that sometimes you have to pick and chose your successes, and for me leaving with enough time to get to the camp well before dark was my success!

By the time Dale arrived at the campsite, (he was spending a rare day golfing) we had two tents set up, complete with air mattresses and sleeping bags.  It was a good end to a hectic day.

We survived, we stayed (mostly) dry despite the storm that blew in off the lake, and spent the days, lazying in the sun, swimming at the beach, hiking through the woods, and as a special treat for Me, an award winning  breakfast buffet at a local restuarant.

My only regret was the hurried good byes that were offered at the Wood Family Picnic.  The storm blew in hard and fast and everyone scattered to their vechiles.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Russian Overload, learning the language.

After months of practicing speaking Russian, and learning sentences like:

I understand you.
I do not understand you.
Help us understand.
Are you hungry or thristy?
What hurts?
Did you have fun?
Days of the week
Drinks Tea, coffee, milk, water, juice, pop
May we see...the menu, manager, director
It's very hot,
Thank you,
I love you.
We have three boys.
We have a dog and a cat.
It's all good.
How are you? (With all the acceptable responses.)
What is your name?
You are a beautiufl little girl.

and so much more.

Apart of me wants to stop, give it a rest.  I love learning the language, though my mind is tired of it.  However, I know that if I do stop I will lose some of it.  Oddly enough I am starting to learn to read it, (or at least starting to sound out the words if not fully understand them), and can now make my own simple sentences. 

Last week I learned that verbs have a different endings depending on the person(s) you are referring too. (I, she/he, They, you) And they have a lot of ways to say "to go"  all of which depends on if you are with someone, how you are getting there, what you are carrying. 

I wasn't aiming to be fluent, and honestly I never expected to take it this far.  I am glad I did, and will continue to do so, though by the time we adopt I expect I really won't be fluent, but I think I will have an incredible understanding of their vocabury.

I just hope I don't suffer from burnout.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Festive Ukrainian Cooking...

I never thought I would be one to read a cookbook from cover to cover, but this is one that is loaded with tidbits of information.  If you are just getting to know the Ukrainian culture, and would like to know it better, this cookbook is a great place to start.  It took the author Marta Pisetska Farley eight years to put it together, after researching recipes that have been handed down through stories and songs.  Apparently a lot of the Ukraine recipes are passed down, where the measurements are, and handful of this, a pinch of that and so forth.

The cookbook follows the Ukraine calendar year listing off traditional holiday customs, with recipes to match.  Before each recipe there is a little write up, which is insightful as well as informative. 

Reading this book I picked up on some of my Grandmother's quirks.  My mother thought its was weird when my grandmother would often pack a picnic and have them eat it in the graveyard.   It turns out that the Ukraine people made a day of cleaning up their beloved graves and had a feast right there afterwards.  They believe that the spirits of their loved ones are close by and protect the living and for this they make a point of honoring them.  Personally, I think it is a beautiful way to keep the ones who've passed away close to our hearts.

Another thing that made me chuckle was my grandmother always offering us food.  We would be stuffed, but she wanted us to eat more and more.  She would often hold out a bowl to the men and say "you can finish off that little bit of potato." The unfortnate victim would then find themselves being given another two servings (though usually more) of the dish.

Being Canadianize I feel that my hertiage is more of a hodgepodge of cultures that have been watered down to nothing.  I did find out (I had believed our family was from Russian) that my Great-Great Grandfather was born in Odessa. I have Scottish on my Dad's side, but I am a result of a watered down culture.  We have no real traditions except what we make for ourselves.  Finding out about this connection is exciting, more so because I had wanted to adopted from Russia but felt the pull more to the Ukraine.  It was after we had already started the process to adopt from the Ukraine that my aunt gave me our family's history.  I was already willing to embrace the Ukraine culture when we adopted our child, but now it is more than that.  It's me connecting to my own hertiage and that is truly exciting.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Culinary Experience...

The past couple of days I’ve been pulling Ukrainian recipes off the internet in an effort to learn more about the culture. 

I’ve made Borsch (Beet soup).  The family didn’t care for it much, so I added a couple of beef bouillon cubes.  The next day when I served the leftovers every single one of them came back for seconds and then thirds. 

The Ukrainian Apple cake came out very well, and today I plan to make Lazy Vareniki,  or  Khrustyky (Sweet Nothings) I haven’t decided just yet.

