Sunday, October 2, 2011

My new site!!

To many more posts!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another goal achieved!!

My 10 K race was yesterday and though everything in my body pointed toward me NOT completing it I managed to go through.

Plagued by either a virus or just an irritated GI tract since last Sunday's long run I really wondered if it was really a smart move to run my race. On a good day I generally experience GI upset after a long run so how could I figure that there would be the remotest possibility I could do it while continuing to fight off GI issues that already existed?

I'll give it to you in one word ....


Miracle drug.

It was Saturday evening around 9:30pm Wally and I finally gave in and went to Wal-Mart and picked some up after I read on the Internet that it was ok to take for runner's 'issues'.

Generally I don't listen too closely to online diagnosis and I wouldn't recommend others too but desparate times ...

I was determined to at least TRY to run.

So an hour before the race I took 2 as directed and another a half hour later. The max you can take in 24 hrs is 4 so I really hoped that this was the answer.

It absolutely was (of course I also had multitudes praying for my guts as well).

We arrived at the race site about 45 minutes before we started and that's when I got nervous. Not about the actual run, rather about trying to run without a Depends.

I shivered and shook and wished we'd just signed up for the 5K. It occured to me that I had actually orginally signed up to do the run by myself. Wow, that was determination.

I am so thankful for my running buddy Kay who really encouraged me on.

Our first run together 6 weeks ago was rough for her as we did 5 K and she hadn't been running for a while due to not feeling well. She'd never run much past that.

I joked with her that she made me feel great as a runner since she is a stick and going through to be a trainer and struggled a bit more than myself who is rather curvy and, well ... rather curvy.

She took my joking very well.

We had met up a couple more times doing longer runs as well as running on our own while I was away recently. I'd say we were each others lifesavers in getting this goal accomplished.

Anyhow, we car pooled yesterday, along with our husbands. My mom met us there, as well as Kay's dad, grandpa and in-laws.

If you ever have someone close to you doing something monumental for themselves, here's some advice: be there.

Though a 10 K may be but a walk in the park to some, for myself it was yet another leap towards believing that much more in myself and what I can do if I choose to believe. It was so much more than a race. When you have those around you that can celebrate that leap with you it not only makes it easier, it makes it mean much more than when you are by yourself. (Hence my having parties for the 'little things').

We waited for what seemed to be an eternity for them to sound the start alarm and say 'Go!' but finally they did as we were off!

Within the first few minutes I'd wished we'd started slower and had the pace we normally would've but we were off none the less, with all of the seasoned runners breaking away from us.

Curse their beautiful runner's legs.

And belts with water bottles.

And great tans.

As we got into our stride it became clear what my goal would be (after not pooping my pants, after finishing the race): get in front of the old lady, and the tubby guy.

We would see.

As we ran I found one of my favourite things was the fact that people on the street would stop and cheer us on. They'd yell 'Thank you!', 'Good job!' and 'You can do it!' (this was a run for Parkinson's - I have a good friend with it, my great grandmother also had it).

They clapped, wove flags (not sure the connection to running but it was a good addition), and smiled.

Of course the organization also had it's arranged cheerleaders along the route and I took advantage of them too. Apparently most runners are focused and ignore them.

Not I! I waved back, smiled and gave thumbs up.

Hells yeah I can do it! Hells yeah you look ridiculous cheering me on with your oddball dance moves! Hells yeah that's what I need to see to get me through!

(I'm a novice what else can I say).

Kay and I also had our very own personal cheerleaders who followed in not 1 but 2 vehicles honking their horns, yelling out the window, and now that I think about it I think someone was waving something .... seriously what's up with the flags?

They stopped several times to take pictures and encourage us and they certainly did.

Well .... except for at one point.

When the race happened to pass by Kay's in-law's home, our whole cheer leading group were sitting on lawn chairs as we dragged our sorry butts passed. THAT was not encouraging.

I yelled at them to at least stand up.

Some of them did, the others I cursed.

About halfway through while going up a hill we passed the old lady and her parnter. I almost felt bad because she was an inspiration to me. I said almost.

As we rounded our last corner and I saw the police lights I knew the end was near. At least technically it was near. Near is relative when you are trying to keep your bowels in check, it's hot, and you think you're gonna hurl.

