A moment of self-reflection

I-am-ready-to-open-my

This past weekend I have taken a step back from the position of “expectant mom” and just rested in being who I am right now; reconnecting with me.

One thing that has stood out to me is that I had stepped up my “need to control” a notch after getting ready to be a mom to H & B, mentally, emotionally, and physically (as best as I could) preparing to join with them in family… and that family not working out.

My desire to make a connection at the matching event last week was filled with a need to prove that I am still able to be matched. So that I knew I had not “missed the boat”.

There was a sense of unfairness that I may have to ‘give up’ on my idealistic vision of a family when every other adoptive family around me is seemingly being matched with exactly their ideal (some even before their home studies are signed off).

I have been wrestling with the frustrating notion that a single parent is always going to be at the bottom of the pile when it comes to matching within my current set of “ideal” criteria. This notion was stuck in my mind, repeating like an old record needle finding a scratch. I fixated on it.

That feeling of lack of control, or lack of faith, creeps up on me… little piece by little piece, usually made up of the comparison of my life with someone else’s, or the focus on what I feel I’m going without, or the perceived unfairness of things around me.

And it’s not a big difference in the way I live my life, it’s mostly with the words I speak or the thoughts I think. Are they more hopeful or more hopeless?

Little thought, by little thought, it builds until I feel so disconnected from myself that I “wake up” with a start, and take a step back – out of the casing of doubt that has assembled around me.

And when doubt shrouds me; my instinct is to fight for more control.

When the time comes to be a parent, it will be good to remember how my kids might respond to the feeling of lack of control in their own lives. How they too will reach for any semblance of control that they can grab, in whatever form that feeling is found for them in that moment – aggression, anger, withdrawal, stubbornness, micro-managing, even being outwardly compliant.

No one wants to feel thwarted in their desires, in their dreams, in their hopes.

So, I took a step back and let go of the need to control the outcome, the need to prove that I am worthy of a match, and the need to show that I am ready for another.

Most importantly, I released the need to have this next match happen quickly.

I have once again found some peace in the wait.

I do very much want to be a mom, but it’s not all I want from life.

I do very much want to have a family and create a home, but I can still create that home for myself.

I am ready to open my heart to include children in my life, but without them I am still growing in gratitude for the life and love that I have now.

My good friends sometimes remind me to let go and remember that everything is flowing in perfect harmony. And I always listen to them, I even agree with the theory, but sometimes I don’t “hear” the advice.

As with most advice, the recipient has to be in a place of openness to the answer/solution, and that openness is often unavailable in the “thick” of the problem.

I felt I was open and connected, yet it is only now that I’m realising I was wanting to be open… and in my wanting I was actually disconnected.

For the time being, I have reconnected with a faith in the Universe, by releasing the need to control how the outcome looks.

Self-awareness, growth, and reaching new understanding, are very important to me. It is one of the things that attracted me to the profile of the teenage girl from the event. Her letter demonstrated a good handle on who she is right now and what she wants in her immediate future.

If the right match for where I am today is a teenage girl, then I am ready to be open to it. I have definitely found myself “leaning in” toward the idea of parenting this particular girl and the type of family that I could imagine we would become. I have found myself feeling very positive about this future and keen to learn more about her.

Does that mean I have changed my entire outlook and now want to be matched with other teenage children? No, it doesn’t. My parameters are still a sibling group of two children under nine, however, that doesn’t mean there are not exceptions.

And she was pretty exceptional. From the amount I learned at the event, I would be honoured to be her mom.

Having acknowledged that, I am releasing it to the wind and will see what returns.

Does it mean I have “given up” on my “ideal” vision of a family? No, it doesn’t. It means that I have relinquished the need to control the “ideal” and I have opened myself up to allowing a personally tailored ideal family to find me.

I had been internally wrestling with the idea of “giving up” on the ideal family that I had pictured in my head. I had been concerned that I would resent a family outside of that ideal, and that I would resent those who have my “ideal” family life.

I was comparing myself to others and feeling that life was easier for them because they are a couple, because they have their lives together, because they have a house, or two incomes, or the ability to comfortably take leave, and because on paper they appear more appealing than a single mom.

My conversations, my thoughts, my actions, were focussed on these comparisons.

All of that self-talk is fear based, and is from the ‘outside-in’ viewpoint, rather than the ‘inside-out’ viewpoint.

Inside-out: I have a lot to offer children as a mom. What I offer is different – yes – to what a two parent family can offer, but it is equally as loving, special, secure, and positive. I know in my heart I will be a great mom when the time arrives. I know I won’t have all of the answers all of the time and I will make mistakes, but I will always be there, always be growing and learning, always be willing to understand, and will never give up on them or on us as a family.

For now, I am allowing myself the room to breathe, accept where I am now, and find myself back in a place of eager anticipation for all that is unfolding.

My choices are always to live each day seeking and finding the most joy, hope, faith, and harmony that I can, or I seeking and finding the evidence of a life where I am unworthy and controlled.

I choose joy, hope, faith, and harmony.

