Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13, 2018 No comments


I really thought a lot about whether I would post this or not. I’ve had very mixed feelings about my first Mother’s Day as a mom. Little Man has been calling us Mommy and Daddy pretty consistently for the past few weeks. And seems content and settled. Mr. Man continues to call us Sara and Jonathan, and has been struggling for the past six weeks. His behaviours have ramped up and we have been struggling as a family. 

This morning the alarm went off and we turned on the video monitor to see if the kids were still asleep. We couldn’t see Mr. Man at all in the camera so Jonathan got up to check and see if he needed help in the bathroom. 

He wasn’t in the bathroom.
Or in his brother’s room. 

Jonathan walked down the stairs in time to see two RCMP cars pulling up in front of our house. 

Mr. Man had gotten up, put on his Spider-Man sneakers, and left through the side door which we had forgotten to chain. 

A woman had spotted him roaming down the road and called it in. He was about a kilometre from home on a busy road. At 6:30 in the morning. Wearing his pajamas. 

I cannot even put in to words how we are feeling right now. How I feel like the worst possible mother. How didn’t I hear him? Did we miss putting the chain across? How is it that life is so terrible in our home that he wants to leave that badly? 

I know this is something children do. The RCMP officers were kind and non-judgmental. (Thank you.) And I know there is more to our story. There is trauma upon trauma in our children’s past. We are using all the tools available to us and we are fighting. Fighting SO HARD to be a family. But it feels like we are taking one step forward and eighteen steps back. 

Last Mother’s Day I was imagining the joy I would feel on my first Mother’s Day. I knew being a mother wasn’t going to be easy. I know my brother and I didn’t always make it easy for my mom. (Love you Mom!) But if I’m being completely honest it has not been what I expected. At all. It has been harder than anything I ever imagined. I have cried - sobbed - more in the last six months than I ever imagined. I have dreaded waking up in the morning, wondering what the day will hold. Wondering if I am strong enough, or if this is the day I will break. 

To all those mamas fighting battles, battles they are hiding for fear of feeling like a failure or for some other reason, please consider this a hug. A silent, “I hear you.” 

I will never forget my first Mother’s Day. 

Putting it all out there!

Sunday, December 3, 2017 No comments

Honesty time. 

I’ve shared a lot about our adoption journey. Our excitement, our fear, our indescribable feelings. 

Right now, things kind of suck. We love our boys, they are OUR SONS, and they are the answer to so many prayers. 

But it’s not easy. And I know that parenthood can be a struggle no matter how it happens. And I know that I’m not the only new mommy to feel this way. But I’m so tired. 

Tired of a battle every time we say “no” or “not right now.” 

Tired of defiance and disobedience and melt downs and temper tantrums. 

Tired of trying not to yell back and tired of trying not to let them see me cry. 

Tired of feeling like a failure when I ask for help. 

Tired of being called stupid one minute and then the same child wanting to climb into my arms for hugs and comfort the next minute. (I love the hugs, and I love that they want my comfort, but the quick switch is exhausting.) 

And tired of feeling like I shouldn’t say anything because we chose this path. 

Please don’t get me wrong. We love our kids. They are smart, hilarious and totally adorable. They give amazing hugs. They know all the words to the Thomas theme song (chugga chugga choo choo) and rock out to the Batman theme. 

We don’t regret our decisions and we still 100% believe that this was God’s plan. We still believe that adoption is an amazing way to grow your family whether you struggle with infertility or not. If we went back in time we would still take the exact same path. 

 I’m not looking for sympathy, everyone is fighting their own battles and they are all just as hard as ours. But if I look like I have it together? I don’t. Not really. I’m guilty of the social media illusion, of pretending it’s okay when it’s not. 

I miss my job. (More than I thought I would!) My co-workers. My staff. I miss who Jonathan and I were together before. I miss adult conversations about things other than my kids. I miss lunch dates with my friends and I miss date nights with my husband. 

And you know what? I’m allowed to. I’m allowed to miss those things. And it doesn’t make me any less of a mother. And it doesn’t make me love my kids any less. 

And it’s going to get better. I know that, believe that. With all my heart. But right now? Right now sucks. And I needed to be able to say it. 

It's about your presence, not the presents. (No, really)

Monday, October 16, 2017 No comments
So so so many people have asked what we need, and what they can do to help us get ready for the boys. The boys have spent the past almost 3 years with a foster family that absolutely love and adore them. When they join our family they'll be coming with all kinds of clothes and books and toys. We did do a registry at Toys R Us (you can find it here) but a big piece of that was about not wanting to miss out on that experience. Plus, it was a lot of fun roaming through the store trying to decide what the boys would like and picturing them playing with certain things in our home.

We do have a list of things we need though. (And some things that we would just like to have too.)

This feels really awkward to write, and I really mean it when I say that we don't expect anyone to buy any of these items for us! And if you do choose to get us or the boys something, please know that we will appreciate it whether it comes from one of our lists or it's something you picked out with us in mind. (In fact, there are probably a lot of things we didn't even think to put on the list that some of you parents might think will really come in handy for us!)


PS: If you're looking for other ways to help, we're a little bit worried that Daisy is going to be feeling neglected. Especially on the weekends when we're in Yarmouth, but after the boys come home too. Any time you feel like some company on a walk, feel free to come borrow a beagle. Daisy loves to go on adventures!

PPS: Thank you to special friends for sharing their adoption wish list for us to base ours off. :-)

Wow.

Thursday, September 28, 2017 No comments
Dear friends & family,

We have been totally and completely blown away by the love we've received over the last month or so. I'm pretty sure that simply saying "thank you" will never be enough. Offers to help prepare the house, and help baby sit when the time comes have been coming in from every direction. It's truly amazing, and we both feel incredibly blessed.

