Saturday, May. 14, 2005 - 5:02 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Ukraine Here I Come??
OK I have gotten NOTHING done today hardly except for adoption stuff. Goddamn I am falling in love with the idea. I am I am. I can do this I can I can.
I DID get up early (not enough sleep) cuz my puter monitor arrived. It is black, which is rather chic, and does not go with the rest of the puter. But it is fun to have a 17" monitor (my old one was 16") cuz the lent one was 12" I think, and very very rounded. Like looking at windows on a beach ball. hehe.
The funny thing is that the guy who delivered my monitor was the actual owner of the company, not the regular housevisit guy (turns out his small daughter had an asthma attack so he wasn't working yesterday or today). Ok ok the funny thing is NOT that he was the actual owner of the company, but rather that he, the actual owner of the company, recognized me from having worked at the art supply store in the 1980's. It really is a small world. He was the ontheroad commercial representative of the store. So we chatted about the people we knew from there: all the managers, owner, owner's brother ... who interestingly enough just had a heart transplant yikes!... Let me tell you, since we worked there, all those people have played marital musical chairs.
I was single and dating when I worked there the second time (I was in a couple the first two years I worked there, then left for art school and came back single) and the upperstaff were all couples and seemed to be sort of snobby as they were "settled" and we were not.
and then they all broke up. Three of the couples had kids. The manager divorced. The head cashier divorced. And married the bachelor owner's brother (he was the accountant). The assistant manager divorced, and married the owner, who also divorced. What a mess! I made a joke that they got all their couples together in a room and put music on and played musical chairs. hehe.
I am still friends with some of them and acquaintances with others. I really loved working at that store. My friend who just adopted from China is a coworker from that store.
Anyways, good segue to the adopting from China eh!! hehe. Well, I went to the information session at the agency tonight. It is only a couple blocks from my house. Too bad there is a three year waiting list for single parents.
The information session was FANTASTIC. The woman running it was a volunteer who adopted three times from China, and she was personable and open and frank and just the sort of person I love. Very expressive and honest about her emotions, pitfalls, relationships etc.
It was SOOOO soothing to me to see someone who says she has panic attacks, a crazy mother in law, no friends (she says she and her hubby are too busy to have friends LOL!), and she STILL got approved to adopt three times. Thankgod. I was worried about the depression in my family, about being single, about having my family in Vancouver, not having many good friends who live in the immediate neighborhood. She was like, hey! No problem!! You have a good home, are responsible, have friends (it is TRUE I have friends, just ones who live 20 minutes away... she laughed that I thought that they didn't live close enough cuz she lives out in the countryside by where my friends live... like over an hour out of town).
It was so great to see how each couple had different issues (one woman had already had cancer, another had Crohn's disease, another couple wasn't 30 yet so have to wait for two years) and also to hear about the adoption experiences.
Turns out that often it takes a while to attach to the kids and vice versa. One of the facilitator's kids was a holy terror, screaming for 23 hours a day, and biting and kicking and punching, and now is much better... so much so they adopted the third girl.
It is weird to say that it is good to hear that, but my experience of adoption gone bad was with my little sister when I was about 8 and we sent her back into the system after 5 years (she was unadopted and went to a foster home). But it sounds like there are so many more ressources now. Our family was the only ones I knew with adopted kids when I was small, so imagine how my parents were alone. And here there are SOOOO many adopted kids. Mostly from China, but elsewhere too. Haiti, Romania, Guatamala etc.
And so many studies have been done now on adopting kids esp toddlers, that there are doctors who know what to look for, and ressources like books and parents' chatrooms etc etc.
So, I am having a lot less fear and worry. That woman really really was wonderful. I stayed after with a few other couples, and then thanked her when I was leaving and we ended up talking for another hour! yikes!! So I went to a 7pm meeting, thinking I'd make it to the gym at 9:30 pm for my workout, but instead I left there at 12:30 am!!!!!!!!! yikes!
Walked my doggy, then called my mom. She seems quite excited about being a grandma even if it is far. She might visit next summer. So MAYBE MAYBE I could adopt for next year this time.
