Friday, July 31, 2009

Pants and crowns....

My Small Man is ever growing. And I mean GROWING! he's now into 18 months to 2 years size clothing. So I made some more little boy pants like I did here this time with an old dress of mine (!) I also got a pattern/ directions here but my knee pads were a bit...well, low. So My Small Man has shin pads not knee pads, oh well!

I think he is just the cutest little man in the world and over the last two days his sunny personality has re-emerged. I checked and all 8 teeth are well and truly out. He must be feeling a lots better.

Made a felt crown for a special little girls 2nd birthday. I think I will make more of these for my Etsy shop (which has finally (sigh...) had some sales!)

Learning so much about trust in this season and letting God do His work. Being such a driven/ motivated/ focused kind of person I often get into the "let's go!" mode and take my life back over. The journey through infertility taught me so much about letting go but this is a whole new level of letting go. God is in control. Totally. My little businesses exist by His Grace and He is the one that brings work in or makes sales. Not me. Good place and terrifying place!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

My day today....

...was mostly this (sigh).......

And yet.
I look forward to seeing him each morning. I miss him when he's asleep. I long to feel his little arms around my neck. And my heart beats a little faster when he reaches for me with tears streaming down his face because a hug from Momma helps the mouth feel a little less sore

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Sunday, July 26, 2009


The greatest gift that My Small Man has brought along is freedom from pain. The pain of being childless is gone- completely gone. It feels sooooo good. My Big Man and I often comment how life feels in the absence of pain.

Just free.

This weekend was one of those that we had dreamed about. We went down country to spend the weekend with My Big Man's sister and family. They have two little girls aged 3 and 18 months and it was just utter bliss to spend a big chunk of time with them.

It was hilarious. My Big Man's sister is not a girly-girl and yet her oldest, Miss P, is insanely girly. Frills, pink, tiaras, flowers, beads and heels are layered over her small body at all times. She is a mother through and through and mothers My Small Man constantly. Kisses, hugs and cuddles are poured out over him! He liked it! Miss N, the younger is a little tomboy and would get in My Small Man's face and scream. He liked that too!

Miss P inflicting some love on My Small Man!

There was a crazy moment when all the adults were trying to watch the last James Bond movie (can't remember the name) and ALL the children were all screaming and yelling and having a whale of a time together. All of the adults were watching the TV screen intently ignoring the ruckus and we kept looking at one another going "Did you hear what he/ she said?" or "What just happened?" or just plain "huh?" We translated bits of the movie for one another. I started laughing as it was just so ridiculous and wonderful at the same time.

The 3 amigos: My Small Man, Miss P and Miss N

Miss P and Miss N were so good with My Small Man and I could see the bond between them developing. We have always loved Miss N and Miss P but for so long it hurt to be around them. We were there with them but a part of us was always guarding our hearts. Now it's so freeing to be able to just be. Be the auntie and uncle that simply adore them. And...I get to revel in the girliness!

My Small Man is so blessed to have an abundance of cousins on both sides of the family that are close to him in age. It doesn't matter if he ends up being an only child as he will never be lonely.

How great is that? So very very good!

There's a boy in the bath!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toofas numbers 7 and 8

We are into elimination control for My Small Man. It's not potty training but he knows that poos and wees go in the potty and he's been on a potty since he was 4 weeks old. The theory is that we train babies to poo and wee in nappies. Works for us but totally get it's not for everyone.

Disclaimer: we do what would be called part time elimination control...If we were truly doing it there would be no nappies at all. I think you have to be earth mother and really committed to it for that and well, I am not!

I can honestly say that 95% of poos are in the potty and many times his nappy is dry when I change him BUT when he teethes that goes out the window (like he can only do one big developmental thing at a time- fascinating!)... and over the last week there have been many nappy poos!

I saw inside his cute little mouth today when he was eating and there's two new teeth!!! Super cute! They are the two on either side of his bottom two teeth. Oh my- 8 teeth!

He is learning to use them with deadly force too! He bit HIS OWN finger (hello?!?!) on the weekend. It was awful because he was so upset and there were little red marks on his finger, but it was so funny too!!

Not nearly so funny was when he bit ME the other night on the shoulder.....and broke the skin.
Was not laughing then, was I???


He's adorable even when he bites me. And now with 8 teeth I will really have to watch out!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adoption Chronicles I: A good and a not so good read

Adoption is different. Good different. There aren't many adoptions in New Zealand and even fewer Christian ones so navigating this particular sea involves a bit of guess work.
So I thought to start some "gatherings of thought" like I did with infertility so anyone coming here with adoption on their minds, can read my perspective on this incredible and stretching journey.

