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!

 

0

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??

 

2

The Climb

I am not now nor have I ever been a “Miley Cyrus” fan.  However, whenever I hear this song (the only one by her on my phone) I can’t help but dream off into space thinking of my journey to be a mother…

I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming,
But there’s a voice inside my head saying,
“You’ll never reach it.”
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’

But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down,
But no, I’m not breaking
I may not know it,
But these are the moments
That I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,

And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on,

‘Cause…

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah, yeah, yeah

Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about—it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa, whoa, oh.

  • Google time play

I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, I just feel like I have had so many obstacles ahead of me, so many hills I have had to climb and really – regardless of what happens in the end, once I hold my child in my arms – it will all be worth it.

Love

Nicole

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It takes a village

As you all know, I am currently in the process of adopting a toddler internationally.  A decision I didn’t make lightly, but one that I know in my heart and in my soul is the right decision for me.  I have never thought – not once – maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should wait another couple of years, maybe, maybe, maybe…I just know.  I know like I need to breathe air and eat food and drink water – I know.  I know where my baby is.

***now as a side note, I have been informed that I am unable to talk on any social media forums (inc. blogs)  about the specifics of the adoption at this point from my agency and I understand that.  The child’s protection, the orphanages confidentiality and the details I am paying a great deal to learn from my agency is not for the eyes and ears of the world so I will not go into any details about particulars.

This choice, it didn’t come easy.  I had to accept that I may never have a biological child to start processing this choice.  I had to argue for my rights with a doctor to get forms signed and completed.  I had to defend my choice against critics of single motherhood (aren’t we in 2016 where women can do whatever the hell they want?).  I had to accept that the inheritance that my father left me would be gone, depleted  and pray that he would be okay with how I have chosen to spend this portion of it. I have binders of information to read through, sign and date.  I have essays to write, photo’s to take, reference letters to gather all while giving up any source of privacy because our Ontario government and the government of Haiti, need to know that I can, and desire to, and have the means to, adopt a child and raise them in a healthy, safe environment.

I am overwhelmed often.  I am tired often.  I want to scream and cry often.

But it is always worth it.  Every second spent, every line of defense I need to spew, every dollar I give is worth it.

This child is already loved – yet they might not even be born.  This child already has an aunt and an uncle and a grandmother eagerly awaiting them to arrive.  This child has surrogate aunts and uncles in my friends who have offered to help in anyway they can.  Some have offered clothing, furniture and toys, while others just can’t wait to take this amazing child to the park, or downtown exploring Toronto.  This child was born blessed as all babies are – and they are going to make me blessed in the process.

It takes a village to raise a child.  No one does it on their own.  We all rely on someone at some point for assistance and I am grateful for the chance to bring my little boy or girl home in the future and raise them among my amazing village.

Love

Nicole

 

0

Its been a journey…it isn’t over

I have wanted to be a mother since I knew what being a mother was.  I parented my dolls and stuffed animals when I was a small child, I started babysitting at age 12 when my neighbor trusted ME with her 2 month old son (who I took care of like he was my very own). I have surrounded myself with children and women who have had children my whole life. I secretly envied my friend when she got pregnant at 16, not wanting to be a mom until I finished school, but wishing I had a baby of my own. I even took a parenting class in high school where you had to bring home that doll that cried at various times and you had to stick a key in their back to give them their need.

The last three years however have been a never ending cycle of disappointments.  IUI didn’t work for me.  I am not as fertile as I need to be to get pregnant.  Maybe if I had a partner whom I was having sex with on a regular basis things would be different, but they aren’t.  Does that mean I give up?

My father didn’t raise a quitter.

I am going through the process of adopting.  I don’t NEED to be pregnant, though it would be great, but I NEED to be a mother.  I NEED to feel a small hand wrapped around mine, looking into the eyes of my child as they call me mom.  I NEED to do this for me – and for them.

I am going to adopt

I have almost completed my home study, my medical forms were signed (thank GOD) my police check and finger printing have been submitted and my biographies and short answer questionnaires have been written, edited, and submitted.  My references from my mom, Agnes and Kim have been mailed in and I have contacted the agency that will process my adoption with Haiti.  It’s been a busy few months.  Wow.

This weekend I start my PRIDE classes.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, here is a brief synopsis from the Adopt Ontario website:

PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) is a  a total of 27 hours of training that could be offered in a variety of ways, from once a week to sessions on weekends. Whenever possible, applicant participation in a PRIDE training program should be concurrent with the completion of their SAFE homestudy.

The PRIDE curriculum provides information to help prepare all adoptive parents for the responsibilities involved in raising their children and incorporates information about the following:

  • Adoption and child welfare systems, processes and laws
  • Attachment as a central issue in all adoptions
  • Loss issues in adoption
  • Impact of adoption on your own family
  • Child development, child management and an overview of issues specific to the needs of adopted children
  • The effects of neglect, lack of stimulation, abuse, institutionalization on children
  • Identity formation and the importance of cultural and racial awareness
  • The importance of connections and continuity for children

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Doesn’t this sound like something all first time parents should have to go through before they are allowed to get pregnant?  I mean obviously some of it wouldn’t be necessary, but a lot of it would be super beneficial and helpful – especially to young moms and parent’s who haven’t spent a lot of time around children!

I have a lot of experience with children – both blood related and friends kid’s.  However I am so looking forward to these classes.  I can’t wait to learn from, and talk to, people who are going to be going through the same things as me around the same time.  I can’t wait to study and find resources that support my desire to parent an adopted child.  My heart is so full of excitement and love that half the time I feel like crying tears of pure joy!

