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The realities of a single woman adopting from Haiti

When I first started my journey to being a mom (through insemination) I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Sunshine and rainbows would not be in my immediate future, but I knew without a doubt it would be worth it.  All the poking and prodding and monitoring of my cycle would be agonizing, but I was okay with all of it.  It was a means to an end.

In November of 2015 when I started the adoption process, I knew my journey was going to become much harder, even more invasive and much more expensive, but again I knew in my heart that it was what I needed to do.

The realities of this journey have surprised even me, me the girl who plans and reads and researches and re-plans and re-reads everything!

The costs – financially are exorbitant.  For the first year I literally was in the bank on a monthly (sometimes weekly!) basis moving money around and getting money orders to pay everyone under the sun.  My money – it’s running out.  Well in reality it has run out.  I am actually looking forward to re-mortgaging my house when it comes up so I can pay off the debt and have my nest egg (which is going towards paying the second half of my adoption costs) settled. The thing that kills me is that none of this money has gone towards my sweet little child who I don’t even know yet!

Every penny, paid to whomever, is worth it.

The costs – emotionally are exhausting.  I see people I have connected with in chat groups get their referrals, their Visas, their Exit letters and of course their homecomings and I am jealous.  Not like the boy I like, likes another girl jealous – but WHY NOT ME???!!! jealous and that is an envy that isn’t fair to anyone.

Every tear and sad face is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share in my grief.  Most people who adopt have that special someone that they can lean on when the wait becomes to long.  They have someone to talk to who understands and most of all is REALLY REALLY interested in everything you are thinking and hoping for. My friends and family love me and they care and are excited for me, but they don’t have the same passion obviously as a spouse would have and sometimes I feel completely alone.

Every ounce of longing is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share my fears with.  There is a Hurricane blowing in quickly and fiercely.  My child, the one I don’t know, is living there, as are hundreds of other children, with no parents to wrap them in their arms and keep them safe.  The sweet nannies and creche directors I know do everything they can, but nothing replaces a mother or fathers warm embrace. With every update on Hurricane Irma, my anxiety rises and my prayers become deeper and longer.  Other people are disappointed their Caribbean vacation spots will be destroyed – I am terrified, the child meant for me, will be harmed or that their biological family will be injured, it takes everything in me not to scream.

Every prayer and raised heartbeat is worth it.

Co-parenting will not be my reality.  I was with my friend and her husband this weekend – as I am most weekends, and their youngest was having trouble pooping.  She had been constipated for a couple of days and she was screaming and crying not wanting to poop.  What a simple concept for us adults.  You have to poop.  She was bribed, begged and pleaded with for over an hour and her parents were lucky – they had each other to tag out.  When one needed a break to get out of that small cottage bathroom, the other was there.  When my kid refuses to poop – and don’t they all at some point – it will be me.  My patience will be tested.  My frustration levels and anxiety will be pushed to the limits.  My kid will stomp on my buttons and I can’t push back. I am the adult.  The only adult.  I have no one to tag out with and that reality kicked me pretty hard this weekend as I looked down on that sad little face of a girl who wouldn’t poop.

I can handle this.  Not only can I handle this, I WILL handle this and while I know sometimes I will fail, sometimes I’ll barely pass, my child will NEVER doubt that they are loved.  They will always have a soft spot to fall and that is something we all need a little more of.

Love Nicole

 

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Dreams can come true – if you are patient

There was a hard, dirt path from the Creche to the little building I was staying in.  As I walked towards the door I could feel the heat on my face, see the sun and knew that I would be sweating through my shirt by mid day.  I didn’t care though because a smiley faced toddler was running up the path screaming manman (mother in Creole) dressed in a beige t-shirt and crocs on her tiny feet.

She wrapped her arms around me and I could smell baby powder and sweat.  I was on my knees, tears springing to my eyes – this was my daughter.

My alarm went off and I woke up in my queen sized bed, light streaming through my window, Simba snuggled in my knee nook snoring softly.

It’s not a bad way to wake up-but that dream was so real I couldn’t help but cry wanting those chubby little arms to still be around my neck.

I am a short way in to a long waiting game for a referral, knowing that this will not be the first of many dreams to follow.  Will I have a daughter or a son?  I don’t know and I don’t care.

Thank God for dreams

Nicole

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ten minutes

Cottage living, nothing beats it.  Every summer with Kim and her family, the sites, the sounds and smells are so familiar to me now I can’t imagine a life without them.

On Saturday’s boat ride, coming back from Jeff’s friends cottage where Kim, Meaghan and I had no luck at fishing, Mya, (Kims daughter) sat in my lap for about ten minutes (which never happens – she is a mama’s girl at heart).

