Not Enough

When we began the adoption process, we were part of a large community of hopeful adoptive families. Many of us had blogs, and we shared exciting news and joy, trials and tribulations, and support and information. It felt like we all belonged to something.

But as the years passed by, one by one, most of those families dropped off the radar, for one reason or another. We lost touch in many ways. Friendships nurtured were suddenly dropped. Life got in the way. That’s how it goes.

A few managed to continue to keep touch and share information about our new lives, that of newly-formed or growing-and-learning adoptive families. Information is shared now of a more practical nature: cultural classes, common kid ailments, school issues, and general parenting stuff.

I haven’t felt like I have had a lot to contribute, because our adoption and post-adoption experiences seem to be fairly different from most of the parents who continue to stay in touch. I feel like I am one of the ones who probably should have wandered off, but didn’t.

It’s informative, but really often outside my sphere of experience. But there’s one issue that is common to many adoptive parents, and therefore myself, that I lurk to read about. And it is the one that causes me the greatest angst.

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Sometimes I struggle to find a voice for some of the issues I come up against as a parent.

It’s hard to put your thoughts into words at the best of times. But sometimes I get stuck in a box when I sit down to write here on my blog, about parenting or otherwise. (No, not a real box — a metaphorical one. It’s not like we ordered a freezer and someone put my laptop in the leftover cardboard.)

I sit down to write and generally speaking I run into any combination of four walls.

The first wall I come up against is what I think are my readers’ expectations. Readership comes and goes in waves, mostly with the waxing and waning of phases of my life. Infertility brought in lots of readers, and once that phase was over they wandered off to another corner of the internet. They were replaced with adoption readers, who, interestingly, tend to lose interest once their own adoptions are completed. And now, as a parent — which in terms of bloggers is, like, EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET — I find I have nothing useful to say. So I don’t know, really, what to write about these days, and as I don’t have any enlightening or informative takes on parenting, I haven’t got much to appeal to an audience that doesn’t know my little family well.

When I do have things to write about, the second wall gets in the way — and that’s caused by privacy concerns. Often times, when I am writing about parenting and struggles we’re having, it means writing about something that is not just my issue but my child’s as well. And I wonder, sometimes, if it’s my place to put Stinkerbelle’s issues and challenges out there without her permission. Not that a four-year-old really knows nor cares about what I write on the internet — the point is that one day, she will. And she may not appreciate it being out there. So I am struggling with trying to respect her privacy while still expressing my own thoughts, feelings, and issues.

The third wall is around adoption. I belong to communities of other adoptive parents and read others’ blogs, and I try to keep current on various issues around adoption and multiracial families. And I find it intimidating to post with all that in mind. Because honestly? Our struggles are not the norm, in that they are really NOT about any of those things. We haven’t had issues around race or loss or cultural identity or even the usual parasite-and-fungus problems. We have none of that stuff going on. None at all. And I feel like I’m doing something wrong, failing on the adoptive parent front, because I have nothing to say on any of the hot-button issues so many adoptive parents struggle with. And those that I do have are so minor they don’t bear putting in print.

The last wall is one of parenting, and what to say in that arena. Which is… nothing, really. The internet is peopled with enough mommy blogs to last a lifetime, and I really have nothing insightful or revolutionary or informative to say. I don’t set myself up as some sort of parenting expert; I don’t have any expertise beyond just getting through the day-to-day. And even in that realm, I experience the grand parenting fails of too much TV and not enough vegetables and losing my temper way, way too much.

So I sit down to write and wonder… about what, exactly?

The good thing is that none of these things are permanent. All these states are fluid. At some point, these walls will crumble, or suddenly develop a window with a nice view, or disappear completely. And maybe throw new walls up in their wake. The trick is dealing with the ones I have now and continuing to express myself and not letting my blog die completely.

I’ve been here before, in the eight-ish years I have been blogging. Life changes and you adapt and suddenly there are more things to write about and different people come to read.

For now, the walls are a bit confining. Maybe I’ll find something in the quiet space between them.

A Day of Days

This time of year is full of fun for us. Well, possibly not always fun, but we definitely have a lot on the go in September.

Because of luck and calendars, we have lots to think about and celebrate in September, and most specifically this week.

