Featuring Joy & Geoff, Big Brother , Little Brother , Sis , and various household (and outdoor) critters...

Monday, 16 May 2011

Family of Five!

After 3.5 years since officially starting the adoption process, and a myriad of unexpected roller-coaster twists and turns, I am delighted to “introduce” our soon-to-be family of five!

I’m actually typing on borrowed time, here, as we are in the midst of final packing and preparations, hoping to leave within the next couple of hours to spend nearly two weeks in a cottage with the children, in their area.

So, to back up a bit…

After stalling on updating our homestudy and dossier for Ethiopia, concerned about a very long wait for siblings, and reflecting on our adoption “philosophy” in regard to our personal situation, we thought it was time to explore public domestic adoption.

To summarize, we had a couple of other bumps and changes of course traveling this new path, and at the same time experienced an amazing sense of movement and opportunity (and ability to be active in the process) that had not been present while waiting and responding to system changes in international adoption.

I think in part because of all the dead ends and closed doors, I haven’t really posted about our public adoption decision, not knowing where it would lead. Currently, I am still working on believing that this is actually happening, and that in two weeks the hope and goal is to sign placement paperwork!

We have had to hold our breath a few times along the way to the three lovely children we have been getting to know over the past 6 weeks. We attended a provincial event in spring and fall 2010, where public child protection agencies from around the province can come and present children available for adoption. At the fall event, we couldn’t help noticing a sibling group of two toddler boys, and a baby girl – the only children presented by that particular agency. After reviewing the brief profile available at the event, and watching a little video, we opted to formally “express interest” and see whether the children’s agency contacted our agency to obtain a copy of our homestudy for review.

Sure enough, the homestudy was requested, we were given more information, and the mutual decision-making process continued over the next nearly 6 weeks, until just before Christmas. At this point, we completed a final interview, and were sadly informed that the only other family still being considered had been selected.

Sorely disappointed, we turned our focus toward working exclusively with our local agency over the next while, as our worker was optimistic we would be matched quickly. Within three weeks after being officially added to the matching pool, we had a call. We spent another three weeks having meetings and gathering information, and decided not to proceed with this match. We were a bit concerned that we would end up turning down all sorts of matches, knowing that the three we had been considered for in the fall had “spoiled” us in terms of what we were hoping for.

After declining the local match, and being told about some other sibling groups of 3-4 children (which was very exciting to me – I have always secretly, and maybe not-so-secretly, had fleeting thoughts of a larger sibling group, all at once), we were informed that the agency for the children we had wanted to adopt in the fall had been in touch with our local agency, to find out if we were still available. We were asked if we wanted to find out more – and, well, YES, we did!

After another round of information-sharing and gathering, we had another interview, and were again absolutely wanting to be selected. Five very long days after the interview, we got the call! The next day, hardly believing what was happening, we hit the road to spent the weekend in the children’s area, to meet them and confirm our decision.

And it’s been a whirlwind of activity since then (I will not even try to describe the magnitude of the preparations – but there has been no rest for the weary around here lately). We have spent three more weekends, during two of which the children stayed in a hotel with us the whole time. I was away at a conference another weekend, and so we have had just the two past weekends to scramble, getting the house prepared at least in a basic way, and trying to grasp our new reality!

In nearly two weeks, we plan to head home, and the children with come with their current caregivers. The children will stay with us over the weekend, while the caregivers stay in the area. And…depending on how things have gone to date, we may have placement at the end of the month. Wow.

No time to get into all the thoughts and questions bubbling away. I’ve felt too busy to savour this time of transition, and we are just diving right in. One benefit of the busyness lately, is that we are both looking forward to starting this new family life, and moving on.

Oh, just a tiny bit about the kids (this likely won’t be the place for sharing too many details):

Our boys are toddlers:

The eldest is funny, imaginative, intense in both joyful and not-so-joyful emotion. Protective of his siblings, and loyal to the only family he has ever known (yet able to dive in and enjoy his time with us so far).

