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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Negative feelings towards large families

Recently on the Vancouver Island Adoptive Parents Facebook group there's been several postings from some individuals, (other parents waiting to adopt) having negative feelings about couples trying to conceive and negative feelings about families adopting. Including larger families continuing to adopt when they have so many children already. As a member of this group I was following the posts and added a comment of my own. I've decided that I wasn't going to leave it with a simple comment because I do feel there is definitely negative opinions coming from individuals that circles larger families. I am not intentionally picking on anyone but I wanted to explain and hopefully change those negative feelings into inspiration. To perhaps ease and change some individuals perceptions and outlooks on another families fortune. I completely understand the feelings not being able to conceive, to perhaps feel jealous of other woman that continue to become pregnant easily. I also understand the disappointment waiting adoptive parents must feel still waiting or even being denied adopting during the application process. It would be devastating being denied. Waiting can be very hard while knowing there is so many children in need of forever homes and here you are waiting. It makes no sense. Emotions are real and everyone is entitled to feel the way they do. Believe me, we've waited years for our children. I was probably the biggest nuisance our adoption worker has ever experienced. I do give adoption workers massive amounts of credit because adopting is emotionally draining for everyone involved. The patience level is at it's peak. After all this is about building a family and most importantly it's about giving children permanence. So when plans don't move forward it is devastating. I remember going through the matching process and there was a child/children that we really thought was going to become part of our family and for reasons it never transpired. There is still to this day siblings remaining in foster care without a permanency plan (for reasons) I don't necessarily understand nor like but there is no point developing negative feelings towards the Ministry nor the process because it doesn't change what is. Nor would I develop negative feelings towards other families, parents or birth parents. I can see and understand why some waiting to adopt parents are frustrated and have developed negative feelings towards larger families because we are where they want to be with children. Although they have to understand we were where they are now. The process is the same. In fact the more children you have, I think the process becomes more difficult because we have to prove we can handle our numbers. We didn't get as large as we are easily. I've also heard from some that they don't understand with all our different dynamics, special needs and challenges onto why the Ministry would allow us to continue to adopt while other families are waiting to adopt either with no children or fewer. There is a big picture of consideration. First, we've grown because we have sibling groups. Secondly, every family is unique and has different strengths. What works for us, isn't going to work for the other waiting family. Thirdly, our matching process was not limited, we wanted children with special needs. I don't want to upset anyone because with any adoption it's dedication but ours isn't just forever, it's our lifetime with our dependant children. There is many different factors onto why a family is chosen or grows in numbers sometimes faster then another. This doesn't mean anyone is inadequate, it just means we all have different strengths that are considered. I know large families work because of our level of patience, our experience and our attributes such as huge organization, structure and routine skills. And please, I'm not writing saying that smaller families don't have these skills either, I am hopefully trying to explain the "why" of our existence to help educate so that any negative feelings can diminish. I also don't believe the Ministry have us on a favorite priority list either to adopt......our adoption journey I believe does become more difficult. My husband and I have no alternative reason for adopting accept that we can handle many children. Yes and sometimes difficult situations. We have built a large home we're in debt for, we're not rich but comfortable and our whole life is our family. We can easily add more children because we're what I'd say that already painted house, we're living on a daily basis large. Jealousy isn't something I wish upon anyone and I think anyone that suffers from this or any negative feelings towards us, or towards conceiving Mothers need to surround themselves around us. If anything you won't be jealous anymore! (Ha ha) All kidding aside, I feel I am a compassionate and understanding person. I will tell you I've been there. Every step was a learning process for myself so I blog, I talk on adoption education panels and I attend several different support groups because I want to share and educate. I will personally speak about anything as I think we've had it all and adoption shouldn't be a blindside either. For a successful family you need to go into adoption knowing all the risks and possible disappointments. You will need to ask yourself, "How will you handle a situation?" "How will you handle your emotions?" I also believe while you're waiting to adopt, or are in the application process - where-ever you are within this emotional roller coaster join your adoption community. Attend events and befriend families like ours because all those confused feelings you might have will disappear. You will feel better and have more understanding on the why and how we are who we are. You will be able to cope with waiting to adopt hearing about our waiting stories because we've all been there. Support is amazing and it surfaces in all forms. I don't recommend harboring any negative and jealousy thoughts towards any family but to enhance yourself through education, support and counseling if needed. And to remember you're not alone and regardless if we make it look easy, or we're somehow higher on the totem pole, we're not. I've also written this before, our home is always open. Please come anytime, email me and dinner will be served.

