The Sainthood of Adoption

Saint-Virtuous-Person-a

Saint:

“Virtuous Person: a particularly good or holy person, or one who is exceptionally kind and patient in dealing with difficult people or situations.”

Sometimes I find it difficult to talk about adoption in public situations, with acquaintances, or people that I meet at a social gathering.

I feel uncomfortable with the “sainthood” with which they bestow upon me.

Comments like:

  • “Wow, that’s such an amazing thing you are doing.”
  • “It’s so wonderful that you feel able to give homes to children who need it.”
  • “What a great thing you are doing for those kids.”
  • “You are such a good person.”
  • “Those kids will be so lucky to have you.”
  • “You are so brave.”
  • “I could never do what you’re doing.”
  • “They deserve a good home.”

I realise these are all well-intentioned, well-meaning comments. I realise that it’s a different, uncommon topic that comes up and most people just frankly don’t know what to say. I understand where the comments come from… Continue reading

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Celebration of Life

I went to a Celebration of Life this past weekend.

My friend’s husband went to sleep one night and did not wake up. He was in his 40’s and she is in her 30’s.

Listening to his closest friends and his family talking about the man he was in life and the man he was to them individually was deeply moving.

It made me think about the shortness of life, the fragility, the necessity to seize every moment and make it the best you can make it.

The time we have on this earth is, for the most part, unknown.

Some people choose their exit consciously, sure, but most of us go along in our day-to-day business as though we have unlimited time.

And even when we’re aware that our time is getting shorter – such as reaching a milestone age like: 30, or 40, or 50, or 60, and so on, we still feel that our time is at least more than today, more than tomorrow, more than this week, or this month, or this year.

The result is we live life accordingly, as though Continue reading

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I feel as though I’ve been gone from this blog forever…. I’m sorry for the disappearance… or is that avoidance?

My greatest indicator that I’m not feeling myself, or terribly positive, is when I shy away from the truest part of myself… my writing.

It hasn’t just been my blog…but my journal entries too. There were days over the Christmas/New Year break where I didn’t even turn on my computer, let alone write something… that is about as “depressed” as I get.

Writing is by far my happiest place. I write daily, whether it be a journal entry, a blog post, an article, or a heartfelt email to a friend. So to not do it for days on end… that’s when I know something is up with me. And it shows in my overall attitude toward life.

December used to be my favourite month, especially since I moved to Canada with winter in December and the added possibility of snow… Continue reading

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Happy Birthday

Last week I had a birthday…

Last week H also had a birthday.

Although I had been told not to contact her foster mom any more, I couldn’t let her birthday go without sending something to say I was thinking of her.

I’d been planning on being there for it. We were going to work together, her foster mom and I, to make her party a success.

I felt bad that I wasn’t there, and sad that I wouldn’t get to be.

Her foster mom replied to my email and said that she was glad I’d reached out and that she was still hoping I would change my mind.

I wish that were possible.

If only. Continue reading

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Aboriginal Adoption Online Training Course

Adoption Online (AOL) Training Course:

Aboriginal-Online-Course

This course run by the Indigenous Perspectives Society is one I have recommended again and again to families who are either thinking about adoption or have adopted. And yet, I realised I have never posted a review about it.

This is what it says on the website about the course:

Welcome to the Aboriginal Pre-Adoption online training course (AOL). This course is delivered over an 8-week period, accessible 24 hours a day, requiring approximately 3-5 hours a week participant time commitment. AOL is a flexible self-paced and asynchronous engaging course delivered via IPS’s Moodle learning management system. The training is applicable for caregivers (pre/post adoptive parents, foster parents) social workers, interdisciplinary professionals and to anyone working in the field of Aboriginal/Indigenous child and family service delivery. We can easily modify AOL to suite your specific needs.

The AOL course identifies historical and contemporary impacts of colonization and the regeneration of positive culture identity development. The learning from the activities will support a commitment to creating and maintaining connections through promoting holistic well-being of Indigenous children.

This course for pre-(or post, I believe)-adoptive parents is funded by the MCFD (i.e. free to you) so contact your social worker and ask to be included in the next round.

Prior to this course I didn’t really know much at all about Aboriginal history in Canada (or anywhere else for that matter) Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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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