Friday, April 30, 2010

Nearly 34 months waiting and an update on adoption in general

In 4 days we'll hit the 34 months mark waiting for our little babe. Whew! Seems like we are setting a record for adoption timelines from Thailand in Tasmania, at least. The longest before us was a 28 month wait. Anyhow, nothing we can do about that but ... wait some more ;) Soooo, we wait as long as we need to.

Since my last post, adoption in Australia has taken a small turn. All states have stopped accepting new applications for adoption from Thailand. Thailand Adoption Services report that they have approx 1000 files already waiting to be processed in country - that is, to be matched and allocated - so they are not accepting new files from anywhere in the world, Australia included.

The hope from the adoption community we are a part of is that this will help to give the Thai adoption services staff the space to match and allocate the files that are in country much more quickly and then the program can be re-opened to new applications again.

During April I've been doing a lot of preparation for our future child's arrival. I had put most of this on hold til we actually had a referral but am glad now that I haven't waited. Preparing ahead of time allows me time to go bargain-hunting in a way that wouldn't work if I only had a couple of weeks.

I really wanted to find a great baby/toddler carrier that we could use in Thailand and back home. I came across an Ergo Sport that is flexible enough for me to use as well as Scott (it has extra length in the straps for his longer body and wider shoulders). Thanks to eBay, I found this at a hugely reduced price of AUD$70 (normally $180). It's only been used once or twice and is in perfect condition - fits both Scott and I perfectly!





Also I managed to find durable foam puzzle floor mats to cover our timber floor in the child's play area. Don't want any bumps on our child's precious little self should they topple over at anytime!

A great find on eBay again was a portacot. As we have a little dog who is inside most of the day (and can't be left outside alone - she's only 4kgs and will always be that size) it will be useful to be able to separate the baby from the baby dog should I need to leave the room for a second or so. I could even put our little dog inside the portacot and she actually seems to like it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Australians warned to avoid Bangkok - Yahoo!7 Travel

Australians warned to avoid Bangkok - Yahoo!7 Travel

Uh oh! Not again. There are a couple of Aussie families waiting for their travel dates to go and bring home their child from Thailand who are not going to be happy about the change in situation in the major Thai cities. How scary!

I really hope that the situation calms down soon.

Kim

Thursday, February 04, 2010

31 Months Today :)

There's been a lot of action in Australia lately with referrals from Thailand. When I say a lot, I mean 3-4. LOL. That's a lot for our little Thai adoption program.

Just last night, very late, we had a very excited lady post on our Yahoo group about their allocation from Thailand yesterday. They had waited 33 months for their little boy and he is 2 yrs 3 months old. So this timeframe of 31-34 months seems to be the new 'normal'. We're so ok with that!

On the flip side, Victoria seems to have decided not to accept any more applications from parents adopting from any countries, at least for the moment. I would say, and it's just an assumption, that the more media that adoption gets over time, the more people start thinking that it may be a way they want to grow their family too.

As Thailand has given Australia a quota of no more than 42 (or thereabouts) files to be sent there each year, it's a pretty small program with less and less children becoming available for adoption for a variety of reasons. It's bound to hit this sort of slowdown. Years ago when China tightened the requirements for adoptive parents (income, weight, accepted medical conditions etc) a lot of prospective adoptive parents had to do a rethink. That and the extended wait that exists from China now (I believe it's 5 yrs) make the Chinese program less desirable for a lot of people when previously it had been a rather popular program.

So, thankfully we chose the right program for us at a time that was frought with changes! Today marks our 31 months waiting and we've just recently (in November) celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.

As much as we want to meet our child just as soon as possible (and there are days when I think I could go a little stir crazy with the waiting) the time has pretty much flown by quickly.

Scott is the picture of patience and rarely expresses any impatience for the wait. He's busy teaching meditation, expanding our vege garden to bursting and of course his 9-5 job too. Recently we've been working on a website for him about Mindfulness Meditation and he's a pretty inspired kind of guy when it comes to his passions.

As for me, I've been slowly working on my website http://www.livinginsmallhouses.com which is starting to show a lot of promise both in the visitors it receives every day and also in the money it generates. The idea of this site was to get it to the point where it was replacing the income we will lose when I'm home with our little one. A nice surprise is that it seems that it will do that and perhaps surpass my expectations!

Anyhow, we're keeping busy while we wait. I think that's been the most important thing to stop us from overthinking this whole adoption process.

Keep your fingers crossed for us ok :)

Kim

Saturday, December 05, 2009

29 months waiting. Sigh!

Haha bet you thought I'd given this blog away entirely ... I haven't posted for so long!

Would you believe we're still waiting? It's true, it's true.

Whilst my better half is calm and patient about the whole thing, I've fluctuated through short-lived bouts of frustration to come out with the same end - we can't do *anything* about it so it's not worth pining about.

