Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Package in the Mail

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

I dated a gentleman last year. We only dated for about three months. He proposed. I said No. He has been trying to win me back ever since. His "winning me back strategies" went to far, and I had to cut ties with him. This should have been the end of the story.

But last evening when I walked to get the mail, there was a package from him. I was going to write return to sender on it and mail it back to him, unopened. But I didn't. I opened it. I was thinking that he remembered that it is ML's birthday next week and my heart softened a bit as it felt like a book, and ML loves books... There was a present for her in it, but something else as well.

A bit of background on this gentleman. He emigrated to Canada about 8 years ago from Zimbabwe. He and his family were/are privileged white farmers. He claimed he was much more liberal and open minded than most of his contemporaries, and thinks "just like you Tanya" but I could hear the racist undertones when he spoke. During these three months I was always speaking of the AIDS crisis in Africa, especially the orphans. He told me how many of the workers on their farm have died of AIDS. Fact of life he said. I said I am going to adopt. He says I am a silly Canadian girl and they would be better off dead in Africa than being raised by a single white Canadian. The relationship ended.

In his efforts to win me back, he said he has changed his mind, he will adopt what ever color of a child I want, and since he still has his Zimbabwean citizenship he could adopt a child for me without all the red tape... I turned this offer down.

One of his next efforts, was to run a triathlon. But before he ran this triathlon, he raised money. He said he will show me that he thinks "just like Tanya". He raised money for the Harare Children's Home where 30% of the children there are HIV+. He used the charitable status of his local church to fund the money through, and when his parents came to visit him, he handed the money over to them to donate. Because of the crisis in Zimbabwe the easiest way is to personally hand over the money. I knew he did this. I was happy that I was able to have that affect on someone. To see someones heart change, even just a little...But I haven't thought much about it since, especially with all the drama with him as of late.

But when I opened up the package in the mail last evening, there was a scrapbook that his mother had made. It showed where the money went to and pictures of some of the kids. It was now real. I saw what my rantings did. The money raised provided some much help for orphans in a country that is falling apart.

I have often wondered what can I do? I can talk about it. I can blog about it. But what does it really change? I now see what I can do. I can share my passion.

Have my feelings for this man changed? I don't know. But now I know he came into my life for a reason.

( I am trying to figure out how to post the scrapbook here... and will, as soon as I figure out how to)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Silver Lining

It has taken a whole week, but I am starting to see the silver lining.

I have eluded to some of the "drama" that is surrounding this "lay off" on my single mom life blog, and I am now seeing the silver lining.

This awfulness will allow the adoption of NK to continue. The faster I find new employment, the more of my severance package that can be used for the funding of the adoption.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Yup. That is what I got to hear on Friday. So the adoption of NK is on hold until I find employment again. I have been offered a severance package so I will be fine. It just (obviously) sucks a lot. I have never been unemployed...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And What Did You Do On Canada Day?

I am cross posting this from my other blog as I want to know what everyone did for their Canada Day!

It has been a trying couple of days for us at Chez single mom.

First Monday night a friend, who I had just spent the day with on Saturday, was seriously hurt at work and we weren't sure that he was going to make it... things are looking up for him, but it will be a long road. If you know anything about trucking and winches... the winch flung back and hit him in the throat... he is lucky to be alive.

I took ML to the local Canada Day Celebrations to get my mind off of things, and we made not one but two separate trips to the medical tent. Once for sunscreen in the eyes (kids tear free no less) that took about 4 eye wash/flushing to get out. How she managed to get so much sunscreen in her eyes is beyond me....

Then as we waited in line for a hot dog ML leaned against the very hot BBQ and burnt her arm. It was at this point that I threw in the towel!! She was treated and we went HOME!!!

Hope your Canada Day was less stressful than ours!!

AHOPE T-Shirts

One of the blogs I read had a link to the new AHOPE store selling t-shirts, and I wanted to share the informtaion.

I will have a link posted on the bottom of my blog for future reference. I would have it higher but I am not having much luck getting the whole image on the sidebar... ( this is a cry for help if anyone knows a quick fix... hint hint!!)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Feeding Party at Owlhaven

I have some extra blog reading for you, if that is your thing...I am trying not to be too bossy.

Remember this heart wrenching post I blogged about?

Now read about Dr. Mary's work in Ethiopia.

Then go to Owlhaven by midnight this evening, and if you are so inclined, donate to her paypal to the feeding program that Dr. Mary runs in Ethiopia as there are people going to deliver the funds to her in person.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Should I Just Buy Everyone I Know a Book?

SO I was speaking to someone about my adoption plans today, let's call her T. And T said "so you know S.? She has a friend who adopted from Ethiopia and they were told that their daughter has to be tested for HIV for 6-7 years as that is how long it sometimes takes to show up".

Now I said I don't believe that is accurate, but all I hear from her is "well I don't think someone who has adopted a baby from Africa is ill informed about this Tanya"!!

I suck at the answering these questions. Especially with people I am close to. As I don't want to be defensive and I don't want to argue...

I feel like going and buying EVERYONE I know a copy of either 28: Stories Of Aids In Africa or There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

One of the reaons *I* am choosing to be a SAMBC - Updated with Picture

SAMBC = Single Adoptive Mom By Choice.

