Extreme Highs and Crushing Lows

First, the good news.


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Our daughter!

Yes, we got the call yesterday, saying our court dates went through fine and she is now, officially and legally, our daughter. The picture above was her referral shot when she first came into the orphanage — the first picture we had of our baby girl.

And here’s baby’s first mug shot, two weeks later at her medical:

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We are now officially parents to a beautiful, now-3 1/2 month old baby girl. We are thrilled.

And now, the bad news.

Hard on the heels of receiving this news, we were told that the estimated travel dates, which our case worker told us on our referral date would be about 3 1/2 months out, and put us travelling to get our daughter mid-to-late September, have been pushed back. TO NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER.

We were, to say the least, stunned and very, very upset. We cannot understand how the timelines can change that much in a six-week span, particularly since the court date went through without a hitch. We were planning on picking up our 5-6 month old, and now it looks like we have to wait another couple of months and our daughter will be 8-9 months old. For NO GOOD REASON, which I will get into later.

We were SO upset yesterday. We still are. I’m so upset, it’s hard to find words.

Think of all the developmental things we will miss in that 3 month span — the difference between a 5 month old and an 8-9 month old is astounding. Think of all the firsts we will potentially be missing: Her first tooth. Rolling over. Her first babbling. Perhaps even sitting up. Those are precious moments we will NEVER get back.

My baby girl could begin making her first sounds, trying out her first words. She could be calling another woman Mama. I was supposed to be the person she said Mama to.

And do you know WHY this is being delayed? Because for no good reason, the Canadian High Commission is taking their sweet time processing a birth certificate and a visa for a 3 month old baby. What, they think she is a hardened criminal and the security check is taking so long? Is she some international jewel thief? No, it’s because it’s summer, so they are slowing down.

To this I say bollocks. These are Canadian employees, well paid, in an embassy office. They have email and all the other technology required to get this done, and they just AREN’T. There is no good reason, and none they will give to our agency. And believe me, we went to the agency this morning and had a meeting to try to figure this out.

In the span of six weeks, they went from processing these small documents in a matter of weeks for a child already legally adopted to requiring a matter of months to get them done.

These are 3 months of our child’s life that we will never, ever get back. Months of firsts and moments of discovery and joy. And we will be forever without them.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking “But once you have her/years from now, that won’t matter.”

Well, maybe that’s so, but I doubt it. I can bet many, many parents remember their baby rolling over for the first time. They remember when she got her first teeth. They can tell you without hesitation his first word. Those little things are the everyday joys parents treasure with their children, and we will forever be denied them. These are little stories we were dreaming of telling our child about, and our grandchildren. These are moments that up until yesterday, we were told we would be able to share in, and now they have been stolen from us, and all because of bureaucratic bullshit.

So what should have been an incredible, joyful day was one filled with tears and frustration and pain. They’ve stolen that day from us too.

Of course we are happy. Of COURSE we are. But we are parents, and we cannot hold our child. Ask any adoptive parent — this waiting part is hard. And we were so close — we were 6-8 weeks from being a family. But now, for no reason whatsoever, they have doubled our wait time — or if we look at the worst case, it will be tripled at 22 weeks. They have multiplied that yearning, and that hurts.

So we are still a little stunned.

Today we met a couple who are going to get their baby next month. She was born 6 weeks before our daughter. They will get to bring her home when she is 6 months old. We will not. We also met a man who is travelling to Nairobi, Kenya, where our High Commission is located. He got his travel visa on Monday. He submitted his documents by courier on the Thursday before. And yet, a birth certificate and visa for a 3 month old baby takes in the region of 5 months to process.

I spent the last few weeks carefully washing and putting away all the lovely size 0-6 month clothes we have for her. I will spend the next few days taking them back out of her drawers and closet and boxing them back up. It does not look like she will get to use them.

BDH will spend the next few weeks phoning and emailing MPs and MPPs and whoever he has to to get some answers.

Occasionally one of us will look at the other and you can see our thoughts are wandering. “I just want so much to hold her.”

I wish I had a better, happier post for you. And for our daughter’s life book.

This was supposed to be a joyous day for all of us.

38 thoughts on “Extreme Highs and Crushing Lows

  1. Cinn – first let me tell you how beautiful your daughter is…stunning, a real little gem.

    I can’t even imagine the heartbreak of finding out that you have to wait double the time to pick her up!

