Friday, April 23, 2010

The things you do as a mom

Well, ours isn't named Eric, and he isn't quite half a bee... more of a 9/10ths of a bee.

Liam is currently studying insects at school.  It's spring, so it's a great topic with all sorts of real life specimens to study and find right in your own back yard.   As I was walking home yesterday I saw a big bee just sitting on the sidewalk.  As I got closer I figured it was dead since it wasn't taking off.  It wasn't squished either, just a perfect looking bee lying on the ground.

So I did what every great Mom would do.  I scooped it up and brought it home for Liam to study.

It turned out that a) it wasn't a perfect specimen after all.  It was missing 1 leg and had some oozing from the wound and b) it wasn't actually dead yet.


So we put in a glass with some plastic wrap to seal it in and we watched.  and waited.  and watched.  Every now and then it would twitch or move slightly.  Luckily by the time we came down for breakfast this morning it had finally died.

Liam was very brave and took it out and felt how soft it was.  "I" was not so brave.  I don't really do dead things, especially dead bugs.  But I hid it well and used a pen to move the wings so Liam could see how thin they were.  He took it to school, stopping to show everyone his new, great possession.

I just hope it stays at school!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Why do I bother putting water in it?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Black Hole

A black hole has opened up around me and is sucking out every dime, nickel, loonie and twoonie it can find.  We've had one of those weeks were the motto "if it can go wrong it will" is very apropos.  Here's a small list of big $$ things that have come up:

  • Psychologist bill
  • Liam needs new glasses (with a new prescription just 6 months after his last prescription change)
  • The tenants toilet clogged and backed up in their tub.  On a Saturday.  After hours.  Liam really should be a plumber when he grows up since they charge a crap load to deal with, well a crap load!
  • Not only did the plumber charge us for 4 hours of after hours Saturday work, he also told us that we will need to rip up the pipes that go from the house to the city's main pipe and have it replaced
  • $200 + of flowers
$200+ for flowers?  Hardly seems like a necessity.  If money is tight just don't buy them.

Umm.. no kidding!

The problem is that I bought the flowers in November for my Grandmother's birthday.  And in November they cost $40.  Seemed reasonable.  I live in Nova Scotia and she lives in Ontario, so the easiest way to do this seemed to be on the internet.  So I found a site, they had a good deal, so I signed up and placed my order.  They were delivered on time and were lovely.  So when  Hilary's sister's birthday rolled around, we went back to that website to order from them again.  Only we couldn't remember our login name or password, so we signed up again.  We ordered another $40 of flowers and didn't look back.

If you have a keen reader's eye, you may have caught on already to the problem.  We had to "sign up" to this web site.  Somehow I missed what exactly I was signing up for.  I assumed (yeah yeah, I'm an ass) that they needed all of my info for billing purposes.  What I missed was that I was signing up for their "Reward" program.  Which was going to cost me $9.99 a month. 

Since I don't order flowers more then once or twice a year, I certainly don't need their "Reward" program.  I most definitely don't need it twice! 

When our credit card bill arrived yesterday I glanced at it and saw these 2 charges for $9.99.  And something clicked.  Hadn't I seen that on last month's statement?  What the heck was that for anyway?   Apparently I need to look at our credit card statement much more closely.  Once we pulled them out for the last few months we found that they all had these little $9.99 tucked in between our other monthly charges. 


A call to their 800 # left me frustrated and even more angry.  I waited through 5 minutes of their advertisement only to be told that they were closed.  Great.  So now I have to find the time between 8:00 and 5:00 EST to call this company and get this sorted out.

You can bet that I'll be reading all fine print with a magnifying glass and a legalese dictionary at my side from now on!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Movies for 1000 Alex

Or is that a 1000 movies?

We own a LOT of movies.  This next picture is of just Liam's movies that we hauled out to edit.  We only managed to cull 20 for a future garage sale and 10 to be stored in the attic.