I've noticed that quite a few of the recent referrals (worldwide) have been allocated at 29, 30 and 32 months so hopefully it won't be too long. With some luck, we won't be the first couple on record to wait the full 36 months that Thailand have said is the new norm. In this case, I'd rather not be a record-setter!

Overall, all of the country's programs have seen longer waiting times and Australia has withdrawn from the Ethiopian program until several new issues are sorted. On the positive side, there are a few files in a new program, the USA. This is one that isn't 'advertised' by the adoption department - I guess that's because it's so new but if you're Australian and you're interested you can read some fairly general information about potential new country programs found on the AG (Attorney General's) website or you can go directly to the breakdown (in PDF format). Once I read what was offered by way of information, the list of prospective countries dwindled to very few in my mind. Most don't meet the Hague requirements and therefore Australia won't have anything to do with that. Alternatively, the lack of some of the countries' procedures and infrstructure and worrying child-trafficking history are greatly problematic from the Australian government's prospective.

As far as I can gather there has been no referrals from the USA program just yet but there are several files there awaiting allocations. I dug for a little info from our local adoption department however there are no timelines given: just that the average age of children from this program is said to be 8 yrs old (with older and younger ones available, although younger ones are not so likely as slightly older children, apparently). Also, there is approx 128,000 children awaiting adoption in the USA, a lot of whom will be African-American. Honestly, this issue of mixed-race children doesn't appear to present a problem to the majority of Aussies who are attempting to adopt as children from most countries will create a mixed race family for us anyhow.

I have high hopes for the program with the USA and will be watching it closely with much interest :)

Meanwhile I hope to report on an allocation from Thailand for us sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Kim

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Nativeland is finished and our 25 month anniversary approaches

I can hardly believe I'm saying this - time has gone so quickly. We have now been waiting for our referral for 25 months, as of the 4th of August 2009.

Relatives and friends and other soon-to-be-adoptive parents who have been waiting with us sometimes assume that we're sad about such a long wait, anxious maybe, even frustrated.

That would be a fair assumption but I have only felt a little anxious for a few days at the 24 month mark. The feeling passed in a short time and wasn't painful ;) so it's all good and hopeful here in our part of the world. Scott is the picture of patience, always has been. I've had to learn how to be patient and,man oh man, doesn't the adoption process teach you that in full measure!

Recently, friends of ours L & G (who live about 15 minutes from here) received their referral of a gorgeous little fellow who I was fortunate enough to see a photo of. Spending time with C's Mum and Dad and another adoptive mother whose family we have a bit of contact with from time to time, drove it home to me exactly how it will feel when our own little cherub is finally revealed to us.

Such excitement and yearning sated, for a little while anyhow, by a series of small, 2D pictures of little C. Finally, a sweet face to put to the dreams and wonderings of a couple of years of waiting.

About a week after visiting and sharing their great news, I was in peak hour traffic on my way to work only to receive a phone call from our friendly Adoption Caseworker, J. To say I nearly rear-ended the guy in the car in front would be an accurate reflection of how surprised I was to hear from J. Rarely do you get to hear from your caseworker during the waiting time as, quite simply, there isn't anything to report unless a referral comes up or you need to do a review (yearly).

But no, J was just needing a bit more detail following our fairly recent review and my heart had to stop thudding with excitement and expectation so I could concentrate on driving safely to work.

In that moment I got another glimpse of what it will be like to FINALLY receive our referral. Kinda cool!

On our Yahoo Thai Adoption list, there has been a little sharing of the recent events at Nativeland (every four years Thailand invites it's adoptees and their families to return to their home country for a cultural visit over 1-2 weeks).

We were told late last year that things can considerably slow down around Nativeland as the majority of Thai adoption staff are involved with preparations for this event. Completely understandable and, from what we hear from those returning from their cultural visit, absolutely a must for adoptees and families who wish to get to know their birth country in a more in-depth fashion.

There were also, to my surprise, a few reported referrals throughout this time. One family in NZ were given a referral after 14 months waiting and travelled to Thailand a couple of weeks later to bring their little one home. From referral to travel is usually 2-3 months so this family experienced very good fortune indeed as well as an early referral time on average. The average these days moves towards 24 - 28 months.

A Victorian couple received a referral also although I don't know anything more about this particular one.

After our long wait, I'm still feeling very positive about the Thai adoption process. We've always felt very comfortable with how Thailand describes the reasons for the wait times to prospective adoptive parents. Their sound reasoning and process gives us the security to know that, wherever possible, Thailand are looking out for their sons and daughters in the most responsible way.

Some day soon, I'll be able to report our own good fortune. Maybe we've already been matched and our referral will come through soon ... who knows?

Wish us luck!

Kim

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Found some new Thai Orphanage Videos on Youtube!

Time goes by quickly ... and yet it doesn't. After 22 and a half months of waiting and no adoptive reading or researching for a long time up until recently, I have started again to search for our little one's face in the faces of every Thai baby/infant on the net.

