Friday, July 28, 2006


A couple of days a week I work in the city at Education House. I only recently started doing this, so don't know too many other people who work on the same floor. Last Wednesday when I was explaining to Glenda (my boss's PA) that I was leaving early to attend the adoption information session, she said, 'Have you spoken to Peter? You have to talk to Peter! He has two adopted children!'. She dragged Peter over and we had a great chat.

Peter and his wife are real pioneers with this adoption stuff! They adopted their first child about 32 years ago. He was born in Brisbane, but they thought he was Indonesian because of his surname and skin colouring... they found out years later that he's Aboriginal/Islander. They then had a biological child, followed by an adopted daughter from the Philippines. There were no inter-country arrangements at that stage, so Peter and his wife worked hard for seven years to try to organise it. They had six-monthly meetings with the Minister etc. but it was all worth it. That was about 22 years ago.

When I explained to Peter that we didn't know whether we could have natural children or not, as it had been our intention to adopt first, he said that this was the same as him and his wife. People would ask Peter why they wanted to adopt, and he would say, 'for selfish reasons! We want a multicultural family!'. As he said that I suddenly felt like it was OK that we think the same way. I've always struggled when people ask "why" . When couples choose to have a biological child, no one asks why... but we seem to have to justify ourselves for wanting to adopt. It seems somewhat unusual that adoption is our first choice, as many couples turn to adopting due to infertifility.

Peter shared a photograph of his family with me. He also talked with me for a long time about the life-long issues his daughter has and will continue to experience due to malnourishment in her first two years of life before being adopted. Most of these issues are health related and developmental, ie. she received learning support all through school and continues to receive support of varying degrees from different organisations and professionals.

I am very grateful for making the connection with Peter and I look forward to plenty more chats and support with him. Apparently his daughter comes into work regularly, so I hope to meet her. One funny thing that Peter mentioned is that his adopted son is 6'2" and his adopted daughter is 4'6"!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Information Session

This afternoon Aaron and I attended a public information session about adoption, held by the Dept. of Child Safety. They are running a series of these sessions around the state over the next twelve months while the register is open.

The girl who ran it (Michelle is her name) ran through a series of PowerPoint slides that gave the same information from the application pack and website. But it was still good to go to. There weren't many other couples there, perhaps six. We were clearly the youngest.

We spoke with Michelle afterwards for a little while, which was so reassuring. I was concerned that because I am still 18months off being eligible for adoption from China that the dept might not want to process my application until then. I was so pleased to hear that we could put our application in as soon as we want because we are fully eligible under the Qld conditions to apply, and that by the time they get to sending our file to China that I would be 30 (and if not they would just hold our file until that time). This is exactly what we were hoping to hear!

Aaron said he experienced waves of emotion during the session. He described it as a mixture between scared and excited - because something that we've talked about for so long was suddently 'here' and happening, not just something we were going to do 'one day'. It didn't affect me like that, but Aaron reminded me that the 'realness' had hit me when we had our first correspondence back from the dept, and I was full of joy and bouncing around the house, wondering why Aaron wasn't excited. He said at that stage it still wasn't real yet for him... but it seems it is now!

Michelle told us that she visited China in May this year and went to the agency they deal with for adoptions. She said she walked into a room that was floor to ceiling and wall to wall of files from all over the world - people applying for adopting a baby from China. Queensland doesn't have a yearly quota from China (unlike other countries), and they said they want more Queensland couples! It seems from that statement that the hold up is at this end - maybe more workers or faster processes would help.

I feel like I'm pregnant - the same sort of joy that I believe a couple would experience when they find out they are expecting a child. The only difference will be that we won't have a baby in 9 months... it's going to be a much longer gestation period!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Joined IAFQ

Well, the adoption register officially opened. There is a series of public information sessions that the department is holding, and they sent us an invitation to attend. We will be going on Wednesday. We'll get an application pack at the session. I've already downloaded and read through the pack and can see that I need to do some running around getting copies of things (Aaron's and my birth certificates and so on). I wonder if applications are dealt with chronologically. This makes me think we need to hurry up and get ours in, but there is also a heap we need to do before we submit it. Hrm. Hopefully it will all be answered on Wednesday.

We got sent an invitation to become members of IAFQ (International Adoptive Families of Queensland) a couple of months ago, as well as an invitation to attend one of their information sessions to meet other families and so on. I filled out the form to join and the form to register for a session and have them ready to post tomorrow along with payment.