On Blogging.

People blog for a myriad of reasons.  My reasons for blogging stem primarily for a need or, more honestly, WANT to inspire and to be a voice and to make others not feel like they are alone.

My blogging journey started about a decade ago when I decided to write about my infertility and the turmoil that comes with it.  Once we became parents, I saved the entire blog as a .pdf folder and then deleted it.  That journey was over and I no longer wanted to dwell there.

Then I started an art blog.  This too, was to showcase my work, share even more stories of my life and my memories – both in the hopes to inspire.

And then came my grief journey blog – Dear Beary.

See, writing is very, very cathartic for me.  I don’t need to have everyone who reads it comment, though those that do, are my many voices of reason and encouragement.

Dear Beary has been paramount to my healing, moving forwards (not necessarily moving ON) and an affirmation of sorts.

I’ve been told by one person that they cannot believe how I put myself out there with the posts that I do.  But if not me, then whom?  I don’t do it for attention sake.  I do it not just for me.  I do it for those who find themselves in a similar position and nod in agreement or shed fresh all-knowing tears because they just *know*.  I do it for my family who don’t really know what I’m going through, because in person, I’m pretty much a closed book.

The challenges that come with being a single parent, I will now be able to talk about and document right here.  The challenges that come with being a single parent to an adopted child, I will now be able to talk about and document right here.

All of this, most of all, I WANT to do for my child and share with her when she is old enough to understand.

I want to be her fucking hero.  I want her to look up to me.  I want her to be proud of our journey.  I want her to be proud of how I have fought with every ounce of my strength to make it all okay – just for her.  In every single sense.  I want her to know of the challenges I have faced and how I strove to resolve them.

I want her to know that – above all else – she is just so incredibly loved.

One day, I will find out how I go about publishing my grief blog.  I want people to read it.  I want to speak for many.  I want people to know that they are not alone.  I want people to know that they can grow, learn and conquer their very worst nightmare.  I want to publish my book.


On Adoption – my personal perspective.

Per my previous book review – I want to stress that adoption is not just a once-off and simple process.  There is so much more to it that I am certain the average Joe doesn’t realise.  It simply does NOT end with placement!  I want people to be educated on this!  The book I reviewed will do that!  And then some…

You don’t just get to take your baby home and live happily ever after.  You don’t just have the usual parenting woes that a “normal” (for want of a better word!) family has.  There is a constant awareness; a white elephant if you will.

Moreover, every adoption placement scenario is different.  Completely different. Not all of them are happily ever after either.

When we embarked on our adoption journey, I struggled with wondering how, just HOW, I would go about raising “another woman’s child”.  Would I be stricter?  Would I be too complacent?  Would, when the child did something ‘wrong’, I think to myself “if this were MY own flesh and blood, he/she would NEVER have done something like that” or “oh, if only they had inherited my (example) creative genes”. The biggest and most painful thought I had was that *I* was the infertile one and I failed at giving Travers his ‘own’ child, with all his genes…

My fears extend further than that and remain a constant.  I’m petrified of the day she might say to me “you’re not even my real mom” in the heat of an argument.  Those words are going to cut me to pieces.

What if Isabella has underlying feelings of being rejected?  I see it now already, how it affects her, when she is excluded from certain circles of friends.  This is why my protection of her – and more specifically THAT aspect – is so fierce.

I’m incredibly sensitive in my parenting style, to the fact that my child is adopted.  I’m fearful of making mistakes that will impact her as an adult.  She will have enough issues to cope with as she grows older and I do not want to make matters worse by not being the parent to her that I know I can and should be.

You must understand, someone CHOSE you to raise the child that they cannot.  That, in itself, when you pick it apart and really think it through – that is just so huge.

Isabella knows she is adopted.  She’s always known.  To her, right now, at the tender age of almost-six, it’s really not that much of a big deal.  It’s “normal”.  It is not a taboo subject in our home.

My personal view on parenting is based on trust; call it the hub of the parenting wheel.  These little sponges, naïve little souls trust us implicitly; why break or meddle with that?  We did not want Isabella to find out about it any other way than from our very own mouths.

We talk about it often; we mention her Birthmom’s name often.

While reading the book yesterday, I turned to her to ask her if she would ever want to meet her BM.  A strange thing to ask such a young child, but I know my daughter – she’s deeper and more intellectual than I give her credit for and I would never have asked her such a very significant question if I knew it would affect her in any adverse way.  She looked up at me with those soulful brown eyes and said yes.  So I asked her what she’d say and her response had me in tears: “I will say thank you to her for looking after me inside her tummy”.

I’m completely open to them meeting; Isabella has every right to that option, I feel.  I don’t know whether her BM would be open to that though.  And therein lies yet another fear… what if she’s not?  What if she doesn’t want to see Isabella, for her own set of very personal reasons?  Will Isabella feel rejected by her and what kind of emotional state will ensue from that?  Will she come to hate her for that?  This is something that I do not want for either of them.

