2

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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3

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

0

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

1

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!

 

2

It was just a dream

I drove up to the Creche, hot and sweaty, the bus had no air conditioning and I was having trouble breathing in the stale, Haitian heat.  When the doors open, the kids and their nanny’s came pouring out of the small building in front of me with smiles on their faces, but I was only looking for one.  The face of my boy – my son.  I picked him out immediately, shiny skin, damp with perspiration, a big grin and tears running down his cheeks as he saw me – his manman (mother in Creole).

He jumped into my arms, there was a lot of noise around us, laughter and happy squeals as other parents around us met their children for the first time.  He whispered in my ear that he had been waiting a long time for me.  I pulled back and kissed him on the forehead and told him I had been waiting my whole life for him! We spent time sitting on a bench together talking and giggling, holding hands and hugging constantly while he told me everything I could possible ever need to know about him.

I knew it was a dream, he spoke perfect English; my beautiful child will not.  He was also older, maybe 6 or 7, and my child will be under 3.  But even though I knew it was a dream, it didn’t damper the elation I felt because this child, this beautiful little boy was mine and I loved him instantly.

Waking up with a damp face from tears I was sad and upset and immediately felt a part of me was missing, a pain in my heart that was so real it kept me paralyzed for a brief moment until I realized my alarm was going off.

It was time to start my day.

But what a dream…it was a really good dream.

Love

Nicole

1

What a week

It’s Thursday…this week isn’t even over and I have been specially blessed TWICE!  Some weeks are normal, boring even…some weeks I see and feel heartache and sadness, but this week – this week is great!

First, my cousin Matt and his lovely fiance safely had their second little boy delivered by C-Section at 9 pds and 15 ounces!  I know – a big boy!  James Gordon and I met on Tuesday and snuggled for well over an hour.  His newness and sweetness radiating off of him and of course putting him down left an aching that I never fully recover from.  I know that having a newborn is not a part of my journey – but sometimes, when I let me weaknesses role in, sometimes it still bites.

Second – and this is MY good news – I am ADOPT READY in Ontario, meaning my ministry has put the stamp on my home study and once my dossier is complete I can submit my final documents to my adoption agency for translation.  My first meeting with my practitioner was all the way back in January and now – 10 months later, I am adopt ready!  I know I still have a year or more of waiting for referral, but this crucial step is complete.  I can breathe a sigh of relief.  My government is not standing in the way between my child having a mother.

Thank you God.

Love Nicole

5

Seasons of wait

When I see friends whom I haven’t talked to in awhile, the standard first question is “how was your summer?”  I don’t have much to say other than – “alright”.  I went to the cottage, spent time with friends and family and waited.  Waited for reports to be finished and most recently (since the beginning of August) waited to be approved as ADOPT READY.  This has been another really long wait.  I know being a mom will require patience and understanding, but testing me through long wait periods of documents being signed and approved isn’t really helping me!

Once I am ADOPT READY, I can submit my dossier to my agency, have everything translated, give them a kidney and possibly a lung to cover the costs and THEN finally have my documents sent to HAITI.  Sadly, this is when the longest wait will be.  I will possibly wait a year or more to be matched with a child.  A year or more of my baby growing up in the Creche (Orphanage).  A year or more of possible Hurricanes destroying his/her land.  A year or more of them not knowing who their mother is.  Not knowing how needed and loved and wanted they are.

The wait is painful.  The only thing that makes is bearable is knowing that my child is there waiting for me too.  They need me to be patient.  They need me to relax and be calm and have my ducks in a line.  They need me to be healthy.  They need me to have my finances all in order.  They need me.  For them I will wait.  For them, and only them, I will take a breath today and accept that waiting is part of the process.  I will suffer through more seasons – fall, winter, spring and summer – with the faith that when everything is right and the stars have aligned – my turn will come.  I will get to be a mommy.  For now I will read the blogs, I will chime in on the numerous Facebook groups dedicated to adoption and I will wait.

Love

Nicole