Category Archives: Adoption

Helping out a very stressed little one… as naturally as possible…

Sorry for the gap in posts again.  I am afraid it is going to happen with more regularity, as the big news from us is that we have FINALLY been approved to adopt a little boy.  We have met him, we have been in front of a panel of people and they agreed we would be a good match, and we have even planned the introduction process.


But over the last couple of days, I have been thinking about our prospective little boy, and how confused and upset he is likely to feel when he leaves his foster carers and their home, the only home he has ever known and comes to our home, the home he will be in for the rest of his life.  The only word I can use to describe what he will feel is trauma.


Now, we will of course do our utmost to ensure that the little guy is as comfortable as possible with the transition, but I am expecting some upsets.  Despite the best will in the world, his routine is going to be disturbed and upset, and that is unsettling for anyone.  Plus, you know, we are strangers to him at the moment and that has to be unnerving.   I have done some research into what I can do herbally to help him recover though, and I think it is advice I might be taking for hubby and I as well.


The first major thing in getting over any trauma at all, is to get support while you are going through it.  Obviously, we will be supporting our little boy, and luckily we have a wide and diverse network out there to support us.  I have no doubt we will be availing ourselves… be it with help with the ironing, to walking the dog duties, to being at the end of a telephone in case things get a bit much for us and we need to bounce ideas off of them.  We are blessed to have so many people ready and willing to help us out.

toddler sleeping

The next important thing is rest.  I am sure that our little one will sleep a lot.  He is at the age where he is making a lot of brain leaps anyway, and add into the mix the trauma of changing families, and he is going to be sleeping quite a bit more… on these occasions, sleep is great.  It rejuvenates, it helps the body to reinvigorate, and it restores the nervous system.  Sleep even brings greater resistance to stress.    Even if the night time sleep is patchy, there are always naps.  Naps are awesome and I have every intention of taking advantage of them as and when I can.


Optimal nutrition is going to play a huge part in the recovery for our little guy.  We are lucky because the foster carers have done an amazing job with him, and he has a healthy appetite.  He eats everything that is put in front of him.  Except peas.  Well, that is okay, I don’t suppose I was wild about peas at his age either.  I am going to be keeping food simple, cooked from fresh and low on sugar and wheat.  He will get some wheat, because my readers will know I do not hold with cutting out major food groups just for the sake of it.  Sugar, of course, we all know is the enemy our modern age.  Fruit sugar… no problem.  Added sugar?  Not on your life!


The big thing though is going to be how he processes the trauma.  For adults there are myriad talking therapies, but for a little guy… well, we are kind of at a loss. We have made an introduction book for him which will be important to read with him again and again, and we can sit and quietly read books to him and tell him stories.  I think the major thing will be to create a calm atmosphere, maintain that calm atmosphere and be understanding when the meltdowns inevitably happen.



But one thing I am definitely going to have in my arsenal is Bach Rescue Remedy.  I have seen it turn a hysterically crying child who is in shock after falling down and hurting themselves into a biddable quiet child again in very short order indeed.  I am even going to pack some in our baby bag (you know, the pantechnicon which is carried EVERYWHERE with you and is packed with everything you might possibly need!).  You never when you might need it… and not just for the baby!


I have no idea when I am going to be able to get back to this page… but I am sure you understand that my priorities lie elsewhere just at the moment.  In 1 months time, I will be a full time Mum to a nearly 14 month old.  Wow.  That takes some computing!




It is National Infertility Week…

Or at least, it is in the States, so in this multimedia, social media world, it is everywhere.

As most of my readers know, I am a church going, practising Catholic.  I think also, most people associate Catholic couples with big families; certainly they do in the pews of a Catholic Church.  Well, for some people, a lot of people, that is not possible to acheive.  I want to offer you this blog post, a post written from a Catholic Perspective by a member of an online support group for Infertile Catholics.  It is worth the read.


One in six couples will experience infertility at some point in their marriage. Infertility is medically defined as the inability to conceive after 12 cycles of “unprotected” intercourse or 6 cycles using “fertility-focused” intercourse. A couple who has never conceived has “primary infertility” and a couple who has conceived in the past (regardless of the outcome) but is unable to again has “secondary infertility”. Many couples who experience infertility have also experienced miscarriage or pregnancy loss.

