Born in China

Intercountry Adoption Through My Eyes and Beyond

Welcome to 2013! The year of the SNAKE…

January15

So far so good.  The start of January has been extremely positive- I have begun working within the family business.  My father invented a large computerised interactive game that goes under the name of BATAK and after years of being asked to come onboard, I have finally  agreed.  It is early days but I have to say that I am surprisingly enjoying the challenge.  Many of my teaching skills, I am finding are transferrable.  For example, I have been devising a working instruction manual for the factory workers and have found it relatively easy as I approached it in the same way that I would do for a GCSE/A Level revision pack.  Liaising with the various suppliers has just been the same as Parents Consultation Evening so there are many over laps!

I received my CELTA qualification from Cambridge University yesterday and as you probably have already predicted proceeded to file it in a darkened cupboard- chalking it up to ‘an experience’!  I am looking forward to catching up with all my college chums sometime in March to hear of their progress in the field of EFL but until then I won’t be opening any GRAMMAR books up for fun!

The plan for this year is to learn as much about BATAK as possible and hopefully generate more work for the family and help to stream line the business.  To continue doing free lance Performing Arts work and to train to be a Yoga teacher at the end of the year in India, once I have saved enough money up to do the intensive course.

On the adoption front we have decided that if referrals don’t reach 2007  by the end of this year then we will have no choice but to pull out of the wait.  Christmas was really tough this year for us.  As each year  goes on and as our own ages are increasing it makes us realise that although we have the patience to wait, if it goes on too much longer then we will be too old to enjoy a youngster and that they won’t thank us for making them be the kid with the oldest parents in the playground!  Now that we have set our own deadline, we both feel much happier as one way or another we will be able to move on.

I really do want to thank all those out there that follow our progress and for all the lovely emails  that we have received that keep us hanging on in there!  Big thank yous xx

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Black History Month competition

December7

Really happy to share my news that I got 3rd place in the Black History Month Competition!  Here’s my poster:-

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What next?

November13

Sometimes, I like to look back at my old posts to see whether I have made progress within my thought process and to boost my confidence levels.  Today was one of those days.  I remember when I decided to do the CELTA course.  It was a time of new direction and possible hope.  The course is now nearly completed with just one month remaining.  I have worked so hard since September to try and get to grips with both the learning of the grammar and teaching of it.  I have to admit that although, I would love to say I’ve found my new career but it isn’t really for me.  Everyone else on the course is really excited about completing the course so that they can start applying for jobs, some looking forward to  going abroad with the qualification.  I feel abit like a fraud as the main reason I have been studying for it was because I was terrified of having a gap on my C.V!

The job market within Performing Arts in schools is absolutely flat- nothing has come up for me to go for at all!  My Dad has kindly offered me some work within the family business in January if nothing has come up by the start of the New Year,  so I am very grateful for that.  I need to stay focused and positive.  I am beginning to go back to my default position of anxiety as this chapter is coming to an end.  The pattern of feeling this way is familiar to me.  I remember when I was in the final month of both of the short term contracts that I felt this way.  I am ultimately a person who needs stability and when that anchor is being pulled it sets off a chain reaction within me.  I always turn to my creative side when I need comfort and had the perfect opportunity to use my artistic skills as a competition run by the college in celebration of Black History Month has come up.  I’m working on a collage effect/graphic style poster – so fingers crossed!

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November is here…

November2

I can hardly believe that the 2012 is coming to a close.  It hasn’t been the best one for me by a long stretch but this Autumn has helped me to reflect more positively than I usually am at the this time of year.  I suffer from the SAD condition, not formally but I know that the lack of light does affect me considerably!  However, I haven’t noticed it so much this fall as I’ve been so preoccupied with the CELTA course.  It’s amazing to think that I am already over half way through it.  The whole experience has been wonderful so far.  Learning new skills and meeting new people has been just what I needed to raise my spirits and confidence.  The actual work has been quite demanding and I have not found it easy.  I don’t think it is going to ultimately be for me as a career change but I do believe it will help me get back into teaching as it has definately given me another dimension to the way information is put over to the learner.  On the job front nothing concrete has come up within the Performing Arts field for me to apply for yet but I am putting it out there for manifestation!

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A Great Day!

October12

After my enlightening early morning start, I crawled back to bed for a couple of hours for some much needed kip!  Wasn’t going to post again today but it’s been such a brilliant one I just wanted to share it with you!

