Knock, knock, who’s there?

So I guess more people are reading my blog than I realized.  Looks like my random email writer realized she offended me in some way and was kind enough to email me and apologize.  I guess she caught my tone.  If the initial email is not personalized, then it’s not likely that I will pay much attention to the writer’s intent and I know that person hasn’t actually read my blog or the street cred for background.   After all, IVF did NOT work for me, I ended up adopting after coming to the decision that biology was not that important to me.  I’m not bitter about attempting ART, but when you come home from the carnival with empty pockets and no prize,  I’m not going to be a huge cheerleader of it.  I did watch the video and when I got to the who sponsored it part, I realize some big pharmaceutical company has a vested interest in what first appears to be a grassroots educational initiative.   I did notice that fertility awareness is now being targeted to women over 30.  Seems like the magic number has dropped from 35 to 30 now.  When did that happen?  Of course, I’ve read plenty of blogs about women under 35 struggle with infertility so I guess there’s a lot of truth in that.  Lord knows I made a lot of assumptions that all was okay despite our withdrawal birth control method we used for years.  I remember having the kid conversation with DH when we were not married yet but had been together for years and I made it known that I wanted kids and if he didn’t, then we should part ways.  I made the assumption that once we did officially get married and officially started trying to conceive that it would happen one way or the other.  And it didn’t.  Naive, I know.   I had no idea I’d spend tens of thousands of dollars for nothing.  C’est la vie.

There are no guarantees in life whether it’s about having children or the health of our children.  Now, I can’t even imagine being without my little guy.  So if the road to him was paved with disappointment and heartache, so be it.  I cannot undo the past.

Speaking of emails, I actually did get one quite a while ago, not sure if I mentioned it already, but it was from someone who never left comments but she wanted to me to know that I had really given her some comfort.  She wanted me to thank me.   I was so touched by that email.  Sometimes people just want to let you know that yeah, they get it, they get you and they appreciate you sharing your experience. To turn poison into medicine, to create value where once there was despair.  That’s why I blog. I am a real person with real feelings living a very real life.  So if you want to come into my house, you gotta take off your shoes.

Adoption in the news

Well, its out of the bag – Oprah has a half sister.  Her mother gave birth to a girl and gave her up for adoption. I say gave her up for adoption because in those days, she left the baby behind in the hospital and had no idea where she went. The details are here. What struck me was that the sister said her kids had prompted her to investigate her origins.  She had no idea that they didn’t feel complete either and that had never occurred to her because she thought well, she was there for them.  Of course, I thought of the Precious and wondered about how his adoption will impact his life.  I’ve been reading recent posts about open adoption and imagined his birth mother meeting him for the first time.  How old will he be?  What will it be like? What happens if she asks to meet him sooner rather than later?  What about his birth father?  Will he be around?

And speaking of celebrities and adoption, did you catch Oprah’s show with Ricky Martin?  Oprah asked him what he would tell his twin boys (whom he had via surrogate) about their biological mother.  He said the surrogate didn’t want an open relationship and that he would be both mum and dad to them.   Actually what I don’t think they mentioned is that he used an egg donor and then transferred the embryo into the surrogate/gestational mother.  Hate to have to explain that to a 4 year old (I don’t think Ricky is thinking that far ahead), but I suppose I’m going to have to my hands full when the Precious figures out he’s a little darker than daddy.  I’m sure other people will point it out to him anyway.

Which brings me to this post from Single Dad Laughing. “How much did your kid cost?” was the question to him in FRONT OF HIS KID!  Yep, I’ve had that question asked several times already.  The answer depends on who’s asking and how the question is actually asked.  Usually someone might say Oh, that must have been expensive to get him as a newborn and I go, yup.  And then I say, but I could have gotten a Filipino baby for a third of the price!  And then I change the subject.  Cause that’s how I roll, ladies and gentlemen.  Other times, I say, that’s inappropriate and look them dead in the eyes.  That look, by the way, can stop a freight train.  The foolhardy might press on, but eventually they smell their hair burning and they stop.

Mmmm, interesting – thoughts, comments?




The Coziest Place on Earth

Sorry it’s been so long but it’s been crazy and I’ve been too darn tired and worn out to write.  Let’s start with my visit to San Francisco.  Loved it!  Well, I didn’t see that much of it, but what I saw I liked.  I shopped a bit when the Precious allowed me to.  And no, I’m not kidding.  I don’t think we’ll be accompanying Daddy on any more business trips.  He was completely undone by his strange surroundings and we couldn’t get a moment’s peace with the toddler who demanded to be walked and entertained EVERY WAKING second.  And when he slept, he emitted a strange roaring/creaking door sound that kept waking us up throughout the night.   We lived in fear of the crisp sheets rustling when we turned over would wake him up.  And when he was awake there was lots of shrieking, food throwing and door banging.  Oi!