As for other Ukrainian foods I am not sure what else to go for.  I know Cabbage rolls and Perogries are popular but I plan on buying them from the corner store which is a European deli meat market, as they make far better cabbage rolls than I can. 

Breads...My mother was known for her breads, unfortunately I never had her skill.  So I use breadmakers (I have three, because with five people to feed it does make sense) on the dough setting and transfer to loaf pans.  I always feel like I’m cheating but at least it always comes out perfectly.  It would be great if I could find the Ukrainian egg bread in a bread machine recipe.

As for other foods I am a little stumped, I am not certain what I am making, and when or what is it for (Christmas, Easter, Dinner, Breakfast)?  The Lazy Vareniki? Is it a side dish or a meal on its own?  It's like a cheese dumpling and says to serve with sour cream, butter and sugar.  The Khrustyky I’m assuming is a snack or dessert.  
Despite my lack of knowledge about the mentioned dishes, and the dishes I have yet to disover, I am having a blast in the kitchen.  For me this is all part of the fun of it. 

I have already order “Festive Ukrainian Cooking” that has 5 star reviews on Amazon.  I can’t wait to get it, until then the internet is my guide.
Happy Cookings!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Embracing the Ukraine ...

My husband and I have been floundering when it comes to religion.  Several years ago we left our church which was a heart breaking decision (I’m not going into details as to why).  Needless to say this has left our internal compasses in terms of religion spinning.  We’ve put off going to other churches, mainly because I guess we were still in mourning over leaving our beloved church.  
However, with adopting a girl from the Ukraine, we are completely open to attending a Ukraine church.  And yesterday we entered into a Ukraine Orthodox Catholic church.  It was very unusual compared to what we are normally used to.  I was pleased to hear that they have Sunday school, Ukrainian dances, church outings and even a weeklong camp in the summer months for the children.

Personally I can’t see us joining anything just yet, and there is another Ukrainian church in our area that we are going to visit.  The parish we went to yesterday had maybe seven people in attendance including us.  It was a Saturday service but we went to it because it was mixed English and Ukrainian sermon, I think we’ll aim for a Sunday Service at the next one.    

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Adoption Practitioner 2nd meeting...

Wow and wow!

We had are second meeting with our adoption practitioner and I am more than a little put out.  I didn't mind that she seem a little disorganized, and that our meeting wasn't a meeting at all rather an exchange of papers.  However, she went through my medical file and asked about my diabetes, if it is under control (which is and has been for the past two months ~ I am newly diagonsed) and then she said she was going to put in her recomndation that I loose weight during the homestudy process.

I am overweight, obese even, and I will be the first to admit it.  She didn't even ask if I had been losing weight (which I have been with my doctor's supervision).  It is going off slower then I would like, but it is going down.  She told me I should be doing the South Beach Diet, repeatedly.  I've heard of it, but the fact that I am now diabetic and I have my blood sugar levels under control (finally ~ after attending a diabetic education session) she wants to throw a book at me when I've already been struggling with the life changes which involves diabetes.  Jeesh! 

To have her say, 'I'm doing this for your own good," was a real slap in the face.  Not a wake up call if that is how she was intending it to be, the diabetes was a wake up call.  I know in the long run I will be healthier, but the fact that she was so self righteous about my weight, "saying if she can do it anyone can." As if I need my own personal failure rubbed in my face, and the twenty pounds I've lost in the past four months means nothing.

This was just insulting, and yet I have to admit (albeit begrudgingly) she is right, I do need to lose the weight, but for my own health, and not because I am applying to adopt. 

The new lifestyle I've embraced helps, I've made a point of sticking with portion size, we don't eat a lot of fried, high fat, red meat foods.  I am not as active as I would like to be, due to a knee injury a year ago that still bothers me, but I go for walks, we love hiking through the bush and last weekend I even ran a bit a long the trail. We are an active family, and do lots of things outdoors. 

So I am not going to do her "South Beach Diet" and I will be sticking with what the diabetic educators, and what my nutrist recomends.  I will continue to eat very little potatoes, and staying away white breads, and pasta, and continue to make the better choices.  I will commit to be more dedicating to increasing my execrise. Next week I have to meet up with her again.   Maybe I should make an appt for lipposuction. LOL

Saturday, 23 July 2011


I am senstive when it comes to family.  I realize that people aren't perfect, especially my own family, but what chaffs me is their lack of foresight. 

