It's a privilege and an honour to make yer aquaintance, ma'am

Want to share a link to a really good post. Check out Amanda here

I think she really nailed it, this sense of obligation between parents and adoptees.  I agree when she says the adoptee really doesn't owe anyone anything. It would be swell if everyone treated each other with kindness, respect, patience, and generosity but as far as the adoptee having an obligation to any of their parents? Well, I like how Amanda put it.

"Many first parents are fond of reminding us that we don't owe our adoptive parents loyalty..that we should not make the decision not to not reunite to save their feelings. But can't the same be said about natural parents? We shouldn't reunite just to satisfy their feelings. Just as I owe my adoptive parents nothing for adopting me,  I owe my first parents nothing for giving me up."

Check out the rest.


Oh sorry, I lied

Kids have to feel it's safe to tell the truth, or they won't.

When you tell them it will be easier on them if they fess up to the major crime of not having really brushed their hair, you better not be lying yourself.

Offering them an out, a way to come clean with dignity works. Tell them you want to start over, give them the opportunity to re answer whether they really washed their hands or brushed their teeth, pretend they didnt even answer yet. No repercussion (or lecture for having lied) just a fresh start as a reward for having been brave enough to have told the truth.

Kids need to value honesty in order to be honest. If lying is a way to survive, it has far more value than telling the truth. If our kids need to lie to maintain their dignity, they will. If kids need to lie to do the normal things kids like to do, they will.

Doesn't it make more sense to know what our kids are really doing than basically force them to lie? How does a young teen phone mom and/or dad when they're in a jam if they've lied about what they are really doing? They can't, so you won't even know they're in trouble until it's maybe too late to help them.

I believe honesty is something to be taught early in life, that parents need to provide their kids with an environment that rewards honesty. That honesty is about respect for others and ones own self. Honesty is admired and applauded, recognized as an act of courage many times.

I feel it's also important to talk about the times it's ok to lie, because such times exist. I straight out told my son if he ever needed to lie to get out of a situation involving drugs or alcohol or any of the other precarious situations our kids are exposed to regularly that it was ok to do whatever he needed in the moment. I gave him the example of being offered a cigarette. If it's easier to say, "nah, thanks man but I just put one out", go for it.

I promised him early that if I knew from him about something that happened in school instead finding out from another parent or teacher, things would be much easier for him, as far as I approached the situation anyway. I really respect the courage it takes for a child to be honest in the face of certain punishment or consequence and delivered my *sentences* accordingly.

I'd just like to close this post with something I did when my son was in kindergarten or grade one. He had lied to me about something silly the day before, I'd busted him and we'd talked about it. I was trying to figure out a way to get him to understand how it feels to be lied to, to not trust someone you love and care about. So, I decided to lie to him. I picked him up from school, all bright and cheery announcing we'd be hitting McD's on the way home to get him a happy meal (it was always all about the toy, not the food). When we pulled up to our home and he said, hey, I thought we were going to get a happy meal I replied, oh, sorry, I lied.

We had another good talk about it, I assured him that would be the only time he'd ever experience a lie from me and I can honestly say lying was never a big problem in our home.

It took effort and consistency and I'm not naive enough to think I know everything thing there was and is to know about my son's life but I do know that one of the things he takes most pride in is being an honest man. One of the things I take the most pride in is knowing he knows he has always had a safe place in this world to be honest, and that's with me, his mom.


What are you?

Out tonight with a bunch of people at a very informal banquet.

The food being served led to me being asked, "what are you?". My darling husband chimes in with "Scottish!" to which I say, no, I'm Irish and...uh, and..I think maybe French. He looks at me with a "huh?" and then a "oh, yeah" and I go on to say yes, Irish for sure and I think French with a definite Scottish, Ukrainian, and Polish influence. And then, nothing. Only a slight glance from one dinner partner and much to my disappointment, not one, "what do you mean influence?".

Such as it is. Sometimes it's kind of like people asking you how you are. It's more like a pleasantry, they really don't care how you are. Just like nobody really cares what we are, what our cultural background is. If we're lucky enough to be something exotic, sure, it can impress the odd dinner partner but for the most part, who really gives a shit?

It would have been far more interesting if anyone I was having dinner with had given enough of a shit to ask me what I meant by influence.

Oh well.

We entertained ourselves instead by talking about people who weren't there.



When I was 15 or 16 I ran away from home. Not one of those overnighters to a friend's place, I mean the 1200 km to a very big city for a couple of months with a boyfriend kind of running away from home. Many of the details have faded from memory and as with most things, actual facts have likely become somewhat distorted over time. Also, my memories are just that, mine. Anyone else affected by my actions will have their own memories, their own version of the story and how what I did impacted them. To this day I do not regret what I did, I think it was necessary, I just regret that I hurt people who didn't deserve it.