I should note that what I say is The-Truth-According-To-Me. Too often we are bombarded by people telling us "the truth". Sorry, but the only truth we have is the Truth (Jesus, the Word, God Almighty) Human truth is the truth as we see it.It is coloured by our experience, perception and our 5 senses. I don't deny that when someone tells their truth they utterly believe it to be THE truth, but how often do we turn out to be wrong? That's because its the truth according to them. So this, my friends, is a collection of my humble opinions and is the truth according to me....

The government social services agency handling adoption (CYFs or Child Youth and Family) put out a recommended reading list for potential adoptive couples. They base a lot of their philosophy on some of the books and in particularly a book called The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier. Nancy is an adoptive mother and writes about her experience and has formed some beliefs that are the basis for many of the processes and ways of handling adoptions within New Zealand.

The basis of the book is that when a child is separated from his/ her birth mother through adoption an irreparable (hold onto that word..!) wound occurs that cannot be healed. The birth mother vs child bond is so strong that nothing can replace/ break or be substituted for it.
The adoptive mother will never be able to be a true mother figure and this relationship will take the brunt of the adopted child's grief and trauma in trying to come to terms with this primal wound. Nancy Verrier describes a traumatic and emotional relationship with her adopted daughter and I think this pain is the underlying basis for her beliefs.

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) this book causes much damage among adoptive couples. It robs adoptive women of a sense of entitlement as a mother and strips away hope. This is the feedback I have had from others in the adoptive classes we went to. I read this book after our first failed adoption and it was like I was being physically hit. I could not believe that we would wait so long and then I would not be able to be a "proper" Mommy. It almost tore me apart.

Thank God I know the Truth!!!!

God showed me some Truth from His Word. Nancy Verrier is right. A primal wound exists. But we ALL have a primal wound. It's the wound caused at birth by the sin separation from God. The closeness we are made to have and enjoy is stripped away. We all need to be healed from our primal wound. Unlike Nancy Verrier I believe that healing though restoration with God Almighty through His Son, is completely possible. It is not irreparable. There is no wound that the blood of Jesus cannot heal.

I am not denying that adopted children face challenges. Challenges to do with identity and history and lineage. We MUST do all we can to help our children discover their past and where they came from. There are excellent books out there that give a balanced and more positive view of adoption. These books address how we as parents can help our children navigate adoption.

Sherrie Eldridge is a great author. She is an adopted child herself and speaks with wisdom and has a good perspective. She has written quite a few books that we have read and we have taken on board many of her suggestions.

I recommend starting with "20 things Adopted Kids wish their Parents knew". It's great for understanding what adoptive kiddies need and how they need to link back to their biological heritage. Much of the book is written from a closed adoption perspective but all adoptive children cannot help but benefit from applying these principles/ ideas.

Sherrie's writing has particularly made me appreciate open adoption as it's so good for adopted children. Her books have cemented our view that we will do anything to retain and build a link for My Small Man back to his biological heritage through the birth families. It's hard for us but will be so beneficial to My Small's Man identity and self awareness development. And he is worth it!

Happy reading!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

I love my life!

We just got back from a visit to My Small Man's birth town. We went to visit my friend M's nana. M and her family were amazing to me over the time of the adoption. Her Nana and Poppa gave me a safe place to go to while it was all happening. I love her Nana and My Small Man is an honory grand-child. M is pretty amazing too. She dropped everything and went down to this town to stay near me while it was all go. She is a rock and I adore her.

So M and her family and all of us are down there expecting sunshine as this is supposed to be a balmy sort of town. No way. Gale force arctic winds that cut like a knife along with horizontal driving rain showed up. Hmmm....

So we had a few days of inside time and many bouts of over eating. Utter bliss. We did virtually nothing so didn't even take photos.

We went to see Sweetpea (the birth mum) and her family today on the way back up to the big smoke. Sweetpea's parents were very apologetic as Sweetpea was disengaged and acting like...a teenager! Praise God I say. The poor girl has lived 3 life times and she's not even 16 years old yet. So the fact that she's acting like the millions of other teenagers out there is fabulous. We are here for the long haul and My Small Man and Sweetpea have a life time to get to know each other.

She's doing just fine. She gave me a little charm bracelet that she made herself with beads she picked (awwww) including a heart charm, a cross and a little person with "I miss You" on it. We just love her to pieces and are just so happy that she's getting through this.

We just love our life. We love the way God has crafted it together with all these different amazing people. We love being a little family of 3 and doing things together and living life together. I can't express how much we love My Small Man.

God is so good. Super good!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Polar fleece shame

I was brought up with strict set of dress rules. In South Africa women do not leave the house without makeup and hair done and all dressed up. Even a trip to the local shops means you get dressed up. It's just the way it is.

