Friday, October 31, 2008

Stupid Things People Say

When you haven't been through an experience that someone else has gone through or is going through you can't say to them that you really understand. The same thing goes for infertility or the process of adoption. If you haven't experienced it like I have, you truly can't understand what it has been like.

I've been thinking about a few things that have been said to me in the past 6 years where I just have either looked stunned or just had to inwardly shake my head in attempt to avoid exploding.
1. "Once you adopt you'll get pregnant."
*Yep-we've all heard that one before. You know what? Some people just can't get pregnant! It isn't possible and will never happen. Give it up already. I have!
*When you are adopting it doesn't matter if you can or cannot get pregnant at that point. Having an adopted child is the same thing as having a bio child!!! Treat it as such!

2. "You just haven't prayed hard enough."
*Yep, someone actually said that to me. It deserves no comment.

3. "How can someone just give their baby away?"
*Placing a child for adoption has involved months of thought, heartache and tears. A mother doesn't just willy nilly place her child for adoption. She makes the biggest sacrifice for her child so her child can have a better life. She isn't 'giving' it away. I have a tremendous amount of respect for birth moms...I love my birth mom already. I think about her ALL the time and I don't even know her.

This is one added by a fellow blogger and one I've heard MANY times over:
4. "You are lucky, at least you won't have to deal with getting pregnant and being fat."
*Yes, I am lucky! Being an adoptive parent is a true blessing and gift from God! (My response)
*But I am getting fat! I'm gaining weight being depressed because I have no control over when I will have a baby. (My response)

Another from a fellow blogger:
5. 'Oh, you're adopting just like Madonna and Angelina Jolie.'
*Yep, just like Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Only they don't have to remortgage their house just to finance the adoption. (My response: ok, I'm exaggerating...just a home equity loan...)

There have been other comments made that I just can't remember at the moment. I'm sure you have others. Please let me know and I'll add them to the list. It is important that we help others understand what type of comments help and which do not. Saying something 'thoughtful' versus the first thing that comes into your head.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In a Good Place Right Now

So this trying to have a family for the past 6 years thing has obviously been an up and down roller coaster (mainly down), but I'm feeling up right now. Let me share why. About a week or so ago I was venting to my good friend on facebook about all the people I know right now who are pregnant. Of course I am excited and overjoyed for them but what you need to know is that the hardest thing to deal with is that many have met their husbands, gotten married and are now pregnant in less time (by years!) than we've been trying to start our family. Some are on baby #2 or #3. That's a hard pill to swallow. It gets harder and harder to paste the smile on your face and pretend you aren't hurting or feeling sorry for yourself inside.

But my friend's response was this: Your time will come and it will be great. All those people you have supported will come together and celebrate you in your journey as a family.

This has had a great impact on me the past week. She let me bitch and was there for me, continuing to be a tremendous support in this incredible experience and let me know that it will happen and she, along with everyone else who loves us, will also be there right along with us.

For anyone who doesn't know what it is like to experience infertility or the waiting pains of adoption it is hard because there is no belly showing off to the world that you are going to be a mom, there are no ooohs and aaaahs or shrieks of congratulations.

From the time a woman finds out she is pregnant she can pretty much guarantee that in less than 9 months there is a prize at the end of the labour (all going well, of course). She knows when she will hold her baby. With international adoption, not so isn't as straight forward as that. A woman who decides she will become a mom by adopting internationally has already grieved the dream of being pregnant, suffered through infertility treatments (most likely) and is aching to be a mom and feels there is no end in sight.

When you decide to adopt internationally it can take almost a year to get a homestudy done and a dossier compiled, completed and to arrive in the country of adoption. Then she has to wait months and months for a referral, MONTHS to see the very first picture of her baby (similar to an ultrasound per se?). MONTHS! Some women have had to wait 15 months! Then before she can hold her baby in her arms (instead of the dolls she buys for her baby) she has to wait months longer and watch her baby reach milestones in photographs, in a country on the other side of the world. She thinks the end will never come. She crys and crys until she thinks she cannot cry any more. She shops and shops to fulfill the void because she just doesn't know when she can hold her baby.

I have grieved the loss of the dream of being pregnant (2 years ago, in fact). I have the blessing of becoming an adoptive mom, I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world! My friend's response helped me realize that the jubilation, the congratulations, the celebrations WILL happen. Over the past 6 years it seemed like it was never going to happen, I've been very depressed about it for the past 6 months. But now I am at the top of the roller coaster (for now). My friends and family WILL celebrate with us...we are not alone in this wait...they are waiting just as anxiously as we are. That the day we receive the call, they will also cry tears of joy (probably not the UGLY CRY that I will cry, but tears all the same).

Thank you to my friend for supporting me, letting me bitch when I need to and helping me though this. You know who you are.

