Thursday, 31 January 2013

R2BC Thursday Hopping on

This Thursday, I have discovered a fun blog hop to join in with called reasons to be cheerful ( or R2BC as Mummy From the Heart calls it.) The requirements to join in is to give 3 reasons I am cheerful. So here are mine for this week.

Number 1: I am very thankful for my new little girl, PJ, of course. It has been a fun filled 5 months so far on our journey together. She is a fabulous reason to be cheerful for me. This week, she has been poorly with a very high temperature, so our cheerful moments have been interspersed with lots of cuddles on the sofa, CBeebies, tears and quiet moments, a trip to the doctors and some short energy bursts to play. The usual cheerful smiles have been very treasured when they have happeened, this week and I have loved the special Mummy and PJ bonding/nurturing times we have been able to share on the sofa.We have used lots of this:

and thankfully, it is working!

Number 2: I have fantastic friends, some of whom I have known for a long time. One friend, who lives a few hours away came to visit this week. She brought PJ a lovely welcome gift

She also brought a pink mug for me too. It all matches in design to my crockery set (although my whole dinner set is not pink - honestly!) so is a gift to be treasured on many levels for us. Her visit (and her gifts)brought lots of smiles and laughter and for us both some shared memories as well as the gift of hope to share ideas and hopes and dreams for the future.It cheered me up no end!

Number 3: Tea always cheers me up! Having spent most of the week indoors, I have had many a cuppa and also enjoyed many a shared laughter moments with my weekly group of friends. They have been a tower of strength these last few years on my adoption journey and have supported me all the way. We meet together once a week and there is always tea and cake!
What are your reasons to be cheerful?
Check out other reasons to be cheerful and write your own and join in!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Brit Mums - My Tribute

I stumbled upon Brit Mums, perhaps by accident. Actually, I was rather delighted to find Brit Mums. You, whom I have admired and longed to be like for so many years, from a distance. For years I have longed to be a Mum, to be a Brit Mum. I have been to baby showers, Christenings, played with other friends and relatives children. I have run children's clubs, brithday parties and a Baby and Toddler Club. I have heard your stories of pregnancy,childbirth, breast feeding, postnatal depression and tried my best to listen - and to have some understanding. I have been on the other side of the playground in my job context and sat the other side of the table at parents evenings and joined round table meetings for those of you Mums in need of support through CAF or TAC or whatever name they, the governmet at the time, give these meetings and have supported you as best I can along the way, professionally. For years I have longed to be one of you. A Mum. A Brit Mum. You see, I have always wanted to be a Mum. Since I was about 6 I reckon. the combination of being a bridesmaid and having family members have cute and cuddly and funny babies of their own. I dressed my dolls and pushed them around the garden for hours, pretending to be a Mum. I had the garden chairs in a row and made a bus and put my dolls pushchair on the bus. I used an upside down cardboard box as a car and sat in it and drove my dolls around the garden too. Our long suffering cat was frequently dressed in dolls clothes and would lie on his back as he had his turn around the block on wheels too. Later, much later, as a grown woman I thought I would become a Mum. I had married and we planned on starting a family when I turned 30. Instead, at 30, the divorce papers were filed and my short lived marriage of 3 years ended, taking the dream of motherhood with it. At least for the time being. I was still young and had plenty of time to recover, rebuild and redream. The years went by and by and by until I became 45 and began pushing doors to become a Mum. I considered fostering but it seemed impossible as a single person and, besides, it didn't seem permament. I still dreamed of being a Mum. In 2010, I began exploring the idea of adoption. 2 years later, at 47 I became a Mum. A dream indeed fulfilled, hope that had been clung onto for so long. A child longed for. This is why I salute you all, Brit Mums and why I am proud to be a Brit Mum. At Last. I made it. I have joined you, Brit Mums. Our stories are all unique and are here to be heard and now, in my blog, here is my story. I have grabbed my badge and am wearing it with pride. Thank you.
Read other Brit Mums stories  and join us by going to Brit Mums

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Decision to be Brave

I spoke with my friends who were with me all the way, with the decision to try to adopt all on my own. Their support was - and continues to be - incredible and a real gift to me. They encouraged me to decide for myself. To be brave. My choice. My life. My time. My chance at happiness and to see a dream fulfilled.
I spoke to the Few and had some answers and some level of support. I spoke bluntly and as politely as I could, realising that this was an emotional roller coaster ride for us all. It didn't go well. I sobbed, at times, uncontrollably. At other times, I was more level headed and composed. I presented my heart on a plate. Hadn't they realised that this was what I always wanted? Didn't they think I could parent? Did they really think that Adoption was wrong? After all, they well knew the pain of my own divorce at the time we had planned to have children all those years ago and the heartbreak and disappointment the following years had brought with me not meeting the right man whilst everyone else gets on with their lives and have their children. After all, I had played with their children, they knew my career path - with all it's twists and turns, working with children for all these years. Did they not think I was good with children? Did they really have such negative feelings towards adoption? After all, I was adopted. Did they feel that about me too?
I was trying to find some of the answers to their reasons for being so anti me going down the path to adopt. Ironically, one who I was closest to, had encouraged me to push the door to considering fostering and to contact the local Authority for Adoption too. When my application was deferred they had still encouraged me to push the door with the Adoption Agencies. Maybe they thought the door would just close. maybe they didn't think I would push the door. I couldn't be responsible for their emotions or their responses and neither could I expect or guarantee their support. I wasn't prepared for a further bombardment of emotions, statements, stereotype responses and statements. Responses and statements from the very close to me, who knew me well, who were happily married, who were already parents. And who knew my story too. My story of longing to be a Mum, the heartbreak of divorce, the hopes I had for meeting the right man, having my own children.... didn't they realise? Didn't they understand?
Truth is, I don't think they did understand my thoughts or hopes or desires completely. I don't think they did think I should or could adopt. I don't think they realised what was going on themselves in their own emotions. The day spent with them to resolve the conflict hadn't gone well. I was facing this alone. Or so I thought. With or without their blessing. Or so it seemed.
A week before the Adoption Preparation group, they said they would support me. At least for this stage of the process.
I had no idea what that really meant.
I didn't feel like I had their support.
Not really.
Not at all.
How long this support would last and when it would end I had no idea.
I am not sure if I felt pleased or grateful for the support I had from them. But it was all I had. I couldn't make this support be more or make their opinioons or thoughts or beliefs or attitudes change. I also knew that I couldn't let the lack of support influence my decision.
I felt less angry, more hurt and heartbroken.
The decision.
This was about me.
Single but complete.
Standing on my own two feet.
The brave decision made.
The decision to be brave.
On my own.
Not out of spite or sheer bloodymindedness. A decision to be brave out of realising I am not a half person. I am me. Complete. unique. Whole. Just me. This is it. My chance. My time. My turn. Me.
Maybe it had taken me all these years since my divorce to feel this inner strength of being brave on my own. My inner brave self. My inner strength.My inner confidence, to be me. Myself in entirety. Entirely me. Not brave on my own because I happen to be or have to be on my own - you know the lost limb, lost the other half chopped off. Somehow this was a different brave. Completeness, finally restored.
My decision to be brave helped me walk into the Adoption Preparation Group.