    Call your MP now!!! I have already been in touch with ours and he knows that we will be calling once we get our referral to make sure visas and birth certificates are looked after immediately.

    Do not take no for answer!!! They must help you bring her home as soon as possible! All adoptions are to take priority for processing!!!

    Thinking of you!


  2. Thanks Rana. That helps so much. Sometimes we feel like we are overreacting. It’s encouraging to find we’re not alone in thinking this is not right.

  3. First things first……my oh my what a beautiful daughter you have!!!! And wow, so much hair! She is absolutely 100% adorable and I will bet you spend many moments throughout the day staring at those pictures and daydreaming of your wee girl!

    Now onto the bullshit….how heart wrenching that news is. I don’t understand it at all. You are right, there is no reason or excuse for it taking so much longer. Get mean, get ugly, and fight as hard as you can to bring your daughter home in “decent” time. This is inexcusable!

    Sighhh, I don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry you didn’t get to just enjoy the wonderful news of your court date.


  4. Thanks Ricki. We think her hair rocks! 🙂

    It’s so frustrating when even your agency throws up their hands and says “I don’t know why this is happening.” These dates are just arbitrary, and it’s not right.

    Best advice I can give: remember all this stuff when your time comes… and I hope it comes soon!

  5. Ohh, she’s gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations!

    I’m just going to reiterate what everyone else has said. Call your MP, raise a stink. Raise a huge stink. There’s no excuse for bureaucracy like that in this day and age. And good luck!

  6. Wow – she is gorgeous!

    I am sorry to hear about the extension of your travel time – you are absolutely correct, it is just not right that you can get a tourist visa in a week, yet it takes up to 5 months for a visa for a baby going to its forever home. Since your MP resigned, can you contact another MP in another area close to you? Surely your area has some representation in Parliament? Isn’t that your right?

  7. Thanks Janna! We think she’s a cutie. I like how the 2nd picture looks like she’s gabbing at somebody or maybe bossing somebody around. That’s our kid, all right. 😀

    I suspect we’ll have to look to some neighbouring communities’ MPs for assistance. Or perhaps, get the candidates up for byelection working for us. 🙂 We have a constituency office open, but no representation — but our MP apparently had the 2nd worst voting record of the entire Parliament, so maybe its best we hit up someone else for help anyway!

  8. You are definitely not overreacting…I would be livid…can you contact another MP…I would call my civic rep, my provincial rep, another MP in your area or 2 or 3…heck if you have to call the Prime Minister’s office 😉 do it!!

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease!



  9. I think a list is in order…

    Might as well call the MP in the same city as our agency since s/he has an interest in making good for one of his/her community’s businesses, dontcha think?

  10. Yahoo!!!!! I told you I would know first. Isn’t she a doll? We are so happy to be new grandparents. That makes five so far. Three girls and two boys alto the boys are young men now. I can feel for you wanting to hold your little one in your arms but I cannot help you and I am sure that my saying “it will be alright in time” will not cut it with you at this time. Our trip will be delayed a bit but we will be there when the time is right. Here is a big hug just because I really do understand how frustrating it must be for you. Do what you think is right.Love from a new Gram.

  11. Still too frustrated by the stupidity of those bastards.

    Although, I loves the girl! So pretty.

    GRRR. So frustrated. I typed up a BIG huge response, but deleted it because, perhaps – just maybe – I should calm a bit first. It may not help “the cause” for me to go off like a rocket.

    My main advice right now? Channel the mama bear in you, channel the mama bear.



  12. Ok, so I just clicked back here to see baby’s WHAT THE —- I was SLEEPING! look that I soooooo imagine that you have first thing in the morning and…

    I smiled.

    She? Melts my heart. Sigh.

  13. You don’t know me, but today I had to send you a note. The first time I ever read your blog was the day you got your referral. It was amazing to read and gave me so much hope that this will happen for all of us one day. Since then I have been living vicariously through your process (thank you!). My heart broke when I read your blog today. Such heartache and frustration (like the journey to here doesn’t give us all enough of that) seems so unfair today – a day that should get to be nothing but exhilirating. I read your words and I looked at your beautiful baby girl and I felt like I had to do something. I can’t imagine it will help, but I wrote to my MP. If you want to send me your email address, I’d be happy to send you a copy of my letter. Its not much, but maybe it helps to know how much a whole lot strangers care…

  14. Aw, Andrea, that is so lovely! And so kind of you to do. I really appreciate it.

    I am glad you came out of lurkdom to comment! Welcome, and I hope you’ll hang out with us here in future! We’d love to know how your journey is going!