Today is Stinkerbelle’s first day of junior Kindergarten, so that has required a little patience and preparation. She’s been waiting to get back to school since… well, probably since the day after school finished in June, honestly. She’s absolutely BORED without other kids to play with, so as you can imagine she’s reached her limit of Mom and Dad and was thrilled to finally be back in school this morning.

It was a day fraught with emotion. The Drama Llama is definitely in residence this week. First there were tears because she could not put on her fancy first-day-of-school dress this morning until it was time to get ready for school, so there was much wailing and tears as she had to watch Sesame Street… ::gasp of horror!::… In her PAJAMAS. There were tears when school was over. There were tears when she realised that her best friend Libby and her boyfriend Peyton would not be attending this school this year. There were tears when she realized she could not wear her fancy dress to play after school. There were tears when she found out that Daddy had to go into work this afternoon after spending the morning working from home so he could take her to her first day of school.

She’s wound up like a clock with the excitement of everything. It’s an emotional time. OBVIOUSLY.

But today is also Enkutatash, Ethiopian New Year, which means we’ll be making doro wat for supper. So there will be cooking this afternoon, which, because I am very tired, one must hope will not be an abject failure because I fell asleep over the food preparation. But I would not bet against it. Anything could happen.

And then tomorrow, we also have reason to celebrate. Tomorrow marks our fourth anniversary of the day we met our Stinkerbelle. Four years ago in Ethiopia, this beautiful tiny babe was placed in my arms and my life since then has been FULL. OF. WIN. That day was the day we won life’s lottery, and not a day goes by that we are not reminded of that. Tomorrow just provides us an official date to celebrate it, is all.

But we will also do that tonight. A big meal of doro wat, plus cupcakes to make it a party, and we will celebrate three days in one. I am sure there will also be candles blown out because, although not a birthday, in That Girl’s mind, there’s no point in celebrating anything without cupcakes and candle-blowing-out-ness. And so we shall.

I love September, I really do. Beside the first day of school/Enkutatash/Peevish Family Day trifecta of awesome, we also have family birthdays, and our wedding anniversary, and the start of various activities to enjoy. The heat of summer breaks, the nights become cool, and we feel rejuvenated and alive again after a stagnant summer. I cook and bake and do house things. September is one of the best months of the year for us.

I shall raise a cupcake in September’s honour this evening. Okay, maybe two. Possibly three, because they’re those really tiny mini cupcakes.

Blowing My Mind

Our post-adoption journey with Stinkerbelle has been fairly atypical, if I compare it to other parents I have met or read or followed.

Because she was so tiny when referred to us, and when we brought her home, we have foregone many of the issues other parents deal with. And because of her language delays, we have yet to deal with any of the questions or issues of her self-discovery as an adoptee, or with regard to racial identity. Like, none.

Because she’s behind in both her receptive and expressive language, we haven’t had any big discussions about any of that stuff. But we haven’t avoided talking about things, either, and adoption is just another word in our everyday family-related lexicon, that carries no extra weight or import. Brown is a skin colour that is as beautiful as the blacks and tans and pinks and freckles and other colours we see every day, and brown eyes are the majority in this house so no biggie there either.

But I am learning that just because she’s not ASKING, it does not mean that she does not KNOW. She’s just sitting there, taking it all in.

The other day, randomly and thanks to Sesame Street, Stinkerbelle matter-of-factly compared our skin colours. “I have pretty dark skin. And you have pretty light skin.” This blew my mind, although I confess not because she noticed the difference, but because she used the complex and finely-nuanced descriptors of “light” and “dark” instead of, say, colours. DUDE. LIGHT. And DARK. I didn’t even know she knew those words except for talking about daytime and nighttime.

But today, today is when she blew my mind.

We were looking through pictures on the fabulous Chris’s blog of their family’s recent adoption, and I was talking about the pictures very simply. What the boy is doing. Who the older lady is. What game they are playing. Basic stuff.

But at the end, at a photo on a plane, I said that they had just flown home from Ethiopia where they had adopted their son just a few days ago. My emphasis was on “A FEW DAYS AGO” because we’ve been talking a lot about time, and that it was very exciting because it was new.

Stinkerbelle asked “Is the boy in Eth-ee-po-pi-ya?”

I blinked. “No honey, he is in Canada now! He was born in Ethiopia but they adopted him, and so now he lives in Canada.”

She pointed a thumb at her chest, all puffed out, and said “Just! Like! ME!”