Monday, 28 January 2013

One Day A Mum Dream

It's fair to say that after The Few had made their voices heard, it knocked me sideways for a while. Considerably. If I am honest. I had been shocked and surprised by their thoughts and responses. I did cry for weeks and yes I was angry at the cruel words that had stung in my face like ice. I wrestled with the reasons and tried to work out where was truth in this, if anywhere?  I doubted and questioned my own confidence and my own capabilities. Could I parent - and on my own? Was I mad to contemplate this?
What would I do if.... scenarios played in my head.
What will I do when?
How will I?
As my own voice grew stronger, so did some of the answers to their questions and the seeds of doubt sewn, gradually dispelled.
I found my voice, the voice of One,which became less aggressive in my head - too - over the following weeks - as my own reasoning and deep beliefs and longings resurfaced and overtook the anger towards the voices of Few and the disappointment that had ensued.
It was true, I was hugely disappointed by some of the hurtful things that had been said. The words had left me feeling half a person.
Wounded and hurt, inadequate - and single.
And alone.
Loneliness swirled around me and swamped me.
Single and childless.
I had retirement to look forward to, I guess.
Giving up on this dream, the glimmer of hope, the first hurdle in this adoption process seemed wrong.
It would mean carrying on regardless - possibly without their blessing. Their blessing that might also mean their support - practically and emotionally. The reality of them not perhaps being involved in our lives was a harsh one to face.
Was I prepared to take the risk?
You hear of families and or friendships being lost over this kind of thing.
The rift. The fall out.
Where would that leave me?
Where would that leave them?
And what would life be like for a child if there was such a loss of friendship, or life with such disapproval?
I tried to talk with some friends and family over the next few weeks, leading up to the Adoption Preparation Group days. It wasn't easy. Not everything was easily resolved. I wasn't sure if time would be a healer or if having their blessing would happen. Not yet. Maybe never.
Could I do that?
Am I strong enough?
What are the repercussions of my choices?
After all, children need friends and family around them, don't they?
However,  encouraged and cheered along by the voices of Many, who had encouraged and affirmed and re-affirmed me for who I was, who I am and the potential for who I will become.
I found my inner voice. I stood on my own two feet. I had wings. I wanted to fly. Or at least try.
The dream.
A Mum.
One day.
That was it.
I wanted to be a Mum one day.
The dream lived on.
My One Day A Mum Dream.
But would I be allowed to adopt on my own, especially if not everyone agreed ? Would the adoption agency have an issue with some friends and family not supporting me? Did my support need to be unanimous? Was this true or was it an urban myth?
I have some amazing : we are behind you all they way, friends and family. Is that enough?
Preparation Group loomed.
Would my dream be given a chance to be fulfilled?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Fun Friday - Something for the Weekend

This is our Fun Friday.
We got out our new Christmas stuff and made ice cream cakes and ice creams.
PJ loves squidging playdough and for the mostpart, over these last few months that is exactly what she has done with her playdough.
She came with various cuttters and rolling pins and shapes to cut out with playdough, which have held her interest, momentarily. Then it is back to the familiar and satisfying thing to do with playdough. Squidging. Squidge, squidge, squidge.
She has enjoyed a little sausage shape making too, but mostly it has been all about the squidging. All colours rolled into one.
So, Christmas came and friends asked what she might enjoy for Christmas and I said: playdough.
Make your own, some have said. Yes. I will, probably, eventually. At the moment, being a new and at times rather shell shocked adoptive Mummy means that making my own playdough comes rather much lower down on my list of things to do.
Sleep and food and play with PJ are top of the list.
Anyway, back to the playdough.
I got some lovely new colours from Father Christmas and from friends.
And one lovely friend gave us this:

I wondered if it might be too fiddly for her, yet and that she wouldnt be interested in it at all, given her fascination and repetative squidging of playdough. Although she is nearly 4, she has some developmental gaps so we are a bit stuck at squidging things.

She loves it!

Basketti she shrieks with delight! (Spaghetti Bolognese is a favourite meal in our house, so the idea of squeezing playdough through a machine that comes out as spaghetti "basketti" is a great source of merriment and delight) The basketti machine is fantastic !
Thankyou my Christmas friend who purchased this gift and thankyou Playdough for making this machine.

So, today I thought we would have a go at doing something different to just squidging and to have the focus on the new basketti machine - and to make something else, other than spaghetti.

She loves ice cream, so the idea was met with enthusiasm.
We put our ice cream playdough in bowls and had lolipop sticks and glitter and pom poms and sequin sprinkles at the ready...

We had a lot of Fun!

Lollipops and iced gem biscuits
and mini bowls filled with ice cream.
Perfect for a snowy day!
                                                            How was your Fun Friday?

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Today has mostly been about lots of me time.
I have absolutely loved it.
PJ has been at Nursery and I have for the first time since PJ arrived done some craft project stuff that I love: Scrap booking.
I also had lunch out with my sister which has been great too.
The last few months my potential me time days have been sabotaged by other things that seem to have crowed into my me space: you know, cleaning, ironing, sorting through the clothes, Christmas shopping, busy jobs that just need doing... you know the deal.
Paperwork, letter sorting - emails and phone calls to social workers that don't happen whilst PJ is with me as life with PJ is just too full on.
I've tried to do some parallel activities - here are your busy jobs with paper, notepad, file, bank leaflets and envelopes to use whilst Mummy does her busy jobs too.
It goes horribly wrong.
The phone goes and the wall gets scribbled on whilst I answer it, PJ wants to chat to the person on the other end of the phone - she would chat - and has chatted - to strangers on the phone!
Or my post ends up being scribbled on and filed under B-I-N and at very rapid speed.
A budding gifted administrator she may be, but I am not. I need to concentrate on what I am doing with my paperwork. So, I often use some of my me time to get some things sorted. In the last few months with the arrival of PJ I have been completely knackered in the evening. Bed time comes, she settles down and that's it - I am zonked.
Just like when you start a new job - which I kind of have as a new adoptive parent - boom it just swamps and hits you. The evening arrives and the tiredness kicks in and smacks you in the face.
The steam roller effect.
The other thing that creeps into your me time, I find, is the zillion meetings adoption generates.
Or that is how it seems, at times.
They sneak in, without you realising just how many you have had:
Health visitor, yours and her social worker, support meetings, LAC reviews, PEP meetings, phone calls, emails... it all adds up. Some of it is incredibly needed and supportive - but equally draining and tiring, at times - for me. Coffee and cake is what I find regenerates me, not a meeting per se.
I decided that this New Year, I am going to try really hard to do some of my old and very loved activities. I am 4 months in to my year of adoptive leave and had high hopes of having some me time to do some creative things.
Today, it actually happened.
Post and phone calls and busy jobs can wait.
Life as we have known it, is on hold.
Today is all about me.
Me time.
Today, I love you.
Today, when will I see you again?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Imagining Silence

