Friday, September 28, 2007
I have gone around and around trying to write concisely and clearly an overview of the issues surrounding this crisis. I feel so brain dead, I haven't found the words to explain it all well. I have thus decided to take the "big picture" explanation directly from the Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) website (www.jcics.org):
Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has announced plans to effectively stop all adoptions into the United States including those children who have already been referred to adoptive parents. There will be no 'grandfathering' of adoptions already in process.
Over 5,000 children have been referred
The birthparents for these children have already relinquished their parental rights. As a result, they currently have no family and the Berger suspension will result in these children having no prospect for a permanent, safe and loving family
The government of Guatemala currently does not have the finances or facilities to even provide housing for these 5,000 children. If children referred to families are not allowed to be adopted, they will languish in institutions or foster care.
The Berger plan is a crisis waiting to happen
Where to get more information:
www.guatadopt.com - a fantastic resource on all the issues surrounding adoptions from Guatemala
What you can do:
Please go to these links and read these online petitions:
Guatemala Adoption and DOS Accountability
Media Coverage of Intercountry Adoption
The Call to Action:
The Guatemala 5000 Initiative (This is the big one, please read!)
Additionally, a little information about UNICEF. Always in the best interest of children? Not really...
Families Without Borders
"Dear..." - a letter outlining UNICEF's position on inter country adoption
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I just love this song. It makes me feel good and I've decided to feel good today. After the past two emotional days, it's hard to describe how I'm feeling. Lot's of people have asked if we are still going to make our visit trip next week. We most certainly are. A very good friend reminded me of a saying, "it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all", and it got me thinking. If we had given birth to a child that we were told we would only have a certain amount of time with, wouldn't we love her, and make the best of the time we have with her? The answer is yes. I feel the same about Ana. She is our daughter. Whether she is meant to be ours for a short time or forever, she has come into our lives for a reason and we have to make the most of our time together. I would not give up meeting, loving and caring for her regardless of any amount of hurt it may carry with it. I think that's what being a parent is all about.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The US Department of State issued another warning yesterday. There is a real possibility that if our adoption is not completed by December 31st (and there is really no way it could be) that it may become incredibly difficult if not impossible to complete the adoption. I will not pretend to understand all the issues that surround this matter. If you would like to read more, the site I mentioned above is an excellent resource.
There have been scares like this before, but somehow it gives me no solace, it wasn't happening to me then, so I don't know if it had the same ominous feeling. I would like to think that any cases that are in process would be allowed to finish. It is really a disservice to the children of Guatemala, as they are the ones that would suffer needlessly should adoptions come to a halt. Don't get me wrong, I am fully behind the need for reform in Guatemala. I would never want to adopt a child who was kidnapped, who's birthmother was coerced, or who was brought to adoption through illegal means. But for the children who truly need homes, who's family cannot provide for them, they are the ones who will be most affected. I have complete trust in our agency that everything has been done properly to ensure we have been matched with a child who's birthparents relinquished her legally. I will continue to have faith that we were led in this direction for a reason. I cannot deny though, the cloud that seems to be hovering over our visit trip coming up next week. I knew saying goodbye to Ana after our visit would be hard, but it's taken to a whole new level now. I don't know if I can say goodbye to another baby.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
*16 hamburger buns for 13 people (okay, not bad, but when are only serving hamburgers and chips, people may want more than 1 hamburger!)
*8 hot dogs for 13 people
*8 hot dog buns for 13 people (at least there were enough buns/dog!)
*1/8 sheet cake with "Happy Birthday Flame Needle" written on it. I was assured this was a good alternative to Ian's first choice of "Happy Birthday Rubber Butt" I guess when you put it that way. I would have loved to see the cake decorators face after that request.
Anyways, after presents, cake and a rousing verse of "Happy Birthday Dear Flame Needle", it was indeed a very good close to Ian's birthday celebrations. Thanks again to all our wonderful family members for the great gifts and your company today. We love you all!
For those of you that are wondering, Flame Needle is a super hero name
Ian concocted a while ago. It is the successor to Door Slam.
Please don't ask, I have no answers for you.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We then met Mimi and Auntie Agnes at Ian's choice for lunch, Applebees. Ian's friend Ollie joined us. Mimi brought him a little magic kit that was very exciting and has prompted Ian to now want to be a magician for Halloween (mind you, he believes he will master all the tricks and insisted that he would not just dress like a magician, but will be a real one!). We got through lunch and it came time for dessert and the singing (the reason we chose Applebees, by the way). Our waiter delivered Ian's ice cream and announced that they are just too busy to pull the staff together to sing. Well, Ian's Mimi looked at that man and informed him that her grandson was looking forward to that part and it was the deciding factor in choosing Applebees for his birthday lunch. She let him know that "we will wait" until they are able to gather a group to sing to her grandson. Well wouldn't you know it, before Ian could have two more bites of ice cream the sound of clapping and singing came marching into the dining room and Ian got his birthday song. We love Mimi!
