Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Emerging from Toddler Shock!

Well, I think it's finally happening. I'm starting to recover from toddler shock. BOY toddler shock.

It's been quite a month. Our little guy is a gem- I'm so happy with how well he's doing... but it wasn't until recently that I figured out he was doing a lot better than me!

You'd think that I would have had a clue that toddlers are a lot of work. But a friend recently pointed out that with my daughters by birth, I had some time to work up to a 3-year-olds activity level. Hmm... good point. Not to mention that when my other kids were 3, I wasn't home with them full-time. I had it easy- I went to work!

I think recovering from a half-way-around-the-world trip with 3 kids didn't help. Helping our 8-year-old adjust to now being the middle child hasn't exactly been a picnic either. Then there's all the paperwork (Health Card, Social Insurance Number, Citizenship work) and the medical appointments we've been to. And back to school for the older kids. And a husband who has had to travel 7 days out of the last 9. Boo hoo.

Oh yes, the post-adoption experience has been a whirlwind up to this point, to say the least. But I think I'm finally getting into the groove. At least... today things seemed pretty groovy. Tomorrow? We'll see.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Letter to Share

Please think about joining the cause! This is from the PEI Adoption Coalition- but we should ALL be concerned! Please take the time to dash off a letter or even an e-mail. THANKS!!

Hello all - the following letter can be copied into emails, shared
through yahoo groups and forwarded to the people identified. We've
put names and addresses at the bottom of the letter, along with a note
on who should be copied - this part should obviously be removed prior
to sending. We should encourage people to personalize the letter if


Premier Robert Ghiz
95 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown , PE
C1A 7N8

Dear Premier Ghiz:

I am writing to express support for the adoptive parents of Prince
Edward Island – the very province known for the story of a famous
orphan – who have raised concerns with the provincial government
regarding the international adoption programs in the province.

Island families have requested a reversal of the policy decision
regarding the Waiting Child program – a decision that has eliminated
any waiting child referrals where matching is done by the agencies.
These processes are currently accepted by every other province in the
country and the waiting child program is virtual inaccessible outside
of this system. I encourage you to follow the processes set out by
China, whereby the agencies are delegated the authority to do the
matching (respecting of course the Province's final role in approving
every match). Families with open waiting child applications are being
affected by this decision at this very moment.

Island families have also requested concrete regulations and policies
with regards to all aspects of international adoption, ranging from
country programs available to Island families, to age of child, to
sibling groups, to single adoption, to family eligibility guidelines,
to concurrent adoptions, and to transparency & appeals.

Families in your community have also raised concerns regarding
accountability from the provincial government. By allowing each and
every family to review their referrals when they arrive in PEI,
families would be able to supply additional information or make
requests for homestudy amendments should there be discrepancies
between the referral details and the child request. It would be
regrettable to have families lose their only chance at adoption simply
because the Province has decided not to share information until and
only if the referral sent in their name is approved.

I urge you to commit to an active support of the international
programs and to clearly embrace and formalize options for Island
families. I encourage you to investigate the underlying reasons for
the Province's decision to effectively stop the international adoption
of children with medical needs, and, also, to respond to the PEI
Adoption Coalition's requests for an overall review of PEI's
international adoption procedures to ensure accountability and

I suggest to you that there needs to be a very quick and serious
reconsideration of this action, or the face that PEI presents to the
country and, indeed, the world, will look not only ill-informed, but
also intolerant. I believe you will discover that the agencies are
well-equipped to undertake the matching as assigned by China, that
international adoption will yield benefits for the children, the
families, and PEI as a whole, and that these children are deserving of
the loving families who wish to adopt them, no matter what province
the families live in.

Sincerely yours,

CC: Hon. Doug W. Currie – Minister of Social Services and Seniors,
PEI Adoption Coalition – peiadoptioncoalition@...
Nancy Russell (CBC) -- (nancy "underscore"

In PEI, please write your letters to Premier Ghiz and CC them to
Minister Currie, MPs Shawn Murphy, Wayne Easter, Lawrence MacAulay,
Joe McGuire, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader
Stephane Dion, the PEI adoption coalition group, and Nancy Russell of
the CBC.