This week, April 19 – 25, 2015 is National Infertility Awareness Week.

We, a group of Catholic women who have experienced infertility, would like to take a moment to share with you what the experience of infertility is like, share ways that you can be of support to a family member or friend, and share resources that are helpful.

If you are experiencing infertility, please know you are not alone. You are loved and prayed for and there are resources to help you with the spiritual, emotional, and medical aspects of this journey

The Experience of Infertility

In the beginning of trying to conceive a child, there is much hope and anticipation; for some, even a small fear of “what if we get pregnant right away?” There is planning of how to tell your husband and when you’d announce to the rest of the family. It is a joyful time that for most couples results in a positive pregnancy test within the first few months. However, for one in six couples, the months go by without a positive test and the fears and doubts begin to creep in. At the 6th month of trying using fertility-focused intercourse (using Natural Family Planning), the couple knows something is wrong and is considered “infertile” by doctors who understand the charting of a woman’s pattern of fertility. At the 9th month of trying, the month that, had they conceived that first month, a baby would have been arriving, is often the most painful of the early milestones. At the 12th month mark the couple “earns” the label from the mainstream medical community as “infertile”.

As the months go by, the hopes and dreams are replaced with fears, doubts, and the most invasive doctors’ appointments possible. As a Catholic couple faithful to the teachings of the Church, we are presented by secular doctors with options that are not options for us and are told things like “you’ll never have children” and “you have unexplained infertility”; by our Catholic doctors we are told to keep praying and to have hope as they roll up their sleeves and work hard to figure out the cause of our infertility, with each visit asking, “How are you and your husband doing with all of this?”

We find it hard to fit in. We have faith and values that are different than our secular culture, but our small families, whether childless (primary infertility) or with fewer children than we hoped for (secondary infertility), make us blend in with the norm. We have faith and values that are in line with the teachings of our Church, but our daily life looks so much different than the others who share those values and that makes us stand out in a way that we would rather not. We are Catholic husbands and wives living out our vocation fully. Our openness to life does not come in the form of children; it takes on the form of a quiet “no” or “not yet” or “maybe never” from God each month as we slowly trod along. Our openness to and respect for life courageously resists the temptations presented to us by the secular artificial reproductive technology industry.

Often times our friends and family do not know what to say to us, and so they choose to not say anything. Our infertility stands like a great big elephant in the room that separates us from others. Most of the time, we don’t want to talk about it, especially not in public or in group settings because it is painful and we will often shed tears. We realize it is difficult and ask that you realize this difficulty as well. We will do our best to be patient and to explain our situation to those who genuinely would like to know, but please respect our privacy and the boundaries we establish, as not only is infertility painful, it is also very personal.

One of the hardest experiences of infertility is that it is cyclical. Each month we get our hopes up as we try; we know what our due date would be as soon as we ovulate; we know how we would share the news with our husband and when and how we would tell our parents. We spend two weeks walking a fine line between hope and realism, between dreaming and despairing. When our next cycle begins – with cramps and bleeding and tears – we often only have a day or two before we must begin taking the medications that are meant to help us conceive. There is little to no time to mourn the dream that is once again not achievable; no time to truly allow ourselves to heal from one disappointment before we must begin hoping and trying again. We do not get to pick what days our hormones will plummet or how the medications we are often taking will affect us. We do not get to pick the day that would be “best” for us for our next cycle to start. We are at the mercy of hope, and while that hope keeps us going it is also what leaves us in tears when it is not realized.

Some will experience infertility with a complete lack of cycles. Some couples won’t even get to experience the benefit of being able to really try to conceive because of this harsh reality, which is a constant reminder of brokenness for those experiencing it. The pain and anxiety that comes from a lack of reproductive health can be crippling.

And yet others, despite hormonal dysfunction and health issues, will experience the cyclical nature of infertility through conception itself (or recurring conception). These couples go on to lose their children (early, full term, or shortly after birth, and anywhere in between) either once or many times. If you know that we’ve experienced a loss (something we may or may not have the courage to share), know that we are grieving. It wasn’t “just” a pregnancy or “just another” pregnancy that was lost; it was our living baby that died. And we are more likely to be traumatized by the cyclical nature of our infertility because of our losses. We do not get to choose that our cycles will mimic our losses. We are at the mercy of hope.

