Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bon Voyage

Tomorrow Makeda and I are taking a little journey together, so I'll be offline for awhile. To China in fact. Beijing, Shanghai, X'ian and then Guilin, followed by Hongkong where I have some business to attend to. Yup, me and a two year old...on a plane...together... for 11 hours. But, I'm no fool. This is a project for not one, not two, but THREE adults. Yes, Gramma and Grampa are coming along. Aren't I lucky? We've travelled together before, so it's quite safe. Except they will have 3 weeks 24/7 exposure to my parenting skills, or lack thereof. Judgements may be passed. Hmmm, maybe this wasn't such a good idea afterall. Oh hell, they've known me for 41 years - they know how useless I am. Three adults to one small child. That is a ratio I can travel with.

To keep things simple, Makeda sat through her first professional braiding session. It's supposed to last 3 weeks, but I'm not so sure...Please join me in prayer that the cheap travel dvd player I bought lasts out the trip...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's New and Exciting

So, I've been gone for awhile, working my east across the country. I started out Wednesday in Calgary where I met dear Biset for the first time. This is my favourite shot (I'm pointing out mama Haze which caused all sorts of teary-eyed excitement).

I also like this shot. But for a different reason. I don't have a lot of talents in life, but this is my main one, captured for infinity by Haze, and I think some of you can learn from it. Just tear yourself away from the cuteness that is Biset and check out the safety technique that I am illustrating - how to keep an iron grip on an unsteady child and a full glass of wine, while tipping neither. Perfection.

It takes years, people, years. Don't beat yourself up if you can't get it right away.

So, let's see. Then I went to Toronto, and then I went to Waterloo to partake in the "Celebration of Hope" festivities, a.k.a. a fundraiser for our back-from-the-dead agency. No pics, but a lovely time was had by all.

I got back late this afternoon (Sunday), zipped over to Aliyah's birthday party where my precious babe was waiting for me (Tessie looked after her for the weekend for me, including getting her to the big party), yakked with the Ethio posse for an hour and then zoomed both of us over for a quick pop-in to Auntie Suze's birthday dinner before heading home to bed.

I'd like to say that after all that it's going to be a quiet week, but nope - more on that later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Report Card Time!

Normally, I'm not much up for doing reports. This is the first of Makeda's annual update reports to MOWA that I have done on my own. I thought it would be a necessary inconvenience, but I actually enjoyed doing it. It made me reflect on all the progress she's made over the past year, and gave me (another) excuse to do a photo op. I made copies of everything for her lifebook, and extra copies of the photos for her birthmom, who, I am told, is thrilled to receive them. Here are this years' photos:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Will It Never Stop?

Well, it looks (again) like adoption #2 is on indefinite hold. Ethiopia has implemented (another) rule change which now prohibits adoptions of relinquished children in certain areas of the country. As luck would have it, three out of four of my agency's orphanages are located in these restricted regions, and the vast majority of those children are relinquished by family members, not abandoned. Now that's not to say the new rule won't be reversed. Last year a similar (but opposite) restriction was put in place such that abandoned children were not available for adoption, and that only lasted a couple of months. Last week, a determination was made that parents would have to attend their prospective child's court date, but then that was yanked for further consideration and will likely not be implemented immediately. So there is a track record, so to speak, of rapid policy implementations and reversals.

But this latest is a doozy. Referrals have literally been frozen for the past 6 weeks. If the rule change is not reversed, then of course my agency must either find and fund new orphanages in regions unaffected by the change, shut its doors, or continue to process referrals at a snails pace. The other possibility is that miraculously, a flood of newly abandoned infants will be dropped off at our orphanages. This will benefit no one. Many of us enjoy ongoing relationships with our children's birth families. We send and receive pictures, and updates. This is good for our children and good for birth families who choose to remain in contact with us. Apparently, soon, none of us may have a choice.

Monday, March 8, 2010