"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves" - William Penn

I wrote that quote because honestly if anyone is having negative and jealous feelings towards others, they're only hurting themselves and I sincerely hope after reading my post there is some clarity, some peace, some understanding and a change for the positive. Life is not meant to be easy and there is a reason for everything. At least that's what I keep telling myself and I usually can't wait to see what that reason is.....:)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Love can become "conditioned"

Lately I've been writing about topics that risk opinionated judgements, possibly arguments associated with the topic and definitely slander from the teenagers that continue to read regardless how much they say, "I don't need you in my life" There's a wide variety of individuals that read my blog that I can't continue to make happy however what I write is only merely my thoughts that generate from my own experience. I would like to write a book one day and that book will be a topic for conversation I'm sure. Perhaps I'm preparing for that, lol.....but as I've previously stated, books sell because they're enticing to read...good, bad or indifferent. I read factual books for inspiration and ideas. I take what I want and leave what I might not agree with. This can be the same on here. Here I go again......so some families only have young children or a few children that haven't really given them any grief. (yet) Most of our children are a breeze. We have had two out of fourteen so far that was or is completely disrespectful and defiant. I'm also writing explaining this IS on the severe side of what a parent should experience. Of course for us we have attachment issues, fetal alcohol syndrome and mental illnesses present. So on behalf of the teenager going through puberty and seeking their own independence there is justifiable reasons on why a situation is a situation. Here is where my experience and only an opinion exists that I want to share. I'm going to write hypothetically, so when your beautiful cute little child turns fifteen or sixteen and does a complete 360 in personality with foreign behaviours it's a complete shock, disappointment and perhaps with disbelief. Parents don't want to believe their child is out of control, their child turns into someone they don't know and the parent also feels confused onto why they've turned into the target of hate and abuse. Stealing, lying and swearing is the only traits left within once a beautiful cute little child. We've had our experience. Our home is quite peaceful and very well harmonized right now because our only one disarranged teenager is still a run-away apparently doing well on his/her own. (According to the teen) The interesting part is, the only contact is when the teen wants or needs something. That apparently is "trying" to communicate and make mends. Ok......I have had several different ways within the last three years in dealing with certain scenarios. My personal advice with experience is don't continue to run after your teenager. They run farther away. Not only do they run farther, you're opening yourself up to more abuse verbally and possibly physically. Yes they're still technically under age and classified as children and our responsibility but there is an end to the madness. It took me almost three years chasing teenagers, buying bus tickets, plane tickets and handing out money to realize I was only being used, abused and most importantly I was enabling their behaviors to continue. I've always believed in unconditional love......I still love of course unconditionally BUT now there is conditions. When a parent is abused mentally, physically and your family is at risk......this develops conditions. My focus now is on the rest of our family not any run-aways. The conditions layed out is now on the teenager. In order to come home, there is a time limit to develop trust. Which consists of counseling, education and yes our conditions. I completely understand this is a ridiculous request for the teenager to handle, but it's their decision. If they want a healthy respectful relationship, they now have to earn it. I also know they won't seek it until they hit rock bottom. So we will see. It might happen, it might not, it might happen 20 years from now but the conditions will still exist in order to protect the rest of our children, our family, myself and to show the rest of our children that behaviors like this is unacceptable. This is one of my new enlightenment's as a parent......I will not enable by helping in anyway, any form while a teenager decides to run and take their life into their own hands. This might sound slightly cold but I guarantee if you haven't experienced (hopefully never will) but when and if you do, you will go through all the emotions and mistakes I did. Now I don't respond, I don't run around like a stalker nor do I follow on the internet. This has enhanced myself as a Mother for the rest of our children. I also feel very fortunate actually to have the experience I have with a few teenagers and I must thank them because if there is a next time, I'm prepared. (hopefully) I do have to say with my experience I will continue to share in hopes that it will help other parents deal with their own situations. Honestly I feel at peace now that I say, "No" to almost everything regarding run-aways. I feel stronger as a parent, I feel I have some control and I'm not enabling nor responsible for any contributions into his/her chosen life. Some will say that's "horrible parenting" but I don't care and I disagree. I believe to remain strong as a parent, do what's best that sits in my heart, don't argue with myself and eventually the light shines; if not, it's unfortunate because children/teenagers need that type of hard love and guidance regardless if they hate it or not. My Mom once told me when I was a teenager, "Just wait until you have children, you will then understand" Just like our teenagers, just wait until you have children - "that circle of life with pay backs"....... you will remember your past and in your heart feel sorry for how you treated your parents. With experience comes understanding and that ignorance diminishes. For now, it's about our children that remain home, it's about my husband and I as we're the ones holding our family unit tight with respect, happiness, health and furthering childhood memories. I believe; to be a good parent is not to consume yourself into your child's behaviors but to rise above and keep everything and including yourself in control. I've been a Mother for twenty two years, I have experienced almost everything and I'm still learning. I feel happy, healthy and strong with my decisions in this past year. Most importantly I've learned not to loose myself within that sporadic chaos that can pleasantly surprise us and being a parent, most of us will experience those surprises sooner or later. Today I wish every parent the right decisions, the strength and to know they're not alone with their difficult children, to wish them peace within their hearts and to remind them; it's not about them. To tell yourself, "You ARE a good Mother and Father" Regardless what anyone thinks, I know I am. My husband and I have dedicated our lives (not perfectly) but have dedicated and that's all I need to walk peacefully within my heart. In conclusion, to all parents; do more for yourself because without a happy healthy parent, the family unit can crumble. After all, we are the glue - so set the conditions.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Shining Stars