As we all know I am already a Single Mom. Being a Single Mom to ML was not my first "choice" but it was my second, and the better of the two. Take my word for it.

This weekend, as we all know was Father's Day. ML is supposed to spend Father's day with her Father, is spelled out in the parenting agreement even. She made a Hand Plaster Cast of her Hand to give him on this Father's day. She decorated it with Jewels and wrote I LOVE DAD on it. She was so proud of her creation, talked about giving it to him all week.

He didn't show up. He didn't call. Nothing. She was Heartbroken.

Now I am in no means painting all men with this brush, I know many wonderful Fathers, I have one myself. It is just when you have been on this side of the fence... making the choice to do it alone is easier.

(disclaimer - if Mr wonderful came into my life tomorow, I would include him in the journey in a heartbeat...)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Types of Moms and Questions

I am the kind of mom who does not freak about germs and dirt. My daughter has been in a daycare setting since she was 9 months old. As a result had the chicken pox at 10 months, and (gasp) as a consequence didn't have the chickenpox vaccine. I expect kids to get dirty, and then expect some of that dirt will be ingested. I also do not wipe down everything that my child could come into contact with. Prior to eating, I don't wipe down with my own wipes a table at a restaurant, etc. etc. I figure it is all good, builds up the immunity right?

Well the rest of my family is not like this. Please don't think that my house is a mess and that I don't like things clean. I just think kids are kids, and dirt never hurt anyone. The rest of my family panics about anyone touching ANYTHING before it has been properly sanitized. Really. I try to be a "go with the flow" sister and daughter about the whole thing, but it is hard. Like the time I was scolded for giving my nephew a "dirty" shoebox to play with. Dirty because it came from the store and people have touched it....

Why is this relevant to my adoption blog?

I have been slowly discussing my adoption plans with my sister, and she is asking lots of questions, most of them are ill informed, but I understand she hasn't been researching and reading about adoption for the last 2.5 years so I am trying to inform her.

The first questions was "so you are going to adopt a Chinese baby then?" I explained that is no longer an option for a single gal, and was never my first choice. The next Question was "so you will adopt another 3rd world baby then?" And so I explained my plan is to adopt from Ethiopia, a girl most likely under the age of 4, as I don't want a huge age difference between ML and NK.

The Last Question, and the one that required all that background info was "well do you get to pick a healthy one?". I explained how yes you do get to decide which, if any, special needs you would be comfortable accepting. I told sister I am of course I am open to a child with Epilepsy as ML has it, wouldn't change her for the world, and I know I can deal with that. So then she asks the HIV/AIDS question. I tell her that the kids are tested for that, but she was not convinced that the tests "there" would be reliable. She then asked about Hep B and others, I said again tested.... she then says "but kids suck on things and that is how people get Hep B and what if NK falls and skins their knee and there is blood... I would be nervous about having son play with your girls...."

I then tried to explain my limited knowledge about such things, but all she kept saying is "but you could just request a healthy one, if there are so many, please don't get one with a disease..."

Monday, June 9, 2008


OK after my fluff post below, I am going to link to a gut wrenching post. It is from Owlhaven. Reading it, literally made me feel like I was kicked in the stomach.

My sister Sophie arrived in Ethiopia a week ago, and will be working at the Soddo Hospital until August. She sent me this email on Friday.

Dr. Ruth asked us if we would be able to walk a family to the orphanage. A couple had brought their infant to the outpatient department, hoping to give her up for adoption. When I saw them, I immediately knew that the dad had AIDS. He was remarkably thin, with a round belly. Every single bone in his face stuck out, and he looked completely exhausted. The mom was a beautiful petite little thing, openly nursing her gorgeous (no words to express how beautiful this baby is!), chubby baby.

I took a deep breath, chatted as much as I could (about 2 sentences before explaining to her that I only speak a little bit of Amharic and don’t understand what she just said), admired the baby, and started the walk to the orphanage. My heart broke for the family walking behind me. How completely desperate they must be to bring this stunningly beautiful, and clearly cherished, child to an orphanage. I sadly noticed that their clothes were church clothes—they must have dressed up for the occasion. I’m pretty sure I could not have done that.

When we got to the orphanage, we were surrounded by even more gorgeous little ones, all vying for our attention. Even though I held hands and greeted these giggling children, my heart was still with that mom who was holding her baby close to her. We presented the family to the man in charge, who asked a few questions (mostly, “if you are both alive, why are you bringing this child here?”) before telling them that they needed to bring the child to their local kebele (government office), who would take care of the court proceedings before they could legally give their child up. Dad was not happy about it, but I think I saw a hint of relief in the mother’s eyes. Not today, she was thinking.

As I had chai and dabbo (tea and bread) at that orphanage with children crawling all over me, I wondered what would happen with that family. Would the mom convince her husband that they could wait just awhile longer? Maybe she wouldn’t get sick. Maybe the little girl is healthy. Maybe they wouldn’t have to say goodbye to their cherished baby. Maybe their prayers would be answered.

Maybe someday we’ll understand why God chooses to do what He does. Maybe we’ll know why He lets things happen that, from our perspective, could never be “for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” How could a continent full of orphaned children be good for anyone?

The Spare Room

This post was inspired by CinnamonOpus...

