Saturday, March 31, 2007

Tickle Me Elmo entertaining some little Thai kids.

Elmo has the effect on people, doesn't he :)

Final Homestudy Meeting complete.

Yesterday marked our last homestudy meeting. Yaay! We are on our way now and our file will be off to Thailand within the next month or so.

We do have to wait for the formal letter of approval from the DHHS so we won't be jumping ahead too far until we have that all important piece of paper.

Today we visited Launceston for our final mandatory parenting seminar - Attachment Disorders with Debra Tatum. This was a marvelous insight into the variables of potential attachment issues institutionalized kids can suffer from. Debra is a very experienced, widely acknowledged expert in this field and deals with kids everyday. She is an American based half of the year in Melbourne and has offered her services in person and via email should we ever have any need to avail of her knowledge. Such a lovely lady.

As much as we read on this subject, it still has more of an effect when we hear it from the mouth of an experienced child psychologist. Debra gave thorough explanations on how to make sure we know what signs to look for, how to manage and assist the individual child's needs within a clear framework of stability and firm discipline to help them to understand that they can trust us to not disrupt their little lives again.

It's heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of what children suffer from and why but it does help to ground us in the reality that whilst this might be an exciting and happy time for us, it will more than likely a frightening and foreign experience for our future child, at least in the short term.

The reality that we cannot rush around with our child to meet all of the family and friends immediately when we get home -- we have been aware of this for some time however I guess the main difficulty here will be helping our family and friends to understand that our child will need some time to adjust to us as his/her parents before we introduce new people.

The reality of this is that if we did let everyone hold him/her, introducing a host of new faces at a time when he/she still doesn't speak the language, has no concept of who we are exactly just yet (apart from just another new set of caregivers), a completely foreign culture, smells, foods, sounds etc etc ... well, it could just blow them out of the water and make the transition that much more traumatic for our child.

So, for the first 3 - 6 months - or as long as they need until we think the attachment/bond is sufficiently strong in that he/she knows we are 'mummy and daddy' and not just another face who looks after them - we won't be having visitors or visiting others, only we will feed and tend to their needs etc etc.

I hope this doesn't upset anyone and that they make an effort to understand why this is so important for our child and for our family. If they do not understand, well, I'm afraid that is unfortunate but cannot be helped.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pattaya Orphanage Video

Scouring as I do every now and then I came across this video tonight after work. It is a video taken of the Pattaya Orphanage in Thailand.

The kids and their giggles and laughter and mischievousness would melt the hardest heart ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nappy-free baby.

Scott and I are big supporters of the need to research all of the different ways of doing things before we make a decision ourselves about what we consider to be the 'right way' for us. It is this habit that led me to an interesting site about how to have a Nappy-free baby.

I found it very interesting to read about this little known & rarely practiced way to be rid of nappies, right from the baby's very first day in the world and the thoughts behind why it is done.

The author of the website poses the thought that "right from birth (babies) have a natural awareness of when they eliminate - hence babies who pee as soon as their nappy comes off. They want to eliminate away from their bodies, and try to let us know to help them."

Using this technique alongside of baby sign language to teach the baby what sign to use when they need to go wees or poos, the author of the website had her little man using the potty independently at 16 months old. Pretty amazing considering many children won't potty train until they are between 24 & 36 months old.

I'm intrigued!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Milk Men.

Ok. So here's something a little left of centre. Did you know that men can breastfeed babies too?

(very elongated pause)

Want to see a video? Have I piqued your curiosity?

Watch the video.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Baby thoughts.

A couple of weeks ago I allowed myself to go visit a baby store. Funnily enough, despite my desire to be a mum I have never visited one of these interesting stores. Perhaps I was just holding back until it became a little more real.

Anyhow, off I went to see what things there were to buy for our baby and wow! there is so much stuff available. I was dazzled to find that there are multitudes of different types of nappies (not just cloth or disposable but many variations on both and tonnes of ecologically sound options too). I've had a girlfriend of mine (who has three boys under 3) telling me that I should be thinking about what type of nappies we'll be using therefore I was fascinated to discover we have so many different choices.

She also recommended we think about our choices with:
  • whether to offer a dummy (aka pacifier to Americans)
  • front sling or backpack for carrying the babe
  • use a bassinet, cot or co-sleep
  • nappy change table or change mat
  • vegetarian baby or meat-eater (we are vegetarian)
... and all sorts of other interesting things you don't tend to think about unless you're planning for a child.