"Wow, wow and wow" Only a sentence a friend and I will understand. I have been away from the computer and any electronics for a week! I'm going to leave it as a mystery and write of the wonders of complete strangers. My friend and I had the pleasure of meeting more then several different people from all over the world. All different walks of life........I was so thrilled to meet such wonderful individuals that shared their lives with us. I want to write about this one lady that not only remains fondly in my memories but has made a lasting impression and future friends hopefully always. This lady was what I would call a shining star. She had many life stories, lots of hurdles and today she's here for a reason - a reason I believe to inspire many with her experiences, her knowledge and her graceful positivity. She lit up every room, she had this infectious laughter and it was so honoring for me to hear some of her past stories. Her advice was lifting and I am forever grateful. I can remember some conversations and she's a wise woman. For privacy reasons I'm not getting into any details but I wanted to announce that there is really, really, really amazing people out there, all over our world. I already knew this of course and obviously all of us do but during this week my friend and I reached out, spoke out and met wonderful strangers. Some remain strangers, some I would say are now our friends. This post is directed to people in general who pass each other daily. Of course I'm guilty because if I spent my time stopping every stranger, I wouldn't get anything done. What I find, 80 percent of strangers will have a short conversation. In that 80 percent, I'm guessing 50 percent are indeed inspirational in one form or another. Which leads my thoughts questioning, "Why are we not giving more time to someone we don't know?" I'm guessing we're always in a hurry or we're afraid to approach one another. Perhaps there is a lack of trust and faith in our populating world but why not give it a try? What is there to loose? This week for me was a reminder that each and every one of us are really amazing. All of us bring something to the table of life and that's not something to be ignored. For example; another young lady we met from Croatia (first name Lana) is an extremely hard working individual that provides for strangers daily in her life. Her position somewhat "serious" in nature deals with the public. We had the pleasure to be her guests many times over and she explained, "We were the best group she has had because most don't acknowledge her" I find that sad. More so, it's their loss for not speaking with this beautiful young lady. A lady that is away from home, away from family for 6-8 months or more working not only for herself but for her family. She explained that it took her 6 months to save for this computer Ipad thing so she can skype and see her family. Not only did she buy this so she can communicate to her family, she bought one for her brother too. When she was asked if her brother was paying her back.......her response was, "Oh no, he's family, my brother" Even reflecting back, writing about this conversation brings tears to my eyes. Here is a young lady working hard 10-12 plus hours a day for 6-8 months away from her family, a wonderful daughter, a wonderful sister to a family and most don't acknowledge her. This is just one example that happens daily everywhere to anyone and it simply boils down to the lack of human compassion. It shouldn't matter where you're from, who you are, what work you do.........people are and have amazing personalities and different gifts to share given the chance. I felt honored to have met the people I did during this week. I had a brief conversation with my friend about different cultures, different families within different countries and one thing I've noticed in our area, we lack that family closeness, connection and the importance of what matters. Which is unity. Normally sisters aren't buying brothers Ipads without seeking payment, or working so hard to enhance the whole family. What I notice is a separation, a individual "out for one" type family units around here. So it was really refreshing to once again be reminded that there is a younger generation of special people out there still very compassionate about their family, their parents and their siblings. Respect. A trait my husband and I always try and teach our children to have. Lana is a beautiful girl and I know she makes her Mother proud. I could go on and on.......oh yes......on and on about many different people we've met this week but more likely I've already lost you with my rambling within this post. Basically my conclusion but never to end..........greet your strangers, your neighbors and give people the time of day. I might not look like a shining star either but you know what......if you don't acknowledge, you will never know and those shining stars will pass by as quick as the falling ones in the sky - me.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gone Crazy

This is probably the shortest post ever. I'm going to be away from the computer for a week or more. Everything is great!