As Kay and I got to the finish line (which I have to point out was the same as the start line - I think that's counter productive) I felt that surge of adrenaline.

You know, the one I wished I'd had during the entire last half of the run.

Together we finished our 10 K (6.25 miles) race at a time of 1 hr 9 minutes and 9 seconds.

Last week when we ran less than 5.5 miles our time was 1 hr and 4 minutes so we definitely improved. It's hard not to wonder how much better it could have been had I not been sick ... oh well.

Once again the rush of completing such a big goal (for myself) was not realized in the finish. For some reason there weren't a hundred people there throwing confetti on our hair and jumping all over us.

Just as it was with the party last year and the 5 K in the spring, the rush seemed to be experienced most during the process.

Wait a second, I also seemed to get it when I got to throw the cups from the water stations on the ground. Seriously, I think that was one of my favourite parts of the race!!

Once we had made it to the end and were congratulated by our families and each other it was all over.

Very much like a wedding - lots of planning and hard work but over in such a short time.

The cool thing though is the fact that now I have started and I never have to stop. There are always more goals you can build onto. Shortening your time, improving your speed (yes, one in the same I suppose), going further.

As for me I have already planned my next goal to primarily focus on in my life and though it's fitness related it is not physical. I do hope to improve my running times throughout the fall and winter and do another 10 K in the spring.

I never did pass the tubby guy.

Who knows, maybe I'll try a half marathon.

Stranger things have happened.


If you think you can't .... just try!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

'The heartbeat is strong!'

Said my pregnant peer.

She was very excited about her recent positive visit to the doctor.

I can only imagine that hearing those words would bring great comfort, great relief and great joy. They would to me if I were in that situation.

This was the same person who shared with me the day she heard her baby's heartbeat for the first time (not sure how we seem to run into each other on 'heartbeat' days but we seem to).

I remember, and you may too, that day I shared every bit of her excitement as my own after hearing from our own social worker for the first time.

Her joy was palpable. As was mine.

On this particular day, 'heartbeat update day' I was a little less joyous.

It was last week after we had gone to our first PRIDE class and had heard our first few sad stories of the potential realities we could be faced with through our process of adoption (although I have to throw in EVERY parent faces risks of heartbreak so really we aren't much different).

When I heard those words 'The heartbeat is strong!' rather than identify with the statement as I did the first time I felt a pang of panic.

My baby's heartbeat had weakened slightly.

Realize that as I say this that just as a woman who is holding and growing a baby in her womb also holds the the very workings of that tiny little heartbeat.

Wally and I also do the same for our little one(s).

After the night of our first class our hope had dimmed slightly and we (or at least I) actually felt the 'heartbeat' slow down.

As any mother would, I got concerned, I panicked, I worried.

My own heartbeat picked up.

I thought 'What do we need to do? How can we fix this? I want to take care of this child (ren) the best that I can, but what if .... ?'

Thankfully Wally is much more stable and less hormonal than myself and he held me in my fears and gently reminded me that it was ok to slow down, relax, and breathe. All things that would do our child(ren) well.

He was exactly right. Through out the past week I have taken time to think, release my worries,and take a break from solving problems that don't yet exist.

And sure enough ...

The heartbeat is strong again.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Balancing Act

I've spent the past few days around several first time mom-to-be's and moms of newborns who also have other children.

It's been quite the experience.

As I have been trying my best to develop and maintain a balanced and healthy view of becoming a parent, as well as dealing with the process of adoption (especially with the 'fostering with a view' part) I've noticed how differently my experience is than those of my counterparts in the 'waiting' position.

Yesterday I spent lunch with two co workers that had in the past few months each had babies. Both have other children. Both pointed out all the negatives of pregnancy and giving birth.

The old me would've latched onto hurt, sadness and depression at the fact that I (that I know of at this point) will not likely experience these things. I would've felt inward pain and a clear separation between myself and them as a woman that will not be giving birth to her children.

Instead at the moment of decision I clung to all of their negatives as they saw them, negatives.

I decided 'Yay, no heartburn for me! Yay, no getting large and uncomfortable! Yay, I can drink!' (Even though I don't really drink much at all). I actually began to feel thankful that I get to be able to experience motherhood without those not always fun side effects.

Point one for me.

