Uncategorised

My husband and I tried for years to conceive a baby of our own. When it didn’t happen we moved easily to pursuing adoption. We had heard horror stories of waiting for years to be chosen to adopt. We decided early on that we wouldn’t ask for a baby or even a toddler. We would open our hearts and home to a preschooler and we took the required course, filled out piles of paperwork and completed several hours of interviews. We then were quickly matched with a little boy. We were given full disclosure through several meetings and reviewing his file. We decided that despite his rough start to life we wanted to become his parents. 

We met him and fell hopelessly in love with the little boy with the big tummy from eating celebratory fries at childcare in celebration of his new family. The transition was fairly painless though each night that we returned him to the foster home I cried as we pulled away and we fell in to bed exhausted from entertaining a 3 year old all day. What we didn’t realize was that our new son’s energy wasn’t just high because he was new to our family but rather that he was hardwired that way. Once he came home forever it dawned on us that we were way in over our heads. 

That enigmatic little boy was constantly on the go. He got into everything, demanded attention every waking hour and threw tantrums the likes we had never seen before (and I work with children with behavioural needs). We were in over our heads from day one but we persevered and sought assistance and hung on for dear life. We just kept waiting for our lives to get back to normal. I remember about a week after I returned to work after parental leave, I was in the file room at work and I just stopped still as a thought hit me – my life would never be “normal” again. That normal no longer existed. We had to make a new normal. 

The years both inched and flew by. Our son went through crisis after crisis and we walked down those difficult paths with him. It seemed it would never end. His mental health struggles coloured our whole lives and we waited and waited to find a “new normal” that didn’t include rages and holing up in our home, afraid to venture out for fear of what would happen. In that waiting we lost something – we lost years of living typical lives – play dates, summer camp, sleepovers and us adults being invited to friends houses since we had the uncontrollable child who was a bad influence on their precious innocent children. I spent hour after hour on the phone advocating for my son. I spent hour after hour in meetings trying to get our son the help he needed. Days wasted in him being suspended from school. Jobs lost because it is hard to hold one down when I was constantly being called to go pick him up. Throughout it all I battled my own depression, deep seeded but fueled by the stress and lack of sleep from being a mother to children with high needs. I faltered several times and had to be hospitalized on a few occasions.  

We missed out on so much that it took awhile for us to realize that the children were older, stable and that we had slipped into a new normal that we could all live with.  Where we were once again being invited to people’s homes and parties. We bought a trailer and began to camp, arranging to meet up with friends from long ago. We began to create good memories. Sadly our children were older and it is just the hard truth that we have lost things that can never be recovered. I can’t rewrite history. I can’t forget that my youngest at 4 years old asked me from the back of the van if he could have a meeting with us, his parents, because that was the only way he could think of to get attention from us. All I can do now is move forward and hope that the new memories can somehow make up for years of lost ones. That both my boys can forgive me. People are quick to tell me I am too hard on myself but the truth is I wasn’t able to be there for them both the way they needed. It’s momma guilt that I have to reckon with on my own. 

Momma to momma – cherish those early days. I know it seems easy for me to say and you don’t have to have children with special needs to take something from these words I write here. The tantrums will one day be over. They will begin to sleep through the night.One day you will be able to leave the room without them destroying the house. You will be able to use the washroom by yourself. They will no longer ask you to play with them. Hold them, kiss them and play with them now. The dishes, the phone calls and the internet will wait for another time. Let them crawl into bed with you when they have a nightmare and watch endless shows with them when they are sick. It’s okay that you are not perfect, just be there. One day they will put themselves to sleep and take a shower on their own (though it may take a week to get them into the shower). One day they will begin to go to friends houses to play and sleep over. They will get part time jobs and you will start to make dinner just for you (or eat cereal for dinner cause it is easier). One day the most you see of them will be as they take your keys and head out the door. Cherish the early days and do not put so much pressure on yourself. They don’t need the latest things or the best clothes. They don’t need endless sports and activities. They need you. Just you. 

My husband and I tried for years to conceive a baby of our own. When it didn’t happen we moved easily to pursuing adoption. We had heard horror stories of waiting for years to be chosen to adopt. We decided early on that we wouldn’t ask for a baby or even a toddler. We would open our hearts and home to a preschooler and we took the required course, filled out piles of paperwork and completed several hours of interviews. We then were quickly matched with a little boy. We were given full disclosure through several meetings and reviewing his file. We decided that despite his rough start to life we wanted to become his parents. 

We met him and fell hopelessly in love with the little boy with the big tummy from eating a ton of fries at childcare in celebration of his new family. The transition was fairly painless though each night that we returned him to the foster home I cried as we pulled away and we fell in to bed exhausted from entertaining a 3 year old all day. What we didn’t realize was that our new son’s energy wasn’t just high because he was new to our family but rather that he was hardwired that way. Once he came home forever it dawned on us that we were way in over our heads. 

That enigmatic little boy was constantly on the go. He got into everything, demanded attention every waking hour and threw tantrums the likes we had never seen before (and I work with children with behavioural needs). We were in over our heads from day one but we persevered and sought assistance and hung on for dear life. We just kept waiting for our lives to get back to normal. I remember about a week after I returned to work after parental leave, I was in the file room at work and I just stopped still as a thought hit me – my life would never be “normal” again. That normal no longer existed. We had to make a new normal. 

