We have just returned from the Peace One Day concert. It was an incredible night out and one of the most inspiring nights, not to mention one of the funnest, I've had in a while.
Did you know that today, Sept 21, is Peace Day? You do now! A man named Jeremy Gilley had a vision way back in 1999 to have a global day of peace. Pursuing this dream led him all over the world and his dedication, along with the dedication of many others, has made a tangible impact. In 2001 the UN declared that the 21st of September would be the UN International Day of Peace. To read more about the Peace One Day organization click the logo to the right.
Ok, now more about the concert, which was a celebration of all the organization has achieved. You can imagine my delight when Jude Law opened the show. Ahh, Jude ... it was so good to see you again! My face was sore from my ear to ear grin. Oh, and I should also mention we were in the 13th row! It was very, very exciting. On our way into the hall I held the door for Trinny (of Trinny and Susannah, the original/UK version of What Not To Wear). The musicians included Corinne Bailey Rae, Yusuf (formerly known as Cat Stevens), James Morrison, Kate Nash, Marc Almond (remember Soft Cell and "Tainted Love"?), and Annie Lennox. We went into the show being completely psyched about seeing Yusuf, though I still refer to him as "Cat". I have to be honest though and say that as thrilled as we were to be listening to his voice, the voice that I have grown up listening to and that Brian and I equally love, we were unfamiliar with the songs he sung and left feeling disappointed. I am thankful for having seen him live though. Moving on to Annie ... Annie Lennox was THE BOMB and we completely underestimated what a legend she is. She brought out the jewels and treated us to "Broken Glass", "Why", "Sweet Dreams", and "Talking to an Angel". She was dancin', we were dancin' and it was good. Jude came back out and announced the many countries that have benefitted as a result of today. It was really one of the best concerts I've attended and like I said earlier, very, very inspiring. Ecover is one of the sponsors of POD and we use many of their products and now I can feel even better about doing so. Since we've left the show Brian and I have been discussing how we can make peace. We've decided to start in our own home and adapting a more peaceful way of interacting with one another. We are also considering how we can devote our time outside of the house. Any ideas? I'd love to hear. And now let me ask you, what can you do to make peace?
peace out, dana
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
I made this little tote today in my sewing group. My sewing skills are still very, hmm, how should I say ... bad? It is not as easy as I was expecting but I am enjoying having a creative outlet. I do miss that a lot. I am also looking into taking some crocheting and knitting classes coming up. I would love to do all handmade gifts this year for Christmas. I hope, for my recipients, that my skills improve by then!
Well, it's officially autumn here. The weather really isn't any different than it was all summer, but the leaves are changing colors and are falling. Kaneu 's first day of school was yesterday. It went off without a hitch and he's now got 2 days under his belt. He'll be attending 4 mornings a week. I had imagined the "drop-off" would be somewhat exciting, perhaps even a little emotional. I didn't necessarily want or expect tears but I was envisioning some hugs. No such luck. Kaneu was completely unphased and didn't even turn around to say goodbye! He walked in and there was no looking back. I was a little disappointed with the anti-climacticness (is this a word?) of the event and even waited by the door as I was leaving to see if he would look to see if I was still there. He was busy playing with playdough and was really, really into it. I did give him a wave and he waved back. I surprised myself by not crying. I was close to it, feeling very proud of our little independent guy, but was equally excited about having a few hours to myself. When I went to pick him up I got a really big smile and "mama mama!!!", which made my heart smile. Here he is scootin' to school.
In other Kaneu news: our little man is really beginning to speak with a British accent. It is really cute and I hope to get some videos to share with our family back home. He has even picked up some Brit terms. Today on the way home from school his pants fell down while he was scooting. He is such a skinny boy and if the pants do not have the adjustable waist then they just don't stay up without a belt. He was laughing and said "mom, my trousers fell down". Trousers? Where did he get that from? And don't even get me started on being called "mom". I don't like it at all. I had a hard time adjusting to "mommy" but now he's moved onto calling us "mom" and "dad". He's growing up so fast, I wish he would slow down and keep calling me "mama". Perhaps because my brothers and I still call our mom "mama" ... hmmm.
Saturday, 15 September 2007
We arrived back from Croatia late on Thursday night (had a fab time and more on that later) and look what was waiting for us?? Our I-171H had arrived!! This is great news and we both breathed a sigh of relief. This means we can now send our homestudy to Vietnam and will be added to the list of 70 or so other families waiting to adopt. There is a hint of sarcasm there but we really are very excited. Another hurdle jumped. Yeah!
Monday, 3 September 2007
I could not resist posting this picture of Rosie, surrounded by her babies, basking in the sun and licking her chops. She is such a funny girl. When she is about to fall asleep she will lick her lips a hundred times. She is such a little beast.
We are heading to Croatia Monday am!!! I am so pysched I can hardly stand it. I checked the weather earlier in the week and it was full sunshine for the extended forecast, however when I checked today it shows a sun for Mon, and then rain the following days! I am crushed. Croatia and southern Italy have had draught-like conditions for the majority of the summer with temps in the 90s and now that we're coming to town it's going to rain. I'm actually not surprised at all. What the heck? I am keeping my fingers crossed for a small sliver of summer - please!!!
And here is a supercute picture of Kaneu pre-haircut - yes, I finally cut the boys hair. He starts school the day after we return from Croatia. I could cry just thinking about it.