Our faith is tested. We ask God “why?”, we yell at Him; we draw closer to God and we push Him away. Mass brings us to tears more often than not and the season of Advent brings us to our knees. The chorus of “Happy Mother’s Day” that surrounds us at Mass every year will be almost more devastating than the blessing of mothers itself. We know that the Lord is trustworthy and that we can trust in Him; sometimes it is just a bigger task than we can achieve on our own.


* Pray for us. Truly, it is the best thing that anyone can do.

* Do not make assumptions about anything – not the size of a family or whether or not a couple knows what is morally acceptable to the Church. Most couples who experience infertility do so in silence and these assumptions only add to the pain. If you are genuinely interested, and not merely curious, begin a genuine friendship and discover the truth over time.

* Do not offer advice such as “just relax,” “you should adopt,” “try this medical option or that medical option” – or really give any advice. Infertility is a symptom of an underlying medical problem; a medical problem that often involves complicated and invasive treatment to cure.

* Do not assume that we will adopt. Adoption is a separate calling and should be discerned by every married couple irrespective of their ability to conceive biological children. Infertility does not automatically mean that a couple is meant to adopt.

* Do not assume that if we try to adopt that the process will be successful. Many adoption attempts fail and don’t result in a couple receiving a child placement (temporarily or permanently). Some couples are flat out rejected from attempting to adopt by different agencies and governments. Just like adoption is an incredibly intrusive and emotionally charged issue that is part of a separate calling in the journey to “parenthood”, it isn’t always a possibility for infertile parents. Do not assume we can. And be gentle if we are trying. It’s extra painful to be infertile and not be able to adopt. And we are likely so hurt that we can’t bear to share the details with everyone.

* Ask how we are doing and be willing to hear and be present for the “real” answer. Often times we answer, “OK” because that’s the easy, “safe” answer. Let us know that you are willing to walk through this tough time with us. Frequently we just need someone who is willing to listen and give us a hug and let us know we are loved.

* Offer a Mass for us or give us a prayer card or medal to let us know you are praying for us. Just please refrain from telling us how we must pray this novena or ask for that saint’s intercession. Most likely we’ve prayed it and ask for the intercession daily. Please feel free to pray novenas and ask for intercession on our behalf.

* Be tolerant and patient. The medications we take can leave us at less than our best; we may not have the energy or ability to do much. Please also respect us when we say “no, thank you” to food or drinks. We may have restricted diets due to our medical conditions and/or medications.

* Share the good news of your pregnancy privately (preferably in an email or card or letter and not via text, IM chat, phone call or in person) and as soon as possible. Please understand that we are truly filled with joy for you; any sadness we feel is because we have been reminded of our own pain and we often feel horrible guilt over it as well. Please be patient and kind if we don’t respond immediately, attend your baby shower or don’t “Like” all of your Facebook updates about your children. Again, it is really about us, not you.

* Help steer group conversations away from pregnancy and parenting topics when we are around. We like to be able to interact in a conversation to which we can contribute meaningfully.

*Do not exclude us from your life because you think we may be uncomfortable. It is actually more painful to be left out because of the cross we’re carrying, and we know that doesn’t make a lot of sense to our families and friends. We will excuse ourselves from events or situations if we must, and please let us do so gracefully if the circumstance arises.

* Do not ask when we are going to “start a family” (we started one the day we got married).

* Do not ask which one of us is the “problem” – we are either fertile or infertile as a couple.

* Do grieve with us if you know that we’ve experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death (or many). You may not know what to say to comfort us, and that’s ok. Let us grieve at our own pace and on our own schedule without guilt or explanations, even if we have living children. Do not offer platitudes for why you think it happened, how you think it’s part of God’s plan for us to suffer, or any number of things you think might have been wrong with the child. It was our living baby that died. Let us grieve, pray for us, and if you can, let us know you care by being there for us in our grief. Let us know that you remember that our baby lived, no matter how short of a life.

* Do not say things like “I know you’ll be parents some day,” or “It will happen, I know it will!” Along the same lines, please do not tell us stories of a couple you know who struggled for years and went on to conceive or to “just adopt and then you’ll get pregnant” (this one actually only happens a small percentage of the time). Only God knows what our future holds, please pray with us that we are able to graciously accept His will for our lives.