A few funnies that happened today with our littlest son. In the morning he asked, "Where are we going?" I replied, "We're going crazy" With excitement he said, "Yeah, I want to go crazy too!" Later in the afternoon when we were heading back home he asked, "How come we didn't go crazy today?" Too cute...........

Then my husband and I were wrestling around being silly. One of our sons said, "Don't hit a girl" to his Dad. My husband responded, "She's not a girl, she's a woman" So we carry on.......then our littlest son pipes up and says to me, "Mom, don't hit a woman" (meaning his Dad) "It was a had to be there moment" And for the record; we weren't out right punching each other - more like child's play. :)



I wish everyone a wonderful week and stay tuned, "I'll be back"

A quote I should tell myself everyday is, "Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight" - Benjamin Franklin. An excellent quote for worrying.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Loan forgiveness programs

I'm always learning something new. Have you heard of the B.C. Loan Forgiveness program? It is where B.C. students that have graduated in nursing, nurse practitioner, medicine, midwifery, pharmacist, speech and pediatric occupational therapy, audiology, teachers for the visual impaired and hard of hearing, technology education teachers and school psychologists get their student loans paid for given they work in under served areas in B.C. for a certain amount of time. This is a great opportunity for the student and a great asset to communities that need these professionals. I know in our area we need all of the above. Not to mention more General Practitioners. Our family doctor we`ve had for years and years and thankfully he took us back after moving away years ago with added family members. I constantly hear in our area that no one is accepting new patients. Tonight we tried taking one of our sons to the walk n clinic with no success. It`s lined up out the front door and I sign saying their `quota`` for the evening was full. The frustrating part is, it wasn`t an emergency for us. We just needed a prescription. So no prescription because heading to the hospital risks further illnesses and anywhere from the earliest four to ten hours later. Definitely not an option. Even our GP is booked solid always for two weeks. Basically for precaution sake, we need an open appointment booked every two weeks for what might creep up. It seems it`s like that for absolutely everything. For example, in our area to see a dermatologist specialist it`s at least six months! So I know all too well about suffering from skin irritations without treatment. I can`t imagine individuals that have to wait wondering if they have skin cancer! When I found out that our government is offering a loan forgiveness program for certain health professions I was very happy. Our health and education is extremely essential and having programs like this not only helps the student, it helps communities like ours with less waiting lists. Can you imagine a world with no waiting for health care.... A world that has available health care everywhere.... I know there is tons of programs that I am un-aware of and I think our government should advertise and make the professions needed appetising to our younger university students. Which would include wage increases, excellent benefits, retirement packages and education paid for with these stipulations to work for a number of years in places in need. The quality and quantity of service would meet our growing population. I wish. A thought that striked a conversation between some of our children.......that there IS opportunities if they are willing to continue their education into University. Not only opportunities for themselves but it will definitely make a dent in our world for change. Anyways.....there is nothing I do not think about and contemplate over. Here I sit on a Friday night during the start of May long weekend thinking about careers that we desperately need more of. How exciting is that! While I have been writing, my keyboard has been stuck in a French mode (I think) and I canèt seem to fix it! My question mark looks like É and can not normally written with a apostrophe comes out canèt. Another excellent career opportunity is technology with computers.....I need someone who knows about computers but I have to wait for that too!  lol mmmm.....good thing Ièm baking cookies and muffins right now, at least theyèll come out without a glitch!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Your own skin