Some people don't get the joy of watching a great movie over and over again. Ones like The Princess Bride or 12 Angry Men.  Or more recently Cars and Aliens in the Attic (Okay, I can't watch that one over and over again, but Liam sure can!)  For us watching a movie that you already know so well is like meeting an old friend.  There is comfort in the expected.  I have my go to movies when I need a good cry, when I'm feeling sick or when I feel the need to "blow shit up"

We are the people that get called when Liam's school is holding a movie club, when friends are on bed rest or in the hospital, or if you just can't find that obscure movie from your past.  Chance are we have it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable #15

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be part of the Open Adoption Bloggers list to participate, or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table.

Publish your response during the next two weeks--linking
back here so we can all find one other--and leave a link to your post in the comments. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

Does money have an impact on your open adoption? If so, how? (Could be issues pre- or post-placement, expectations, assumptions, costs of visit activities, travel, gifts--you name it.)

This is another roundtable where I have to give a hypothetical answer since we are not currently in an Open Adoption with Liam’s first family.

Money unfortunately is always a factor in so many things. Liam’s family lives 4 hours away and Hilary and I don’t own a car so if we were ever to travel to see them, money would have to be considered – renting a car, gas, staying overnight somewhere etc. I don’t think however that money would come up in any other expectations or assumptions, but again, since it’s all hypothetical right now it’s hard to say. Hilary and I are certainly not rolling in dough. We’ve just had one of those weeks of a “perfect storm” of things requiring lots of money we don’t really have – plumbing issues, new glasses, dental problems, therapy costs. We both work and our parents help us out with the cost of Liam’s schooling. I’m sure Liam’s mom has similar financial worries too.

Living in Canada, and specifically in Nova Scotia, adoption is much different then what some bloggers are familiar with in the US. When we adopted Liam it was made very clear that NO money or gifts could be exchanged before his mother had signed the final termination papers. The only costs to us were what we paid to have a social worker do our homestudy (about $1000) and then 10 months later the lawyer fees to finalize the adoption in court. Because of our awesome health care system, there was no cost to “K” to give birth or for any of her pre or post natal care. As well there was no cost to either her or us for the 17 days that Liam was in foster care. So overall the adoption itself did not have any money involved.

Was money a factor in her decision to place Liam for adoption in the first place? I can only speculate on that, and assume that it day play a part. At the time she was a single mother raising a 3 year old on her own. She had been employed, but left her job to move to the “big city” to make her adoption plan. I do know that she was able to go back to her job after Liam was born.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

There is so much going on

in the world of adoption these days, that’s it’ hard to know what to blog about. Father’s are being denied the rights to their children, little boys are being sent half way around the world with a note pinned to them  , Russia is suspending all adoptions to the US  and friends are dealing with a potential adoption placement that has fallen through. There is another Open Adoption Book Tour coming up and the newest Roundtable  question has just been posted.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my own adoption of late. One of my New Year’s resolutions  was to start looking for my father’s family. It’s something that I have put off for quite a while, mainly because I told my first mom Iris, that I wouldn’t search for them. One of her biggest fears has been that her “secret” would get out. You see, I’m the result of a 40+ year affair that she had with a married man. To make it even more complicated, she was also friends with his wife. I knew that if I did search and was successful, that I would risk my relationship with Iris.

When I saw this guest post over on Coco’s blog, it really got me thinking again about searching. And I realized that I don’t actually HAVE a relationship with Iris to really put at risk. I haven’t heard from her since last August, and even before that it was only intermittent emails and the occasional phone call. I don’t wish her any harm and I plan to tread slowly and carefully with my search, but ultimately this needs to be about me and my needs and not hers. I suspect a lot of my need/desire to search right now is also coming from the fact that I have a milestone birthday coming up this year. I realize that as I’m getting older, so is everyone else, and if I want to find more than just grave markers I need to act sooner than later.

So I have gathered all the bits and pieces of info that I have on my first father and his family.

