November 24, 2007

Homestudy on hold

I'm feeling a bit sad because our homestudy is on hold right now. Our social worker's husband is seriously ill and is in hospital. I completely understand that she can't work right now but it is just hard being patient. I knew this process would have lots of road-blocks but I was just hoping that they wouldn't happen so soon!

So, in the attempt to feel productive I have started to compile our dossier. For those of you who aren't in the adoption world this is a bunch of paper-work and notarized documents that will be sent along with our homestudy report to Ottawa (for approval) and then on to Ethiopia. I honestly thought it would be much worse. So far I think it is pretty manageable. In case you are curious this is the list I got from our agency that they said we could begin working on now:

Dossier Required Documents Checklist:

□ Completed Homestudy
□ Provincial Letter of Approval

Medical Information (not over 2 years old):
□ Medical report from family physician, including HIV testing - male applicant
□ Medical report from family physician, including HIV testing - female applicant
□ Other: Medical specialist report if applicants have been under the care of a specialist

Security Clearances (not over 2 years old, of all members of household over 18):
□ Interpol/RCMP fingerprint police check – male applicant
□ Interpol/RCMP fingerprint police check – female applicant
□ Other: Criminal record check for countries in which applicant has lived for 6 consecutive
months or more

□ 2 original copies of current Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada – male applicant
□ 2 original copies of current Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada – female applicant
□ 2 original copies of Letter from Employer – male applicant
□ 2 original copies of Letter from Employer – female applicant
□ Summary of Health Care and Life Insurance Benefits

□ Notarized Power of Attorney
□ Notarized Consent to Exchange Information
□ Notarized Letter to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
□ Notarized Power of Attorney to Ethiopian Representative
□ Notarized Undertaking regarding Follow up Reports
□ Notarized/Certified Birth Certificate – male applicant, and photocopy
□ Notarized/Certified Birth Certificate – female applicant, and photocopy
□ Notarized/Certified Marriage Certificate, and photocopy
□ Notarized/Certified Divorce Decree, if applicable

Character References
□ 2 from non-relatives, paragraph format, typed, original signatures

□ Clear, colour photocopy of passport – male applicant
□ Clear, colour photocopy of passport – female applicant
□ 2 passport photos – male applicant (submit 1, keep one for visa)
□ 2 passport photos – female applicant (submit 1, keep one for visa)

November 18, 2007

Vocabulary for Rice

I saw this website on another adoption blog and I had to post a link here (

Go to the website and test your vocabulary. For every word you spell right you will be giving 10 grains of rice to the hungry. The UN World Food Program has pledged to give this rice away and it is completely paid for by the sponsors on the website.

I gave 220 grains of rice tonight and my vocab was at level 34! Oh, and just so you know there doesn't seem to be a limit. I got tired after awhile and stopped, but you can keep going and giving rice to the poor!

November 13, 2007

Chantal Kreviazuk visits Ethiopia

I'm a huge fan of Chantal Kreviazuk and the fact that she was in Addis Ababa meant that I had to post this video clip! It's a bit long but I think it's worth the watch. If you want to learn more about what she did in Addis or see another video you can go to the warchild website:

Also, if you are a fan of Keane their newest single is being donated completely to warchild. It's called "The Night Sky."

November 11, 2007

Introducing Wasyihun

Mike and I decided to sponsor a child that lives close to where we will be going in Ethiopia. His name is Wasyihun and he is 8 years old! Hopefully this will be a good way for us and our little one to maintain a connection to his Ethiopian roots. Friends of ours who adopted from Ethiopia visited their sponsor child while in Addis and said it was one of their biggest highlights of their trip. I think it will make the whole process of sponsoring a child a lot more real.

Homestudy news:

We've completed our second homestudy (3 more to go) visit and it went really well. It was actually a lot of fun to talk about how we envision our family lifestyle to be and what sort of rituals and activities we want to do with our kids. Our social worker also asked us a lot about parenting philosophies, discipline and how we would deal with specific situations. Mike even told her that he wants to take our son hunting! I panicked for a moment but reminded myself that hunting is not illegal and therefore should not be a problem!

November 8, 2007

Positive Adoption Language

Alright everyone,

I think it is time for the educational part of the blog to begin....

A lot of these words are debatable in the adoption world, but I think that it is important to consider why they are negative or positive. I can't even count how many times I've been asked if and when we will have "children of our own". But don't worry, Mike and I are still getting used to the new vocabulary as well, so don't feel bad if you say the "wrong thing!"

Negative Language vs. Positive Language

real mom/parent --------- birth mom/parent
own child --------------- biological child (all our children are our own!)
give up/give away-------- place a child/make an adoption plan
adoptive parent---------- parent
is adopted--------------- was adopted
mixed race-------------- interracial

November 3, 2007

Education Seminar -complete

Today Mike and I were at an all-day adoption seminar in Vancouver. The seminar itself was pretty general and discussed domestic and international adoption. I was hoping it would be more in-depth. I think I will plan on registering for another seminar that deals specifically with attachment or biracial families later on.

However, the BEST part of the day was listening to a variety of different families tell their stories. Both the domestic and international panel were amazing. Basically, I was crying the whole time! I can't go into their stories because of confidentiality but let's just say that I now feel much more open to the idea of open adoption and adopting older children!!!
I was blown away by the family that adopted 8 and 10 year old siblings from Russia. Their daughter who is now 17 came and spoke about life in an orphanage and how it felt coming to Canada...... I will never forget her story.

Other things I learned that maybe some of you might find interesting:

-flannel graphs do have importance and I plan to find one (or make one) for our kids
-giving time outs may not be the best option for kids with attachment issues; time ins may be a better alternative
(a time in could be suggesting your child sits on your lap for two minutes or having your child do a boring chore with you like wash the kitchen floor)
-overstimulation doesn't just come from suddenly having lots of toys and new surroundings. Since our baby will most likely have only seen the same faces day in and day out at the oprhanage and transition home, even just seeing new faces every time we go out, will be extremely exhausting for him.
-Since all of the workers at orphanages are typically female it is common for children to attach first to their dad. This is mainly because the mom may seem to be just another care-taker that will come and go.