I found it here
I am in.
For next Sunday.
Are you?
The sound of Silence.
Silent Sunday.
In how many sleeps?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Goody Two Shoes

Today has been one of those battles. You know, the one with shoes. A regular occurrence and so much improved over the last few months.
It's not personal, I know, but some days it gets to you. I have to remind myself of how far we have come.
Since the summer, and after working at this very hard, she will now pretty much wear socks and shoes.
Sometimes, increasingly, she will even wear them in the buggy!
Occasionaly, now, I have observed that she will actually keep them on in the car seat.
Often PJ will now just accept that we have to wear shoes or wellies as part of our getting ready to go out routine and often now will willingly allow me to put them on her without the screams and kicks and hits, or the throwing off of said shoes down the hallway, one or both shoes - just as we are about to leave.
Allow plenty of time, the foster carers had said.
No kidding.
I take a few calming breaths and pick up the shoes and start again.
No shoes she says.
I try, but she kicks.
Not those ones she says.
I am not fooled.
Not too many choices, I had been advised. Of the 3 million pairs, or so it seems, that she arrived with, I have gone through the pile of shoes again and narrowed the selection down considerably.
Ix pair of wellies, 1x pair of trainers, 1x pair of new boots and 1x pair of nice shoes.
I usually say boots or shoes or on other days I say wellies or trainers, depending on what we are doing.
Sometimes I simply say which ones we are wearing and give no choice - like - in the snow we wear wellies.
I triumph with one - hoorah - and then there is shoe number 2 to tackle.
After several attempts, we get there - we get on the car.
Wayhay I think. I silently cheer as we buckle seat belts and start the journey.
The voice from behind says, I've taken my socks and my shoes off Mummy.
Aaaaarrrgh, I rant.
By the third set of traffic lights, I have breathed several breaths and calm has returned to my inner and outer self.
At the 4th set of lights, we turn and arrive at our destination.
We can do this, I tell myself, as we re- dress the socks and shoes and the hoody and the coat that she has also removed.
My sense of humour returns as I realise, it's only shoes, I tell myself - and at least she doesn't take all her clothes off !
Today, the battle was over wearing shoes whilst playing at the Baby and Toddler Group.
She screamed and yelled and tried to hit and kick. It felt like forever before she calmed in my arms.
She didn't want to keep her shoes on and had thrown them off when we arrived there.
I gave her 2 choices - either wear your shoes or we go home.
Do you want to run around and play?
Then shoes on.
I repeat the deal.
Several times.
OK she eventually says.
Shoes on.
Off you go and play.
Have fun.
I will, she says and runs off.
I am exhausted after the battle but we have success.
I have to remind myself of this and of how far we have come.
The Shoes Are On!
My Goody Two Shoes Girl.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The voice of Many

The Voice of Many came.
They cheered.
They applauded.
Fantastic they said.
Woo hoo they whooped.
So pleased for you.
Lucky them to have you as a Mum.
Well done you, this is what you are meant to do.
You will be a fantastic Mum.
We can't wait to meet them.
When will it happen?
We will help you.
Can't wait to play with them.
We will babysit.
We will come and sit with you in the evenings.
And drink wine and eat cake and drink tea and coffee.
You can phone us in the middle of the night and scream down the phone as us, when it is hard.
You will have such a fantastic time being a Mum.
This is so exciting.
I am so happy for you.
How long do we have to wait?
How long is the process?
You will sail through it.
Of course you will get through the process, you will be marvellous.
You have so much to offer.
I bet everyone is delighted.
Who isn't sure?
They said what?
Stuff them.
Stuff those other voices.
This is your life.
And what you have always wanted.
This is your time.
You will be fab.
We are here for you.
You can do this.
You are strong.
You are amazing.
You are very brave.
You are you.
They will come round, those other voices, you see.
And if they don't?
Well, their loss.
We are Many, and we are cheering you along the way.
What an exciting Adventure ahead!
And a small person to have forever at the end of it.
Just think...

I am so thankful for the Voice of Many who helped me through the times of questioning myself and who have been there for me throughout this process.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Sadly, the snowman #1 we made in the snow on Friday got demolished before I got to the camera.

Happily, though, all is not lost!

We went back out again in the snow yesterday and made this:

I think he needs a name, don't you?

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The voice of One

The voice of One grew stronger and stronger over the ensuing weeks after the negative comments and reactions by a very few family and friends. It came through the tears that flowed as I went to sleep at night, rose in the morning, showered and drove to work.
My inner voice.
The voice of one.
The voice that began to unravel the knots that had entangled me. The voice that dug up the seeds of doubt that had been sown.
The questions that had been asked began to be answered in my head and heart.
I began speaking them out in bed, in the shower and as I drove to and from work.
How would I cope on my own? I don't know but i have been on my own for a long time and many many other people parent on their own.
Is the fear of the unknown a reason to not do something? Just because I am no0t sure of the future and what may or may not happen, is that a reason to not do this?
Why do I want to adopt? I have always wanted children and maybe this is the right way for me to have children.
Do I know what it is like to adopt? Well I am adopted myself so I have some experience - even though adoption is very different these days. Well not all of the issues are different. the roots of abandonment and rejection are the same and the feeling of being different and the desire for belonging are the same. Having worked with children in the care system and those with challenging behaviours and with social and emotional needs, I have some understanding, yes.
I knew that whilst I wouldn't quite know exactly what I was getting, I would have lots of background information about the child I was adopting, so it would be an informed choice. I also knew that whilst a birth child would be possibly unknown as in what would they look like, their personality, gender, I would see photos and learn a lot about my future child before I met them.
I would also be making a clear choice as to which child i would have and that the team of professionals surrounding me would also be a big part of this decision making process. I also knew that a birth child wouldn't be born clutching £50 notes and that a child I adopt also would arrive
with no money but they would come with their own possessions: clothes, toys.
Would I be able to afford it? No idea, but my finances would be looked into in ways that birth families would not be.
What will life be like when I am 70? I have no idea but I will probably be retired 2 years.
As for coming to terms with being single, it felt like a punishment. I felt that I was being judged or boxed into a tick box answer: the reason why I haven't got married and had children yet is because.... and the answer is: I haven't come to terms with being single. It felt like a stab in the heart. Especially from those few who voiced their concerns were all happily married and all had children of their own and all had married young. It seemed a sting in the tail.
The negative comments surrounding the principal of adoption were especially as I am adopted and they each knew that too, those who made these comments. Had they forgotten I am adopted? Did they feel this way about me? It was a painful time but I found my inner voice with a growing conviction.
I will push the door to adopt wide and with or without their blessing, however hard that may be, will continue to the next step.
As my inner voice became stronger, so did the ability to stand on my own 2 feet. Shakily, I got to my feet. I stood my ground.
I can do this.
I am not a half person.
I am me.
I am complete.
Besides, my own personal Christian faith was another inner strength. I wopuld continue to trust God for the outcome of this journey. Increasingly, I knew it was a journey I needed and wanted to do. My choice. I may always be single. I can do this. I can give this my best. i can be a fantastic Mum to someone very special who needs a Mum.
One fabulous parent must be better than one or 2 rubbish parent or parents.
the voice of Few had knocked me sideways.
The voice of one began to sing.
A beautiful song.
I had my own resilience.
I bounced back.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snow Day Friday