The next two weekends will be wonderful, educational and bring me that one step closer to me fulfilling my dreams.  My dad would be so excited for me!

Love Nicole

0

Unfriend Day

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Yesterday was National Unfriend Day, who knew that such a thing existed!  Why on earth would you ever want to UNFRIEND someone??  Why would you friend somebody just to turn around and unfriend them??  I get that people you have broken up with or hurt you in some way, but to have a day dedicated to clearing out your Social Media contacts sounded so strange to me.

Until Friday.  Friday the world changed again.  Like September 11th, 2001, November 13th 2015 will forever be a day where the world mourns the loss of innocence.  There was another massive terror attack in France; maybe not as extreme or as close to home as September 11th, but a part of me felt broken and sad after the awful news started its way around the media.

I am on Facebook a lot, like a lot a lot!  The first day or two was how sad everyone was and of course pictures started to surface of the Eifle Tower and people (including me) changed their profile the colours of the French flag (Red White and Blue).  Slowly on Sunday and Monday I started noticing a change.  All of a sudden a few of my “friends” started posting the most hateful, cruel messages towards Muslims, Syrians etc. I quickly posted the most loving, positive  LOGICAL messages I could find to combat the yuckiness, trying my damnedest not to scream at the haters.  It didn’t matter.  A few more people started re-posting the racist remarks and I was just done.  Coincidentally on National Unfriend Day, I unfriended 6 people on purpose.

People are allowed to be scared, I am.

People are allowed to have their own opinion and post it on their pages throughout Social Media, I do.

However, I realize no one is forced to look at it or be bombarded by it.  I felt I was.

There were a couple of people whom I didn’t delete because of my relationship with them outside of Social Media, but I know, and have known, their opinions for years and I tolerate it and voice my opinion consistently on their attitude.

It’s sad that it has come to this.  I want to so much for the world to get along and care about one another, if I was a beauty contestant peace on earth would be my mantra, but I’m not and there isn’t this peace…there is evil and horror and I want the fear and hate to stay where it should – on those few people who have created it.

It’s okay if you don’t agree with me, that’s the joy of the media, the joy of MY country – Canada…we are allowed to agree to disagree and still have respect for each other.  I hope you will still respect me!

Love Nicole

 

 

5

Chi-Town and why my dislike for some Americans continues…

I have been wanting to go to Chicago pretty much since the last time I went to Chicago with my girlfriend looking for her wedding dress back in 2010.  The irony is that I went because I needed to escape my breakup and the drama surrounding it with A and I knew Kim would be the perfect friend to spend a long weekend with.  This time I went with A because we have somehow managed to escape the nastiness of a breakup, and come out on the other side friends again.

I wanted to go with A because he loves baseball as much, if not more than I do, and my reason for going this time around was to see both the Cubs AND the White Sox play – to see both fields and come two stadiums closer to finishing my goal of seeing every major league baseball diamond.  (I have seen 7 now – still a LOOOOOOONNNNNG way to go).

We left Toronto early Wednesday morning, Canada Day, and both of us immediately fell asleep on the plane.  Thankfully the 1.5 hour plane ride was smooth and quiet and we woke up feeling a bit more refreshed and ready to make our way to the hotel.  Supposedly, when you take a cab that is already waiting for you from the hotel into Elmhurst (where our hotel was) they charge you a fare + half.  If we had called our own taxi they just charge you a regular fare, but we didn’t find that out until we had already agreed to take the already waiting taxi because we knew no better. lesson learned.  After a $45 cab ride I was terrified that the hotel would refuse us entry so early as check in is 3 pm and it was only 9 am, but they had a room available so we thanked them and went to our first floor room to unpack.

Hunger was a priority so we googled where Denny’s was and found it was a ten minute drive (about 4 miles) away so we called a cab and they advised it would be $12.  This seemed expensive, but we were starving so we headed out.  Denny’s makes me happy…cheap, delicious food and service was great!

After breakfast – we needed to sleep.  We both took a four-hour nap.  What an exciting trip!  HA!  That night we learned how to take the Metra (their version of the GO train) into downtown and the nicest train conductor told us how to get around downtown and advised us that cab drivers love taking advantage of Canadians and tourists in general so we needed to act like we were home-grown.  He told us the cab ride to Navy Pier should cost no more than $10 and to tell the driver assertively that was where we wanted to go.  Navy Pier was just as I remembered it – but colder…much colder due to the Lake and the winds coming off the lake.  I bought a sweater that all tourists were wearing and so did A because even HE was cold…after walking around and seeing some of the Piers attractions the fire works show began and I took it as a salute to Canada (even though they have Fire Works every Wednesday).  We had Giordano’s for a late dinner, of course settling for deep dish pizza (holy crap that pizza is THICK).

The rest of our trip had a mixture of highs (seeing both MLB teams and going to a live jazz bar) and lows (getting taken advantage of by a few more cab drivers and we had some major issues witht he hotel that A will be complaining about to management) but spending time with A and being away from the Toronto Pan Am madness for even a few days was totally worth it all.  I know now, that next summer I want to do another American city to cross another diamond off my list – maybe Boston or Seattle?  I have a year to decide!  I hope next year it’s with a little one in my arms or at least a man who loves me holding my hand.

Exploring, travelling, adventure – it’s something I was not exposed to as a child and so I am making sure I get to do some of it now.  It may not be far, but it’s still thrilling to me.  I can’t wait to expose my future little Koko Bean to life outside of his or her hometown.

Love Nicole