The book touched on whether the adoptive mom feels threatened by the BM.  This had me thinking long and hard about if or when Isabella finally gets to meet her BM.  Would I feel threatened by it?  Would I feel threatened if they were to establish some form of relationship and keep in contact?  Would I want to “piss on my territory”?  Would I feel like a third wheel?  Would I be the one to feel rejected?  Would the BM feel threatened by ME?

I had no answers to those questions, no matter how many spewed around my head.  Not one.  Because I just don’t know.  I cannot and will not stop this highly likely inevitable process.

Sharon has an open relationship with one of their own BM’s and they are in contact.  When I first found out about it, my thoughts were scattered all over the place.  I was scared – for both of them; but I was also a little envious of it.  I wondered what I would do and how I would cope if our BM was in our lives in the physical sense (because really, she IS in our lives anyway).  I wondered how she would ‘cope’ with seeing all the constant updates I post on social media.  I think it takes some kind of special to have that relationship in place and I take my hat off to both Sharon and her BM for that.  That really is an amazing space.

I know her name and I have popped on to her FB page (though we are not friends).  I am certain that she knows my name and I’ve often wondered whether she has done the same.

And then… I do wonder whether she knows of Travers’ passing.  I remember, a few days after he died, Sharon sat down with me and in tears told me of her anger at the situation; particularly because THIS is not what should have happened; THIS is not what the BM would have chosen, had she known.  She’s right and last night, I wondered if things would have been different…

The book also carried a lot of synchronicity for me; there were events and place names mentioned that are significant to my life too.  And then I started to really sob, because all I wanted was to share this book, these thoughts, with Travers.  As I sat crying, my hand that was placed on the book suddenly turned icy cold.  Icy, icy cold, despite the heat from the fire I’d made.  And I knew that it was him, telling me that he WAS right there.  Since his death, I have never wanted my husband more than at that very moment.  I wanted his reassurance that this was all going to be okay and that, so far, I was doing an okay job.

The way I have been and still am, raising my adopted treasure precious blessing is to literally shower her with love.  There is just SO much love in this house, that you could swim in it.  I reassure her every day that I LOVE her and that I waited so long for her and that she is my GIFT and that I will always be there for her when she needs me.

I live in hope that the awesome relationship that I have with her, will carry her in good stead through any trials and tribulations that adoption brings.  It just seems so much harder doing this on my own.  I cry now still when I think of everything.  EVERYTHING and EVERYONE involved.



Book Review | Umbilicus by Paula Gruben


Today I want to talk about a book that was recommended to me, an adoptive parent, by my fellow adoptive parent friend, Sharon.  Her review on the book can be read here.

When she tagged me to the post about this book on FB, I did not hesitate ordering it immediately; it arrived yesterday. I sat down next to my fire and finished it within 4 hours.

I love to read, but I never keep my books.  This is only the second time in my life that I have sat down with a book and read it in a single sitting.   This is also the second book that I intend keeping in the hopes that Isabella will read it too; the other book is So Close by Tertia Albertyn (an autobiography on infertility, treatments, miscarriage, etc).

I am going to do another post of how this book impacted me, because there is much I want to say on that topic.

I want to thank Paula, personally, for bravely sharing her story with the world.  I want to thank her for giving the gift of the other perspective; the perspective of the adopted child and all that comes with it.

What she voiced in her book throughout, touches on every fear I have with raising my own adopted child.  Made that much more difficult now that I am a single parent; no one to bounce issues off, no one to correct me where I might be making a ‘mistake’.

Many parts of the book struck me – and I think I will read it again so that I can make notes in the margins (which I have never done before).

The chapter that hit me the hardest in this book was Chapter 23 – Psychobabble.  I am a sensitive person by nature – specifically to my surroundings and when it comes to parenting, I am sensitive to how I treat or talk to my child may have an impact on her as an adult. Here is an excerpt from that chapter.  I read it over and over and over.


And further, she goes on to talk about ‘hereditary ghosts’. And this paragraph hit hard too.  Very, very hard.  I’m not going to give too much away – just get the book and read it.

I kept on thinking about our own Birthmom and what she must have gone through; what she probably still goes through, particularly around Isabella’s birthday.  Mothers’ Day too.  I cried not just for her, but for me and for Isabella too.  I cried because what Paula had to say on so many pages in so many paragraphs may just happen to my child.

I have never read such a raw and open book before.  I have never wanted the world to read this book too; whether you have adopted yourself, whether you ARE adopted yourself or whether you have friends or family in those positions.  This book is a wake up to people who really don’t know just how involved and intense adoption is.

It is NOT as simple as putting your name on a list.  It is NOT as simple a child simply being abandoned!  The circumstances for placement are all entirely different – with different “repercussions”.  I believe it to be an ongoing process for all parties concerned.

This book covers all of that and even though I’m sensitive to many aspects, there are some that run deeper than even I could ever have imagined.

Please get your hands on this book.  It’s a very powerful read.