Not much so far but enough to venture out to the shed to look for the sledge PJ thought she had come with and was in the shed - but no,
No sledge in the shed.
So, instead we -
Put on hats, gloves, wellies, coats (all big achievements)
Go out for a walk in the snow,
Into the park to crunch in the snow,
Run around in the snow,
Do some Snow Angels
Throw snow,
Buy new sledge in the sales - bargain - red - she wanted blue like her old one (aww)
Come inside and get dry and warm.
chase the cat,
Drink hot chocolate.
Back outside to build a Snowman,
With stones for eyes and buttons, pine cone for a nose,
Adorn with a hat and sandcastle bucket for fun and a windmill,
Throw more snow
knock down the snowman (oops!)
Throw more snow,
Eat snow,
Collect as much snow as you can in your arms
Try out the new sledge.
Come back inside again to get warm and dry.
drink hot chocolate,
chase the cat,
play with Christmas playdough set,
watch a DVD

So now we have completed 2 snowy things to do of our 50 challenge

Happy Snowy Friday!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The voice of Few

Why would you want to Adopt?
The question came from a few very close friends and family. Just a few. Very few but they were very close to me.
I was dumbfounded.
I wasn't expecting it. The voice of a few seemed to come from nowhere - except for the fact I had just told them that I had been accepted by an Adoption Agency - but I was not expecting the responses I had from them, the few, at all. I was expecting hugs of delight and congratulations and phrases like: Oh, it is what you have always wanted and you will be a fabulous Mum.
That is the response I was expecting from them.
I thought they would be pleased.
Not everyone was pleased.
I hadn't prepared for this response.
The question of why. The rhetoric question it seemed.
The voice of  Few.
The voice of few was extremely powerful and strong.
The question stopped me in my tracks. I was like a rabbit dazzled in the headlights.
Without waiting for a response, the questions, or rather statements, the negativity, continued to flow. Like a barrage the words flew, I was bombarded and overwhelmed. I felt attacked.  I wasn't ready. I had no armour. With each statement I wanted to cry. I fought back the tears and waited for the questions, the statements, the negative comments to end.
You do realise that you won't get any choice, don't you. You will just be given a child and you won't be able to say no, you know.
How could you possibly parent a child. It's not easy you know. And on your own.
How will you mange?
Children need a Mum and a Dad.
You are single.
Have you ever really come to terms with being single? Really?
What on earth made you think of doing that?
Don't you realise what they will be like. You should go to one of those orphanage places and see them for yourself. Don't you realise what you will be getting?
Who will help you?
What will it be like when you are 70?
What if you are given a boy? What will you do?
When you adopt, you don't know what you are getting, you know.
You won't be given anything, you know, they won't come with anything.
Adopt? Why? Don't do it. What kind of man will take you on and a child?
Aren't you happy with your job? isn't that enough? You have always worked with children, so you don't need to adopt. Your job is satisfying enough, for you, surely.
The cruel and unkind words stung like ice and felt like a knife that pierced deep and was twisting as I flinched with pain with each statement.
I withdrew, speechless and ran and hid away from the voice of Few.
I thought they would be pleased.
I cried and sobbed for weeks.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Toddler Group Terrific Tuesdays!

The return to Toddler Group has now been renamed from Terrible Tuesdays to Toddler Group's Terrific Tuesdays!
I actually enjoyed it!
I actually had a chance to talk to other adults!
I am just so delighted that PJ has begun to enjoy her time there with me too.
She arrived and went to the toys: various ride on's, noisy baby toys, trampoline, home corner things and even did a painting too! With an apron on!
Woo hoo!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Toddler Group Terrible Tuesdays

