Sunday, 24 June 2012

Adoption is it really Selfish?

As I am trying to cope with our failed trip to the Ukraine, I have been reading up on blogs of families who had their adoption uncompleted and came across one that was disrupted.  She mentioned that she views adoption as a selfish quest.  This isn't the first time I have heard this, but it makes me wonder.  Is adoption really selfish?  I have pondered this and for the life of me I don't quite understand it.  Is being pregnant selfish?

I am not clear on this frame of mind at all.  I am rarely selfish willing to put others first, so this concept of adoption being a selfish choice honestly does baffle me.

For me being a parent isn't a selfish choice.  In fact (and it may disturb or offend some you) becoming a parent I never expected my kids to love me, let alone like me.  I grew up with a mother who was poison.  I can't even compare my mother to a villainous character, her perseverness went much deeper.  It pains me to say it but she was the most horrible person I have ever known, and worst she had so many people fooled.  

So with this not so shining example of motherhood, I still wanted to be a mom.  I loved kids, always have (though babies do make me nervous ~ they are so frail looking and tiny and yes I have had three of my own).  I wanted to be the mom I never had and never will.  I wanted to make sure my kids knew they had importance, and that their thoughts and feelings mattered to me.  I wanted my home to be more than just four walls, I wanted it to  be a sanctuary.  A place where they could be protected from the harshness of the outside world, and I have done that. 

And yes I have room in my home for a couple more souls to join in and share what we have here. I love the world we live in, and I know it isn't perfect, and life can royally suck.  Even still I feel so blessed and have so much love in my heart, that I am willing to embrace another soul and claim her as my own, with all the good, the bad, the uglies and the crazies.

I don't see how me wanting to do this is selfish, because the need is there, and I am more than willing to do my part and offer something special to a child who might not ever have a family.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

In Limbo...

It's been over a week and no word from our agency (not that I am eager to speak with them, and I suspect their feelings are pretty much the same ~ if this comes across as harsh, it isn't meant to.  This was a huge disappointment and there is no blame on them.)  Saying we did our best is of no comfort.  I have a yellow bedroom with lace curtains that that has no one to claim it, and I can't even bring myself to enter it, for fear reality will hit and I am not coping as well as I hope.

Nothing is ever set in stone, life I believe would be kinder if it was.  You choose a path, a mission or quest, and you pursue it until you succeed or reach the end of your failures. This process has been going on in my head for 10 years.  I am not saying we were actively adopting for ten years, but the idea of adopting has been going on in our lives for that long now.  5 years ago we started to look into it, and started to save to buy a bigger home.  3 years ago, we moved in and the first thing we did was tear down a wall, put of two and add and extra window to our house for a fifth bedroom.   We did the PRIDE training, and I started doing my research into RAD.  I took parenting courses, in order to better prepare myself as to what I could do. 

My past was invaded and judged, my childhood tramas revisited, things that I hoped where long since buried were brought to the surface and lingered for several weeks, bringing with it some anger towards my parents, as well as myself for not being better, or stronger and waiting until I was married to find my backbone. 

So here we are now, waiting for a window to open, or even the same door.  This isn't the end for us, not yet. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Dear Anon...

Anonymous7 June 2012 21:50 (We're Home)

OMG!! How horrible of Ontario to have put in place best practice requirements based on *GASP* best practices!! It is so awful that Ontario puts regulations in place that statistically increase the odds an adoption will succeed!! What are they thinking ?!?

It'd be sooooo much better if it could be an adoption free for all like in the USA. You could've brought home a kiddo only to disrupt a few months later like Autumn Winkle (buh-bye Yuri) and Kari Reilly (auf wiederstein Victor!!), and blog about how kicking the newly adopted kiddo you promised to be a "forever family" for is exactly the same thing that Jesus would have done!!!


OMG!! You are absolutely right.  If a family has TWINS, QUADS, SIXTUPLETS, what in heavens are they to do?  I mean they are all the same age!!! And couples who already have kids from previously marriages!  **GASP** How do they fit in with Ontario's Best Practice guidelines? 

