Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We passed!

There are 2 new green stripes in our house tonight!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I love Lego.  I loved it as a child and I love it still.  Yesterday I treated myself to a non-Lego brand building set, a Nanoblock Eiffel tower set.

The pieces are so tiny that I could almost not pick them up.  Check out this single block (ignore my horrible looking thumb nail)

200+ pieces later I have a masterpiece to display.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Was or Am?

A few weeks ago I read a sentence on a blog that has stuck with me. Unfortunately I don’t recall who’s blog it was (an example that I might read a few too many blogs….)


The sentence was something like this:
 “I know children who are adopted and adults who were adopted”.
It caused me to pause…. 

Why is the semantics different for children and adults? At what age does adoption stop being a current/ongoing event to something that happened in the past?

My own semantics are completely opposite to the original posters. When I talk about myself, I will say “I am adopted”… an ongoing state of being, much like I refer to myself as being brunette. And yet, when I’m talking about Liam, I am more likely to say “he was adopted.” I hear myself doing it, and I’ve often wondered why?

Having thought about this sentence for the last week or so, I think the difference for me is that I have embraced adoption as a part of me. It has shaped the person I have become. And yet, I’m not quite ready to use it to define Liam. Perhaps my view is skewed as I’m the parent in his case, and I do see his adoption as something that happened on a specific day. He may one day see himself also defined by the fact that he was/is adopted and then he too may say “I am adopted”.

Which version do you use? Does the persons age factor into your choice of words?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blog Hop #4

Heather over at Open Adoption Bloggers  is hosting another Blog Hop in order to help connect people to new (and old) bloggers.

 The question everyone has been asked to answer is:

"What was the last book you read??"

I love to read!  My problem is that I have very little time to sit down and read a book.  When I find a book that I really enjoy, I will lose myself in it till I finish it, personal hygiene and employment be damned.  The Harry Potter series, Twilight and the Hunger Games trilogy were all like that for me.  I read the Hunger Games from cover to cover on boxing day and was in line when the stores opened the next morning to buy the next 2 books.

Alas, I can't devote that much time to reading very often.  I have found a solution though!  Audio books!  Load it up on my I-pod, put it in my arm band and I can listen to my book any time, any where. And now that I've figured out how to borrow them for free from the library, I'm all set!

So now to answer the question...What was the last book you read?  The last paper book I read was The Open Hearted Way to Open Adoption written by my friend Lori.  The last audio book I've listened to was The Affair by Lee Child.    My mom introduced me to this series last summer and I really enjoy them.

So, what was the last book you read?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Daring Kitchen - En Croute

It's been a couple of months since I've participated in a Daring Kitchen Challenge.  First they made salami and then they de-boned a whole chicken.  SHUDDER.  There are some cooking skills that I can manage without!

This month however was something that I was very excited about!  Cooking En Croute.  What is En Croute?  According to this month's hostess, The Monkey Queen,  it is a food that has been wrapped in pastry dough and baked in an oven. I originally planned to make Beef Wellington, something I've wanted to try ever since watching Gordon Ramsey go off on all of his prodigies on Kitchen Nightmares.  Alas, life got busy and I didn't have the time to devote to it.  I did however find time to make The Monkey Queen's recipe of Stuffed Mushroom en Croute.

I stuffed a Portebella mushroom cap with a mixture of spinach and Brie, wrapped the whole thing in puff pastry and waited for it to come out of the oven.  It was so very tasty that Hilary and I both ate two!

Blog-checking lines: Our lovely Monkey Queen of Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys, was our May Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute! We were encouraged to make Beef Wellington, Stuffed Mushroom en Croute and to bring our kids into the challenge by encouraging them to create their own en Croute What is En Croute? It is a food that has been wrapped in pastry dough and baked in an!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Robin's Eggs

A family of robin's have built a nest under our deck. Right now there are 3 eggs. I really hope we get to see the babies soon.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A mother's day feast

We christened the new BBQ with a Mother's Day feast. We had barbecued steak medallions, sautéed onions, lobster in butter with Brandy and spring fresh fiddle heads.