Who knew it would take this long? Regardless, we're still hanging in there and we're never giving up. Not even if it takes 4 years or more. Gulp. Don't tell the Thai Adoption services that please! We'd love to meet our baby just as soon as possible.

On the flip side, the longer we wait the healthier our savings account gets. That can only be good right?

Anyhow, here are the promised precious youtube videos of children in Thai orphanages that I promised in the title:















Monday, March 16, 2009

20 and a half months waiting for our adoption to become real

Yep, we're still here. And we're also still waiting.

When you've been waiting so long for a child, like a lot of adoptive parents have these days, each person has their own way of coping. Some responses are anxious and worrying. Others choose to keep busy and not dwell on it. You can go all 'Zen' about it or wonder often about who your child is going to be.

Whatever your choice, it's all part and parcel of the international adoption merry-go-round!

Like the title says, we've been waiting for just over 20 months, meanwhile thinking all the while that we can't possibly have to wait much longer than 18 months. That was the cut-off in my mind anyhow.

So as not to get too wound up about a possible 3 year wait (that's the official word!), I've been flat out growing my travel consultancy business, creating websites from scratch (for myself and others), maintaining and upgrading my Frugal Living blog, preparing stuff for the baby (although that didn't take long) and generally playing sally-homemaker most of the time.

I've also had the pleasure of meeting a few more people in our local adoption community - one of whom has recently received their long awaited referral from Thailand.

After a long, loooong wait of 27 months, I might add. A little boy, 14 months old. Wish I could post details and a photo (but I can't - Thai adoption and Oz adoption laws prevent this until the child is formally adopted back here in Australia) cause this little fellow is the cutest little bug you've ever seen. His Mum, Dad and proud sister have a little while yet (probably a month or two) before they receive their "Notice to Travel" and can set off to Thailand to meet him and bring him home.

Last Saturday this family, another adoptive mum who already has her two boys and I sat around the table drinking celebratory champagne and exclaiming about the cuteness of the little guy. Generally gabbing about adoption, travel to Thailand, the orphanage (Pakkred, in Bangkok), play-dates when they come home (and when we have our bub too) and all sorts of other interesting stuff. It was so enjoyable to make contact again after such a long hiatus.

I had hoped that the next time I posted to this blog that it would be with our referral notice in hand, but next time maybe?

Bring on the adoptions!

Kim








Tuesday, January 06, 2009

18 months waiting

So much for my hunch about a November referral. Wishful thinking I guess.

Yep, we're still "waiting parents". Waiting, waiting, waiting ...

First of all, Happy Belated Christmas and a jolly belated New Year to you all. Hope it was good to you and everyone you love. Ours was quiet, just the way we like it :)

Next year it will be a whole new ball game though. We are planning for a Xmas tree, decorations, wrapped pressies by the hundreds under the tree, big family celebration next year with my Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister-in-law and Sister when we have a baby/toddler to spoil! I love Xmas with kiddos, it's so much more fun when you feel their excitement on waking up to Xmas morning, the anticipation of spoiling them and joining in the ripping of paper off the pressies.

I pedantically updated our Adoption Caseworker the other day to make sure our phone numbers were all there in her file. You know, call this number first, if no answer call that number, if not answering call ... yes, she probably has everything square but could you imagine missing THE most important phone call of our lives to voicemail that forgets to let you know about a message??

Traditionally for Australians, the wait from Thailand is a maximum of 21 to 23 months so we really don't have long to wait at all and we've started planning stuff. Usually we're not big planners and tend to go with the flow and stay flexible where possible.

Lately however I've been rearranging the house, sifting through things that have been taking up space (our house is small!), ruthlessly throwing things out, storing more and mentally using that space for something for the baby, like a change table or a chest of drawers. The cot (that my parents are buying for the bub) is mentally placed beside my side of the bed for ease of middle of the night wakeup calls (wheeee! Looking forward to that. I really am! True story).

Our little dog is just over one year old and perfectly trained now. That was the main thing I wanted to get done this past year. Lottie is a very smart little Havanese who Scott and I both adore. She's so small that she's just like a baby. I'm sure she's going to get a BIG wakeup call when there's something else who's snuggled in our laps where she usually is. Anyhow, she's the perfect little dog now and will sit, stay and use the designated spot to go to the loo. I think when the shock wears off she'll be psyched to have a little person to run around with. She's very high energy and will play and play and play. There may be a toy-hogging issue though. Mad about her toys!

I still can't get the visual in my head about how it will actually be to have our babe to care for 24/7. There is where my shock will kick in ... at least for a short while anyhow.

Right, I'm waffling cause I have nothing else to say that's not completely boring ...

See you on the other side of our referral (hopefully!).