The years both inched and flew by. Our son went through crisis after crisis and we walked down those difficult paths with him. It seemed it would never end. His mental health struggles coloured our whole lives and we waited and waited to find a “new normal” that didn’t include rages and holing up in our home, afraid to venture out for fear of what would happen. In that waiting we lost something – we lost years of living typical lives – play dates, summer camp, sleepovers and us adults being invited to friends houses since we had the uncontrollable child who was a bad influence on their precious innocent children. I spent hour after hour on the phone advocating for my son. I spent hour after hour in meetings trying to get our son the help he needed. Days wasted in him being suspended from school. Jobs lost because it is hard to hold one down when I was constantly being called to go pick him up. Throughout it all I battled my own depression, deep seeded but fueled by the stress and lack of sleep from being a mother to children with high needs. I faltered several times and had to be hospitalized on a few occasions.  

We missed out on so much that it took awhile for us to realize that the children were older, stable and that we had slipped into a new normal that we could all live with.  Where we were once again being invited to people’s homes and parties. We bought a trailer and began to camp, arranging to meet up with friends from long ago. We began to create good memories. Sadly our children were older and it is just the hard truth that we have lost things that can never be recovered. I can’t rewrite history. I can’t forget that my youngest at 4 years old asked me from the back of the van if he could have a meeting with us, his parents, because that was the only way he could think of to get attention from us. All I can do now is move forward and hope that the new memories can somehow make up for years of lost ones. That both my boys can forgive me. People are quick to tell me I am too hard on myself but the truth is I wasn’t able to be there for them both the way they needed. It’s momma guilt that I have to reckon with on my own. 

Momma to momma – cherish those early days. I know it seems easy for me to say and you don’t have to have children with special needs to take something from these words I write here. The tantrums will one day be over. They will begin to sleep through the night.One day you will be able to leave the room without them destroying the house. You will be able to use the washroom by yourself. They will no longer ask you to play with them. Hold them, kiss them and play with them now. The dishes, the phone calls and the internet will wait for another time. Let them crawl into bed with you when they have a nightmare and watch endless shows with them when they are sick. It’s okay that you are not perfect, just be there. One day they will put themselves to sleep and take a shower on their own (though it may take a week to get them into the shower). One day they will begin to go to friends houses to play and sleep over. They will get part time jobs and you will start to make dinner just for you (or eat cereal for dinner cause it is easier). One day the most you see of them will be as they take your keys and head out the door. Cherish the early days and do not put so much pressure on yourself. They don’t need the latest things or the best clothes. They don’t need endless sports and activities. They need you. Just you. 

May 20, 2019

All They Need Is You

My husband and I tried for years to conceive a baby of our own. When it didn’t happen we moved easily to pursuing adoption. We had heard horror stories of waiting for years to be chosen to adopt. We decided early on that we wouldn’t ask for a baby or even a toddler. We would open our hearts and home to a preschooler and we took the required course, filled out piles of paperwork and completed several hours of interviews. We then were quickly matched with a little boy. We were given full disclosure through several meetings and reviewing his file. We decided that despite his rough start to life we wanted to become his parents.  We met him and […]
January 5, 2019

Trying New Things

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it. I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand. Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so […]
March 27, 2018

Eating Healthy with Chefs Plate

A few weeks ago I decided to try adulting and made a decision to sign up for a meal delivery program. Friends of ours had ordered through Chefs Plate so that’s the one I went with. They had a special that made the first order 50% off and you can skip a week or cancel at any time. We are really frugal with our money (we have a couch in the basement that has had a large hole in it for 10 years). But I wanted to mix things up at home. The first week I eagerly awaited our first order and was happy to return home to it sitting in my kitchen. The box is insulated and has ice […]
March 16, 2018

A New Normal

So where have I been the last 6 months? Good question . . . mostly at home, lol.  In September I took an online course in an attempt to gain entrance to the Master’s of Social Work program at Waterloo. The class was the last of 2 classes I needed before applying. Of course I left the two classes I didn’t want to take until the end. It was about Social Research and I just sucked at it.  It was a lot of statistical information (which I have never done well with) and concepts that I just could not get to stick in my head.  Aside from Anthropology in first semester of my first year as an undergraduate – this […]
August 21, 2017

Parenting Lessons You Need to Learn From my Childhood Sexual Abuse

My newest post over at Her View From Home. Please share!!! http://herviewfromhome.com/parenting-lessons-you-need-to-learn-from-my-child-sexual-abuse-experience/ Parenting Lessons You Need to Learn from My Child Sexual Abuse Experience  
August 8, 2017

When I Knew I Needed Help For My Depression

“Why does your mouth smile but your eyes are sad?” asked my seven year old son as he looked into my eyes. I was so taken a back that I did not have a response before, in true seven year old fashion, he ran off to a new adventure. Me, I sat there, contemplating what he had said. I had thought I was doing a good job hiding my sadness. There were days that I felt myself going under but I fought hard to keep my head above water. The sadness was, at times, a dull ache that would not go away. At other times it came in large waves, knocking me over and incapacitating me until I found a […]