Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Speed Bump!!

Silly me!! When people have been asking about when I anticipate receiving Hannah's referral I've actually been narrowing it down to a month or two. My current answer has been, 'Probably July but possibly June.'

Now, not so much!! Just when I was oh soclose Swine Flu has reared it's ugly head and thrown the world of International Adoption (and many other situations) into a state of unrest. Yes, it appears that CCAA is going to hold referrals for a period of 20-30 days and then re-evaluate the situation.

Can I blame them? No, not one single bit. They lost many precious people to SARS and now I completely understand them wanting to be careful with this newest problem.

When SARS stopped referrals and travel in 2003, CCAA still worked and when they were open to travel again worked very hard to make up for lost time by sending out double batches of referrals. Oh how I hope that happens again this time!

So, I have no answers nor does anybody else. What I do know is that I hopped on this stroller coaster a long time ago and am still on the ride of my life! Oh the stories I'll have to share with Hannah when she gets older! Sure hope she likes roller coasters! I've learned to love them over the past 4 years!!

My heart goes out to Lisa, T and Pug Mama who are all holding pictures of their precious little ones and now don't know when they'll receive their travel approval and green light to go to China. As hard as this added speed bump might be to me, I cannot begin to imagine how hard it must be for those who know who their child is. Hugs and prayers for you dear friends.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Man in My Life!!

You may have noticed that blogging is happening a little less often these days and it's for a very good reason...There is a man in my life and we spend almost every evening together!! He whispers in my ear, shares his pie with me, takes me out for walks and even complains if I think about saying goodnight without kissing him goodbye!

Who is this man that I love very much?

Grandpa!!! 'Grandpa' (Sharon's dad) is still in the hospital and has been for 8 weeks as of today. We're still adjusting to the changes in his life and his family are working daily towards finding answers as to what will be best for Grandpa. Sadly the error in meds that he was given appears to have triggered some permanent changes in him. We believe that God is totally capable of bringing the old grandpa back but should he remain as he is they are preparing for what might happen next.

As he spends his time in the hospital with his wife and daughters by his side during the day, I get to spend most evenings with him and you know what....I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!! As much as I would love for Hannah to be home now, since she is not I am thankful to have this opportunity to spend time with Grandpa and in turn help out my precious friends, all whom I love very, very much and are like a 2nd family! We are so blessed to share the friendship that we do!

Here are a few pics to show some of the good times Grandpa and I share together!

Offering me some of his yummy blueberry pie. Mmmm!

Of course I'll have some!

Ice cream parties

Many, many.......MANY walks around the halls of the 7th floor and,

Dates at Tim Horton's in the lobby!

Love you so much Grandpa! I'm so glad we have this time together!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celebrating 37 months Closer to Hannah!

These flowers were a beautiful gift from my dad this week. What better way to celebrate this month's 37 month Hannah~versary than with flowers given to her Mommy by her Grandpa? A Grandpa who already loves her very much!

Here we are... another month closer to my baby girl and she's so close now that I'm starting to wake up with my heart racing as I consider that I'll soon be seeing my daughter's face for the very first time!!! I'm excited, thankful, anxious, frightened, and a wealth of other emotions are constantly flooding my heart and mind! After more than 3 years I'm just months away and can probably say less than 100 days away from receiving Hannah's referral!

With the excitement comes the 'What have I done with my time? I'm not ready!' feelings of minor panic as I consider what needs to be done to prepare my home for a baby that will be mobile when we get home. Yikes!! I received the sweetest email Saturday from friends who are planning a work day to come help me tidy my basement. Do you know there are people who really enjoy such things?? Who knew?? Not I, but I am oh so thankful for these precious friends who will help me organize and move things around. It's not in bad shape, it just needs organization and more purging. Thank you, thank you friends!!

Now Hannah's room....that's a different story! Her room has become a place to store many of the clothes, toys, equipment and other things that have accummulated over the past 3 years. People have been oh so generous and I have also started purchasing some things so that I'm not having to buy everything at the last moment. Add that to a room which already stored my scrapbooking materials and assorted 'stuff' and I have another big HUGE project in front of me. My friend Deb came over in January and helped for a morning and we were able to organize some of the room. The fact that I can now walk in it even a little bit is because of Deb and her help. I'm too embarassed to show you pics yet but someday will show you the 'before' and 'after' pics.

So here we are, 37 months closer and bubbling over with excitement!! Rumours are out there that matching for the next batch of referrals has begun. I'll be doing a post about the matching room since it will soon be Hannah's file that they're looking at and matching it with mine. But, I'll leave those fun details for another time.

Thank you to all of you who are sharing this amazing journey with me!!! I am thankful for all God is teaching me during this time and for the amazing friends He has introduced me to too!

37 months closer! I love you Hannah! Mommy will be there soon!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Sound of Music!!

Sharon and I treated the girls to a night of live theatre for their birthdays. What fun it was to go and see, 'The Sound of Music' together! The girls have both enjoyed the movie and for years Sharon and I have enjoyed hearing them sing the songs in the car and talk about their favourite parts of the movie. Last night we were able to enjoy it in Toronto and it was amazing!! So many neat effects that I hadn't anticipated but will leave as surprises for those who are able to go see it. If you're in the area or visiting sometime, I'd highly recommend going to see it!

