Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Just adopt


Just adopt!

“Just adopt.”

I often hear these words of advice given to people trying to conceive or going through yet another round of IVF.  Plus, let’s face it “there are so many kids in need of home, just adopt one!”

If only it were so simple. Here’s the thing: There’s no such thing as “just adopting.”

From the time Mark and I set foot in the adoption agency office to the time Theo was born was about a year and a half, which in adoptionland, is equal to: “We didn’t wait at all.” It’s a non-wait. It’s the stuff of envy.

People routinely wait anywhere from two to ten years to adopt and many give up part way. It’s too heartbreaking to ‘never get picked’ or be turned down by an expectant mother who rightly decides to parent. It’s frustrating to watch a country close its doors after you invested your heart and hopes in a faraway place and faraway dream of a child. The adoption rollercoaster if another dip on the rollercoaster of emotion for repeat miscarriage survivors.

There no such thing as just adopting.

And when you do adopt and your heart leaps over the moon and back and you think it was all worth it, until you realize your child is crying in the night from the shock of adjustment, the lingering ailments from the orphanage or trauma of an unknown past. Or you know the birth family, and you see their hurt when you take the baby in your arms as he joins your family. Or you see people stare and comment at your family formation and wonder when your child will clue in that not everyone accepts him and us for who we are.

There is no such thing as just adopting.

You craft a story of how you became a family, a story of love and sorrow, and you cry when you tell it: You cry for the crushing grief of the mother, and the motherland, that lost a child, a child whose smile lights up a room, whose skin glows with health and whose potential seems vast and limitless.

There is no such thing as just adopting.

And years pass, and you are a happy: Your family includes another family, whether real or imagined and maybe another country, and your child comes to understand adoption and what it means to him on his own terms because you never treated it like it was “just adoption.”


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Good stuff

Getting the hang of the monkey bars / leaning waaay back / playing with superheroes in the sand.

Yelling with sunglasses on inside just because / throwing rocks for hours with Finn and Beck at a lake / making faces.

Riding by the iris-filled duck pond / “gardening” / post-swim ice cream cone.


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joyJoy is:

white wine on the front balcony; unexpected May long weekend sunshine; late-night trampolining; a tire swing in the evening light; mastering the monkey bars; riding downhill;  little friends with butterflies, a kaleidoscopic array of rhododendrons; a new Canucks’ hat.

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Nostalgic for today


I am nostalgic for the way you:

skip when you walk down the street.

jump off every available boulder, fence, rock wall, chair or log.

laugh hysterically when you see a movie or TV pratfall.

go ballistic with excitement when you see your friends.

are game for anything.

dunk yourself in the ocean just because.

enjoy a popsicle like it’s one of the universe’s great gifts.

always answer “better” when I ask how you’re swollen eye is doing.

approach everyone with a big smile, eager and willing to chat.

say something inadvertently funny everyday.

are so big but still so small.

Does parenting make you nostalgic ahead of schedule?

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Gratitude: spring blossoms

Who can’t feel nature’s magnificence under a canopy of  pink cherry trees bursting with life, delicate fuchsia or white star magnolias, or plum trees set against a snowy mountain backdrop. In the sun they sparkle against the blue sky, and in the rain, their petals fall softly like pink snow.


Is spring giving your mood a boost? If you live in Vancouver, are you also enamoured with the blossoms?

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This week I’m grateful for:

Daylight Savings Time! Lighter nights mean playing ball until dusk and drinks on the back deck.

The Olympic Village zone, which is full of public artwork, boardwalks and one of the best natural playgrounds in the city – all made even better by a blast of spring sunshine.



An impromptu email correspondence with a birthmother in New York City that’s given me new insights into myself, adoption, and, of course, what to see on and off-Broadway.

Snowdrops, crocuses and tulips – sure signs of spring.

A chance to really meet Free-range mom Lenore Skenazy and hang out at the CBC Studios.

Me and Lenore at the CBC studios.
Ignore that creepy little photo in the middle!

A seasoned marathon runner who believed I could indeed run 20 km. And guess what? I can! Looks like I will be running the BMO 1/2 marathon in May after all.

Chill-time with my little boy.

Soaking it up.

Soaking it up.

Annual RESP contributions for Theo courtesy of my mom.

Little bare feet in the park.

Signs of spring.

What are they talking about?

New books from nice people. A Twitter friend and her son gave Theo a pile of great books including his new fave: “How do Dinosaurs say Good Night.”

What are you grateful for this week?

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StrocelReviewButtonHere are some of last month’s revelations.

If January is a leaden slog of a month, February it its light-footed cousin. Signs of spring are everywhere.

Stilt walkers are marvels to young and old, especially ones that can hoist and chase three-year-old boys.


Winterruption on Granville Island.

Three-year-old boys are always five to 10 seconds away from a monster, penis or poo reference. So when a library singer storyteller asked “What is your favorite food?” and Theo’s hand shot up, I was relieved when he said “Monsters!”

There is no substitute for a first-rate facepainter. Kristal Yee of Faceaballoonza whipped up a stunning Spiderman for Theo and speedily decorated my eyes with sparkly cherry blossoms at the BC Home and Garden Show.


Painted up!

Two hours of sniffing, swirling and sipping at The Vancouver Wine Festival, and a new birthday tradition is born.

The best way to deal with the Pineapple Express is with a colourful umbrella.

Rain schmain.

Rain schmain.

Preschoolers are masters of mispronunciation, which for Theo includes “Science Squirrel [World],” and his always-in-season rendition of Jingle Bells: “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way … OLD MCFARM AND A MISTY RIDE on a one-horse open sleigh.” Unfortunately, his pronunciation of the F-word is dead on.

Three-year-olds love to “help” so I often give Theo a good ole cutting job. And he even eats this crunchy green stuff.

Kitchen helper.

Kitchen helper.

Enough from me. Did you have any revelations this past month?

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