Warm smiles, Love and light,

Ali Jayne :)

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Adoption: Matching Event Part 2

The-right-match-is-out

As mentioned on Monday in the post Adoption: Matching Event, where I outlined what an event is about and how it works, I am now posting my own personal feelings/experiences about the event last week.

Firstly I want to say thank you to the event organisers, facilitators, presenters, fellow families, and to my social worker for recommending that I attend. I am grateful.

I got to meet some remarkable people. The fellow expectant and hopeful parents, all of whom had interesting stories, including a single mom who I had met and conversed with online prior to the event and was fortunate to meet her in person at the event. Along with the many social workers who were profiling children in their care. It was great to meet them all and get a feel for their take on the process and adoption in general. It was also nice to freely talk about adoption with other like-minded people.

On a personal note, I drove onto the ferry for the first time by myself – which gave me a bit of a thrill that always comes with a “first” experience. Plus the whole journey was a wonderful getaway – driving from Nanaimo to Victoria through towns I’d only ever heard of and never seen with my own eyes, staying in a lovely hotel for the night and reading half of a new novel (always a great feeling!), attending the event and experiencing growth and new understanding while meeting some awesome folks who share the same desire to grow their family through adoption.

I was also fortunate enough to top the getaway off by spending the night with another friend (also a fellow single mom) and her family. Reinforcing an already solid friendship and expanding it into one that I hope will remain strong for many years to come. (Thank you L (and M)!  A wonderful night of talking, laughter, and friendship… your hospitality, thoughtfulness, and openness was so greatly appreciated.)

My Personal Experience at the Event:

As mentioned in the post on Monday, there was only one child profiled during the day that stood out to me, and she was definitely out of the parameters I had set up as my “ideal” family situation. Continue reading

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Adoption: Matching Event

we-all-know-our-levels

I attended a matching event last Friday and I was not really certain what to expect.

What is a ‘Matching Event’?

This was an event hosted by the Ministry in partnership with Choices (a private adoption agency) where the professionals in adoption and the parents hoping to adopt come together in one room and present some of the children they are wanting to place (adoption professionals), or present themselves as potential parents. It’s a day of back-to-back presentations and an opportunity to network.

My social worker had let me know what she had experienced in the past with matching events she had attended. Her advice: “put your assertive pants on and talk with all of the social workers.” Continue reading

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This was your choice…

Life-is-sometimes

I shared this article by Sarah Hitchcock from Parent Dish in the UK, about what adoptive parents wish their friends and family understood, with a support group of pre-and-post-adoptive parents.

One of the responses I received was this:

“The one thing that I have found is that it is difficult to talk to family and friends about any difficulties I may be having…”

Because they often got this response:

“You must have known it wouldn’t be easy adopting a teenager.”

To me that statement seemed to be leaving an unspoken ending to the likes of, “so shut your pie-hole about your problems.Continue reading

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Two becomes…none.

I-learn-from-thisThe adoption of H & B has fallen through.

Fallen through appears to be the accepted term.

What happened…?

Last week I had commented in my reply to an email with the foster mom (we’d been in constant two-day email contact for weeks), that after speaking with H’s therapist I still felt that I was trying to piece together three different jigsaw puzzles of the one child.

“There seems to be something missing because none of the pieces fit to make a whole?” I’d said. Continue reading

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How do you deal with the personal prying questions?

I-had-a-total-Ally

It has been highly intriguing the difference in reactions to my adopting an older child vs. a younger child.

Some reactions from people have made me feel urm… strong emotions.

Here is the general response to my adopting an 18 month old: Continue reading

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Adoption foundation = grief and loss

It’s easy to forget that all adoption is built on a foundation of grief and loss.

I know that as I head into the next month of pre-placement visits and ultimately the placement of the two little girls that I am going to call my own, it’s very easy to get caught up in my own excitement and forget that these two little girls are going to lose – again – everything that they know to be theirs. Continue reading

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My final Thanksgiving alone

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!

Thanksgiving2

Thanksgiving is not something that is celebrated in Australia, and therefore, Thanksgiving is not a holiday that was a part of my upbringing.

While I’ve been in Canada for 11 years now, Thanksgiving is still not a holiday I have shared with others.

There has never been a shortage of invites, and this weekend was no exception, however, because it’s one I’ve never celebrated – it feels like something I would like to celebrate for the first time with my own family. Continue reading

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Grade 3 teacher extraordinaire!

I attended my first parent/teacher evening at the school that I think H will be attending.

I had emailed the school the day before to ask if I could attend, and was told absolutely yes! I was invited to check out the four grade 2/3 classrooms, meet the teachers, and stay for the 7:30pm introduction and talk from the principal.

As I pulled up to the school just before 7pm, there was a line of cars all vying for the scarce parking spaces. I managed to find the last one in the row, and noticed the three cars behind me having to pull out onto the road again and try the other entrance.

Parents and children were filing out of their cars and into the school through the front doors. I followed suit. Continue reading

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Three becomes Two

On September 23, 2014, I accepted a proposal to adopt H and her youngest sister B!

I’m going to be a mom!

As mentioned briefly in my last post, it was decided that H would be better paired with her youngest sibling rather than the middle two. There were several reasons for this change. Continue reading

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