Kim

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Elf Yourself this Christmas.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Honestly, I just about wet myself watching this Elf Yourself dance that you create yourself with photos from your family.

Here's ours! Have a laugh.

Kim

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Different Kind of Love - is it true?

This article really tore at me. It's called "Adoption - A Different Kind of Love" and was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. It's really well written with no judgements or assumptions made that I can see.

Nevertheless, if you're like me and do not yet have your adopted child (still waiting) it might make you worry.

I've always been a nurture (vs. nature) person and my husband is the same. All of the conversations we have had with each other and with friends and family have been to educate them and us on the importance of not looking at our adopted child in a 'different' way, that they should be treated the same as biological kiddos and therefore just as wanted. The alternative, for us, is unacceptable and we have always been of the mindset that our child will be our child in the full sense of the word. That biological doesn't have a part to play and that it's not going to make any difference anyhow.

These parents in the article, and there are many examples, have been very honest about their feelings towards their bio and their adopted children.
Some are painfully honest (wonder how their kids feel/would feel about reading this??) about how their bio kids are 'more loved' and they would do anything/feel more for the bio kids and not so much in the same way for the Adopted kids. Ouch!







Other parents state how they don't feel the difference at all. They see their kids as their kids, regardless of how they came to their family.

The main difference, from my perspective, can only be in how the parents are wired. Let me explain. We are all different, have different upbringings ourselves, different parenting techniques were what brought us up, we have different ways of approaching human relationships, romantic relationships, how we treat strangers as opposed to how we treat people we know, and whether we take more than we give most of the time or the opposite. All of these subtle historical events (and more) that shape who we are right now, have a part to play in how we then go on to treat our own kiddos and what we teach them. Not that one set of people is "better" than the other, or more deserving of children. We are not clones and therefore can't be expected to have the same life perspectives.

It's difficult to get across the length and breadth of what I am trying to say here (so I hope I'm making a little sense) but my theory on why there differing reactions to our adoptive children is just the above. We are all wired differently, make different and often subconscious choices about how we will approach life. Hence, we have different reactions to the same or similar situations.

I'm open to suggestions and keen to read and talk about all sides of the story but I still can't see that there is one definitive answer to this question of nature vs. nurture.

Now if I could just get my comments link to work so you *could* respond then we could have a great discussion!

Kim
Waiting 17 months for our baby Anytime now, I hope.






Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our 16 month Anniversary

Oh my goodness .. we've been waiting for our baby for 16 months now. What is amazing about this is that it has not felt like that long at all!

I think that as much as we want this child, the announcement of our referral will put us into a state of shock. For so long now, we've just been mosying along as a couple, doing what we do with the minimum of planning, on the spur of the moment and without a care in the world. Although I've never had a child to care for 24/7, I'm guessing that it won't quite be like that anymore.

We are also creeping up on our 2 year wedding anniversary on the 24th of November. Two blissful years - I really have no complaints. My husband Scotty is still the most dear man I'll ever have the pleasure of knowing, patient, kind and considerate in all things. Gush! Well, it's true, you know.

This baby will be the icing on our cake, to coin a phrase.

Earlier on this blog I mentioned that I quit my full time job at Qantas back in July of this year. Even though I know I was lucky to even have a job (what with the state of the world today) I'd always hankered over a business of my own. Something to create from scratch, an accomplishment such as I have never attempted before. Jobs are jobs and they get a little dull after a while so Scott said "just do it!" and I did. I started my own business and even though we're down to half as much in earnings as we were used to, we didn't fall into a hole of debt or disappear off the face of the earth!

We just made do in a more efficient way with Scott's wage. And we're ok and the business is growing slowly and steadily. There have been hurdles with creating a customer base from nothing but that is what is so exhilerating to me. When a new client finds me - through word of mouth mostly, such is the kind of business I have - I am so excited to work with them and help them create the best kind of holiday especially suited to their needs. It's very cool!

Never have I felt more released, more relieved and more creatively charged than I do now. It's weird how long I thought about relinquishing my job, how I agonized about whether it was the right thing to do, whether it was responsible. If my husband was any other man, I might have heard a lot of negative, a fair number of misgivings on the subject. In reality, I received nothing but support, no less than his 100% belief in my ability to grow my own business. All I can say is "what a MAN!"

We were excited to find out that some adoptive parents recently visited their son's orphanage on a return trip to Thailand only to be told that there were 4 children that had been matched recently to Australian parents. Word of the matchings hadn't quite made it to Australia yet (as it takes about 2-4 months for the paperwork on the Thai side to be done before it is advised) so when the couple arrived home in Australia they were able to share their exciting news.

Since then, a couple of months ago, we have heard of 2 new allocations to waiting Australian parents-to-be! Excitement and hurrays all round!! 2 more allocations, at least, to go and maybe, just maybe, we will be one of those lucky ones.

If not, then soon enough it will be our turn.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another referral from Thailand. Yaay!

