Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yummy chocolate leathery goodness

I may never leave the house again....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A lovely weekend in July

We had another weekend of great weather and good friends. Spiff and Paul flew in from DC on Friday night and kept us entertained until Sunday evening.

Saturday we explored Lincoln Park, Old Town and some furniture stores downtown. Saturday evening we joined up with Greg at his club downtown for dinner and a fabulous view of the Chicago skyline and the fireworks on the lake from 80 floors up. It was also a celebration of Paul's birthday!

Sunday morning was a Vietnamese breakfast at the local pho house. Paul's friend from college, Denys, joined us.

Sunday afternoon found us at the Bucktown/Wicker Park Street Festival. Spiff found a great hat.

So did I.

A novelty creamer cup could not be passed up...

This week we are having our new leather sofa delivered! I'll post pics once it's here. We have a free weekend and then the Kellers arrive on the 7th for a nice long weekend. Chicago sure is a popular destination for our friends....or maybe it's just us!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pretty comprehensive update

A fellow Nepal yahoo group member was kind enough to publish an update from an agency concerning the current conditions with Nepali adoptions. It is pretty concise so I have included it here rather than try to cipher it down even further:

I hope this update finds you all in good health. As you may all know, the Maoist party pulled out of the Government of Nepal on May 4, 2009. This was the result of an ongoing dispute between the Maoist leader, Prime Minister Dahal (Pranchandra) and President Ram Baran Yadav, who had resisted efforts to integrate former Maoist fighters into the military. After weeks of political turmoil, the Parliament elected Madhav Kumar of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) to be the new Prime Minister. He has the support of all 22 political parties.

When the Maoist Party pulled out of the government, each of their Ministers left their posts. This included the Minister´s position at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare. We are still waiting for the announcement of whom the new Minister will be. Why is it taking so long to appoint a new Minister? Good question. Here is what we believe is the hold up:

The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has been given to the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) political party. There is a dispute as to who is the leader of this party. Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar has claimed that the faction led by him is the official MJF. MJF Party Chairman Upendra also claims to be the leader of the official MJF. Due to this internal dispute, the MJF party cannot reach an agreement on the appointment of a new Minister.

Due to the absence of a Minister, the Ministry has not issued the most recent referrals they have made. Additionally, they have not issued notices of the approvals for the original 40 referrals that were issued to the families. We are hopeful that the MJF party will agree on an appointment of a new Minister here shortly. Many interested groups have been pushing for this and there is some speculation that a new Minister will be appointed here shortly. Let us all hope so..

We have been informed that more and more children are being registered with the Ministry. This is a good sign as it means more children will have an opportunity for a permanent loving family. Additionally, we believe that when the amount of registered children exceeds the number of prospective adoptive parents the Ministry will increase the number of dossiers agencies can file.

The Ministry has instituted a new numbering system when dossiers are registered. There is no rhyme or reason to their approach but the new system started with the number "1." Previously the numerical system had lots of numbers that lead to a confusion as to how many dossiers were actually registered. With the new system we should have a better understanding of the number of waiting families.

We also understand that a good number of children´s homes have applied for licensing with the Ministry. The issuance of the new licenses should be coming soon. We are not sure if the Ministry will wait until a new Minister is appointed. We hope not. With the increase in the number of registered homes we should see an increase in the registering with the Ministry of children in need of permanency options.

The International Conference on Permanency Options for Orphans in Nepal has been postponed from August 1-2 to a date to be set in October. We are not sure of the exact date but are participating as a key sponsor for the event. We will let you know when the date is set.

We sincerely appreciate your continued patience in the reopening of adoptions in Nepal. As we learn more we will promptly update you.

In the meantime, we are enjoying summer here. It has been relatively mild and was absolutely delightful when Dad and Gloria were a couple of weekends ago. This pic was taken in Karen's backyard during a neighborhood garden walk. We had yummy sangria as we admired her flowers!

Tomorrow our friends Spiff and Paul arrive from DC. It is Paul's birthday and we are hoping to celebrate with them and Greg downtown to watch the Venetian Boat Parade.

And a shout-out to Wheez, my fabulous sister-in-law, whose birthday is Sunday!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dismal update from Nepal

This was from Megan this weekend after speaking with her contact in Nepal:

Nothing is moving with regard to adoptions now due to the same old political problems. That said, if you are receiving this email he still thinks the adoptions will finish even if much later than anticipated. He will let me know when something concrete happens.

I find that last statement pretty funny--nothing is or has ever been concrete in Nepal! Sounds like the same news we've been getting from Nepal since January 2008. Always the promise of the future but the future never comes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In the mail today

was the coveted and much sought-after I-171. I guess, since this is now our third one, I have lost some of my elation over receiving it. Len came in from running errands with it and tossed it on the counter and said, "guess we need to go get it notarized and sent out huh?". Rather anti-climatic. So, we'll make multiple copies, have them notarized and mailed off to Megan, probably today but maybe tomorrow. Whatever.

There doesn't seem to much as much urgency on my part right now mainly because nothing is happening in Nepal (adoption-wise) right now. There is still political wrangling over who is where, what size office one party will have (I'm not kidding on that one), etc. The people who had already received referrals and who had been tentatively told they would travel the end of July have heard nothing further on that front and have no idea when their adoptions will be approved so they can get their children.

My dad and his wife are here visiting for a long weekend. They are currently at a conference downtown but we'll meet up later and troll along Michigan Ave. for a bit before returning home and grilling out. Tomorrow will be (yet another) architectural river cruise (Len and I will have it memorized soon so we can just take our guests in a canoe and tell the highlights ourselves, skipping the tour fee). We're also planning on partaking in some of Chicago's famous deep dish pizza. If it's still nice on Monday we'll hit the beach near our house before they head home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The fire is getting hotter

Someone with a Nepali-sounding name has written a letter to the editor in response to the article I posted in my last post. It makes quite a few rather nasty accusations in addition to getting some of the facts wrong (referrals were not made 6 months ago but rather 5-6 weeks ago). Click here to read the letter.

None of this can be good for keeping the lines of communication open and for the ultimate goal; finding homes for the children who don't have one.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Who is our audience?

There really has been nothing to report on the Nepal front, much to the consternation of the adoption community. The yahoo groups I am on are getting testy and the various blogs are sounding more and more morose. Although I had suspicions that our blogs were being monitored by people in Nepal, it is still a bit disconcerting to have those suspicions confirmed.

Click here to read an article from eKantipur where a fellow blogger is quoted directly from her blog. It also gives a pretty apt summary of what has been happening with the status of adoptions in the past few weeks and relieves me of the duty of re-writing it.

In the meantime, we are enjoying our 4th of July long weekend together. The weather has been cooperating nicely with highs in the low 70s. We are also gearing up for summer visitors. To kick things off, my dad and his wife Gloria will be coming on Thursday for a long weekend. But before that, a few of my fellow Nepali adoptive mothers and I will be getting together at the local Nepali restaurant for lunch this week. One is here from Canada and contacted me through my blog to see if I was interested in a get-together. It has morphed to include the two other women I have met here in Chicago.

Although I originally started this blog for family and friends so that I wouldn't have to send out the same email 50+ times or try to remember who I had told what to, it has become more than that. It is still a way to share information but it is also providing a way to meet people in my new city.

And that, for now, is why I have not made this blog private. The comraderie and support from others who are going through this process has been invaluable. Getting to meet these women in person to share a meal, voice our frustrations, and share information is just one part of the equation. In the process, I meet interesting people, learn about my new city, and walk away renewed again, if not by hope, then by a conviction that we're not in this journey alone.


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