I write this post in the attempt to maybe help those thinking of running away as well as parents who may some day have a child who feels their last resort is to run away from their problems, with their problems more than likely being one or more of their parents.

Since I had run away myself, starting at a very young age I talked to my son about running away. I didn't tell him that I had until he was grown up because it wasn't necessary and I did not want it to influence the relationship he had with his grandparents, especially with his grandma since it was because of her that I had run away.

When I talked to him about it it wasn't a big production. I kept it very simple. I told him that as kids grow up they sometimes feel like running away. That sometimes they feel like it's the only way to deal with whatever problem they have. I told him that if he ever felt this way, even if I was the problem he wanted to run away from, to come to me and I would help him figure it out. That if it was because of me, I'd believe him and find someone to help us figure it out. I talked to him about how I would feel if I didn't know where he was, how it would be the worst thing that could ever happen, me not knowing if he was ok. We talked about how dangerous it can be for a runaway, how there are people who just wait to prey upon young kids who are alone and vulnerable. We promised each other regularly that if he felt like running away, no matter the reason, he'd tell me and that I would believe and accept his feelings as valid and help him through whatever was going on.

Son, if you're ever feeling like you need to run away from home, tell me first and I promise to help fix whatever is wrong, even if it's me. I will be there for you no matter what the problem is. If you're going to run away, promise to tell me first and I will do whatever is necessary to help you get through what's going on

If you're a young person reading here and thinking of running away, if you feel you have no other choice, that if you don't get away you'll go crazy, I understand. My eyes tear up at the thought of it and I'm sorry you feel that way, but I understand.

I guess my questions to you are, as a person who has been there, are you absolutely 100% sure there is no other way? Are you positive that you can't tell one of your parents, a friend, a sibling, a teacher, an aunt or uncle? Just tell them you can't hack it anymore and you need to live somewhere else, with someone else, even for a short time. That if you can't get someone to hear you and take how you're feeling seriously, you will have to run away. Or as I preferred to call it, leave home.

I've already said I had no other choice, I needed to leave to save my sanity. I cannot regret doing what I needed to survive but there were consequences I will forever feel badly about. I will never forget the look in my father's eyes when I finally came back home. I remember pulling up to our home, getting out of the car, and my dad barely glancing at me as he did his yard work. You see, I wasn't running away from my dad, but he still paid the price. At the time my dad was coaching my softball team, had for a few years, taking time out of his life to do something for me. When I left home we had made the playoffs for the very first time and do you know my dad carried on coaching the rest of the girls, through his pain and likely humiliation of everyone knowing what I had done. My dad loved all of his kids very much, dedicated his life to being there for us, no matter what. It took a long time to regain his trust and respect, but eventually he allowed me to. He even went so far as to tell me that he understood why I needed to do what I did and forgave me for putting him through the pain of not knowing where and how I was. My dad went through hell when I ran away, and I will forever feel badly about that. When he was dying and I was taking my time alone with him I whispered in his ear that I was sorry for the things I'd done that hurt him. I hope he heard me.

It affected my siblings when I left home. I can't and won't speak for them but it doesn't take much of an imagination to picture what it may have been like for them, stuck in a home of worry with two parents possibly blaming each other, sick with worry, one or both dealing with "what the neighbors might think". My brother and sister didn't do anything to deserve to suffer the repercussions of my leaving, but they did.

I had friends who didn't know I was leaving, didn't know what to say when they were asked questions about my whereabouts. One friend actually brought my mom a card and flowers.

The worst thing that happened to me when I was gone was starvation. When I left I drained my bank account but that money only lasts so long, and not as long as a teen imagines it will. Something always comes up unexpected, something only life experience can teach us which is the thing as teens we are kind of short on, life experience. I was fortunate in that the boyfriend I ran away with was a very good and kind person. He is the one that got his mother to call my parents when I wouldn't, or couldn't, just to let them know we were alive. There was no drugs, alcohol, or manipulation. I somehow always knew that I couldn't do drugs. That I wouldn't be able to handle the effects of them, or that I would love the effects and never be able to stop.

It's near impossible to get a job with no address. When you're living in a car, you have no address and back then without cells, no phone number. We did try, especially him, but under the circumstances it was impossible to get work and make some money, just to eat. It was this, not eating for three days, that forced me to "phone a friend", a friend who lived in that city who came as soon as he could, took us for food and left us with a bit of money and helped us to make the decision to call family that lived close by and ask for help. Please believe me when I say that if there were any other alternative that didn't involve something dangerous I would have taken it, but there wasn't. It's very, very difficult to make it on your own without a penny in your pocket and no address or phone number.

