Monday, February 26, 2007

A Bit More of an Explanation

Thanks to everyone who has sent along their congratulations and good wishes to our family! But, it probably does seem to some that this good news came out of nowhere, so maybe I should try to fill in some of the gaps.

We began this adoption process in February, 2005. We waited for a year, then were able to start our province's "preadoption" course (since in Canada, adoption is under provincial government juridstiction) and our homestudy. This was last February (2006). It took us up until the end of August to get complete provincial approval to adopt, via China's Waiting Child Program. A few loose ends then still had to be tied up and our file finally got to our adoption agency in November. We were then informed that the CCAA had asked to agency to only submit select information on families that were requesting to adopt via the WCP- and that they would send child proposals in December or January which met the profiles approved for these families in their homestudies. These child proposals never came, however, for reasons I believe the agency is still trying to extract, but the agency DID get a Waiting Child list- with 8 children on it.

There were about 25 families expecting to be matched by the CCAA. SO, the agency started at the top of the "waiting family" list and tried to match the 8 children with families. We were near the bottom of the list- and because we believed we would be matched directly by the CCAA, we had been very specific about the nature of the medical need that we would accept. Actually, we stated that we would like to adopt a boy or a girl, but preferred a boy, aged 0-3 years, with a minor heart condition.

Well, near the end of January, there was some "informal" talk that most of the children on the agency's list had been matched, but that there were still 2 little boys, both with cleft issues, who, because of their age and their condition, had no obvious family matches. We had heard that one of these little boys was only 2- the perfect age for us! BUT, we had not been approved in our homestudy for a child with a cleft issue. This was a problem, since the agency is bound to only discussing children with families if those children meet the provincially-approved parameters for age, sex, and medical need. SO, before our agency could "talk" to us about this little 2 year old boy, we needed to find out if our provincial authority would permit us to change what they call our "preferred child profile". As well, we really needed to consider whether a cleft issue was something we could deal with as a family, in our community. We set out trying to figure this all out- and then, on the day that we had the answers (Yes and Yes!) and called the agency to ask them to proceed and send this little guy's file to our province for us, something very wonderful happened. Out of the blue, the agency had received an unsolicited update on this little boy- a report which had been done only 2 months prior! So, they were able to send 2 medical/developmental reports and updated pictures!!! Our provincial adoption authority was great- they had no problems with us opening the nature of the medical needs that we would accept and they have been very supportive since we received the child proposal.

Well, the rest is history, as they say. We began to fall in love with the child who we already consider our son. Our daughters were so excited when we showed them his pictures. Our oldest girl beamed and shouted "Is that our brother!?!"! I wish I had videotaped their reaction.

Without a doubt, we feel extremely lucky that we could be matched with Xinguang and that there were no other families on the list ahead of us who had requested a boy of his age. I know it sounds cliche in the extreme, but I cannot help but feel it was "meant to be"!

We're hoping that all the other families still waiting for their little ones get matched quickly.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Here He Is!!

Here's our beautiful boy! We're still trying to decide on an English name for him, but Xinguang (pronounced like "Shin-gwong") will be his middle name- and, of course, the name that he will know himself as. We'll gradually transition him to an English name, but if he wants to be known as Xinguang, then that's fine by us.

He's living in northern Jiangsu province right now, and we cannot wait to get to him! But we have been told that it may take up to 6 months before we travel- of course, we're hoping for less but steeling ourselves for more.

His sisters are so delighted with him! We all are. Worth the wait? You betcha!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

pronounced: "Gung hei fat choi"

meaning: "Congratulations and Be Prosperous!", used as a "Happy New Year!" greeting in China.

Wishes to all for a joyous new year in this auspicious "Year of the Golden Pig".

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I hope this is a day with some love in it for all of us- and I'm not ONLY talking about romance!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

A Guy named Jerome...

Well, actually his name was more like Gerolamo Emiliani since he was Italian and lived Venice and its surrounds in the late 1400s- early 1500s. In the Roman Catholic tradition, he is known as St. Jerome- and is the patron saint of orphans and abandoned people. Today, according to the RC "Calender of Saints", February 8th, is his feast day.

How do I know this, you might ask?

Well, it is true that I was raised "Irish Catholic" and am probably one of the last generation, in North America, at least, that was actually taught by nuns (bless them). So, saints are a part of my cultural and spiritual heritage, and I have to admit that, as a child I was always fascinated and inspired by them. The fact that some of them didn't ever really exist, and that many of their stories are likely products of wild imagination does not make the concept of "saint", in my mind, any less interesting!

One of the stories that I was particulary impressed by was that of St. Agnes- one of the several sacrificial virgin martyrs who chose a horrific death over recanting her faith. I remember reading about her a Children's Book of Saints that my best friend owned (my family was not zealously religious, and we didn't have such things lying around the house). Anyways, what was probably most fascinating to me about that book was the pictures. In an upbringing that was maybe a *little* censored, here was this children's book containing pictures that often depicted the torture and the burning at the stake, etc.... oh my, I guess *certain "truths" were OK with the church if they made some sort of spiritual point.

But one of the things that I learned later in "Religion" class that has stuck with me is that saints don't necessarily have to do something awesome... (well, technically, to be officially cannonized/recognized by the RC hierarchy, I guess they do, like make miracles happen after they've died, but let's not get bogged down there)... rather, anybody who acts selflessly, with integrity and love and concern for the people around them, is living the life of a saint.

Imagine that. There are saints all around us. Sometimes, we might even live like saints. And then like sinners. And then like saints. Yin and yang, transforming into each other, just cloaked in a different spiritual tradition (maybe with a little hyperbole thrown in for good measure).

So, today is the day that recalls the life of Gerolamo Emiliani, whose life work was caring for children made orphans by the European plague of the 1500s. Sadly, there's still a need for lots of "Jeromes" today- and we're very lucky that there are some around.

Here is a link to one:

I know there are those of you reading this who pray and meditate, and also those of you who don't. That doesn't matter. Just give a thought today for children who are abandoned either physically or emotionally, and for what they've lost. And hope that all the "St. Jeromes" out there are inspired, steadfast and supported by the rest of us.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Another Look...

I'm still not completely satisfied with the look of the blog, really, but I needed a change. So, here it is.
I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to design my own template or skin or whatever they call it...ha!... that should take a while... like LONGER than it takes to adopt a kid from China!!!
But, hey, these things have been known to happen ;)

Monday, February 5, 2007

Ah, that's better...

Well, at least everything is back in its correct place!
But I'll have to try fooling around with some other templates later on.
That was fun!

Lost my Template, Lost my Template...

..lost my template, la-ast ni-ght.... (sung to the tune of 'Found a peanut')...

SO, I thought I'd be creative and try a new blog template. It's very pretty isn't it? it doesn't work well with this-version-of-Blogger-formerly-known-as-Beta. A shame.

I'm hoping that I'll get a few minutes this night to recover my links (yes, I did a back-up) and try something else. Any suggestions for nice blogger templates would be welcomed!