The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
-Buechner

Friday, February 27, 2009

Unselfish Adoption

I've had a post topic in mind for awhile but for fear of stepping on any toes, I've not said anything. So in advance, if this is personally offensive I apologize. Sincerely.

Waiting is hard.

Waiting is really really hard.

I compare it to being 8 1/2 months pregnant. You know, the days when people continually walk up and say, "you haven't had the baby yet?!" Of course, you just shake your head, no. Yet you know in the back of your mind that at any moment the anticipated arrival could begin. The very worst case scenario is that you'll go 10 days over your due date and the doctor will induce labour. You have at least some sort of parameters around which your delivery timeline is founded.

Here's the clencher - barring any miraculous actions from Above, adoption cannot be induced.

I read a blog several days ago. I honestly cannot remember where it was but I happened upon it and was slightly stunned. The post subject revolved around something like this: If there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, how is it that we (Canada) seem satisfied with adopting only abut 50 of them throughout Canada this year. And, how is it that there seems to be a continual slow down...more t's to cross...and more i's to dot?! If you have been following our blog at all you will understand that there is some frustration right now because there has been a serious lag in referral timelines. There are many factors playing a role. They are each and every one legitimate.

The writer's concern is that there are so many parentless children in Ethiopia, yet the individual does not feel we (or, the authorities) are doing enough to find more Forever Families faster.

Herein lie my huge concerns.

My first is that this process is not about me. It should most definitely not be about rushing to match the "right" child with us. This is a life decision that is going to affect a little girl literally half way around the world. The right child, our child is out there.

My second and grave worry...

While I too am finding the wait a challenge, I rest in the knowledge that all the steps and court proceedings are on the "up and up". That is to say that while there may have only been a certain number of Ethiopian-Canadian adoptions this past year, I am confident that each adopted child is accounted for.

How disastrous would it be if, in our haste to appease waiting families, to get the orphans out of an institutional setting and a developing country, to "boost" our number of successful adoptions, we lost track of one.

One single yet very human, being.

One child we could not find.

One innocent life missing.

One child lost in the busyness of our trying to match children with their forever families...fast.

Tragedy.

I would rather wait months longer than originally estimated and know that each child is accounted for than "lose" just one.

I read another incredible post by Jason at the ABBA Fund. Truly, it prompted me to post these thoughts. Jason quotes a friend who sums up my sentiments perfectly.

Because, this may truly be one of the hardest things we have ever done.

It would seem nearly impossible for one to make the act of rescuing an orphan sinful. However, as someone recently thrust into the process, I have become well aware that adopting offers a myriad of opportunities for sinful behavior. I have even seen adopting Christians forget about the person they are rescuing because they are only concerned with how the process is affecting them at a given moment of delay or difficulty. Blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, what should inherently mean good for another is devoted to the altar of self. Feeling the natural tendency of my own heart, I have had to pray constantly, “Lord save me from turning the adoption of two Ethiopian orphans into an act of self-serving wicked idolatry.[...]

[...] Adoptive parents can begin to think the world should stop and someone should just hand them their child. They sound like the kids in the aisle of Walmart throwing a temper tantrum demanding their toy. Sadly, the orphan becomes not a child in need but a thing that they want and want now. Believe it or not, I even read the header of one adoption update that included profanity concerning a family’s recent delay. I wonder if they will include that in their forever family scrapbook?

Concerning those involved in adopting internationally, what is just as troubling is when Christians start playing the ‘American card.’ I have read blog after blog that tends to put all the emphasis on rights that the American family should have in adopting kids from other countries. As if we deserve kids from another country, just because we live in a America. This coming from Christians! I am not sure this is the connection between the Great Commission and adoption for which we have been looking.

Instead of respecting (or just understanding) the state of the adoption system in other countries, we act as if they owe us something, specifically their children. The prevailing attitude seems to be, “We have the nice homes and money. Why not just give us the kids?”[...]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiting Is Hard

They want their sister here, too.

(9:30pm Tuesday)
(7:15am Wednesday)(7:30am Wednesday)

Monday, February 23, 2009

FIVE. Beautiful. Wonderful. FIVE.

Today marks Five Months into our wait.