I was fortunate to have been born with or somehow develop, let's call it a street smartness. An ability to somehow keep myself safe in very unsafe situations that I put myself in. I was fortunate to have friends and extended family who loved me and were there for me when I needed help. I'm fortunate to, as a teen and an adult, have never been the vulnerable type, the kind of person predators prey upon, which are all factors in my not becoming just another statistic when I left home. This is not the case for most young people who run away so I guess my message to young people is to please, please think twice and three times before doing something drastic. It's a scary world out there with scary people just waiting for those of us having a bad time at home. Your story will likely not end up like mine, coming out for the most part unscathed with only the scars of guilt for hurting those who didn't deserve to be hurt.

Parents, don't think "not my child". Talk to your kids about running away. Tell them their problems matter to you, and mean it. Show it. It's not easy being young and although your children's problems may seem trivial in comparison to your own, they are not. They are as big, if not bigger, and they need you to care, listen, and be real. Entertain the thought you may just be one of their problems and allow them to be honest with you. At the time you may wish you didn't know, be tempted to be unwilling to own your part in their struggle to grow up but it will be a hell of a lot harder not knowing where they are and who is doing what you should be doing.

What you should be doing is making them feel worth, heard and believed, and valued for who they are, not what you want them to be.


On second thought, she's all yours

The other day my mom talked about making perogies with her friend's daughter. Two hundred of them! All for the friend's daughter, none even for my mom to take home (which if you knew my mom is shocking in itself). Wow. Nice thing for my mom to do, she has never done that with me. It's like pulling teeth for her to cough up a perogy or two for my son and I unless someone special is in town visiting and dinner is at my place. Oohh, sounds bitter, eh? Jealous right? Well, it was. But when I think about it now, the LAST thing I feel like doing is making a few hundred perogies with my mother! Yeah, no, not my idea of fun.

So? Why would I be jealous of something I don't even want? Well, of course it wasn't the perogy making experience I wanted, what I was jealous of was someone getting something I don't have and what I don't have is a storybook relationship with my mom.

I think it's all about desire to have something that's very difficult to obtain. Especially when it comes to mothers and daughters. I'm trying to think of someone, anyone that I know that has the ideal mother/daughter relationship and I'm drawing a blank.

People talk about baggage in romantic relationships, well I think we also have it familial relationships. I think parents bring their own from growing up which is then thrown on to the pile that starts accumulating when they have kids. Why do we expect it to be any different than any other relationships? Sure there is a different kind of connection but the dynamic is the same. In fact, many times we treat our family members with less consideration than we would an acquaintance or a stranger on the street.

Good relationships take effort, by all parties involved. It's my opinion that those special parent/child relationships that do on occasion exist have taken effort and commitment early in the child's life and then an ongoing dedication on behalf of both parties to continue to work things out, to care about how each other are feeling, to really be prepared to apologize when warranted and try to see where the other is coming from.

Just wanting something doesn't make it so. And if it isn't so, let go gracefully. Quit banging your head against the wall. Nothing is automatic, no relationship is effortless or magical.

It's natural to wish something were a certain way, but it's important to have the strength to recognize when that's all it will ever be, is a wish. I'm not saying jump ship necessarily, that's for us all to decide as individuals, but let go of the fantasy. Stop setting yourself up for failure and disappointment and try and see things as they really are.

You never know, maybe what actually is will be a hell of a lot better than continuing to hope for something that never will be.


A Note To My Fellow Foster Care Alumni ~ To Tell Truth - Please Stand Up

Just had to link to this great post.

To all those who got screwed on the parent front, either royally or in smaller doses, be strong when you can and know you're not alone. We are not our parents, their problems don't have to be ours. Ask for help when you need it, help others when you can, and be good to yourselves. Forgive, remember, and try not to repeat.

A Note To My Fellow Foster Care Alumni ~ To Tell Truth - Please Stand Up


Sorry, I can't make it in today

Just how much consideration does an employer need to show a working mother?

It's not easy being a working mom, sometimes dad. I say sometimes about dad as it seems like more often than not it's mom who misses work because of the kids. I've been a married mom and have also been single one. I know the problems that arise. Kids get sick, then they make you sick. If the kids are in daycare, holidays become an issue. Add that to the everyday reasons people miss work, and there can be a whole lot of missing work going on. Depending on the type of work setting, it can affect productivity as well as morale amongst co-workers.

Is there some onus on the parents to find employment that is flexible, or work alternate shifts to each other? Do parents have a responsibility to be sure they have back up daycare? Should they make an extra effort to go to work on the days when they feel just a little sick, have a flat tire, or when the weather is nice or not so nice, in case of the inevitable child related emergency where they truly cannot come in to work?

I repeat, it's not easy being a working mom and in some cases dad, but just how much slack is an employer expected to cut parents?