I wasn’t looking forward to going to the Education Agency interview this morning as I thought it would be like so many, where you just go through the formality of form filling in and CRB stuff and so on but I was so pleasantly surprised!  A young chap saw me and was so helpful it turned out to be a real success!  It turns out that my CV is so old looking as far as the way it is done these days that it is surprising that I’ve got any interviews at all.  I didn’t know that a photo these days is a ‘no no’ and that you never put your date of birth because of ageism and the list went on an on.  Anyway, I was so pleased with his constructive criticism and tips for turning it into a contemporary masterpiece that I’ve spent the whole day re working it and am so pleased that I took the time out from studying to do it!

The sunlight today has been amazing too!  They call it pathetic fallacy don’t they – when the weather reflects ones mood?  Anyway, the weekend is nearly here and that is definately enough gushing for one day!!!

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Stepping outside the picture

October12

It’s 3.30am and I can’t sleep again.  As usual, I’ve been piecing and repiecing the jigsaw of my life as I know it!  Analysing oneself can be a dangerous thing but it is an activity that I’ve become addicted to of late!

Later this morning I am signing on with another Education Agency, with view to them putting me forward for a possible Drama position to start in January.  This Post is another temporary contract as I would be filling in for Maternity.  It’s due to this event that has prompted me to write…

It suddenely dawned on me when I was transferring my employment history onto the application form that my CV directly conveyed my emotions about not being able to have children.  There are two pressure points that are now jumping out off the page they are both when I taught within Primary at KS1 within Year 1.  The first pressure point in 2001 when I was just about to embark on IVF treatment and the second and more recent in 2011 when I felt at rock bottom due to the Adoption and ongoing wait.

When I step out of the picture, I understand now that my changing job to teach out of my comfort zone was not because I was unhappy with my career but was because I was desperate to be a mother and working with the 5-6 year olds allowed me to exercise that maternal need and play at being both ‘Mum and Teacher’.

I’ve needed the last couple of months to destress after my last difficult contract and having a new focus this term doing the CELTA course has been both challenging and rewarding and helped me come full circle!  I now see that I’ve always been in the right profession, I’ve lived and breathed Performing Arts all my life.  It’s just that during those peak pressure points I couldn’t handle me and my sadness and needed to withdraw from a role, that to be honest is all consuming.  When I’ve felt balanced and emotionally stable about my personal life, my  employment record and excellent examination results have reflected this.

Yesterday, I listened to Wayne Dyer’s ‘Staying on the Path’ whilst I was completing my college assignments- that guy is awe inspiring!  It was the energy boost I needed.  I now intend to be true to myself and allow myself to be guided through my inner voice and feel excited about the future!   The perfect job for me is out there and when the time sequence is right it will be there for me… In the meantime, I will continue to give my best to my new Spanish learners and enjoy the company of the great people on my course!

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Devastated by possible end to Rumour Queen blog?

October2

The last couple of days have been terrible- like receiving news of a death in the family and I am really not being melodramatic.  For four years I have been religiously following RQ blog.  Sometimes I log in up to 4 times a day – it has become like an addiction purely because she seems to be the only person world wide who really knows where things are at with China.  It has come to light that she is considering closing her blog due to the rude comments aimed at her supposed lack of sensitivity regarding her recent post on referrals of ‘one day’.

I totally understand and appreciate RQ’s anger and sadness towards these few individuals who ‘so don’t get her’!  She is one of the kindest virtual persons I know and without her fantastic thought provoking posts throughout each month I seriously don’t know how I would have kept on ‘hanging on in there’! 

Like so many who have commented on her blog since the upset, I have never posted anything on her site even though it is a major part of my daily routine.  I have tried to register but fear it is too late as I have not received a pass word to access her blog.  I hope and pray that through my own blog- word will get to her that I hope and pray and she finds the strength to carry on with her fantastic blog.  Albeit for selfish reasons, I do feel that in the long term she is acting as a central point for all of the chinese adoptees who when grown up will want and need links with others like them.  Rumour Queen holds the key to this network like no other person I am aware of?  Unfortunately, she is a victim of her own success.  She has become an Institution and I think others have forgotten that this is a personal blog and that she only has to answer to herself.  RQ doesn’t owe us anything.