Give me a BREAK!  There are many kinds of families, and not all of them fit into Ontario's Best Practice Guidelines.  I also believe that adopting older children who's age may be the same as another is fine too.  To put these practices and make them applicable to ALL adoptive families isn't fair, especially when it is bases on statics, and not indiviuals.  I know what would work for my family and so does our adoption practitioner. 

If I can make a difference, if I can make one person's life better, if I can offer a parentless child at home to call their own and accept them for who they are, the good and the bad, then shouldn't I try?

Yes it might fail and be disrupted, everyone has a breaking point.  We have talked about this, and we have even put our adoptions plans on hold as we learned about the issues we may be facing.  We've discussed our concerns, we're educated as we can be, and we have support systems in place should we need them.  As for the other families you mentioned, I don't know their situtation to comment.

But I do worry about people like you and the impact you create with your words.  You cast them out there like poison darts to people you know nothing of.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

We're home...

We never made it to our third visit, and came home without a child.

 The day after we left Adoption Services Dale's hands started to swell, the next day his fingers were like sausages and started to ooze bloody puss all over his hands.  We went to the American Hospital in Kiev where they admitted him pumping him full of antibotics through IV.   The doctor believed it was a form of detemtisis, but couldn't be certain.  The antibotics worked and within hours the swelling subsided though he was in a lot of pain still.

Our third appointment was to have been the next day but with Dale in the hospital our adoption cordinator called to inform us that we would have to wait another week.  It was a hard decision but with Dale's hands in such bad shape, we decided to put our third visit on hold for a while, and come back to Canada.

It was a hard decision, and I know it isn't fair, but that is how the world works at times.  Dale & I had decided that it was either going to be an adoption or a second honeymoon for us.  It does bother me that the time we spent in the Ukraine we only got to see one child, and we waited 2 weeks for our second visit.  We were told there was a girl who fit into our tiny window of 5-8 years (Thanks Ontario Best Practice for Adoption Guidelines ~ would 1 year apart from my youngest really be so devestating?), but an Italian couple before us claimed her. 

Should anyone be considering adoption from the Ukraine my advice is:

Don't limit yourself, if you are open to a broader age group then do it.  Our limitations were put on us because my youngest is 10 and the Ontario governement like children to be 18 months apart in age.

Hosting a child in your home for a few weeks maybe in your favour.  We will be looking into this.
If you are willing to adopt siblings please consider it ~ more children will be made available to you.

Read up on Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Older Child(ren) adoption issues.  It isn't an easy thing to deal with.

Be prepared as best you can, learning the process, and speaking to other parents (we did go into this knowing there was a strong chance we would be one of several coming home without a child).

Understand the Cyrillic Alphabet, this will be of more use to you than you might imagine.

Grasp some understanding of Russian/Ukrainian.  This will come in handy, and even though your language skills maybe weak, (surprisingly it was hot water or just the word "Hot" came into use early on).

Learn how to cook!!!  This is a huge money saver.  I love cooking but honestly you can save $$$ just by not eating out.  If you can't/or don't want to cook an Ukrainian Cafateria is extremely reasonable.  We only went out for dinner once or twice a week and indulged in an internet cafe in the evening. 

On a side note learing the words of food you need  will help lesson your frustration as the packaging can be very different. For example milk came in a tetra carton not in the refridgerated section in one store.

Bring thick soled shoes, I purchased a pair of comfortable walking shoes but they didn't offer enough protection from the jagged cobblestone streets and sidewalks.  The sidewalks are a hazard in themselves and looking into shop stores while walking can give you a sprained ankle or wrenched knee if not worst.   They don't walk and text in the Ukrainian.

I hope that some of the above will be of use to someone out there.  As for where we stand now we aren't sure.  I have no regrets, we did our best, and it was a wonderful experience.  Dale's hands are still a mess, they now look like they have second degree burns.   We are happy to be home and with our boys, but it remains uncertain if we can return to the Ukraine for our third visit.  We hope so, but life isn't always fair.