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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The road less travelled, or, the week that was

Well, last week was a bugger of a week, wasn’t it. Between the earthquake(s)/tsunami in Japan, the announcement of further delays to the Ethiopian adoption program, and finding out that a close friend of Andrew’s was recently diagnosed with advanced brain cancer, last week REALLY took the wind out of our sails, as it were. We’ve always said, in times of strife (such as when we had 2 cars stolen from us in the span of 10 months), if this is the worst thing that’s happened to us, we’re doing well. And really, it was the truth. I wouldn’t necessarily say that we live charmed lives (other than the fact that, despite growing up halfway around the world from each other, we managed to meet & fall in love), we’re not the sort of people who are offered wonderful trips/opportunities/jobs out of the blue, but we’ve made it this far in our lives with a minimum of heartbreak, stress & tragedy. Perhaps that makes all this bad news even harder to deal with, because we don’t have much of a frame of reference. Especially finding out about Andrew’s friend G’s illness. The reality of it is that the form of cancer she has comes with a life expectancy of 14 months from diagnosis, that the location of the tumours makes them inoperable, that this is the same cancer than took her mom. She’s started treatment, which is good, hopefully that will extend her time with us. And we can always hope for a miracle.

I find it hard to process all of the devastation in Japan, from the massive earthquake to the tsunami to the nuclear emergency. I cannot fathom how it must feel to be at the centre of it all. My heart goes out the Japan and its people. Amazing how an act of nature can erase hundreds of years of advances in technology in the blink of an eye. If it can happen to Japan, it can happen to anyone. It scares me sometimes how attached we are to our highly advanced society, how much we depend on it. We’re so eager to rely on computers to do things for us, instead of people. It’s times like these when that comes back around to bite us in the bum. Even on a small scale, with something like a company’s call answering system. They are so automated lately, because it’s “easier” to get a computer to direct a call where it needs to go, regardless of how many times someone has to repeat themselves, or listen to the menu prompts again, than to have an actual person pick up the phone. And the kicker here – it’s a lot cheaper. Personally, I’d rather talk to a real person from the get-go. And when there are technical issues that stop the answering service from functioning properly? Your customers can’t get in touch with you at all. How is that “better”? How much technology is too much technology? Okay, rant over.

We’re coming to terms with the reality that, in all likelihood, we’re not going to receive our referral any time soon, and likely not this year. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not giving up on our Ethiopian adoption, we’ve come too far & fought too hard for that. But it’s time to look at alternatives for starting a family, seeing as we’re both turning 39 this year. So we’re putting in our application with the CAS (Children’s Aid Society). We’re still in the preliminary stages of doing that, we need to fill out some paperwork, and discuss what sort of “issues” we are open to (with respect to our potential child’s background). It feels good to be doing something, to be moving forward again, and our social worker is all for it, which is nice. Maybe I’m imagining things, but I never felt like she 100% supported our international adoption. So we’re hoping that works out for us. As with any adoption, there are no certainties, and we could still have our Ethiopian daughter home before we get a referral through CAS, but it still feels good to be doing SOMETHING, instead of being at the mercy of a foreign government (even one that is acting in the best interests of its most vulnerable children).

In other news, completely unrelated to any of the news above, it would seem like we have mice getting into our basement somehow. I’m not sure how, though I have my suspicions. Anyhoo, the night before last, Pippin went down into the basement when Andrew opened the basement door. This in itself is not unusual, Pippin loves it in the basement. It’s dark & cool & there are heaps of boxes & pieces of furniture to climb over. We were sitting watching TV after dinner & we heard her come upstairs. We didn’t really think anything of it. That is, until Andrew went into the front room on his way to take the garbage out. There was a small, dead mousie on the floor of the front room. There were no obvious signs of injury, but by its placement it was very clear that Pippin was proudly displaying her catch for us. So, bad news is that we have mice (hopefully “had” mice, but I am not so naïve), the good news is that we have cats. So congratulations Pippin on your first catch! Now both kittehs have proven to be skilled mousers.

My folks have just returned from 3 weeks of cruising/ travelling to Florida to cruise, and they will be coming to spend the weekend with us, which means they are coming to visit The Grandchild. So we will be doing the same, which is no hardship, as Miss Evie is one of the cutest kids I have ever had the fortune to meet. The way she lights up when you enter the room makes you feel amazing.

Well, that’s about all from here. With any luck, soon I’ll be able to post good news.


CinnamonOpus said...

I am so sorry to read about your friend's cancer. Cancer sucks hard. Here's hoping her treatment goes well.

It was interesting to read about your inquiries with CAS. A few people are going that route now, from what I've been reading. I'm glad that is an option for you -- we did not have the option, as we were told it was not possible to do both intl and CAS files concurrently. I'm glad they have changed things! I'm looking forward to reading about what you find out (if you care to share).

And mice in the basement... UGH. I like mice. I like cats. Mice + cats = somebody has to lose. Also? I don't necessarily want to find any trophies in my bed.

Janna said...

Luckily we keep the bedroom door closed, so any gifts are restricted to the main floor or the basement. As for the CAS, we're still trying to decide what to do. It's impossible to decide because we don't know what the Ethiopia program is going to do in the next few months, and I don't want to put our referral in jeopardy.

Vicki said...

Supercat & Pyewackett keep bringing us lizards. I don't mind the little ones but twice now Supercat has shown up with quite large baby bluetongues - not good.
Although I laughed & laughed when Dad came running out of the office & straight into the sliding glass door to rescue one. It still makes me laugh now actually!

Janna said...

Heh - it's making me laugh too!