Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I Do What I Do...

I've been back at work this week setting up my classroom for this year. I'll be teaching kindergarten, which is definately something new for me. Jacob is in his own "school" and isn't exactly loving it yet, but I'm told that he'll adjust and everything will be just least that's what I keep telling myself.

While sitting in a staff meeting on Thursday, my principal asked us all why we do what we do. He said most often we're asked what we do when we're out at parties, reunions, etc..., but no one thinks to ask why we do that job. He asked us to reflect on that as we prepare to begin this year.

So why do I teach? I'm happy to answer the question! In fact, I'm typing it out so that when those days where more than three kids poop their pants happen, I can look back and remember why I do what I do.

I teach because I love kids. Plain and simple. I love each and everyone of them. I teach because I want to change lives. I want each and every child to leave my classroom knowing that they are loved, valued and respected simply for being themselves. Every day. I want them to leave as better people through knowledge of the world around them and for knowing themselves better. I want them to know that their thoughts count and their opinions matter.

I teach for that moment when you realize that they really trust and value what you say. I teach for those 'aha' moments when you know they've got it. I teach because kids can't get enough love in their lives. They can't have enough people telling them that they are awesome. They can't have enough people showing them how to live well and love others.

I don't take this responsibility lightly. I don't do what I do for the summer vacation, for the pay or for anything else. I do what I do because it's who I am. As my son grows older, I hope that this teaches him that when we're caring for others, it's a big, important deal. I hope that by my words and actions, each student who walks through my door will learn that too.

God's blessings on my new kiddies this year!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Other Woman...

I've been thinking a lot this week about Jacob's birth mom. To be honest, I've been thinking more about her than I ever thought that I would. My heart has been burdened for her. I don't even know if they celebrate Mother's Day in Russia (pause while I google...nope, they celebrate International Woman's Day on March 8th), but I can only imagine how hard this day would be for her. I've been trying to figure out a way to begin a tradition of honouring her in some way on this day. Not only for our sake (mine and hers), but to begin to share Jacob's story with him. I've heard of cheesy things like lighting a candle or buying her flowers, but I'm not sure that can do her justice. My plan is to pull out Jacob's life book to share it with him on this day as he grows older (of course, I still need to create this book!), but I need something for this year. Any ideas???

It's really hard to think of something to do to honour the woman who made you a mother...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This Year....

This week last year, I was in a very different spot. Wow. It's really, really hard to believe how much has changed in such a short time. It's almost hard to look back there.

I posted last year about those ugly pink carnations that are handed out at church. I posted about how much I longed earn them - about how I longed to deserve them. Oh, how I hate those stupid flowers!!! This year, I am a mother - as much as any other woman who loves her child more than life. But the ache of infertility will always be on my heart. I never want to forget - it will always leave Mother's Day as a bittersweet holiday for me.

So this year when they hand out those ugly flowers (seriously, who likes carnations??), I will decline. I will decline for all of those women who are still waiting for their miracle. I will decline for all of those women who have lost babies along the way. I will decline for those who are being raised by women who are terrible to them. I will decline for the woman who's wondering how her baby is on this day after giving me the ultimate gift. Yes, my joy is complete and my prayers have been answered, so I will squeeze my son tightly and let my husband make me breakfast in bed, but, I will not take one of those pink flowers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Thank you to those of you who have sent me such sweet comments/emails. I am truly blessed to know such amazing people. I hope that experiences like the other day teach me to be more empathetic to ALL people....if so, I will count it all joy.

Hmmm...I think it's time to update on my little man!
1) He just learned how to open doors (today, actually)...I am screwed!
2) He loves to dress anything! My cousin got him an awesome dress-up bin and he goes crazy dressing up like a cowboy, or a pirate, or in my high heels....daddy is NOT a fan of that one!
3) He still isn't sleeping through the night, but we are having good and bad nights....oh man, do I LIVE for the good nights!
4) We go to a couple of classes at our community centre, and I absolutely love to see how fast he has learned the routines there, and how well he is listening to the instructions and getting along with the other kids.
5) We love to bake together....anytime I go into the kitchen he pulls the chair over to climb up and help.
6) He really loves to help out with anything that we do...he cleaned our neighbour's car the other day, then helped me to garden (gloves and all), all day on Monday.
7) He's started to cry out for me specifically when he's upset or at night. This is huge! He now knows for sure that mama or dada will be in to save the day
8) He loves to pray before meal time. We must hold hands, and we usually have to pray about three times before he'll eat. The more people there to share in the prayer, the better! He also loves to yell out "AMEN" in church after prayers (or sooner if it's going to long).
9) He still loves to sing..his favourites are our church songs. He does this crazy dance with it if we're in the car...he has moves like his dad.
10) He has an amazing memory and never forgets a face...he especially loves my friend Jamie, his cousin "Goga" and his little buddy "Lela"
11) He is crazy about the outdoors...he's not afraid to go down the highest slide at the park, and would bath in his sandbox if we'd let him!

Those are just a few of the things he amazes us with every day. I love my sweet boy!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The club...

I have spoken before (I don't know how to link to previous you can look in May 2009), about the Mommy Club and how I longed to be a part of this elusive group. I have longed to sit with a group of mothers and feel like I really belonged. Finally, I would fit in. I had a couple of adoptive parents say to me that I'd never really belong in the club, and I didn't believe them.

Turns out, they were right. I felt like an idiot sitting with a group of women at a baby shower this weekend. I had nothing to contribute. My experiences were not theirs, and while mine were no less painful, they were not the same. No, I don't know what it's like to carry a baby inside of me. I don't know what it's like to bring a baby home from the hospital for the first time or figure out if I should go the breast milk or formula route. People think I have no idea what it's like to get up hour after hour with a crying baby (FALSE!). I don't know what it's like to see my baby smile, or walk, or talk for the first time. I even had someone comment to me "Oh sure, you've left the hard part to us." I may have one foot in the door, but no, I am not in the club. It sucks. I wish it didn't bother me so much to be on the outskirts, to be judged, to feel insecure.

Hmm....Maybe I don't want to be in that club. Jacob couldn't be more mine if I gave birth to him myself. I couldn't love him more if I had've carried him for nine months. While I ache to have known him for the first two years of his life, to have carried him for nine months and saw his face before anyone else, I won't be bitter about a past I can't change.

I just wish it didn't hurt so much when that clubhouse door is slammed in my face.

*I should make sure to point out that not all mommies (who gave birth to their children) make me feel this way...*

I was reading a new blog this evening and found this amazing video I have to share...please watch.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

More to come...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I'm hoping that anyone who pops onto my blog over the next couple of days will take a moment to sign this petition to ask to keep Russia-US adoptions proceeding as usual while ensuring that those who harm children will be punished.