Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I know I haven’t been keeping up with the writing on here.  There has been much going on and even more.  Life has calmed down a touch, not much but finding those few precious minutes a day where I can close my eyes and do some deep breathing (helps reduce stress) has helped me be more focused. 

We’ve put our application in for the hosting program.  Made more appointments with our family doctor, RCMP for international  criminal record check, tomorrow it’s getting our pets shots update and the list of things goes on and on. 

Last week I thought my life was busy  so what can I say to the coming months.   I am now coach for Cyrus’s Lacrosse Team. LOL!!!   The closest I’ve ever come to seeing a game was “Last of the Mohicans” and “Mean Girls”.  So if you wondering how desperate they were to get coaches?   I’m guessing extremely.   No worries though.  It’s pretty basic stuff, I hope.

Also I’m starting my own business with Discovery Toys.  I love the products.  They are wonderful especially for kids with learning challenges.  My kids played with them and kept coming back to them.  The rainfall rattle and the teething yummy were a complete sanity saver when Alex and Preston were inconsolable.

Learning Russian is still going well, though I haven’t been practising reading it as much as I would like to.  But no worries.  I know what I am saying, and I try to go over the Russian Alphabet every other day.  I don’t like standing still in life.  I think maybe I was standing still for too long.  Now I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone and living more in the real world, hence Lacrosse coach and Discovery Toys.  Writing has taken a temporary ride in the back seat, but it’s still in the car and moving along, though mostly in my head.  Writer’s block.  Me??? Nah.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Time Out For Mom...

It’s hard to come up with something to post when it feels like my head is spinning.  The organization process is a struggle, though the filing is the easy part.  I’ve done the master list for what needs to happen now, but how about a list for every single ball I’m juggling, because it feels like life is going to come crashing down. 

I don’t like to complain, and hate the poor me card.  Everyone has challenges in life, there are no exceptions.  It’s just been insanely busy and I have my head spinning and the funny thing is the adoption part seems to be the one part of my life I have control over.

We’ve had our two youngest boys accessed for their learning disabilities and we thought this was over and done for the time being, only to discover that my middle son needs to be tested again, so that means more appoints for Preston.  (I know he will be thrilled!)

I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, and am struggling to get my blood sugar under control.  It could be going better, but it is a three week wait until I can get into the clinic.  (If I don’t hear from them this week I’ll drop into the Canadian diabetes clinic, I know Dale mentioned it to me already but I forgot until just now.)  I’ve already changed my eating habits and am going for walks, with some biking in between.  So far I’ve lost three pounds. 

I’m planning for a garage sale in June, ~ I may switch it up to May, due to the house being crammed with belongs, and I don’t think Dale can last that long in the mayhem.

Cyrus has Lacrosse starting this week, and it turns out my after school daycare kid is on the same team, so that works out very well. 

And I have appts, the good news is I don’t have to see the Optometrist for another year.  I still have 2 IPRC meetings to go to for Preston and Alex.

Then on top of all this it is the household chores which are sliding in a downward spiral.  I think this is what gets me down the most.  I need to have the kids do more, because I think I am starting to burn out just a little.  I don’t like to yell at them, but seriously, why is so hard for them to put their wrappers in the garbage can?

Now as I pause and read over everything I've written, one thing comes out clear.  I need to take better care of me, not just the diabetes, but me.  I’m writing this when my eyes are still sensitive from eye drops the optomertrist put in.  I have a slight ache in my head, and why? Because I am not stopping, I not taking that moment when I say, "this is my time."  Do I have that lurxury?  Maybe not as much as I’d like. The vaccuming needs to be done still.  Cyrus needs to get his lacrosse gear.  But I can spare twenty minutes, and shut my door and rest my eyes.  So that is what I am going to do.  I shall put my needs first, and everyone and everything can wait...At least for a few minutes.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Organizing Adoption Papers...

I work well in chaos, so I must dig deep to become something I'm not.  Organized, ugh.

If I have a weakness in my personality I have to say it is my lack of organizational skills, and with all the paper work involved in adoption I thought that there would have been more links on the web in regards to organizing it.  Instead of starting on the forms I have been giving thought and doing research on how to best approach this task.  And I have to say it is a good thing I stalled on putting pen to paper.   So instead of giving out a long boring lecture I’m going to jot down things that I have picked up.

1.       Know what method works for you.  If you are the kind of person who doesn’t put paper in binders right away with an “I’ll do it later attitude” (like myself) don’t use a binder.  Opt for a plastic covered expanding file folder.   If you work well with binders, you may want to use plastic sheet protectors to keep papers dry and stop the ink from smearing.  You may need a few binders. 

2.       Make hard copies, and scan blank documents into your computer.  Computers get viruses, breakdown, etc.  It cannot hurt to have extra hard copies in case papers are lost, or mistakes made.