And for desert we had vanilla ice cream with 3 different toppings:  Pears in red wine, strawberries with Balsamic vinegar and a brandy sauce

Dinner was divine!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Open Hearted Adoption - Book Tour

Click HERE to buy the book on Amazon.

My friend Lori recently wrote a book AND got it published! I'm so very proud of her.  She even quoted one of my blog posts in her book.  Now we are doing a virtual book tour where bloggers who have read the book answer different questions put forth by other bloggers.  A big shout out and Thank you! to Melissa from Stirrup Queens for organizing things and keeping us on track.   Be sure to follow the link through at the end so that you can read everyone else's post.

1. The term “Real Mother” or “Real Parents” comes up quite frequently in an adoptee’s life. Lori suggests in her book that we see each set of parents (birth and adoptive) as “Real”. Do you agree? How would you personally handle this terminology? And are there other ways to effectively deal with this term if used by your child or directed at your child by another?

a. As both an adoptee and an adoptive mother, I very much agree that all of a child’s parents are REAL. As a child it really bothered me when people asked about my “real” mother, especially if my {adoptive} mother was there. The guilt !!

Now as an adoptive parent myself, I’m not personally offended if someone refers to my child’s mother as his “real” mother, but it is an area that I often feel compelled to correct people from outside the adoption circle when they use it.

 My child has tried to use the term “real” mother during a disagreement…. “My REAL mother wouldn’t make me clean my room”. Umm.. sorry buddy, but I’m pretty sure she would. I’ll be sure to ask her next time I send her an email….. the joys of open adoption!

2. My question concerns openness and pre-birth matching, which Lori covers in Ch. 1 (citing Luna's early match with her daughter's birth mother, at pg 20-21) and Ch. 7 (discussing the balance between hopeful adoptive parents feeling cautious and joyful when an expectant mother could still decide to parent, at pg 134-36). Pre-birth matching is common in open adoption. Some might argue that, due to the potential for even subtle manipulation with expectations on both sides, pre-birth matching is inherently coercive. Others suggest that pre-birth matching provides a chance to build a relationship and foundation for real openness after placement. 

Since both sides seem to have the child's interest at heart, what steps, if any, can be taken to ensure that expectant parents aren't pressured into placement in the name of openness AND have an opportunity to get to know the prospective parents, which may help inform their ultimate decision?

a. This is such a tough question. We had a pre-birth match with my son’s mother, long before I knew what to call it, or had ever heard of it being potentially coercive. I now look back and worry about whether or not Liam’s Mom felt coerced or manipulated. Did I do or say anything that caused her to make a decision that she would not have done otherwise? However, I also treasure the time that we got to know her and can share some of those moments with Liam. I feel much more connected to her then I think I would have otherwise. We had the opportunity to discuss parenting styles, outlooks on different topics and ideologies. I feel much more confident in my parenting choices knowing the little bit about her parenting choices that we were able to learn in those pre-birth days. I  hope that she was also able to take some comfort from getting to know us as well.

The rules here in Nova Scotia are much different then what I read about from American friends, but I still believe the underlying subtle manipulation and coercion can still happen. One of the steps that I think must be taken is that the expectant parents MUST have independent support from an adoption professional. Since adoption is not a for-profit industry where I live, that adoption professional can come from the adoption agency. However, in the USA and other areas where the adoption agency profits from adoption, I think that the support for the expectant parents should come from an independent outside source. This will give the expectant parents an unbiased person to talk to, share their fears with and have someone in their corner, helping them explore all possibilities – especially the choice to parent.

Of course the million dollar question is "Who pays for this unbiased professional?"  Short of removing money from the adoption equation completely (and using a model similar to what we have here) I don't have an answer for that.

 Please return to the main post to read more opinions on Lori Holden's The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I have FIRE!

After 2 years of not having a BBQ, this is a very welcome sight on my deck.