The little guy loves to imitate his brother, and is generally a pretty laid back, “go with the flow” kind of kid. A bit quieter socially, but busy, busy, busy climbing and inquiring about the world around him. Had a nurturing side, and enjoys being carried and held on your lap.

Baby sister is 1. She has a ready smile and uses her few words freely. Very curious and active, but open to lots of holding as well. Oh…and she growls…which is just about the best baby feature ever, don’t you think?

And that’s the story.

And now I really need to finish packing...


Heather said...

What amazing, wonderful news! Congratulations on your referral!Three!!!! WOOHOOOO!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! Congratulations, what a whirlwind, all the best in settling in with 3 little ones!

elsie hiebert said...

Enjoy your 2 weeks together at the cottage. I think this is all so amazing and exciting. Praying for great bonding and lots of patience for you(LOL). Isn't it amazing how God works.

Gwen said...

Joy, this is wonderful, wonderful news. Congratulations!!!! I'm just thrilled for you, and look forward to reading more about your FINALLY expanded corner of the world!

Brendan and Mary said...

Oh my gosh!!!! Congratulations! That is truly amazing! Good luck in your huge transition from a family of 2 to a family of 5! You're going to be busy ;)

Chad, Laura, Sara and Seth said...

OMG, I am just thrilled to be reading this. This must be quick crazy, wild, and magical all at the same time. Enjoy ALL of it!!! And congrats.


Julie said...

Joy and Geoff,

Congratulations on your new family! After all the twists and turns your adoption path has taken, I'm so glad that you are now seeing your dream become reality. I hope the transition goes well. Hang on through the first 6 weeks - they're tough - and always remember that things will change ("this too shall pass") and they will get better. I'll be praying for you all.

Julie (from NB)

Kendra said...

So happy and excited for you both! Love that everything has worked out just perfect for you.

lyndsey&kevin said...

CONGRATS!!! that is just so exciting! Can't wait to hear more!!

Siblings are really amazing. Seeing how our children interacted and were so trusting because they came as a SET was extra special. ENJOY!!!

Will be awaiting the next post!


Tammy said...

WHAT? WHAT? Oh my gosh!!!! This is amazing. I wish you all the best and hope that everyone adjusts easily!!! Aaaahhhh!!!

Dana said...

Congratulations on your decision. Very exciting! Wishing you all the best!

Hi from Ruth! said...

Joy, got your email and then read this post. I am so, SO, SSSOOOO happy for you both. I hope the coming two weeks go beyond your expectations and that the five of you begin to fall in love with each other.

Many, many blessings!!!!


Derrick, Alysia, and Levi said...

Wow!!!! That is INCREDIBLE!!!! Congratulations!!!! I'm SO VERY happy for you!!

Jess said...

Wow!! Congratulations!

Ashleigh, Ben, Noah and Tait said...

A huge congratulations! Can't wait to watch your family more than double in a matter of weeks. Amazingly unbelievably wonderful.

The Mannings said...

WOW!!! Congratulations! Enjoy your time together! Amazing news!

Paula said...

In tears of joy for you all! Congratulations! You have been on my heart and mind a lot lately, and now I know why! I will now be able to pray more specifically for you and look forward to reading more about your new adventures. You were made for such a time as this! All your plans and preparations are now going to be tried, tested and made true! You will both be fantastic blessings for these children. I am so thrilled for these little ones who clearly need the love and nurturing care that I know that you and Geoffe will provide! What an answer to them you are. You have all of my support, respect, blessing and prayers!
When people at our church have babies we bring meals. You are having triplets! Need some meals?
Love and hugs, Paula

thecurryseven said...

Wow! Congratulations... I hope everything goes smoothly.

Sylvie and Victor said...

I am so happy for you both1 This is such wonderful news. Can't wait to hear more in the coming weeks. :)