This weekend, since it was so crappy out and I didn't get to stain my deck and fence..(Oh when rain gods will you let me have a rain free weekend??) I started to de-clutter my house. The room that had my focus was the spare room / the unnamed unknown child's room. Unnamed unknown child is too long and impersonal. They need initials... I like NK - new kid. Plus those are my mom's initials.

It took all day but I sorted thorough the junk, organized the closet, gathered ML's books and toys that she has outgrown and strategically placed them in the room. I am not one of those people who actually enjoys this sort of thing, but when I was looked into the room, saw the toys and books, thinking of NK , who would (I hope) love and abuse them, it made a day of cleaning all worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My New Favourite Amharic Proverb

OK I think it is the only Amharic proverb that I know, but I love it nonetheless

People who love each other will meet without any appointment.

How did I find it? Reading Julie's blog. Her Guest blogger tells a great story today.

Go check it out!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Realize I am an Idealist but...

Reading through my list of blogs I check on daily, I came across a post about a women asking for advice whether to add to her family or not. Obviously this is a very personal question and we assume that she will do what she wants regardless of what the blog world has to say. To colour her decision is the fact she has twins, boy girl after many years of infertility and treatment. She thinks she wants to add a 3rd.

Anyways what struck struck me is how many commenters mentioned the cost. Now I know kids cost money... I realize that daily. Some of the commenters wrote about needing a new house and needing a new car and how for them when they added the 3rd child PRIVATE SCHOOL was now just out of reach.... And that these were the important factors to consider when debating about addiong another child to the family.

Back to my title, I know I am an Idealist. I know some call me a Bleeding Heart. But comments like that just scream blatant materialism and commercialism. Kids can share rooms. I have seen it happen. My sisters shared a room until they were 14. No worse for ware, or so they assure me. Most cars fit 5 people, and with the price of gas bigger is certainly not better. And well Private school? Wow. That certainly would never factor in my decision on whether to add a child, but then again call me crazy.

I understand that there needs to be enough money coming in for the mortgage/rent, food clothes, etc. etc. And a little extra for soccer and movies is nice as well. All I can think of is how many kids in this world would probably wish for nothing more than a family with a small house and a shared bedroom to be loved in... private school be dammed. Any school would be a privilege.

OK I'm off my soapbox now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Feel good Article

Here is something to make your Monday feel just a little bit better.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I soooo wanted to say something...

I am ML's soccer coach again this year, and last night at our game we were playing the Yellow team (we are Maroon!). Gripping story so far, I know!

Anyways, I noticed that there was a transracial family on the yellow team. Two white parents cheering very loudly for a little girl, who, if I had to guess, was Haitian.

I so wanted to go up to them and ask a million questions, but then how do you do that at a non adoption function without looking like an ass? Seriously!! Plus I didn't want to single them out. It is supposed to be fun evening of soccer not Maroon Coach Tanya quizzing members of the Yellow team.

So tell me, what would you have done? What could I have said so as not to sound like a jerk who is just way to nosy?

All I could think of to say was "hi i noticed your family and I wanted to say hi because I am in the process of adopting but I don't want to assume that you adopted and I hope that I am not being too nosy...." and to say that really really fast... ha ha but then they might have looked at me like who is this crazy lady??

So in the end. I said nothing.
Advice? Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Will Be a Disaster in September

Last night was Kindergarten Orientation, and during the opening speech I started to get misty eyed... I wrote about it more here. Wow I think I will be a blubbering mess when ML has her first day of school in September.

I had a great chat with the teacher, and the classroom is so cute!! I spoke with her about ML's Epilepsy and her Father and then I told her about my adoption plans and she was so excited for us.

She asked me if I would like her to try to incorporate the country of choice into the curriculum, and I said that would be wonderful. I asked her to wait until we are officially a waiting family.

I think I might be as excited for ML to go to this school as she is!! Hee!!


(a guide for Global Leadership)

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw
and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

[Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum. See his web site at http://www.robertfulghum.com/ ]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Silent Sibling - Being the Non-Adopted Child

This article from rainbowkids.com could very well be written by ML when she is older.

I have found many articles, blog posts, books all speaking of the need of adoptive parents to ensure that the birth culture of their adopted child is celebrated, and cultural events attended etc. Very rarely is this discussed in relation to any children who arrived in the family by birth. I know that everyday can be a celebration of their culture of being Canadian (or whatever cultural affiliation the family claims), but there needs to be more than that, I think at least.

This really made me think about ML when the author spoke about attending a Polish Festival.
"After all of these rich Korean cultural experiences, my parents thought it would be a great idea for me to explore my own Polish cultural heritage".
ML was born in Quebec. We moved from there when she has 4 months old. To hear her father speak you would think it is a vastly different culture and ethnicity than the rest of "English Canada". I want ML to know of her French background and culture as well as English. Granted, she has access to her french culture when she spends her weekends with her father, but I want it to be celebrated in our house as well.

The biggest lesson I took form this article can be summed up in the following quote:

Although not an official member of the triad, siblings are fully engulfed by the world of adoption. In fact, having a sibling who is adopted internationally means being an ambassador to the world of adoption: answering endless questions from various, interested people, attending enriching cultural events, among many other tasks, both large and small. It often requires reporting to others who are not aware of adoption not only the basics, but also intimate elements of the everyday life of your family that would otherwise remain private.

