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 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

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. " alarmingly low placement rate: of almost
26,000 kids in 2000, only 1,585 found permanent homes with adoptive parents. Six
per cent." 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"