We let Ian open his gifts from us between lunch and dinner. He was very excited about his new scooter and Power Rangers helmet. We wrapped up the day with dinner at Ian's favoritest restaurant in the world, McDonalds with Nannie and Papa in attendance. They also brought Ian a gift, a Red Ranger transformer thingy, yeah I don't get boy toys...We came back to the house to have some cake before putting Ian to bed. All in all it was a really nice day and I think Ian really enjoyed it. In fact at one point he proclaimed "This is the best birthday ever!"
Next up, Ian's party with his friends tomorrow afternoon (still so much to do!) featuring tie-dye t-shirts. Then Sunday we'll have our families over for a BBQ. Man, nothing like dragging out a birthday huh?! Do you think I can get Ian to wear the ridiculous Fraize family birthday hat for the next party? Greg had to tackle him for this picture!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I can't explain what a joy and relief it was to open this e-mail. I've been following other peoples journeys for so long, to see it playing out for yourself is very surreal. The first set of pictures were wonderful, but to get this next set and to see her thriving is just so amazing. I was kind of hoping we'd get a smile this time, but maybe she's saving them for next time! Anyways, without further ado, here's our latest pictures of Ana, she's 10 weeks old, isn't she sweet?
Ian's picture started out as a heart but he decided it looks more like frog's eyes. So he added a body and "jumpy legs" to complete it! Okay, I'm off to squeeze all these things into a gallon size ziplock bag now, wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
We were having a lovely visit at the playground. Ian was having a ball playing with Maya and Ryan, two friends we don't see enough of.
All of a sudden I see him heading for the bathroom, "mumma, I have to go poop!"
Oh man. "Are you absolutely sure you have to go?"
"Yes, I hafta!"
I dragged myself groaning from my spot on the bench and headed toward the bathrooms. We walked in and I surveyed the surroundings, stained concrete floors, the seat is up (Oh gosh, when he came in here to pee earlier he touched the seat!!), there is no soap (and he didn't have soap to wash up after!!), the trash is totally overflowing (he probably touched it!!), and there are three dead bugs in the sink (I choose not to think about his habit of playing in the water that sits in the sink). I don't know if I can do this
"Are you 100% sure this can't wait?"
"Okay, well don't touch anything until I've covered the seat!" So I go to work totally enshrouding the toilet seat with paper towels "You're still sure?"
"Yup, but you didn't close the door". I turn around to tell him he can sit down and, Oh my good God.....where are his shoes "Ian Gregory, where are your shoes?!" I think I'm about to faint....
"I always take my shoes off to poop"
"Not here you don't, look at this floor! Yuck yuck yuck get your shoes on your feet!!"
"Okay, here you go, let me lift you on"
"You know mumma, I don't really have to go actually"
"Yeah, it went away, can I go play again?" Aye yie yie.......We wash our hands (sans soap remember) and I feel like a goalie trying to stop him from touching every surface on the way out of the room.
Poor Ana, she has no idea what she is getting into!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The waiting is harder than I expected. I thought that once we received the referral that I would feel better. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled and so thankful to have surpassed that hurdle, it's just that now that I have a face, and a name, I find myself thinking so often during the day, what is she doing right now? Is she happy? Is she crying? Do they pick her up right away when she cries? Is she smiling yet? Does she feel loved?
I have been asked by some to relate the feelings about waiting for an adopted child versus waiting for a biological child. The biggest difference is with a biological child, you are never without them. From the moment they are conceived, they are with you. I don't think I gave that a ton of thought before beginning this process, but that is a huge thing! I am having a difficult time accepting the fact that we are not directly involved in the first 10 or so months of our daughters life (think about what a child accomplishes in their first year of life!). The fact that she was created and carried in another woman's belly, she is comforted by other people, she's bonding with other people. There are parts of her life that I cannot control, and there will be a time in the future when I won't have all the answers to her questions. That's a tough pill to swallow.
We have a neighbor who had a baby girl on June 30th, the day before Ana was born. Every time I see her, I can imagine what Ana might be like. Now that Ian has started school, I see them every morning at the bus stop which I have to admit has been fairly difficult for me. It's like a daily slap of reality, "hey girl, look what you are missing!". I have to believe that there is a reason, in her life and in ours that we've been brought together this way. And though I'm still envious of the women I see day to day nursing their newborns or gobbling up big gummy baby smiles, I will try not to think of what I'm missing as the days go by, but of the things that are to come. Imagine what is in store for us, we have two children now!