We are one day, one week, one month closer to our referral. While I don't have a sweet clue when we will see our sweet girl's face...I know we are closer, nonetheless. I feel hopeful. I feel an unexplainable joy. I feel confident in what lies ahead, knowing that life is pretty great right now and I am certain it will do nothing but get better from here.

I recall thinking that a proposal would be an incredibly perfect way to celebrate our 6th anniversary...just around the corner.

I remember thinking that five or six months seemed like an eternity. Yet, it has passed quickly...as time does with kids running around.

And while I still wonder every morning what it will feel like to actually see her face - Ten fingers. Ten toes. Chocolate Skin. Big Saucer Eyes...staring at me. - I am holding on and doing ok.

I am perfecting the art of self-talk, I have told many friends lately. I used to consider myself a fairly impatient person. I would suggest I have grown in this area of my life. Knowing that I have zero control in the matter, I can do nothing but relish in wonders of life with a 2 and a 3 yr old. (Remember my half-full glass?) I don't want to wish it away for something new. I don't want to miss the new words, idioms, activities, and wonders that accompany any new stage in our kids' development. (How textbook did that sound?!)

Five months is big to me. I feel as though we've been climbing a mountain. The Peak is in sight. We're almost there. The run down the hill will fly by compared to the climb. And at the bottom, a referral (picture) will wait. We don't know how long the rest of the climb or descent will take but in the grand scheme, I am certain will be here before I know it.

Five is good.

After Five we need only make it through one Spring season...riddled with Guest Group Rentals...I'm sure we will both be busier than one armed bandits. Following the Spring the Summer will pass with the blink of an eye. Ten weeks of 350 kids will seem like a dream at the end. I know there will be long hours. I'm not trying to be an unrealistic daydreamer. I also know at the end of each summer we say to one another, "Wow, it's done already".

Though the end of the journey is always at the back of my mind, I won't ever wish our days away. If I were to wish them away, I might miss something like this:


video

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Better Than A Capsule

These are the days I love BC.

It's only February and we were outside gardening today. When I say "we" I mean myself and my little helpers. So, maybe we weren't entirely gardening per se, but there was definitely some turning of dirt, throwing out of weeds, and good ol' grit in the boots when we were done.

The sun was out and for the first time this year I ecstatically hung the laundry on the line. It was warm (ish). The fresh air was exactly what we needed.

The rays definitely beat a Vitamin D capsule. Hands down this was the best Saturday morning we've spent in some time. The only thing missing was Daddy...away on the mainland at an all day meeting.

We were all happier, nicer, and calmer at the end of our morning in the yard.

Bring on Spring.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Pink In My Sunrise

Life has been busy lately. This week especially.

I mean reheated homemade pizza and bowls of homemade granola with fresh cucumber, red pepper, and carrot sticks for supper busy. Pistachios for dessert busy. (We don't do reheated for supper.)

It's been a whirlwind of a week. There have been a few days when I can actually count the number of hours I have been in the house between the hours of 7:30am and 7:30pm on less than one hand.

I know it's just a season for us.

Yet, it has been insane. Partly it's my fault. Partly it's the weather (isn't it incredible!). Partly it's the fact that we have joined a new program (details later) and the kids and I are making the best of a great thing. Partly it's due to my working more than usual, due to an unexcused absence at work in late August....and the Powers-That-Be not yet able to find a replacement. And, partly it's because I am trying to enjoy the boys fully and daily, while passing the "hurry up and wait" time of this thing called Adoption.

But, while sitting at my computer this morning enjoying a few quiet moments and a cup of coffee before the hurricane of the day I looked out the window above me.

I was reminded, in the peace of this pink sunrise, to enjoy the tranquility of the moment. The photo doesn't come near the realm of capturing the moment and serene calmness I felt, but it was bliss. And 60 seconds later the pink was gone. Replaced by a blue-ish, cloudy haze.

Don't forget to pause for your Sunrise.

Because before you know it, the colours of the moment will change.

It would be a shame to miss out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Common View

I love what Jason at the ABBA Fund says about
Adoption and the City.


Often when we think of adoption we think of a young couple growing their family. Once the child is adopted the couple's dreams of "having a family" are fulfilled and we rejoice that they are enabled through adoption to "be fruitful and multiply" and glorify God.

This is a good thing, yet there is much more to adoption. For one, there is the child that is being given and new family. And with that, a transformation.

First there is a transformation in the life of the child and the parents whose lives will never be the same.

Secondly, there is a transformation in the church community as adoption is experienced by members of the community and a new child is welcomed into the church family.

And, there is a transformation in society as a child is saved from the cycle of poverty that so often has them in their grip.

Given this third transformation, we would be wise when we think of adoption to think of the city.

In Jeremiah 29, we find God speaking to His people through His prophet. He reminds them of how they should view the city:

Multiply there (in the city), and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on it's behalf, for in it's welfare you will find your welfare.

I love that reminder, "...in it's welfare you will find your welfare".

That is to say, we are all the same. No one person is better than the other. No one has a right to life more than his friend. We share equality in (our) humanity - or at least we should.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini-Adventure

Most of our family adventure time includes outdoor activities. We are frugal. There's no two ways about it. Plus, why explore man-made (germ filled?) activity areas when we can be outside in the fresh, damp, BC air. We love to "treasure hunt" (commonly referred to as geocashing), go to the beach about a 5 minute walk away, play in the park, fly planes, work in the yard...etc.

With the chill in the air this week, the tail end of this nasty cold virus clinging to us for dear life, and frankly a bit of cabin coop-up, we decided to venture out. Straying from the norm, we headed on a Mini-Adventure we told the boys. Less creative than usual perhaps. But it was fun. It was a special treat. We all had a blast.
We played together.
We ran hard.
We sanitized after.
It was money well spent.
It was a morning thoroughly enjoyed.
We'll do it again...after some more beach and park time.

Nothing beats that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Adopting Is The New Black

On the way home from a Fantastically Fun Filled Family day today, we passed by the Salvation Army and it's new low income housing unit in Nanaimo. Above the entrance, the billboard read:

Image Is Who People Perceive You To Be.
Integrity Is Who You Really Are.

I often try to commit poignant phrases to memory and they never stick.

This one did.

Profoundly truthful, I couldn't disregard the words.

Isn't it so accurate though? We look at people; friends, family, acquaintances, blogger buddies we've never met even...and we think we know them. We feel we share common ground or at least some sort of basic belief, moral understanding, experience, or compassion for a cause.

I would bet though that eight times out of ten we perceive a person to be a certain way, based on their image.

How do they dress.

What and where do they eat. Heck, even how they eat might play a role in our jugement.

Do they socialize or are they homebodies.

Do they swear gently, use harsh language, or speak as though they have never said a cruel word.

In what clothing brands do they dress their children. More specifically do they cloth diaper them or add to global warming with each change.

I wonder what would happen if we took a step back. What if we were given the opportunity - or better yet - what if we took it upon ourselves to leap at the opportunity to simply observe.

What would we gleam?

How long would it take to see the true colours emanate from that person?

There are a few people...I can count them on less than one hand...who I believe are truly, honestly, humblingly integral to the core. After reading this billboard though, I wonder if it's because I've only perceived others and not given them the deserved opportunity to share their true being.

Urban Outfitters has recently come out with a new t-shirt line. The slogan mimicks an adage from a couple of years ago that "Pink Is The New Black". Unfortunately Urban Outfitters, known for some carass and often abominable trade-sayings has revealed it's newest line. The clothing company is now making it's money off this statement:

Adopting Is The New Black

Doesn't quite sit right, does it.

So how am I being perceived?

Are our actions being looked upon as the popular move?

Is this what the Cool Kids do? (Because Angelina Jolie and Meg Ryan have travelled across the world in search of their children, I wonder if we are categorized with them. I hope not.)

Are we doing what we are doing to be perceived as selfless individuals spending countless dollars, time, and energy on this incredible paper-chasing, notary-seeking, cheque-writing, endless-waiting, court-conquering, citizenship-maddening, heart-wrenching, seemingly never-ending marathon...for the sole purpose of being perceived as "the pick of the litter". Are we perceived as "good people" because we know that our child is somewhere - perhaps not yet born - half way around the world?

