Skip to main content

Posts

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…
Recent posts

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"

--

Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.

--

8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

On (well)Being and Baking Scones

This morning I got up and cleaned up a dog-made mess in the living room, then walked the dogs and cleaned their bowls, and fed the dogs, and took a deep breath.

Now, there are muesli scones in the oven (recipe below). The pups are lounging, the husband is sleeping in (it's his day off).

While I wait for the scones to finish, I'm reading a research report out of the University of Notre Dame. It's for my job, but it's more than just work. It's relevant to the application I'm working on this week for a PhD program... And it's relevant to my daily life.

The report is on "Flourishing in Ministry" and the factors associated with well-being for pastors working in a variety of church-based roles. I'm working part-time in a church this year, and my husband works in a church all the time, but even beyond that - there are some good reminders/insights for all of us who value well-being (which I think, hopefully, is all of us).

--

Here's what stood out…

Journal Entry, Dated September 19, 2016

Journal entry, dated September 19, 2016

We are into the fall routine. It is full, and I worry about dropping the ball on so many little details, and yet in the evenings I flop on the couch, or the bed, or a chair. I stop working, I stop thinking. I hold my phone too close to my face. I check Twitter and Instagram, then Facebook. I cycle through. I play Candy Crush, use up my available lives, and check all the sites again while I wait for the next life to load.

I am not proud of this.

I read many interesting things online - recipes, life-hacks, personal essays, posts of people I admire from afar. I measure their lives against my own. Then, to make myself feel better about all the holes and gaps, I measure my life against the people I don't admire, the people who irk me, who have hurt me in the past - I keep them available for this purpose.

It's a game in which we're all losers.

---

I am not writing much these days. I am not journaling, I am not blogging, I am definitely not…

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult or No One Wants You to Love Yourself

5 Rules for Being a (North) American Adult
(paraphrased from a lecture by Anne Lamott, whose priest friend shared them with her many years ago)

1. Have it all together. 2. If you don't have it all together, fix whatever is broken in you so that you do have it all together. 3. If you can't fix whatever's broken, pretend that you have. 4. If you can't pretend to be fixed, don't show up - it's a bit embarrassing to the rest of us. 5. If you do decide to show up broken, at least have the decency to be ashamed of yourself.
--
We are encultured towards self-loathing and self-avoidance. 
Be perfect. Do it all, do it right.  If you can't be better, pretend you are. Don't look any deeper. Keep busy. Keep your chin up. Keep up appearances.
It takes so much energy. It takes too much energy.
--
What would happen if I just loved myself? is the question I have been asking since my last post.
It's the question I hear when I see photos of lovely fat ladies who refuse…

Some Sins Are Not Like Stealing Plums

Some sins are more comfortable than others.

(More comfortable to confess, at least.)

William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just to Say,” is a quintessentially endearing confession:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

It’s not that hard to confess eating the plums. We sheepishly shrug our shoulders, offer a hug or a kiss, buy a few more plums for tomorrow, and move on.

But it’s harder to confess the sins on my heart this week. Sins that are not only my own, but make others culpable too. Sins rooted in arrogance and self-centredness (okay, all sins are rooted there), sins that categorically look down on other people simply because they are not like me.

I need to confess these sins because I don’t entirely know what to do with them.

I need to confess these sins because they are almost ever-present in my life.

I need to confess these sins because even though they seem “mild” and “not such…