Her blond curls were tickling my nose from the cold wind and she was wrapped up tight in a towel around her puffy blue life jacket.  Her head was resting against my chest and I was wondering if she would fall asleep again as she always falls asleep on boat rides! She was telling me stories and pointing at all of the Canadian flags as we sped by.  I gently pressed my lips against her head and closed my eyes for just a moment and imagined when my own sweet boy or girl would be placed in my lap enjoying their new life in Canada at the cottage.  It will be then that the sites and sounds and smells will change – everything will be seen through new eyes – through the eyes of my child.

Mya is around the age my own child will be so having her be so willing to spend her time with me just makes me feel like a kid in a candy store!  I smile a bit brighter and the sadness and aching of not having my own child eases a little, knowing I will have a future as a mother and am right now getting to build my relationships with my extended family and their children.

For the rest of this week, I will hold tightly to the memory of those sweet curls blowing across my face and the warmth her tiny little soul provided me – even if it was only for ten minutes.

Love

Nicole

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Reality is setting in

Last week I got the email/call I have waited for.  I have waited a year – over a year for this news…

It’s probably not as exciting as you think…

I am officially in IBESR – which is the governing body in Haiti (like our social services) that handles all adoptions.  I have a file number!!!  This means that Haiti officially knows I exist!

I am still months and months away from referral (possible a year or more), but I am an optimist, not a realist so I constantly refresh my email thinking who knows – maybe I’ll be special, maybe I’ll get lucky and my referral for a match will come quicker than anyone else.  In the back of my head and in my heart – I know this is not the case.  I know I most likely will be sitting here a year from now blogging to you, my faithful followers, complaining about how I have waited over a year for a referral and that my faith is crumbling, but right now – so early in the process – my faith is high.

I do not know who this sweet little child is yet.  I don’t know if they are a boy or a girl. I don’t know their age or personality or family history – but I know they are there.  I know MY child is in Haiti and that they are eagerly waiting for me too.

Now I just need to stay calm.  I need to control my excitement.  I need to breathe.  I need to prepare – financially, emotionally, physically etc etc etc.

I also need to have the best summer that keeps me busy and makes me have these amazing memories to look back on because the wait may just kill me.

Please say a prayer for me and my family.

Love

Nicole

 

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Dinner conversations

This past Saturday I was treated to my favourite dinner – All You Can Eat Sushi – by the lovely Alex.  She drove up from downtown to the dreaded Durham Region where she thinks the dragons will attack her as soon as she crosses the Port Union boundary – she’s crazy, we feed our dragons Trump supporters…

Anyway, we had an amazing meal and  great conversation that really got me thinking.  We were talking about things we KNOW we want in our life.  Her biggest one was a husband, and to travel the world.  Now for those of you who may know my little Yoga loving hippie, this was not a shock at all.  (4 years ago I would have been shocked, but she met a sweet man who changed her view points on this and I totally get it!).  For me, the answer wasn’t so simple.  I started thinking about things people in general know they want in life and my answers were not so concrete.

A man (life partner)

This one is tricky – ask me ten years ago, I wanted to be a housewife, taking care of my imaginary husband, the house, the kids the whole nine yards.  I believed fully in passionate, romantic love.  But that was an un-realistic point of view.  I’ve been told this a million times over by friends and family members who roll their eyes as I watch another Nicholas Sparks movie.  But, I don’t know if I believe in any of that anymore.  I don’t feel like I will be fulfilled without this kind of love, so I am just kind of floating along the dating trail waiting to see.  I’d like a partner, sure.  But I have been single for so long, and screwed over so often that at the end of the day – this isn’t my “dream future”.

Child(ren)

This is my only focus.  All that I have, all that I am, is going into being a mom.  It’s the one constant throughout my life that hasn’t wavered (okay well 30 years ago I wanted 10 kids and the number has slowly decreased from there).  Having a child, being a mother, is the one thing I will sacrifice everything else for.  It’s not a want, it’s a need that has roots so deep in my heart I think I would rather die than live childless.

The perfect job

I like my job; I don’t love it usually though some days I do.  There are things I would rather be doing, but this job has set me up for success and stability in life and I crave stability – hence why having a man in my world is not a priority.

Travel

I’d travel most places in this large world of ours, but I will only ever plan or desire to travel to the USA and the Caribbean *and Mexico*.  When I am on vacation I like to relax and lie by a pool/ocean.  If someone else wanted me to go to say Belarus (cough Alex cough) I’d go, but I wouldn’t plan it.  Again, once I am able to be a mother, my idea of vacations will change.

A roof over my head

I love my house.  I picked it and decorated it for me.  It was nice being single at this time because it was all about me in a world where it so seldom is.  I don’t ever see me selling this home, I have great neighbours, a close drive to everything and everyone I love and it’s affordable (thank you job).

Maybe I do know what I want.  Maybe I am afraid to admit those things that I don’t want or aren’t willing to settle for because they aren’t the norm.  People are uneasy when a woman of a certain age are single still…maybe I just have to accept my lot in life because of my wants.  I don’t know…time will tell I guess.  For now, this lady is a single, trying to adopt, caseworker who has a few Caribbean vacations planned in the next few years!

