Thursday, April 30, 2009

go west young wo-man

Today I am heading west to visit my very good friend. I need a break from this place and all related concerns and worries. We have planned an “adoption woes” coffee early on during my visit to get everything out on the table and process together. Then the rest of the time is dedicated to having fun as only two close friends can! I’m hoping to come back a bit refreshed and ready to face the big bad world again. Let’s hope I’m successful!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a new opportunity

I’ve been struggling with a lack of motivation at my job for a number of months. Partly this is because of all the adoption related drama and I’m just so ready to begin the job of parenthood, and also because my job is changing. I work in community development and capacity building so the nature of my job dictates change and this makes complete sense. However, my strengths were best used previously and now not so much. Plus our grant funding will likely come to an end in the next year which means I am out of a job.

I had been actively looking for new work right up until I submitted notice of my upcoming parental leave. I had to submit notice well in advance considering this adoption could have happened right away after our file was approved. My employer has been very supportive and understanding of my unique situation and that I could need to leave work with a moments notice. I also stopped looking for a new job since I didn't think a new employer would be as understanding of my situation and might not grant me a leave. But this has meant that as each day drones on at my current job I become more and more unsettled and unhappy.

Even though I've learned that it's futile to put your life on hold dependant on a specific situation it's really hard to avoid this from happening when waiting for an adoption. If we plan any sort of major event I always wonder if we'll need to cancel or be around for it or miss the call, etc. So it has been really difficult to wrap my brain around my employment and the future.

And then recently a job posting went up for a great position that I would love. What do I do? Do I continue to work in a job where I am unhappy and the funding is limited just because I am guaranteed parental leave and everyone has been so great about it? Or do I continue to live life and take new opportunities when they come hoping for the best? I have decided on the later. I applied for the job. The posting came down yesterday and I have no idea how long it will take to review resumes and organize interviews. And who knows who will come out of the dark for this job, it's a good position that is desired by many in my field.

So now I wait (seems to be my theme song) to see if I will get an interview. Cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

who shot my tigger?

At the beginning of the year I was focused on choosing a Tigger filled kind of life.

...someone shot my Tigger.

And Eeyore has moved in.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

transracial parenting manual

I just downloaded this transracial parenting manual and took a quick read through it. There is some great information included in this guide that will be very helpful to any transracial family.

Take a look around John's blog as well. It is rich with information to help guide families engaged in transracial parenting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

awesome adoptive mommas

I just love this post by Heather at Production Not Reproduction called "The Awesome-ness of being an Adoptive Mom." She presents 10 things she loves about being an adoptive mom. They all sound awesome to me and this is one post that I will print out and keep for reference when times are tough. Thanks Heather for another great post!

  1. My children are learning, first-hand, that family isn't just about circumstances of biology. It is also about the people we choose to love and the commitments we keep.

  2. It's fun to confuse the nurses at the doctor's office when you tell them you have two children, zero pregnancies.**

  3. Ditto the strangers who can't figure out which two children match up to you at the playground.

  4. My husband and I were able to equally participate in every aspect of childcare, from feeding to babywearing, from the very beginning and it's led to a wonderful emotional and logistical balance in our household. No one got a head start in bonding or the extra responsibility that comes along with it.

  5. If the baby-birthing moms in my playgroup are a representative sample, I am glad I can laugh hard without peeing a bitty bit. Continue reading...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

a better life?

I was very recently reminded of the prevailing “saviour mentality” in adoption. Many times this is most pervasive in international adoption from third world countries. The adoptive parent is seen to provide the child with a “better life” ultimately saving them from a future of despair.

People who have adopted overseas have told me that when walking through the country with their adopted child many locals come up to them and say what a good thing they are doing for this child, and how this child has won the lottery. Some locals even ask them if they will take their children too. But the people willing to hand over their children so quickly to first world foreigners don’t have a complete picture of adoption. They can only see what is right in front of them – the reality of their poverty. And they are right in that these children will be given different opportunities in life. But does that automatically make their life a better one? Many don’t look beyond the young child and possibilities to think about that child as an adult dealing with all the difficulties of a transracial adoption. Those of us who are not adopted don’t have a clear understanding of what it looks and feels like to be adopted. I have an inkling of an idea but really don’t have a clue. So how can we make any sort of statement related to their lives? For too long adoptive parents and agencies have been speaking for adoptees. Talking about their lives as if we know for one minute what it is to walk in their shoes.

What does a better life really mean? My understanding of relinquishment is that it is usually related to some sort of circumstance in life. And generally speaking the adoptive parents can provide whatever stability the first family (including extended family) can’t at that particular moment in time. But this certainly doesn’t mean that the child isn’t loved by the first family and would have been loved greatly had he/she not been placed. So does a better life then refer to financial stability? The stuff we give our children? Or educational opportunities? Or is life really about love and family…and both of these things the first family would have been able to provide (I am not referring to abusive situations).

Who is to say that an adopted child will have a “better life”? I don’t think I can make that call. I clearly can’t predict the future and have no idea what sort of people or circumstances would have entered this child’s life had they stayed with their first family. As adoptive parents I think it’s extremely important to have a clear understanding of this and avoid the trap of the saviour mentality. Because then this will breed the concept of “gratefulness” in the adoptive child. How many adoptees have heard someone say, “You’re so lucky to have been adopted” or "You must feel so grateful to have been adopted" ? It is the adoptive parents who are the lucky ones, not the child. There was no luck involved in the child's separation from his/her first family.

Don’t get me wrong, to grow up in extreme poverty is not a good thing for any child. But neither is the guilt or shame to often felt by adoptees that comes with adoptive parents who buy in to the saviour mentality.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

this is no laughing matter

I thought that Mother Nature had played a cruel April fool's joke on me...but sadly this is my reality.

This is the not so lovely sight I woke up to this morning. Seriously? I dislike winter at the best of times, but really? All this snow on April 1st? I’m about ready to break down! This did nothing to improve my mood. Is spring ever coming?! And someone please remind me why it is that I live here again…considering the loooong winters and the difficult adoption process in this province as compared to others.

Maybe D will consider moving…I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s warmer and by the ocean…throw in a cabana boy to keep an ongoing supply of pina coladas coming and I’d be in paradise!