As you know, I met up with Luna, her hubby and her fabulous little girl, J.  We have both come so far.  2 years ago, we sat and chatted about dogs, adoption, life and blogging.  This time we sat in the world’s most coziest home, had velvety butternut squash soup and frittata (and wine for me – yay!) and talked.  Outside  thunder rumbled and lightning flashed and the rain pelted the windows.  The children actually napped.  And when they woke up, our kids played together.

Our kids played together.  That phrase means so much to me.  My little guy reached out and held her little girl’s hand.  He adored Luna and gave her a hug.  A connection over the internet, shared grief, shared yearnings, shared journeys, shared growth… and here we were with our heart’s desires at long last.   It was what the Buddhists call a “myo ho” moment.  I did get a little misty.

The men talked as we fed the kids.  It was great that they had so much to say to one another.  The Precious observed his older playmate eating with her hands and that was that.  He decided that that was the way to go from now on.  We had to leave way too soon but we had a long drive back and we still had to pick up a few things before we returned to the hotel room.  Hubby had a convention to attend the next morning and we were trying to keep the Precious as close to his schedule as possible.

I have to admit, I had been feeling very worn out and frayed.  With all the stuff that was going on with my mum, the “wonder” weeks of my son, I just wanted to be with someone that I didn’t have to explain anything to.   I wanted her to meet my son,  to lay eyes on her little J.  (ohmigosh, the sweetest cutie pie ever – had hubby wrapped around her finger in no time!)  Her victory was my victory.  I wanted her to know just how happy I was for her.   I left there feeling calmed,  nurtured and listened to.  She fed me, wined me and sent me on my way with gifts.

We had so much more to blab about, but it will have to wait for another time.  Thanks for being there for us, Luna.


PS.  I almost forgot the best part – she made LEMON SQUARES!  I DID THE HAPPY DANCE!  Delicious!!!!

Almost a year

WE finally went to a fancy smanshy photo studio to get our pictures done.  A friend had bought me a membership there.  It’s not as if we haven’t taken a billion photos ourselves, but not too many of them include all 3 of us.  Hubby decided he didn’t want to bring a change of clothes like I suggested STRONGLY that he should.  Of course, this ended up limiting what the Precious and I could wear.  I have no idea why he thought I didn’t know what I was talking about, he was being very resistant.  A little self conscious perhaps?  I’ve done a few photo shoots in my time and I knew the photographer would have preferred to have a choice with what we wore.   And sure enough, he wanted me to change the kid into his little black suit.  The Precious didn’t take to that AT ALL.  Enter screaming, squirming baby with every item changed.  And I discovered the hard way that the white top I brought (that he had never worn) had sleeve ends that only a premature baby’s hands could get through.  We had to keep drying his tears while the baby wrangler tried to make him laugh.   DH started to whine as well.  Lovely.  But we made it through.  That weekend apparently the Precious didn’t want to be separated from Daddy so  I didn’t get a lot of pictures taken with him.  Traitor.

Then I had to sit through dozens of photos and pick my favourites.  Luckily I’ve had lots of experience choosing good shots, but I ended up getting the most expensive package – don’t ask, you really don’t want to know.  I HAD TO USE MY CREDIT CARD.  Yep, that much.  You end up seeing your kid oh, so cute and oh so well lit, you end up spending WAY more than you intended.  One sheet of one pose was $40.  Why would I sit through an hour photo shoot, change my kid twice and have the scene change a few times if I only wanted one pose.  Right.  That’s how they get you.  And of course, I thought I should own the copyright to the pics, so that was extra. But I made them work for it, I pointed out that in one shot I had a stray hair (where oh where was my hair and makeup crew) and a few opened gaps in my shirt.  Crop that please.  Photoshop that out.   (I didn’t really want to wear that shirt, but it was the only white one I had and you know who only had one shirt and so I couldn’t change into the other outfit that was nicer).

I guess family members will be receiving lovely pics of us for Christmas.

Then off we went to my BFF’s baby girl’s first birthday party.  The Precious wasn’t too thrilled at that point, like a few others weren’t… a party in the middle of nap times isn’t the best idea.  Of course, if your kid still has two naps a day, there isn’t really a good time for a big gathering.  It was a lovely low key affair with decorations and catered goodies (yeah, you know I was right by the sandwich table with a glass of wine.)  The kid was still sticking with Daddy so I had time to mingle and chat.  Wow, another type of event I would avoid like the plague and here I was having a good time.  DH even told me later that he had a really great day.

Of course, my little guy’s 1st birthday is coming up.  And I’d like to have a little “thing” too.  Of course, DH just wants his parents and the “godfather”.  I have my family of friends and fellow Buddhist members. So that’s like 20 people.   More people than I thought have expressed their desire to attend a party for him, but I wasn’t really thinking of inviting a lot of people, because when you invite this person then I feel you HAVE to invite that person and they have kids and then it starts to look like an event.  We don’t have an amenities room here and though our place is large, older kids need room to run about (and not trash the joint.) That leaves a family restaurant or a community centre.  See what I mean?