* Do not pity us. Yes, we have much sorrow. Yes, we struggle. But, we place our faith in God, lean on the grace of our marriage, and trust that someday, whether here on earth or in heaven, we will see and understand God’s plan.


Because this topic is so difficult for so many women and men, the best thing our friends and family can do (and indeed strangers we encounter who may be aware of our struggles) is pray for us. We are grateful for those who offer their prayers and support in a gentle way. Your support is invaluable to us.

Lastly, remember that compassion means “to suffer with”. We didn’t sign up for this to happen. We can’t control whether we overcome this. And we’re doing our best to navigate the murky waters and maintain our sanity and our faith and our relationships with our family and friends through it all. We truly need your support and love to accomplish that. Please, please suffer with us and be Christ to us. No other understanding of our cross will be more merciful or more loving than if you put yourself in a situation to sympathize or empathize with us. The pain of infertility is exacerbated by the fact that it draws us into ourselves. We need your help to remind us in the most difficult moments that we aren’t alone, God didn’t forget us, and that we have something precious to offer through the fruitfulness of our marriage even when it isn’t manifesting in the children we so desperately want to hold. Together, we can offer up our shared suffering for Christ. It’s a powerful witness to both of our faiths to travel this road together and we’ll manage it better with your help than if we have to travel it all alone.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ***************************************************************************************

This post was made possible through the collaboration of 430 members of a “secret” facebook group of Catholic women and men struggling with the pains of infertility in all of its forms. Together we are stronger. And in having the conversation, we are breaking the silence.

If you are Catholic and experiencing the pains of infertility and would like to join a “secret” facebook support group, please let me know and I will happily add you to our discussion.”

Thank you for reading this.

How waiting might be good for you… and how to survive it.

Fundamentally, I am a very impatient person.  I do not like to wait for things, and I have an extremely low tolerance for long queues, disorganisation and bad service.  In fact, it has been muttered by those close to me, that I have no tolerance for those things at all.  Unfortunately, my life had abounded in opportunities for me to learn how to be patient and how to wait.  Despite the extensive practice I have had, I am not doing very well at mastering the skill.


Yes, I do think that waiting calmly is a skill that needs to be developed.  I have a theory (and it is only a theory) that patience is not a virtue… it’s genetic, and that particular gene skipped me over entirely.  It would certainly explain a lot!

I am not saying that I can’t wait.  I can.  I have to.  I am not so petulant as to believe that everything I desire needs to be delivered to me right now.  (Well, okay, I sometimes think that, but I know that real life doesn’t work that way, and sometimes you have to suck it up and just go with it).  The thing that I can’t do is to wait patiently, to wait with grace, and to believe that it will happen (whatever it is) when the time is right.  I really, really struggle with this.


Luckily, I have a faith.  I really do not know how I would cope without one.  If I can tell myself that what I am hoping for will happen in God’s time, then I find it helps me to control the impatience I feel.  I still get annoyed that I HAVE to wait, but at least, I have the belief that it will happen when God decides it is the right time.  I am thinking particularly here of the “being a Mother” thing which seems to preoccupy the majority of my thoughts at the moment.  I have waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I have moved things along, I have endeavoured to be proactive, we have enquired after children all without success.  On the bad days I begin to wonder if it is all worth it, and I am close to packing it all in and giving up.  On the good days I remind myself that God will provide, if it is the right course of action in the first place, when the right child is available for us.  I will admit that just at the moment, the bad days are outweighing the good ones.

patience prayer

Now, reading around this topic, most of the the good stuff associated with waiting is about delayed gratification.  Certainly, when/if the time comes and I have a small person calling me “Mummy”, I will have the delight of hearing that.  I am also looking forward to all the problems and issues that come with being a parent.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I look forward to them, because it will be proof that I have become a parent, which is my dearly held wish.  Waiting and wanting for so long certainly puts a different perspective on everything.  I think the fact I have HAD to be patient, will mean that I will be profoundly grateful for whatever hits my plate. The good, the bad, the profoundly busy, the obstacles, every last bit of it.  It strikes me that those who never have to wait for anything at all; perhaps they do not actually appreciate what they have?


