Tag Archives: foster adoption

Documentary-The Truth About Adoption

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I watched this video recently, and as heartbreaking as it is, it offers a very accurate depiction of the issue of children languishing in foster care.  This video is from the UK, but is reflective of the same issue children in foster care face here in Canada, as well as the US.  There are a myriad of components contributing to why children stay so long in care, but in this video, we see two of the main reasons; waiting for children to be emancipated from their birth parents and become legally available for adoption, and the challenge of social workers to find homes for older children and siblings.

The hardest part of watching this, is probably the realization, that these beautiful little souls are three cases of thousands in just their country alone. If you’re considering adoption, perhaps you could also consider being the happy ending to a story like these.

The Truth About Adoption

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London, Ontario ARE

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A mini Adoption Resource Exchange (ARE) on Saturday, June 8th for those in the London Ontario area. It’s a very small ARE; only 17 children will be profiled from 4 area agencies. Not surprisingly, although the age range spans from 4-16 years old, the majority are older children. The need for families willing to adopt older children continues to be a growing need everywhere.

So if you’re in the area, or willing to make the drive, check it out. Your child might just be waiting….

London Mini ARE

To Be Or Not To Be?

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So now we’re at the point, where I’m not so patiently waiting for the weekend to pass after seeing three siblings on Adopt Ontario, that I had called and requested more information for. I’m still torn if we’re ready to embark on this journey, but at the same time, I keep looking at their profiles, hanging on our fridge, and I’m desperately excited and drawn to these three little ones. I’ve spent the last 48+ hours picturing us with two sons and a daughter in all kinds of family scenarios. It feels right. They are the first thing I’m thinking of when I wake up and the last thing I think about at night. At the same time, I’m trying incredibly hard not to get caught up in my thoughts and dreams in case it doesn’t work out. My heart isn’t really in agreement with me on that mission though, so it’s a bit of a struggle.

Fast forward to Monday. I managed to survive the weekend. I was off work that day and trying not to watch the clock. At around 11am, I got a text from E asking if I’d heard yet. I told her I hadn’t and her next question was did I call back yet. I told her no, and she more or less asked what I was waiting for. We agreed I’d email instead and try emailing a couple of her contacts in case the person I contacted wasn’t in. The nerves started to build and I was drawing a total blank on Carter’s name. So I went to Adopt Ontario to look them up. When I did, my heart sank. They were gone. I told E, and finished the sentence typing, “Gasp!”. She told me not to panic, that perhaps they just had to make an adjustment to their information. Worst case scenario someone had expressed interest in them, in which case, legally they have to take their profiles down. But she assured me that it didn’t mean it was over. So I sent the email, now a million times more nervous than before.

I had to wait a couple of hours, and I think it’s pretty obvious the answer I received, but here it is….

There is a family that is being explored at this time for these children. I am sorry that this is the news I have for you. Please keep checking in on the site as there are always children coming up.

Everything in me deflated. Such a disappointment. I texted E, and she told me not to give up hope, that just because a family was being explored, didn’t mean that they were the right family. Their profiles could reappear, I could still be their Mom. As I said to the contact at Adopt Ontario, as sad as I was to receive that answer, I was happy for them if they were on their way to their forever home. Ultimately that was what was most important. It just surprised me that a sibling group of three disappeared that fast, being they’re one of the hardest to place categories of children right now. So naively, it didn’t even enter my consciousness that there would be other families that quickly.

In my heart of hearts, since this experience, I don’t think these were our kids. I know from hearing other’s stories that just because there’s a connection, it doesn’t always lead to adoption. I wouldn’t be disappointed if I were wrong. Well, let me rephrase that. It would break my heart if I saw their profiles go up again, knowing that it didn’t work out with the other family. For both the kids and the potential parents. I still would selfishly be happy to have another chance, but that still wouldn’t mean we’d ultimately be chosen. And we’d still have to do some soul searching to see if we were willing to make the changes to find a new home so we could take these little ones in if it got to that point.

