Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm actually quite glad...

...that trick-or-treating plus associated tat is taking off with a vengeance in the UK. My brother and I suffered as children with a mother who insisted on celebrating it when our friends were either carving pumpkins, dressing up a guy, or saying "eh? what?". But (when Mr Spouse overcomes his Bah Humbug tendencies) we'll be able to do it with ours.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I haven't done the someone-else's post for a while, and I was trying to do it on Fridays, and it's not quite Friday any more*, but I just read this, and well, just, gosh.

What a dilemma.

*I joined a community music group which will lead, when I've practiced a bit more, to playing in an orchestra on Saturday mornings, though I'm rubbish at the moment. It meets at 9am on Saturday. Not a typo. It is on half-term break tomorrow. I am hoping I actually sleep in!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've had a bit of a manic week (our term only just started but it started with about 1/4 of my teaching for the year in the same week, the next 1/4 is this coming week and the rest spread out over the rest of the year, basically) and while I had plenty of countdowns on Facebook I somehow missed that Friday was Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day until I read May's blog.

I was at church this morning on my own (Mr Spouse really needs to learn not to say "ooh let's have a curry" and then vastly overconsume...), and the service sheet was sponsored by an older couple we have got to know a little, but who've never had family with them in the services. We assumed they had no children or other family but it turns out they had a son - who died about 15 years ago, at the age of 23 - on 15th October.

I lit a candle for him at the end of the service, and thought about it afterwards. I'm hoping we will get to have a baptism for our child in this church, but I don't want that to mean we never acknowledge our other children. A few years ago we sponsored some Easter lilies in memory of one (I think - it may have been more recent than that) and, which was fine with me, Mr Spouse didn't add our names/reason to the list (you can be public, or not, usually the lilies are in memory of someone and we all know that there is a cloud of unspoken names around them). I have a feeling he doesn't want to dwell on remembering them. He knows I get sad sometimes and he does too, but he doesn't want to look at our sole pair of scan pictures, and he doesn't want to go to the local infant loss and miscarriage service again. So i don't know how he'd feel about remembering our other babies as part of a baptism service.

Moving on to marginally more jolly topics. I am feeling a tad left out at work. There is a crowd of about 4 or 5 colleagues who are all slightly newer than me, one of whom I work very closely with, I actually feel I carry her a little but I also know she's had a hard time so I give her a lot of slack, we buy each other coffee when we're team teaching, she is part of this crowd. One of the group invited us to a housewarming (though has since moved, but with a new baby so I doubt the housewarming was repeated!), and one to a birthday a couple of years ago, but I've missed a couple of birthdays through being away over the summer (I was actually feeling even MORE left out but realised that I wouldn't have been around when all these parties were happening).

We have a small circle of friends here, very small in fact, and I often feel a little isolated. But I would also like to get to know these particular colleagues (except, unfortunately, the one I teach with) because they would be great collaborators. I've tried to approach them for both work collaborations and just to be friendly, and we've never really got beyond superficial conversations in both directions (and I know I can be rather overwhelmed at work, and I can show it, and that can't really make people too enthusiastic about collaborating with me, frankly).

As none of these people are really new, I can't offer to "show them round", I guess it's hard to get to know someone better when you realise you missed your chance the first time - but that's what I'd quite like to do.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh dear


There is a certain adoption message board in the UK (and you won't have to search too hard to find it).
The majority of children who have been adopted are those that have been abused and/or neglected, with a smaller number removed before any abuse could happen, but some of those having been drug exposed.

I get that.

I also get that we are likely to be in a very different situation.

It's just the attitude, not particularly to birth parents (and there are many posters who can be very balanced in that respect) but to contact. From those saying "what's the point of direct contact when a child was removed at birth, they won't have a relationship to continue, and that's the point of contact", to those saying "really you should not think about a relinquished child from the same town, what if members of the birth family - shock horror - saw the baby in the street"... anyway you get the picture.

I am going to have a chat to Mr Spouse about this but I also wonder whether to mention this to our social worker if/when we see her again. Of course there are other adoptive parents who are positive about contact with birth family (even if it's for preventive means, as when a 9 year old will be rational about their birth family being at best exceedingly flaky while a teenager will turn all drama queen and want to go and live with them again).

I just feel like I (completely inexperienced, not even an adopter yet) want to go on a mass re-education campaign. And I know I'm really enthusiastic, and gung ho, converts are the most irritating preachers, but still...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Not an issue yet, but...

I've just been reading Heather's post about the words and phrases we use. Both Nice Little Agency and Official Hague Person use the terms "birth mother" and "birth parents", though I may have spotted a couple of "expectant parents" thrown in the mix, and I don't recall them using "our" or "your".**

The OHP also got us to change a couple of "our child" to "a child" in our profile though it didn't seem very consistent, as in, I felt it was OK to say "we are looking forward to taking our child to the playground" though they didn't, except they didn't get us to change it every time, and obviously we would say "we would like to adopt a child", but there are grey areas and they seemed to pick up on some but not all of these.

We have not yet had our profile read through and edited by NLA themselves but they place shortened versions on their website. While we cannot control the words they use when talking to expectant parents, each letter starts "Dear birthparent". Most of the stories from adoptive parents say "our birthmother".

So... advice please... what should we do? We can obviously write our own profile and I don't think they are going to tell us "No! Say Birthmother!" but what about the bits they edit in? And what about the impression that the whole thing gives, though (erm) I suppose we might appear more aware if we are the only ones not saying "Dear birth parents" in our profile??!

**yes, they have Expectant Parents right on the front web page for the agency. Good.

Friday, October 01, 2010

My spidey senses are twitching

Was out last night for a birthday of a friend - she has just turned 36 and her man is 8 and a half years younger (NOT NINE she says firmly), and two of her friends who I've got to know a bit better recently were there. One of them I assumed was early 30s, recently married, but it turns out she's 39, married 7 years. And gets irritated by babies on planes...

I was on the brink of sharing about adoption (friend whose birthday it is knows, but not many details) as we were talking about my nieces being dressed in scary 1970s pinafores by my mum (I must take a picture of the patterns she has hoarded, they are truly frightening). But I thought better of it.

While I do know people who absolutely don't want kids (which is I think less common in the UK than in the US, I think it's more common here as we are an indecisive nation, to be on the fence and fall the way nature takes you), usually I find as it is relatively uncommon here they are quite strident not just about irritating kids or parents but about their own wishes.

The birthday friend has said she'd happily get married tomorrow but has mainly expressed satisfaction at being an aunt for the moment. I know the new friend has siblings but I think she's the oldest and her younger sister is single. Their parents live locally so perhaps they have managed to dial down the "where are our grandchildren" nagging, which gets wearing I imagine if you don't want them, just as it does if you want them but can't have them.

So I'm curious now, is this a "don't want kids and find parents and babies irritating" or a "wanted them and don't think we'll have them now, so find parents and babies irritating."