Category Archives: adoption

A great find

I was all set to blog before about how things are just plain poop around here. I’m not going to air the family laundry right now but it’s been full on and there’s been little fun lately. But in the midst of it all we found ourselves with half an hour to fill in a suburb with two thrift stores. The look of utter boredom on Dave’s face told me what he thought of it but I had fun for the first day in a long while. I rifled through the sweater rack in hope of finding a feltable jersey – no luck but that’s thrifting for you. I did a small (internal) dance when I found these though:

Score!

I had 15 Beatrix Potter books last year when I was planning to do childcare and after that went bad I sold them as I didn’t need them and have kicked myself ever since so 7 at once is a great start to a new collection. The thin book down the bottom is The Velveteen Rabbit which is such a beautiful classic book. And more Winnie the Pooh for my collection? I’m positively giddy from it! Pooh and me go way back. And guess what? I’ve kept this secret for a couple of weeks (I’ll tell you why later in the week) but we have our appointment with the fertility specialist next month! August the 3rd which is only 3 weeks away!! When we first got the appointment I very nearly passed out from the happiness! I’m quite the drama queen at times but that bit was real, pure excitement! 21 sleeps til Santa!

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Quick adoption progress update

I’m up to my eyeballs in craft fair preparation – it’s not until April 11th but I am determined for once not to have a last minute freak out about what I could have made – but I wanted to just write down for posterity how the adoption process is chugging along. We went to the doctor finally nearly 2 weeks ago with our medical forms and so they should have been sent in by now. I’ll have to follow that up this week because you never can tell with doctors. Our police check must have gone ok too because our referees finally got their forms. My mum is one and has filled out her forms and they’ll be sent off tomorrow. Our other referee did a no-show on us today 😦 but her reference will hopefully be sent in to Adoption Services all filled out by the end of this week. And that is the last part of the first paperwork! After that (assuming the references are all good) we can expect our invitations to the Education and Preperation course in May!

Long story short….in a (roughly) 11 step process – step 9 is being chosen by birth parents – we are just finishing step 3. While the waiting may be long and agonising and some steps are longer than others it’s nice to know that we are steadily getting closer to our dream.Yay!!

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Domestically challenged

It’s been a frustrating long weekend. Topped off tonight by me proving that without a doubt I am completely domestically pathetic. 100% stupid in the kitchen. I decided to bake a chocolate cake. It’s now baked and cooling and seems fine but I feel like a total moron. Without reliving the trauma I will tell you that I forgot the eggs, grilled it rather than baked it so the bottom 90% was liquid and had to be cooked twice. I won’t even mention the brilliant job I made of icing it. Too traumatic. About a month ago I grilled rather than roasted a chicken which thankfully turned out fine but oh boy, the stress involved in making a simple bloody cake!

The other frustrating part of the weekend was last night. We filled out the adoption application forms in full and just needed two references – one of which has to be a family member. We’ve kept it from my family to avoid any lectures about money and also we were worried the excitement of becoming a grandma might kill my mum. So we asked Dave’s mum thinking she’d love to have a grandchild. Apparently not. She said no and would pretty much rather have no grandchild over an adopted one because some strange friends of hers adopted a child about 40 yrs ago and had problems with the birth mother. I was and still am SO MAD. His mother and 2 sisters have have shown themselves to be extremely closed minded, rude and breathtakingly selfish in the two years we have been together. I was mad, I was hurt and I was just plain angry.

So I rang my mum. And she said yes, she’ll be a reference for us. It’s for the best really because she knows us as a couple and most importantly she understood why we’re doing this. It’s not a decision we made lightly and every time someone has made a judgement about us or why we are doing this I’ve been shocked. Why wouldn’t we want to give a baby a home when we can’t have a biological one? It’s a natural step for us. So after a challenging weekend the papers are filled out and tomorrow I’m going to send them off. This is it!!

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Filed under adoption, food

A craft flood

Thank you all so much for the comments on the hexagon dolls quilt! I am hoping to finish it off by tomorrow. But you know how flexible a crafters planned deadlines are…my craft blahs have passed and I am flooded with ideas. I’ve got 6 projects in various states of done-ness. Here’s a very pretty one that’s cut out waiting:

Felt pieces

One project I have finished is a hanging tidy bag. It took next to no time to make and is excellent for holding my wool felt scraps. I simply used some unbleached calico I had lying around as the lining – natural, super cheap and the felt will stand out against the plain colour.

Tidy all

After seeing it on a few blogs and flickr photos I decided that a cheaper and more ‘green’ method for stuffing toys is to save my wool felt scraps and chop them into little bits. The bag of polyfill I have right now is handy of course but it seems to have been badly milled and I find myself picking out wiry bits. NOT what you want when you’re making baby toys. Plus the wool felt scraps cut costs a little and feel so so lovely and soft. I’m finding that as we get closer to becoming parents living more naturally is becoming more and more important to me.

We have made tentative adoption progress too. We haven’t sent the forms in so don’t have confirmation of our places on the ‘ed and prep’ course but the next course is in May. May is perfect for us. It gives us time to continue preparing but is not too far away – even if it does feel like it. So hopefully we’ll fill out the application forms this week and send them in soon. And once we have places on the 2 day course then I will officially be able to get excited!! What the hell, you know I’m beyond excited already!

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Filed under adoption, making stuff

Piece by piece, step by step

Oh boy

I’ll see y’all back here after Christmas. I’ll be the one who is still stitching and looks a little worn out. The pattern said make 39 hexagons. I used a smaller template than the one in the book. So I ended up having to make 76. I won’t be doing it my way next time.

And thanks for your adoption comments, I nearly cried a little bit. All we can do right now is keep plodding on and we’ll know more after Christmas about when exactly we can afford to apply. One step at a time…kinda like this frickin’ dolls quilt!

