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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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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

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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Part 1 – done

My home-study is officially complete.  My PRIDE classes and assigned homework is done.  My psych evaluation has been written up – and I am not crazy!  All of this is being sent to the ministry today.  OMG!  This is a major step forward in this long process and I couldn’t be happier.

My skin is actually tingling.  I am trying so hard not to get excited because I know I have a long way to go – that I am not even close to my dreams coming true – but I am CLOSER and that’s what matters.

I have been trying to come up with ways to save money and make money for this whole process.  Saving money isn’t actually the hard part – it’s the making money aspect that has been difficult.  There is only so much I have that I can sell.  A friend told me start a go-fund me page soliciting donations, but that doesn’t seem right to me.  This was my idea, my dream. I am hoping to find a way to get about $5000.00 extra by January (to help pay for my two week trip to Haiti + extra that i need after that date) and I think by selling some things and with the savings I may have about half.

I am reaching out to you my dear readers – I already work full time so a second job isn’t really going to work with my schedule, but what can I do to make money besides sell stuff I already have??  I am open to even the craziest of suggestions!

I am so grateful to y’all for your support.  I will let you know when my Ministry approval comes back!

Love,

Nicole

8

My secret that I can’t hold in anymore

I am not fertile…supposedly.  I had an AMH test (blood test)completed a few months ago and sadly it didn’t go my way.  I am not surprised by this outcome.  For almost 15 years I have had a weird gut instinct that I would never have my own children – biological children that is.  I have watched friend after friend look at a man and wind up pregnant and while I have never actively tried to get pregnant with ex-boyfriends, we weren’t always careful.  I have also had 5 unsuccessful IUI’s, 2 of which were medicated with hormones that turned me into a raging crazy lady.

So ya there is that.

I don’t feel any ways about it.  I am numb towards it and in fact I haven’t even seen my fertility doctor since the phone call that confirmed my most horrible fears. I have cried tears, tears that seemed never ending.  Tears that were for me, for my family, for my dad – who regardless would never meet his grandchild.  I am sure there will be therapist visits in the near future, I am a total believer in therapy and I have an amazing therapist whom I trust and respect so in the new year, I will book in to see her.

An even stronger emotion though that I have been feeling is hope.  Hope for adoption.  I have always considered adoption to be this amazing selfless gift one gives to themselves, but I had no idea where to look.  I did what all millennials do – I googled it. I was steered to the Adoption Council of Ontario and on November 11th I attended and information night ($50) where I was told about Public, Private and International adoption.  There is just something that is guiding my heart towards international adoption – in Haiti – so I looked up Mission of Tears (myadoption.ca) and it seems that a single woman (over 35, which I turn in January) can adopt a child 6 months and older.  The thing that tears me apart is it takes 30-38 months for the whole process to complete and that is a long time to hold my child in my arms and feel their soft skin against mine.

I looked up an adoption practitioner in Ajax because I need to complete a home study and PRIDE classes before Haiti even is a possibility and thankfully he responded quickly and I will be meeting with him in January.  The PRIDE classes will be in early April and I am hoping to complete my home study by early summer.  I have a lot of questions, I am sure many of you do too, but that’s why I am meeting him in January.

I know this…I feel very strongly about this.  I refuse to look at what I cannot change and what will not be.  I have been through the gamete of emotions, but for this…this feels right.

Financially this will be hard.  I have just enough to get through it I hope, but I may look at some fundraising opportunities and of course may start asking for money for Christmas and birthdays to help cover these costs (the PRIDE class alone is $700.00!), but I need to do this.  I need to do this for me and for my Koko bean.

I will be updating this blog, but of course I need to ensure confidentiality until that little baby is mine so please don’t expect to much, but what I can share, I will.  I thank you all for sharing your journeys with me and supporting me in mine.

Love

Nicole

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0 to 2

My friend K wanted to take her mother to Vegas with her husband for a few days and asked me to watch her two most precious possessions – her 5 year old son C and her 20 month old daughter M.  Our other friend E was going to watch them Friday and Saturday while I was Black Friday shopping and I would pick them up Sunday, take C to swimming lessons and then take care of them for the next three days except when they were in daycare/school and I was at work.  Of course I agreed, I love those kids and I wanted my friend to feel calm and have fun knowing her children were in good, safe hands while she was celebrating her mom!

So on Sunday morning, I went from having zero responsibility to full responsibility for two sweet little lives.

Now this isn’t my first rodeo with children.  I have lots of little kidlets I have babysat in the past; and at times my nieces and nephew, while growing up, lived at my dads house so I saw routines being created and heard the temper tantrums, cries in the middle of the night and screams when one was hurt – numerous times!!  However, being solely responsible for not one but TWO actual lives for almost 72 hours is something I hadn’t really thought of.

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The first night I had them, C was coughing during the night I knew he was alive and well one bedroom over, but last night – no coughing!  I thought for sure I had killed him.  I got up three times in the middle of the night to check his chest to make sure he was breathing – ya I am clearly crazy tired!

Getting C to his swimming class was a chore, only because it was warm in the building so I was holding my large purse filled with a diaper, wipes, a toy, a drink and snacks, three jackets, a bag with a towel and of course holding M’s little hand who was grasping tightly to three little stuffed animals (she totally stole my stuffed animals, what a thief!).  While C was swimming, M sat in a chair eating a chocolate chip bear paw, drinking her bottle of water and hugging MY stuffies.  She was great.  When it was time to get C, we walked into the change room, I asked M to stay by me while I helped C get dressed and she did!  SUCCESS!

I have not had one tear over missing mommy or daddy thank goodness because K and I were both positive M would BAWL her little eyes out cause she is very anxious around people that aren’t her parents.  But as of this mornings drop off she has been full of smiles and giggles.