At times,the role of ambassador can be a heavy burden, especially since no sibling has asked for this life-long appointment. On the other hand, it can provide diverse, eye-opening experiences that most are not lucky enough to experience and even allow siblings who are brought together by adoption to bond in ways that biological siblings often do not.

This article just reminds me that I need to ensure that we do "French and English Canadian" cultural activities as well as ethnicity of our future adopted child in our family. I hope that one day I can take ML back to Quebec to see where she was born, to see our old house, the hospital etc. The same as I would wish for my adopted child, to take them back to the country of their birth.

This article was a great reminder of how to ensure that the non-adopted child/ren in the family are not left out in the learning about their cultural heritage.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

40 Days of Change

Rana posted this challenge on her blog a few days ago. I wanted to join in.
What is 40 days of change you ask? Well, I will tell you. 40 Days of Change is about making a change. A change in you, to aspects of your life, to your community or to the world.

I have been mulling around the idea for a few days, trying to decide what I would do. Well I have decided.

I want to change the amount I consume.
I want to get rid of the excess STUFF that is cluttering up our house

How I consume food, household items, clothing etc. When buying groceries yesterday the increase prices of food really hit home.

And then this is happening. (I know if I consume less food etc. it won't end food shortages and droughts.) In North America, we consume far more than we need. Also the less I consume, the easier on the pocket book my adoption will be.

There is too much "stuff" in my house, and I want to get rid of it.

Rana is posting daily inspirations, and I recommend you check out her blog to follow along. I will post intermittently about my progress as well!

Thanks for this great Idea Rana!!

Nothin But Nets results

Remember this little game I posted?
I received an email today with the results and wanted to share.

...thanks to YOU!
Dear Tanya,
We are very pleased to announce that the first-ever World Malaria Day was a triumph, and we want to thank YOU for making it happen. Your efforts, combined with those of Nothing But Nets’ partners and the United Nations Foundation, helped us to achieve our goals of spreading the word about malaria in fun and different ways.

Here are some of the highlights of our success:
More than 16,000 people played our new game,
Deliver the Net, and had a bed net sent to Africa on their behalf, from Vestergaard Frandsen, a bed net manufacturer;
Nearly 350 supporters across the country hosted NETS Challenge events, ranging from billiards tournaments to basketball games to bake sales;

Together we raised more than $550,000 - that’s 55,000 lives saved!
Supporters attended events hosted by our partners in cities across the country, including Chicago, Houston, Dallas, and Denver; UN Foundation Founder and Chairman, Ted Turner; sports columnist and Nothing But Nets spokesperson, Rick Reilly; and our mascot, the mosquito; recognized World Malaria Day by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on April 25.

Check out some pictures from World Malaria Day!

The success of World Malaria Day brings us one step closer to helping the United Nations reach its goal of eliminating malaria deaths in Africa and covering the entire continent with bed nets.

Thanks for your support!

Sincerely,The Nothing But Nets Team

Friday, May 16, 2008

May Long Weekend YAY!!

This is where ML and I will be this weekend, with the whole Clan. There is sunshine to be sat in, a pool to play in, a spa day with my sisters, and lots of family fun to be had.

Hope your May 24 Weekend is a good one!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Letter to the editor.

Oh sometimes it is hard to live where I live. This is a quote from the local paper's opinion section.

Two Ontario women ” who set themselves up as a married couple, had a child and then split ” were both awarded parental rights to the child by the Ontario Court of Appeal, even though only one of the women has any blood relationship to the kid. So, now, the woman with no blood relationship to the child has just as much say about the future of the kid as either the biological father or birth mother. (emphasis mine)

Lawyers say the ruling may pave the way for courts to decide children can legally have multiple parents, including foster parents, close friends, uncles, aunts, etc.
If that happens, surely we will have chaos in our society.
But let's all get nuts.
Let's allow people to have multiple wives or husbands, and since anything apparently goes in our society” let's keep the rest of our options open, too, wherever that leads us.

I have responded with a letter to the editor. I guess we will see if it is published.

My letter stated the following.
The right of a same sex couple to be seen as legal parents and guardians in the eyes of the law has nothing to do with legalizing Polygamy. Since when does sharing DNA have anything to do with being a good parent? Are adoptive parents not parents? If a same sex couple has a child together, they are that child's parents. What about a couple who is infertile? What if they use a sperm or egg donor? Are they not the child's parent? The ability to procreate and sharing DNA is not indicative of a person's ability to be a good parent. This is just fear mongering.

A Walk to Beautiful - have you seen it yet?

I was finally able to watch it, but missed the first 12 minutes... so I will try to re-watch it.

It broke my heart, and then made it whole again. Really. I know that sounds cheesy, but I don't know how else to explain how it made me feel.

The young girl Wubete, I just wanted to give her a hug. To see what the Fistula Hospital does for the women after, especially if they don't want to go home, wow. What a wonderful thing.

My other favourite part, was when one of the women arrived home (can't recall her name) and saw that her husband had not looked after their home, and gives him supreme shit, I loved it. To think of all she went through and came home to that...

If you want to make a donation here is the site.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

This is what was waiting for me on Mother's day this year..