For now, whenever I go to bed, I put a little wish out to the universe that these children did find their forever home, and that they received the adoptive parents that they need and deserve. I tell the universe that our paths are meant to cross, so be it, but that I hope they’re happy and healthy with their new family. Ultimately, I know I can’t keep hoping they’ll find their way back to us. Not only because it wouldn’t be fair to them to make them wait longer than they already have, but also because I also can’t call a halt to the journey before we’ve started. I know if I focus on these little ones, I may be overlooking the children we are meant to find. Avery, Matthew and Carter made a huge impression on my heart, and I know that won’t change regardless. If they are meant to be ours, they will be. If not, that means our children are still out there, and meant to be with us. Whatever happens, I will never forget these three. So I keep a little place in my heart for them, and I’m pretty sure I always will.

Now these kids weren’t the ones, and I must admit, if they garnered that reaction, it kinda scares me what kind of disaster I’ll be when we find the kids we actually end up adopting. And if I’m that bad when I see a picture, God help me when we actually meet them for the first time!

Tidal Wave

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So as I said in my last post, I was really disappointed at not being able to attend the ARE. But for some reason my disappointment lingered over the weekend. At first I wasn’t understanding why I was so upset, other than I’d been waiting for months, and would have to wait months again to attend the next one. But still. I felt kind of silly putting so much weight on this. But as I thought about it, I came to the realization is that my disappointment was probably compounded by something that had happened earlier in the week.

My husband and I drive to work together with me dropping him off and picking him up. He’s finished an hour later than I am, so I usually just stay at work and plug away at whatever I’m working on. This particular day, I didn’t feel like working any more, so I decided to check out a website that profiles children up for adoption within the province, called Adopt Ontario. I go on this site daily; once in the morning, and then usually again later in the day to see if any new profiles have been added. (Yes, I’m obsessed, lol!) This afternoon, there happened to be 3-5 additions which is a lot, so as always, I got excited to see who these new little faces were.

So I started scanning the familiar profiles looking for one tagged “new”, and came across a light brown haired, beautiful little girl with a gentle smile and a ribbon in her hair. I’ll call her Avery. I noticed as I was clicking on the link for her full profile, that there was also a sibling link on his page. I clicked on that one to open in another window while I read Avery’s profile. She was five years old, loved girly things and art. The whole profile sounded really good, so I excitedly clicked on her sibling’s profile and found a boy with freckles and a sweet smile, that I’ll call Matthew. His profile also sounded great; he was seven years old, was getting straight A’s in school, bonding with his caregivers, both very happy children who by all accounts were adjusting well to their foster home. I was definitely interested, when I noticed on his profile, that the “sibling” link, actually said “siblings“. I clicked it, surprised that there was a third child. This was the first time I had seen a sibling trio on the site. When I clicked on the final sibling link, there was a tiny little brown haired boy I’ll call Carter, with a mischievous air about him. He was three and again, had a very positive sounding profile. All the siblings were said to get along and play well with eachother. The fact they were bonding with their foster family was great, because that signals that if they’re bonding with them, they’ll be capable of bonding/attaching to others, specifically their adoptive parents. Attachment is a huge issue in adoption, for obvious reasons.

Upon reading the profiles, I immediately texted my friend E. She adopted her son, and volunteers with CAS. My text was something like, “Omg! If we were adopt ready, I would express interest in three little ones on Adopt Ontario right now! They’re gorgeous!” That was it, no prefacing it with a “Hi, how’s your day?”, or “Hey E!” Nope, my words spilled out as quickly as my emotion was about to….cue the tidal wave. As soon as I sent that, all of a sudden, I started tearing up, my heart was racing and a whole spectrum of emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, and it was freaking me out. I tried to stifle it, because if I let go and laughed, it would have been this psycho freakishly scary laugh, and if I full on cried, it would have been a serious ugly cry. One of those ugly cries where it’s SO ugly people can’t tell if you’re happy or sad. It was not an attractive moment for me, and I had to shut my blinds to the hallway. I was terrified of someone walking by and seeing me bawling amidst my facial twitches I was sure I was having as my muscles wrestled between frowning and smiling. (Thank God it was after hours and there weren’t many people around!)