It’s not much…. But it’s a start:

Non identifying info gathered by my adoptive parents at time of placement:

French Canadian
High school education
Brown hair
Brown eyes
165 pounds
Works construction

Non identifying info sent by social services:
45 years of age in 1970 (means he would have been born in 1924 or 25)
Brown hair
Brown eyes
165 pounds
French heritage
High school education
Steady worked, employed in construction
Good natured, even-tempered, mixed easily with people, made friends readily
Married, living with wife
4 children, 1 in his late teens, and the others in their twenties (means children would have been born between 1940-1953)

Paternal grandparents both deceased
1 paternal aunt in her mid 40’s worked in an office
1 paternal aunt in her early 40’s worked in a library (interestingly when I was growing up people often told me I looked like one of the librarians in town. Since I only had my birth name Colleen Wilson to go by, I never found a connection to any Wilson at the library. But it turns out that Wilson was my mother’s name and not my father’s.)

Letter from Iris dated July 12, 2000

He is approx. 6 years older than I am (corresponds with him being born in 1925)
First met when Iris was 14 and he was 20 and married, with 3rd child on the way (meaning this would be approx. 1945)
Iris was their babysitter when she was a teenager, but they did not start affair for about 6 years after that. (approx. 1951)
Affair on and off up to about 2 years ago when circumstances changed and regular contact is no longer possible. (approx 1998 – WOWZER 47 year affair!)

He retired some time ago.

Was a sailor stationed in Nova Scotia before I met him.
Was an engineer mechanic, lots of outside work on buildings mainly

I am also friends with his wife

I also feel that you look a lot more like him then you do me, and your skin colouring and tanning ability is his, where as I am fair and burn.

The only ones knowing of you are your father and myself.

Letter from Iris dated Jan 20, 2001
You have a half-sister named Carol who is also a lesbian. Her father has accepted her unconditionally , her mother tolerates it but does see her.

Letter from Isis date May 10, 2001
For your information to be filed I will tell you that your biological father died on march 31. He had a stroke while he was in hospital, mainly just old age. (would be 76 years old)
Iris’s birthday is March 15, 1931

Mentioned during a phone conversation:
Your father’s name was Ken

If they had a 47 year relationship, he must have lived nearby, so Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo or Fergus Ontario.

So to summarize I am looking for

A man named Ken, born in 1924 or 1925 and who died on March 31st 2001. He was married and had 4 children, one of whom is named Carol and who is a lesbian. He was in the Navy and stationed in Nova Scotia prior to 1945.

Of course I have no idea what to do next! I have searched the obits for in and around March 31st, 2001 for Kitchener, Guelph and Toronto without any success. What I wouldn’t give to have a last name.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dream Auction

Liam's school is holding a Dream Auction to help raise funds.  Some of the items are local to Halifax, but some are items that could be shipped to anyone. So if you are looking for sports equipment, someone to come cook dinner for you or even a weekend away, be sure to to check out this link: Dream Auction

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm looking over

Liam's 4-leaf clover!

In an attempt to keep Liam busy last weekend I sent him on a mission in the backyard to find a four leaf clover.  It kept him busy for a while but he was unsuccessful.  But since then he has been obsessed with finding a four leaf clover.  I tried to explain to him that they are very rare and how special it is to find one.   He wasn't listening to a 1 in 10,000 chance probability of finding one.  He was simply determined to do it.

And last night he did!  He was so proud and excited.  It has been sealed up in wax paper and will be kept in a treasure box forever.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pledge me in the Walk for Kids Help Phone!

Pledge me in the Walk for Kids Help Phone!

Support Liam and I today as we walk so kids can talk! As a charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government or United Way funding and depends on the pledges from amazing people like you. Your help is needed now more than ever. Please pledge us so kids and teens in our community who feel they have no where else to turn can get the support they need and deserve. Today, tonight and tomorrow.

Saturday, April 3, 2010