I was a little stunned. I mean, I know we’ve talked about Ethiopia and adoption, but naively I didn’t think she actually INTERNALIZED it at all.

So, as my eyes began to well up, I grabbed her and hugged her and said, “Yep, but you came home YEARS ago!” And I tickled her to let her know this was a happy thing.

And then she squirmed away from me.”Mommy?”

“Yes?” I said, bracing for The Big Questions.

“Can we go outside and blow bubbles now?”

Once Again, Never Again

We are a family of three. People usually assume we will want more than one child, and so often ask when we’re going to start our next adoption.

The answer is alternately “we’ll see” or “we’re not”.

It’s a very personal decision, whether to have kids at all, let alone if and when you will have more. And it is one that people should not take lightly. Generally speaking, most families plan the number of kids they want, and how far apart to space them for purposes of ages, or ease, or expense.

Some don’t, obviously. I sometimes see, in families growing through birth or through adoption, a “collection” mentality. Like puppies or handbags or computer upgrades, there’s an obsession with obtaining the next one. As soon as one arrives, the rush is on to get pregnant again or get the paperwork for the next one underway. And the next one, and the next one, and the next… until there is a mob of kids around, and barely the time for parents to actually parent their children. You’ve all seen these families, especially the famous ones. You know the obsession.

Fortunately, the majority of families don’t work this way. Large families or small, generally the decision is a well-thought-out one.

But, on the flip side of the coin, people also don’t expect you to willingly stop at one child. And in a lot of respects, I think people are taken aback and think you are kind of weird when you tell them you may only have one child.

For us, it’s something we waffle on periodically. I think we had, early on, thought we would have a number of children. But circumstances being what they were, biological children were not going to be an option. And so, adoption became the way we grew our family.

Adoption is wonderful, and something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I can remember for most of my life thinking I did not want to have biological kids but knowing that I wanted to adopt. So our adoption of Stinkerbelle was a dream come true in many, many ways. But, being as challenging and as expensive as adoption is, doing it again would require some careful consideration on our part.

The bottom line is that we cannot afford to do it again without carrying some serious debt. Some families are okay with that, and good on them. We are not sure we are. There are ways to offset the debt, tried and true in the adoption community, such as loans and fundraising and the support of churches and whatnot. None of those are suitable for us.

Some families will research various programs and agencies and find one that is less expensive or has better timelines or whatever, to help make the expense more bearable. And some families are simply drawn to different countries for various personal reasons. This is also not an option for us. Ethiopia is the only country we want to consider. Beyond the fact that it is part of us now, and part of Stinkerbelle’s heritage, it is also the only country we ever considered when we first started out. And it is the only country that I ever wanted to adopt from, since I began thinking of adoption as a teenager. Ethiopia has been a part of my consciousness almost my whole life. Now, maybe with research and time and reflection, that could change — there are many great possibilities. But right now, it doesn’t feel right for us.

Beyond the debt — let’s say we decided we could afford to do it — there are a lot of logistics involved. Not least is the fact that there is only one agency that we would consider, even if there were many options available to us, and they are not taking new clients at this time.

Then there’s the whole issue of paperwork. We know what to expect having done it before, and have a good social worker to guide us, but still — anyone can tell you, the paperwork is stressful and is a real pain in the ass.

And then there’s the wait. Some will tell you that once you get your child, the pain and anguish of the waiting just fades away. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t at all — at least, not for all of us. I remember it like it was yesterday, and believe me, our wait was a walk in the park compared to the experiences of many families. You have to really steel yourself against the stress and hurt and shifting expectations and pain in an adoption wait. Maybe we would be better at it this time, I don’t know.

But aside from all the practicalities, there’s a very personal thing to consider. There are days when I feel that we need to ensure that Stinkerbelle has a sibling, that she needs someone to grow up with and be with when we are gone. But many days, I am not sold on the idea.

There are days, like today, when I am tired and lacking patience and feel like I need a break, and I just don’t know if I want to do it again. There are days when I miss the tiny baby part of having a child. There are days when I love the cuddles and the snuggling and the hilarity and the firsts of having a child. But there are just as many days when I am tired and struggling to get housework done and missing a little down time. Is it all worth it? Of course it is. But that doesn’t mean it is easy.