Everyone is thrilled when a baby comes into the family, "fresh from heaven", as a family friend would say.  But mention bringing in an adopted child and the excitement isn't the same, there are concerns, fears, misconceptions and a butt load of "what if's."

Telling people that you are answering your heart's call, isn't easy to put into words.  I had one family member call us selfish, and sent us a long email of how full of their judgments and how this isn't Christ's will, which ended off with:

"If Veronica really wants to do something worthwhile she should get job." 

Yeah, they really said that, as though they view mothering a motherless child isn't a worth while job.  So what happenes with all these little unseen cuts?  I know they will have to be address and handled with care.  I'm scared by how certain family members will react to our child.

Some don't matter because the persons who said them don't play a big role in our families lives, but what about the ones who do play a greater role in our family's lives.   I know better than most how words can leave permant scars on a person's soul.  If their words are hurting me I can only imagine how their careless words will affect our adopted child. 

Will they see her as someone less, and will not count her as their "real" relative?  If they can't accept our daughter do we cut back on visits or severe ties completely (which may result in them blaming the child).  Of course, I am prepared to do that as a last result.

I hope that they will come around, but I feel they've tainted themselves now.  That they won't accept our child with open arms.  They will be judging her more harshly, because we didn't raise her for the first few years of her life.  They are prejuice against her already and they haven't even met her.

I wish I knew how others coped with this, because I can't be the only one going through this who's relatives are so narrow minded.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Family Bitter Whispers...

When adoption brings out the uglies in family, your angels will make themselves known.

Just when I’m about to brace myself a bee comes along a plants its stinger in my butt, tiny, and annoying but still there. 
Why is it that family has a way of getting under the skin more easily then other people?  I just got off the phone with my sister, and though she doesn’t understand my reasoning for adoption, she is supportive and upfront with her opinions.  However, it turns out that a certain family member woke her up at  8am this morning with their undies in a bunch over our adoption plans.  I am NOT going to go into the nitty gritty details, but God Bless my sisters!  They have been upfront, honest and despite their concerns, extremely supportive.   I so want to put them in their place with tongue lashing that they really deserves. 

My kids are cherished and they have a good sense of self and great self esteem.  I’ve worked hard with them in helping them maintain it; I’ve fought school boards, teachers, church leaders and even family members who through decisions or careless words may have robbed their self esteem.  My children’s self esteem is so vital to their happiness.   Every morning I wish them good morning ask them how they slept while I get, or they get breakfast.  I spent time with them, listening, helping them, and do my darnest to keep my promises to them. 

Self esteem isn’t built on praise alone; it is built on the perception of others.  And I make sure my kids see that they are the most important people in my world.   I firmly believe that actions speak louder than words, and so I give them my ears, my voice, my time, my patience, my help, my efforts, my reasoning, my kindness, my space, my arms, and more importantly I give them their space to try new things, to calm themselves down, and let them make mistakes and when they do I tell them it’s okay because they are learning.

I am hurt, but not surprised.  This person has a knack of tearing strips off of people, making light of their accomplishments, and delighting in their screws ups.  I will not deny that I have issues with this person.  Family is complicated, some members more so than others.  I am disappointment, but at the same time resigned.  They will never change.  They will never grasp how their actions and words affect those around them.  They can’t.  It is just how they are, and how they cope through life.  If you are reading this, and thinking that I haven’t tried hard enough, that’s okay.  You aren’t in my shoes, though you might have been in a pair that walked the same miles.  Change has to come from within, and can’t be forced no matter how hard you want it too.

Despite the hurt and disappointment that they couldn't come to me directly about their concerns and the horrible mistake they believe that we are about to make, I am at peace with this.    

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Homestudy Almost Ready...

There is a butt load of papers ready to be handed in: from refence letters to the pets booster shots.  Today's focus is going to be going over the check list, and printing off my RAD reading list.  Adopting an older child isn't going to be easy, and there are a lot of hoops that I may need to jump through.  Despite the fact that I've read up on RAD and am following two blogs about some terrific parents who are raising kids with RAD, I can only hope that The Powers That Be will see that an older child is a good fit for our family. 

I've tried to do as much as I can to prepare for this.  I'm learning the language, am getting aquainted with the Ukrianian community, read up thoroughly on RAD, and other adoption books. I know being a parent isn't easy, and adopting is going to have it's own set of challenges.  I wish I could say I am prepared, Heaven only knows how prepared any prospective parent can be despite the thousands of books out there.  At least I am not going through this with rose coloured glasses on. 