Clothes like trackies and hoodies and plain slipslops (jandals) are worn at home. Not out. Them's the rules.

Kiwi's are a lot more relaxed and happily break all the above rules. This takes some getting used to but I have got into the swing of things. So much so that one trip home years ago, my Mom took me aside and asked me in a stage whisper 'If I was going out like THAT?!" Of course not Mom, sorry....what was I thinking?

I must admit I do have remnants of the rules hanging around. I don't wear track suit pants out the house and have only lately been comfortable with guests coming round and seeing me in them. Then there's polar fleece. Polar fleece stuff is for the HOUSE only. Not out. Don't ask me why, them's the rules in my world.

But today.
Today was sooooo cold. Bitterly, freezing, arctic-like. I was wrapped in my polar fleece hoodie and could not face the thought of braving the icy temperatures to change. I had my other clothes lined up on the bed and had a conversation with myself.

"Would anyone notice if I stayed in my polar fleece hoodie?"

"What would my Mother say?"

"How much do I care if I can keep my core body temperature up by not changing?"

So I liberated myself and went out in it. I felt momentary shame as I met my lovely (non polar fleece wearing) friend in a cafe but the decaf trim mocha I drank managed to soothe my angst.

My, my. I have come a long way from my blonded, teased and hair sprayed roots!!!!!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Asking Him

Now that I have finally allowed myself to truly feel about babies and little ones, I find my heart broken again and again.

Please won't you join me in praying for baby Grayson and little Kate? They need a miracle. No other way to put it. They need His Sovereign touch and healing.

So please pray and maybe encourage the Mommy's and Daddy's?

Grayson and Kate

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I was in the office last week and was listening to the background music of complaining from the living room. I had dared to move out of his sight and this was simply not on. The complaining continued, I switched off...until WAIT A MINUTE!!! The complaining was coming closer! I popped my head out of the study as Mr Complainer popped his head around the living room door....


I was so proud I cried.

This is real crawling people. Up on all fours. None of this leopard crawl/ bum shuffle crawling. I am so proud and it's just SO CUTE!

We had to child proof the house this weekend and it actually didn't take that long. We are pretty relaxed about it and he's free to explore with a couple of exceptions. Like touching or sucking wires and touching the heater. The word "No" has suddenly surfaced and I can tell it's not going to be a popular word....

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Open adoption wishlist

An adoptive Mommy with a beautiful heart, Jessica, posted about an Open Adoption wishlist on another blog. Heather at Production not Reproduction has posted the third forum for the Open Adoption Roundtable and this one is about our ideal open adoption.

My wishlist:

1. That open adoption would negate (some...most..all of!) the challenges that adoption brings in terms of identity for My Small Man. That knowing his heritage and having access to it would help him on the journey of self discovery.

2. That open adoption would be a blessing for all the families concerned and it would be a "better than" usual situation not a something that is endured.

3. That K (birth mum) and J (birth dad) would know that they are part of My Small Man's life forever.

4. That K would know she is loved by me for who she is not the gift she has given me.

5. That My Small Man understands that he was adopted out of sheer love not because he was unwanted.

6. And mostly that open adoption draws My Small Man to God and he will come to know Him.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


We met up with the birthfathers family on Saturday for coffee. We met his nana for the first time and she is lovely! We had a really good time and it was fun finding out that the birthfather (J) also pointed at things with his fore finger when he was a baby just like My Small Man does. I store stuff like that in my memory banks and want to record it ** so My Small Man can read about it.

It has taken me a while to feel secure in this whole adoption scenario (not with My Small Man but coping with the adoption process). The process was incredibly hard and emotional for us (read about it in my infertility blog under adoption) and even the day before My Small Man came home we were unsure whether this would go ahead.

Quick explanation of adoption in NZ (for my US bloggie friends):

Here it's all about the birth mum and the preference is that the birth mum keep the baby and go on the domestic purposes benefit. The social agency's and the justice system do not favour adoption and between 16 and 25 adoptions happen per year in Auckland (city of 1 1/4 million people).

The birth mum is encouraged to nurse the baby and keep the baby with her for the mandatory 12 day stand down after birth. The baby can only be placed on the 12th day after birth with the adoptive family.

The baby can be placed with foster families but the birth mum and birth dad must have contact with the baby in the 12 days.

Contact between the adoptive family and birth families is kept to a minimum so the birth mum does not form an emotional connection with the adoptive families. Social workers are in attendance at all meetings.

So in our case where the birth mum and birth dad were very sure, had chosen us and desperately wanted to know My Small Man would be ok with us, this was torture. Being young, they also fought (with one another, not us) and in the couple of days before My Small Man came home lawyers were involved and there were threats about not signing....