And then there’s the whole issue of lightning striking twice in the same place. One of the big things we discuss, when we discuss possibly adopting again, is the fact that we got so unbelieveably lucky with Stinkerbelle. She is a joy to parent, a pleasant, easygoing, funny kid. I read about other parents’ experiences and I talk to other parents and I realize just how lucky we are.

But I also realize that, perhaps, I am not cut out to parent a more challenging child. Could I have the patience to parent a difficult child who has more anger or more sadness or presents more serious parenting challenges to me? In many ways, because Stinkerbelle has been so easy, I still feel very much like a rookie parent. I don’t see myself with the patience or the energy or the parenting skills that some parents of more challenging kids have, and I wonder if I would fail miserably for all involved if I were thrust into that situation.

There’s no way to know, obviously, without trying it. But I don’t know if I am prepared to take that chance.

Being a parent, and raising children, and doing it decently well, is a heck of a commitment. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of energy and a lot of time and a lot of money. Whether it is through adoption or birth, it requires a lot of thought beforehand in order to do a good job at it.

And I know that we will continue to waffle and discuss and look at all the various issues and considerations. Some days we’ll say we might want to do it again and other days we will say we won’t. And we may never decide, and maybe that will be the decision made FOR us.

Of Birthdays and Rebirthdays

This week, despite being hot and sticky and us being sick, is still a special one around here.

It is, first off, the birthday week of Stinkerbelle’s most excellent Auntie Heather. She is Swedish, so her birthday celebrations — ALL celebrations, actually — take on a festival quality and last much longer than a single day. And as she has gone and kicked cancer’s ass this year, it is truly a time to celebrate. So happy birthday Heather!

But beyond that, and I happen to think more than coincidentally, Auntie Heather’s birthday shares the very same day that, two years ago, we received our referral for That Baby, and saw her gorgeous face for the first time. It was an excellent day.

We don’t celebrate our referral anniversary in any special way anymore — the first year, yes we did. But now there is so much more to celebrate. Our lives are full every day of the joys that that first day would one day bring. It still holds a special place in our hearts, though, and of course always will.

I look back on those first photos and can’t help but cry. She was so tiny. She was barely 6 weeks old. She had such long fingers and such big eyes and such awesome hair. And she was ours.

Every single day since that day has been a blessing I could never have imagined, but always hoped for. She is a child of superlatives. She is so good, so good-natured, so happy, so well-behaved, so funny, so beautiful, so full of love. We could never have hand-picked a child so perfect and so perfect for us. She is the child of our dreams.

We look back and, while it was hard for us at the time, we realize how incredibly fortunate we were in our adoption of Stinkerbelle. I will never forget the agonizing waiting periods, the frustrating paperwork, the whole heartwrenching process. But we are reminded regularly that it was, compared to many families’ experiences, so easy.

Every day, I hold her close, and I remind myself just how incredibly lucky we are. How blessed.

Our lives started over again on that day in 2008. Like another birthday. We were given the chance to live a life we had only ever dreamed of. And we are making, and will continue to make, the most of every single day together.

No Post Where There Should Be One

Okay, I know I should post today, I really should. And I have things to say. Like about how Stinkerbelle spent the morning being pushed in our cart through the grocery store saying, “Uh oh! Uh oh! UH OH!” Or how she learned, randomly, how to sign the word “table” and will now, equally randomly, in the middle of reading a book or walking through the hallway or whatever, sign “Table! Table! Table!” like she’s throwing gangsta signs in da hood or something.

I really WOULD post except… it’s Social Worker Day.

Yes, today is our 3rd and final visit from the Social Worker to do our final report as required for our adoption. Today is the last time we have to be appraised by a Recognized Adoption Practitioner Person to see that we are Fit Parents and Doing A Good Job.

And after this, we are on our own. We will be sending annual reports to doG knows where, and then hopefully somebody in Ethiopia will get them and probably not even look at them and then file them in the appropriate drawer in some dark room somewhere, never to be seen again.

But in the meantime, we have this one last visit to get through.

So, we’re doing a last minute cleanup of the prospective Social Worker-visited areas. We are planning to make supper ahead of time. We are going to toss That Baby in the tub and do her hair.

It’s still, even though it is a formality, a bit of a nervous time. We want to make a good impression.