I'm just waiting on my tutor's reference letter, and for our adoption practitioner to get back to us so we can set up some appointments. (Unless of course I've missed some thing on the checklist :P  )

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hosting Cancelled...

The 2011 Summer Vaccation Program for Ukraine orphans has now been cancelled.  There is a December hosting program that will be running if anyone is interested.  Unfortunately Dale and I cannot commit to it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for next year if all goes well, at least all of our focus can be put towards the adoption instead of both programs.  

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Hosting Not Cancelled Now???

Okay, we have a window.  I received a call from the Ukrainian Summer Vaccation Program cordinator and has spoken with another family who signed up.  They've offered to still do the hosting program, and take on the extra cost that would have been split up between the others families who backed out.  If we go on with this, it does mean that we will have to cough up another grand.   Dale is thinking about this, because we have a few concerns now.  I know that part of the cost of this program covers the plane tickets for the children as well as their representatives from the Orphage who travels with them, passports, lugagge, medical insurance, etc.  

It seems a little strange that last years program was $2,800, (which we missed) and with these new changes has now almost doubled.

I know Dale really does want to do the hosting program so we'll be discussing it tonight.

Hosting No Longer...

Oh wow how things change.  It is a shame that this program is still so new in Canada. There are kinks that still need to be worked out, I am not certain of the details but there were issues, I believe, with the Quebec & Ukrainian Government.  I don't know exactly how many families signed up but I'm guessing the number was fewer than 10, maybe less than 5, and a couple of families backed out.  So the program has been cancelled.

We were going to have such fun with our host child.  I had planned trips to Medieval Times, The zoo and visiting local parks, and beaches.  I even purchased a lap harp with Russian /Ukrainian and popular North American folksongs music books just for her to take back to the Ukraine. 

We can deal with the disappointment of having our plans cancel, but my heart goes out to the children who thought they were coming to Canada for a few weeks.  It is such a shame for a child who has so little to be given the chance of a seeing another part of the world only to have it snatch away.  Life isn't fair, it really isn't.  At least I can do my best to be fair, and make the world a better place for those who cross my path.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Almost Ready to Host...

It is coming down to the crunch, and I honestly don’t know if we will make the dead line.  Our Adoption Practitioner hasn’t gotten back to us, as to whether or not she can do a home visit in time for the Ukraine Summer Vacation Program we’ve signed up for.  Her silence is complete torture, and I have to wonder if it is it too early to start biting my nails?

The paperwork for the Hosting program isn’t nearly as bad compared to the adoption paperwork, and it is sort of a nice lead up to everything.  I’m excited and at the same time terrified.  All the “what if’s” are starting to play in my head, and I just have to remind myself that nothing is set in stone.  True, the child we are hosting MAY become a future member of the family, or may not.  It is so hard because there are no guarantees, the child may be adopted into another family, and we have to accept that.  She may not like us, or just might not want to be adopted. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed, and turning my thoughts to a more positive nature, though somehow the saying I often quote; “Hope for the best and be prepared for the worst,” doesn’t sit well in my heart.   “Let be what will be, and let fate decide the rest,” seems to be better situated in this circumstance, and I can live with that.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Focusing on Parenting...

Attachment focused Parenting by Daniel A. Hughes.

I know I have mentioned it a few times that I'm doing a fair bit of reading on parenting an adopted child, more importantly a child with attachment issues.  I've read several books and I'm struggling on another one to work my way through.  But this one IS worth the effort.  The language is wordy, and some of the terminalogy doesn't stick in my head.  I never responded well with lecturing, even though this author gives examples I find reading it in smaller doses helps me process what he is saying.

I've been trying to use what he is teaching with my kids and well, I find I often am butting heads with Dale as he will cut straight to the point when I'm dealing with them, instead of letting me dig deeper into their behaviours.  I've explained to him what I have been trying to do and he's starting to ease off. 

One thing I have been doing lately and I have really noticed it with my kids, is instead of saying "You" as in "Can you put your backpack away?" (which has always lead to several unanwered responses and it not being done at all) to "I" as in "I noticed that your backpack is blocking the door."  Well gosh darn it  if he didn't pick it up and move it to where it was suppose to go.  I've been doing this almost everyday for a week now and I am floored by the results.  It's like magic.  They even helped clean up the family room a couple of times without complaint.

