What to do while you wait

Today’s biweekly update from the Children’s Bridge included a good listing of things waiting families can do to help pass the time.  I thought I would share it for those who are in the (excruciating) waiting stage.  I’ve edited the  list slightly to make it more generic, but this list was created by Cathy Murphy from the Children’s Bridge.

Enroll in a language class
What language will your child be hearing or speaking when you receive them? It is a great comfort to your children if we can learn a few phrases or simple songs in their language to support them during their transition into your family. You may not learn to speak fluently but it will certainly enhance your understanding of your child’s culture.

Attend cultural events in your community and learn more about your child’s culture
Join in some of the celebrations for: Autumn Moon Festival, Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Race, Divali Festival of Lights, Kwanzaa, Day of the Republic (October 25) and Independence Day (December 16). Sign up for a cooking class and research and try recipes from your child’s country of origin.

Attend a families-in-waiting support group
Families-in-waiting support groups meet monthly in many cities across Canada. These groups provide you with the opportunity to meet others who can relate to your circumstances and provide support, networking and friendship while you wait! Sharing the wait with someone else who understands can be very helpful.

Find a “mentor” from the adoption community
They’ve gone through the process and can share their experiences with you. What were their joys and challenges during their adoption journey? How can their experience and friendship support you on your own adoption journey?

Read your Adoption and Parenting Resource Kit and books on adoption and parenting
This is when you have the time to sit back and relax with a good book.

Keep a journal
Write your emotions down in a journal. You can record your thoughts and feelings as well as some of the frustrations you will feel with the longer timelines.

Prepare for parenthood
Becoming an adoptive parent doesn’t happen over night but when it is time to travel to your child’s country you’ll want to be sure you’re ready. It’s never too early to look for a pediatrician or family doctor (the wait lists are long in Ontario). There is a list of International Adoption Clinics in the member’s section of the CB web site www.childrensbridge.com. What resources are in your neighborhood? Have you been to your local community playgroup or drop in centre?

Volunteer
The Children’s Bridge is always looking for volunteers to help support our pre and post adoption services. Consider giving some time to the CB Board of Directors or mentor other prospective adoptive families as a volunteer Regional Coordinator in your area.

Safety/childproof your home
Is your house childproof? Have you:

  • Installed outlet covers and plates on outlets?
  • Installed smoke detectors on every level of your home?
  • Used window guards, window stops or safety netting to prevent kids from falling out of windows?
  • Removed window blind cords that have loops, which can cause strangulation? Bought safety tassels to replace cord loops?
  • Installed door knob covers to keep children out of dangerous rooms (bathrooms, garage, office)?
  • Posted emergency numbers next to all phones?
  • Installed safety latches on all cupboards and airtight containers, including refrigerators?
  • Stored knives, sharp objects and heavy pans out of child’s reach?
  • Stored medications, detergents, soaps, alcohol and other hazardous items out of reach?
  • Used back burners when cooking, and remembered to turn handles away from counter edge?
  • Equiped faucets with anti-scalding devices? Also remember never to have hot drinks near children.
  • Latched trash compactor and dishwasher?
  • Ensured there is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not close to any heat sources?
  • Made sure trash can has lid and is inaccessible to children?
  • Ensured you have a safe cupboard (filled with wooden spoons, plastic cups and lids, and other harmless items) for your child to explore while you are cooking?
  • Used child safety gate to keep kids out of kitchen when you are not there?
  • Ensured you have a cordless phone to remain mobile with kids around and have at least one cell phone in house for use in emergencies when there is no electricity?

Finish Projects
Finish those home renovation projects such as painting, refinishing furniture or even renovating your home.

And last but definitely not least . . . look after yourself
You’ll need to find ways to deal with the stress of adopting and being in process. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Now may be the time to join that health club, sign up for a yoga or try a thai chi class. Who knows it just may make the wait more bearable! (And work with weights – your baby won’t necessarily be a 6lb tiny bundle – more likely a 20lb+ baby on the brink of toddlerhood. Your arms and back will thank you!)

The final bits of paperwork

About a month ago, I sent in Alex’s Canadian Citizenship paperwork – finally.  It was postponed for so many reasons since November (the earliest we could apply): H1N1, Christmas, moving, address changes etc., – but it’s done now.  I keep checking the mail for the confirmation letter to know that it was received, but  nothing. 

