Quick Update

Just a quick update as to where we are with our Immigration paperwork.  We have filled out as much as we can on a paper copy since you cannot save to the online version (can only fill out and print…).  We also had to send away for something called an Option C Printout from Revenue Canada.  It should be here “within 10 business days”.  We have also needed to get additional letters from our employers stating how long we have been working there and how much we make per hour.  So once we get our Option C Printouts, we will be able to finish the paperwork and get it in the mail to Citizenship and Immigration Canada!

Dear Abby Article

This morning while reading my favourite adoption blogs, I found reference to one called Dream of Dragons.  On her blog there was reference to a Dear Abby article written by Diane Armitage, an adoptive mother of two, and published in a “Dear Abby” column by the Universal Press Syndicate. Date of original publication is not known.  I hope Dream of Dragons does not mind me replicating that article here – it is truly beautiful.

“Different Trips to the Same Place”
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You’ve heard it’s a wonderful place, you’ve read guidebooks and feel certain you are ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you’ll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait – and wait – and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, “Relax. You’ll get on a flight soon.” Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, “It’s not fair!”

After a long time, the ticket agent tells you, “I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat.”

“By BOAT!” you say. “Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane.” So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are only able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, “Oh be glad you didn’t fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy.”

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

Myth of Mat Leave

Chatelaine magazine has an interesting article in July’s issue about Mat leave.  The article talks about the myth in Canada of how wonderful the maternity benefits are – “any new mother who qualifies, from a corporate lawyer to a waitress, earns, at the very most, $1,740 a month, well below the poverty line in every Canadian city” – Students and self employed workers do not qualify for the benefits.  Also many part time workers do not qualify if they did not work 600 hours in the previous 12 months.  Can you imagine? 

The article also talked about the downside this program has for adoptive families: “Another group left out of the plan is adoptive parents, who don’t qualify for the 15 weeks of maternal leave and receive only the 35 weeks of parental. This seems cruelly counterintuitive: Isn’t it likely that transitioning an adopted child into a new family might, in fact, require more time, more money, more support than a biological birth? ”  That’s what PRIDE training was all about – stating that adoptive families need to ensure that they can spend the time necessary to bond with their child to ensure that they transititon well into their new families.  This is even more crucial for those adopting children from orphanages or foster care.  And it isn’t like adoptive families can afford to stay off after the adoption process – who gas extra cash lying around… adoption is expensive! 

It is much better than the amount of time off in the States – 8 weeks I believe is the amount of time a mother gets off while still having job security – please correct me if I’m wrong.  The Canadian government is considering extending the amount of time availalbe for parental leave up to 2 years – while that would be wonderful for the child – who will be able to afford to take the time off?

Anyhow – interesting article – check it out.

In the blogosphere…

Just hopping around the adoption web blogosphere and found 3 cool sites I wanted to share.
One had a very inspirational blog about a family who has raise $20,000 through various sales for their upcoming adoption.  I’ve been thinking about various fund raising ideas, creating a cookbook, starting an etsy store, selling things on eBay – but I don’t think that will amount to $20,000! 
Another blog had a link to the Global Rich List – where you can enter your income to see where you are in the list of riches people in the world.  Now I now I am not rich by Canadian standards, but when you come out to being in the top .93% of the world, it makes you think how blessed and lucky we are to live in a county such as Canada.
This one is fun – especially for kids – bzzzpeek – it is a collection of recordings of children’s voices imitating the sounds of vehicles and animals in their native languages.  And there is South Korea!

Immigration Hell

Ok – I’m an Internet junkie. My job is using the Internet, navigating it, showing people how to use the Internet… and I can’t figure out how to find the right Immigration papers!  I have spent 2 days trying to get the right stuff together – but the wording – my goodness – so confusing!  I think I have the right link now – http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/family.asp  If anyone else is working on their immigration work and is from Ontario, can you let me know if this is the right link?  I’m just waiting to hear back from our agency on whether I have the right stuff lined up.

We are planning on filling it all out this weekend and trying to mail it away by next week – only hangup is that Matt is a teacher and the School Board is going to be letting out for the summer soon and we need another original statement of employment.  Hopefully we can get it soon! 

It’s on it’s way!

I just received an e-mail from the South Korea Coordinator at Children’s Bridge to let me know that our homestudy is going to be sent to the Ministry of Child and Youth Services today!! There is about a 6 week time frame there… and then off to Korea.

Gotta get a start on the immigration paperwork – I have it in front of me and there is a lot to do…

Dossier Done!

Well we did it – last night we finished our Dossier.  For those who do not know what a Dossier is, it is a collection of legal documents required for international adoptions.  We finished up our adoption cover letter and this afternoon I will be mailing it away to Children’s Bridge.  We are so excited! 

Our Dossier and the home study will be sent to the Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services where we will be approved (cross your fingers & toes!) – that takes approximately 6 weeks.  Once that is done, our paperwork is translated to Korean and then sent to the South Korea Social Welfare Society.  Once there, it will take 6 – 12 months to get a referral.  We are in the 2009 Children’s Bridge time line so we won’t be travelling until next year – but hey – that is only 6 months away!

Next steps will be to do the Immigration paperwork and wait… and wait…  and prep a nursery.  Since we don’t know if we will be getting a boy or girl, or how old the child will be it will be difficult – but at least we know we will be in need of a crib, highchair, playpen… I’m getting started on blankets and quilts – will post pics as soon as I’m done.  Yeah!!

We Signed!

Yesterday we signed our homestudy – a great start to Father’s Day!  Our AP needs to have a notary sign it this morning and then will be sending it away to Children’s Bridge this afternoon!  That means we have to get our buts in gear and finish our Dossier tonight!  Really is just the adoption letter for the South Korea Social Welfare Society that we need to finish – but it is the most important part!