I noticed the new moms-to-be were MUCH different with their demeanour. They definitely had their complaints: 'The baby's kicking so much! I can't sleep! I have to pee all of the time!'

For some reason I had a harder time with their complaints. All I kept saying (our loud once and to myself several times) was 'Be thankful'.

I'm not sure what the big difference was. The new moms-to-be seemed to be radiating with a glow. Seriously I think they had spot lights on them. Much more so than the veteran moms.

Maybe it's because the veteran moms know what those little creatures can do.

Either way when the conversation came around to our adoption process and I was asked how it was going or what was entailed I found it to put sort of a damper on things. (Keep in mind, that's just my interpretation).

Talking about long boring classes, intense interviews and potentially losing your kids in the end isn't as fun as seeing ultra sound photos, finding out if it's a boy or a girl, or hearing a heartbeat for the first time.

I do realize that we're also at a very unfun part of the process (of course at this point I don't see the 'fun' appearing for a while).

I've truly realized how incredibly different our situation is from the norm (whatever that is). Though I know that we are by far nothing special and people adopt and go through 'the system' all of the time (50 adoptions last year in our city of 350 000 people). Many of the feelings and experiencing we will go through getting to parenthood will vary a lot from our pregnant peers.

I suppose in the last few days my eyes have been opened to how important I feel it is to sort of get the word out to have people be able to understand what 'the process' is like. To hopefully 'get' that there's many forms of adoption, many pathways to it, and it's not like going through a drive thru at McDonald's.

It's also NOT just about papers, laws and second class citizens.

I think adoption can seem rather sterile, yet contaminated with the child's history, rather than celebrated for the fact that they are so wanted.

The fact is that our child(ren) will always have more than one mommy and one daddy.


Nothing will ever change that. They will always have eight grandparents and perhaps many, many siblings.

Though they may not have contact with their bio family (or perhaps they will for years to come), they exist and our children have every right to know those facts when they are capable of understanding them and it is safe.

This is our reality.

Right now as I face people in 'typical' growing family scenarios I must keep balanced in my emotions and feelings surrounding them. I must keep in mind that I cannot expect others to understand my situation if they've never been shown it (or been in it). I must remember that my husband and I are CHOOSING to expand our family this way and we whole heartedly want to do this. Because we truly do.

I am very happy that with each passing day I feel stronger in our choice to do this and even more so that Wally feels the same way.

I am thankful God is growing us both through this experience and giving us the necessary wisdom to deal with one thing at a time and not panic and run away.

Wally keeps reminding me 'Anything worth having is worth fighting for'. And though I don't want that to sound negative in that we're fighting the 'system', we are fighting off others' expectations, our own expectations and what feels easiest to do at times.

I won't be perfect, because I'm not perfect. But I'll do my best to balance my way through this crazy road to parenthood.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Totally awesome stuff

What's totally awesome? One may ask.

Well a few things ...

The fact that as I type I'm sitting on a throne of sorts awaiting some action that has seemed to dissipate. But just in case the refrigerator sounds flare up I thought I'd cover my bases (as to promote smooth uninterrupted writing).

Another something totally awesome is the pepto pills that I finally gave in and gobbled up so that I could get through a full 4 hr shift.

Item #3 on my list of totally awesome is the fact that Wally and I FINALLY came up with a website address that seems to fit what I plan on making it. I'll wait to share it closer to the day but I have to say I think it's pretty damn great. (if I do say so myself).

(Just a sec, my butt is going numb. Let me find a better seat...)

Ahhhhhhh .... that's better.

Where was I?

Oh yeah the new site.

How about I give you a few sneak tidbits of what it will be all about?

In many ways it will be similar to what I'm doing now in that I will continue to write my stories on life. What I see, how I see it, what I (and Wally) go through or have been through. I suppose my perspective on what I experience.

I would like to go back through our journey towards adoption and give people an idea of where we're coming from and how different it is to choose adoption compared to having a family the 'traditional' way. The more people I talk to the more I realize not many really understand what the process is like. I'd love to give them a peak inside.

But in addition to that I also want to have some fun sharing things that brighten my day (baby monkey will be first on the list). Like videos, photos, funny stories.

I also would like to use it to share my favourite healthy eating sites (no the food does NOT taste like card board!!!). Maybe share once again the struggle I've had in this particular area.