Some of the other phrases he suggests to speak to the inner child I find hard mostly because my kids look at me rather strange, so maybe I'll hold back on the phrases.  I have been making more of a point to ask my kids questions, trying to dig deep beneath the surface, there is always a reason to their behaviour.  It may not make sense to us, but it helps to understand what is going on better with them.

So far though, I think this writer is bang on about somethings.  It is important to be curious about what is going on inside your child as well as outside.  It's important to be sympathic as well as empathic, admit your mistakes, and to always repair the relationship when needed.

I wish I could speed through this book faster as it is two weeks overdue, but I'm hopeful I'll finish it next week or so...maybe a little longer.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Canada Postal Strike...

Another day, another mailbox empty.  (My keyboard is typing with an accent today so forgive my accented ès and other oddities.)

I have to admit Ièm started to get worried.  Really worried.  With the strike happening and a month deadline for the Hosting program, friends going away on vacations, and no mail being delivered. Waiting six weeks for the medical reports (and we still have to get our current family doctor to sign off on them)  We are under crunch time, and Ièm starting to panick.  I really want the strike to end.  I see postal mail carriers wandering the street with their bags carrying little, and I want to jump out of my car and scream at them. Just because it isnèt a goverment check in the mail weère expecting, our mail is more important to us than money. It is a dream of hope, a life changing experience, for both us and the child we are planning on hosting that we are being denied.  

I realize that stamping my foot and crying up to the Powers That Be: It is not fair! Is a pointless gesture and one I would be quite embarssed at my age to make, but still... (sigh)

I have learned a long, long time ago life is not fair, and fate has a way of putting kinks in the best laid plans.  Nevertheless I will hold onto my hope, pray to God, and while it isnèt fair, I will do my utmost to hold my head, and stand strong against despair.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Final Tally is in...

Well we did okay.  My goal was $300.00 (though I hoped for more)  We made $285.00, including the bake sale which brought in $42.00.

Things I would change:

More tables.  We had three, I think 6 would have been better.
Less clothes
Take things out of boxes. ( which I would have done if I had more tables.)  As it was I set most of the items where I could, and filling up spaces as items sold.
Have more craft items, yarn and sewing kits went like hot cakes. Fabric not so much.
Tools ~ did well too.

And it wouldn't hurt to have another body to help out.  Two adults weren't enough when one of us had to get out of the sun.

 I honestly wish I had made more banana nut bread, because they sold within minutes of being brought out.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Exhausted, Tired and Done!

Our garage sale happened today.  It went okay.  We still have about half the stuff we put out not including the stuff we didn’t.   Things we thought would sell quickly didn’t sell at all, and things we didn’t think would sell sold.  It was a backwards kind of day it seemed, and a great learning experience for all.  This was our first garage sale ever.

The boys worked supper hard, our youngest was out there most of the time, staying seated at the Bake Sale table we put up with an umbrella overhead.  The Bake Sale did better than I thought it would.  I kept it simple with chocolate jumbles, macaroons, chocolate dipped pretzels, two types of muffins, peanut butter cookies, and banana bread.  We also sold water.  We have yet to ring in the total, but I am satisfied with our efforts.  We didn’t bring in a profound amount of money.  Met lots of nice people, and got to know the neighbours a little better which is always a good thing.

I picked up too much sun, and despite my efforts to keep cool and seek shade it wasn’t enough.  I had to bail out just when we started packing up, due to a killer headache and nausea, and Dale ended up putting what didn’t sell back in the garage.  Poor guy!  The boys helped a little with the clean up, but knowing Dale, he finds it faster to do things himself.
I'm still feeling a little queasy so I'm going to end here.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Doctors 1 Albers 4...

Please let us count off the excuses...

We're going to mail them,
We did mail them,
We haven't mailed them, it will be done on Wednesday. 
We couldn't read the address.
We didn't know if they were willing to pay for them to be mailed (after we already told them we would).
We did mail them and it was returned. 

Yesterday  was a real kicker when I went to my doctor's appt, and the secretary informed me that she received a fax from our former doctor's secretary saying that she knew they had requested files but couldn't remember the names of those who requested it.  ???