Oh, the other thing is finances. The facilitator tonight took out adoption loans for the first two kids, and redid their mortgage for the third. The banks here give adoption loans at really reasonable interest rates for 15 years. I could do that. Gotta pay off my credit margin, but my bank manager knows that I pay my loans, and that I don't abuse my visa card, that I pay into my rrsp every year, that I bought a house and pay for it. I think I have good credit. Just gotta get out of the hole, which should happen before fall. yay!!
I am thinking of the Ukraine. If I lived in the States, I could get this lady to help me. Here is her really great website with stories and photos of her adoptions from the Ukraine, as well as her return trips where she got to meet the birth mother of one of her daughters, and made friends with their whole family. There are also photos of hundreds and hundreds (I think over a thousand) kids she helped adopt into American homes, with little blurbs on their families.
In the Ukraine one does an adoption oneself with a facilitator, not going through agencies which are illegal in the Ukraine. You go to an orphanage and get to meet the kids, and that is really cool. I have Ukranians in my family (Uncle, cousins) so it wouldn't feel so different as adopting from China. I'd be interested in learning the language and having my child get to know the place. In the Ukraine, the child remains a Ukranian citizen til she's 18, and then can chose Ukraine or the new country. Ukraine doesn't do dual citizenships. It is kind of cool since the child can travel back to the Ukraine to see where they came from, and also know that their country didn't "dump" them. You have to file a report every year. Being the reporting type of person I am, I would be perfectly happy with that.
You know I would really welcome the structure that having a kid would put into my life. Already my breakfast/ comic drawing routine is really pretty regular. Helps me get organized.
Oh, and the kids she adopted loved daycare. Not surprising since the milieu would be a lot like the orphanage groups they are used to. She had the first two she adopted (YES she is a single mom... The Ukraine is open to single moms and dads no problem... way less difficult than China) at a daycare when she was gone to adopt the third (she went the first time to get ONE child, fell in love with THREE... took two home the first time, and go the third several months later the same year). And when she got home, they still wanted to continue going to the daycare. Jeesh, I could live with a problem like that!
I also think it is cool they are very happy to have you adopt more than one. That way they have someone to talk with. I could imagine getting one and then a year or two later getting a second from the same orphanage. Often they do that and the kids can end up with other kids they knew in Ukraine. I think that must be soooo much better than the abrupt and frightening loss of everything known that happens with China.
You should see those frightened confused Chinese babies when the parents get handed them the first day. They have never met the kids. They are complete strangers. They get off a plane and the kids are handed to them. YIKES!! And the kids lose their Chinese citizenship.
I asked if the parents learn chinese... well apparently there are over 50 dialects and the kids are all different so no. And it appears that most just integrate the kids into Quebec life... say "oh you must be proud to be from China it is a good thing" but that's it.
I dunno. I like that in the Ukraine, you meet the kid for a bit at the orphanage, and the kid gets to see you, but still stay at the orphanage for a week or two, with you visiting every day. They get to know you, and look forward to you coming everyday. They are prepared that they will go away with you to their new home. Not just handed over to someone they've never seen. You get to go back over and over to the orphanage, meet their friends, take photos of their friends, caretakers, peer group etc. What a wonderful thing to have for them as they grow up.
And of course that is how the adoptive parents end up meeting other kids and falling for more and adopting more than one. Which makes the Ukrainian adoption people happy, since you develop a relationship with them, the orphanage, the kids. They can even find the siblings, and also birth parents sometimes. Less plucking of children from one culture and throwing them in a completely different one with no connection, no transition.
So yeah, that's what I've been doing. Reading and thinking.
hehe, this is like when I bought the house. And the dog. And moved here. Go for it. Crash course. Learn learn learn. Forward and onward.
Reading, it seems that very many of the couples and esp single women who do this are a lot like me. Outspoken, stubborn, headstrong, independent, loving, go for it. YAY!!
I really am starting to feel good about this.
OMG I could be a mommy. It is my life dream. Not my career, not travelling the world on my own, or having a great sex life. It is being part of living growing human beings, involved in community and life. Baking and reading and playing and fighting and laughing and forgiving and cuddling and screaming and pouting and temper tantrums and popsicles and sticky and bedtime and all of that. yeah.
OK, I gotta go to bed.
I can do it. Yes I can.
ps, DO go and look at that Ukraine website, and even if you don't read the adoption stories, look at the photos of the kids and the orphanages. yeah.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily