Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Road Block

So we had been excited that our social worker was going to come and check out our apartment and discuss our application with us. Kind of a pre-homestudy homestudy.

Well that is not to be as our social worker has informed us that she will be taking medical leave for an undetermined amount of time. She hopes that we will hear from someone by Christmas about where we are on the homestudy wait list.

So we are a little sad. We are sad for our social worker who has had to leave her job at least for now. We are sad for all the children and families who were in her care as they will have to learn to get to know someone new. We are sad for our kids who are somewhere, waiting for stability. And we are feeling a little sorry for ourselves too.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

"Avril Lavigne" a parable

So I was reading along in my Aboriginal Pre-Adoption Training materials the other day and I came across this:

"Culture is Privileged: It is important to recognise that non-Aboriginal people may not be privy to many aspects of an Aboriginal culture such as sacred and traditional teachings. They do not necessarily need to have this knowledge for themselves – although the community will ‘privilege’ the adoptive parent with the information they need to know - they only need to ensure that the Aboriginal child has meaningful relationships, support and access to the community, including family and cultural teachings. An important way to facilitate this for the child is through the development of positive relationships by the adoptive parent."

Call me terrible, colonial and ignorant but this made me really defensive. Like, wait a minute, you're telling me that my children should have relationships with random people and go off and do a bunch of stuff that is kept secret from me. Why should culture be privileged? We are all children of this world. I believe in unity. I believe in harmony. I believe in equality. Why should I be left out?

Well this seemed like a rather unhealthy train of thought so I got a cup of coffee and went to work and mulled over it for a while. It came to me later when I was thinking about the term "privileged". Privilege is something that can create distance from people but it is also something innately important to all of us. I mean, look at hipsters; I knew ________ before it was cool.
My tie!

As a teenager, my friend gave me the tie that she had worn as a prefect in her private school. It was a great tie. Small, feminine and striped. I wore that tie to my public junior high school with wide-leg jeans, chains, hemp bracelets, black tank tops and bright red lipstick and purple hair (I was the very essence of high fashion). I looked rebellious. I looked alternative. I looked awesome. My outfit was showing the world that I was free and unique.

I wore some form of this outfit to a family dinner one night and my cousin said something that I will never forget. He asked me if I was an Avril Lavigne fan. Was I a what? No way! He thought that I was wearing my tie to try and emulate the singer of 's8er boi'?! I had worn the tie long before Avril came into popular culture. I was so embarrassed and upset and soon after that the tie was relegated to the back of my closet. The tie had lost it's specialness and appeal when it became trendy and everyone and their dog had one.

Now I'm not saying that my children's culture is on the same level as my choice of teenage apparel but it made me think about how hard it was to have something that was a part of my identity shared by the world. This is a small scale parable to help me remember that it is ok for my kids to be Cultural Hipsters. They need to have ownership of their culture and choose what and when to share.

P.S. Shout out to Luke (or your Dad, since I know he reads this). Thanks for asking me about Avril all those years ago!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

like a new species

This morning over coffee, AH and I were talking about his future business plans. In a year's time he plans on working for himself, doing what he loves. This would give him more flexibility and a more stable paycheck. But it is so hard to plan a year into the future when we have no idea what will be happening next fall. We could still be going through our homestudy, we could be waiting for "the call", we could be in pre-placement visits and (strangest of all) there is even the (extremely slim) chance that we could have children.
AH commented that if we were pregnant we'd at least have a pretty clear idea of our family's time line. I said that this feels like being some new kind of species with no idea how long our gestation period is. So we're planning on not being able to plan. It's all good.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

fall cleaning

Time to do some fall cleaning.
Our social worker wants to meet with us... at our home! She has been very clear that she is not starting our homestudy yet but she wants to go over our file and see our home. To me this sounds pretty promising as she obviously wants to get a feel for who we are and how we live.

Probably best to get our other bedroom ("the closet of hell/storage room of death") in slightly better order. It wouldn't look very good if we have G. (<--- social worker) over and refuse to let her see our second bedroom.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

more classes

Europeans were therefore legally justified in assuming full, sovereign ownership of the “discovered” lands, since Aboriginal peoples could not possibly have the civilized and Christian attributes that would enable them to assert sovereign ownership (p. 121). 
                                                                                               -Henry et al (2000)

Having kids seems to mean a lot of schooling. This is what I get for not finishing college- education karma has come back to haunt me. If karma haunts, that is.

I am taking a course through the local Caring for First Nations Children Society. You see, there are a lot of kids in the system who come from Aboriginal families (decide for your self what that says about the care our government gives to Aboriginal families). But I am not here to debate who's fault it is that a huge percentage of foster kids are Aboriginal. The fact is there are more Aboriginal kids in the system than there are Aboriginal adoptive parents. This means that non-Aboriginal parents will sometimes be eligible to adopt Aboriginal children. This is where an online course comes in.

I am learning about the history of colonisation in Canada and North America. Most of this isn't new to me but it is always difficult to learn about. Forget what you thought you knew about Pocahontas and Thanksgiving; colonization has meant millions of dead men, women and children and government sanctioned lies to cover up a horrible history. The Canadian Government has only recently started publishing statements and reports as to the extent of racist and even genocidal policies. It is important to learn about this history because the history directly effects the lives of aboriginal people today. I will be learning how to help my potential future children stay connected to there heritage. I will be learning how to provide them with positive role models, positive stories from their history and learning how to teach them about themselves without the filter of colonization. Not an easy task for a little white lady.

So I am back to reading texts and doing homework. I'll tell you one thing- it sure beats morning sickness.

Monday, 1 October 2012

we're busy and the social worker is busy

It has been a long time since I last posted.
We graduated from the Adoption Education Programme. We have certificates to prove it.  We've been enjoying the summer and keeping busy. Our social worker has a huge caseload and we're not her first priority. This is going to happen in it's own time, in God's time. We are very content with that.

Towards the end of the AEP we both discovered that we had been harbouring some rather natural yet unhealthy attitudes about adoption. The initial age range on our application had been 0-4. We kept on justifying this saying, "we're first time parents, it's only natural that we want a baby". As the course went on, we found that our minds and hearts were being expanded in a new direction. After one of our long drives home from the AEP we spoke honestly about feelings that we had both been toiling over. We both wanted to expand our age range to accept the possibility of adopting kids who are a little bit older. It seems that even though we had entered into this process by choice, we still hadn't been able to wrap our heads around the fact that families don't have to start with babies.

We are changing our application to accept children between the ages of 0-7. If a baby is proposed to us, it would have to be an extraordinary situation before we would consider accepting that placement. Our preferred age-range at this time is 3-6. It was such a relief to come to this decision. It just felt so right.

Feelings aside, there are also some practical reasons for adopting in this age range:

1.) Children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol may have severe neurological abnormalities that can never be cured. These are often undiagnosable when the child is a baby or toddler. By adopting someone over the age of 4, we have more information on a particular child's needs and whether or not we can meet them.

2.) It is easier for a child who is verbal (opposed to pre-verbal) to communicate some of the complex emotions that they are experiencing during the adoption process. This in turn would make it easier for us to help them.

3.) The older the child is, the less "desirable" they are to potential adoptive parents. Many children stay in the foster care system just because they are 6 or older. Six isn't very old! A six year old needs a loving, stable, forever home as much as anyone but they are often over looked.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Predictability is really important for adopted kids. Have you ever started a new job and been unsure of what's expected of you, what you're allowed to talk about, where you're expected to sit or stand, when you're allowed to go home? I've had my share of sketchy jobs and I can tell you that the 'unkown' can be pretty darn stressful!

When our kids come home, it is our job to let them know what our routine and family guidelines are (at an age appropriate level) and to stick to that routine as much as possible. Our home is a strange place to our kids and the more they know about what goes on, the less confused and scared they will be. Knowing that they will be fed multiple times a day can reduce food hoarding and eating disorders. Knowing that bedtime comes after story time will help them prepare for a time of day that can be scary for traumatised children (a lot of traumas happen at night).

You know what? I can't wait to have some routines in place and have an excuse to try and stick to them! Maybe I can convince AH to let me try making routine charts for us now... I get the feeling that might fall under the category of crazy-control-freak-wife. But that shouldn't be news to him :)

I could see these being useful for AH and I some all mornings!

Friday, 15 June 2012


From time to time this blog will get a fresh coat of paint. A little change is good for you.

I like to keep things fresh.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

invisible disability

Let's say you're at the grocery store. You walk into the cereal isle and come across a parent with a child. The child is talkative, persuasive and begging for a sugary cereal. The child is about eight years old and starts banging on the shelves and the shopping cart when the parent tries to explain that they are not buying that cereal. The child starts to have a melt down. The child is having a tantrum, the kind that you would expect to see from a two year old. This is not the way that an eight year old with an age appropriate vocabulary usually acts. Those parents must spoil this child, they never say no. It is sad that this bad child has such bad parents.

Let's say you are walking down the street. You notice that a shop has planted some beautiful flowers on the boulevard. They are bright and fragrant. A young man walks by and notices the flowers. He moves quickly and starts picking them. The shop owner comes out and tells him that is vandalism. He continues to pick the flowers until the shop owner tells him to leave. It is too bad that man feels so entitled. He must have been spoilt as a child. It is sad that this bad man had such bad parents. 

It is so easy to assume we know all about people when we see the way they act in public. What it is not always easy to remember is that many people have invisible and often times, undiagnosed disabilities. A person with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) may look "normal", may speak with a "normal" vocabulary, may have a "normal" (or even above average) IQ. What they may not have is the ability to understand consequences, the ability to calm themselves down or the ability to understand instructions.

The young man picking the flowers may have thought that his girlfriend would like them. His brain could not make the connection that the flowers were not his to pick. He had a thought and his brain said "do it". The child in the store may have started feeling upset and soon that feeling took over. The child did not yet have the tools to stop the tantrum, even though this is something that he is working on with his parents at home.

1 out of every 100 Canadians are born with the affects of  FASD. This does not mean that their birth parents are bad people. 60% of people with FASD will end up in the criminal justice system. This does not mean that they are bad people. They have a physical, neurological disorder that makes it so that they cannot always understand cause and effect. People with FASD are not stupid. They are often frustrated, they are often misunderstood and they often do not get the help they need.

The affects of FASD are caused by a physical disability
not "bad behaviour"
Not every one affected by FASD gets into trouble. Many will go on to live semi-independent or independent lives. They may successfully complete school, successfully find employment and successfully raise children. You have probably met many people who have FASD and don't even know it. You might have friends with FASD and have no idea. FASD is a lifelong disability but early diagnosis, protective measures, learning aides, therapy and possibly medical intervention may help the affected person.

We do not know exactly how we feel about being the parents of a child with FASD. There are certain behaviours that we may find too difficult. This is only because of our own shortcomings but we need to be honest about those. We also have to be open to the possibility because the child/children that we adopt could end up developing new and difficult behaviours that lead to a diagnosis years after finalisation. If this happens, we will fight fiercely for them to have everything that they need to succeed to the best of their abilities.

Whew... long post! Want to read even more (you've got nothing better to do, right?)?
Check out this publication from the John Howard Society:  http://johnhoward.on.ca/pdfs/FactSheet_26_FASD_and_the_Criminal_Justice_System.pdf 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Don't play with your food...


I promised a happy post:

These are two toys that we have already bought. That's right folks, we're going to be the parents who make our kids play with vegetable toys. As if they weren't already traumatised enough...

sad babes

Disclaimer: Here are two questions that seem to come up in conversations either with our own friends or family or on adoption forums etc. Obviously, I am just learning about all of this. I am not an expert, nor do I claim to be. These are conclusions that AH and I have come to with research and learning and prayer and conversation. Our opinions on these matters may change, but this is what we're going with right now.

How old does a baby have to be to experience trauma?
Many experts agree that trauma to the mother even while the baby is still in utero can leave lasting neurological impacts on the developing foetus. After a baby is born, he has not learnt how to separate himself from his mother and therefore, sensing that his mother is in danger may cause his little brain and body to panic that he too is in danger. If something happens to mother, baby cannot recognise that he might be able to go on living without her. His little brain is telling him that if mother dies, baby dies. So even if a baby is not abused; living with abuse or danger can cause extreme stress to the developing mind. If a baby is being abused (physical, sexual, neglect), that stress may be compounded.

This is one of the many realities that must be faced in adoption. Sadly, our children are coming to us for a reason and that reason is not happy. In a perfect world, there would be no need for adoption. Birth parents would be given the supports they need to raise their children with help from the community. No one would be alone and children would be raised by "the village" if a parent was unable. When our children come to live with us and be loved by us, it is bitter-sweet because it means that they have been removed from the most important relationship of their young lives.

Should a child be told about trauma that they are too young to remember?

The simple answer is "yes". Children will ask questions about their past. They will ask questions about why they were adopted. Their past belongs to them, not me and I have no right to withhold it from them. Having knowledge about their life will help them understand some of their behaviours and fears.

We will be careful to use age appropriate language. We will be careful to consult professionals about the best ways to talk about these subjects. Luckily, anyone who knows us knows that we are not afraid of  subjects that some people may find difficult. I could have been voted "most likely to become a sex-ed teacher" in my high school yearbook (not that that was a category). Anyone who knows us also knows that we're kind of (understatement?) socialist thinkers so we won't be portraying our kid's pasts with stereotypes about "bad people". Colouring their birth-parents and situations as "bad" won't help our children. In fact, telling a child that they come from "bad" people may give them the belief that they are "bad" as well. I am thankful that AH and I are blessed with these outlooks.

I don't mean to make this entirely negative. Out of adoption can come beautiful, diverse, loving families who have a special outlook on the world. I just want to be clear that it is not all beautiful. I want to be clear that the trauma experienced by our future children, no matter how old they are, is very real. It is something personal that belongs to them. It is something that we must show respect for if we want to gain their trust. We want to gain their trust. When they trust us, they will be able to release some of their anguish and learn that the world isn't so scary after all.

Friday, 1 June 2012

personal post- the loss of the fantasy child

So far, a lot of the posts have seemed a little clinical. There is a lot of "book learning" to do and it is all really important. There are also a lot of emotions that AH and I have dealt with/still deal with. The fact is, at the end of the day, we will have little strangers in our home who are with us, for better or for worse and it will be up to us to make a family out of that situation. This is a post about one of the very personal aspects of this process.

From the time we are children, we have an idea of what our own children will be like. We think about the physical characteristics we will pass on. We think about the things that we'll teach them. We think about the way we'll take care of them. We think about how beautiful they'll be. We think about how smart they'll be. We know that the children that come from us will be perfect. When we are with our spouse, we think about the amazing traits that they will pass on- the things that we love about them.

This is all a fantasy. Any parent will tell you that no child turns out how you expect them too. In giving birth to a child, you cannot protect them from all "defects" or diseases. You cannot pick whether they get your blue eyes or your crooked teeth. But there is still a chance that some aspect of your 'fantasy child' will be realised.

Adoption is different. AH used the game Yahtzee to describe it. He says that when you give birth, it's like you've already got some dice on the table. No matter what you roll with the remaining dice, you already know some of the variables. With adoption, it's like putting all the dice back in the cup on your last roll and not knowing if you'll get a "Yahtzee" or your "chance" (not that your "chance" is a bad thing, many close games have been won on a "chance" score!).

When we made the decision to adopt it felt overwhelmingly "right" in a way that trying to have birth children never did. We are at times blissful, anxious, excited, serene and terrified (sometimes all at once); just like any other 'parents to be'. But it is important to accept the loss of the fantasy birth-child so that we can fully welcome our own children into our lives with no prejudice or presumption.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

open minds

Let's talk about "openness". When we talk to people about our plans to adopt they often seemed a little shocked and concerned when we say that we want an open adoption.
What does openness mean? It means that our child/children will have some contact with people from their past. This contact may just be a letter passed through a social worker once a year or it could mean bi-weekly visits. It depends on the situation.
Who are the people we would be "open" with? They could include our children's birth-mom, birth-dad, birth-grandparents, birth-siblings (if we are not able to adopt them), step siblings, foster moms, foster dads, foster siblings, birth or foster aunts, uncles cousins, family friends... the list goes on!
Why is openness important? Here is one reason. There are certain things that we can pass on to our children; our love for organic produce, the fact that turning on "the radio" means turning on CBC radio 1, laughing for hours at re-runs of old, BBC comedies. All the those boring things that make AH and I our own family. There are many other things that we will not be passing on to our children; our height, our eye colour, our hair colour, our genetic abnormalities, our genetic "abilities". These things will come from the birth parents, the people who share DNA with our children. It is important that we give our children the opportunity (if we can) to see where they come from so they can form a healthy identity.
Won't our kids get confused about who their parents are? The simple answer is "no". They know that they were not born to us. Even if we adopt a baby, we will make no secret of that. They will also know that families are formed in different ways. Just because I did not give birth to them, does not mean that I am not their mommy. If birth-parent information is withheld from children they will often fantasise about the "perfect parents" they never got to know. Or they might feel like they were not lovable enough for their birth parent to parent them. If kids are able to see that their birth parents are loving but troubled people, it can help them understand the situation a lot better.
Why openness with foster family or other important people? That one is pretty simple. Imagine you have lived on earth for 4 years. There are people who have tucked you in every night, kissed your boo-boos and fed you your favourite meals. They weren't able to be your "forever family" but they showed you love and you loved them very much. One day, you meet some strangers who call themselves Mommy and Daddy. Eventually these strangers take you home and you never see those other loving people again. Wouldn't it be nicer if your new Mommy and Daddy invited those people to visit, to show that your feelings are important and the people you love are important too? You'd probably trust your new Mommy and Daddy a lot more and bond with them a lot faster.
I've also heard it's nice to have the support of people who have "parented" your children before you. They can help you figure out what makes your child "tick".
So as if we didn't already have large extended families here we are adding potentially hundreds of people (once we factor in cousins and the like). Oh well, the more the merrier!

Here are some "pros and cons" of open adoptions:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

attachment (pt 2)

So how can we combat a disrupted attachment? First, it's important to remember that the emotional age of our children could be much younger than their chronological age. If we adopt a two year old it would not be in his best interest to parent him the way one would parent an attached two year old.
If a newborn baby screams and cries, you don't put him in a time out. You give him loving touch, respond to his needs and he learns how to regulate his own emotions over time.
Unattached children need to be "re-parented" by their new parents to form a healthy attachment. In order for the child to later become attached to extended family members, they need to form a real, healthy attachment to their parents first. For many children this means that only their parents should hold them for the first couple of months. If a child tries to go to another friend or family member, they should re-direct that child to their mummy or daddy.

These are just a few strategies that have worked very well in helping children form secure attachments:

-Holding Time/Close Time - This is therapeutic touch and cuddle time. Children as old as 18 years (and possibly even adults) have found that being rocked like a baby after a difficult situation (such as a temper tantrum) and/or intermittently throughout the day will help them learn how to regulate their emotions.

-Bottles - It may seem strange to bottle feed a toddler or older child but if this child has never experienced having been cared for by just one mummy, taking them back to an infantile stage and teaching them that mummy will take care of them and nurture them might be just the ticket.

-Eye contact - An unattached child will avoid eye contact with their new mummy and daddy. Playing games like peek-a-boo (even with older children) will help them learn to trust eye contact in a non-threatening way.

-Carrying - Yes, that child is old enough to walk but she might need to be carried in a carrier while she learns to attach to her parents.

-Time-in - Children who are already feeling separated from the world should not be given a time-out. Being sent away from the family (even if it's just the next room for just a few minutes) could be very traumatizing. Instead the child can sit with a parent for the duration of the punishment. They can then discuss the behaviour and end with a hug and a kiss. This helps teach a child that even though they have misbehaved, they are still loved.

For more information on attachment in adopted children, check out the website A4everFamily.org
The AEP touches briefly on these things but does not have time to give a lot of information. This website has a lot of stories from real parents and advice from professionals who specialize in post-adoption attachment.

Just reading about all this is exhausting. Sometimes, everything that we need to learn and be aware of seems unimaginable. But the more prepared we are now, the less likely we are to be surprised in the future. I'm sure that we will still make plenty of mistakes but hopefully we'll make a few less because we've done our homework.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

attachment... not just putting files on emails (pt. 1)

This week is attachment week at the AEP. I have been researching attachment for the past few months and I'm glad because the AEP didn't have time to get into everything that might have been covered.
What is attachment you ask? Well according to Psychology Today attachment is this important:
"The emotional bond that typically forms between infant and caregiver, usually a parent, not only stimulates brain growth but affects personality development and lifelong ability to form stable relationships"
Usually when a baby cries, a caregiver meets the baby's need and the baby attaches to the caregiver. This is the natural attachment cycle. The problem is that many children in the foster care system have either never been able to attach to a trusting caregiver or have attached to many different caregivers who have come in and out of the child's life. No attachment or disrupted attachments can have huge negative effects on a developing brain. When a child does not have any secure attachments and has trouble making them it is often diagnosed as Attachment Disorder or Reactive Attachment Disorder.

What are the potential causes of Attachment disorder?

Separation from the primary caregiver
Changes in the primary caregiver
Frequent moves and/or placements
Traumatic experiences
Maternal depression 
Maternal addiction - drugs or alcohol
Undiagnosed, painful illness such as colic, ear infections, etc.
Lack of attunement between mother and child

What does Attachment Disorder look like? 

•Intense control battles, very bossy and argumentative; defiance and anger
•Resists affection on parental terms
•Lack of eye contact, especially with parents or will look into your eyes when lying
•Manipulative - superficially charming and engaging
•Indiscriminately affectionate with strangers
•Lack of conscience - shows no remorse
•Destructive to property, self and/or others
•Lack of impulse control
•Learning lags/delays
•Speech and language problems
•Incessant chatter and/or questions
•Inappropriately demanding and/or clingy
•Food issues - hordes, gorges, refuses to eat, eats strange things,  hides food
•Very concerned about tiny hurts but brushes off big hurts

Some of these might sound like normal child behaviours but a child who is unattached doesn't know to go to their parents for help. They don't know how to feel safe and might always be waiting for something bad to happen. They don't understand that you are their "forever family" and might try "mommy shopping" (hugging and cuddling strangers, knowing they have to be charming in order to be protected).  In public, an unattached child might seem cute and affectionate but inside (and at home) they are fighting against attaching to anyone in order to avoid future hurt.

So there you have it. Some tough stuff to mull over. It's not all bad news though. With a lot of patience and very purposeful parenting, many children are able to form very secure attachments to their adoptive parents. More on that next time.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

going back to school... adoption style

We have started our AEP (Adoption Education Programme (Program?)).
Why do we need to go to school in order to have kids? People don't need to go to school to have kids biologically (although on 16 and Pregnant they are often in school when they're having kids).
One of the awesome things about adding to our family through adoption is that it is completely different experience than adding to our family through biological methods. We're swapping morning sickness and labor for attachment disorder and a host of unknown issues. Why is this awesome? Well because not only do we get to go through some real personal growth, we also get to help a little person (or people) with some real growth as well.
With all this awesomeness comes a lot of responsibility and a need for preparation in all areas of our lives. At home this means talking about our emotions constructively and taking time for "self-care" (easier said than done with our schedule some weeks!), among other things.
The AEP is just one step in learning about adoption through the Ministry of Children and Families. We need to learn what we can expect, what we can't expect and prepare for the unknown. We need to learn about a different kind of parenting. We need to learn about the perspectives of our future children, their biological parents and their foster parents. We need to hear worst case scenarios and decide what we can handle. We need to be scared. We need to feel lost. We need to wonder if this is really right for us. We need all this to build up our strength and knowledge. We need to prepare in order to provide stability and advocacy for our children. 

So, sorry if we're unavailable for the next 9 weeks, we're busy being terrified about the implications of public adoption. But don't worry, it'll be worth it.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

a social worker of our very own

On February 17th we nervously and excitedly handed our adoption application over to a woman at a reception window.

The application requested such information as our names, birth dates and yearly income (gulp). It also requested requested that we share our religious beliefs and values and gave us about two lines in order to do this. Yeah, like the answer to that fits on two lines.

The other part of the application required us to check off little boxes as to what sort of child we would accept. Starting with age (we chose 0-4) how many children we want (we chose 1 or two siblings/twins). Then it asks you what racial heritage you are ok with (we checked them all). It goes on to have you check off various "disabilities" everything from ADD to Cerebral Palsy, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, FASD, cleft palates, sight impairment (now does this mean "needs glasses" or "totally blind"?). This is where things get interesting. It's easy enough to say yes to some of these but so many of them fall in the category of "spectrum disorders" and it is extremely difficult to answer a straight yes or no. Would we happily accept a high functioning child with Downs Syndrome? You betcha! Would we be equipped to raise a child with severe delays caused by that same Syndrome that would lead to major health complications and a life of acute care needs. No, we might not be the right family.
perhaps our feelings towards Social Workers won't
always be this rosy...
The application also asks if you would accept placement of a child who was conceived by rape or incest and/ or has experienced various kinds of abuse (but more on that later).

There is a tremendous amount of guilt when it comes to filling in this form. We are not shopping for a perfect child but ticking off these little boxes makes it feel that way. Obviously we must be honest about what we think we can handle but filling out these forms felt a little like playing God.

So after weeks of research, we handed in a very "soft" application and began waiting the two weeks it would take for a Social Worker to contact us. We looked forward to talking to the social worker and trying to explain all our concerns. Two weeks went by, nothing. Three weeks, nothing. Four weeks and I contact the office, nothing. Then on March 20th an email with the name of the Social Worker that our file has been assigned to. One little sentence and I guess that we're officially on our way!

Friday, 9 March 2012

about the title

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

A sigh can express love, anger, joy or frustration- all emotions we plan on feeling (and possibly expressing)
during this process. We look forward to looking back on our choice of road and knowing that it did indeed
make all the difference in the life of our family.