I am a lucky Mom.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Today is World AIDS Orphans Day

May 7th marks World AIDS Orphans Day, a campaign to draw attention to the more than 15 million children orphans by AIDS worldwide. Just 1 in 10 AIDS orphans receive any external support. The needs of children are being ignored in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Check out the World AIDS Orphans Day website (http://www.worldaidsorphans.org/) where you can join the movement, raise awareness, appeal to elected officials and candidates, plan and host events, fundraise, follow links to partner organizations’ websites, and watch and upload videos and photos.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Absolutely nothing to do with Adoption

OK, this is completely irrelevant to this blog, however it is funny and made my giggle this morning, and it is Monday morning, and who couldn't use a laugh? ENJOY!

Your regularly scheduled 'single mom adopting' blogging will commence again shortly.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tagged!! Its a long one... Updated I missed a few!!

I was tagged by Rana...

I am: an Idealist
I think: I am a little bit crazy but even more fun
I know: that I am getting better with age
I want: A house full of kids
I have: More spices than I will probably ever use
I wish: I could make a huge difference in this life… see above
I hate: Hypocrites and Cheaters
I miss: my cat
I fear: that my daughter will not out grow her Epilepsy
I feel: Sleepy… not enough caffeine in my system yet
I hear: office sounds… photocopier, phones ringing, typing on keyboards
I smell: my coffee… mmmmmm sweet nectar of the gods
I crave: Vietnamese food ALL THE TIME
I search: the Internet daily looking for things to read, especially if they have anything to do with adoption, or injustice
I wonder: What people really think about me
I regret: Not taking the teaching job in Japan…
I love: my daughter, my family, and my friends
I ache: to parent more kids… see previous blog post
I care: what I look like
I always: have 3 books on the go
I am not: organized
I believe: that there is a god and she/he (ha) doesn’t care what you call her/him
I dance: When I am cooking, when I want ML to cheer up, ok ok anytime I can get away with it
I sing: In the car
I cry: too often. When a pregnancy is announced, when I see a homecoming story on a blog, when I watch it on you tube, when I watch extreme makeover home edition (shhh that one is a secret) when I think I will not have more kids…
I don't always: think before speak
I fight: When I feel there is an injustice happening
I write: Because it is very therapeutic and cheaper than therapy
I win: at asshole. I am freakishly good at that stupid game
I lose: my keys daily. I have 3 sets just in case
I never: say never…that is just asking for it to happen
I confuse: people all the time… I have a warped sense of humor
I listen: to the beastie boys every chance I get
I can usually be found: with my daughter
I am scared of: scary movies… even the DaVinci Code freaked me out
I need: good directions or I will get lost
I am happy about: going to Radium for the May Long weekend

Ok so I tag... Jackie, Barb, and Shelley as they are all pretty new to the blog game and I want to know more about them!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Heart Just Aches...

This post is inspired by the Legitimate Families post by Nicky. Not specifically about whether transracial adoption is legitimate, but why I am adopting.

My heart just aches. I do not know how else to describe how I feel about adding to my family. My heart just aches to parent more kids.

Anyone who has read any of my ranting and ravings about my ex, ML's father, knows we do not get along. Have I tried? Yup. Over and over again. It causes me and ML so much grief, I know that I never want to go down that path again. This path of separated parents.

And still my heart breaks a little every time a friend or acquaintance announces a pregnancy. But with the experience I have had with the ex and court and the fighting... Pregnancy is not something I am willing to do without a very secure and stable relationship. And I am 35 with no prospects on the horizon... Of course, never say never, but as it stands now. NO. It hurts too much to feel like a part time parent. And to parent with one who is not willing to be collaborative... frustrating is an understatement.

So I have been researching adoption for almost 3 years. I have looked into adopting from the province. They are looking for 2 parent homes. I want to preserve the birth order in my house, it is important to me. I know ML needs to be the oldest. The only kids the province sees fit to place with a single gal like me are much older. That is not the right choice for my family.

When I first looked into International Adoption, my heart was drawn to Haiti. I used to live in Montreal, and there is a large Haitian community there. I was lucky enough to meet and work with many, thus Haiti felt right. However international adoption in Haiti is full of problems at the moment. I felt I needed to move on.

So I am now pursuing Ethiopia, and my heart aches. It aches now to know who the new little person(s) is/are who will be apart of ML's and my family.

The reactions? Almost always first is about the money. In fact, today when discussing with my sister about a recent pregnancy announcement, I mentioned how it is hard to hear. The first thing she says? "Why? Could you afford to have another kid?" This I assume is directed at me because I am a single parent. I am sure no one would ask a couple that if they stated they wanted to add a second child to their family. But this is the reaction I get whenever I mention this desire, this ache I feel to parent another child.

The second reaction to this ache? Always seems like a competition. Who hurts the most. "Well at least you have have a kid, you know so-and so don't have any so you are lucky" in comparison. I do not like the who hurts more game. Until you have walked in an other's shoes... you do not know.

The third, is the most upsetting. For some reason people feel the need to tell me that a child who has a different skin color than me is better off hungry or dying in their home country than becoming a part of this Caucasian single mom's home. Then I am told that I can't save the world. I know that.

I ache for another child. International adoption will bring that child into my home. Perfect solution for all the orphans in the world? Absolutely not. Perfect for me in this imperfect world? Absolutely.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tell Two

If you have been around the adoption world a while, you may have come across the transracial/transnational blog at adoptionblogs.com. And you would have read the writing of of Erin, mom to 11, two of which are HIV +.

