Monday, May 18, 2015

All babies

All babies. Every single baby. Not just the perfect ones. Not just the ones fortunate to be born free of disfigurement, disability, prenatal exposures, poor socioeconomic circumstance or 'right' colour of skin. Miracles deserving of the best that their parents, community, government can offer.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Here is the update....

To begin with I will tell you if this situation works out it will be a govt adoption. This is where the trouble lies. The govt adoption program is very difficult to navigate especially if you are not their most desirable family. Their risk assessment is always very high and they one hundred percent do not like large families and take into account I am a single parent it makes it that much worse for them. They have little understanding of families with disabilities which adds to their prejudice.

Shockingly the social worker called me back at exactly the time I said I was available between appointments. She was very grateful I called, wants to meet (a month from now so I need to change that)etc and sounded very positive. I laid all the cards on the table i.e. single, old, lots of kids with disabilities. She did not hang up on me. I told her (we are in a different region of the province) that my region would put up a stink so this might not be easy. This did not phase her. 

Doesn't this sound very very positive?! Unfortunately the ease of the interaction etc leads me to the undeniable conclusion that the worker is naive and has no idea what she's in for. I told her I would be willing to have tea with the minister of social services over this adoption if necessary. (It would be helpful if the chosen minister isn't a teenager which is highly possible after this last election).

An encouraging beginning but we shall see.

Baby has just turned one year old.

Keep the good vibes coming!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So there has been a development. I have a name and number to call tomorrow. This could be IT. THE ONE. Or it could be another dead end. There would potentially be A.LOT. Of advocating needed to be done (notice I said advocating instead of ass kicking? It's generally received better...). If this is IT then all should fall into place. 
Think really really really good and positive thoughts puleeeease!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day

Here it is Mother's Day weekend.  Today the day before is traditionally known as Birth Mother's Day where we can separately celebrate women who chose adoption for their children.  I believe last weekend it was Bereaved Mother's Day which as the name denotes is to recognize those mothers whose children have passed away.

I have varied opinions on all of these different days but the one that prevails is this.....

No matter how motherhood has come to you, no matter the prefix of stepmother, birth mother, adoptive mother, foster mother bereaved mother or just regular came to motherhood the most traditional way mother we are all simply just MOTHERS.

All mothers whether our children are in our arms, in the arms of others or in the arms of Jesus have struggles.  We all have challenges and obstacles to overcome.  Motherhood is H.A.R.D in all forms.  There's successes, joys, frustrations, sadness, exhaustion, desires for things to be different, profound happiness, excitement, grief.  Pick an adjective and likely it can likely be used to describe being someone's mother.

I realize my opinion is not shared by all however I don't think we need to separate ourselves into distinct  categories thereby polarizing us.

Being a mother is the most difficult position to have but the one that has the most rewards.  For some the outcomes are not desirable.  For the mother who has lost her child the grief is immeasurable and never-ending.  She is only able to find comfort with the memories that she had her child for but a short time.  She is a mother nonetheless and needs to be celebrated.  For the mothers who are not raising their children either of their choosing or by way of unnamed reasons and have no knowledge as to the health and well being of their children they too need to be celebrated.  The world is a better place because the children they birthed are in it.  They need to be celebrated.  For those mother's who placed their children in open adoptions you need to be celebrated and congratulated.  Because of your decision a new family has been created with you in it and though it might be difficult at times you get to be witness to your child growing up.

All of us raising children can rejoice that not only do we provide love and so much more to a child that those same children love us!  There is not a better feeling in the world.

To the mothers who have birthed all of my children be rest assured that you are in my heart forever.

To my mother gone now for one year....I love you, I miss you and think of you every day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stats I learned today

Stats I learned today.  Out of a class of 25 students 2 officially have IPPs however five more should have them giving a total of seven specialized learners.  Topping it off there is what I would consider to be a high number of english as a second language kids.  These numbers are significant and when you hear about government wanting to promote more inclusive education for kids with significant cognitive disabilities and in the next breath cut funding for support staff we ALL need to be concerned.

In order for kids with disabilities to grow and develop their potential they require additional attention from trained staff.  For the typical learners it is necessary that their educations not be compromised by the needs of others   If teachers are left  shorthanded or even alone in the classroom there is no way that quality education is provided to anyone.  This in my opinion further snowballs into teacher burnout and either leaving the profession or worse not being fully fit to do their best.

My eyes have really been opened these past three school years in having the eight year old in a typical classroom working at grade level.  I know not all educators are created equal but the experience the child has had in her school has been nothing less than exemplary.   She has been the beneficiary of highly motivated, energetic caring teachers and administrators who even when being on the receiving end of some of her most challenging behaviours still genuinely care for her and are able to see beyond her words and actions to see the wonderful human being that she is.

I am beyond grateful.  The child has to leave her current school and begin grade four in another in September.  I am not happy about it which is another whole story on education and the learner with disabilities but there will be some positives to look forward to.  If the professionals that have been working with us these past three years are any indication as to educators throughout the school system I am sure she will be in excellent hands.