As for surviving the waiting –  I don’t really know.  Sometimes it feels like I have managed it (usually by keeping myself so busy I haven’t got the time to turn around, or by counting my existing blessings and being fervently grateful for them).  But there are also times when I feel so far from coping it is frightening.  I suspect this is common for everyone.  I read that meditating and trying to attain peace is a good way of keeping things together as well, although very difficult to do.

If you are waiting for something, then join the club.  How do you get through it?  Any suggestions, gratefully received!

Bad blogger… bad bad blogger…

I am so sorry to my loyal readers… I have been having a fortnight from hell and I have not been able to get onto my computer to crank out a blog post.  I do apologise… however, there are good reasons for the lack of communication.

gardening fun

First of all, it is the time of year when there needs to be a lot of work done in the garden.  This year, being our second growing season in this garden, we have more work to do than usual!  I have been planting up a storm since January and I am now taking care of the baby plants the best way I can.  There are some which are already out in our little lean to green house, hardening off before they get put out into the soil, and then there are the ones I am trying to germinate.  They are currently in the conservatory, and they seem to be doing okay in there, soaking up whatever sun there is!

veg patch

We have taken out an old box hedge, we have painted the shed and the big greenhouse, we have taken possession of the big greenhouse and are planning what we are going to grow in it and we have begun to dig what will be the vegetable patch.  We have raised beds to paint, we have dwarf fruit trees to plant, we have strawberries to revive and plant, we have raspberries and other soft fruit to fertilise and weed around.  We have a compost heap to sort out as well and the flower beds all need weeding and getting sorted for the annuals and bulbs to show off later on.

frazzled owl

Are you tired yet?!

Well, add into the mix of this,  that the Adoption is beginning to get tricky as well.  Not with the actual process… that is meandering about the way it does.  But my patience is wearing very thin indeed.  I needed to think very carefully about whether I wanted to continue with the process and what was I going to do if it didn’t work.  Although everyone thinks that there is always a payoff of a baby when you go through the Adoption process, the facts are somewhat different and it is in no way guaranteed.  Our process has already been so long and so difficult (and out of the ordinary – of course… I never do anything the easy or the ordinary way!) I am not sure how much more I am going to be able to take.  It has been quite stressful and difficult as I am sure you can all imagine.  There wasn’t much other head space for anything else, let alone sorting out blog posts.

All I can promise is that I will try and do better after Easter.  I will even try and sort out some blog themes and interesting things to post about… and I need to get back to my studying.  I haven’t done any lessons for weeks.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone, and see you on the other side!

Emotional First Aid…

One way or another, this past 7 days has been one hell of a roller coaster.  There have been some highs, and corresponding lows and frankly, I am feeling a little travel sick with the change from one to the other.  I feel like I have been run over by a steam roller, both physically and emotionally.

roller coaster

Some days I have coped better than others, but as I progressed through the week, a few things became very apparent.  I am a very emotional person.  I deal with stuff with my emotions leading first, and then I can process the emotion and keep going.  Some people might feel (and clearly, from their reactions, some people do feel) that this is a disadvantage.  I don’t.  I think it is a strength, which I hope will serve me well come the point when I have children to look after.  If I can express my emotion and deal with it, then hopefully I can help a damaged child do the same.

Another thing which became apparent, the adoption process is emotionally one of the most bruising things you can ever undertake.  I am not about to give up now… but on several occasions this week I was really close to throwing in the towel and going to adopt another dog and some chickens.  If it wasn’t for the people close to us who have been so invested in the process with us, I would have resigned myself to being childless forever and got on with being an urban homesteader and craftaholic.

1st aid

With these two things at the forefront of my mind… it became clear that an essential in the toolkit of survival is to have an emotional first aid kit to hand.  You might be thinking “What on earth is she wittering on about?” but bear with me.

Do you remember when we were little, we all wanted to be grown ups?  Yeah… that was really dumb, wasn’t it!  Adult life comes with stress, hurt and more stress on top.  Some people can totally cope with that and keep on gliding through life unaffected.  But some of us really can’t.  Each bump and scrape we suffer emotionally and mentally leaves a scar.  If you did something to yourself physically, you wouldn’t hesitate to reach for a first aid kit to get a band aid… so why don’t we do the same thing for our mental health?  I think it is too important for people to ignore.  You must look after your mental strength in equal proportion to your physical well being.  Or else bits of psyche will fall off and make a mess.


