Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What's a girl to do?

Hmmm, what to blog about today ...

It seems that waiting for our baby is coming quite easily (says she who has been waiting, oh, less than two weeks ... har har .. what patience!)

I actually doubt that our file is in Thailand yet. It had to first visit with the Thai consulate (in Australia!) so it's probably still sitting on a desk there. Hmmm, bit more of a wait yet I guess. Every now and then a little voice in my head says "could be any day, Kimbo, any day" and my stomach gives a lurch of excitement. Then I bounce back down to reality and take off those rose coloured glasses. Til the next time.

I've been wondering lately just how busy the Thai program will become now that China's program seems to be a touch overloaded. It will be interesting to watch as there are limited spots for Aussies adopting from Thailand - we don't get carte blanche to send off files.

Korea is down and out at least until 2008 I believe, China's overloaded, Ethiopia has a few more requirements than other programs, Hong Kong seems a mammoth program with hideous, complicated amounts of paperwork to wrestle with (according to our SW), India seems also to have a limited number of children being adopted overseas to Australia anyhow as well as a complicated program to work through, Lithuania is mostly for those of Lithuanian descent and a long-ish process I believe, Colombia is apparently an unknown for the most part, Fiji - nearly non-existent for referrals, South Africa is quite some way from actually starting, local adoption in Tassie is rare-ish, ... I don't know anything much about the Philippines, Bolivia, Taiwan or Chile but they could be interesting options.

I did see a little about the Kenyan program being worked on by our adoption departments here in Australia. I believe they did a recent visit to Kenya to talk over the intricacies. It seems, so far, that this won't be an 'easy' program to undertake, being that they require the adoptive parent/s to live at least 3 months in Kenya with the child before they confirm the adoption can go ahead and the new family can return to Australia.

That would certainly be an ideal situation to find yourself in though, for the child and for the new parents, if one had the financial ability to do so. What an amazing way to get to know the country of your child's birth intimately and maybe even the birth parents/extended family, if possible. I guess this would be hard for 90% of families from Australia though, especially if they have jobs or businesses to run back here at home.

Here I am thinking about our second adoption already and we haven't even brought our first babe home yet! Scott just shakes his head when I start on ...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Snuggly Hooded Winter Jacket

My lovely mother-in-law has been knitting furiously in preparation for our baby/toddler. Even though we are some time away from a referral.

I got the idea about a jacket like this from a girlfriend of mine, Prue, who wears these thick woolly hooded jackets with wooden toggles all the time throughout our chilly winter months here in Tassie.

She's done such a fabulous job of the little jackets that she's now made five in total (finishes them in a day or two!), two for us and three for my girlfriends who have all recently had their babies.

Awww Monkeys. Farm dreams too.

Kudos to this blogger for the cute pic

These are twin Pygmy Marmoset monkeys. They grow to a maximum of 13cms and and weigh not more than 170 grams and are found in the Amazon. I love monkeys of all sorts (one is a main character in my Thai childrens storybook - except he's not exactly a monkey, he's a Gibbon, found in Thailand amongst other places) so often I can be found searching Google images for sweet monkey pics or reading about them if I get a minute to spare.

As much as I ask him, Scott just won't let me have one (and I guess, neither would our Tasmanian government, although I've not checked). Spoilt sports.

I'm a little obsessed with an idea that floats around in my head and has done for years. Scott and I intend to, eventually, own a good few acres. On those many acres I'd dearly love to have a barn just for my animals to live in. All sorts of animals - alpacas ... sheep ... monkeys! (yeah right) ... chickens ... my Havanese puppy ... old homeless cats from the pound ... a cow or two ... all hand-reared and living in harmony ... (sigh) ... yes, I know I sound like a loony but nevertheless how much FUN would our child have growing up with lots of animals around to love and care for.

I was bought up in a city. My extended family, most of them anyhow, live on the Darling Downs in western Queensland, in places like Dalby and Toowoomba and Roma so regularly throughout the year we would spend a bit of time with them. In particular when I was early teens I would spend weeks of my school holidays out with my Grandma on her farm an hour outside of Injune, Queensland - just Grandma and Poppy and I. I remember when I eventually came home, I'd cry and cry for days cause I missed her and the farm so much. Mum didn't know what to do with me. It would happen *every* time I came home. I'm sure she wondered how she'd ended up with this sooky child who wanted to live with her Grandma in the country.

Grandma showed me how to milk cows (I'm sure I couldn't do it now and I'm not even sure I got the hang of it then either), she'd cut the head of a chicken and let it run around the yard to show me how they can live even with their heads chopped off (funny at the time, cruel in retrospect) then she'd kill them and have me participate in taking their yellow, fatty guts out (no guesses why I'm a vegetarian now hey) before cooking them for our dinner.