3.       Keep a pencil case/box close to your binders or in the back of your file case.  Have paperclips, mini staplers, pens, sheet protectors (in case of rain), and envelopes close by.

4.       Make a list of everything that needs to be done and keep it at the front for easy checking.   Do what is most important, or can easily be done first (keep in mind that some tasks have expiration dates and may need to be done again.  Check with your agency).

5.       Addresses/phone numbers/emails ~ Keep them All!  You never know when you will need who.  I suggest having this as page two after your list for easy access.

6.       Label.   A) Homestudy, B) Agency,   C) Dossier papers,   D) International papers,    E)  Receipts    F) Travel          You may want to do sub catogories for instance  homestudy:  inside and outside the home.  You can always add more files as needed but this is just a guideline.

7.       Keep all your receipts, not only will it help get the Adoption Tax Credit, it will also help you keep track of all your spending.  There are hidden costs, such as mailing.

8.       There are things you need to do as well that don’t involve the adoption paperchase.  Doctor’s visits, medications, needles, prescriptions (including eyeglasses), website addresses,  credit card company should be informed of your travel plans, stopping newspapers/mail, kennel arrangements, house sitters, contact information for friends and relatives, address or phone number of your country’s embassy so in case of a crisis they can reach you. etc.
9.     On a side note The Complete Book of International Adoption has an extensive list of suggestions when traveling, from money belts, anti theft purses (and other ways to protect yourself), tips entertain children on planes and in airports, ways to save money, or even help you be prepared for inconvinces that will most likely happen that you may or might not have thought of.  I would list them all here but there is just too many to list. 

With all this I am still open to suggestions. 

Friday, 8 April 2011

Adoption Practitioner Hired...

We finally did it!

We opened our adoption bank last night.  We were near our estimation of somewhere between $500 & $700 striking pretty close to dead centre at $605.  It’s not much in terms of the bigger picture but it will pay for some of the adoption expenses.  When paying for an adoption without trying to go into debt too much you have to look at the smaller numbers.  $700 will cover the cost of meeting with an adoption practitioner and the agency registration fee.  Still we have a long way to go.

Today we met with an elderly lady who seem pleased that we were considering adopting an older chidl and asked if we knew about Attachment Disorders, which of course we can both say yes too.  Though we were considering an older child, she did make it clear that the age we are looking to adopt needs to be two years younger than Cyrus.  Which of course is fine with me, though I know Dale wants a child a little older, and Cyrus really wanted a child the same age as him.  Preston doesn't seem to have a preference and whenever I ask Alex for his thoughts, his response is, "It's your choice.  It doesn't matter."    I'm happy with a 6 or 7 year old, I'd even consider a teenager, if she was a good fit, but Ontario has strict adoption practices for international adoption. 

Our adoption practitioner was excited to hear about the Ukraine Summer Vacation Program that we are signing up for, and seemed eager to help us get ready for it.  We learned that we have to go to the RCMP to get fingerprints & because Dale lived in Holland for two years he needs to get his record, or lack of record,  from there as well.

So far we have our first stack of paper work to go through.  The question is how fast can we do it and how fast can I get our next appointment?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

To Crochet or Not Crochet...100 Dish Clothes

With my house being filled up to the ceiling with garbage bags and boxes full of things to sell at a garage sale we’re planning in June, which will also include a bake sale, I picked up crocheting again.  I haven’t crochet in twenty years or more.   I found a website on the internet for a free online dishcloth pattern and I crocheted my first dishcloth today.  It took about 4 hrs or so with interruptions, and half way through it I managed to get a uniform stitch going.  I did much better this afternoon, compared to when I was in grade three when I kept making shawls and capes for my dolls, because every time I did a scarf they always curled inward.  :P
My plan is to sell handcrafted dishcloths at our bake sale.  Have them wrapped up with ribbons in coordinating bundles of three and sell them for $6.00 each.  I am going to make 100 dish clothes before June 4th and including today I have 59 days to do it!  Unfortnately I’m keeping the one I made this afternoon for myself because it is just too bad to part with.  Thank goodness the later half was at least 80% better.

If anyone is interested in the pattern I'm using, here is the link  http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/dishcloth.html

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

I Wasn’t Going To But...