I didn’t realise how deeply affected my husband would be by the possibility of RQ being no more.  I always secretly felt that it was more me that needed the crutch as he never logged on himself but was always fed the information through me.  I told him during the dark hours of last night when we were both awake.  He told me that it was going to be like being in prison with no sign of parole or sentence end.  He said that he was able to get through the wait, knowing every month that RQ changed the referral box even if it was by a few days.  He said it just helped to know that we were a step closer to Molly May and it gave us hope.

I have been lazy with pushing the UK over the adoption but if RQ does fold then I am going to have to rattle a few cages to ensure that we are kept in the loop.  In fact I’m going to have to make sure there is a loop!

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The Crest of the Wave!

September3

Great news!  I received my letter in the post offering me a place on the CELTA course!  Naturally I’ve emailed to accept.  Feels like I am riding high on the crest of the wave at the moment.  I can’t believe that finally one of my plans is going to take place after a really difficult last 5 months with health issues and work problems, there is something for me to feel positive about again!

Of course, I feel nervous about the prospect of going back to college and being a student again.  Loads of hard work and late nights preparing essays and so on but bring it on!  I love to exercise my brain and learn new things so I think it is going to be brilliant!

On the job front- a possibility has arisen for me to apply for a Year 4 contract starting in January.  This would be perfect as the course finishes in December.  I’ve arranged to visit the school on Friday and meet the Headteacher.  It would be so wonderful to secure some work for next year early on in the Academic year so I could really enjoy the studying without the financial worries at the back of my mind!  You never know I could do it?

 

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CELTA interview

August30

Yesterday I had my interview for the course on teaching foreign students English.  It was really bizarre going back to college after 16 years!  The complex was really smart and the refectory had a costa coffee- so I felt right at home!  Before I went in for the group interview I hung around the restaurant area just observing all the newbies enrolling.  It took me back to my uni days wheneverything was so fresh and exciting.  Nothing really phased you-it was all to dream for and ahead of you!  It was lovely to watch their carefree attitudes and excitement.

On my degree course back in 1991, we had a couple of mature students who the majority of us didn’t really get to be honest.  They didn’t mix in with us but were fully focused on the pure study and were completely driven and came out with Firsts, which we were all jealous of!  Now, being a potential mature student myself I can appreciate what it must have been like for them.  The stakes are so much higher.  The need to succeed seems greater.  To prove your worth and show that the decision to re educate yourself is a necessity that can only be recognised by perfect attainment is something that I can relate to.

The interview was 3 hours long and was broken up into 3 stages of discussion about the make up of the course, group language analysis tasks and a written essay under timed controlled assessment.  It was tough, as although I had revised my understanding of Grammar, the questions were tricky to really test you.

There were 10 of us.  All mature students, some like myself trained teachers.  Everyone seemed to gel and I could see myself working alongside these people if I was successful in gaining a place?

Results are to be posted today so fingers crossed…

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Annual Social Worker visit

August22

It has been two days now since we were visited by our Social Worker from PACT  to get the rubber stamp for another year of our ongoing Intercountry Adoption.  Although, like ‘Groundhog Day’ she is a nice lady who I think does feel for us even though she is the ultimate professional in her dealings with our case.  It was interesting to hear that we were her only applicants still in the programme and that all others had now pulled out of China and were pursuing other Countries or deciding on domestic adoption.  I felt proud of us that we are still holding strong and determined to see it through.

We asked if she could find out how many people in the UK were still waiting for a referral and if it would be possible to set up a support group for those that were still hanging on?  It felt good to tell her of our future plans with regard to career changes and we discussed the possiblity of relocating and whether that would be a problem?  She assured us that it would only involve a health and safety check.  My husband is really happy about this as he has felt that our hands have been tied for so long with regard to having to remain in the same property so our paper work wouldn’t be jeopardised.

It isn’t that we want to move desperately as we have put so much love and time  into our home, it’s just that with the job market being the way it is, when opportunities arise we want to know that we can go for them freely if we want to!

Anyway, we can close the lid on this box for another year and carry on with our lives and endeavour to make the most of each other and our other family members.  There is so much for us to be grateful for and I suppose this is reenforced at this time of year when we have our SW visit as everything is reflected upon.  The over riding element that shines through each year is how deeply connected we are to each other and it is that love that keeps us happy and strong.  I feel so lucky to have a life partner that I completely fit with and that gets me through and through.  Children will eventually grow up and fly the nest but a husband or wife is a constant.  I see so many marriages where the glue is the kids and I worry for the time when these couples are left to fend for themselves.  I know that we are not in that cateogory and am deeply thankful!

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