Nightmare! We went a few weeks ago, at a friend's kind suggestion, to a local Baby and Toddler Group. I thought we were both ready to branch out and try some new things. PJ had been with me for 3 months and the routine of going to her new Nursery was by now established and she was more settled and happy there. The socialisation skills she will learn and the opportunity to play will be great, I thought. And I will have the chance to play with her there as well as get to know some other Mums too, I mused. Bonus. Besides, my friend Sarah, who had suggested we go, also helped to run it. She had a little boy too, Harry, about PJ's age and we had met them a few times at our church. It is all about connections with PJ, to help lower the anxieties, to calm the fear. I thought that telling her we would be going and that we would see our friend Sarah and her little boy, Harry, would help allay any fears she might have. We will have a lovely time, I reassured her. It will be a nice and calm and chilled morning out, I told myself.
How wrong was I!
It was a battle ground.
She went into fight and flight mode and ran around like a whirling dervish.
Toys, babies or small toddlers on the ground, beware. PJ ran through them, into them and over them. I did my best to catch her, but she thought it was a game and ran faster. I did eventually catch her and sit her down.
Time out.
I did my best to talk calmly, soothingly. You know, all the stuff I have read about and experienced in the past in my job context. She seemed still. She got up and did the same again.
Running at great speed, she went for the slide. A tiny tot was tentatively tottering at the top. He didn't see her coming from behind. They slid down dramatically, together. I grabbed her halfway down to steady her and to slow her down. The baby cried. PJ screamed and hit and kicked. All the Mum's glared, or so it seemed, at me. I wanted to curl up and die and for the ground to swallow me up, right there. I did my best to say sorry to the wee tots parent and to stay focused on talking through the event with PJ and to remind her of being kind and steady and the need to share toys and take turns.
I tried.
Snack time was a disaster.
She made a bee line for the comfy sofas around the edge of the room and ran around, shrieking with delight, bouncing on and off, without a care for anyone or anything, or if she might hurt herself, or them. Talking to her, using a stern voice, or warning her of consequences wouldn't work either. She is in such a state of heightened high arousal at this point that she ain't hearing me.
A warning of a consequence would fall on deaf ears and then she would simply fail, which would be unfair on her. Holding her in a hug for her safety and the safety of others is what she needed and got. For whatever reason, past trauma or fear or memories, or this Baby and Toddler Group simply being a new place, this experience had triggered the basic fight instinct in PJ.
The Queen of Aggression and Fighting was in the room.
And she was going to win.
Let Battle commence.
She doesn't yet have the skills to calm herslef down or the skills to keep herself or others safe. That is my job. I needed to intervene and she needed reassurance that she was safe with me and that I would keep her safe. She wasn't feeling safe in the Baby and Toddler Group. New is scary, even if she portrayed a very over confident and aggressive exterior.
The second week was worse.
And the third week. Or so it seemed to me.
She seemed to go for particular children and hit and kick them.
When I withdrew her from the situation each time she did this and held her safe in my arms she screamed, kicked and hit me and headbutted me. Well, she tried to.
One lady came over at one point whilst I was holding PJ sobbing and yelling: get off me Mummy, and asked me if I was OK.
I'm fine I said, as PJ lay, now calm in my arms quietly sniffing.
During the third week, PJ was yelling to me that she wanted to go home.
Home was safe but here was not.
Would I take her home and give in?
I wanted to. After all, I had had what felt like weeks of other Mum's glares and the unspoken words of: haven't you got your 3 year old under control by now?
I wanted to yell out to everyone that: She has only been with me 3 months, this is all new for her, she has been through hell in the past. This is regression. We will get there. Once she has settled she will be fine. She loved her previous Toddler group and has now settled into Nursery. We will get through this, please give us a chance. But of course, I didn't say anything.
I didn't bring her home early either.
I simply said we were going to stay here and play together and that if she hit or kicked again I would bring her to the side again and we would stay together until she had calmed down. She didn't like it. It was hard work. We were both emotionally exhausted by the end of Baby and Toddler Group.
Week 4 was much better and we had talked a lot during the week about the structure of the Baby and Toddler Group and the toys and being kind.
She said: maybe I won't hit Harry. Maybe I will.
Maybe you won't, I said.
She didn't hit Harry.
She arrived and said: do you want to play Harry?
Yes he said.
They did.
Week 5 was the Toddler group Christmas party.
She did great!
She even won some of the dance games. I was delighted and so was she.
Then we had 2 weeks off for Christmas.
I was dreading going back last week, I admit.
Would we be back to square one, I thought?
She said she didn't want to go but I told her again of the structure of the group and reminded her of the toys that would be there.
It was a dream.
She played happily and calmly.
I even got a chance to sit and chat with some other mum's there too.
The battleground of Baby and Toddler Group has been worth persevering with.
Resilience resumed. The ability to bounce back.
We bounced.
We go again today.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Mud or Snow?

Here is the idea.
All aimed at helping Children to get Outdoors more.
Fun and fresh air all in one breath.
50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4

So far, we have completed 4 things.
Number 22. Taken a look from inside a tree.
Number 18. Balanced on a fallen tree - with help, admittedly!
Number 6. Ran around in the rain.
Number 19.  Swung on a rope swing.
Hoping to complete number 11 and number 15, if the weather forecast brings us the snow: Throw some snow or go sledging.....
What are our chances?
We might end up doing 13 or 20 all we have rain and lots of mud at the moment!

Considering Adoption Agencies February 2011

I managed to pick myself up off the floor of my shattered dreams, fairly quickly. After all, I had already tried to make contact with 2 agencies. Surely, they would try and return my call or my enquiry form? Wouldn't they? One of them would?
Hmm. I left further messages with them both again and the 3rd Adoption agency I had details of, seemed to be a wrong number. I left it a few more days and then looked on line for this other agency. I left my number and to my complete surprise and by now disbelief, they called back!!!
A quick phone conversation and a date in the diary for someone to call round during the February school half term.  I was so excited!
The week seemed to fly by and soon it was half term.
I also managed, meanwhile, to play phone tig with the other 2 agencies but it wasn't looking hopeful to actually get to meet a social worker from them. One agency had sickness and the other no one got back to me for months!
The meeting with the Adoption Agency, Families That Last who help prosepective adopters find the right family, seemed positive. The social worker explained that Agencies find families for children who are deemed hard to place. What does that mean? I asked.
Hard to place children are children needing families nationally, where their local authority have been unable to find families for them.
The unwanted, the unloved, the discarded, I thought.
Children with special needs, those in larger sibling groups, older children, ethnicity, she said.
The upper age limit, currently, is a 45 year gap between adult and child she said.
Being single and adopting is possible as having a strong support network is what is needed.
The urban myths of being too old to adopt, you can't adopt if you are single, you can't adopt if you have a faith - such as Christian faith seemed to be dispelling their magical spell and their fierce grip they had had on me was loosening it's tight hold.
Some urban myths I had believed for a long time were exploding.
I could breathe again.
I really liked the sound of Families That Last. Afetr all, it is what I have always wanted. A Family That Lasts.
She left and said she would speak to her manager.
She phoned the next day.
It was a yes!
For this initial stage.
I would be invited to the next 4 days preparation group in April.
I wanted to dance around the room. I would have, except for the fact that I was holding on to the other end of the phone.
April was only 6 weeks away.
That didn't seem too long to wait.
I could do that.
I was on cloud 9.
Hope is rising...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Moderation Panel Result February 2011

Moderation Panel with the local authority must have met during January 2011.
It was the beginning of February before she phoned.
It was a no at this time.
Factor #1 Being Single. They have too many single people currently on their list.
Bummer. It felt like a slap in my face.
Factor #2 The goegraphical area of where I work conflict.
Ouch. You would have thought my profession within Education would have been a positive.
Factor #3 My age.
The slap in my face has a backhand slap. It hurt.
I've left it too late. I can't turn back time. I can't change my age.
Factor #4 They already have a list of approved prospective adopters, so they would offer to defer their consideration. Moderation Panel would be happy to re-consider me in 6 months time, in July. If successful, then I would be invited to their next preparation group in 10 months time, October 2011.
There were no guarentees that either my circumstances would have changed or their list of criteria would have changed.
It felt like the Revolving Door had turned out to be a swing door and had actually slammed shut in my face.
I was reeling.
It felt like a double whammy.
Single and childless.
The swing door swung.
Thwack, thwack.
The result wasn't what I expected. At all. I thougt they would welcome me with open arms but they didn't. Bummer.
I couldn't change being single and therefore being able to have a child of my own and I couldn't change their decision and I certainly couldn't change my age. And the ageometer seems to have arrived. In 6 months time and next Moderation panel, I would be 6 months older.
The swing door closed.... but what about if the door was a revolving door?
What about the adoption agencies?
Would they say no too?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Waiting for January 2011