So I looked up the wait times online:

 Step 1 : The Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Sydney reviews our application to make sure it meets the minimum processing requirements and that the appropriate fee payment is included. Once received and if everything is in order, an acknowledgement letter will be sent.   This step can take 5 months.

 Step 2: The CPC completes a review of our application to make sure you meet all processing requirements and have included the required documents.  Once this done, we can check the citizenship application status online.  This step can take yet another month, so up to 6 months from appliacation sent

Step 3:  If our application is complete, the CPC will send it to the CIC office nearest to our home for further processing. The CIC office completes the steps necessary for a citizenship judge to make a decision on our application.  This step will be completed in approximately 9 to 12 months from the time our application was initially received in step 1.

 Step 4:  If we meet all the requirements for citizenship, they will notify us by mail of the time and place of your citizenship ceremony.   This step will be completed in approximately 13 to 16 months from the time our application was received in step 1.  

In other words it might take yet another 4 months to hear anything.  So I won’t be rushing out to check the mail daily any more 🙂

On the citizenship note, we applied for Alex through the naturalization process, rather than the normal citizenship route.  We did this because in April 2009, the law changed to limit citizenship by descent to one generation born outside Canada. So in other words, under thew new rules, if Alex moves outside of Canada, to say, Chicago, to marry Olive, and they have a child (wouldn’t he or she be cute?!), then that child would not automatically have Canadian Citizenship like any other child would.  So, by applying through the naturalization process, we don’t have to worry about that.  So until citizenship is received, Alex will continue using his Korean passport – like for our trip to BOSTON this summer!!

Meeting our little man!

Just got word that we will be meeting Alex on January 30that 1:30pm – so 2 weeks from today! We can’t wait!

On another note… Is anyone else sick of the cold?! It is -21C without the windchill (-32C with). Poor Mason has been cooped up for days, and hardly moves past the deck to do his business outside… Who would have thought we would be going to South Korea to warm up!?

Wow

Just looked at the ticker on the right of our blog and today marks exactly 9 months since we started the adoption process, and 1 month and 3 weeks waiting since our LONO was sent to Korea.
9 months… so when is my water going to break?

What a day…

Well, tonight we were just watching tv, relaxing, vegging out, when at about 9:15pm there was a phone call.  It was a number I’ve never seen before, and I almost screened it, but decided to answer the call.  It was the South Korea coordinator from Children’s Bridge.  They were calling to let us know that we have… A SON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is right!!! It happened!! We have our baby! He is absolutely perfect!  We can’t wait to meet him.

We had been waiting only 2 months and 6 days for our referral. 

I am in SHOCK, actually I think we both are – but also ecstatic!!!!!!  We will share more details once we meet with our Adoption Practitioner to go over his paperwork which will arrive on Thursday and meet with the doctor (we ironically had an apt. on Friday anyhow!). 

I don’t think we will sleep tonight.  Thank you for everyone’s prayers… they worked!

This weekend

I’m disappointed that we have not get a real move on the nursery.  I want to – but I want a reason to – like perhaps a referral…  I also feel that we need the crib to get started, (ordered it 6 weeks ago, and is supposed to be here in 8-10).  So this weekend I am going to prep my craft room / storage space in the basement to become the new spare bedroom, and hopefully we can move the spare bed down there.  Then when the crib is available for pickup, we will have a place to put it! 

Other things that need to be done:

  • dig out the changing table and repaint / recover it
  • stain the dresser we have the same colour as the crib
  • get curtains (IKEA run anyone?)
  • get a bookshelf
  • get a diaper genie (are these necessary?  I hear horror stories – what about a garbage can with a lid and latch?)
  • make a crib skirt, quilts
  • put up the pictures I bought from Etsy
  • oh, and get a referral…

Waiting for a Referral

Since not all of our family and friends will necessarily understand the importance of yesterday’s happy dance, I thought I would explain.  By receiving a Letter of No Objectionfrom the MYCS and having our Dossier sent to South Korea it means that we are now officially waiting for a Referral.  A referral occurs when South Korea has approved your Dossier and has matched you with the perfect child.  This generally  takes 6 – 8 months – but it seems to be taking closer to 5 – 6 months (at least that is what is seems from the monthly Children’s Bridge newsletters) … so hopefully by February 2009 we will know who our child is!!   

We are now officially a “Family in Waiting”!