She no longer blogs there. She now is the HIV+ coordinator for AAI. On her blog today she has asked that we each tell two people the following. I am going to post her entire blog entry here.

Tell two
Today I have heard from several different parents of HIV+ children who are facing negative reactions to their adoptions based on the stigma and ignorance surrounding HIV. It is extremely frustrating to me that in 2008 there is still so much unfounded fear caused by a lack of education, that results in nasty, ugly and mean treatment of people who are HIV+ and their families.

The reason people in the U.S. are not educated about HIV is that most people don't care, because most people in this country are not affected by it. People still see it as the problem of homosexuals, drug users and people in Africa. The reality is, HIV/AIDS is everyone's problem. It is a devastating problem in Africa and many countries, but there are many, many Americans living with this disease as well. In fact, new cases of HIV in the U.S. are now being seen in the largest numbers in heterosexual women. HIV/AIDS is a HUMAN problem.

Living with this nasty disease is hard enough, but compounding that with the misguided fear and judgment of society is beyond tragic, and as the mom of two HIV+ children, it is sad and frustrating.

So, if you are one of the many who check in to this blog every day, I am asking you to do me a favor. I want you to tell at least two people about HIV. Spread the word that...

- HIV can NOT be spread through causal/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other causal way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles).

- HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives.

- People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do.

If anyone wants more info on transmission, there is great info on the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/transmission.htm

Help me spread the truth about HIV, and take a tiny stab at the stigma against HIV. Tell your friend when you talk on the phone. Tell your spouse. Tell your parents. Post it on your blog and ask other people to tell their readers. Ask them to pass it on as well. I would love to see this spread beyond the adoption blogs.

Even if you have no real interest in HIV/AIDS, even if you are not involved in adoption, even if you don't think you know anyone who is HIV+... education and knowledge are always a good thing. It is so easy to say to someone, "hey, guess what I learned today?" and it is even easier to put it on a blog or in an email.

Do it for me. Do it for the other adoptive families and the HIV+ orphans that are waiting for homes. Do it for Belane and Solomon. Do it for all of the other people on this planet living with HIV. If everyone that reads this blog tells at least two people, that is a whole bunch of people we can reach and a little bit of difference we can make.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nothing But Nets

I have a game for you! If you have been perfecting your gaming abilities over on Shannon's blog with the African map game... I have a new game for you!

(Here is the Email you are supposed to forward to your friends, but I have posted it here instead.)

In case you didn’t know, a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria and it’s all because of a mosquito bite. But it’s never been easier to send bed nets to Africa and help save lives. I just did it by playing the Nothing But Nets World Malaria Day game, Deliver the Net.


"Yeah, right!" you may say - but all you have to do is play the game. A $10, life-saving bed net will then be delivered to Africa, in your name! A child in Africa dies from malaria every 30 seconds — but you can help, without spending a dime. Play the game. Send a net. Save a life. It only takes a few minutes.


Friday, April 18, 2008


Look what I got in the mail today!

Permission from the province to obtain a homestudy to adopt from Ethiopia! YAY!!!

Now it really starts right?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Primer On Things People Will Say

On one of the adoption message boards I belong to, a link to an newspaper article about adoption is posted.

I am, of course, compelled to read it. Then I read the comments.

Anyone who wants to be ready for every imaginable thing they will hear from their uninformed, anti-adoption friend, relative, neighbour or acquaintance... Click here.

Some of my "favourites" (sarcasm intended) are ones I have heard before...

"Gogh Forit from Canada writes: Whatever happened to do it yourself?"

"Chadwick Minh from Canada writes: I've read that the adoption numbers
in Canada are extremely low. "...an alarmingly low placement rate: of almost
26,000 kids in 2000, only 1,585 found permanent homes with adoptive parents. Six
per cent." http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/ Why are people looking
outside the country to adopt?"

"l m from Canada writes: Adoption rates
within Canada are abysmally low. Everyone wants a baby but people should know
that once a child reaches the age of 3, the chances of being adopted fall to
almost zero. This is outrageous. If you really want a child, you should be
willing to adopt a 3 year old. There should be an outright ban on foreign
adoptions until all the needy children here are placed. I also believe that it
is wrong to take a child out of its own culture just to satisfy the whims of
trendy white liberals. There are enough pressures today without a child feeling
alienated because it is black or yellow while its "parents" are white. "

My favourite? It was a hard choice but this one wins:

" M from Vancouver, Canada writes: "Then if it takes so long to adopt a child here, in Canada, then that is what needs to be addressed."The only way to address it is to remove financial support for young single mothers. There are precious few healthy infants available for adoption in any given year.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tough Stuff

Daily, I think about what my life will be like once I have adopted a child. The stuff I think about it is not all butterflies and rainbows of what my wonderful love filled life will look like. I think a lot about the mundane things that I do now, and how those will change. How life will be like in our house with 2 kids (or more) instead of just ML. I think about the logistics of more swimming lessons and going to the movies, and more toys and bike rides... I also think a lot about attachment. Not just the child attaching to us, but me to the new kid in the house.