Before the social worker from the local authority left, she said that it might be wise for me to push some doors with some Adoption Agencies. What are they I asked?
She said they might be more open to single people adopting, and my age - as I am older.
She also said that Agencies will look for children needing to be adopted nationally, whereas the local authority work with their lists of children needing adopting form withing their local authority. If I was taken on by an agency this would solve the issue of where I work, in the line of work I am in, being a conflict. As an agency works nationally, there also might be room for a few more prospective adopters given the need of children needing new families.
She left me details of 3 adoption agencies.
I made initial enquiries with 2 agencies and seemed to have a wrong number for the 3rd and put that one on the back burner, whilst I waited for news of the Moderation Panel.
Would hoop#1 of Moderation Panel from the Local Authority prove successful and lead to more hoops to go through towards adoption being my option to become a Mum, or would I be on a helter skeltzer ride with trying to find an adoption agency?
I wait with eager anticipation, for news.
My life seems on hold.
The wait until January 2011 seemed endless.

Oh, It's Ruined!

PJ appeared in the bathroom, just as I was getting out of the shower. It can be a daily occurance - both me getting out of the shower, and her appearing from wherever I am, that is! Apparently, it is all to do with her being reassured that I am still there, I haven't left her abandonded and I still exist, even if I am not in the same room. Separation anxiety and I am constant, being explored.
I always try and reassure her by telling her where in the house I am going and what I am doing. I usually give her the option of following. We have gone from her screaming when I leave the room to her often being happy to be alone. For a while. She used to follow me everywhere, like a tiny toddler. To the loo, to answer the door, in the kitchen, to the phone. The unspoken, don't leave me. She ususally calls upstairs whilst I am in the shower: Are you OK, Mummy? Yes, I say and often she will come upstairs to say:  Hi. how's it going? anyway, whilst I am showering.
This was one of those moments.
Are you OK?
It's ruined, she cries and the thing crashes to the bathroom floor, loudly, adding to the drama of the event.
Can I fix it? I ask, helpfully.
No, she says and adds: You aren't very good at fixing things, she says.
I look down to see, what has apparently been ruined.
The thing.
The thing that has crashed dramatically to the bathroom floor.
The thing that I cannot fix.

A calculator... with the battery back come off.

*I think  can manage that*

I quietly (and unbeknown to her) clip the back on and leave it downstairs on the table.

Sometime later....

She picks it up and gasps as she exclaims: Oh, you fixed it , Mummy!
*Seems impressed*
*Wanders off with fixed calculator*

I feel positively affirmed and a somewhat accomplished DIY fixer.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Initial Adoption Enquiry December 2010

Another birthday and still I hoped and waited.
They sent someone from the Local Authority regarding my initial Adoption query during the Christmas break.
An informal chat.
It would go to a Moderation Panel she said.
When is that, I asked, hoping it would be soon.
In January she said. If successful at Moderation Panel, I would be invited to their Preparation group. When would that be? I asked. March or April, she said but that is full, so probably Summer or October  2011. I nodded and thought: by then I will be another year older before I even start on this journey.
I tried to remain calm.
Preparation group is 4 days she said and is used to reach an agreement to whether you might be suitable to go to the next stage of several months of Assessment to be a Prospective Adopter. Assessment as a Prospective Adopter takes a further 6 months or so, she said.
My skills, experience and the fact that I have been adopted myself would work in my favour, she said.
Yay, this is positive, I thought.
She also said me being single would go against me. Factor#1 against.
She said they already have 4 single people on their books.
There is clearly a list, I thought, slightly crestfallen.
She said whilst my professional work, currently within Education, would be a positive string to my bow it would be seen as negative the geographical area where I worked. What? I said. She said that most of the children they have for adoption would be from around where I worked and this would therefore be seen as a conflicting of interest. Factor#2 against
Then she said that my age would be against me. Factor #3 against
(I am too late I told myself. Why have I left this so long, I cried, internally.)
Finally she said that they don't have many children available for adoption on their books, so it would be doubtful that they would take me on. Factor #4 against
I felt crushed and hope seemed a very dim and distant light in my dark tunnel of deep desire.
But what else am I to do?
I want to be a Mum.
It seemed as if before your potential Parenting skills, gifts, talents, expertise, housing, personality, finances etc are considered, your status was top of their list - in a somewhat hierarchical - and archaic - tick box kind of way. It seemed as if they had an unspoken limit on each category. The categories seemed to be: married,with a partner, single, gay, ethnicity.
So, Moderation Panel seemed to be the first hoop before form filling in could begin or any preparation group or training or assessment as a prospective adopter could begin.
This was beginning to feel like stumbling bocks rather than hoops to jump through.
1: positive factor and 4: factors against seemed a bit grim.
And that was before I have even got to Moderation Panel.
Was there anything else I could do?

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Revolving Door September 2010

I tentatively looked at the Adoption website for my Local Authority. It said that you could consider becoming an adopter if you were single. After several months and sending off for an information pack and laying it to rest and then picking up the idea, I took the bull by the horns and pushed the door.
I knew that I wanted children.
I longed for family.
Maybe this is it.
Maybe the urban myth of me being too old to adopt, or the one that said you can't adopt if you are single or you can't adopt if you have a faith, or the one that said you can't adopt if you don't have a garden simply weren't true? These urban myths played over and over again in my head as being true and were convincing. Time was ticking. The time bomb of my mid 40's crisis happened. I frequently wept watching programmes like One Born Every Minute and have been known to boycott Wedding invites or Christenings over the years. I admit to having deleted some friends from FB at times when they have been over-gushing, I have felt, in their tales of their wonderful husbands or lots of photos of their baby photos and news of scans. My turn seemed to be a long time in coming. At these such times, their joy has been my pain.
Now, here I am.
At the crossroads.
The Revolving Door ahead.
I longed to be married and to have children but had finally begun to separate the desire to be married from the desire to have children. I can't change the desire to be married. I can't make that one happen.It may or may not happen. Ouch. Maybe I can change the desire to have children. Maybe. I have closed the door to fostering on my own at this time, so maybe Adoption is my Option? Artificial Insemination filled me with dread. The thought of it made me want to cross my legs. Firmly. Yes, I have thought of it. Many times. Many pub conversations with friends, over the years. No. AI is not for me.
I bet I'm too old for a baby and I bet they say no, I reminded myself once again but I filled in the on line form anyway and pressed send.
That was in the September 2010.
The Revolving Door of Adoption being an Option for me, was turning.
And I waited for a response.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wagamamas Moment