We did it though! Dale made a special 1 1/2 hour trip to our old doctor's office, went to Staples to pick up toner for them, and waited around for several hours while they photo copied our files. He brought home mine, his and two of our three children. It is beyond the point of being insane to have Dale arrive and get the full truth that they haven't even started copying them???

Dale was happy to see our beloved doctor at the front desk instead of the Nitwits she hired.  The Nitwits came in later, and were taken back to see him standing there.  I'm just happy, so very happy, to have the files in our possession.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Fundraising Yard Sale...A week away.

Wow, Wow and WOW!  This coming Saturday we are planning to host our Yard & Bake Sale.  I have half a house filled, and them some with donated goods.  The generosity of people can be so profound; I received an email last week from someone who had a couple of things for me to pick up.  Her parents had moved to a retirement home and she wanted what was left over to go to a good cause.  I went over expecting a couple of boxes and I left with a van full of dishes, appliances and more house wares.  My main donator has been my best friend who practically gave me her house, well not the house, or the major appliances but almost everything else in it. 

I planned to spend this week doing a baking marathon; however, the City threw a wrench in my plans as I have been drafted for jury selection.  Not that I mind doing my civic duty, I just mind the inconvenience it may bring.  If the kids were older, and, well... more socially stable I wouldn’t have to worry.  Preston has a knack of getting an idea in his head thinking it is funny and it is just wrong.  I have imagines of the police coming to my house because Preston’s decided to serenade the neighbours with his horns, or just screaming at the passing cars for going too fast.  Thank goodness he got over mooning strangers a few years back.

Think of Benny & Joon with an ADHD Mr. Bean, and that is my Preston.  Cheerful, delightful, thinks outside the box and certainly marches to his own drum. 

Friday, 10 June 2011

And the Ping Pong Ball continues to bounce...

There are times when a sense of humor is absolutely vitual to ones sanity. The Doctors match of Ping Pong is almost at an end (or is it?).  Last week my former family doctor's secretary said she had mailed our medical records to our new family doctor.  However, upon further investigation it was discovered that she had posted the address incorrectly and so our medical records were in fact mailed and then sent back to them.  ROFL!!! &  OMG!!! 

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this point.  We haven't even gotten to the more challenging International papers yet.  Our new family doctor's secretary is earning a mountain of brownie points and then some, as she has been calling trying to discover what the issues are with our medical files. 

Seriously, it has been 6 weeks since we requested them to be transferred.  It does make me feel glad that this wasn't a life and death situtation otherwise this could have been a real dilemma.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Canada Post on Strike...

Yikes!  At least they seem to be doing rolling protests.  Counting my blessings and naming them one by one. 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

RCMP ~ sigh...

We picked up the mail yesterday and there were two enevoples from the RCMP.  It turns out that they sent everything back to us, because we didn't sign a letter of consent and we didn't pay them the $25.00 each.  Of course we would have if they asked for it on the forms.  Communication on their part is sadly lacking.  No one mentioned anything when we were getting our fingers inked.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A Thoughtful Gesture...

Our tutor is truly a delightful woman is leaving for the Ukraine for a few weeks.  She asked if there was anything we’d like her to bring back from there.  Since I don’t know what I to expect, and I can only think of the obvious, (Russian Stacking dolls, tradional music cd's, and books).  I thought I would put this question out there.   What would be something special we could or should have her bring back for our daughter?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Another round of testing...

Why does having our sons tested for learning disabilities have to be so draining?  We just finished testing our youngest, because we know he has a learning disability, however when he was first tested he was too young to get a proper diagnoses.   Now that he is finished for a few years I felt that I could draw a sigh of relief. 

Things, as it turns out, aren’t going well for my middle child.  His round of testing is still going on. After we thought we were done, the doctor wanted to do further testing because he feels that the tests done don’t reflect his abilities as they should.  When we had our eldest son done, it was explained to us that the testing revealed Alex was vegetable.  Alex is not a vegetable, LOL.    He just answered the questions in such a way that there was no way to mark the answers.  For explain she showed Alex a picture of an umbrella.  He answered with gestures of opening an umbrella, and swinging it up to his shoulder saying, “it’s raining, you walk dry now.”  She explained that the tests required a certain answer and Alex’s answers didn’t fit into the tests answer spectrum.  I’m assuming something like this is something along the lines of what is happening with our middle son.