The first thing you need in this first aid kit is to pay attention to the emotional pain that you feel.  Recognise it when it happens and work to treat it before it feels like it is all encompassing and you get that drowning feeling.  For example, on Saturday, at the Adoption Activity Day we attended, we fell in love with a pair of children.  They were delightful and we could have happily become their Mummy and Daddy.  Unfortunately… it wasn’t possible due to geographical constraints on their adoption.  I was heartbroken.  It would have been easier to shrug off and say “Oh well.  I only met them for a little time, it isn’t right, move on”.  15 years ago, that is exactly what I would have done.  But instead, I acknowledged the raw, painful realisation that it was a loss, an actual emotional wrench for them to say no (again) to us becoming parents, and I dealt with it.  It felt overwhelming for the first few days after… but I am still standing now.

change your perspective

The second skill for your emotional first aid kit is the ability to redirect your gut feeling when you fail.  This is something I am really, really bad at.  I set myself really, really high standards, and if I do not reach them, I will beat myself up something awful.  Of course, when you set your standard at perfection, and perfection doesn’t exist, then you will always be disappointed, won’t you?  So, I learnt a lesson from the wonderful FlyLady ( – It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be done.  I tell you, that phrase has revolutionised my life.  When I am cleaning the house, when I am gardening, when I am doing a craft project – it doesn’t need to be perfect.  It can have faults lying about.  That is okay.  That is normal.  That is life.  Redirecting the guilt I feel at not being perfect, means I actually give myself permission to be a normal human being.  That is really quite freeing.

inner critic

Of course, if you are a recovering perfectionist, you will often find your inner critic doing a good job of making your life miserable.  In order to tell my inner critic to sit down and shut up, I find myself thinking about what I would say to a friend who was dissing her/himself.  I would tell them to stop it and be compassionate to themselves.  Cut themselves some slack. It is important that you monitor and protect your self esteem and don’t let your own inner gremlins get you thinking that you are not worthy.  This is the next little trick to have in your arsenal.  Of course, that compassion needs to take a positive form – unfortunately, I seem to have developed a bit of “self medicate with junk food” habit, so I am trying to break that by giving myself the chance to knit, sew and cross stitch when I need to.

negative to positive

How many of us have a negative thought soundtrack going around in their head?  I do.  It is only in the past few years that I have made a conscious effort to stop being a negative Nelly and look at the positive of life.  I posted something on my personal facebook timeline the other day about how God only gives you what you can cope with, and that apparently God thinks I am a bad ass.  That was my way of taking the positive out of a really bad day on Wednesday.  It doesn’t matter how you do it… but finding the silver lining in every cloud is a fabulous way to cope.


Sometimes, we have to make a really hard decision and you need to come to terms with loss.  I am doing this all the time with the children we have been enquiring about re potential matches (25+ now) and it does not get easier.  So, I have started to try and find a meaning in the losses.  It is easier on some occasions than it is on others.  I have a lot of internal conversations with myself about the needs of the children that we have not pursued and how it is probably the right thing that we have stepped away from the match.  Sometimes I even manage to convince myself!!  Sometimes, I really don’t.  On the latter occasions, I fall back on my faith.  God has a plan.  There is a reason why we haven’t found our match yet.  We just don’t know what it is.


The next emotional first aid skill is something that, as a cradle Catholic, I totally SUCK at.  That is to not let excessive guilt linger.  Now, if I were a better Catholic I would go to confession a lot more regularly than I do, and actually I suspect if I did, I would have a convenient valve to allow the guilt to escape.  Hmmm.  Easter is coming up.  I need to make some time to head to the confessional and unburden myself.  I hope the priest has an armchair and some popcorn!

emotional wounds

The final item in our emotional first aid kit is personal knowledge.  Learn what treatments for emotional wounds work for you.  This is as individual as you are.  Although my go-to treatment is junk food, that has some seriously negative consequences, so I need to think of better ways to make myself feel better.  Naps have often helped me, so does being creative in some way.  I like to sit in a room with some classical music and a really good book. Sitting on the garden bench and looking at the garden, being out in the garden doing some work, a decent old movie and a cup of hot tea also works.  Whatever it is… make sure you know what work for you and do it regularly.