  15. I am so happy for you! Something told me to check your blog today! I seriously can not put into words how excited for you I am!!

  16. Hey Elizabeth! (Well, I have always known you as Kennedy, so I feel I should say “Hey Kennedy!”)

    You’ve been along for this ride for such a long time, I am glad you finally got to see some of the good parts! I think she looks like she was worth all the hard work and aggravation along the way, don’t you? 😉

  17. Whoo Hoo! Congratulations Mom and Dad! She is beautiful 🙂 and tiny. Look at the size of that soother. I am so happy for you. It is good to see that you were able to get through court nice and quickly.

    I agree with everyone else, make some noise and bring her home quickly. Darn bureaucrats. Squeak, Squeak, Squeak!


  18. Thank you so much Shannon! I was shocked at the size of that soother too! She was pretty tiny when she first came in — but that soother clinches it for me.

    Court went through without a hitch. One of the delays they’re telling us about right now is getting the court documents out of court before the closure — it seems easy enough when you say it out loud, but apparently it’s not?? — so if they get the documents out in a timely fashion we might be able to trim some time off those 22 weeks. So that’s our first hurdle, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

  19. She is beautiful. Utterly beautiful. I hope you get to bring her home as soon as possible.

    I’ve got to say, nine months is the best age so far…

  20. Oh thank you so much Tamsyn! We’re pretty taken with her. But it’s been a long time coming so of course we’re totally biased.

    I know what you’re saying about nine months… And I am sure we’ll feel fine about it all, in the end. I guess we’re pretty sensitive about our chances to be parents, since we didn’t know if it could ever happen for us, so we don’t want to miss even a single moment. Every little thing is a big thing for us, especially given how hard it was to get here! But I know there are going to be so many good things at every age.

    Perspective is so hard to maintain sometimes!

  21. It DOES seem like a long time ago that we first talked about it. But, in a surreal way, it seems like yesterday too!

    We have fallen in love with her around here.

  22. I just wanted to tell you one more time how sweet and beautiful your daughter is!!

    Got get ’em 🙂


  23. I think she is worth it!! I can’t wait to see more pictures of her and more importantly can’t wait to read that she is home, with you and BDH!!!

  24. What a beautiful little girl!! And I agree, make some noise and bring her home. You don’t know me but I am a cousin of your husband. I wish you all the best with your little girl and hope you get to bring her home soon!

  25. Thought you might like an update… I got a response from my MP (he is in my Rotary Club so I was optimistic about getting some kind of response). He said he has forwarded my letter to the Minister of Immigration, Diane Finlay. Again, not much, but you never know… A

  26. Oh Andrea, that’s awesome! That was so very thoughtful of you to do something like that — and hopefully it will benefit all us adopting parents going forward!

    We really appreciate it!

  27. First off – wow – she is beautiful!!! Congratulations!!!

    Second – that sucks. These court closures and “work as I want pace” suck. Don’t they get that everyday and every hour counts in this young child’s life???

    I hope that the timeline prediction is over inflated and you find yourself travelling more quickly than you expect now!


  28. First of all, congratulations…. that is really wonderful about your daughter and its so nice to see her face on your blog.

    Now, about the delays.

    Big Time.

    I agree that you should get any MP you can involved… even call the citizenship and immigration office and make a stink.

    Now that you have her safely through court and she’s yours, you have nothing to lose – I would ride/question CAFAC as well….. it should NOT be taking that long.

    Chin up friend;

  29. Thanks Barb and Nicky! I know you guys are (hopefully) coming close to the ends of your waits now, and will soon see your kids’ faces for the first time. Let’s hope they get this paperwork-pushing nonsense straightened away to shorten everybody’s waits to pick up their kids!

    (I am sorry I am late to this, I have been away from blogland for about a week…)
    OK back to the gorgeousness!! She is just lovely!!

    I’m so sorry about the travel time / birth certificate / visa bureaucratic bulls*&t…

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