Love me or hate me…but that’s what it is!

 

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Prioritize

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This is my #onelittleword for 2017 .  Sometimes I am so bored I have days or weeks where I have nothing to do.  Sometimes I am so busy that things (and people) get ignored.  A lot of times that person is me.  My priorities get out of whack a lot because in general I am a people pleaser.  I want everyone to be happy and I do what I can to make that happen.

After having lunch with one of my oldest friends (as in I have known her longest, not as in actual age) and bouncing a few words off her and sending out requests to Facebook friends, I have chosen the word Prioritize.  I need to prioritize “me” time.  I need to prioritize my money for the adoption.  I need to prioritize time spent with my friends and god-children because they all mean the world to me and keep my head above water. I need to prioritize time for my house because it too needs attention. My niece also needs attention, she is struggling with reality and I want to help her and take care of her when she lets me.  I also want to make time for one of my favourite people in the world – my aunt – who also has a lot of life changes this upcoming year and whose love I feel constantly.

I could just sit back and say “screw it all, let the chips fall where they may” but I know from years past that what gets neglected is my house and me and I don’t want that to happen in 2017.

I need to make time for my creative outlet – scrapbooking.  I usually end up panicking and doing a ton at the Crop and Create events I attend but then I don’t get to enjoy my friends there as much as I would like to, so up first on my list – finish my December Daily and finish Project Life 2016 by the end of next week.  I also want to make time to take Julia out to Walmart to replace her Christmas gift. I may see if she is free this Saturday.  I can take her to Walmart and then come by for an hour to play with her and her sister.  This will make me happy.  Yes, I think I am going to go text her dad right now!  I will make her my priority this weekend.  Also, I am being spoiled by the same lovely friend as mentioned above and she is making the trek into Durham to take me out for my birthday dinner!!!  WOOHOO

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Stephen R. Covey

What would your #onelittleword be??

 

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40 thoughts while dating 

I went on a first date last night, the first in a long time!  Here are some of my favourite thoughts throughout the evening. 

  1. Why did I get bangs, these things looks ridiculous. 
  2. My make-up is making me look like a Clown. Why is my face so red. Foundation!!!!
  3. Okay I look so cute. Ryan is gonna fall in love with me! 
  4. Shit what is on my blouse!? Water…thank you Jesus. 
  5. Okay it’s 5:00, time to go. I’m gonna puke. Hold on. Okay no I’m not. 
  6. ‘Oh the weather outside is frightful’
  7. I’m here…is he here?  Is that him?  No he’s like 15. I’m going inside. 
  8. Holy fuck is that him! I’m going home…(I saw a guy with super tight jeans and fluorescent shoes…it wasn’t him)
  9. He’s late…what if he doesn’t show up?  Am I being ditched!!! First date in years and he isn’t coming!!!!
  10. Oh no he’s just five minutes behind. Okay phew!  
  11. Damn okay he’s cute! Eeeeee! 
  12. I hope I don’t kill myself bowling
  13. Why are my fingers so fat!?  This damn ball is gonna get stuck and I will die of embarrassment! 
  14. Is he staring at my ass?  What choice does he have – why are we bowling!?!?  
  15. Okay I threw a gutter ball – kill me now. 
  16. Oh he didn’t bowl any better – I might be okay
  17. Help! What do I say, he’s nice and friendly and I’m freaking out cause I can’t think of something to say!
  18. High five he got a strike – we are talking thank you god. We are okay. 
  19. He won!  Didn’t even let me win!?  Good…I’d be so pissed if he let me win
  20. I got a strike! Woohoo took a game and a half but I finally got a strike. 
  21. He beat me again!!  I hope he wants to play another game!
  22. Game three woohoo!!  Maybe he’s having a good time!?  I am!  Conversation is flowing and I’m smiling. This is a good night. 
  23. He beat me again!  Ass. 
  24. Date isn’t over – we are having drinks!  Yes!!! 
  25. I can’t stop smiling!! 
  26. Do I smell?  He’s sitting so close to me but I was hot while bowling!?  God please don’t let me be smelly. 
  27. He wants to go somewhere else to watch the game!  Yes sir!!
  28. Why can’t I text and drive. My girls will want to know how this date is going!! Especially since it’s going well!! 
  29. I want wings…can I eat wings on a date
  30. Fuck it I’m not that fancy I’m getting wings. 
  31. So is he! Yes match made in heaven!!
  32. It’s loud in here. Not good. I can’t hear him. 
  33. Oh I can get closer to him this way cause we need to be close to hear each other
  34. TFC is going to lose this game. Dammit
  35. Let me put my arm through his. See if he responds. 
  36. This feels nice. 
  37. I have soft skin?  Is he nuts – it’s so dry. I hate winter. 
  38. Is he gonna kiss me tonight?  I hope he kisses me. This has been fun. 
  39. He kissed me!!! Yes!  
  40. See ya later alligator.  There will be a second date!  Dating is fun!!

Love Nicole