Sunday, June 7, 2015

Under The Surface

We've had a rough couple of weeks with Jonathan since returning from 5 days away. At school, daycare and home he's been bossy and rude and talking back, hitting, yelling, refusing activities at school, has a really low frustration tolerance...and having a really hard time overall.

As of yesterday I think we may have finally reached a turning point. I asked him why he's been like this and was very direct about my words and asked if he was mad at us for going away, if he was scared we weren't coming back etc. He said no, but obviously he feels something about as its just too much of a coincidence of timing.

Before bed he asked to look as his photo album, the one we gave to him to help him transition to our home. He asked lots of questions about the picures and I also told him a bit more about his adoption.

The next morning we had a picnic breakfast in his bedroom and he asked "what do you want to talk about?" I replied I didn't know and he suggested "me being adopted"


He has never brought this up, it's always us telling him. He has never initiated a conversation about adoption.

I tried not to choke on my cheerios as he asked me questions like "why my first mommy can't take care of me?" and "what things you do before I adopted?"


I know he wasn't consciously scared or nervous when he stayed at grandma's and grandpa's house (and in fact had a great time with no issues) but deep down in brain trauma land there was something there.

It is such a reminder that no matter how good things get, no matter how amazing his speech is coming and how much he is learning and how much he seemingly calms down and really truly settles in and seems more secure....that trauma is always lurking right under the surface. It's just waiting for a moment to poke through all the security and safety and scream LOOK AT ME! I'M STILL HERE AND I'M FREAKING CONFUSED AND SCARED AND SAD AND NERVOUS AND I DON'T LIKE THIS!

But on we go, kicking trauma to the curb one day at a time. Hopefully, a little further each time.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Now on Wordpress

Blogger wouldn't let me post any more pictures without paying them. So I've switched over my blog to Wordpress.

You can now find me over here:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

B.C. - Before Cummings

I often  think about Jonathan's life when he was born. How can I not?

I wonder how many times he was left to cry in his crib and nobody came to comfort him. I wonder how many times he hurt himself and had nobody to pick him up and kiss him better. And I wonder a thousand other questions...What did he see, what did he hear? Does he remember? Somewhere deep deep down, does he remember? We can tell his body remembers, sometimes his brain too. The back of his head is very flat (how many hours were you left to lay there?), he has strange reactions to different things sometimes...

If I let myself, I can imagine all the scenarios. But mostly I stop before I go to that place. A part of me wants to know all the dirty nitty-gritty details - I think it will help me have a better understanding of where he's coming from and what he needs. Maybe it would give some insight into why he does some of the things he does. But there's another part of me that would rather not know any more than I already do.We do know some of what he witnessed, what his environments were like (there were 5), what he experienced. Some, but not all.

I believe that people do the best they can with what they have.

I believe that his biological mom did what she believed was good. And she did her best.

I believe she was not an unkind person.

But then, I let my mind wonder and I go to that place. And I get angry. And I get sad.  And I'm unsure if I can believe those things anymore.

I know bad things happen to children every day and they are horrible and no child should have those terrible experiences. And I'm sad for them too.

But this is my boy. This is personal.

Why did it take so long (almost 2 years) for somebody to notice he was Deaf?
Why did it take so long (almost 3 years) for somebody to realize that he was not well cared for?

Loved, most likely. Cared for, not so much.

Where would he be if  he had been a stable, good home from birth? Would he communicate better? Would he be more socially appropriate? Would he not ask for a hug every time you gave him the look (you know the look, the mom look)?  But then again, he wouldn't be him.

He is fantastic. He is funny. He is a sweet and good, kind, little boy. But he also has his 'stuff'. A lot of stuff. And although that stuff is what makes him him, he's 4 and shouldn't have stuff. Cue the anger and sadness; round and round it goes.

I think about his bio mom often. Maybe more than I should? I think about how horrible it must be to have to say good bye to your child, knowing that even though you want to, you don't have the ability to raise him. Did she cry? Does she think about him?  Does she wonder where he is and who we are and how he's doing?  Does she understand all that has happened? And this makes me sad too.

At the end of the day we know only what we know. We can read the few reports about his history that we have and we can make conclusions about his behaviour from his everyday reactions to everyday things. We can guess at other peoples' feelings and what they may be thinking, but there are many things we may never know. And I accept that. I think if you can't accept it, you don't adopt!

What is important is to focus on the positive things. The progress he is making with speech and signing; with attachment and settling in. The many many people, including his amazing last foster mom who did more him in a few months than anybody else had his whole life, who have loved and cared for this little boy. School staff who put his school picture up on their fridge because they thought nobody else was going to. The amount of people who have surrounded this little boy, cheering in his corner is awe-inspiring.

What is important is that we be compassionate to others. To try to be understanding and accepting, despite any anger and sadness. We can be angry and we can be sad, but we need to figure out a way to be okay with it, and then kick it out.

What is important is to love the beans out the little boy sleeping in the next room and give him all we can.

And we will do our best, with what we have. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thank you...and a book

I am slowly putting some thoughts together around the bigger picture stuff with Adoption (about to read Jonathan's apprehension reports, should be....interesting....) and I hope to post more regularly to justify my Starbucks/Second Cup mornings while Jonathan is in preschool very very soon.

But, in the mean time, I wanted to say (juuussst in case anybody is actually reading this)


To our families, friends and co-workers, and even some strangers (lady at the dollar store who was so kind while I had a holysh*it freak out moment a few weeks ago - I do not forget you).

All of you who have offered kind words of support and encouragement, shared in our excitement or even simply asked how we are doing, we are really and truely thankful.

We chose adoption but that doesn't mean it's easy, and Gord and I both truly believe that it takes a village. So thank you thank you to our village.


And on a totally different note, I just wanted to mention that during all of this chaos, my amazing  husband wrote a book.


He wrote a book while adopting, working full time, attending school for his Masters in Leadership and parenting a 10 year old and being an awesome husband! That crazy man...

It's called Boundary Road and if you are in Calgary you can get it at Shelf Life Books  or Owl's Nest Books OR you can order a hard copy or for your Kindle off of Amazon

Thank you again and I can't wait to become more involved in the adoption community and share our discoveries with Johnny Rocket with you:)