Something else that I'd like to add to the new site that I don't' do here is other writers. I want other people to be able to share their own experiences on topics such as: life, death, losing love or a loved one, parenting, making hard choices, growing, being single, being married, going after a dream, going through a divorce or loss of a spouse, losing a child or a dream. There are a million more topics.

My hope is to be able to have fun times and thoughtful times helping people be able to learn and grow from one another simply by taking time to hear their stories. I look forward to learning a lot.

For those who don't feel comfortable writing but would allow me to sit down and talk to them I would love to 'interview' them. Which really means have coffee and hopefully take some notes.

The premise of the entire site is the idea of making the best out of what you end up with. Making lemonade out of lemons (although I hate that saying as I'm not a huge fan of lemonade).

How about ... hmmmmmm ... banana bread out of bananas. Yes, that's right. Mmmmmmmm.

If you like to write OR are passionate about something of the heart send me a line and tell me what it is or what you've learned in life that you want to share, how you've grown to appreciate, maybe not the lemons but an aspect of the lemons you would've never been able to notice had you not been given them. Because I'm not going to pretend we're going to always love (nor should we) the experiences we're given, but we can, appreciate perhaps the tiniest things in a pretty awesome way than if we hadn't.


Monday, September 19, 2011

I think I'm dying ...

So I'll be honest, most of the reason I'm posting tonight is to keep in the rhythm of writing. No helpful information guaranteed.

I'm very thankful to say that I was sent home from work tonight. Mostly because I was quite confident my death was fast approaching.

I'm guessing it's due to the lack of attention I paid to my body after my 5.5 mile training run yesterday.

Instead of being insidiously conscious of my water intake, food intake and such I decided I felt so good that I'd tackle paining the garage door and trim ... you know while I had the energy and since I'd been putting it off.

I believe that specific action has brought me to feeling the awful way I currently do.

My muscles are achy, not sore really, just achy. My head hurts, my GI tract has decided to make refrigerator sounds every couple of hours and threaten to act as a slip and slide for my ... bodily functions.

I was determined this morning to make the most of my morning off so I busily spent 3 hrs in the kitchen making 3 batches of different soups, hummus, dessert hummus, as well as hard boiling some eggs for lunches. All while neglecting to drink a thing. And most definitely not willing to eat anything that might awake the slip 'n slide gods.

After I was done int he kitchen I laid down as I felt much worse than when I woke up (which already wasn't so swell). I felt better again after a couple of hours.

I went to the cleaning job I do aside from my job and did alright for about an hour then once again I slowed down and felt the aches and yucks. It's good that I didn't eat anything though.

I almost cried a few times at the thought of doing my work shift which requires lifts of people and mental toughness of steal (ok there aren't many places I go that's not required).

When I got there one of the young ladies I'd contacted to see if she could do my shift was there, a glimmer of hope. Then I realized she was working somewhere else. I am so thankful to my co workers though for working out the shift for me to be able to go home ... after I went out to get the groceries.
I've never completed a task so efficiently in my life.

By the time I got home I was ready to drop, but I needed to get something for my tummy, something to eat that wouldn't temp the GI tract gods.

I convinced Wally to come with me and we went to the drug store for ginger ale and arrowroot cookies.

Of course it was before 7 pm and we were in the cookie aisle, and the best ones were on sale ... so ensued a battle.

Though the double stuffed Oreos were on sale, AND the chocolate chip, AND the Peanut Butter Pirate Cookies, AND I thought I was being completely reasonable to by pass them all and grab the ginger snap no names. You know to go with my arrowroot cookies ... since I had barely eaten allllllll day.

Well, if I had planned on a treat I should've planned on going by myself. Because that's when a serious tantrum started.

Wally pulled out all the stops saying 'You're sick! No cookies! That won't make you feel better! ONLY arrowroot cookies for you!!;

I proceeded to argue: 'But they're at least organic! They WILL make me feel better! I'll just get them by myself tomorrow!' Then I grabbed him with my head down on his shoulder and pleaded with some rather dramatic cries to let me get them.

He didn't.

We left.

I ate one sleeve of two in the box.

And drank lots of water.

My head still hurts but I'm sure sleep will help.

