Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Where do I fit?

I tried to find the cheesiest stock image of "the internet"- this will have to do.
The title of the post is "Where do I fit?" Get it? Hilarious...
The internet is a funny place. There are so many people. There is so much information. You would think that the internet would mean that no one ever gets lonely or feels out of place. But that is exactly how I feel when it comes to reading about other people's adoptions. When it comes to foster-adoption/public adoption there seems to be two distinct camps who do a large portion of the blogging/posting/website-ing.

There are those who have adopted children with a severe RAD (reactive attachment disorder) diagnoses or FAS/FASD (and often a combination) who post a lot on a forum that I sometimes read. These parents post about excrement being smeared all over the walls by 9 year olds, children who throw up at the dinner table every night, kids who light the family pet on fire at least once a day. They seem to try to 'one up' each other on the forum. Now these parents are amazing for taking this on. They are strong, loving people with strong stomachs! I am not one of these parents. I'm just not. I still plan to adopt because I know that not every child in the system has RAD or even FASD and not every adoption situation is like this.

The problem is that this forum seems to have been commandeered by one particular group of parents. If you were searching for information on public adoption and came across this info first, you might not continue to lean more.

When I look at blogs about adoption, I often see a different group of parents. There seem to be a lot of conservative, Christian adoptive families with profiles that mention their five children through "the miracle of birth" and their five children through "the miracle of adoption". They usually live on spacious property in an all American suburb or on a sprawling farm. Again, these have got to be some strong and loving people to raise such huge families.But again, they're just not me.

We're city dwellers living in an awesome, rented apartment. I am an ordained Presbyterian elder and we attend church every Sunday but politically we are very liberal. We are planning on adopting a foster child who will have some special needs but we can't handle every kind of special need. We are ourselves and we are not reflected perfectly in everyone's situation.

Big surprise, eh?

Now that I've written all that, I'll let you know that I have found some awesome blogs, websites and resources through sheer determination and luck. I have also found "diamond in the rough" posts on blogs that otherwise don't help me much. There is also great value in reading about different kinds of families and situations even if you disagree about stuff. The information that you need to help you learn and prepare is out there. You just might have to be patient in order to find it. A lot of this adoption preparation seems to be about patience...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


When I turned 5 I had the only co-ed birthday party I would have until I turned 16 (worth the wait because my 16th was a 70's themed fondue party in the basement). If I remember correctly, my fifth birthday was at a bowling alley. I don't remember much of it. What I do remember is that a kid named Dillon gave me a strange and awesome gift. He gave me my first diary.

I guess Dillon and his mom had some idea that all girls, regardless of age, needed a place to put their secrets. Or they had no idea what to get me and watched too much Full House (that Stephanie was always worried about her diary!). This diary was great. It had a puffy plastic cover (like one of those toilet seats that old people have) and it had a lock that could be opened with the two little keys that it came with. At five years old, I already shared a room with my baby sister, had very protective parents and had never seen anything quite as thrilling as a private book with a lock on it!

So what did I do? I locked it and unlocked it every day. I wouldn't dare write in it. A book that special would require some kind of special secrets. I couldn't think of any secrets special enough. One day I bit the bullet and wrote a sentence about picking wild strawberries. After that, the diary lost some of it's appeal. It was like I had tainted it with my crappy story about strawberries.

It was years later before I would have a diary again. This one was filled with boys. A lot of boys. It was basically my record of every time a boy that I liked talked to me, hugged me or said something funny. Kind of like those notebooks that they find in the apartments of stalkers and serial killers.

After those scary years, I stopped writing in a diary. I went to college to try to be a writer but quit when my scholarship money ran out. This is the closest thing to a diary that I've had as an adult and the hilarious thing is that over 1700 people have read it. Not amazing by blog standards but pretty weird none the less.

So I'm going to keep rambling because this helps me organize my thoughts and helps me communicate with lots of family and friends all at once. I also hope that if you're out there and thinking about starting a family in any non-traditional way, you might learn something or laugh at something or just feel a little less alone.

It's hard for me to to feel alone when hundreds of people have snooped through my diary! Thank you!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


I'm going along, enjoying being young and awesome. Stuff like going to the museum whenever I want, going out for wings and a pint whenever I want, playing Harvest Moon 2 on the Gameboy Colour emulator on my smart phone, making super healthy juice to offset mojitos and nachos for dinner. You get the picture. Awesomeness. Some of this is awesomeness that will probably have to change when I become a parent. Not that I won't still be awesome, I'll just be different awesome.

So I'm going along minding my own business when whammy, every month I get hit with a big truckload of hormones. Hormones that make me think I'm a biological anomaly for not being pregnant, hormones that make me read all the adoption blogs in the world, hormones that make me go back and read all the materials from the AEP, hormones that make me facebook stalk all my friends and acquaintances who have adorable families.

And these hormones are awesome because they help me get stuff done. They help me learn more about adoption and parenting, they help me remember to fill out that form about my mental health (ha!), they help me want to organise the apartment (or at least complain to AH that the apartment needs to be organised).

It's not that I don't want a family every day of the month but I'm glad for those hormones that give me a little kick in the pants.

PS- It's been a year since we took our AEP and well over a year since we applied to adopt. In the last provincial election, funding for the provincial adoption program wasn't in any party's agenda (not that I could see, anyway). The province has re-elected the same government so we're not expecting the situation to change. Our advice? Don't wait to get started if you want to adopt within the next 3-5 years!