Meanwhile, E’s response to my text was exactly like this: “DO IT!!!” (Have I mentioned before that I love her? Lol!) I wrote back that we didn’t have room for three, or I would in a heartbeat. I was a mess, so I had to share. I told E that I didn’t know what was happening, but that I was completely overcome with emotion and couldn’t contain myself. It was all rather unsettling. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced emotions that sudden and that conflicting before. I just kept telling her I was a mess and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. She put it totally in perspective: I’d made a connection with these kids. She told me something about them just clicked and that’s what happens when you see a child or children that you can really identify yourself potentially parenting. Really??? No sooner did I ask myself that, than I realized that’s exactly what was happening. I honestly didn’t think when I saw a child or children and I thought may be ours, that it would garner that reaction. I envisioned it as you being drawn to them, requesting more information, and just being able to see yourself with them and feelings growing stronger, the more you got into the process. I never imagined it being this powerful and immediate!

A few months after we decided to adopt and I’d been looking at profiles, I’d come across two little brothers that I just couldn’t get out of my head whenever I thought about adoption. I must have looked at their pics and re-read their profiles a hundred times over, even after learning they had an allergy to cats. Their allergy was a definite no, because we couldn’t part with the two cats we have. They’re our first babies, so we need cat friendly kiddos. That was the only thing that held me back from requesting more info for us. Eventually, I saw their profiles come down, and I had mixed emotions. It seemed foolish because we couldn’t adopt them, so obviously I should have been completely happy to see their profiles come down. I was very happy that they were potentially being adopted, but selfishly, I was going to miss those little faces. Up to this point, I really thought that I had a strong connection with them, but my reaction to them was absolutely nothing in comparison to these three.

So after E made sense of my breakdown, lol, we kept talking about the possibility of adopting these kids if we were really interested. She said “Do it!” and “Just do it!” about a dozen or so times, while I kept giving reasons why it wasn’t feasible. First it was that we didn’t have two spare bedrooms; the boys would have to have a room and Avery would have to have one, as per CAS they can’t room together after a certain age. E told me that CAS may be willing to assist us if we were to rent a bigger place temporarily until we could buy a house that fit a family of five. Then it was, well before I go expressing interest, I really should talk to Mike about this. We talked about adopting a sibling duo, but I didn’t know how he’d feel about three. (Had I even really considered three?!?) So yeah, I’d talk to him and see how he felt and then if he was on board, I’d email for further information. E had an answer for that, which I’m sure you can guess what it was. Then before I could even express concern about financially taking on 3 children at once she had an answer for that too, telling me that there could be subsidies for these kids being there were three. She kept encouraging me to request further information, and I really wanted to but something was holding me back. What was it?

I think it was a combination of the emotion catching me off guard, the fear of my requesting info and it not working out, and just the fear and excitement that this could potentially be the start of our path to our kids. E of course said all the right things and asked what was the worst that could happen? We would either move forward in the process, or be told we weren’t going to be considered. There was no mystery, we knew the possible outcomes. And she brought up the point that if she were in my position, she wouldn’t be able to not inquire and always wonder, “what if?”. I knew, like her I would always wonder, so I agreed to call. E had contacts there, so she told me who to get in touch with. So my fingers nervously dialed the number and as the phone rang, I just kept thinking, “This could be it. Oh my God! This could be it!!!” Of course, as if I weren’t anxious enough, I got her voicemail. It was Friday afternoon, and almost 5 o’clock, so it was to be expected. I just was not looking forward to waiting the entire weekend to see where this would go. So I wrapped up with E, with promises to text her the minute I heard anything on Monday, and I was on my way (profiles in hand), to go pick up Michael.