I've been contemplating for a long time about revealing one of my best kept secrets. It's a grey area that society has mixed opinions about. I often wonder what kind of Mother am I if I don't show our children that it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, what your fancy in life is; that it should be accepted without judgements. One of my strong beliefs is having compassion for everyone regardless their walk in life. I also believe that everything happens for a reason, good, bad or indifferent, there's usually an educational reasoning behind things we don't necessarily understand or want to accept. I have issues with how society draws a fine line on what's acceptable or not. For example; how big a family should be or having two parents consisting of a Mother and Father. If you're happy, live with who you are. Be in love with the same sex, remain single, don't marry or have children. Dye your hair purple and get tattoos. Raise one child or twenty-five. Sky dive naked. Just live and be comfortable in your own skin. I debated heavily in posting this because unfortunately judgement is absolutely everywhere but I came to the realization that it doesn't matter; judgements exist regardless. You're either going to like me for who I am or delete me. Either way, we all need to be happy with ourselves and our children need to witness and learn to be true with themselves. So here's my big reveal, (some of you already know) I have tattoos. I started getting tattoos when I was seventeen because I wasn't living comfortably in my own skin. I suffered from a skin condition that resulted in scarring and it made me very insecure to show my own flesh. A condition inherited from my Grandmother on my Mother's side. We all have reasons for everything......regardless what it is, even if it's a form of expression, it's an individual decision. Anyone who has tattoos know it's a form of art. The tattoos I have, have meaning. Most represent me and all my children's names are located in feathers. I won't get into great detail but it's a complete back/half sleeve tattoo with lots of personality and meaning. I also know that there is a time and place for everything. I have respect for who I'm with and where I am. For example; My mother hates them. So with respect, she will never see what I have. I also know that having tattoos creates instant judgements, being a Mother of many, some people frown on me for setting the stage for such body manipulation. The truth is, who I am and my personality hasn't changed. People who look different aren't necessarily different within. I have felt in the past that some people won't even approach me if a tattoo is revealed. I know many individuals covered in tattoos that are extremely educated and very talented. They also have families of their own. The circle of people I know is wide, some drive harley's, some are doctors, nurses, teachers, first aiders and tattoo artists. All of which are wonderful people. We all have something to contribute to this world that is unique. One of my best friends years ago was homosexual. I was always envious of him for being himself. Like Ellen Degeneres, she's a successful powerful woman that is proud of being who she is. I honor people that can be themselves and to show the rest of us that it doesn't matter what we think as long as they're happy. It takes great courage and strength to be openly honest. My husband keeps saying, "Don't hide yourself" He loves me for who I am and he really wouldn't care if I was covered in tattoos from head to toe although he would never get one. I find him to be a genuine person to love unconditionally without judgements. If only the whole world could walk up to each other no matter what we looked like, no matter who we were and said, "Hello" I make a habit to talk to strangers all the time regardless if they have extreme purple hair. I told a young teen she was beautiful today. She had bright purple hair, tons of black makeup and piercings. She was definitely making a statement of individuality, good for her. Who am I to judge? Do I regret the tattoos I carry? Yes and No. Only because I feel I can't openly express myself without being judged. Now, can you imagine someone hiding something more then a tattoo? It can be a sad situation and life should be full of happiness within yourself to be you. Our children know. They see me all the time, they don't even notice a difference and they love their Mom for who she is. I love them even more to know they're growing up learning to respect differences and accept a unique world. So there you have it.......more personal tidbits about me. It doesn't change who I am. I just feel that now the hot weather is here, eventually you'll see a piece of me that perhaps you never did before and I will be comfortable in my own skin. Be yourself. Be real.

Relegation Tattoo - 250-933-2277
relegationtattoo@gmail.com

"You were born to be real, not to be perfect. You're here to be you, not to be what someone else wants you to be" - unknown.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I added me

Our weekend was great. One of our sons turned twelve. He celebrated with apple pie, a round of bowling and a movie. On Mother's Day I went running the Helliwell Provincial Park located on my favorite Island - Hornby! Seen above is part of the bluff I ran. Looking over endless sea and surrounding Mountains. When we can, we would love to buy some property on Hornby Island. During my run, I had yet another goal thought - I would like to start running Marathons. So here I go......I haven't posted much on my previous months of my new lifestyle change. I didn't want to risk sounding repetitive and boring as I can be writing about the same topic over and over again. Although I think it's time to update my progress. If you've been following, you know I've been doing stairs remaining around 2,343 ish then I decided to conquer Notch hill. A little Mountain near us. This hill has been my friend for the past month. I've managed up, around and down  again in 31 minutes. I've also collected a few other woman to venture off with me at different fitness levels and because their time conflicts with each other, there has been days I've hiked three times in one day! It's been discussed to try different places although it's nice to have a route down to a clear science. Back in January on my 39th birthday I posted about changing my lifestyle within a year....I wanted to see results before my 40th! It's been five months and I have gained endurance, strength, motivation and I've lost weight. I'm now for one month and counting a vegetarian and I can hold back from temptation. I've cut back on sugars and I intake more water. I feel great! I feel more energized. And honestly, anyone can change if I can. I can manage running approximately 4 km without stopping and I'm learning to manage my breathing techniques. My children think I'm insane but what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger right!? For someone who was content with life is now happy and content with life doing it all. This is for me. I have a few other ideas that I would like to change. It's going to be very difficult for me because I'm not a morning person. I love my sleep that I don't get often enough! I go to bed in between 10-11pm every night, toss, turn and up by 7am. My goal is to awake every morning at 5:30am so I can run while everyone is sleeping. To start training.......crazy? Well I've been called that lots, so the word "crazy" doesn't bother me. It's a proven study and I've proven that morning exercise releases endorphins that keep you going happily and energized throughout the rest of the day. So what's so crazy about that!? I've also come to the conclusion that stairs, hiking and running isn't cutting the mustard. I need to do some strength training so I don't risk having any injuries. So that's another plan, incorporating strength into my life. Ten years plus ago I was running over 15 km and life changes, our responsibilities shift, we adopt more children and loose what once was. Have you ever felt like you're in a rut? Or are you feeling that way personally? I have. If you let that rut in your life consume you, then everything is impossible. It's never too late, you're never too old or out of shape to start a lifestyle change. My duties as a Mother and a wife haven't changed. I just added to MY responsibilities. I added me. So as you know with any change, it takes time, be patient and I guarantee you will see and feel results. I'm not a fitness instructor by any means but heh, perhaps one day I will be. Our opportunities in life are endless and forever changing. "Our whole existence is to LIVE. Live within our own skin, live to be happy, healthy, live for our children and family but most importantly live for ourselves" - quoted by me. I started buying Oxygen magazines. They are very informative with exercising techniques, muscle strengthening and tons of yummy recipes with of course the "dos" and "don'ts" It's your "do everything better" guide. I also read an inspiring book that I recommend called, "Second Wind" a woman's quest to run seven marathons on seven continents. A woman that started with no fitness level and succeeded her dream. I really enjoyed this book and it will inspire readers to take chances, find their truth in their lives and learn to listen to the voice inside them. So there you have it............my update, some of my changes and hopefully a jump-start for you to also add yourself as I added me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mommy Bird