Some people fall in love with their kids instantly, whether they are their's by birth or adoption. When ML was born, I was not instantly in love with her. I felt so guilty! You watch a baby story and you assume it is just what happens, instant maternal love. My sisters asked me what it was like to love someone so much instantly, and I faked my answer. Told them what I thought they wanted to hear, not what I really was feeling.. I just didn't "feel" what I thought I was supposed to feel. There was no instantaneous love, for me, it took time.

I assume it will be similar for me when I adopt. I have read Melissa Faye Greene article on post adoption panic a few times. "My friends also gave good advice. “You don’t have to love him,” one said consolingly over coffee. “You can just pretend to love him. He won’t know. Jesse’s never been so mothered in his life. Jesse’s in heaven. Just fake it. Your faking it is the greatest, sweetest thing that's ever happened to him."

This, I know, will be my mantra. Fake it until I feel it.

I bring this up now, as over at Our Big Crazy Family's blog, there is a great discussion about the Tough Stuff. It is great reading, and I just wanted to share.

Friday, April 11, 2008

IAMASLUT - Wanna be one too?

Tasha over at Uzbek? Ubet! has created a new community called IAMASLUT - stands for: International Adoption Mothers' Association - Single (or, Sexy if married), Lovely, Unique, Talented

And the best part? Besides being able to call yourself a slut, of course (hee hee) is that you get your very own, personalized certificate, emailed to you!
Email Tasha and join in on the fun!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lost Application

I am not having a lot of luck with the start of this process!

I mailed my application to the province at the end of February so that I could obtain a home study. I was absent minded and mailed it in forgetting to sign it!(oops)

So I sent another application, this time making sure it was signed and filled out properly.I have been waiting and waiting (not so patiently) for my reply so that I could finally start.

It has been over a month and no reply, so I sent a friendly email to the person who informed me of my absentmindedness (spell check is not flagging this, is this even a word?) in the first place to see is she knew what was happening. She tells me that it hasn't been received So we assume it is lost in bureaucracy.

Today, again, I sent out my application, for a third time. It is signed, filled out, and I wait again.

I sense a theme....

At least I know what the time frame now is. It should take a week to process and then it is mailed back to me.

I keep wondering if this is a sign? Or a test? Or because the kid(s) that are meant to be with us aren't ready yet...

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Walk to Beautiful

I was blog surfing today and I found a link to this award winning documentary - A Walk to Beautiful. It airs in May 2008.

The film tells the personal stories of rural women who make their way to Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, seeking treatment for obstetric fistula, a life-shattering complication of childbirth that was once common in the pre-industrial United States but that is now relegated to the poorest regions of the world.

The women profiled in "A Walk to Beautiful" are treated as virtual lepers in their villages, where they are shunned by family and made to live alone. One women admits to contemplating suicide.

Through chance they learn that there are other women who share their affliction, and that the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital exists to help them—if they can manage to walk for hours to the nearest road, find public transport to the capital, and then search out the hospital in a strange and forbidding city. Once there, they enter a haven that they never imagined, surrounded by women like themselves and a medical staff of Western and African doctors who treat them like human beings, not outcasts.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Movie Date

As I mentioned on my single mom life blog, I took ML to a movie date last Thursday. She loved the movie, me, not so much.

Anyways, she has been talking about the movie non stop and wanted me to look for some Horton Hears a Who coloring pages, so I went online to see what I could find... and found this.

Now I am not usually one to get upset about the many ways that people throw around the word adopt. But this I don't get. There is not one mention of adoption in the movie, just an Elephant trying to save a place called Whoville.... (maybe I need to see the movie again! ha ha)

So I go on to see what it says, how to adopt a "Who" and this is the certificate that you get to print off... I just find this so offensive! Couldn't it be at least positive language, about love and family ? No, instead there is the

"Adopt a Who Promise

I promise to care for my Who

I promise to dress my Who in cool clothes (wtf!?!)

I promise to always keep my Who safe"


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Do You Decide? Do You 'Just Know'?

How do you decide? What age? What gender? Singleton? siblings?

I ask because I have no idea what I will request, as it changes daily for me.

I look at ALL of ML's clothes and toys that she has outgrown and think a little girl would use this stuff, I wouldn't feel so guilty about not donating it, yet. I think of the new blog name I would come up with for our house of all girls... but then...

I think about how boys wait so much longer, and having a son would bring me as much joy as another daughter, and I would get to do all new shopping (grin) and the fact that my mother actually said this weekend that "you need more boys at your house!!" (She was referring to the gender of a pet we MIGHT adopt soonish, but really, its more fun to take it completely out of context!)

Then, I go back to thinking of a girl, I will request a little girl, and since the psychic I saw said that she was sure there was one just waiting to be born around me, and she kept asking "are you sure you are not expecting?" And of course the psychic couldn't be wrong could she? ha ha

But then, my mind changes again, to siblings, 2 little girls? 2 little boys? One of each?

My goodness then the age? AAARRGGGHHHH...

Then I think, if you were pregnant Tanya, you wouldn't be allowed to choose... so maybe I should leave it all in God's hands and request One or Two under five either gender.

The only thing I have decided on is that I want to ML to stay the oldest, and she will most likely be at least 5.5 years old by the time I get a proposal... but then what if their age is wrong...

Can you tell I am very anxious to start my home study?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Things I Wonder About

This probably should fall in the "don't sweat the small stuff" category.