Went to Wagamamas tonight for tea. It was quite a sight to behold. PJ wore her new dress we got as a welcome gift. It twirls when she spins round and she calls it her dress with sprinkles on. We were treated to tea by one of our friends. PJ was amazed by the length of the noodles and was enthralled by chopsticks. She gave it her best shot and then they gave her some children's ones, which were more like tweezers - and more successful. She loved it. All of it. We are still on a learning curve, with going to "cafes" (restaurants) as she likes to call them. Overcome with excitement, in between courses, we went outside to ease the waiting time and hopefully calm down - as well as ease things for everyone else in the restaurant. You see, she had been crawling around floor under the table and using a napkin to clean, she explained to anyone and everyone who might care to listen. A man helpfully called out: she's over here, from the back of the restaurant. Thank you, I meekly said. She crawls and cleans floors fast, I thought, deciding to keep my thoughts to myself this time. So, PJ and I went outside for a breather, leaving our friend to order dessert and kindly pay. Outside, she ran up and down the steps and we went rather impulsively it seems breezed into a men's tailor's shop and played hide and seek with the shop assistant in between some rather lovely suits. I remained calmer, I think, than I would have a few months ago. I am learning, as I see for myself, that new places and experiences result in either anxieties or overconfident behaviours. I am also learning, as I see for myself, that if I keep taking PJ to new places and new experiences that they will slowly become more familiar and therefore less stressful. For us all.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Closing the door to Fostering 2009

I did a lot of soul searching over the next few months about fostering. Emotionally, the idea of fostering still didn't tick several boxes, perhaps for me, or answer some of the deep longings and desires for family, I was slowly beginning to realise and face. Also, I would have to give the children back - or they would leave of their own volition, perhaps.
Emotionally this would be heart wrenching, surely, wouldn't it?
Financially, it seemed so unstable. The children or child arrives, stays for a while and then goes. Income fluctuates or disappears. If I have completely given up work to do this and there are no children to foster then I am stuffed with no job and the bills would still arrive.
It wasn't looking good.
It just all seems a big risk. Financially, as a single woman, giving up work full time or even part time did not seem an option. Emotionally, it seemed to be incredibly rewarding, the chance to invest in others lives and equally heartbreaking to see them go. The impermanence and lack of sense of family seemed to be a growing sensation, for me. Belonging, family, permanence was what I was wanting. The loft conversion? I got a quote. £30k. Moving house? Not a financially viable option considering house prices, living costs versus number of bedrooms and moving costs. With all this in mind, I made my decision.
I closed the door to fostering as an option.
I still have time, don't I?

Considering Fostering 2009

To foster or not to foster? Hmm, let me think. I could provide a safe and caring environment for a child or children or young people and would enjoy investing in lives and making a difference. If I did foster, there might still be time to have my own family later, or adopt later, couldn't I? I searched on the internet and sent an enquiry. I made a phone call too and waited for the reply, just incase no one followed up. A letter eventually came from the Fostering and Adoption team at my local authority and they duly sent a social worker for a home visit.
We chatted for about an hour or more. He chatted about my job and my house size and the ages of children or young people and the kinds of needs they might have. I wasn't fazed by the issues and needs the children and young people might have. I have been in both education and in child and youth and family work for years, so had lots of background skills and experience and expertise that I could offer. My size of house seemed to be an issue, as it would limit the number of children I could have in terms of bedrooms I had available. With this in mind, one child or young person wouldn't give me much income as a foster carer. He then said that because I am single, they would like me to either be not in work at all or be in work part time. My income would be drastically reduced and the figures I was shown for age of child would not be enough for it to be a viable option for me, financially. Unless I did my loft extension for the extra bedroom space? But that would need to be completed before the assessment to be a foster carer could begin, he said. They inspect the housing first before the training, he said. He left the forms with me to fill in if I wished to in the future. What about if I wanted to adopt? I had asked. Ah, well that is a completely different option, training and direction, he said. If I wanted to foster, that might be possible if I was accepted, after the training and if I wanted to adopt in the future then the adoption assessment and training would start all over again. He left me with much food for thought.

Monday, 7 January 2013

My Coffee Sanctuary

You can't beat a nice coffee, can you? (Well, I also love tea and, of course, wine!)
Today, now as I write, it is coffee that is doing it for me.
My recovery time.
Coffee, right here, on the sofa as I write.
After the nursery run.
First day back.
After Christmas.
2 weeks of complete change to any routine I was establishing over the last 4 months and 2 weeks of a ridiculous amount of telly watching and staying in pyjamas, presents, Christmas decorations, friends, lazy days, creative days, family, new people and new places, toys, games, food, fun days and now, suddenly, from nowhere it seems here it is. Monday. First day back.
It wasn't easy.
My little girl likes routine and loves her pyjamas and has quite got into the new 2 week routine of pyjama loving fun. Change and transition is never easy, either, so I was up early and ready for the challenge. Or so I thought.
4 months ago, when she first came to me, it was a challenge getting dressed and to get out the door by 10.30 am. We have worked hard over the last few months to be up and dressed by 9am on weekdays, regardless of whether it is a nusery day or not. My new goal this term was to be out the door by 8.30am to get to nursery. You see, in my head, we have to work towards me getting back to work, eventually, and my little girl getting to start school in September 2013. It will take time, I know. Rome wasn't built in a day.
So, this morning, it was carnage.
We did it.
In the end.
It wasn't easy.
So this is now my coffee sanctuary time.
And loving it.
How was your First Day Back Monday been?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pushing Doors Tentatively 2009

I began pushing doors - tentatively it has to be said. I started making enquiries about fostering. Adoption seemed insurmountable to me - and so final, perhaps. Afterall, I am single and older now, so presumably I would not be allowed to adopt. That is what I told myself and allowed myslef to believe. Also, to add to my growing convictions, I had heard that you couldnt adopt if you were single. I had also heard that you couldnt adopt if you were over 30. Rather than confronting my fears and have the door of hope slam in my face with the rejection of being told no for adoption, I decided to allow these assumptions to be true and chose to bravely push the door to foster. Surely fostering could be done by someone older? And single? Surely? Perhaps? I tentatively push.... I'm a grown up for goodness sake....I can do this.... Bam goes the door as I push it open...