Outside of PEI, please write your letters to the Premier of PEI,
Robert Ghiz, and CC it to the Premier of your province, Prime Minister
Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Stephane Dion, and the PEI
adoption coalition group.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

Shawn Murphy
75 Fitzroy Street, Suite 201
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
C1A 1R6

Wayne Easter
P.O. Box 70
Hunter River, Prince Edward Island
C0A 1N0
Telephone: (902) 964-2428
Fax: (902) 964-3242

Lawrence MacAulay
P.O. Box 1150, 551 Main Street, Suite 202
Montague, Prince Edward Island
C0A 1R0
Telephone: (902) 838-4139
Fax: (902) 838-3790

Joe McGuire
94 Central Street
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
C1N 3L3
Telephone: (902) 436-7333
Fax: (902) 436-0175

Stephane Dion
750 Marcel Laurin Boulevard, Suite 440
Saint-Laurent, Quebec
H4M 2M4
Telephone: (514) 335-6655
Fax: (514) 335-2712

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Something's Wrong in PEI...

Remember this famous orphan who lived in PEI?

Well, it turns out that if Anne found herself under the auspices of today's Children and Family Services, her story might not be so charming.

International adoption appears to be under some kind of attack in our country's smallest province. A province which, ironically, is seeking to recruit new immigrants to the province to increase their dwindling population.

Families have horror stories to tell concerning their dealings with the bureaucrats responsible for adoption- stories which I hope some of them will be willing to speak about in a very public way. Stories about referrals for children being refused by the Province without the family ever being notified, stories about a perplexing attitude concerning the adoption of children from other countries, stories about a bureaucracy too suspicious of adoption agencies to permit the agencies to match children with medical needs to their families in PEI.

Yes, something is definitely askew in that beautiful province. I'll post more as I get more information.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

E-mail Outage

I just wanted you all to know that I am having serious e-mail difficulties at my regular e-mail address. SO, I'm not ignoring you, if you've tried to mail me. I finally got on today and there are too many e-mails to even think about reading in their entirety. Naptime only lasts so long, you know! And, for the past few days, I've been a single parent since DH is out of town. BTW, my hat is off to those of you who do that as a regular gig.

I'm hoping I'll have some time on Friday to catch up on things. It will be my "work day" (since DH gets one day off per week as he works 2 evenings & I really do need to pay attention to work-related things even while I'm off). Between meetings with students, I should be able to return all sorts of e-mails! Well, not really, but I live in hope.

Time to wake up my boy so we can go pick his sisters up at school. Ciao.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Quote for the Day (Week, Month..?)

When facing the right direction, all one has to do is continue walking.

- based on a Buddhist teaching

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What to say?

I'm finding that I am mentally filing away things to blog about... but the time to write anything seems to not be there- or, if it is, my mind is not.

Truth be told, I'm really happy but I'm physically exhausted. Early mornings, lots of lifting and carrying my precious 31-pounder, play groups, and, then, after 3 pm, channelling some energy to my elementary-school-aged daughters & their activities (and homework hasn't even really begun yet!)... it all adds up to one tired mom by 9 pm. But tonight as I came in to turn off the computer, I thought I'd try to record a few thoughts.

Hmmm.... I had 2 interesting experiences this week. One was an older lady at the supermarket who unabashedly asked about Daniel and whether he was my son. It turns out that the daughter of her close friend is trying to adopt from China. She was not nosy- very kind and truly interested. When I said "Oh, yes, he was adopted in China", she said "Yes, he's chosen." Then every time she caught a glimpse of us walking through an aisle, she waved like a madwoman! Interesting.

The other experience happened today. We went to Don Cherry's for lunch and the hostess asked if we'd mind telling her where he had his lip surgery done. It turns out that she has a son born with a cleft. So, we had a short but pleasant (and supportive) conversation.

So, up to this point, all our interactions with people who are wondering what a white family is doing with a little Chinese boy have been pretty positive. Early days yet, though, I know. I wonder how I'll feel in 6 months time?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Our Busy Day

Yesterday, we spent most of the day at our local children's hospital, seeing some of the members of the Cleft Team- social worker, speech pathologist, pediatrician, pediatric dentist, and plastic surgeon. We go back in 2 weeks time to see the ENT specialist, audiologist, and psychologist. Two weeks after that, we'll see the surgeon again and get a date for surgery. It was a busy day but, without exception, everyone we saw was fantastic- and our little guy was very patient and cooperative. He only cried once- at the end of the day when he had to get his blood drawn.

Apart from our surgeon, who has done cleft missions in China, most of the team had not seen a 3 year old with an unrepaired palate. Here, they complete the palate surgery before the child is 18 months old. I think they were surprised by his robustness and his functioning in both communication and eating. And everyone thought his lip repair, done in China, was excellent!

After we left the hospital, there was enough time to check out a couple of minivans. A friend of mine once warned "The 3rd kid comes with a van.". Seems he was right. All I'll need now is a "Soccer Mom" bumper sticker!