This morning I woke to 15 emails in my yahoo inbox. It could only mean one thing and, YES, another referral to a couple in our Yahoo AusThai group for expectant adoptive parents and adoptive parents who already have their children home. This little boy is 2.5 years old and his parents are understandably overwhelmed at their good fortune. I understand his nickname is Kan. Congratulations new parents :)
There were noises from Thailand that July would be a great month for Aussie referrals and, from their perspective, these are July referrals. They take a while to actually get to Australia as there are lots of things to be done before the referral is sent on.
So, very exciting stuff here in the land of adoption.
I can hear you asking : does this mean we will get our referral too? Well everyone, I truly, truly, truly hope so. We have been waiting now 13 months, 1 week and 4 days. It's not unheard of to have a referral at this stage however I have always had a feeling about November.
It's not anything solid though. It's just a feeling. If we had a November referral we would travel December/January which would be just fine. Actually, anytime would be just fine. If we were told we had a referral and had to travel tomorrow. That's just fine too :)
Anyhow, enough dreaming for a moment. A girl could make herself crazy.
There are clients to book travel for and new clients to bring onboard!
Take care.
Kim

Monday, August 04, 2008

Changing gears for arrival of kiddo number one

There has been a lot of changes in our life recently. As we inch closer and closer to receiving notification that our child is waiting for us in Thailand, subconsciously I'm planning.

Scotty is the more relaxed, patient and calm type who will take things as they come along. Me, I'm a planner. Thank god that he's the practical one, he grounds me so I don't float away with all of the plans!

In the last 2 weeks we've heard some great news. One couple have received a referral from Thailand after waiting 11 months. Another of our friends has been updating us with news of their little guy from Taiwan - who is doing splendidly having been home with his new Mum and Dad a couple of months now. He's 8 months old, this little one, and I can't wait to meet him and have a little snuggle. What fortunate parents you guys are!

Anyhow, the point to all of this is that things are changing.

Just under two weeks ago I resigned from Qantas after being there just over 6 years. A huge step for me but one that was necessary considering I'd been wanting to put myself into a position where I can be working from home, have a more flexible schedule with our future child in mind but still earn so that our standard of living doesn't dip drastically.

I've wanted this for as long as I can remember, to work for myself, to give employers the old flick.

Then, along came Travel Counsellors, the franchise. All setup for a Travel Agent, working from home for myself but with the support of Head office with the payments, receipting, back office stuff, marketing, ticketing, moral support and numerous other very important facets that are imperative when you're starting a new business. They do everything that's needed except for servicing my clients - that's my pleasure and my speciality! Unfortunately they don't do my tax but you can't have it all, I guess.

So, suddenly I find myself in charge of how much I make each week, free as a bird, able to watch the Olympics (yaay!) and be here to create a really great relationship with my clients, anytime they have need to call me.
This point about creating a relationship with my clients is something that just wasn't possible or encouraged at Qantas. Being in an environment such as I was, the importance was on getting through as many client bookings a day as we could and not so much on the quality of the interaction. After all, we weren't travel agents, we were Reservations.
So from quantity I move into quality. I like it, I like it a lot!
Not to mention I can now cook my husband dinner every night (when I was night shift I rarely got to do that), spend time with our dogs and take them walking up the mountain every day (they love this), I don't have to travel an hour to work every day (we live out of town) and my quality of life has improved immensely. It's the best decision I've ever made in my working career!

I'm loving the difference.
Shameless Plug Ahead :
Need a travel agent or know someone who does?
Call me on 03 62663800 or email
kim.magrath@travelcounsellors.com.au
(Even if you're not in Australia, I can still make your booking quite happily and easily!)
Kim
xo

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Real mothers

This evening I've been browsing through some different adoption blogs on wordpress.com and have come across a particularly relevant post for adoption, relating to adoptive and birth mothers who have surrendered their child.

The author writes about 'authentic' mothers. I find this an excellent term to describe 'real mothers'. In fact, I haven't heard a better description.

This post is relevant to children of adoption, of course, but further than that it also incorporates a description that anyone could apply to a biological mother. Giving birth to a child that you then bring up to adulthood by definition doesn't make one an authentic mother. A birth mother and a biological mother for sure but not always an 'authentic' mother.

By personal definition, Authentic mothering for the author (and also for me) has more of an expectation attached to the actions performed and subtle, but highly relevant, mental effect on the relationship between mother and child.

Read for yourself and see what you think ... here's the post





Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Martian Child - a movie about adoption

Recently, I've come across a reference to a movie called "Martian Child" with John Cusack.

The short for the movie is below:



If you want to watch the movie, you can do so here ---> free to watch online:

Enjoy! It's a sweet movie so far (I'm a quarter of the way through it)

Kim

Friday, May 02, 2008

10 months today.

Oh my goodness. I just checked our ticker and we've been waiting for our referral from Thailand for 10 months today!