Hopefully I'm not actually dying.

Or I definitely would've bought the cookies.

ALL of them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thinkin' Instead of Drinkin'

Well, as long as you don't counted anything with the words 'salted caramel' in the title.

I have found that the gentle kick in the pants Wally gave me a couple days ago regarding my leaving all of my belongings all over the house (I mean where they aren't supposed to live) has helped me get into some sort of gear.

I have spent the weekend catching up on all of the laundry (I still hadn't done any vacation laundry which leaves the underwear situation to be desired - I wore clean ones but there weren't much to the ones I had left). I've also tidied up, unpacked, done a little sorting, half cleaned out the jungle that keeps regrowing in our yard, and finally painted the garage door and trim on the garage (that's been waiting since spring to be done). I've also got a bit more Christmas shopping done (YAY!)

This has definitely helped me to be able to enjoy the down time I've had without guilt or stress seeing and thinking of all the things I need to do.

While doing all of these things I've been able to take the time to really chew on the information we got last Wednesday at our first PRIDE class.

I've gone back and forth since our night of information overload about how exactly to approach sifting through the facts, our emotions, the future and how things may or may not actually turn out.

I've thought over and over about the idea of having our child(ren) for 3 years only to lose them. I thought about what life in legal limbo would be like, what bio parental visits might be like. What the adjustment period would be like compared to that of a strictly adoption parent.

I realized how much different 'fostering with a view' (to adopt) is than straight up adoption. Its' very different.

There's little to no finality for months to years.

There's the potential dealing with the family for a while.

There's the fact that technically no baby/kid showers should really be happening (I guess, I don't know the protocol for stuff like this).

There's the fear of bonding with the nagging worry that it's all for nothing.

I could go on .... and on.

Now before I sound like I'm trying my best to muster up support for one seriously happening pity party I'll stop and let you in on the products of all my thinking.

(I may need to think a minute on it as now I have seemed to have forgotten...)

Oh yes, I've got it.

Whether you get pregnant naturally, through invetro, a surrogate, or a planned adoption there are risks.

There are risks that your child could get sick, get into an accident, be hurt, be harmed, have physical, mental or emotional issues, or, God forbid, die.

No matter how someone becomes a parent any of those things could happen, any of them.

Sure maybe they don't have to worry about CAS reclaiming them but the outcome and effects on us (their new family) is the same.

It's loss, grief, disappointment, hurt, sadness, anger, feeling of life being unfair, feelings of no one understanding, and I could once again, go on and on.

As I've taken time to think on our situation and our thoughts on how to proceed (either continuing with fostering to adopt or straight adoption) I realize that no matter how you become a parent or for however long, you are at risk of all of these things. People think I will be at a higher risk but they are probably the ones who have perfectly healthy children that return love as planned and have yet to experience one of these losses (I'm not sure how it's possible for this to happen as surely at some point every parent feels at least one of these emotions).

The gentleman of the couple I had mentioned before that really encouraged us to just go ahead and do what we felt to do with the adoption and not give people's opinions much thought, encouraged me when I shared my overwhelming feelings this week.

He said 'It's just like when the doctor gives you a new prescription, he is legally obligated to give you the facts first to allow you to make the decision'.

Then I realized, MOST of the time when you are given the ugly facts they are the minority and initially they scare you out of your wits because who really wants hair to grow on their tongue or their toe nails to turn green? But it's better than having a worm growing in your guts right? (ok so I don't actually know the side effects for tape worm drugs ...)

As each day passes I'm trying my best to relax and take one tid bit of information at a time (even though they are feeding you feasts of it every Wednesday night).

I'm going to let go of what my dream family is because no one's family ends up the way they think and most times they wouldn't change a thing (well except during family holidays when people get opinionated and have to share a conversation with you know who and the alcohol needs to come out).

I'm going to try to focus on the idea of being a good parent rather than the baby showers (or whatever adopted kids get when they're not babies).

I always get annoyed when people get wrapped up in planning a fairytale wedding and forget that when they wake up the next day neither one of them look like the characters they played.

I think that perhaps I need to apply that perspective to this.

The magical moment new parents often share a few minutes after their babies safe arrival may not happen for us until months or even years later.

But I'm telling you, when it finally does, I'm going to savour every second of our newly born family.