Friday, September 16, 2011

Way to Go Ontario!

At the risk of tooting our own horn, I must admit that BC is great at supporting our adoptive parents. We offer post-adoption assistance to families whose children have special needs (projected or diagnosed) at the time of placement. These supports can include respite care funding, counselling, tutoring, or other supports related to a child's special placement needs.

Our government also extends monthly maintenance payments to qualifying families who meet certain criteria.... currently, that includes adoption of sibling sets, cultural matches, or child-specific adoptions where the adoptive parent and child(ren) have a strong emotional bond PRIOR to the adoption. Learn more about the Post Adoption Assistance Program for MCFD adoptions by clicking here.

The good news for our friends in Ontario? Their provincial government has announced their plan to offer similar financial supports to families who adopt from foster care.

As much as I adore the west coast, I do believe Ontario just one-upped us. Their new program includes financial supports for adoptions of children age 10 and over. What a great concept! Teens and tweens deserve families, too - how great for Ontario to recognize and implement a program to ease some of the financial barriers for growing families of older kids & teens. 

Read the full article on the great news here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One or Two - Who, Me?

On Saturday, my hubby and I attended a parents-only dinner party. We won tickets to the event when I submitted a pathetic (and entirely true!!) story of a negligent baby-sitter, leg lacerations, and antibiotics. Our prize was a fabulous night out at Yaletown's V Lounge, hosted by morning hosts Nat and Drew of Virgin Radio 95.3.

As expected, our group of parents couldn't help but talk about the little darlings whose shenanigans earned their respective parents a night of reprieve. We went around our corner of the table and learned that those near us had two or three children.

When it was our turn, we beamed about our almost four year old son. Someone asked if we were planning for more, and we gave our standard responses. My husband vehemently denied the possibility, and I smiled and said something stupid and non-committal.

The truth is, adding to an adoptive family is not the same as growing a family biologically. Unlike those families lucky enough to be Fertile Myrtles who can get pregnant easily, most adoptions involve a great deal of patience and trust that things will work out and a match will happen eventually.

Sure, there can be surprise adoptions, if a family is lucky enough to get the sibling call. And sometimes matches are made as soon as the ink is dry on an updated adoption homestudy. But most of us wait.... sometimes forever, for a secondary match.

Still others, like us, don't feel it's quite the right time to be tossing our names into the adoption pool again. We know growing our family again is a probability. We don't feel like we want to be "one and done" but the timing just isn't right yet.

So I gave my stupid smiley response and waited for the topic to shift. Except it didn't.

Another parent commented very sincerely and respectfully how common one-child families are becoming these days. Another parent (of two) speculated it was financially driven. I had to step in and say my spiel about adoption. I had to explain that it's not like flipping a light switch, and it takes a momentous decision to refile that application and put yourselves and your families "out there" again.

I wanted people to know it's not about money. It's not about a conscious decision to have the smallest number of offspring possible. For us at least, it's about balancing the right time and realizing and ACCEPTING that so very much of it is out of control.

One mother commented that she had her babies 15 months apart because she wanted to be finished with diapers as soon as possible. I sat and smiled and reminded myself that our next child might already be DONE with diapers by the time he or she (OR THEY!) come home.

Another advised that it was best to have a girl first and then a boy. I closed my eyes briefly and imagined what girl on earth would want our son as a baby brother.... only the luckiest one, of course. :) And who knows... maybe our son will have an older sister. Someday, sooner or later. When we're ready.

For now we'll just keep on doing what we do best... smiling stupidly when all else fails!