Monday, September 24, 2007

Individual interviews - take 2.

I had my individual interview on Saturday afternoon. Nothing to report on really, just that it happened. I was done in just over an hour and a half, which is a bit different to Aaron's which went for three hours! Our case worker asked us the same questions in our individual interviews, so either I don't waffle, or Aaron does! I think we only have one more interview, which will be a couple one again. Checkity-check-check-checkity-check!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A new game at Checking Boxes!

First of all, check out the new blog header for Checking Boxes!

That's not the most exciting part. Now click the baby.

Woohoo! Now you can play Beat the Paperchase at Checking Boxes! The instructions should appear, including a Play button. You need a score of 1400 to beat the paperwork.

When you've had a play, fill in the poll on the left to let me know how you went. (Poll will be active for 60 days, so if you're reading this through the archives it won't be there).

I should note that I haven't tested this on any machine than my little Mac using Firefox, so it would be great if you would let me know whether it's actually working out there in different browsers etc. It's taken me hours of playing with code to get it to work in Blogger, so I hope it's all functioning correctly!

All credit to my magnificent friend and colleague Kristine (check out a couple of her many websites - like Flash Classroom or Games in Learning). Thanks Kris, love your work and appreciate our new header and game heaps. It'll give our adopting friends something to do during the loooong wait!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gone to a good home

Oh boy. I just finished watching a repeat of Gone to a Good Home, a documentary about adoption practices in Australia between the 1950s and the 1970s. Over 150 000 unwed mothers had their babies taken from them at birth, most never even catching a glimpse of their child. They didn't choose to give their children over to adoption, they were tricked or forced into signing the papers. Most would have chosen to raise their child and would probably have done a wonderful job of it.

The documentary follows Lily's story, and if you didn't know it to be true you'd think she was making it up. The bullying, discrimination and harsh treatment that these teenage girls endured is horrific, and as a result many of them lived sorrow-filled lives.

It makes me question the circumstances surrounding birth mothers/parents of abandoned Chinese babies. We may never know whether they experience the same heartbreak yet feel that they have no choice due to societal pressures and national law. Even though their babies may not be forcefully taken from them (though in cases they are... usually before they are born), the situation that leads the mother/parents to abandon is often a result of social expectations and responsibility. Yes, I'm probably generalising and I'm acutely aware that every case is different, but I can't help but wonder how these women/couples deal with their choices (or lack of) for the remainder of their lives.

We look back on Australia's adoption history and in cases like Lily's story we are deeply saddened. We wonder, 'how could we really have been like that?' because the world is such a different place now. What will China and the world be like in another thirty years, and will Chinese society reflect on it's nation's practices and be equally saddened at the situations that lead so many children to be abandoned?

One of those babies will be ours. And there probably won't be a single day where I won't think about her birth parents. Even though loss is at the heart of adoption, it can also be something so joyous and beautiful, as families are created and children gain parents. Even though adoption is our first preference, we acknowledge that it may really be the second-best option for a child who deserves to be raised in their culture with their birth family. Unfortunately that option is not available for so many children. I think the second-best option is a pretty darn good one, and I'm working my butt off to learn everything I can about parenting transnationally adopted children to ensure that our baby always knows unconditional love and acceptance.

Individual interviews - take 1.

We were all set for our individual interviews today. Our adoption case worker arrived at about 10.30am and I boot-scooted out of the place so she could chat with Aaron first. Aaron's interview took about three hours, and when it came time for mine our case worker received a phone call about a sick child of hers, and had to leave! So now I get to bug Aaron about what she asked and how he answered. Usually the individual interviews enable the case worker to see whether we agree about important issues and have the same perspectives on things. Hopefully next weekend she can squeeze me in for a catch-up interview.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Referrals to Nov 25, 2005

Go Australia! Yeah yeah yeah! This is the first time I've seen Australia find out referral information before the rest of the world! Usually we find out a good week later than everyone else.

I don't think there are any Queensland families in the latest allocations, but I know that there is one very happy batch from Tasmania!

It's disheartening though to see that only four more days made it through this month. There must be a huge truckload of families logged in with a November 2005 date.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


On Friday we met with our case worker again for an interview. It went for about two and a half hours - so much talking.

She asked about how we reached the decision to adopt, stuff about religion ('what do you know about religion in China?' 'what if your child doesn't want to go to your church or won't accept your beliefs?'), about our support network, about how our families feel, about finances, how we spend our leisure time, and a fair amount of time asking about parenting both bio and adopted children ('what if you have two of one and one of the other - how will the other feel?' 'if you have a bio child straight after adoption, what will that mean for the adopted child?').

There were some great questions and it was a strangely enjoyable chat. She did say that this was the easy stuff, and we'll get stuck into more heavy stuff toward the end of the assessment. Bring it on! We want to progress!