Our week was great. My little flower bed is ready to grow, our camper is in the process of renovations and one of our highlights was getting our second oldest son fitted into a tuxedo for his prom. Seen above our son is getting measured for his suit. He's wearing all black, including a black shirt (not the white one above) with a yellow tie and accents. His date is wearing a beautiful light yellow dress. The man above who sufficiently masters his business very well asked me if I was getting "teary" I said, "No" Although I know when the commencement ceremonies happen and witnessing our second graduating child move forward successfully into his life, I will cry. Eighteen years of mothering, protecting and pushing somewhat for his success will make me cry. I also know it's the next step into his independence where he's planning to move on. This is my son that I had a uterine rupture, where he was suspected to be brain damaged during the birth. This is my son that has given us many laughs with many fears. He once had very blond curly hair.........and our son that I sat endlessly during every pneumothorax, during his lung surgery wishing I could only have his pain. Now he's graduating and moving this summer to Alberta. We have many children but when one child moves on, it still has a feeling of an empty nest. It's different and changes our dynamics. Even when one of our children are missing, for example: many times they will go to a friends house. I will make their dinner plate. It's easier to add to your family then take away. So here we are getting ready for what I call one of the biggest milestones in life......graduating from school. Our oldest daughter graduated one year early on the Principles list with bursaries. She's now in her fourth year of University come September. Graduating I feel is extremely important because it shows that you have made it through one of the hardest parts in your life, the teenage years. It shows responsibility, dedication and with that certificate, an employer sees potential. I know many teenagers don't believe that graduating is important but to further educate, to gain further employment opportunities, you have to finish school. It's one milestone that really starts and paves your life. Without it, I really think your road isn't paved, it's going to be rocky. So I'm very excited to see that another child of ours is moving forward in the right direction. Plus it's a step back for me as his parent. His wings have spread and it's like holding your baby bird getting ready for flight. Watching him soar with success into his next journey of life. The Mommy bird sits back, relaxes and says, "Good luck" with tear filled eyes, eyes filled with feelings of being proud and just memories of the last eighteen years. It's bitter sweet. Our children won't understand the emotions a parent goes through until they have children of their own. I feel as a parent it's a battle for years to keep your child safe and to keep them dedicated in school, with their academics. It's a struggle, so the tears I have is not only for our graduating children, it's for myself too because those struggles are over......at least for that child, at least for getting through those teenage years. It's one part of life that is over. I know not all our children will graduate and I'm "Ok" with that too given their needs but if they have it within them to graduate, then I will struggle with them - getting them there. If they purposely drop out....then it's a unpaved road of unknowns and it's unfortunate. I tell our children that my life has been there and it's their turn to hopefully develop a bright and successful future for themselves. When a child, well young adult graduates, that part of mothering for me is over. I now get to witness where their choices will lead them with only my opinion if asked. So my sweet son who's now eighteen, graduating and moving on - I do congratulate you and wish you the best in all your endeavours. I am a teed bit selfish because I'm not only creating childhood memories for our children, I'm creating them for myself too - so I can fondly remember all those little moments I once had.