I thought I could handled another round of testing, his doctor has been great in offering to do the further testing at no cost(which was a huge relief).  But last night I received a call from him saying that he would like to have him tested for autism.  He doesn’t think he’s autistic, though he may have a mild form of it.  That was hard to hear.  Unfortunately, he isn’t qualified to do the testing for autism, and that means more testing.

I know I should do some research on autism though, I really don’t want to.  It might be denial, or some deep rooted fear that I’ll have to accept certain limitations.  I believe in being proactive, and not wanting to wait when it comes to helping my boys.  This scares me, or rather the label and what it could mean scares me. 

Today I’ll indulgence myself a little. I’ll focus on the housecleaning, running errands, and take Alex out for lunch; he’s been waiting a very long time to lunch with Mom.  Tomorrow I’ll sort out what the next steps are in dealing with this.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Can Doctors Play PingPong? Seriously....

I know I haven’t written in a while, and well that mostly because adoption wise we are stuck, unless you count bouncing back and forth between doctors.  Jeesh!

Where we live it isn’t an easy thing to find a family doctor.  Our old one which we absolutely adored works 2 hours away from us so it doesn’t make sense for us to see her anymore.  For the past 2 and a half years we’ve been going to emergency and walk in clinics to see doctors.  Then about six months ago Dale found a doctor taking on new patients, and after meeting him he decided to take us on.

Now the crux of the problem, he doesn’t “Know” us well enough to fill out the medical forms and wants our old family doctor to fill out the forms.  However, since our new family doctor has been treating me for my diabetes now, my old family doctor isn’t comfortable filling out the forms either because we now have a new family doctor. 

Finally our new family doctor said he would fill out the forms if we can get our medicals records to him.  That sounds easy enough doesn’t it.  Except that my old family doctor has the worlds most stupidest secretaries.  If you think I am being mean, or harsh I’m not.  They have proven it over and over and over again.   A close family friend also saw our doctor and to have an appointment for fertility treatments.  Never having fertility treatments before, she asked the secretary what to expect.  The secretary responded with, “I think they go over positioning.”   My husband and I have often called to book an appointment, and are told after we give our name reason for calling, “that the doctor isn’t taking any new patients.”  To which we always have had to affirm that we aren’t new patients.  They were supposed make an appointment for my son to see a throat specialist and when I called to find out why we hadn’t received a phone call yet from the specialist to wait, and wait, and wait some more.  After six weeks and getting the same response I drove over to the doctor and asked the secretary to open up my son’s file, and sure enough they never even placed the call. 

My old family doctor is a great doctor but by some fluke she hires (she’s gone through several) really stupid secretaries.  And this is who we are stuck dealing with.  It has been a month now, and no transcripts delivered, no faxes made, lots and lots of promises, and yet nothing finds it way into our new Doctor’s mailbox.

Dale went to see our new family Doctor today, and his secretary who is more than competent called our old doctor’s secretary and sure enough another promise made to get the medical files delivered.   We were told it would be there in three days, but I won’t hold my breath.  Is “Because our Doctor’s secretaries won’t give us the damn files” a value reason for not having our medical history?  It would make things a lot simpler if it were.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Morning After...

It absolutely the difference a day can make.  Yesterday was full of shadows of doubt striking out when I was alone with my fears. The numbers tallied up before my eyes, and then this morning I remembered the smaller picture.  Smaller doses/deposits/ for the most part, it’s still hard, and things will be extremely tight.  But there is hope.  I have my sewing machine so I can start working on making Pillowcase dresses, with a matching doll outfit. 

I have my Discovery Toy kit now, but I have to stop being so damn shy about approaching people about it.  I can do this!  I will do this!  I just need to shake myself hard, and push away my childhood tramas.  It sounds so easy to be confident and yet it goes against what I was taught to believe about myself.  I keep telling myself I am not that girl!  Not anymore. 

So tomorrow I will drop off some catalogues, deliver some flyers and during the day I will go to the park and approach some of the Moms and Dads and Daycare workers. 
My views on money remain the same.  I think it is something I will always loathe, sure it would be nice not to have to worry about it, but if it ever gets to that point, it will even be a thousand times nicer to make others dreams come true.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

When Dreams Start to Fray...

Life can be crazy, heart breaking and simply divine.  It always seems that when we are saving up for our dreams the money factor comes into play.  We’re getting hit hard are all fronts this month.  I wish I had Dale with me this weekend.  I don’t like being alone with my fears.  They seem too real. Too insurmountable. 