We left his parking lot, and I think we drove a block or two before I said at the stop light, “So I did something today….”, as I reached into the back seat for their profiles. Michael starting looking at them and said, “Yeah they’re really cute, and they sound healthy.” Surprised that there was no comment about them being a trio, and noticing that he hadn’t yet looked at Carter on the second page, I said, “There’s three of them.” All he said was “Yeah.”, as he kept looking at the profiles. He flipped the page and still nothing. I then told him they were siblings, and I had requested more information. He said, “You did, yeah?”, then there was a pause and he said, sounding somewhat alarmed, “Wait, there’s three of them? They’re all siblings???” And once again, my eyes welled up, and all my emotions started tumbling out of my mouth in a big jumble as I recounted my reaction, and my conversation with E. I told him I figured he would think I was crazy inquiring about three, but I just had to. Once again, wonderful and amazing as always, he told me that he wasn’t concerned about there being three. He said it would be a challenge, but he knew we were capable of it. It was just a matter of us having room for three. My heart had a big exhale at those words. So I recounted my conversation with E, and we agreed to wait to hear from Adopt Ontario on Monday. He just added that he didn’t want me to get my heart set on these little ones just in case. I assured him I wouldn’t, despite my reaction I was still not all in just yet.

As excited as I was, I just wasn’t sure if we were willing to potentially pack up and move to a temporary rental accommodation, sell our house, and look for a larger house, while trying to help these little ones adjust to us and us to them, while we all adjusted to a new life? It would also mean likely moving to a house in the future because on average, it takes about a year for families to form the basis of attachment, and for the kids to adjust. Moving is also traumatic for foster kids because they’ve had the experience of moving out of their childhood home, and often, moving through multiple foster homes. So we would have to play it by ear and see how it went if were indeed to be chosen for these children. That in turn conflicted me because I was thinking that if I wasn’t willing to move for these kids, was I really the best choice to parent them? Shouldn’t I be willing to do anything right from the start? Then I felt I was getting ahead of myself. Ultimately, we were interested in these children, but we really didn’t know much about them yet, nor did we know their story and how they came into foster care. A lot could change. But I still couldn’t stop my heart from smiling and whispering, “But what if???”

This Weekend’s Obsession

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As I posted in my last entry, I’ve been reading the blog called Fosterhood in NYC.  Last week I stumbled upon it, and after I read a few intriguing and super funny posts, I decided to start at the beginning.  Prior to the weekend, I was about a year into Rebecca’s journey into foster parenting.  By the weekend, on my agenda, was to find out what happened to her and her the three foster children she’d fostered, and to read through to the end.

I spent most of Saturday night and Sunday night, reading into the wee hours of the morning, to the point I was nodding off and could barely stay awake.  But I couldn’t stop reading!  So I would change position, wake myself up a bit, and continue on.  I finally finished it this morning, and I have to tell you this is one of the best blogs I’ve come across so far.  So good in fact, that I debated about finishing it off, because I dreaded now to be caught up, and in a situation where I have to wait for her to post something new.

It’s not that there’s a great shock value, or some positively horrific story line (though it is beyond sad what these children go through), but the thing that got my attention, is her desire to encourage others, specifically younger people to try foster parenting.   Then what reeled me in and kept me there, strong belief in advocating for children who otherwise, wouldn’t have a voice, from a place of fierce protection and love.

Rebecca is a hilarious, honest, and outspoken, thirty something, single foster mom, living in New York.  She has fostered three children, “Snap”, “Eaglet”, and “Jacket”.  (Obviously all names have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.)  The first  two children were short fosters, but her last one, Jacket, was for over a year.  She is still in touch with all the bio families of the children she fostered, and acts as a support not only for the children, but for the mothers of the children as well.  She currently is not fostering, though is Godmother to two of her foster children, and still has “Jacket” stay in her home from time to time.  She is no longer taking on foster children, but instead is considering adoption.

I know foster parents don’t want to hear  that they’re amazing or incredible people, but I’m sorry Rebecca (if you read this), but you are.  I admire your determination, devotion and strength.  These children are the ones who are the worst off, but I think there is also something to be said for people like you who give their whole heart to their foster children,  knowing that the object of foster care, is reunification with the bio parents.  I don’t care how much you remind yourself this is the goal, and that this process is all about the child, investing your heart hurts when you have to let go.  All three children were very lucky to have been given to you, and Jacket perhaps the luckiest, because you have been given the opportunity to be with her the longest.   I know you would probably say you were the lucky one, and that’s a part of what makes you so great.