That time has just flown by :) It feels like just yesterday we were waiting for our file to leave Australia and now we've done all of the paperwork, notarizing and other important stuff, had our file confirmed as arrived at the Thai adoption services office in Bangkok, had our one year review (since our approval from the Tasmanian side of things) and Thailand have confirmed that they have everything they need and all they need to do now is match us with our baby/toddler.

Cool eh!

It's kind of neat that any day now (or maybe in another 10-14 months at longest!) our referral will come, we'll know who our child is and we can set off into the wild blue yonder to bring them home. Then the real fun starts!

I've been exercising all of my mothering instincts on our newest addition, Lottie, our Havanese puppy girl. She has been with us for three months and it seems like just yesterday I was collecting her from the airport, watching those little eyes peering back out at me from her carrier.

Lottie truly is spoilt now. A really mummy's girl too, I might add. Perhaps that has a bit to do with the fact that she is constantly cuddled, petted, walked, talked to and goes everywhere with me.

Speaking of which, she's not a great traveller in the car. You get about 30 minutes into a journey (which is quite common with us as we live about 50 minutes out of Hobart) and her tummy gets upset and, well, you get the picture. All over the car seat - yuck!

Today I bought her very first clothes. Honestly, I never thought I'd do that sort of thing but she's like a tiny child. She weighs 3.1kgs. Anyhow, she looks completely cute in her pink t-shirt (it reads: "I love Mummy") and her little denim jacket AND her warm jumper with hoodie. Not all at the same time of course.

I'll add some pics soon. She's pretty hard to get standing still ... has all of that puppy energy, you know. But anyhow, she's too cute to resist. I DID manage to stop myself from buying that pink velvet dress with frills at the bottom. Scott would have laughed me outta the house. *Blush*.

Maybe I'll get it next time and she can wear it in secret. Tee hee.



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lottie. The most adorable puppy girl in the world.

I may come off sounding a little demented here. Don't mean to, but ... I'm in LOVE :)


Scott has nothing to fear from this as he's in love too.


We love Lottie! Lottie is our 12 week old female Havanese puppy. She's the most adorable bundle of fur and affection that we've ever met.

Lottie arrived by plane last Thursday and in six days she has become a major part of our lives. She sleeps with us, she snuggles with us, gets carried around everywhere, gives kisses and plays til she drops. She ADORES Josh (our 6 yr old border collie boy) to the point where she is his constant shadow. Her little tail just wags non-stop with glee the moment she spots him.

From the first night with us, she has slept in our bed, right between us, or on our heads (yep, ON our heads), snuggled up to Scott's back or just under my chin with her paw on my face(that just melts me). Never once has she cried at night and she has the sunniest disposition you could ever expect in a baby dog. And she IS our baby, in the true sense of the word.

Lottie's a tiny little thing, although she doesn't look it in her photos being so fluffy and all. She has the most delicate of bone structure which gives you the impression that she needs to be handled with kid gloves.

I spent the first 3 days with knots in my tummy worrying that she would hurt herself, be upset by the long day she spent flying here to us (not on the best plane connections either), worrying if she's missing her siblings and a host of other things ... now, we're just enjoying being enamoured of her and watching her funny little antics, accepting and giving tonnes of cuddles and playing on the floor with her constantly. I actually spent the majority of today playing with her and then wondered where the time went!

Ok, I just realised that this might seem to you that we might be downplaying our existing love for Josh, our border collie, BUT it really doesn't. We adore Josh too the same way that parents love all their kids (these ARE our kids). He tends to be more independent these days, being 6 yrs old and all, and is coping really well with having a puppy 20 times smaller than himself at his heels for a large part of the day. We've started to hold Lottie back from Josh at times as she really is quite enthusiastic about him. He gets his own walks, just like usual, and without Lottie.

I've been reading about the Havanese breed over the past 2 years after seeing a picture of a Havanese puppy in 'Women's Day' magazine. Many a time I've called different breeders on the mainland (there are none in Tasmania and these dogs are quite rare and hard to get ahold of, females especially) to ask about temperament and character. We wanted a dog that was smaller, one who adores kids for when our own human kid comes along sometime in the future, someone that would be non-threatening for Josh and non-shedding.

About non-shedding ... this is a wonderful thing and the main reason Lottie can sleep happily in our bed. She really doesn't shed hair at all! She smells very un-dog-like, more like flowers actually. She doesn't bark or yap except for one (sweet little puppy) bark if she wants to get your attention (or more like Josh's attention) and that's rare in itself.

So here's some more pics of our beautiful baby ...