So anyway, the night My Small Man came home, I wanted to crawl into a small hole with him and My Big Man and stay there for a loooong time! The connection with My Small Man was instant and I wanted to run away as our brand new small family and just process and absorb.

But as the nature of our adoption was very open we couldn't do this and needed to help the birth mum and birth dad come to terms with what had just happened. In retrospect we needed a longer period of alone time and should have specified it. We tried for some alone time but it didn't really work.


I am only just starting to feel like I have my feet on the ground with this. I no longer feel a rising sense of panic at hearing from the social workers and birth families. This is good as the birth families are wonderful people and were only trying to come to terms with this huge change and decision.

So it's good right now and I think will get better with time. We are learning to feel like we can say what we need and the birth families are responding so well to our boundaries and requests. We had a great time on Sat and feel like we are truly connecting with all the different people in My Small Man's life!

Thank you God!

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**I saw a fabulous Life Book called My Story that I think would be amazing for any child, especially an adopted one. We are fortunate enough to have an incredible Christian organisation in NZ called Parents Inc and they distribute this book. Its wonderfully illustrated with all sorts of stuff even a page for your family motto and comes with a box for "treasures". I want one!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

8 x 8

So I was tagged by my sweet friend Jodi at Life is now. Check out her blog- she is a real honey.


Mention who tagged you.

Complete the list of 8's.

Tag 8 other people.


  1. Getting the adoption finalised!!!!

  2. Sleeping in some day once more (as late as I like)

  3. My next trim mocha

  4. Getting the adoption finalised....

  5. Getting our first pay check for the design we have been doing

  6. Buying a pair of shoes (the first in 9 months- FOREVER!!!) from here with our first paycheck. Be still my beating heart.

  7. Seeing My Small Man again- he is asleep right now :-(

  8. And yes, getting this jolly adoption finalised in October!


  1. Went to Mainly Music with My Small Man.

  2. Hung out with My Small Man's cousins and they all made a REALLY loud noise in a cafe. I was semi-embarrassed but not enough to stop them. They were cute!

  3. Read a whole book- skimmed it. I need to slow down but I inhale books. It was light and fluffy, in my defense.

  4. Made roast chicken with roasted veges.

  5. Blogged

  6. Dressed up My Small Man (must remember he is not a doll)

  7. Made stewed apple for the above person

  8. Cleaned 500 potties and a million dirty nappies


  1. Fly

  2. Be a lawyer

  3. Sleep in one day (as late as I like.....yes I know I have mentioned this before)

  4. Have/ adopt another bub

  5. Have perfect eyesight- the road signs are blurry and I suspect I am a hazard on the road

  6. Eat as much as I like and never get sick or grow rounder

  7. Not care what people say or think

  8. Do the house work in my sleep and wake up to a clean house


  1. Greys Anatomy

  2. Survivor

That's all. Watching TV takes away blogging and book inhaling time.


  1. Salmon sushi

  2. CHOCOLATE!!!!!

  3. Olives and brie and fresh tomatoes on a baguette

  4. Ciabatta bread dipped in olive oil

  5. Grilled fillet of salmon

  6. Sea salt crisps

  7. Creme brulee (YUMMO!)

  8. Only 8 foods? I am just getting started. Am hungry....


  1. South Africa

  2. England

  3. Europe: France and Switzerland

  4. Asia: Bangkok and Hong King

  5. Aussie

  6. States: Chicago

  7. Pacific Islands: Tahiti (warmmmmm!) and Rarotonga

  8. That's all


  1. Portugal

  2. Spain

  3. Greece

  4. Corsica

  5. New York

  6. Boston

  7. Louisiana (down south baby)

  8. Fiji












I know that's more than 8 but I am a designer and maths is not my strong point...! If anyone else wants to do the quiz feel free. I am nosy and would just love to know you better xxx

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I ran out...

I am on a grocery shopping holiday. First it was so that I could get the next (horrendously overpriced) grocery shop into July's budget but then I just carried on.... I am a week and a bit over and was doing just fine.

True I don't have olive oil, parmesan cheese or crackers and other such vital necessities but I was ok. I could have stretched it for at least another week.


I have just run out of chocolate!


I am a pretty healthy eater but don't even try to come between me and my chocolate addiction. It's not too bad, a bar lasts me a week but I am currently scoffing the last few squares.

Looks like I will have to get my lazy self to the shops. Poos.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Little boy shoes

The first pair of shoes we have bought for My Small Man!!!!

The brand is Bobux, can't recommend them enough. They are a teeny bit pricey (well, I think so!) but he's only going to get one pair of shoes.

They are super cute and very manly! My Big Man came along to check the "manliness" of them- hehe!

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