A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, the special people in my life that I have shared this journey with and anybody that is visiting, following and reading my blog. (No, I haven't forgotten my family. I was with them for the weekend!) I have a lot to be thankful for: loving family and friends, supportive colleagues, good health to name a few things, and hopefully one day somebody little I can add to the list. Having an extra day off on Friday, thanks to a modified school year by my school district, allowed me to make a few phone calls. I left a second message at one agency re: their country. Still no response! The newly opened country I have blogged about, I received information from on Friday morning. I also had a very good conversation with the director of my local agency and it is no problem to change a few sentences in the home study to reflect the change in country. After all, the home study should mention the new country I am hoping to adopt from! I have an appointment after school on Thursday with my local agency so please keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer, or whatever it is you do when you want things to work out, to let me stop the ticker on Thursday! I may not need to change local agencies to go with this new country but if I have to, it is not a big deal at this point. The director here was very friendly and most helpful. After talking to her, I may not register on the agency's domestic list as I can register for Canada Adopts directly but still use the agency for representation. If I understand things correctly I would then pay per each inquiry by a birth mum. I think I need to take a leap of faith and on Thursday tell my agency to send my home study to the agency in Ontario that works with my new country. Oh, it will be so much easier when I can name the country. I hate talking in "code" but just don't want to jeopardize anything at the moment. As for the Novemeber event, I have very mixed feelings, especially after a very expensive ($375) visit to the pharmacy!!!! I have shed some tears this weekend and have until 4:00 tomorrow, Tuesday to decide what to do.
Thank you to those of you who have talked to me or asked me questions about this blog. I appreciate knowing this isn't all lost in cyberspace! As a friend and colleague said last week the blog will certainly be a record of the process although it is about eight months late in starting! The first week back at school after Christmas was when I actually started investigating and looking into things. There are quite a few things I have already done. For example; I made and gave a Powerpoint presentation from a letter on the AFABC website to the BCTF provincial Status of Women committe in May re: "top up" for adoptive parents. Top-up varies from district to district at the moment, mine gives it as long as it the adoption doesn't take place in July or August, but quite a number of school districts don't. I think this should be in our provincial collective agreement so all teachers in BC have equal benefits thus I can only hope the electronic copy the wonderful women on this committee took is being put to good use. There is also a difference in EI benefits between women that give birth and women that adopt. This issue is one that I can't and will not tackle but other adoptive parents have tried. I guess you could call it a "David and Goliath" battle! I have also learned from my research that Quebec has a generous tax credit to help adoptive parents defray the cost of adoption versus the federal credit. More on this later. If our provincal government here in BC truly wants to put families first perhpaps they could implent a similar tax credit to Quebec. This is a letter for me to write once my dossier is sent to my country and I am waiting. I don't mean to bore you with all this other stuff but it is all a part of the process I am going through and it has proven to be quite eye-opening. I have always advocated and when necesary fought for support for my students, and will certainly continue to do, but now it is time to advocate for myself, something that seems much harder to do! Unless you have been through the process, or have family members or friends that have adopted, the challenges and discrimination faced by prospective parents is duanting! Not a battle for the faint of heart and weak of knees. Onward and upward - let's hope there is real progress this week!