I might be jumping ahead here but we've already decided that we'll start reading to our child as soon as they come home (storybooks not encyclopedias!), take regular bushwalks with the baby in a carrying sling to familiarize them with the area we live in and give them lots of fresh air, make our own baby food, home-school them (when they get to school age) and breastfeed.

Yes, adoptive mums can breastfeed so the research tells me. I've been discussing this one with my girlfriends recently - most of whom are breastfeeding themselves right now. At first, I was a bit weirded-out about the whole adoptive breastfeeding scenario until I started researching the practicalities of it. Did you know that western cultures are the only cultures that don't widely practice breastfeeding of a child that is not biologically your own? Well, you might have known that but I sure didn't. Anyhow, in Tasmanian we have a very experienced and well-known lactation consultant living right here in our very own state. One of my girlfriends has received assistance from this particular lady herself and sings her praises so I will shortly be going along to the consultant for some advice.

I was surprised to hear that all of my girlfriends, my mum and my husband are very supportive of adoptive breastfeeding. I honestly thought it would just weird people out. I was (happily) wrong!

To try and get a grasp on the reality of being a parent, I sometimes look around at babies and toddlers that I come into contact with and imagine how it will feel to have someone of that size and needs level to care for 24/7. It's a tough one to actually know though. Right now, it's intrinsically a part of us that we only have to look out for each other, we can drop everything and go do whatever comes to mind, no schedules to keep (apart from work) and we can reason with each other using adult logic therefore have no need for negotiating the workings of little minds who just want what they want and now! Except for our dog who is somewhat of a perpetual child himself of course. There's just no reasoning with a dog.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tiny Houses.

Every now and then I change my mind about whether or not I really want to 'buy' a house to own. Scott and I are currently renting a beautiful old church that has been renovated into a house. It's got such lovely atmosphere that we're reluctant to leave it so we rarely ever seriously contemplate buying somewhere else. It's just not that important to us and it would be hard to leave this house.

Recently however I have been looking. Window shopping. Just to see what houses are out there in the areas that we like most in Tasmania. Every now and then some interesting, character-filled houses jump out at me.

Today I was browsing the blogs on

This really cute idea came up on one of the "Out There" blog entries and if you're interested in different kinds of houses, as I am, you may find it fun to read about "Tiny Houses". You can also see the audio/visual slideshow by visiting here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Boy Babies Everywhere!

Quite a few of my girlfriends have all given birth recently - all in the last 2 months with three of them just in the last week. All boys ... ALL of them!

What's going on??

So far we have Xavier, Taj, Jed, Oliver, Angus, Samuel ... is it in the water? At this rate, our mother's meetings will have a bunch of rambunctious boys and no sweet little girls. They are all little sweethearts of course.

So bizarre!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

TeeHee Monkey Cafepress shop.

Recently, quite a lot of people have been asking us "have you heard any news?", "what date does your baby arrive?" and similar. It's a fair question. No-one, least of all us, knows the answer to it though so most of the time I just tell people that it can be up to 2 years before our child is referred to us and before we meet them.

Thinking about this a little, and how often these questions are asked of adoptive parents (it seems we are not alone), this evening I've been playing around with a Cafepress online shop.

If you're not sure what a Cafepress shop is ... you can create your own t-shirts, caps, baby clothes, stickers and other items by uploading pictures to be scanned/printed and then you can either just buy those items you've created or you can sell them in a Cafepress shop.

So I've created a few different items to keep our friends and family up-to-date about what stage of the process we are currently at with our adoption, one or two things for our baby to wear and various other things - just for fun.

The shop is called "TeeHee Monkey" and you can visit it here ...

Adoption Update: Tote Bag with Poem : Adoption Update: Nope, no news (or baby) yet. Thanks for asking! :) Poem on reverse of tote : "The adoptive parent is 'pregnant' in a way that you can't see, They wait and hope and dream and wish, to hold their beloved child to be. xoxo" BUY ME? Click.

Adoption Update: Trucker Hat : Adoption Update: Nope, no news (or baby) yet. Thanks for asking! :) BUY ME? Click.

Do you I'm cute? Kids T-Shirt: Do you think I'm cute? Well punk, do ya? Back of shirt: It's ok, I get it. I'm to cute for words (pinching my cheeks is not an option) BUY ME? Click.

Cuter Than a Monkey Infant/Toddler Shirt OR One-sie: Cuter than a monkey swingin' in a tree, hey mummy & daddy betcha can't catch ME! The shirt for little movers. BUY ME? Click.

Bubs Bib: Dribble dribble Little one, Being clean is just no fun. BUY ME? Click.