I don’t want to give anything away, because I’m really hoping this will encourage some people to head over to Fosterhood and check it out themselves.  But Rebecca, I just want you to know I’m rooting for permanent reunification of you and Jacket.  It would be wonderful if being with her bio mom was the best thing for her, but sadly, it isn’t.  She is meant to be with you.  I just hope it’s for always and forever.

An Award For Little Ol’ Me???? Aw shucks!

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Wow, I totally wasn’t expecting this….I don’t even have a speech prepared….(fumbles in pockets as if searching for something but comes out empty handed)….well, to start off, I’d like to thank the academy, my infertility for leading me down the path to adoption….uh, my husband who’s always been so supportive….who else?  My friends and family, my followers…. (blushes and giggles)….I’m just so surprised!

Okay, okay, I’ll cut the theatrics.  But I do have to send out a HUGE thank you to Stephanie at Peacock in a Robin’s Nest for the award.  I really am flattered that at such an early start point in my blogging life, someone took the time to acknowledge, follow,  and hand me a kudos for what I’ve done so far.  At times you wonder when you’re blogging if your words are really blog worthy, and to be honest, It as I’ve said before, I really want to share my experiences with infertility and adoption as we go through this process in the hopes that it helps someone else.  So I’m out of the darkness of  lurkdom, and here I am.

Thank you Stephanie.  Thank you for giving this newbie a boost by letting me know that someone out there is reading me without having the obligation of doing so because they’re family or friends.

Okay, so as a part of accepting this award, I have to list seven interesting facts about me, and a list of some of the blogs I follow.  Well, I don’t know that these are interesting facts, but they’re facts, and they’re about me, so that will have to do. Lol.

1.  I LOVE and collect pigs and have done so for years.  Not live ones, but decorative ones. Well I love both kinds, but only collect the decorative ones. 😉   But I want a miniature pig soooo badly.  Actually, I’d take a big pig too, if we had room for one….or two….

2.  I had to have the toenail on my left big toe removed when I was in highschool, and I hate it.  (Totally ruins open toed shoes and sandals.)  My cat Sadie, for some reason, is obsessed with it.  My husband “lovingly” refers to it my as my dead toe, and never fails to warn Sadie to not lick it, telling her that her tongue will fall off.  Sadie has yet to heed his warnings and continues to take her chances.  At least someone loves me and my dead toe.  Hmph!

3.  Baby corn scares me.  Yes, I literally mean it scares me.  Don’t ask me why because I really can’t tell you other than to say I find it creepy.  I can barely look at it, unless it’s in my stirfry and I need to make sure I get them all out before eating any!  Eek!  If I ever was on the reality show Fear Factor, and they told I would have to lie in a box while they dumped baby corn all over me,  that might be the thing that would make me walk away from the $50 000 prize.  That and tarantulas.  Seriously.

4.  Since I can remember, I always wanted to be a teacher.  I even entered a program that allowed me to be a teacher’s aide while I was in University.  But I stupidly chose not to go through for one, so now I am a Federal Government employee, who kicks myself everytime I think of how I should have got my BA in Education.  *kicks herself again*  Ouch!

5.  I don’t follow astrology at all, but I’m a Gemini.  And I must say that about the only part of astrology that I believe in, is when you read how Gemini’s get bored easily and are constantly going from one thing to another to prevent said boredom.  I totally see this in myself when it comes to crafting.  I am a craft whore have a love of crafting, and have gone from one form to another, to another over the years.  Luckily we live in a pretty small condo, so I can’t really take up any new crafts.  If I did, I would have to get rid of the jewelry,  scrapbooking, knitting and crocheting supplies that are currently everywhere in our house.  And I couldn’t do that!  The only good thing about my going from one to another, is that I will go back to something after a while.  I just need variety is all.

6.  I have always had exceptionally vivid dreams. Sometimes to the point that sometimes I’m not sure if I’m awake or sleeping because I can taste, smell, and physically feel what is happening.  Sometimes they continue well after I’ve woken up.