Oh, man.  I’m not doing this every year.


How things change

Monsoon weather has began and heralds the lack of sunshine we’re about to endure for about the next 5 months.  Well, I’m exaggerating of course (sort of) but I suppose it’s better than tornadoes.

The weekend was pretty busy.  DH was on daddy duty so I went for a lovely pedicure and spent a quiet afternoon studying for a Buddhist exam the next morning.  Then we went out Saturday night for a friend’s birthday.  It was our first time using an official babysitter, a lovely young university student.  Okay, I admit, I called her when I went to the bathroom. I couldn’t help myself.   He cried a little at bedtime, no doubt not used to having a stranger put him to bed at night.  Everything went well, but man, it’s expensive!  At $14 per hour plus what we spent on dinner, I can tell we’re not going to be doing that too often.  Then again, the point is that we should go out together at least once a month, right?  Have a little fun?  We were a very diverse group at 10 sitting at a round table in a Chinese restaurant.  And we were the only ones with a kid, so it was refreshing not talking about kid stuff all night.  People were going out dancing later, but it was rainy and cold out and all I wanted was to go home and snuggle in my flannels.

Morning came and I was out the door to do the exam.  Our organization had this exam in order for members to really deepen their study.  It was multiple choice and fill in the blank kind of stuff.  It was kinda fun actually. I saw two women who had I gone to Caledon with who have given so much love and encouragement and it was nice to see them.  I looked back to an old post when I actually attended this conference and it brought back the memory of being on the bus, listening to the other women talk about their children with such love.  One woman said her son was her heartbeat.  I thought for her sake nothing had better happen to him.  Now I know exactly how she felt.

Then back home to hubby who was exhausted and congested from a cold (welcome to my world, buddy) and took the Precious to a friend’s pumpkin carving party.

I had stopped going to these events because there were always the same people there with tons of kids asking the same old questions about my family status.  Yet there I was carving the kid’s first pumpkin while kids were running around.  I didn’t have that awkward out of place feeling I had always had.

Funny how some things change, eh?

One step closer

We spent a couple of days with the in-laws for Thanksgiving.  She made a delicious meal and I was very happy to be there with them.  I brought a dish of candied yams and a low fat apple pie (made with honey brushed phyllo) to share.  Considering the chips, chocolate, wine and cider I drank all weekend, I better put my mouth on lockdown til my next weigh in.  Sigh.  It was all good, y’all, but now I’m paying for it with indigestion and constipation.

My MIL asked if I hear from the Precious’ birthmother.  I told her that I did and every now and then I send her emails with pictures and updates about his progress.  Hubby has never been comfortable with a lot of communication, and his mother feels the same way.  I did try to explain the reasoning behind it and I think she understood that it what was best for her grandson.  She’s from the generation when adoption was closed and everyone thought it was for the best. Now we know that is not the case.

Man, that little baby is growing up.  He’s crawling and pulling himself up and exploring his environment.  He had a great time!  Both dogs behaved beautifully around him, even when he took one of their rubber balls for his own.  Yeah, I know, gross, but I washed it.  He knows his Nanny and reaches out to her with open arms. It’s great to see the smile on her face when he does that.   I get such a kick out of that – like by extension I could make someone glow with happiness.

One night he slept straight through til 6:30 am but the next night, there was a windstorm in the middle of the night and the chimes on the porch went crazy.  It woke us all up.  He woke up and then DH and I waited and waited.  He babbled, but didn’t cry.  Then minutes would go by and he would be silent and then start up again.  I got a bottle ready.  We kept doing the wait and see game.  Eventually, he got louder and louder and in I went.  It’s times like that when I wish we had a nighttime nanny whose only purpose was to be there for him if he wakes up in the middle of the night.  I always think that until I feel him curl up against my furry robe and nestle in, bright eyes looking up at me.  It gets me every single time.

A couple of weeks ago, we received the Precious’ birth certificate.  It’s these bits of official papers that remind me we’re not quite done with the process.  Somehow I expected two of them.  One recording his birth name and his birth mother and one for us.  I’m sure it was explained to me how it was all going to be, but somehow I still expected two.  I know the other one is on record with the state.  I have a box for him, all ready to go for all things related to his story except of course a birth certificate in his birth name.  I sent a copy off to the immigration gods in Buffalo and hope to complete his permanent residency in due time.  I hate dealing with government offices, don’t you?  It’s like you send precious stuff off and you just HOPE that they get it and everything is in order.  In a perfect world, I should be able to call SOMEONE and get that PERSON to actually pick up the phone and speak to me as to when I will be getting a response.  Not a confusing website, full of answers to questions I don’t want to ask.  Oh well, I’m sure it’s the same anywhere.

I’m also going to be busy this weekend working from home.  Doing some notetaking from a DVD – which will have to be done at night of course – boo – but when it’s all said and done, there will be a nice fat cheque in the mail for me – yay!