Apparently, there are many skeptics (claimed or not) who merely see this as a fad. Like slim-fit jeans in 2008 and flare extreme low-rise in 2005, will this too fade? Disgraceful, isn't it?

I'm not claiming to be anywhere near the realm of those whom I personally esteem on an integral pedestal. We are simply following the path along which we are being led.

But isn't it too bad that someone has gone and disgraced something so pure.

I wish we would each take the time to stop.

Stop perceiving and start pausing.

I am certain that nothing but integrity would emanate from this momentary pause in perception.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And So It Will Be

In the spirit of continually replenishing the glass to ensure it truly is half-full, I will divulge the newest in our ever-morphing wait.

When our agency updates us with wait times, they are informing us of current waits. For example, in August when we inquired (just prior to our dossier being sent to Ethiopia) the wait time was quoted as 6 months. Of course it has increased numerous times since that initial inquiry.

Today as we sit, the newest on the wait is 11 months. I suspect this will increase again. I may fall over in shock if it doesn't. Increased waits are due to the popularity of the Ethiopia program. They are also due in part to the new court procedures. When it takes longer for a family to pass court, it delays the immigration process, which then delays a family's "Gotcha' Day" with their child. This then delays the next child being referred to their Forever Family.

If our wait remains around 11 months we could be matched in late August or early September. And, while I am sad that it means a longer wait until we are introduced to our sweet child's face, it also means we won't be stuck with a referral just as courts are closing for the summer (August and Sept). You see, there is an upside...in a twisted sort of fashion.

So, we sit tight.

Bonding.

Me and my boys.

Enjoying the moments we have together.

Playing. Reading. Throwing rocks, seaweed, and anything else we can get our hands on, into the icy cold Pacific. Knowing that these days are few until life will speed up even more.

Enjoying the bliss that is the world of a 2 and 3 year old.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not Such A Proud Canadian

If asked a month ago whether or not I love being a Canadian, I would have said with no uncertainty that I wouldn't trade my citizenship for any other. I think Canada is fabulous. I think we are proud but not boastful. I think we have a great medical system (it's not perfect but it is great). I think BC is beautiful and warm. I think the East Coast is incredible in the fall. I think the Rockies are close to another worldly wonder. I think it is a safe, simple, superbly patriotic country. I love being a Canadian.

I am learning though, that while not everything is perfect there are parts of this great country that are nowhere near the realm. In a place where I thought little discrimination could be found, I was wrong. In a place I seek safety in my citizenship and the citizenship of my children (and child-to-be), I have been seriously mislead and let down.

I won't harp on the frustration of Bill C-37 anymore after today. I don't think. Sadly there is a Part II to my Citizenship unease. This citizenship bill was passed on Dec 20, 2007 and it allowed Canadians adopting children born outside our country to bring their children in, as citizens. In it's most basic form it seemed wonderful. Eliminating several steps needed to complete the citizenship process, needed by those using the PRV (permanent resident visa) route.

However, as of late there was been several frustrations with this bill. The most recent and greatest concern, in my very unprofessional opinion is new legislation that will take place on April 17, 2009.

This new legislation will create a two-tier system for Canadians. Yes, that's right we are no longer all equal. We will now be "Class A" or "Class B" citizens. Makes you sick, right?!

Essentially the legislation provides that the children of some internationally adopted children will not have a right to Canadian citizenship. So Ben's and my grand-children will be second class citizens. Doesn't this image just take you back to the scenes from Titanic? We see different classes residing on different floors of the ship, and the lower floors being left to fend for themselves when the ship begins to sink. This really happened...but I didn't think it could exist in our country...in 2009.

The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2008, begins with the following words:
"The Citizenship Act, under which CIC grants citizenship to eligible newcomers, affirms that all Canadians have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities whether they are citizens by birth or naturalization."
That will change as of April 17, 2009. In an attempt to solve the problem of Canadian citizenship being handed down generationally to people who don't actually live in Canada, the government has reduced the citizenship rights of some internationally adopted children, and effectively created a lesser class of citizenship for them. Was this really necessary? It feels like a sledgehammer was used to kill a flea. Could not a more elegant solution have been found to actually deal with the perceived problem?"