This video isn't from the Toronto production but is such fun to watch! I was introduced to it last week when Ford posted it on their blog. I later found out that the first dancer who was also the choreographer is a local guy. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear watching it!

Not sure why the picture keeps freezing but if you double click the video it will take you to the Y*uT*be version and you can watch it there without the stops. It's well worth it!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The End of Another Roll-Up Season

As roll-up seasons have come and gone, 2009 was a good year! Less purchased and more wins makes for a winning combination. I didn't even need to use the 'Whining Wins' category this year but did make a contribution to a friend's Whining Wins. Poor Jeff! ;o( Glad you enjoyed your coffee!

As for the contest at work, I tied for 2nd with MaryAnne! Yay! Not bad since in previous years the term 'bottom feeder' was often thrown my way. Please note, even though it appears Mark and Russ did not truly participate they did but sadly do not have an endless supply of caffeine located right behind their office building. Sadly we do....and we have the jitters to prove it!

Now, let's discuss Mike's win. Yah, yah, it's the second year in a row he's won. Blah, blah, blah! We were all disheartened by his walloping us for a second year in a row but when we walked him to his car all became clear. This is what we found!

Sad...yes, very sad!

Lest we get discouraged and think that winning cups don't really exist, I offer you 'Exhibit A' which is a real, live winning tab!! My friend Larry won a $100 Timmy's card...

...and has even received it! Way to go Larry! Maybe next year we'll let him in on our contest and maybe he'll be able to give Mike a run for his money?

Hmmm, just realized that during next year's contest I'll be on maternity leave with Hannah. (Wheeee!!!) Would it be a bad thing if one of her first words was 'Rr...Rr....Roll-Up?!!'

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cultural Differences In Raising Babies

I have read a lot of information in my years of waiting for Hannah and have tried to do my best to prepare for her. I still have much to learn but I'm working on it. Today Rumor Queen added a post that is SO helpful in helping me to realize some of what Hannah may be experiencing now and how best to help her through our initial time when we meet one another. If you're adopting or even family/friends reading this post, please take the time to hop over to RQ and read her very informative post.

I will choose to do things differently for Hannah than may be the 'norm' but this post will help us all realize that the beginning days of her life are not what most Canadian babies experience. One of the very best things I can do for my little girl when we first meet is to meet her needs in the way that she is accustomed and then in time, as she is ready, slowly transition her to what will work for she and I as a family.

Topics covered in the post are: Potty Training; Split Pants; Changing (or more likely not changing) clothing on a regular basis; Bathing; Bottle Feeding; Feeding, Attachment, Mongolian Spots and more.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

2 Big Days of Referrals!!

This month CCAA matched 2 days of files. It may not sound like a lot but I'm thrilled!! It wasn't that long ago that I dared to voice to a few friends that I believed it might take CCAA 2 months to get through March 7th purely because of the large number of files logged in that day. Not only did the match all of March 7th this month but they did the 8th too! And, to top it off some families with a LID of March 9th even received their referrals! Not all of March 9th, but some...and we'll take it! In the past CCAA has not matched partial days so not sure what this is all about but I do know that some wonderful little babies will be coming home to their families sooner than we originally thought! Perfect!!

2 days closer (as I'm choosing not to include the March 9th date in my calculations as it wasn't a complete day) and now there are only 15....count 'em f-i-f-t-e-e-n days between where CCAA is currently matching and when they get to my file! That's 10 fingers and 5 toes....and I'll take it!!

Add to this 3 wonderful bloggy friends receiving their referrals and it's been a GREAT weekend of happy family news!

Congratulations to Lisa and her adorable little Tate!

Simply T with cute as a button, smiley Emerson Grace!

and Pug Mama's beautiful, ready to roll baby girl!!

I've had the pleasure of meeting all these Mamma's in real life and I couldn't be more thrilled for them!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Immediate OHIP Coverage Granted!! Thank you for you help!!

I wanted to say thank you to all of you who helped this situation by contacting your government officials. I'm excited to say that our contact with the provincial government was successful and they changed the Regulation as of TODAY!

I received an email from one of the ladies I have been in touch with numerous times over the past 3 weeks and this is what her email said,

'I am pleased to say that changes made to Regulation 552 are effective as of today - April 1, 2009. The regulation impacts internationally adopted children for both their eligibility for OHIP coverage and their eligibility for an exemption to the 3-month waiting period. These children will now be eligible for OHIP coverage while they are in the process of applying for Canadian citizenship. Once adopted, they will be eligible for OHIP coverage as soon as they arrive in Ontario with their parents - without a three month waiting period.'

Thank you again to all who took the time to write on behalf of those of us adopting. She made it clear that it was our input to their offices that helped them correct this situation in such a timely manner!

'On behalf of Minister Caplan I want to thank everyone for bringing this issue to our attention. It was through your contact with this office that we were able to move quickly to correct the problem. I know that this was an unnecessary and stressful situation for many of you and I truly thank you for your patience while we corrected the regulation. ' Thank you Heather!! We appreciate all you did on our behalf too!

So happy that this is one less hurdle I'll have to jump when Hannah first comes home. New referrals should be arriving in the next couple of days and even though I know I'm still months away from receiving Hannah's, it will be fun to celebrate with friends who will see their child's face for the very first time!!
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