Our second oldest son now eighteen and graduating above..................

"Your schooling may be over, but remember that your education still continues" - unknown.

And remember, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" - Beverly Sills.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We are "hand-in-hand"

I don't have to say, "It's been busy" and I usually extend my list on a daily basis. Lately getting my list accomplished is making me extremely happy and to add......my hour everyday for fitness is paying off! This morning I hiked/ran Notch hill in 32 minutes. A record time! All the clothing I wanted to go through, finished. Summer clothing is neatly placed in drawers. I wanted to plant flowers in my one and only long planter box, done. (I hope that our children don't pick them and give them to me as a nice gesture) My husband has been working hard on our camping trailer because he doesn't want me in a tree sobbing that we can't camp this year. So our summer plans have been reserved to camp! I have five of our children enrolled for home school come September and basically the next four months has been written on our calendar. We are moving forward productively. With this nice weather I was able to finish bedding in two days with hanging all the blankets outside and baking is being accomplished by 10pm at night! Not bad I'd say! (Ha ha) So sitting down to write by 8pm has been more difficult but it's always on my mind. This is where this post shifts and gets to the topic of the day...........my blog. Sometimes sloppy written, it can jump from one topic to another, I make odd jokes throughout that confuse some and my opinion is just that, my opinion. I also continually repeat myself. It's a built in mechanism I can't control because my children push that button over and over again. Repetition is a part of my life. Anyways, there is a few reasons why I write. Since a wee girl, I wrote stories. My twelve birthday I was given a big huge typewriter that you had to slide back and forth and stick paper into. My seventeenth birthday I was given a electronic typewriter. All throughout my life I was trying to write something with no success. I would love to write a book one day with help from an editor of course although I might not remember who I am let alone what to write about when the time comes. I started writing journals as it helps to release thoughts within my mind so I can sleep. Often when I do sleep I just dream as my mind is constantly pacing. So now I blog. I continue to blog for yet another reason.......you. I wasn't sure if I was going to be successful writing online for viewers in the first place but I have to say that my blog isn't just a unedited page of nonsense. First off I share to hopefully inspire and make a difference in one way or another because just maybe I might have something to offer. An idea, a recipe, a smile or just to let people know that they're not alone with different scenarios within their life. Feeling alone about any issue is an awful emotion that can be corrected with some support. I've been there. Before we built a connection through our adoption community and my blog, our family felt alone, slightly isolated and definitely different. The general society didn't and still doesn't understand us. But now, we don't necessarily care because we have you. I feel so good inside and very honored to have readers that follow, that post, email and we're getting to know more on a personal level. I'm writing tonight feeling very blessed that a huge circle of people from all over has reached and touched my heart, that has given me the strength to continue to do something I love which is writing. People can be very amazing creatures and regardless what anyone says, "We need each other" I told a favorite Principle one year that it takes a community to raise a child and I thanked him for not just going to work but for making a difference and truly caring. Success I believe is not only a personal dedication, it is receiving and having support from others. So this is where my post concludes finally......I am "thankful" for you. I wanted to write this for awhile and I know I've touched base on this before, that's my repetitive nature...........but I'm very appreciative everyone that reads, supports and understands us. I'm writing for myself but I know our whole clan benefits from everyone that has stepped into our lives in one form or another. I would have never thought adoption would have brought us so much love from other families, it helped create this blog and has developed more compassion for difference that I've ever seen before. Thank you - sincerely from my heart, it means more then I can express on a post. Our friends, family and my readers are important and mean the world to us.

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand-in-hand" - Emily Kimbrough