I'd ride the little motorbike up and down the dirt roads for miles around their property, snuffing it regularly in the middle of nowhere and wondering how the heck to get it started again. I'd walk the dirt roads for over an hour from Grandma's house to my great Aunt's place to visit, stopping in at the waterhole to swing from the rope over the river (never had the guts to let go though). My great Aunt and Uncle had, and still have, thousands and thousands of head of Brahman bulls on their massive property and my second cousins, Trevor and Denis, would take me out on the back of their motorbikes to go see everything and we'd go build fences (boring: especially when you are 13 yrs old and have zero strength to do anything useful) and herd the cattle here and there.

The neatest thing was that my Great Aunt rode the motorbikes and herded cattle just like the men did and she still does that to this day. Imagine that hey!

Anyhow, I guess all of this in it's way has shaped my move to Tasmania, our move down to the country outside of Hobart and our future dream of having a farm of our own. Scott is a country boy anyhow, grew up in the middle of nowhere in a mining camp with country, mountains, rivers and adventure all around him, he camped with his brother-in-law (who was quite a bit older than Scott as he was growing up). So he knows all of the practical stuff about living the country - useful!

How did I start with monkeys and end up with farms?

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's now out of our hands.

The process, as we know it, is now out of our hands and in the hands of the officials who will, in their own ways, play their very important part in creating our family.

Today at 3pm, we handed over all of the docs for notarisation and to finally be sent off to Thailand, with short stops at DFAT and the Thai consulate.

So now what do we do?

We wait. And wait. And hope. And have lots of dreams at night about our future child it seems. I have never had so many dreams that I remember when I wake up as I have been having in the last two weeks. The dreams involve children of various ages, some are Asian and some are Caucasian. It seems that my mind is trying to figure out how to put a face to our little babe.

Funny. I don't sit and consciously think about it all day long, or even for a long part of the day at all. Of course, sometimes I drift off into a daydream but then there's usually other things to do that take up my attention, work, housework, friends, family, my book, discussions with Scott, and all of the things that you do in your everyday life.

My subconscious must be working overdrive though.

Pumpkin hat.

Another Mum waiting for her babe from Thailand, Andrea from New Zealand, has revealed a secret talent. Knitting hats for babies! But not just ANY cute little hats, these are Gooseberry (or in our case Pumpkin) hats!

I immediately contacted Andrea to request one for our very, very own baby/toddler and she has kindly created the most amazingly colourful, beautiful knitted bubs hat.

Now my mother-in-law, who has been madly knitting outfits for our babe, will just have to knit a special little outfit to match the cap.

After all, one does need to have the perfect outfit to go with a perfect knitted cap, doesn't one!

P.S. Already this evening, I've received an enquiry about another mum who'd love a pumpkin hat for her friend's baby ... if you'd like to contact the creator, Andrea, she can be emailed by clicking HERE ...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Docs to DHHS.

I'm really tired and have an early start so this will be a short update only.

We're meeting with the gentleman who will Notarise our documentation tomorrow. After that, they'll be bound and sent to DFAT (Dept. Foreign Affairs & Trade) who apparently will return them around 48 business hours later, at most. Then they'll zoom off to the Thai consulate in Melbourne for a 10 business day turnaround.

And finally! I am happy to say that they will then be jetting off to join a pile of adoption dossiers in the "Dept. of Social Development & Welfare", Bangkok, Thailand.

I added the little blue elephant tonight to the top, right hand menu bar over there ---------------------------->
because he's a great expression of the 'happy dance' that I'm feeling at getting to this stage.

Somehow, in my fuddled little mind, I might have expected that someone could find a reason why we weren't suitable adoptive-parents-to-be. That we'd be vetoed for some bizarre reason. I said as much to *J*, our SW, today when we met to check over the docs.

*J* just looked at me, shook her head and reassured me that everything will be ok. That's the value of a great SW. Sees your fears and says just the right thing. Thanks *J* :)

Can anyone say $30 million.

Tonight's Powerball was a Jackpot and was won by one person. Yep, all 30 million smackers for one small human being.

The first thing that came to mind was "Amazing! Imagine how many adoptive parents who could easily cover their adoption expenses with THAT amount of money!!! Divide $30,000,000 by $20,000 (roughly average for the most expensive of adoptions that I know about, China) ...

that's 1500 families fees covered and home with their new babies :)

Well, maybe I'm not being totally truthful. I really imagined how many tim tams that would buy me. Maybe even buy me one of those tim tam genies I saw on TV.

Does that make me greedy?

Monday, May 07, 2007

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Small update: Our file is mostly prepared now and when the last two items arrive, one passport and one letter of employment, then it will be sent and we will be in waiting mode.

There's not much happening at the moment - with the adoption or with anything else. We have no special plans to travel to Thailand just yet for an exploratory trip but perhaps by the end of the year we'll know better how we can fit that into our plans.

I guess a small part of me is hoping, wishing, for a speedy referral. I know, I know, it's probably going to be 18 months to 2 years before a referral realistically arrives but a girl can hope, can't she?