Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Walking across Canada!

I've been inspired!

An online friend just started a new blog that charts her walking progress as she "virtually" walks across the United States. You can check her out here. She talks about different spots as she encounters them on the map and has some great pictures too.

She also posted a link to the Canadian equivalent. It highlights a path across Canada (with offshoots to the north through the Yukon, an extra tour of southern Ontario, a trip across PEI, a visit to Baffin Island and a quick jaunt around Yellowknife)

Since we don't have a car I walk every day. The main places I walk to are work, school and the grocery store. They aren't long distances, but every step counts!
  • To or from work = 1.5 KM
  • To or from the grocery store = 1.3 KM
  • To or from Liam's school = 0.5 KM
The site converts KM into steps. To and from work equals 6000 steps. The entire journey is takes 47,002,000 steps, so I have a way to go! (7833 days unless I step it up [pun fully intended!]) My first day didn't even register on the map. I'm still somewhere in Victoria BC.

So put on your walking shoes and come and join me! I'll be updating the side bar on the right once a week with my step count and posting maps of my progress as soon as I make some.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well, this is my 400th blog post! I never thought when I first started that I would ever hit the 400 mark!

I've been pretty slack in blogging lately. Work is crazy, one of my staff is off on short term disability for a month, my mom was just here for 2 weeks and we are just getting back into the swing of the school year schedule. Blogging has taken a back seat to it all.

So I don't have anything deep or pithy to share for my 400th post, so I will leave you with this lovely picture of my mom:

Sunday, September 20, 2009


When I found out that I was going to be the mother of a boy, I knew that one day I would be having conversations that I had never had before. Words like foreskin, penis and testicles became an every day part of life.

I never, ever imagined that I would be having these conversations just a mere 7 years after becoming a parent to a newborn baby boy!

"Liam can you please tidy up after yourself? I found your sperm in the sheets when I was doing laundry."

"Liam, I DO NOT want to find your sperm on the couch anymore."

"Liam, I found your sperm in the fridge AGAIN!"


His sperm was a heck of a lot cheaper then the stuff we bought from the clinic!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

School Picture

So Liam brought home the 3 proofs from his school pictures this year. Other then the messy hair (which really... that just IS Liam) I think they are all great!

So help me out! I've put a poll over on the left side bar for you to vote for your favorite. Here they are a bit bigger to see! (the colour is a bit washed out because we don't have a scanner, so I took pictures of the pictures!)




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Specs

Liam just got his new glasses:

** Taking pictures of a 7 year old who has been the subject of a gazillion pictures is just plain hard! I was trying to make him laugh and make funny faces.. these are the best 2 shots!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Unexpected reaction

Liam has always known that he was adopted. In fact the first time I told him his "adoption story" he was a few hours old and I was walking the hallway of the hospital with him. Given that I'm also adopted and very active on adoption boards and forums, the topic of adoption comes up often and easily in our home. Liam is comfortable talking about it, is not confused as to who any one is in his life, and has even brought up the fact that he has siblings that don't live with him with strangers on the bus. He has pictures of his first family on his wall in his room where he has friends over for play dates and has never expressed any concern with them being "out there" for everyone to see and potentially ask questions about.

So when we got a project assignment from his teacher last week I didn't think there would be an issue for Liam. I had an issue with the project, just because of my involvement with the adoption community and having done these things as an adopted child myself.

Liam's class is studying the living body and charting 2 newborns growth and development over the next few months. So the assignment was to gather data on themselves as infants: weight and length at birth and then again at 2 years old along with pictures.

As an adoptive family we are lucky to have all that information for Liam. We were there the day he was born. The first picture of him we have he is seconds old, in an incubator in the operating room. I was planning on educating the teachers on the fact that not all kids have their newborn info. The school has several girls adopted from China and friends of ours have a child there whom they adopted from foster care. I seriously doubt that any of these families would be able to complete the project. So, being the advocate that I am, I planned on printing off articles, offering alternates, and explaining how it can make the child uncomfortable to be the only one in the class given an alternative assignment just because they were adopted.

Then I mentioned the project to Liam.

I try to be very careful to keep my tone neutral and chose my words carefully when I bring up topics with Liam. I don't want my own emotional crap to colour his view of his adoption and story. So I casually mentioned that we got this sheet and that his teacher would like us to write down information about when he was born. His immediate reaction was "NO! I'm not doing that". When I cautiosly probbed as to why, he explained that he didn't want to talk about when he was born because it made him sad, because that was when he was seperate from "K". WOW. I hadn't seen that one coming.

He has expressed sadness over his adoption before and mentioned that he misses his first family. We have never used the term "seperated" so I found that very telling in how he is processing things right now. I reassured him that he would not have to participate if he didn't want to and left it at that. We made sure to bring it up again the next day to see if his initial reaction was the same, or just based on being tired or something the night before. He maintained his position and will not be participating.

I talked to his teacher and she reasured me that he won't have to participate in anything he doesn't want to. She is also going to talk to him to let him know that the other kids may be discussing this in class and that if it's bothering him to let her know. I don't think she really understood why I felt that these types of projects shouldn't be done at all, but I will still take in my pile of articles, alternative assignements and suggestions. I'm hoping that she will share with the other teachers, and I will offer (again) to come in and talk to all of them about adoption and class room activities. The other room of kids Liam's age are doing a family tree project right now too. Of course, it's a "typical" tree that would not suit every adopted child.

And don't get this lesbian started on the fact that it only has spots for Mother's Name and Father's Name. That is a whole other rant!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to school again.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I posted this.

And now it's time for

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Open Adoption Roundtable # 6

Open Adoption Roundtable # 6: Write about names/naming and open adoption.

Check out this post for everyone else's submissions.

Below is something that I wrote for Liam's scrapbook when he was only a few months old. The me of today reads it with the benefit of 7 years worth of adoption education and immediately notices the glaring omission of any thoughts of what his first mother might have wanted to call him, or even getting her input in anyway. We had a pre-birth match and we did ask "K" if she would like to name the baby or if she had any names picked out. She declined, telling us that this was our baby and that she wanted our name for him to be his name from day 1. (we have all of that info documented for Liam in his scrapbook too).

I now wonder though if she did have a name picked out? A name she thought of every time the baby kicked or kept her up at night. I would love to know that for Liam. The one thread of information that I had growing up in my own closed adoption was my pre-adoption name. Colleen. It has always been important to me, a small connection to who I may have been.

Choosing a name was fairly easy for us. We both made a list of 10 girl’s names and 10 boy’s names. When we compared our lists we had 4 in common for both boys and girls. Over dinner one night at East Side Mario's we got out the lists and started coming up with combinations that we both liked.

We ended up withWilliam Patrick Thomas (to be called Liam)


Sarah Rosemary Winifred

The significance of each name is:

  • William - Hilary's Step Father

  • Patrick - Hilary's Grandfather

  • Thomas - Just 'cause

  • Sarah - Hilary's Sister

  • Rosemary - Hilary's Mother

  • Winifred - Andy's Grandmother

Having the family connections was important to both of us.

The definition of each name is:

  • William - German resolute guardian

  • Liam - Irish unwavering protector

  • Patrick - Latin nobleman

  • Thomas - Hebrew a twin

  • Sarah - Hebrew Princess

  • Rosemary - Latin dew of the sea

  • Winifred - German Friend of Peace

We also had the fun of picking a last name!

We decided the easiest and fairest way to choose which last name to use was to pick the first name that we liked and put it together with whichever last name sounded best.

So we ended up with

  • William Patrick Thomas my last name

  • Sarah Rosemary Winifred Hilary's last name

And the naming game was won!