While we, the adoptive parents already have to deal with EI discrimination. Now it seems that generations proceeding us will be paying the price for an act that, in it's most basic form is life-changing for everyone.

And, while some governmental parties are truly trying to make better of this, it just isn't happening.

The Report of the Senate Standing Committee, which reviewed Bill C-37, states:

"Such a distinction would grant citizenship to a first generation born outside Canada while denying it to their children and subsequent generations were they to be born abroad. Such a provision strikes your Committee as arbitrary and unfair."

The Committee also added: "Rather, the Committee urges the government to ensure that all aspects of new citizenship legislation are Charter-compliant and consistent with Canadian values".


We wait and watch as the government discriminates against those who are seeking to change the generational outcome of many small children. We, adoptive parents (or waiting adoptive parents) have been given the privilege, the honour, and the responsibility to raise our children. Yet, we are unable to promise equal rights of citizenship.

It is an insult to adopting parents to say that their children now have a lesser class of Canadian citizenship. The government needs to rethink these provisions and find a solution that does not put limitations on the rights of citizenship for internationally adopted children. The government should find a solution which fits the actual problem. This article is a call to action for adopting parents.


I am a glass-half-full kinda' girl. Lately though, I feel as though someone is drinking from my cup.

I will digress and try to maintain a positive outlook...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stealing Nothing Valuable

Did you hear the story of the Girl and her Bag?

She went to Missions Fest with a bunch of her peers last week. She left her bag under the Qwanoes booth, in a room filled mainly with hundreds of Christians and Christian Organizations. Contents of the bag included a wallet with ID, a bank card, some cash, and some sentimental items. Also included in the bag was a Nikon SLR camera. You know, an expensive one - as if there's any other kind.

She went off to explore, enjoy fellowship and comeraderie with her cohort.

The bag was not there upon her return. It had been stolen.

A day or two later, the bag showed up. It had been mailed to her. (Address was found in the contents of the wallet, in the bag.) The camera was gone. There was no longer any cash in the wallet. Instead, the bag contained a note...written by the one who stole the bag...paraphrased, it stated this:

...the camera had been sold and the cash taken. Both were used for Drug Money. Nothing else was missing.

And the look on said-girl's face when she found out that her bag with it's "important" contents had been mailed back was priceless.

Items upon which the world places great value & dollar-sign-price-tags were truly of no worth to her, compared to memories. And, compared to that which she treasures the camera was a fleeting thought. Not even a concern or worth the worry...she only wanted what was irreplaceable.

I've never heard of anything like this. I wonder what it is like to be so down and out but to have such a Great Conscience. Truly, the thief's world is collapsing but he/she holds fast to the pricelessness of memories and sentiment. Knowing that life holds more than just drugs and homelessness, yet shackled by the disease and spiral of uncontrol.

I truly believe the hand of the Maker was in this. This is proof that He seeks those who others do not want to be around. He longs for a relationship with the troubled. He wants nothing more than to befriend the homeless, the lost...they are all his children.

I'm not sure if you know this, but...

...My God Moves Mountains...

...And that gives me faith in great things to come...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Perfect Picture

This explanation of Adoption from Jason gave me a lump in my throat...the good kind.


Adoption is a beautiful picture of the Gospel.
It is also a beautiful picture of the Church.
Those who were once separated and having no claim to relationship are now made family.
Those who apart from adoption would have little in common now share the same heritage and together are creating a new one.
Those who the world would make enemies are now fathers and sons.
Those who would be separated not only by geography but historic prejudice are now brothers and sisters.
Those who would be indifferent to one another at best are bound by indescribable love.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Parenting Is The Easiest Job Ever

"The most perfect parents are those who do not yet have children"

I love the truth in that phrase. It seems all us mothers do is lounge around in our sweats all day, enjoying our Soaps, snacking whenever we please, cleaning if the whim strikes, and watching as our children play so sweetly together - not fighting for a moment.

They are polite - and manners were all self-taught.


They would never fall in the water, once we have reminded them over and over not to get to close to the edge.
Dog-piling would not be appropriate. We would never even contemplate teaching them not to maul siblings.
Our kids even clean up after themselves when they have the flu, so no need to lift a finger in that department.
I did, however, come across this article the other day...it may give some credit where credit is due.

