11:33 AM

Not showing but still glowing

I am so excited about my daughter, I can not wait to meet her. Unlike my pregnancy that really could not be over soon enough and left me sick and cranky, I feel like I finally understand what it means when a woman is expecting and glowing. I am happy to be just glowing secure in the knowledge of what is to come, so happy my daughter is on her way.
I think of her daily when I see a frilly dress in the clearance rack, when Emery, who is about the age she will be when we meet, hits a new milestone. I wonder will she do this first with me? Will I get to witness this particular growth in one or both of my children? I also wanted to mention that if it is only once that I get to parent a brand spankin' new baby, that is fine by me, I treasured all the joys and challenges of the newborn stage knowing that they would be my only ones. Being an admitted control freak, it is harder to know that I will have no control over the first months. I will have to work on that, as there is 0% room for control freaks in an adoption journey, especially an international one.
Sometimes I wake up sort of dreaming of her, I think I hear her crying for me. It is so silly since she is only particles in space at this point in time, but I will record those times on this blog any ways just in case they end up corresponding to special days in the life she has before she gets home.
I think all the time about all the things that are so great about being a preferential adopter, I make little lists in my head; no more maternity clothes, no more nursing pads, great adventure and so the list builds and grows and I just... glow. I am really enjoying this stage because I know the hard times lie ahead, as the wait piles up, year after year, I may not see every thing with such rosy coloured glasses as I plough through the bureaucracy required to hold her in my arms.
For now I am one happy mama dreaming of sugar and spice and every thing nice.

2:43 PM

Why?

This is the question I get most often when I tell people my next child, my daughter, will be coming home from Thailand in 2014, that we are adopting.
I really want to answer "why not" or "because that is where my daughter is". But I guess that even though it is the most honest answer I can give, it some how comes across as cheeky (at best).
So in this post I will attempt to answer the why. Be forewarned it is not a short answer.
Why Adopt when you can bear your own children?
This I find to be the most personal question of them all, and equally the most insulting. I love my son, I am so happy he is in our life, I would not change him or how he came to be my son for any thing in the world. It just so happens he came to be my son in the most "normal" way there is, his happily married mom and dad made him. My daughter I also love, I am so happy she is coming into my life, I would not change her or how she came to be ours for any thing in the world.
I have always wanted to build my family through adoption, it is not a last resort for us, it is not the consolation prize. We are labelled in the adoption community as "preferential adopters", I like the label. :)
Why Thailand?
I asked my self this question more times then you can imagine. I have always envisioned my daughter in China. I was so sure that was where she was that I was prepared to line up for what has now become a 7 year wait. I was researching, special needs adoption from China, thinking when the doors and opportunities for me and China were closing that maybe I could get to her via an unconventional route. We had travelled to China, were familiar with the culture, food, language, we were ready. This past fall when the time came to commit to our adoptive country, our adoptive practitioner advised us to look to Thailand. I will say that Jeremy was leaning that way much sooner then I could. We meet a very finite criteria that many other prospective parents do not. We were ideal parents in Thailand's eyes. We were able to start right away and have our girl home in 4 years. Reluctantly I let China go when the reality became clear that we would have likely waited in line only to never bring a daughter home. I chose to go with the the risk that I had the geography wrong in my dream rather then risk never realizing my dream all. Domestic adoption is not for us at this time, but I do hope to be a foster parent in the future because I feel that this is where we have the greatest need in our country.
Won't it cost a lot?
This is also a frustrating question, especially when it is the first and some times only question out of some ones mouth. In my opinion no it will not, because some things really are priceless and also when you look at it logically it breaks down like this:
$10000 for a life changing trip to Thailand, we spend the same on our trip to China
$10000 in domestic fees that would be applicable to any adoption in Ontario
$10000 for other fees in Thailand Visas, court dates, translations and so on.
It would cost me more then the domestic and other fees to have a c-section in America if I did not have insurance (yeah Canada!). Thailand proudly does not accept any money or donation to the orphanage in exchange for caring for my daughter for her first months of life. (a perfectly justifiable fee, that is used to care for the future and current orphans) My husband the most *frugal*cough*cheepass* man in the world would grumble all the way if this logic did not hold up, basically kids are expensive no matter how they come to you.


Here are some other things you may have been wondering:
Timelines
We have chosen to wait until 2011 to begin the process, it is very time consuming, and we wanted to have this year to just focus on being a family of 3. The first step is to be approved by Ontario to be adoptive parents. This process will take around 9 months, in the end we will have a piece of paper that proves we are good parents and deserve to have another little rugrat to raise :) This part of adoption is like the first trimester of pregnancy, the paperwork required is bound to make you nauseous and you just wait and hope that you make it to the next trimester - File to Thailand. At this time our file goes to Thailand and they review it and also stamp us as good parents and then go about matching our file with a waiting child. This will take 2-3 years, we will be in a queue of sorts until it is our time to be matched. Then comes the third trimester, matched and waiting for travel approval. Where a familiar "is it time yet?" feeling will consume your every waking thought, until finally you can't even sleep and "are we there yet?" consumes your entire life :) Then about 3 weeks after matching we travel to Thailand (Labour and Delivery) to bring Elora home.
What we know about Elora
She will be a girl, although boys are more available in Thailand we have chosen a daughter because studies show it will help her to be a different gender then our biological child. We will have a slightly longer wait since we have chosen a girl. She will be between 6-12 months old when we bring her home. She will have been raised in a Red Cross orphanage. Unlike many international adoptions we will have the rare privilege of knowing a fair bit about her birth family.