The latest thing that has me wondering is how will a new kid feel about ML leaving every other weekend to spend time with her father. I keep thinking how this might be quite hard for a child who has had so much loss in their short lives to understand.

Would they wonder why they weren't going as well? Would they wonder why they don't have a father to visit? Would they feel that they are missing out? On the flip side, the weekends that ML goes to her father's this would be wonderful bonding time for me and the new kid. But then would ML feel like she is missing out? Am I worrying too much? Wait, don't answer that!

I know kids are adaptable and resilient, and we will create our own 'normal'. I am sure this will come up in my home study....

Speaking of my home study, I am still waiting for the OK to start from the province... how long does this usually take?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ethiopian Bedding

I was out buying Easter treats today on my lunch hour, and what did I find?

Ethiopian Bedding!! At London Drugs!!

It comes in Green/white or Brown/white, (it might be cream, not white...) is a comforter and two shams and two pillows... $49.99 I think.

It is designed by a young Ethiopian man based on some of his art... Guess what I am getting for my spare room??? I haven't bought it yet, as I didn't want to drag it back to the office, but tomorrow.... and I may even post a picture for anyone who wants to be a copy cat!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I've been tagged!!
Here are the rules: Choose 5 people to tag and a reason you chose each person (can be totally nonsensical)Leave them each a comment directing them to your blog so they know they are it You can't tag the person who tagged you. As a courtesy to the person who tagged you, please let them know when you have posted so they can have the sheer delight and extra work load of reading your answers

OK I am going to cheat a little here, as everyone I would have tagged has already been tagged... so I guess that is what happens when you are a procrastinator! So if you see this, and have not done it, feel free to play along.

So 10 random things about me...hmmmmm
1) I sell Usborne books, but only to my friends and to myself...
2) I love to shop ALONE, and prefer it to actually being in the company of others
3) I think Beer and Nachos are the greatest combo ever invented, especially when watching a hockey game
4) I take Bellydancing classes
5) I am a news junkie, I have to know what is happening in the world
6) If I never ate pizza or pasta again, it would be fine with me
7) I love to make cards, and I haven't purchased a card in over 4 years, my mom even pays me to make them for her
8) I am a soccer coach for my daughter, and on a regular basis, I would compare it to herding cats (which is one of my favourite expressions, that doesn't involve swearing! ha ha)
9) People who take 2 parking spots are on the top of my list of things that drive me CRAZY!!... not sure why this irks me so much, I think it is the sense of entitlement people seem to have when they do this. Makes me especially crazy on Saturday mornings when I am trying to find a parking spot at my daughters skating lessons, and there are no spots because so many people do this...
10) No one in my real day to day life knows about either of my blogs!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Questioning Myself

On my single mom life blog, I wrote about the mutiny that is occurring at my house with my daughter and getting dressed in the morning. I know that most kids have a phase where they are unreasonable about clothes, or want to wear the same thing every day etc... but it is days like today with the full meltdown over the lack of a t-shirt, that I wonder how am I going to be able to do this with another kid in the house...

This past weekend was spent just ML and I, hanging out, going to the zoo, watching a hockey game, visiting family. In the midst of having a great weekend with my little girl, my thoughts turn to questions, can I do all this with 2 in tow? Will I be taking away from ML with the addition of a new family member that will need so much of me? I know how much she will gain from having a sibling, but I worry that she will lose more ...

Does everyone have thoughts like this?

It is good that I know it won't be rainbows and sunshine all the time with kids, and I know that ML has provided me with a good 'boot camp' training readying me for another child. I know that we will just find a way that works for all of us, but it is days like these that I question my ability.

This questioning doesn't change my heart. I want more kids. I want to adopt. I think I am just looking for some re-assurance, that I can do this.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I blogged about how hard this birthday is for me on my other blog, and after I posted, I realized, if I was still wanting to adopt form Haiti, I am officially the age they want single moms to be to adopt their kids.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Absent Minded Tanya

I just received an email stating that they received my adoption application...however I forgot to sign it!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Ready to Share...

As I prepare to start my home study to adopt from Ethiopia, my heart is warmed by something my daughter said to me today... "Mom I promise I will share my room if I get a brother or sister" (heart melting...)

Where did this come from? Well ML has been asking a lot to have a brother AND a sister at our house... as she already has a sister at her father's. I ask her why she wants this, and she says she wants to have someone to play with. At first she asks for babies that come from "my tummy", and I tell her that is not in the likely near future, but maybe through adoption... and we discuss what that means and why.

I tell her that having a brother and/or sister is not all fun and games, you have to share everything. Toys, the TV, mom, story time... I said she might even have to share her room...

It was about 10 minutes after this discussion in the car today, after, I assume, she had thought about this, when she declared that she in fact was ready to share to have a brother and sister live in our house. This made me smile, and makes me think that maybe just maybe the fates are conspiring to make this finally happen...

I wonder if she will remember this when the sibling rivalry sets in? HA HA

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Has it really been that long??

So this week I sent in my paperwork to start the process to adopt from Ethiopia!!

(I haven't told anyone in real life yet... for now it is my little secret... and well anyone who actually reads this now knows as well!!)

I promise to keep this blog posted on the happenings of this journey. Really I wont disappear for another 6 months or so, promise.