I also have very lucid dreams.  Lucid dreamers as well as being aware that they’re dreaming, can at times have some degree of control over how they participate in the dream, and/or manipulate their experience within the dream.  I never seem to experience too much control, which is unfortunate because the majority of the dreams I tend to have are very violent and graphic.   I can sometimes avoid entering a building, or room, where I know something bad is about to happen, but I usually end up still meeting a violent end somewhere else.  And when the psychotic weapon wielding man finally gets a hold of me, it’s as if it’s actually happening.  Which is when the “It’s okay, relax!  You’re not actually being murdered, you’re just dreaming…  Or am I?” bit comes in.

Oddly though I very seldom wake hubby with crying, yelling or by physically attacking him.  Now if only I could teach him my dream ninja technique so that I was wasn’t waking to a full on assault, or waking disoriented wondering how this little screaming girl got into bed beside me, yet again.

7.  Further to interesting fact #5, I am a craft supply hoarder.  Not that you’re going to see me starring on an episode of “Hoarders” anytime soon or anything.  I hoard within reason (translation: my hoarding is kept in control because of my income and small condo, as mentioned above.)  But if I was rich, I’m sure my collection would put Martha Stewart to shame.  My problem is, that if I see something I love, I will buy it, but then I don’t want to use it because I sell or gift everything I make, and I can’t part with it because it’s too beautiful.  Or I need to find just the right design to showcase the pieces I’m using, and oddly enough, that never happens.  So the easy fix would be to make pieces for myself, right?  Yes, that would be the logical solution, but I don’t do that either because I’m too busy making crafts to sell or give to others.  It’s a vicious, vicious circle, and I am but a magpie in a world of pretty, shiny, things.  (Yes I think magpie sounds much nicer than whore.)

I’m a little new to this whole blogging thing (yes I know it’s 2012), and admittedly, I haven’t been an official follower of any blogs until now.  Meaning, I would just log in to check on these blogs rather than click the follow link.  So for some of you may have received this award the day I started following, but know that I have been checking in with you on a regular basis long before that.  Anyhow, here we go with the blogs I follow:

1.    Peacock in a Robin’s Nest  First off, I just want to say that this is not a token I’m-following-their-blog-because-they-follow-mine, following.  I did check hers out after she became a follower of mine, but I had to follow for a number of reasons, I loved the name of her blog, she is funny and down to earth, and has an amazing story; she’s a bio mom, adoptee, birth mother, and a surrogate mother for her best friend.  What’s not to follow???

2.    Foster Adoption- A Journey To Happily Ever After   A mom to bio kids who was fostering to adopt a brother and sister, but the adoption of the brother (due to reasons of family safety), was interrupted.  They are still heavily involved in his life and advocating for him as he stays at a residential care facility.  Her dedication to both her Foster children, is amazing and wonderful.

3.    Foster Parenting Adventures  Bio and Foster Mom and Clinical Psychologist working at school with inner city kids who have been kicked out of public schools.  Oodles of stories that are both heartbreaking and eye opening, and important to read.  Whether she`s talking about being a Foster parent or her kids at school, she is a very captivating read.

4.   I Was a Foster Kid  A heart wrenching, but definite must read about life from a former Foster Care child’s perspective.  She was never adopted, and was failed miserably by the system.  She is brutally honest and doesn’t even remotely sugar coat anything, which can make it painful to read, but her message is so important.   More kids in Foster Care need homes and need them now.  Throughout her entries she has some great tips for Foster and adoptive parents based on her personal experiences.

5.   Love Like Crazy  An adoptive mom who together with her husband has adopted a beautiful little girl via private adoption.  The difference to their story is that they actively searched for their birth mom.  Just love reading her blog.  Which makes me look really forward to reading the new book that’s coming out that she’s co-authoring called Undeniable Love: Heartfelt Adoption Stories

6.   Fosterhood   Super well written and funny, this single Foster mom is a great blogger.  I just found this blog and I haven’t read it in it’s entirety yet, but what I have, I’ve really enjoyed reading.  She is under 35, a cognitive psychologist, and has been a Foster Mom to three children.  She currently is not taking on any more Foster children because she is dedicated to remaining in the lives of the three Foster children she’s already had.  Awesome.