You really are worth taking care of.

Celebrating Book Week… in several ways!

Several of my friends with school age children have been having a few headaches trying to get to grips with book week and rustling up character costumes for their little ones to shuffle off to school in.  My husband and I had to do the same thing this week – we are attending an Adoption Activity Day and the theme of it is Book characters.  After asking my best friend, we decided we could go as Jack and Jill from the nursery rhyme – well… it’s in a book, right?

I also noticed that Dr Seuss, of Cat in the Hat fame, would have been 111 today.  Now, I remember reading most of his books when I was 3 or 4 and my Mum had just introduced me to the magic of the public library.  It kindled my love of books and my love of verse.  Some of the verses are actually really good to remember as adults.  They hold some very interesting truths.  So, todays blog is a bit of a cop out.  Here are some posters made by talented others!

Seuss think

I love this so much.  It is a quotation laden with promise.  Regardless of how institutionalised you are, everyone has an imagination.  You might need to relearn how to use it, but once you do… magic is unlocked.

Seuss love

This definitely explains why my marriage works!  We have compatible weirdness!


Yeah… I always look for the complications.  I need to remember to look for the simple as well!


How very, very true.  This is also about cultivating an attitude of gratitude.


This is so very important to remember.  Being unique is one of the most awesome qualities we have, and it would be a shame to give it all up to be an homogeneous group of drones, regardless of what the mainstream media would like us to do!  In addition, this needs to be at the forefront of my mind on Saturday when I am faced with a room full of children, any of whom might be my future child.  I need to make sure I check them all out.


If you ever come to my house, you will see just how much we love books here.  Yes, I find magic every time I pick one up.  Or even when I turn on my Kindle!  Books ROCK.

I wonder if I could dress up as the Cat in the Hat after all?

Why oh why is this still an issue?

Before I start my post, which will become something of a rant (what?  I know my faults!) I want to wish my Mum a very happy birthday.


It is the first birthday she is celebrating while living so close to us, and so I am going to try and make it a great day for her.  We are off to Chatsworth in Derbyshire, and we are stopping at a fabric shop in Chesterfield on the way home.  Then this evening, I am making dinner, and a birthday cake for her.  It is going to be a lovely day!  (And it appears the weather is even behaving itself!)

Yesterday, I had some exciting news.  Hubby and I had expressed interest in two sets of siblings via our social worker and the social worker of one of the sets of siblings came back and thought, judging from our profile on one of these database whatsits, that we would be a potential match for them.  Cue excited squeaking noises.  I will confess to doing little jigs and a couple of excited jumps as well.


So I called our social worker and made sure that she was ready to send our report to the children’s social worker.  It turns out that the Adoption Panel wanted to have some more information than they got from our panel interview.  Okay, I said.  What can I do to help?  What followed was a 30 minute interview on the telephone, including the last item which was about my weight.


Oh yes indeedy, that old chestnut again.  Sigh.  I hate this.  I loathe the fact that I am continually judged by the people in “authority” by the way I look and by a number on the scales.  Yes, I am bigger than “average” or “normal” whatever the hell that means.  But I am also healthier than anyone I know.  I certainly have more energy than anyone I know and I am capable of working as fast as anyone requires me to do.  Just ask the people who have stepped into my former jobs when I have moved onto pastures new.  The muttered phrase of “How the hell did she get THROUGH it all” has been mentioned on numerous occasions.  And if you take a look at my to do lists, and what I can get through each day, one of my closest friends has said that my energy levels make her feel like she is part sloth.

So once again, I need to get focussed on what I put in my body.  Since coming back from our holiday I would say we had relaxed our focus somewhat, but we are a long way from being slovenly diet wise, and not all of our bad habits had crept back.  Some of them had, certainly.  But not all of them.

I will also admit to getting more than a little defensive with our social worker as well yesterday.  I have been approved as an adoptive parent.  The adoption panel medical adviser had cleared me as being fine.  My own cow of a GP admitted (through gritted teeth) that there is nothing that can stop me from being a fine and proper parent.  I do hope they are all listening as I say the next bit through a loud hailer, right by their collective ears.

loud hailer