To everyone else who is riding this crazy ride with us...thank you. Start buying bottles of champagne....we're gonna have one heck of a party! The day is coming!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Prayer

While praying in church yesterday it came to baby is alive right now! Either in utero or just a little baby!

I pray for this little baby and for its birth mother...for the trials and tribulations they are experiencing or will experience...for the difficult decision she will make for her child to have a life with us. My greatest joy in life will be her greatest loss and sacrifice.

I pray that God watches over them, keeps them safe and in good health. I love this child and its mother already, someone I don't know and haven't heart aches for them. Please watch over them Lord.

Welcome to the World Alexander!

It's a boy!!! (No, not my boy, but I probably shocked you there for second) good friend Carol phone this evening to announce she had a baby boy yesterday...Alexander Michael...7 pounds, 14 ounces, born a week early. Because Carol's first son was born a week late this was a total shock when she phoned to say Alex was here! Congratulations Carol, Andrew and big brother Charlie!!!

Carol- Congratulations on a dream come true. I can't wait to meet your little guy. Here's the coolest thing...our kids will be soooooo close in age!!! Wish we lived closer...I would be over right away. Love you guys!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thanks Secret Pal!

I have a secret pal! I belong to an online group of Canadian adoptive parents who have adopted or are in the process of adopting. We just started a new secret pal exchange that lasts until March. So what happens is that you are matched up with another adoptive parent and you become their secret pal. Once a month you send your person a special something according to the theme for that month. October (the first month) was "Something special for mom...isn't waiting fun?".

My secret pal is FAST! We were just assigned our pals on Monday...and the package arrived Friday!!!!! Sid checked the mail today when he went to rent a movie...I was so surprised and excited to receive my package. Here is what my secret pal sent me:

  • My first Parents magazine!!! (this means alot b/c it validates the whole process...that I am 'expecting'...I'm just waiting for my baby!)
  • Body Shop Cranberry Body Lotion, Soap and Shower Gel! This is my favourite scent from the Body Shop! And a Loofah Sponge...I needed a new one!
  • MMMM....Purdy's Chocolate (smiley brighten my day! ...matches the smiley faces on the card)

MMMMM! Chocolate!!

I'm going to draw a hot bath, relax, chill out and read my magazine...enjoy the solitude while I still can! (I already ate one of the chocolate smiley faces!)

Thank you Secret Pal!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So my plans for the evening were cancelled which I am very disappointed about...I was looking forward to this evening all week. I wasn't sure what to do with myself tonight so of course I peeked in the nursery and decided to take a few more pics...I am sharing this on my blog b/c I have zero family in Calgary and have friends and family spread all across the country...this is my way of 'being pregnant' and allowing others to share in my joy...some may not be interested and that's ok. Not a problem. But for those interested...

Off topic: This is a pic of my living room (not related to adoption at all). I just put up the words above the window last says Live Well Laugh Often Love Much. I think it looks really good. My former colleague's husband made it for me. See my cute little kitty (Arthur) sitting on the ottoman.

This is the highchair my future child will throw food from and make a mess of my currently clean and tidy house...can't wait! Spaghetti on the walls, peas on the floor...ahhhhh bliss! My friend Kathleen passed this on to us...what a generous person! I am so grateful for good friends!

I'm not sure if I've posted this previously...this is a cute growth chart that you hang on the wall. You can also put in pics of the child. Too cute! I actually bought this in Target in Salt Lake City. Was interesting trying to get it home on the plane!

2 toys...not sure what to call them...generously given to us from Heather (she also gave us her crib).

Edmonton Oilers set of dishes and cutlery given to us from Arlene. So adorable! My husband is an Oilers fan...he just loves this.

Our stroller...just love it! Kathleen also kindly passed this on to us. It was stored in the nursery and I'm proud to say I figured out how to unfold it to take this picture...I'm embarassed to say I can't get it to fold back down! LOL! Help!

Looking at the items I've shown I'm relieved to see that they were all graciously given to us...makes me feel better to know I didn't buy them during one of my baby shopping sprees...that the reason I can't close the closet door in the nursery isn't all my doing! HA!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Food for Thought

I read the following on a fellow adoptive-mom-to-be's blog. Just thought this would be good for everyone to read!

Ways to support an adoptive family.

1. If you're asked to write a reference letter for the Home Study or grant, do it promptly. It will mean a lot to the family to know their adoption is a high priority for you too.

2. Especially if the wait drags on a long time, don't constantly ask if they've heard any news. Some moms adore giving you the blow by blow during the wait. But many moms find the wait difficult, and get tired of saying, "No, we still don't know when he/she is coming home." Ask instead how the nursery is coming along, or invite her out to lunch.