One thing that has been a saving grace, is that M wants to eat all the time.  Yogurt, cookies, grilled cheese, pb and j, toast, water, milk, pudding, teddy grahams, apple…it doesn’t matter…she will eat it and I swear she has NO END.  Such a tiny little cutie and she just eats and doesn’t stop until I tell her no more!  This morning she ate her breakfast and all of C’s crust from his pb on toast.

I have learned that while routines are important and must be established, it’s important to be flexible…C is a sloooowwwww riser, he doesn’t move quickly or want to get dressed or eat his breakfast so having his clothes ready and breakfast made before even trying to wake him was mandatory!  M wakes quickly and of course will eat as soon as her eyes open and will let me dress her immediately so with her I didn’t need to be SO prepared.

Tonight, the parents come back.  I will miss the joy of kissing the kids goodnight and good morning, I will miss the hugs and the smiles.  I will however, enjoy a good night sleep tonight and will hopefully dream of the little baby boy or girl I hope to adopt (more on that later) in 2016/17.

What a great experience to have…thanks K!

Love

Nicole

P.S C said he wants to marry me so I can buy him lots of toys in the Toys R Us flyer…uh huh, I am loved 😉

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Having two dogs for three days convinced me I want ONE child

I’m going to start this off by saying, that if I am blessed with twins, I will be extremely happy and love both children and have absolutely NO problem raising both babies…

On Tuesday my friend asked me if I could watch her 8-year-old Yorkie/Lhaso Apso mix until Friday so she could drive her daughter to University.  Of course, being available, I said yes!  I mean how much work could a second dog be?

Monty is a sweet little guy and since Simba (my cocker spaniel mix) couldn’t care less about other dogs, I was confidant it would be a fun few days – and it was!  The first night I had both dogs (who mostly ignored each other) I decided to take them for a walk.  I have only ever had one dog on a walk before, but I have walked probably a dozen different dogs in my life time, all of various sizes and temperaments so this should have been a piece of cake!  The walk started off great, they pushed forward, peeing on everything they passed and of course peeing over each others pee because they both were desperate to be pack leader!  Monty is older, but Simba is bigger and he took over as pack leader quite quickly, leading the walk and stopping the walk when he wanted it to stop.  The problem came when the leashes got tied up.  The dogs were going back and forth and at one point I had to take the leash off Simba because I couldn’t untangle them attached!  Coming home from that walk my amazing neighbors were out and both dogs went crazy trying to say hello to all four of the McKinnon clan!

I was worried about the sleep that night, not sure exactly if Monty would sleep on the bed or if he would try to jump off it and want to run around.  My fears were eased when he settled quickly in between my feet.  The problem came when Simba – who was snuggled into my armpit decided Monty was to close to me and leaped in between my legs and settled into a deep sleep.  Needless to say, my sleep was not a sound one.  Between Simba and Monty, I couldn’t move and decided better to try to sleep on my back than wake two sleeping dogs who were getting along.

Waking up Wednesday morning, both dogs were staying home all day because my mom was coming over so I took them outside to do their business and my mom said there were no messes when she came over!  Again, both dogs ignored each other all day – until I came home.  Both dogs then decided that it was time to play.  Simba wanted Monty’s rope toy and Monty also wanted his rope toy – until he found Simbas toy box in the kitchen.

This box has probably 10-12 toys in it and Monty pulled out each toy and brought each one to his little fluffy bed. When Simba clued into what he was doing, Simba pulled each toy out of the bed and dropped it on the floor – in front of the TV.  Within 30 minutes I had almost a dozen toys (including Monty’s rope and two toys I didn’t even know Simba had) scattered between the TV and Monty’s bed (about four feet).  Of course when I went to pick them all up, both dogs followed me looking fully annoyed I was cleaning up there party!  I put both dogs to bed early, ensuring they could NOT sleep in between me.

Thursday night, I decided to attempt mowing my newly sodded back yard while both dogs played around and I saw Monty walk up the side of yard, but the gate is never open so I knew he’d be fine and I kept mowing.  About five minutes later I realized I hadn’t seen him come back down yet and Simba was lying on the freshly mowed grass doing nothing so I went up the side and called Monty’s name – the gate was OPEN!  Of course panic set in and I ran out screaming his name looking up and down the street looking like a mad woman.  I can’t believe I had LOST a dog!!!!

I looked to my right and in the middle of the street stood Monty (about 8 houses down!).  I called his name, and instead of coming to me, he walked towards the boulevard and pee’d on a tree and then walked back across the street FULLY ignoring me!

I ran over to him and he tried to run away but I used my angry teacher voice and he stopped and sat down.  I picked him up and lectured him about running away (cause you know dogs totally understand English!) and brought him back home.  After that, play time was over.  We went inside and shortly later went to bed.

Today I dropped Monty back off at his home and gave him lots of kisses goodbye.  It was fun having another dog around, especially one who is so playful, but I’m grateful for Simba and I think one dog is more than enough for me!

Now, what does this have to do with children you ask???

I always assumed, if I was successful with my IUI, that I would keep a vile of sperm from the same donor so I could have a second child and my kids would be biologically related, but sometimes having one is enough. I have thought having a second dog would be awesome, and it was fun, but it wasn’t awesome, it was exhausting…Simba is MORE than enough dog for me to care for!  I am single and I have a lot of love to give, but I think my love, time, patience and strength would best be spread out to one child (and one dog).  Having two (alone) would be hard, a lot harder than I really need or particularly want it to be.  If I do find an amazing man than a second or third child even would be great, but if it’s just me, I’ll stick to my beautiful Koko Bean and be overjoyed with them.

Love

Nicole