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The Year of Toys

This post contains far too much babbling and a lot of soul baring so be nice please!

I said in my last post that we’re going to go ahead with the adoption procedure in 2009. When we went to the information evening back in June we discovered that the statistics for our region weren’t good (less than 1 in 6 couples get a baby per year right now) and we decided we were financially not ready to have a child. Of the 13 couples in that room we certainly appeared the least affluent. Although if we waited until we could *really* afford a child we’d die of old age first.

Anyway we decided to think about it for a bit longer.  But after another 6 months of hard thinking I am adamant – the heart wants what the heart wants. The heart wants a baby even if the bank doesn’t. Because I do not, for one tiny second, believe that having less money than the other people in that room will make us less fit parents. Love is free. And we’re not so poor, I don’t want people to think I’m trying to justify bringing a baby into a slum or something. I’m typing this on high speed cable after all 😉 And before we even get into the waiting pool there’s classes, interviews, medical checks, home visits etc etc.

But I have spent the past 6 months thinking. And researching. Because while we aren’t poor I am perfectly aware that a child costs more than I think it does. And while I know we can afford to feed/dress/educate a child I wanted to be absolutely sure in my soul that we’re doing the best thing for the baby that some woman is giving up as well as the best thing for us. Are we prepared for not just having a baby but adopting that baby? The legal fees can be a lot higher if the birth father wants in on the adoption too. Open adoption means we’d have to keep in contact with the birth mother. What degree of contact do we want to maintain? And there’s something called ‘permanance’ which is where you get a foster child, usually not quite as young as a newborn adopted baby. You sign for permanent care of that child but the parents maintain their rights. It’s complicated. Would we be prepared to accept permanence of an older child? It’s more likely we’d get picked sooner than if we were only open to adoption of a baby. Do we want sooner or do we only want a baby? We decided that we only want a baby. And there’s a lot less hassle – a lot of the kids come with parents who are in jail or on drugs. I couldn’t handle that complication.

There is also the issue of marriage. As an unmarried couple only one of us would adopt the baby and the other one would have to apply for parental rights. I would be the adopter, that’s always been the decision. As a woman it would be easier to adopt than a man and as the mother I would want full legal rights over any medical emergencies or whatever. But would it have Dave’s last name when he isn’t legally the father? I don’t desperately want to get married, I’m happy as we are. So is Dave. But we do want our baby to be *our baby*. To have their daddys last name as a connection to him, like most other kids with two parents do. And for Dave to have full and equal rights with me at every step of the process. So while we have only vaguely discussed it it’s possible that at some point next year we’ll have a very small low-key wedding so we can both be equal legal parents. The legal adoption laws are from roughly 1966 – it’s an outdated legal minefield.

So….we’re applying to adopt a baby sometime in the first part of 2009. And I am scared. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But it’ll be worth it, I know that. It might be tough at times, we’re going to have to tighten our budget to the barest bones for part of 2009 to save for the fees but when your heart wants something this bad is that really a sacrifice? My mum will drown the baby in knitting, I’ll drown it in sewing, Dave will drown it in computer parts and Rastus will drown it in cat fur. Schooling is cheap, healthcare is cheap for kids and while my child may not get the newest designer labels they’ll never go without.

AND so….2009 is the Lovestitches Year of Toys. In order to save the legal fees (this bit is tricky – they can be as low as $500 or they can be  as much as $2000, it all depends on…stuff. Lawyers and birth fathers etc) I’m going to be cranking the poor neglected (although I did have my 4th sale last week, woohoo!) etsy store up into high gear. It’ll be bulging under the weight of toys soon. Plus there’ll be craft fairs, my felt.co.nz shop (coming soon) and really as many other outlets for my work as I can find. Because if the man I love agrees to raise a child with me (the crazy fool) the least I can do is help pay for it.

I was planning on posting a photo of one of those toys in this post but after a day of sewing my cat softie looks alarmingly like it has hemorrhoids. The first toy in the shop is unlikely to be a cat.

Any feedback you want to leave will be appreciated but please remember how important this issue is to me and be gentle!

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Filed under adoption, shop talk

Adoption and mid-year assessment

We had the adoption ‘group information session’ last night. It was a bit of a poorly organised farce and I came away from it feeling oh so slightly depressed. They had the wrong powerpoint slides on the computer and on top of that they forced us to sit through a terribly acted role play. And then there was the sobering statistics. They aren’t good. And they’re getting worse fast. They don’t know why either. It’s a little lot heartbreaking to repeat the numbers. Three years ago the Wellington region had 30 couples on the waiting list. That year they had 16 adoptions. You had roughly a 50% chance of being picked in a year or less. Currently there is now 40 couples waiting and in the past 12 months there has been 5 adoptions. Which means a lot of people are going to be waiting a long time. I don’t ‘do’ waiting very well.

This hasn’t put me off applying, very little could, and we’ve decided to put our application in for the 2 day education ‘thingy’ in early September. It isn’t the next course but we need time to try find a smaller house to move to and choose our character referees and that sort of thing. I have my eye on a GORGEOUS townhouse, so fingers crossed. We actually had a cat sighting there a few days ago, how weird!!

In the meantime it’s only a few days short of the middle of the year so I decided it’s time to assess how things stand. Life, relationship, crafts, career, personal, you know what I mean. That’s going to take some thinking for sure. I got my ravelry invite today, just as my blue knitting fell apart. I managed two whole rows before I ended up with a mystery loop thing. I was doing so well until that loop appeared, the whole fell apart in a matter of seconds and I stomped off in disgust. Knitting, bah!

Here’s a random photo of something beautiful, just to keep me positive

The glow of love

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