Tuesday, February 12, 2008

STORK ALERT: Referral from Taiwan

Did you think it was our referral?? No silly, our referral will come from ThaiLAND, this one is from TaiWAN :)

Our friends-by-adoption, *N* & *A*, a young couple who are part of our small adoption group, are the first of us all to receive their referral! It's a boy, Cheng En, and he's 2 1/2 months old. They are both so excited and happy and overwhelmed and *A* says she cried for two days, she was so happy! *A* says they don't have pics yet as they are going in to DHHS today to formally send back the acceptance letter and then they'll receive their much-longed-for pictures of their little man.

CONGRATULATIONS you two! You are such fortunate people.

I know that most say that the children who are adopted are lucky but the reality of it is that it's the parents who are lucky, lucky, lucky. Apart from the obvious, that all new parents are generally euphoric (whether via pregnancy or adoption), adoptive parents have mostly been through the wringer various times, some have had endless IVF, many have had miscarriages (in the plural) and have sometimes been so close to having their baby only to have it taken away from them at the last minute. Heart-wrenching, to say the least.

Added to that, children whose lives start with adoption to a foreign country are generally the survivors, the tough little nuts that have endured a tough start to their tiny lives, who've endured and actually made it through their first, second and more birthdays. Not all do.

So parents of these children know that, on the whole (and there are exceptions, no doubt) they may have a rocky start with their kids, but they will also have stronger bonds with them over time. If they work at it.

Wisdom in the world, so I've read and heard, says that you don't come upon good, worthwhile and enduring relationships very often, without hard work and effort and a lot of challenges. So the more challenges you face and the more you work at it, the more meaningful your relationships will be. There are many, many stories of hardship, struggle and challenges in the land of adoption that show this to be true. We've heard a few from adoptive parents that would make your head spin and we see how things are now for them - things aren't perfect (but are they ever?) but these families have been through so much together, and have stuck it out, only to come out the other side and receive the benefits for enduring the tuff stuff.

It almost brings me to tears when I think back about those stories. They are quite inspiring and I thank those adoptive parents for being so very open about the most private parts of their lives. They didn't have to be but they know that this helps the rest of us immensely. Amazing!

Stories from Thailand - a really great blog

Googling this and that to see the varying range of blogs and other websites about Thailand (did I mention we're going there in 8 weeks!) I found this blog.

It's stories on all kinds of topics with one common thread ... Thailand!

GO TO THE BLOG

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

7 months and counting + one Thai holiday just for fun

OH my! It's been seven months since our file arrived in Thailand. It's passed by unbelievably quickly I'm really happy to say.

Our social worker, *J*, called one morning a week or so ago and excitedly advised us that the Thai adoptions services in Bangkok have acknowledged that our file arrived, that all documentation is in perfect order and commented that all we need to do now is wait to be matched to our little baby/toddler!!!!

This has galvanized us into action and we are planning a fun trip to Thailand for early April 2008 for about 10 days. Contact has been made with Miss Oh (well known and highly thought of within Australian adoptive parents circles) for a bit of guidance on navigating our first few days in Bangkok and then we hope to swing on down to Ko Lanta, Phuket and then perhaps up to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai to see as much as we can squeeze into that many days.

My head is going round and round with all of the places I'd love to see .. I don't want to waste a minute! As tempting as it is to get straight off the plane and go visit the children in the orphanages, Scotty and I have decided that we don't want to give the Thai Adoption services any reason to doubt our motives and have decided not to go visiting until we go to bring home our own babe. So close! but no dice, we've decided that's the way it's going to be.

A teeny tiny part of me is thinking, hoping really, how wonderful it would be if we meanwhile received our referral in the next couple of weeks. THEN we could be going FOR REAL!!!!!

From my lips to the Adoption services ears :)


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Future adoption changes in Australia

An article in The Daily Telegraph, headed "Deborra-lee's adoption victory", made the papers in Australia just before Christmas this year. Looks like Mr Rudd is doing some good and really soon after becoming Prime Minister too. GO KEV!

We're cautiously optimistic about what this means for Australian couples who wish to adopt from overseas.

The article can be found here and is copied below:

"ACTOR Deborra-lee Furness and The Sunday Telegraph have won a major victory in a campaign to overhaul Australia's anti-adoption culture.

The Rudd Government announced last week it would create a federal governing body to streamline the system, cut waiting lists and make overseas adoption a "priority".

The Government said while the states would still have carriage of applications, Canberra would establish national uniform regulations, as well as open up new adoption programs with more overseas countries.


A peak federal body of state representatives is also being formed.


"I'm absolutely thrilled," Furness said. "It's the first sign of the new leadership taking charge of this issue.

"This is the beginning - now we have many more steps to go."


It follows a four-month campaign by Furness and The Sunday Telegraph in highlighting the inadequacies of Australia's inter-country adoption procedures. Australia currently has the second-lowest rate of overseas adoption in the world.


Furness brought the issue into the public arena in August when she spoke of the obstacles she and husband Hugh Jackman encountered when they tried to adopt in Australia eight years ago.