TELL ME ABOUT IT ®

Dear Carolyn:

Best friend has child. Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today? Her: Park, play group . . .

Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.

From Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.

Or you're lying about having friends with kids.

Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.

Internet searches?

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.

It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.

It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.
By Carolyn Hax
Wednesday, May 23, 2007; Page C10


...I'm just sayin'...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Can't A Girl Get A Break Around Here?!

In keeping with the desire to be positive, I will say that I truly do feel blessed, honoured, and privileged to be a part of this journey. It's up and it's down. It's exciting but not for the faint of heart. Lately, the faint of heart would have thrown in the towel.

Today was one of those days. Though I am no where near superstitious, there's that old saying that goes something like, "bad things happen in threes". Or how about, "three strikes and you're out". (Out of all things frustrating, I mean...not out of this process.) Or how about "two is company and three is a crowd"...(...so go away all things hurdle-like).

Below you'll find a beautiful letter which will be deposited in our trusty mailbox tomorrow morning. It's a feat I've never cared to conquer. Quite honestly I've never cared enough about anything having to do with politics to bother. Today is a new day people. I'm frustrated. I'm down. I am sick and tired of longer referral waits and umpteen court dates. There've been exciting parts to my day, that moment when I knew God had performed a miracle. (More on that another day...it's still under lock and key...and has nothing to do with me.) And it's a good thing too, because I am starting to wonder when a girl can get a break?!

So, here we go. If you feel the urge to cut and paste and send it along I would be flattered and encouraged. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease and I'm really hoping the grease builds soon.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office Of The Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2

Re: Bill C-17
Citizenship Promises Not Kept

To Whom It May Concern,

As a parent of two biological children and as a waiting Ethiopian adoptive parent, I feel I am obligated to voice my concerns over Bill C-17 passed in December 2007.

My husband and I decided to follow this new and exciting route to Citizenship. We were assured that through the new route there would be less discrimination upon entering the country with our child (than through PRV), our child could enter our country already a citizen, and we would not be waiting longer than had we decided to follow the PRV route. We are now committed to the Citizenship process and are frightened that our already lengthy wait (to adopt a child internationally) will be extended. These unnecessarily additional months in an orphanage are detrimental to the childrens’ growth and development, and they are being deprived of stable and loving homes, while we wait for paperwork to be processed at the Canadian High Commission office in Nairobi, Kenya.

It appears we were misled and we are extremely concerned. The ramifications to families and their adopted children who, after passing court, will now need to wait in vain, in their institutionalized setting is severely alarming. Children who are institutionalized are already classified as Special Needs. They suffer grief, loss, and other attachment disorders. The intent of Bill C-17 legislation is not being met. This is not acceptable and we are requesting something be done.

Children - whose parents choose to pursue the Citizenship route - are legally Canadian citizens. The parents have been approved by Canadian provincial homestudy processes and the Ethiopian court systems have done their due diligence in examining each child’s case before conferring guardianship on the parents. The wait is unnecessary, and discriminative. It is especially alarming as we were assured this would not occur.

The process simply must be sped up – the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration must make good on it’s promise to make Citizenship a speedy route for foreign-born adopted children to come to Canada. Months of paper processing are simply not acceptable.

Please confirm receipt of this letter, as it is time sensitive.

Sincerely,
Ashleigh and Ben Keizer

Also sent to:
The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada

And a few others of choice...

Am I being unreasonable?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Terrible Twos?

I don't know.

Tait's definitely been a handful since day 1. Slept less than Noah. Ate more than Noah. Cried more than Noah. Weighed a ton.

He's also followed the examples set by his older brother. He shares well. He empathizes with characters in our books, when they are sad. He is over the moon when he knows Nana is coming to visit. He cries when we leave Daddy at camp.

Yesterday didn't mark any sort of fright line-in-the-sand for me. I'm not concerned that this coming year will be a more challenging year than the past. Tait's mastered "no" and he already has "mine" perfected. I'm sure there will be little hurdles along the way, but I don't see it as anything to be nervous about.

He's a crazy, energetic, enthusiastic, motivated kid. With a kind heart towards others and little legs that can outrun me around the house...two is going to be great.