The face before she laughs

A few weeks ago I sent a belated birthday card and letter update to my mom.

I couldn’t find the address to where she is currently living so I Googled it.

Clicking through the website for the retirement home to find the mailing address brought me to a page where my mom’s face is a part of the banner at the top of the screen.

I stopped and stared.

I know that face. Continue reading The face before she laughs

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Alone in the end

Last night I watched a movie where the father (who was also a grandfather), died. It wasn’t the focal point of the movie, but it was a significant part of the story.

It made me think about my own parents, and cry buckets of tears.

The man in the movie had his family rallying around him in the end, even his son who hadn’t seen him for many, many years showed up for his last dying moments.

I was not there for, or even aware of, my dad’s passing, and I likely won’t know of my mom’s either until after it happens. Continue reading Alone in the end

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My mom

The-desire-to-adopt-inMy Mom (or mum, where I grew up)

So I have been thinking a little about my mom lately, she has popped into my mind a few times in the last couple of weeks and each time I think about writing to her again.

But, what to say?

She hasn’t responded to the last three cards (with enclosed letters) I’ve sent.

In fact, we haven’t spoken since the “India fiasco” of 2013. (Too much of a story to write for you here, but it may appear in the memoir Mother, My.) Though, full-disclosure, I may have received a birthday card that same year from her but I am not certain…it’s been a long time.

The last words I said verbally to her were “you are making me feel so angry right now” followed by a hang up of the phone.

Right now those words send little rivers of silent tears down my cheeks to pool just under my chin. I hope that her sometimes addled mind has forgotten those words and remembers instead kinder words from a different time. Continue reading My mom

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My final Thanksgiving alone

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!


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 My final Thanksgiving alone

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Adoption – Second Home Study

Expectant Mother – Adoption Journey Series…

The Second Home Study

Full-disclosure. Rape, Alcohol, Pot, Sexual History, Relationships…

The second home study came a few weeks after the first, and I felt a little less nerve-wracked than the first time… but only a little.

These meetings are important, I understand that and I feel grateful that they are a part of the process. There is a lot of food for thought in these meetings.

After the last one, I was also feeling excited about getting to discuss what to expect from the adoption process, to discuss things with Theresa like – how the matching process works, how the first meeting works, how we get to a first meeting with children, what happens after that, who else is involved in the matching process, and more practical things like – where to move, which schools were good ones, what kind of things I will need to have in place, and is there anything else I should know?

Since the beginning there has been a lot of information about the potential problems that the children may have emotionally or physically, and the ‘need for a good support structure’, but the practical stuff has not really been covered.

Perhaps these are the things I need to work out on my own? Perhaps all future parents wonder about these things and seek advice?

So I was looking forward to this meeting.

However, this home study was not as pleasant as the first home study. Continue reading Adoption – Second Home Study

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Mother, My – The Toilet Paper

Expectant Mother – Things I learned from mine…

I’ve talked a little bit now about my mother and I felt I should share a few stories from my childhood, like the one below. It is a direct excerpt from a book I’m writing about my experiences with my mother, entitled Mother, My.

I hope in some way this story will help others too. Perhaps to know you are doing a great job as a mom, or to know you didn’t have the craziest mom on the block, or maybe just to inspire you to call your mom and say “thanks for being there” if she was even the slightest bit wonderful.

Ali’s Preamble…

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that parents are just people, just regular people, with the addition of a huge responsibility – the one of raising children. Yes, it can be one of the most beautiful and rewarding things you can do, if you see it that way, but it is also additional responsibility on your everyday life. Being a parent is generally done on top of the other things in life such as work, rest, and a little play too (though many parents go without this for a time). Plus there are the additional financial responsibilities, the basics – food, clothing, shelter – and all of the extras if they are within your reach – activities, sports, dance, music, camps, courses, vacations, parties, etc… It can be a never ending list of a lot of extra “stuff”.

Is it any wonder that those people who don’t notice the many beautiful and rewarding parts of child-raising, those who have not really connected with the joy of having children, and those who only see the responsibilities would, at some point, crack and break?

This is one of those stories. Continue reading Mother, My – The Toilet Paper

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Adoption – My Questionnaire

Expectant Mother – Adoption Journey Series…

Once all of the references came back, the police check was cleared, and the forms I’d submitted were processed, it was time for the “next step”…

The Questionnaire.

This is a questionnaire about my background, my family, my upbringing, my relationship with my parents, my parents relationship with each other, and about how I was raised.

Theresa emailed me and said:

Wow Ali, your information  has come in fast and furious…
I have all references, criminal record check  (clear) and physicians report
So, step 2  –  Questionnaire #1:
You need to read, complete and submit back to me the Questionnaire 1 form.  Would you like to grab it at the office or i can email it to you…please let me know.  It shouldn’t take you too long to complete…
Once it is completed and I take a look at it, we can set up our first home visit

Part of my insides were screaming, “whoa, this is too fast, too soon, we need the whole year to relax into this and be completely ready before we surge forward.” The other part of me that loves to compete with myself said, “woo-hoo, we’re already at step 2 and she said we’re fast!”. Continue reading Adoption – My Questionnaire

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Adoption – References

Expectant Mother – Adoption Journey Series…


Point number three on the Adoption Application Form almost stopped me in my tracks.

A minimum of four references are required, including one from each of the following:

  1. an individual who has known the applicant(s) for a minimum of 2 years;
  2. an individual who has had an active association with the applicant(s) over the previous 6 months;
  3. an involved member of the applicant(s) extended family; and
  4. if there are any adult children living outside of the home, at least one of these children. (if there are no adult children, please include another reference from #2)

This was one of the things that made me feel like perhaps I shouldn’t get my hopes up. One of the references had to be a family member.

“an involved member of the applicant(s) extended family;”

Technically, I don’t have any family that I could ask. Continue reading Adoption – References

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