Today was a field trip to the Science centre which is essentially a kids hands on museum. It's the first time I had been to it so was quite impressed.  When schools go there are scheduled classroom programs.  Our first one involved creating something that moved on a board with bevelled gears etc.  I was very grateful that the rule for the adults in attendance was that we were to be completely hands off.  It has come to my attention that it is highly possible I would not be able to pass grade three again.
creating electrical energy

Ball run....creating a pathway for a marble to go down at the slowest  speed

Look at the size of that slide.  Huge climb on the rope wall to get up there

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shared blog post on adoption and Nepal

Ihave not copied and pasted this well however the Blog name and link is posted to a post that I think exposes what happens when ever there is a natural disaster.  

Adoption is about finding families for children who need families i.e. for children whose first families have decided it is the best option for them or for whom there is no other option.

Adoption is not about coersion.  Adoption is not about kidnapping.  Adoption is a loving choice for a child who is in need of family.  It is a LEGAL process whereby the potential parents are as vetted as they can be and lengths are taken to ensure that the children are fully and legally available for adoption.

Nepal, Adoption, and What You Need to Know

The sharks are already circling.

When the tornadoes devastated Oklahoma, when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, when Japan flooded, when terrorists destroyed New York City, when there was death and devastation and destruction we responded thinking "This is awful, how can we help these families who've lost so much?" We sent money, we sent our wives and husbands to go be hands and clean up wreakage, we sent donations and prayers, our church groups and community groups assembled to do all we could.

Do you know what we didn't do? We didn't go up to mothers and fathers who lost their homes and family members and all they had and say Will you consider giving up your children? You don't have any way to take good care of them now, we will take them and give them a better life. 

We didn't do that. We didn't offer to take folks' kids away while shaming them in their loss and new found homelessness. We didn't turn around sell the children with the fancy word "adoption" to well meaning folks thinking, very selfishly and incorrectly that a good response to crisis is to remove children from their families, culture, country, language, everything. We didn't do that because that is wrong, and messed up, and we don't do that in super developed counties.

 But the sharks are circling in Nepal. There are those who respond to a tragedy and see a way to profit from it. The coercion of children away from poor folks who do not see a way out of their poverty and loss is a skill that many adoption facilitators have perfected over time, in many countries. I suspect some of them have even convinced themselves they are doing God's work, swooping in in crises like that. But don't you think for one minute it's about what is best for children. It is not. It is about making money.

This is my special request for you, my friends. If by any small chance you hear of someone wanting to "go to Nepal and adopt kids hurt by the earthquake" do me a favor, and lock them in a room for the next year so they cannot get out and throw their money at some corrupt low life who will make a buck traumatizing children further by separating them from their country, culture, language and friends and family. This will be beneficial in multiple ways as it prevents their doing something stupid and gives them the isolated traumatic feelings of an child ripped from everything she knows in the middle of family turmoil.
You see, the sharks are already there in Nepal, circling the poor, smelling blood in the water. Women there who have lost homes, perhaps spouses have been approached about giving up their children "so they can be better off." 
Please do not support the adoption of children from Nepal. Do not feed corruption. Do not financially support people who want to adopt from there. Do not support folks profiting from tragedy and trying to coerce poor people. Children. Are. Not. Better. Off. In. Other. Families.

If we want to help Nepal, we will support children's parents, WHOLE FAMILIES in their desperate need for housing, food, access to water and health services. Strengthen families, do not aid tearing them apart because "it feels good to save a child." Throw your money at Nepal. Throw it. Go nuts. Do not give it to people who want to take kids away from their families.
If you are of the Christian persuasion, I believe that when Jesus commanded people to visit widows and orphans in their distress, he didn't mean to go up to a hurting, poor family and say "I don't know where or how you are going to live or work or eat. But, I will take those pretty children off your hands so you have less mouths to feed and let's face it, I can give them a better education and Disneyland." We must preserve and aid FAMILIES. Not tear them apart. 
Let us help Nepalese families in crisis. Let's not hand money over to traffickers who make us feel good about "saving" children.  Because the alternative cannot bring happiness, it's only heartache for children and families and anyone who says differently is, in the words of Westley from The Princess Bride, selling something. And that something is children.

*update* Some good folks doing good work right now in Nepal and need our help

American Nepal Medical Foundation 
International Medical Corps
Health and Ed for Nepal
Nepal Youth Foundation

The only reason I do not include Doctors Without Borders in this list of worthy organizations currently aiding earthquake victims is that they are fully funded and no longer accepting donations for their response work in Nepal. But they can't be everywhere and do everything, which is why I've listed these others.

Friday, May 1, 2015

There are 30,000 children available for adoption in Canada a certain source quotes. In theory and reality all of those children will have special needs by way of what brought them into government care. A large number are likely to have disabilities which makes them harder to place. 

We need to open the provincial borders so that real attempts are made to find homes for these children. We need to open the provincial borders to agencies so that when they are looking for a family for a baby with disabilities they are not limited to the very limited pool of waiting for such a baby. 

As it stands now an international adoption is almost easier than one cross Canada.

No lie.