50 things to do Outdoors

My new daughter, PJ is 3 and loves to be outdoors and I love some fresh air and to wander around with the smell of fresh air too. She loves to run and run fast. I mean fast. No one ever believes me when I say how fast she is at running. Then, if they come for a walk with us, they say: "She is fast isn't she?" Wellies slow her down, I have discovered - although I haven't told her this, of course. Chase me she says and off she goes and doesn't stop. The skill, I have learned, is to run after her when her face is set forwards as she runs and then to pretend to be walking as soon as she turns to look at you. This gives a chance of catching up with her a little without her realising. Chase me she yells and runs off again. Sometimes she falls over, which slows her down considerably more. Otherwise, she would just run and keep going thinking it is a game. Yelling stop or wait doesnt work as she is in a state of high arousal and is very intent on running. At great speed. She has no sense of danger. We are working on listening skills, where we practise really good listening, where we play let's run to the next landmark and I give lots of praise when she does what I have instructed. So, what is a new Mummy to do with a little 3 year old girl who loves to be outdoors and loves the sense of freedom that running around brings, and yet I neeed to make sure she is safe where she runs and have to also run with her, as well as finding a variety of experiences for her to enjoy and develop her mind and interest. After all, she needs a balance of finding freedom as well as the safety of boundaries and to learn the rules of conformity. I am a member of the National Trust and so it seemed a natural thing to contnue with my new little girl. Membership is free for a child under 5. It is a no brainer and it is always fun in the rain and shine. But have you heard of this? 50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4 It is an amazing discovery and is something we are beginning to do. Everything from looking inside a tree or running in the rain to kyacking and climbing a tree. You can pick up books to complete from national trust shops or do the challenge online and collect badges as you complete each of the 50.
We have started.
4 badges all completed already.
To be continued.... until she is 11 and 3/4. We have 8 years. I think it will be a while before we build a dam in a river....

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Ticking Timebomb 2010

I have always had the desire to be a Mum and have always thought that I would adopt as well as having children naturally. I think since I was about 6 and playing with dolls and being a bridesmaid several times at an early age did it for me. That was it, my planned destiny in my heart and my hopes and dreams right then. The dream of course was to meet a man, get marrried and have lots of children. The dream. It was all so simple. Whilst I have always thought I would adopt, I had always thought that that I would have some of my own children first and then adopt. I had always considered being a Mum would be as a married woman, get pregnant, have children -  a mix of boys and girls and adopt as well. My very short marriage ended devastatingly at the very time we had always said we would have children when I hit 30. When I did hit 30, ironically it seemed, instead of planning a pregnancy, divorce papers were filed. And yet I still dreamed and hoped. I dreamed of falling in love again and of being married and having children. There was hope for all of this to happen. There was still lots of time to have a family, wasn't there. Wasn't there? After many years of hoping and each new year or birthday thinking, well maybe this year.... Meeting men and either trusting them enough after the pain of one failed marriage to develop a new relationship, or for them to like me enought to want to form a new relationship it hasn't yet happened. The tick of time continued. Friends got married, some re-married, many got pregnant and have children and at many of these occasions there was often a sting in the tail for me. When will it be my turn? Surely it will be my turn next? When I was in my early 40's, I did a lot of soul searching and began to hear this loud ticking noise. What was that noise? Tick, tick. I realised that perhaps there would never be THE year for me to meet the man of my dreams and to have children of our own. I may meet someone special, I may not. Tick, tick, tick, the noise gets louder. My natural body clock was a ticking timebomb and as the years have come and gone, the tick has got louder and louder and the timebobmb has been ready and waiting, poised and ready. To explode. Over my head and from inside my body all at the same time.
I turn another year older.
Tick, Tick, Tick.
The timebomb explodes.
I see things differently. Separation of the desire to be with a man and the desire to have children occurs as if orbiting through space and they become two seperate desires of time.
The timebomb explodes with the reality that I do not have time to naturally meet a man and get married and to get pregnant and have children of my own.
These desires are now separated and making their journey through time and space and are now desire and reality to realise.
Reality: I may or may not meet a lovely man to share my life with.
Desire: I want to be a Mum.
I realise: I still want to be a Mum.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Cherry Tomatoes

Sitting opposite, we sat down to tea.
You chose cherry tomatoes,
one, two, three.
As you bit into them, the juice and seeds splatted.
This is fun, you must have thought.
The joys of being 3.
You continued to take the tomatoes from the salad bowl.
And continued to bite and the tomatoes dutifully splatted
across your face,
across the table
and hit me.
You beamed your great big smile and giggled the giggle of success.
12 cherry tomatoes on your plate.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Reflections of Uncertainty in The Waiting for 2012

At the start of the New Year 2013, I can be forgiven for looking back over this last year and reflecting on the many changes that have occured.
This time a year ago, 2012, I was single and the certainty of becoming a Mum still seemed so very un-certain. I had been approved to be an adopter but there was still a minefield of paperwork and the family finding process in earnest was still several heartbeats away. It felt like an eternity, the waiting. It all seemed so very uncertain and so comepletely beyond my control. my life was in "their hands". Well, not my life literally but my future hope to be a Mum seemed to be in their hands.
The Adoption process with this agency has been almost 2 years, which for the UK, ticks all the current boxes in terms of the length of time for the whole process to take but that does not feel like a short and slick process when you are in it.
This last year it has been full of waiting, forms, waiting, questions, waiting, answers, searching and searching for the right child for me to parent, lists of possibles, decisions to be made, waiting, interviews, questions, waiting, decisions, waiting,waiting, preparing a room and preparing a heart, waiting,waiting, waiting, waiting, matching panel,waiting, decision maker's decision, relief, timing for meeting your child for the first time, introductions, and arrival home together have all happened in this last year.
The waiting and the feeling of uncertainty have, at times, been very hard indeed.
A year on and several hoops and hopes later, we are both home and looking forward to a new year ahead, with a whole different set of uncertainties ahead in our adventures.
The waiting and the uncertainty in the wait have taught me powerful things about myself and those around me who have inspired and supported me along the way.
The reflection of the wait is something quite beautiful to behold.
The change from uncertainty to certainty has been worth the wait indeed.
Apparently, only fools rush in.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A whole lot of New!

Happy Yew Year, Mummy! she squealed as she beamed with delight at the sparklers in the darkness on New Year's Eve. Our first New Year's Eve together. She has beamed with such delight on several of our firsts these last few months but particularly, I was reminded, when we first met this last Summer of 2012. Then, she was just 3 and wearing shorts and t shirt and it was "summer". She, opened the door and just beamed at me as she said: You are my New Mummy, aren't you? Yes I said, Would you like to come in? she asked. Yes, I said and went in. I went in to the front room with her foster carers and we played and I treasured this, our first meeting. A camera to take a photo, would have seemed most intrusive for this frst meeting between new Mummy and new daughter but the beaming smile I was greeted with I will never forget. I doubt a photo would have captured it. I will remember the moment for ever.