But another thing that’s making this visit stressful is that it is still up in the air as to whether or not we have to pay for this visit. We are annoyed by this. Thanks to That Agency going bankrupt, our money in trust for this visit is nowhere to be seen. Our social worker is officially the creditor in this situation, and she, along with the other creditors, voted to waive the money owing to them. Which is fine for HER, because she still gets paid. But we had no say in the decision, and yet we have to pay TWICE for this stupid report. So we are annoyed, and the discussion about this money has to happen.

So that’s kind of hanging over our day too.

But that is a couple of hours away yet. Before then we must bath That Baby and make her presentable. We must tidy and prepare dinner. We must strike in the hustle and the bustle beforehand.

So, I have no time to post anything today. Sorry.

But I’ll tell you what… just imagine something really fun and interesting is posted here in this space, K? Something fun. You decide. I’m cool with that.

So, until tomorrow… UH OH. And also? TABLE.

At Last, Good News and Hope

Well, it is official… creditors and families have voted overwhelmingly to revive Imagine Adoption. And with that, the hopes and dreams of so many adoptive families, waiting so patiently and working so hard to adopt from Ethiopia and Ghana and other countries, have a chance to come true.

I am so happy for them.

I am also so happy for the children whose futures now include a family who will love them and raise them to help their dreams come true, too. So many bright futures for so many wonderful children!

The news also means that if ever we decided to adopt a sibling for Stinkerbelle, we now potentially have the option to do so. And that’s kind of cool.

I love it when there’s good news to start the day.

Best News Ever

Finally, at long last… two of my favourite people in all Teh Internets, not to mention IRL, Rana and Yvan, got their referral yesterday!

It’s a BOY!

Go give them your warmest congratulations and your biggest virtual hugs! If any two people deserve it, after such a long wait, it’s these two.

(And you thought I was slacking off and not posting, while actually I’ve been sitting on this news all day!!)

Mostly Offline

It’s been one of those weeks around here. One of those weeks where I have been mostly offline. But that doesn’t mean things have not been happening.

Part of the reason has been the bankruptcy debacle of last week. Because we’ve been part of the adoption community for so long, for whatever reason the news of the bankruptcy really affected us. It was weird. Our adoption was completed almost a year ago, and yet it still upset us. We had all sorts of emotions over the situation:

  • We were angry at the principals.
  • We were devastated for the children and caregivers.
  • We were sad for the families involved.
  • We spent a bit of time coming to terms with the idea that this may really, definitively close the door on a potential future adoption in our family.
  • BDH experienced his first exposure to the international adoption haters, those ignorant, twisted freaks commenting on news stories.
  • And I just found myself reading far too much news, adoption or otherwise, online, and it was bumming me out.

I tend to get caught up in the churn of emotions in these sorts of things. And reading other news on top of that? It just bummed me out.

I’ve also been offline to do things in my real life:

  • Errands needed to be run, like trips to the grocery store and finding a hairdresser for That Baby. That last one is still up in the air; there seems to be a dearth of hairdressers who know how to deal with African hair in this city of 100,000.
  • Chores needed to be done. And, mostly, they still do.
  • I walked a lot with That Baby — and, if my stinking cellphone would actually do things that it is supposed to, I’d have photos to show you of Stinkerbelle on the swings on one of those walks.
  • I went to the dentist. Just a cleaning, but hey. Nobody likes the dentist.
  • And — two of the nicest things of all — I have been doing a lot of knitting and watching How I Met Your Mother and old episodes of Mythbusters. Fun, entertaining, distracting, mindless.

So, what else of note has happened recently? Well, there have been physical injuries:

  • Stinkerbelle head-butted me on the bridge of the nose so hard I saw stars and had a headache for days. Her eye socket was mostly unaffected.
  • I have been taking super-mega-Advil a lot for the headache pain, which causes me to sleep deeply. And, since I wear a CPAP face mask, this means I have been sleeping in all sorts of contorted positions, and consequently have a crick in my neck so bad I can’t turn my head or lift Stinkerbelle up without doing that old lady sucking-air-through-the-teeth noise to indicate pain.
  • And most serious of all… Stinkerbelle’s Auntie Tena took a nasty spill off her bike, banging her head on a train rail and ending up in emergency. She now sports a bunch of stitches and a shiner that Rocky Balboa would envy.

So… that has sucked.