I started writing this post on Tuesday evening and I was explaining that we were in another weird waiting period, waiting for a transition schedule from the social workers. Well, the email came yesterday and we now have a tentative schedule. If everything unfolds roughly as scheduled, adoption day will be November 17th.

Seven weeks. Seven weeks from today.

One moment seven weeks feels like an eternity, then the next it feels like no time at all.

We have so much left to do around the house, and very little time to do it. Over the next seven weeks almost all of our weekends and days off will be spent with our kids. ("Our kids," it still feels so strange!) We've had lots of people volunteer to help, but most of what needs to be done is cleaning/organizing/purging the house to get ready. Bedrooms are painted, and the flooring is done in one of them. This weekend we're building bedroom furniture and starting to put two bedrooms together. Then after that we finish the playroom and declutter/clean the rest of the house from top to bottom. It feels like so much, but I know it will all come together.

I feel like I'm rambling, there really aren't words to capture how we're feeling. We are still overwhelmed, and terrified, and excited, but underneath it all is this feeling of... rightness. I think that's the best way to describe it.

This next chapter of our lives is going to be filled with challenges. Challenges of parenthood. Challenges of raising children who've experienced trauma. Almost everything we know is changing. But it still feels right and that's the feeling we want to hold on to.

Thank you again for all the love. Consider this a hug for everyone who's "liked" one of our posts on Facebook, or sent a text or a Snapchat, We appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

PS: The gorgeous photos at the top of this post were done by Karlene Stiles Photography. Karlene is a former employee of mine who is an incredibly talented photographer. I can't recommend her highly enough!




Our Rollercoaster

Friday, August 18, 2017 No comments

I really don't even know where to start.

I was talking with a friend who's also adopting, and she was listing all the emotions she was feeling. Excited, hopeful, scared, anxious, nervous... plus a few that we weren't sure what to call. We decided that there should be a word that means all of those things. Because that's how we're feeling.

It's been almost two months since we got the call that we've been matched.

There is still nothing official. Which means, friends and family, even if you want to, don't start buying anything. ;-) (Not that's stopped us...) We've had two meetings so far, one with the social workers involved with the children, and one with the foster parents who are currently caring for/loving the children.

Both of the meetings were scary and overwhelming.

But they were also full of hope.

The next step is meeting with some of the other folks outside the system who know the kids. Day care staff, occupational therapists...

And while nothing is official yet, it's feeling very real all of the sudden.

I'm going to be a mom.

My whole life is going to change.

I won't be leaving the house every morning to go to work.

I'll have mountains of laundry.

To two small humans I'll be Mommy, and Jonathan will be Daddy.

This journey has not been what we expected.

And we know that what's coming isn't going to be easy. Parenthood is never easy, but we are going to have some unique challenges. (Like every family does.)

I'm sitting on the couch, listening to Daisy snore, realizing that my days are going to change drastically in the coming months.

Packing school lunches, watching Tree House TV, playing with dinkies, appointments, visits from social workers... This is going to be my new life.

The new chapter. A whole new book.

I'm sad to see the end of this story. I love the life that Jonathan and I have built together. I love us. But I am so excited to start this new story. I'm ready to see the new us.

Good thing we love roller coasters! :-)

Matched.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1 comment
We got the call today that we've been matched.

MATCHED. 

Words we've been waiting 8 months to hear, but words we were expecting to have to wait longer for. Much longer. A match doesn't necessarily always lead to an adoption, but an adoption can't happen without a match. Our home study has been chosen - we've been chosen - for a sibling group of two. (Eventually I'll be able to give a little more info, but for now all I'm comfortable saying is that it's a sibling group of two. Our families and close friends know a little bit more.)

I am full of so many emotions right now, some of them I can't even name. (And that's really saying something, because expressing myself is not something I normally struggle with!)

Mixed in with all the excitement and joy there's one underlying emotion: terror.

I am terrified.

I don't know how to be a mom.

What do we do now?
Am I self-less enough for this?
How are Daisy and Sydney going to react?
How do we register our child for school?
What do we buy?
What do little kids like?
What do they eat?
What will our days look like?
How do we help them keep their culture when they've never been exposed to it?
How do we help them deal with the grief of leaving foster parents they love and adore?
(And how do we keep from being over-come with jealousy over their bond with their foster family?)
How do we speak positively about their first family knowing what we know?
Who am I if I'm not working?
Am I a terrible mother if I go back to work?
Will they call us Mom and Dad?

What if they don't like us?

I am terrified.

But I am ready to see where the next part of our journey leads us.






Mother's Day

Sunday, May 14, 2017 No comments

I would be lying if I didn't say that Mother's Day is a struggle for me. And I know I'm not the only one struggling today. There are mothers who've lost children, and children who've lost their mothers. And there are the woman like me, who are waiting. Some days patiently, and some days impatiently. 

In my life plan, I would have been a mother by now. Since we began our adoption journey the fact that it's not about my plan has become more and more evident. But on days like today, knowing that there's a plan can only do so much. Watching the mothers get their flowers at church and seeing all the posts on Facebook are like tiny little pin pricks in my heart. One of the little girls at church today turned to me after service and said, "aren't you a mother?" Pretty simple question, but boy did it pierce.

I want to be a mother. I want tiny arms around my neck, and I want to kiss scraped knees. I want to clean up puke and I want to go to work on only 2 hours of sleep because someone had a nightmare or just couldn't sleep.

This isn't a pity party - my life isn't on hold because we're waiting for our children. My marriage is stronger, I get to spoil my nephew without my own children getting jealous. I have amazing people in my life, and I don't feel "incomplete." 


But I do think we need to encourage conversation. I'm not the only one who struggled with infertility. Who spent years wondering what was wrong with me. So if you're struggling, you're not alone. There's a plan for you too.