Would it seem strange if I confess that I loathe money?  I loathe how it defines us, how we need it, how others need it and I don’t always have enough to give, how it must be counted and paid in and paid out.  How thirty dollars a month to save a child from poverty, or cure a disease seems so little and at the same time seems so much.    
I want to see my name in print because I want to be successful; money to me does not equal success.  It is the accomplishments that matter. I want to be successful as a writer.  I want to see my screenplays on the big screen.  I want to have my novels published, but even more than all this... I want the missing pieces of my heart.  I want my daughters. 
I’ve seriously consider asking for family for help, but I know myself too well.  If they said “No” I would take it more than a rejection.  It would cut me to the core and leave a splinter in my heart, not just for myself but also for our daughter and that would not be a great way to start off the relationship.  If they said “Yes” I’d be happy but I’d have to swallow my pride, and I would always feel that debt looming over my head, until I paid it off one way or another.
There are things money can’t buy, and those are the things I cherish the most.   Watching Cyrus run as he plays tag with the ocean waves.  Preston laughing as he tries to tell us he isn’t enjoying himself (but really he is.)  Alex gathering building up a fire so we can roast marsh mellows at the end of the day.  Even taking the dog for a walk with Dale, or seeing a redheaded woodpecker together.  I think I would be as Jane Bennet if I had more money than I knew what to do with.  Generous to fault

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Days of In Between...

When everything has been done and you are just waiting on the mail to come trickling in, what else can you do to fill in the time.  I know, I know, I’ve been keeping myself very busy, starting a new business venture and coaching Cyrus’ lacrosse team.  But these things are only on the surface and because of necessity and circumstance I have taken more responsibilities.  I am generally a pleasant, albeit shy, and sometimes socially awkward sort of person.  Now with being coach I have truly stepped out of my comfort zone, but I take comfort that when push comes to shove I will rise up to the occasion.

 As I wait for my Discovery Toys Kit, reference letters and the Police Check to arrive I find myself practicing my Russian for about twenty minutes to an hour a day, I still found time to crack open another book which deals with an emotionally traumatized child. 

I found “Building The Bonds of Attachment” by Daniel A. Hughes, absolutely wonderful. Though it was based on fictional characters, they themselves were based on several incidents that could be applied to children with an attachment disorder.   The thing I found most gripping was how they showed how the child’s mother neglecting her by simply ignoring her, letting her father beat her, and just giving her what she wanted to stop her from bothering them.  She was well kept in her appearance but love and acceptance and boundaries were denied to her. 

Several parts of the book hit home with me.  How easily I could see this neglect happen.  Being a Mom and Dad (I cannot forget Fathers) is hard work.  You do get little time to yourself, the demands are always there, always more of yourself needing to be given.  I remember starting to make the kids their lunches and throwing in the middle of it, sick with the flu.  It would have been so easy just to lie in bed and let them make do with cookies.

But then there are moments when you find your youngest asking if he could make you a cup of tea, (turns out he wants a taste of it too) but the offer was still there.  When I needed to help one with their homework because he forgot to do it the night before and the other two pack their lunches and went the extra mile making their brother’s as well.  It makes every sacrifice worthwhile.   

I’m glad I fought against taking the easy route of ignoring their cries when they were little.  I’m glad I played and sang with them when they were babies, hug and held them, kissed their hurts when they needed it, and told them they were fine when they didn’t.   I’m glad that I joined them in playing their video games, air hockey, tag and hide and seek.  I’m glad I let myself enjoy my kids, and embraced their childhood with them.   

My boys have their challenges, and life won’t always be so carefree for them, but they know their place in my heart.  They are happy and confident that no matter what happens I love them.  They are my pride, my joy, my frustration at times and my comfort.  They know that “Home” is a safe, loving environment that accepts them for who they are.  I could go on and on here, but I won’t.   

Instead I’ll sum up and say that the best homes I’ve ever been in were the ones whose parents listened to my problems, it didn’t matter the time of day (or night).  They had an open door policy that I cherished.  There were so many times when I was hurt and angry at my own parents, they listened without judging, kindly told me how my parents might have interpreted my actions, and just by them sitting there, being with me, talking with me instead of at me, helped me set the foundation of the home I wanted for when I had my own family.

So to them I press my hand against my heart and say, “Thank you for showing me what a happy home was suppose to be like.”