3. Throw them a baby shower and/or bring baby gifts before the child comes home. Honor the adoptive mom with your faith that this will happen for her. But it is a good idea to ask the mom-to-be if she would like the shower before or after the child is home.

4. Do treat them like parents-to-be. If you would give a pregnant friend or family member something for Mother's Day (or Father's Day) then do the same for the adoptive couple. Or even Christmas. A special Waiting ornament.

5. Tell them you are praying for them. If there is a delay find out what it is so you can pray specifically and ask (once in awhile) if there is any new news. (paperwork delay, accreditation)

6. I liked it when people said things like "Getting excited?". It acknowledged we were "expecting" in a positive way. Another good thing to say was "Do you need anything" or "can I do anything for you"?

7. Keep your judgements to yourself. And don't question their decisions.

8. Do share any positive stories you know about adoption and suppress the desire to tell every adoption horror story you've ever heard.

9. The other thing that makes me feel like an "expectant" mom, is people asking what I need. "I have an exersaucer/stroller/high chair you can have?", etc.

10. Do give empathy: I got a hug and the simple words "this waiting must be so hard." from someone I hardly knew. It meant the world to me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sid is going to start developing the basement next weekend so that we have more living space for a child to play in. I've been looking forward to this for a long time.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving with my brother and dad (I had to tear apart the nursery and move everything to one side to make room for my dad to sleep...sometimes being too organized is not a good thing!). Sid and I made our 4th turkey ever and it turned out to be delicious...I even stuffed the turkey mom will be proud! :) I kept thinking that maybe for next year's Thanksgiving we'll have a little one to run after! Can't wait!

What are you thankful for? I am thankful for my family, friends and wonderful husband. I'm thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to become a mother through adoption. Here's to a great year ahead full of joy for all the adoptive parents-to-be out there! I hope your wait is short and blessings are many. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mmmmm...mmm...good Part 2

So Sid, Jason, Ida and myself FINALLY went out for Ethiopian...(Lisa, Dave and Jay-we missed you...maybe next time?)....We went to Fassil, which is an Ethiopian restaurant here in the city. It is a small, quaint place with no fancy're definitely there for the food!

Sid was quite amazed by the price of beer $3.00...when he commented on this the waitress joked that she could charge him $15.00 per bottle. :)

The food was excellent and it is nice for us to be able to look at the menu and know what we are ordering now that we have a few Ethiopian meals under our belts!

We ordered a number of different dishes (Doro Wat, Gomen, Shiroh, Misir Wat, Alecha (sp?), lamb, ground beef) and shared from the same platter. My favourite always seems to be the Misir Wat and Shiroh. Mmmm!
Diggin' in! So delicious! Great food...great friends...great conversation.

Smile Ida! I'm happy...just took 2 muscle relaxants for my neck...strained it that day and couldn't move my neck.

I would definitely recommend Fassil Restaurant. The price was very reasonable, food was excellent the the staff were nice and very friendly, although not in a hurry to provide quick service. It was an evening to sit back, relax and enjoy the food and friends.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Sid and I went to an Ethiopian cooking demonstration yesterday and had an absolute blast! The two Ethiopian women teaching the cooking class were so warm and friendly! One gave me her phone number so that I can call her if I need her help with Ethiopian cooking. We were there with about 12 other adoptive couples who have adopted or are adopting from Africa.

Off topic: One couple we met had their dossier sent to Ethiopia at the same time as ours and it arrived on the same day. I wouldn't be surprised if they were sent in the same package. This means we are both on the same timeline and we're hoping we'll be able to travel at the same time!

We learned how to make a number of different Ethiopian dishes: Tibs (Sauteed Beef), Shiroh (Ethiopian Pea Stew), Misir Wet (Red Lentil Stew), Gomen (Spinach) (and another dish with potato and cabbage but I don't know the name of it). I sure wish I brought my camera to share pics with you. The dishes were incredible! If you haven't yet tried Ethiopian, I would suggest it! Scrumptious!

While cooking, the 'instructors' shared with us the the way they would cook the dishes while in Ethiopia vs. Canada. To bring out the flavour of the food it is better to let the food simmer over a long period of time. You can cook it quickly (we are always in a rush!) but for gourmet flavour let it simmer slowly.

The main ingredients for Ethiopian seems to be tons of butter, tons of salt, and onions. Tomato, garlic and ginger are also important along with fresh spices (berbere).

We learned that it is better to buy the injera at a local Ethiopian store instead of trying to make it yourself. It is difficult to get the right consistency and the proper thickness.

Here are some websites that were provided:

We were able to take home some Shiroh (for the pea stew) and Bebere (mixture of spices) so that we can try to make these recipes at home! Give us a few trials before we invite you over!