I am not one to bash authors, myself being a small fish I have great respect for those who have their books in print.  However, I cannot stand to read another one of this author’s book.  Some people may have truly benefited from the advice she gives; I can honestly say she does make valid points, several actually.
However, I absolutely loath her writing style for she comes across as condescending, smug and self important.  That she is an Angel for parents with adopted children, and she alone (though she does reference others) can save us.  (I realize that I’m contradicting myself in the previous sentence, but this is how she comes across.)
If the above wasn’t bad enough, she constantly promotes her website, other books she has written, her magazine or newsletter, and herself.  The author is an adopted child, and we are given insight into her feelings about being adopted, which I am absolutely be fine with, and appreciate even.  But every time I come across another self promoting sentence I have to stop reading.  I can’t pick it up for several days, because she has just annoyed the crap out of me (Subtly is not her strong point).  She sabotages the information she imparts, cheapens it, by making one question the true purpose of this book.  Is it to help and inform parents, or soon to be parents?  Or is it just a gimmick to sell more books?

I can usually finish a book, especially one this size, in a day & that is with taking notes.  I am on day 22. 
In my opinion a good writer doesn’t need to self promoted to the extent this author does (if at all).  If a person likes and connect with a writer they will generally go in search of more of their books.  However, and yes I am saying her name here, Sherrie Eldridge doesn’t seem to understand this.  She slips her works into tips, solutions, ideas, resources, and every time she does I feel that she loses more credibility.  She speaks about being confident and yet she throws herself at readers with her hands in the air as if a kid shouting, “Look At Me!  Look At Me! I know the answers!”  Granted this is why I picked up her book from the library in the first place, though was hoping for a more objective view. 
I have one of her books on my recommended reading list, because it touches firmly on the loss and grief associated with adoption, and in her book (the one I’m reading now) “20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed” again touches again on grief, grief and wait more grief.  I am certain there are other subjects in there that I read, (Loss comes to mind) here but everything comes back to...you guessed it Grief.  I do appreciate the section on “Understanding your child’s heart language,” and the grief box idea was interesting, and I did take special note of both of them.   
With that said, I am sorry Ms. Eldridge but my brain will not allow me to EVER read another one of your books.  Your words of wisdom get lost in your desire to self promote, and I would like to learn from someone who doesn’t have such an obvious second agenda.
My advice to Ms. Eldridge is simply this; put your book list, website, newsletters, and a conference speaker for hire, etc... in a Resource section at the end of the book and leave them there.  And instead of using yourself to fill in blanks, reach a little further. 
To readers: if you want to read her book, be sure to have a pen and paper handy so you don’t have to go through them again.
As for this one, I am not going to subject myself to it any longer. 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

In Russian We Speak...

We had our first Russian lesson yesterday from a delightful woman.  She was impressed with how fast I seemed to catch on to what she was saying, and now I have several phrases/words to practice with most on them set into my brain. 
I guess practicing with the “Learn to Speak Russian” CD helped out a lot with sounds, but I have to say in our first lesson, Milk, Tea, Water, Good Morning, Yes and No were the only words she didn't have to teach me.  Everything else is new.
So far I can say:
Good Morning (used in an office setting)
How are you?
Not Good
My body’s not good.
Not  (apparently No in Russian is extremely harsh, almost shocking to a child, she made it seem like it's a verbal spanking, so this is her replacement word)
I understand
I understand slowly (she assures me a child will understand I’m saying she’s talking to fast)
I don’t understand
Forelorn (Not quite sad, just missing, can be asked like a question)
Let’s eat (kids thought we were swearing with this one L)
Do you want...
Tea (apparently Ukraine children drink tea)
Water (too easy, it's like saying water but replace the W with a V and the T with the D and you ger vader)
It’s very hot...
Stove (her word since I already knew water, )
Stop (is already understood)
"Stay close" in Russian translates to "don’t get lost." So she suggested a phrase that I think translates to "Stay with me," and can be replaced with a name.
I want...
I love you, she added on more words like smart, beautiful, and girl but my brain was fried, so I only managed I love you.

Please hold my hand (I haven't mastered this one, but with all of the above set into my head I'll wait till next week to go over this one)

So now Dale and I are practicing Russian to each other.  The boys are starting to get into it too.  Cyrus who also practiced a little on the CD enjoys showing off a little to his friends.

I keep the sheets out on the dining room table so when we need to double check pronunciation its close by.

I’m so excited I can hardly wait to for next week’s lesson. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Every Dollar Counts...

I had a fabric sale today.  You can laugh but with 5 black garbage bags full of fabric, (courtesy of a loyal friend) I thought I’d give it shot.  I may do it again sometime next week, before I box it up for the yard sale.  I brought in $6.00, and put it straight into our adoption bank.  It might not be a lot, but it is another $6.00 I we didn’t have before. 
Now with another van load of donations, courtesy of loyal friend, I actually have to hold off on collecting donations, until we can get our garage sorted out. :P

Saturday, April 2nd

We had an unexpected person arrive at our door for the fabric sale, and purchased another $6.00 worth of fabric.

Total money raised (not including what we put into our adoption bank because we can't count that until we open it.)  is $12.00.