The couple endured a series of bureaucratic blocks and an unsupportive Community Services Department. In the end they gave up and returned to the US, where the process of adopting their two children, Oscar and Ava, was efficient and supportive to parents.


Since then, Furness has formed an action group and held meetings with the Attorney-General's department and deputy leader Julia Gillard.


International Adoptive Families of Queensland president Mark Byrne praised the campaign for bringing the issue to the fore.


"We've been pushing for these changes for years but it took Deborra-lee and your paper to make it happen much more quickly," he said.


He said, as the number of local adoptions in Australia continued to fall, the demand from childless couples to adopt overseas would only grow.


A spokesman for Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the renegotiated Commonwealth-State agreement on adoption was being formalised.


"We are eager to work with the states to ensure the best outcomes for Australian families. We are committed to the harmonising of Australia's intercountry adoption practices and reduced waiting lists are obviously desirable," the spokesman said.


Ricky Brisson, who runs Australian Intercountry Adoption Network, wants the Government to allow accredited specialised agencies to take over the role of state DoCS in adoption applications.


Alison Rigby, who adopted orphaned twins from Colombia, said the process was "very drawn out" and cost $80,000.


"I really feel very concerned for people now who are just starting to adopt because there are fewer countries, the age criteria is getting younger, and families are waiting longer and longer," Ms Rigby said.


When she was in Colombia she met couples from the US, Norway and Sweden, who spoke of the ease and tax concessions they were offered by their countries.


Furness said she wanted Australia to bring new countries into the Hague Convention, which would cut the seven-year waiting lists."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone. Now Get Elfed!

Surely it's not that time of year again already! Unbelievable how fast it comes around each year. We're hoping that this time next year we'll have our little babe with us. Having kids around at Christmas time is so much more fun, don't you think?

Anyhow, enjoy your Christmas this year hope you have lots of Christmas cheer that Santa visits and bestows upon you all that you hope.

Don't forget to send my pressie.

You can direct it here: Kim's HUGE Santa Bag, Mr. Santa Claus, North Pole.

Oh, this was forwarded to me by a friend of mine. Very funny. Click below:

Click here to see how I got Elfed

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Achmed. You've REALLY gotta watch this.


This video is called "Achmed. The Dead Terrorist".

It's the funniest video I've ever seen. You'll love it :) I nearly peed myself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Women in the mens room?


I love looking through blogs that have funny stuff on them.

This blogger described where he found this picture:

"I've encountered this restroom today. Forgot the pressure entirely, had a big laugh and ran to my car to get my camera. It's in the office building of a software company in the Netherlands. I think it's hilarious."

Clever

This is a clever, funny way to make a point, dontcha think?

Kudos goes to this blog

Old friends

A whole month since I've posted. Guess there hasn't been anything much to update with regard to the adoption wait.

It is funny though that the closer we move towards our referral and having our babe home with us, the more I find myself wanting to make contact with old friends who I haven't seen for a long, long time.

Most of my girlfriends are mums too now. Some even have a a number of little mini-them's roaming around! Lucky girls :) The closer I get to becoming a mum myself, the more exciting it gets. I still can't wrap my head around it completely because, as much as I adore kids, it's quite a different thing to know what it's like to have one depending on you day and night.

This month has found me making contact with three girlfriends who have been very dear to me for the majority of my life after a long time of no contact at all. One contacted me via the internet (whatever did we do without internet?) and it was excellent finding out about how her life is going in the UK (and that she's coming to live in Australia soon - double yaay). That prompted me to contact two of my other friends with whom I've not had contact for years (you know who you are ...)

I've lived quite far away from my friends for over five years now and it makes it harder and harder to keep the contact going, with the obvious geographical distance, life, work, husbands, future plans, local friends and, for them, their children keeping a person busy day in, day out.

Nevertheless, it's reassuring to know that, despite the time lapse in speaking to each other, we connect again like no time has passed.

I suspect we'll all see differences in each other as, without a doubt, we're all growing older every day and aren't the same people we were five or ten years ago. In my mind's eye, I see them as they were when we were young, single (or unmarried anyhow), when we were all growing up and going to high-school together. Seeing who their little offspring are turning out to be and getting to know what's been going on in their lives over the last couple of years is quite ... a shock really. A good shock of course.

I guess I should stop thinking of them as 17/18 years old. None of us are that age anymore!

Looking forward to the words of motherly wisdom you may offer when my time comes, girls :)

I imagine I'll need them ... a LOT.

Kim

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Near Death Experience

A man flew to Florida and checked into a motel to await his wife, who would be meeting him the next day after a business trip.

At the motel, he decided to send his wife an e-mail from his laptop computer. While entering her address, he accidentally typed one letter wrong and his note was directed, instead, to an elderly preacher's wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the message, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Her family heard the noise and rushed into the room to find her on the floor and this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife ...

Just got checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Signed,
Your eternally loving husband.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

Monday, September 03, 2007