We’ve also had some interesting diversions:

  • Trying to keep Zippy the groundhog out of our vegetable patch. We love him, but there are limits to the hospitality which we are prepared to offer.
  • Playing ball with That Baby, who loves few things more than to play with The Big Multicoloured Ball. Well, except for…
  • Dancing, which is always good.
  • Wondering exactly when the battery on my laptop will completely die, and in the meantime, watching it die a slow, madly-flashing death.
  • Teaching Stinkerbelle NOT to lick the television.
  • Coming up with inventive ways to stretch out ever-dwindling cash to get the most bang for our buck, grocery- and entertainment-wise.

So, yes. Been offline a fair bit. Life has been full.

Dear News People

Dear CTV, CBC, and other news organizations:

I see you.

Yes, I see you in my stat reports, clickity-clicking around my blog, looking for bits of information on this whole Imagine Adoption going bankrupt fiasco. I see you, nosing about for all the news that is the news. I see you, scratching and pecking about like chickens in the barnyard for kernels of info.

Well, I am here to tell you — there is no news here! (Well, unless you count That Baby discovering the wonder that is The Big Multicoloured Ball. Now THERE is some EXCITEMENT. But hardly 6 o’clock-worthy.)

Oh, and CBC? Even if there WERE news, even if I were the FONT OF ALL INSIDE SCOOP on Imagine Adoption, I would TOTALLY not tell YOU. For YOU, CBC, are on my shit list for your assoholic reporting of international adoption. Like, “Buying Babies”, for example. (Yeah, I am looking at YOU, CBC Manitoba.) Or that shitty piece you did on CAFAC. YOU, CBC, are in the penalty box. We’re talking GAME MISCONDUCT, here.

The rest of you? We love. But still? No news.

And while we appreciate you embracing technology to find this news, there’s a lot to be said for good, old-fashioned news gathering. Instead of hunting around blogs, which are just people blathering on about their lives, why not, oh, I dunno, CALL THE BOARD OF IMAGINE AND ASK WHAT THEY POSSIBLY NEEDED TO BUY AT PETSMART. OR CAMBRIDGE POOL SUPPLIES. Sheesh.

Now go do something useful. Help resolve this situation. Help these children and their caregivers get taken care of. Help these families be united. Help these families find some peace.

Go. Use your powers for GOOD. NOT evil.



(Oh, and PS — Global News? Saying people paid for children? In an adoption story? This is why you are the third-rate network. Just sayin’.)

Radio Silence

I was trying to maintain a little bit of radio silence here today.

By now, many of you already know that That Agency has gone bankrupt, stranding 60 or so children and their caregivers in Ethiopia (and kids and staff in Ghana and Ecuador as well) with dwindling food and supplies, not to mention money, and causing many adoptive families in Canada more grief than they should have to experience in a lifetime.

I just didn’t think it was appropriate to post about my life with my child, home and safe in my arms, when so many out there are struggling to find a way to bring their children home, or wondering what will happen to the child they were waiting to become legally theirs, or coping with the devastating loss of a dream of a family. It’s not fair. And it would be ridiculously insensitive .

I also didn’t think it appropriate to bring my opinions to bear on the matter. I am emotional, I am angry, I am concerned, and I am hurting for everyone involved. But not nearly as much as those in the centre of the storm. And they don’t need my ill-informed, bellicose ranting to add to their pain. And I know there is nothing, absolutely nothing, I can say to ease it. No amount of “I’m sorry” will fix this.

But most of all, I think of the 60 or so children whose lives have been changed, and in some cases devastated, by this. I have seen the babies and the toddlers. I cannot forget looking at them and thinking that each and every one was so well loved by their caregivers, and would without question become part of a family that would love and cherish them. After who knows what happened to them in their little lives, they were going to be taken care of forever after. And now, that is not necessarily the case. Their futures are now clouded and uncertain. I can’t bear the thought that any single one of them might not be welcomed into loving family and a happy, healthy future.

There but for the grace of God goes That Baby. That Baby, who is my life, and my miracle, and my joy. That Baby, who I love more than life itself.

I can’t stand it.

I’ll post about it when I can think of something useful, something helpful to say. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe there will be nothing useful I can say.

In the meantime, please bear all of That Agency’s families in your thoughts and in your prayers, if you are the praying sort. They need positive energy, they need answers, they need time, they need healing. They need their hopes renewed, their hearts mended, and their families completed. They need all our support.

And hold those children and their devoted caregivers in your thoughts and prayers. No doubt, there’s no need to tell you why.