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tomorrow's hour

We survived the flu! Only five of us were sick. I think that's amazing. If you don't know what I look like, here I am in the above picture. I took this myself with my phone. Amazing what phones can do these days! I titled this picture, "Just think.....of the possibilities" because if you keep your mind open, pave your way with cement - you can do anything. As you know I'm a Mother of many, I practice first aid throughout the year, I occasionally hike and I've become this avid fitness guru lately. Besides having the flu, I have lost weight with my fitness and eating healthy. Now I don't feel I need to struggle getting my running shoes on, I think about it all the time. One hour a day I've dedicated my health, my happiness and yes my sanity to this hill. I've been taking some of our children that can keep up, I really like the company but today they all said, "No" I guess pushing yourself up a steep incline several times over and running isn't child satisfying. Who knew? For years I've been doing so much for our family, for our children and I was loosing who I was. I gained weight. I was content but there was a lost piece somewhere in all that cooking and baking. I was talking with another Mother today with two children explaining she feels "trapped" I don't know her situation but I did ask, "Can you find one hour a day for yourself?" Many times being "trapped" is a really good excuse. I know, I used it. My sister is a powerful woman when it comes to health and fitness, she has been my motivation. I have to thank her for basically telling me, "Stop with the excuses" If I can't get out for that one hour, I have stairs in my house, I have a treadmill, planks can be done anywhere. Pretend to skip rope, do jumping jacks with the kids and you can develop many forms of exercise inside your own home. I've written this before and I'm going to write it again - I'm good at repeating myself.....I'm going to start a group. I believe it will be advertised through AFABC. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 10am we will alternate stairs and hike climbing/running. If you're interested, please contact me. I can change date/times accordingly. Something that's true about fitness is it works better with company and support. That nagging blogger that keeps yapping about it.......she is a possible motivation. (Or not) Lately I've been asking everyone to come along with me because my children sadly are pooping out. Today for the first time I went by myself to Notch Hill. I kept telling myself that I can fight off a cougar attack no problem......and I just kept running. Anyways all kidding aside, it doesn't matter your level, the group is designed for adoptive parents with or without their children. You can climb stairs, a mountain or just mingle.....there is no pressure. Today was a great day.....not because I went out for an hour running from wild animals within my mind, because our family split up. I took half of our children to the Fire and Ice competition where there was tons of entertainment, ice sculptures and chili tasting. My husband had the other half and went quading. Then to end, my Husband left with his picnic dinner I prepared with a few of our boys to the opening of the races! Fireworks, crash to pass, Road runners and Hornet cars tonight! Tis the season, we love it! So here I sit, it's peacefully quiet thinking about tomorrow's hour with my quote, "Just think......of the possibilities" then turn that thought into our realities.

                                                                          

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Mother's Day

This week was a complete right off. There is literally a three day flu circulating our area. It comes suddenly with stomach pain, followed by dizziness, hot and cold sweats then vomiting. The second day is diarrhea followed by the third day of more stomach pains and headaches. So far five of us have been sick and I hope it stops there! One thing I dread having a large family is illnesses. It doesn't last three days, it lasts weeks on end! One of our sons had vomit absolutely everywhere and during this time our dog once again rolled in horse manure. It was a complete mess to write it lightly. Then it was my turn. It's one thing to be involved cleaning the mess over and over again, it's another when you're the mess! So today I'm dragging myself around like a wounded bear because I'm strong and fierce. (Ha ha) And pretending that my third day is awesome but in fact it should be a mending day where I go hibernate somewhere. It's not a possibility. Curling up in a warm blanket watching a love movie (The Notebook) or reading a book (The Help) sipping a nice warm chai latte is a wish but instead I have two home sick, two little ones and ten loads of laundry to file through and thinking about what's for dinner. Motherhood is wonderful. Thinking about "Mothers" Mother's Day is May 13th. One of our sons birthday's is May 12th. A very meaningful weekend. For this son he was never to be born. My second birth child I had an uterine rupture during labour where he came out from my uterus into my stomach. I wasn't suppose to live and after three blood transfusions here I am. The specialists explained I could never carry another child but I did with our third and final birth baby. After a surgery on my uterus and fertility drugs I was pregnant. I was hospitalized on strict bed rest where I learned how to crochet. He was born two months early on Mother's Day. I was bound and determined to give my husband a child as my other two were from a previous marriage. This was all before our journey into adopting our other children with unique stories of their own. My third baby was a miracle. Like a gift. After his birth I definitely could not have anymore children and that's when we started adopting. When I think about Mother's Day, I don't think about material gifts our children can give me......I think about all my gifts I already have. I was given the gift to Mother. I might not be the perfect one but Mothering is my life, it has been my gift from day one. I really believe everything happens for a reason......it might not be my reasons sometimes but there was a reason why I shouldn't have anymore children physically. That reason is obvious as it set our life with many more gifts to follow. (Children) Our life seemed already planned and I couldn't ask for much more. So today I don't complain, I'm clearly a bear that doesn't hibernate even if I wish too. I just feel very fortunate, a little teary and I wanted to share. Regardless how and where our children come from, they're meant to be and that's what makes a "Mother's Day"

"The gift of life"

I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.

For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you!

-unknown............

When I stumbled across this little poem it was beautiful. When I read it, I think about all our children. I don't feel I've given my birth children the gift of life as much as I didn't give our adoptive children the gift of life either. I believe we're all created and are here for gifts to each other.