Saturday, 1 September 2007
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~Martin Luther King, Jr
I thought I'd share some details of our adoption journey thus far. I realize that Brian and I don't talk about the adoption stuff very much. We were just discussing this lastnight and I think we're both wondering if actually going to happen because we've still not been able to submit our paperwork to Vietnam after what feels like an eternity. I tend to get really anxious and feel overwhelmed when I think about the process in it's entirety - when we started, where we're at currently, and how far we have to go. I try to concentrate on what we are currently trying to achieve. It's much better for me and my sanity to think about the one small step needed rather than the entire marathon that lies ahead, if I may put it in running terms :) I have been making a conscious effort to not stress over the fact that we're "delayed" according to the timeline I mapped out for us. The adoption world is on it's own timezone and as I have learned when we adopted Kaneu, things happen when they are supposed to. I know in my heart and mind that all of the delays, hiccups and roadblocks that come our way are perfect detours that will eventually lead us to the child meant for us. It is not an easy perspective to have ... such as when our documents were temporarily lost w/our courier whom we paid to hand deliver our docs to the State Department, or when we learned that Vietnam was no longer accepting dossiers the day we had completed our dossier docs and were on our way to the Vietnamese Embassy for certification. Yes, the many, many months we spent collecting and authenticating documents was all for nothing because those documents will expire after 6 months and Vietnam will not accept our dossier until we are very close to receiving a referral, which our agency tells us is about an 18 month wait. We'll basically get to do it all over again next year. At times we have wondered if Vietnam is really where we should be adopting from. At times it seems as though we shouldn't, that all signs are telling us otherwise, but after much prayer and thought we feel as though we should continue down this path. And so we are.
Back in 2004 when we began the journey for Kaneu we were very interested in adopting from Vietnam. Our very dear friend, Diana, is half Vietnamese and it just felt right for us that we would adopt a child from a place where she and her family could provide some cultural influence. Diana is more than a dear friend too - she is family, I love her children - they are our Godsons and Kaneu is her (and her husband, Brian) Godson, making our kids Godbrothers!
At the time Vietnam adoptions were closed to the US and so it was not an option for us. I remember having a difficult time accepting that, but we did and as we explored other international adoption programs we learned about Korea. The closing of Vietnam adoptions was the first of many roadblocks that ultimately led us to finding Kaneu. There were moments where we were so discouraged we couldn't imagine that the journey would ever end with us having a family. I realized only after we received Kaneu's referral that our journey was perfectly choreographed. Thankfully everything happened as it should and we brought Kaneu home and our lives have been more fulfilled ever since. It is only with this hindsight and experience that I am able to be at peace with how slow the process is taking this time around. I know it will all work out and between now and then (whenever "then" is) my goal is to enjoy every moment, travel as much as we can while we're living in London, and to cherish this time with Kaneu.
We're also adopting from Korea ...
This may be new news for many of you. The short answer is yes, we are! For the details read on ...
We were told (repeatedly) by the agency we worked with when we adopted Kaneu that we could not adopt from Korea while living outside of the US. The reasons why don't really make a whole lot of sense, but Korean adoptions are not finalized for 6 months after the baby arrives in the US. Because of this Korea is not comfortable with allowing the children to be outside of the US during the post-placement duration. I don't really take "no"for an answer very easily and so every few months for the last year I'd email our coordinator and check-in to see if anything had changed with the rules. I'd also send her pics of Kaneu and tell her of our progress (or lack thereof) with Vietnam. Her reply in June was the same as it had been before, but it also invited us to share pictures for a slideshow that would be played at a celebration the agency was having - honoring 25 years of Korean adoptions. The celebration was to occur during our visit to the US and in the same town in CT that our friends (from London) just relocated to. We thought about it and decided to attend. It took a little finagling our schedule but seemed like one of those possible "once in a lifetime" events, and the timing worked out easily - almost too easily. So, we went and were so happy that we did. It was really a special experience to be surrounded by other adoptive families - where being an adoptive family was the norm. The slideshow was incredible - documenting the beginnings of so many families. It brought back so many (foggy) memories of our time in Korea and our first moments as a family. We saw Kaneu's foster mom in a few of the pictures, which was really neat. We also got to meet Miss Sun, the director of Korean Social Welfare Services. She was very sweet and told me she remembered Kaneu. We were really looking forward to meeting our coordinator, Kathy, who we had only ever spoken to on the phone and through email. After the introductions she surprised us with "I have good news for you - Korea has agreed to allow you to adopt while you're in London." We were stunned and just stood there grinning from ear to ear. I honestly couldn't quite process what she was saying. She went on to explain that it would be complicated since the baby would have a Korean passport and Visa and getting the baby out of the US and into the UK was still a question mark, but they were willing to work with us. We've had a few conversations with Kathy since then and here's how we think/hope/pray the timing will play out:
Dec 2007: Submit paperwork to agency & Korea
April 2008: Receive referral
July 2008: Travel to Korea
The thought of going back to Korea with Kaneu is so exciting. We hope for Kaneu to see his foster mom and we look forward to him learning more about his homeland. So, in a (big) nutshell that is how we have come to the point of working on 2 international adoptions. I still cannot believe that we will have 3 children!! Yikes!
So, the moral of my story is this -- I have learned that going with the flow will likely lead to the place you were meant to be AND it's a much more enjoyable ride when you let go and let your faith be your guiding force. Those are my wise words for the day.