Friday, October 26, 2012

my ride

Even if you are only 3 years old and you don't have much to work with... the urge to pimp your ride and stand next to it with a thumbs-up sign, is deep rooted and part of your male DNA..



Wednesday, October 24, 2012


... a photo gives you a glimpse of what your child will look like when they are older...

And she is going to be a stunner!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

adoption myth debunking

I called up talk radio this week! First time ever and it was on the hot topic of adoption. A caller was blatting on about how fabulous closed adoptions were and for a moment I wondered if he was sane. We have seen first hand the effects of closed adoption with Dida's father (adopted) and Dida's aunt (a birth mother). And I can promise anyone who wonders that a closed adoption equals some measure of heart break for all parties.

So I called up and it went really well. It was intense but very good and I got my points about the benefits of open adoption across. The host asked a couple of questions though that made me realise that adoption myths are still alive and kicking.

So here is a bit of debunking (please note that this applies to New Zealand only. Each country has it's own rules and regulations)

1. The birth parents cannot change their mind later. 

The host asked what would happen if Sweetpea changed her mind and "wanted Rupi back". I said that I hope Sweetpea would be able to come and talk to us about it and we'd look at what we could do in terms of contact but the reality is that she cannot take Rupi back. Ever.

Once the adoption papers were signed by the birth parents 12 days after the birth, Rupi became a ward of the state for about 12 months. He came home to us on day 12, and an interim adoption order was given. Roughly 12 months later the adoption became permanent and at that point his original birth certificate was destroyed and a new one with our details was issued. I am listed as his mother and Dida as his father on his birth certificate.

But even during the interim process the birth parents CANNOT take the child back. Once the papers are signed when the child is 12 days old that is it. The birth parents relinquish all rights to the child and the child goes to live with the adoptive parents. This is why CYFS (Child Youth and Family) ensure that the birth parents make the right choice for them. There is no pressure placed on the birth parents and they have 12 days after the birth to consider all their options.

2. Contact agreements are not legally binding.

CYFS get all parties to sign a contact agreement outlining how much contact the birth families will have with the adopted child. CYFS make this agreement as serious as possible but it is not legally binding and cannot be enforced by the courts.

One birth mother called up and had been devastated by this. She thought that contact agreement was binding and agreed to the adoption on the basis that she would have contact with her birth daughter. All parties signed the agreement but the moment the papers were signed the adoptive family cut off all contact. The birth mother has not laid eyes on her daughter in 20 years. My heart broke for this woman, the grief in her voice was hard to hear.

I do think that this case is unusual but it can happen. Birth parents need to pick very very carefully as they are placing trust in the character of the adoptive parents that contact will be given, as per the agreement they signed.

It was so interesting to hear people's view points and I think overwhelmingly people supported adoption. With our giant welfare net, adoption is rare in New Zealand. Most birth parents chose to raise their child with the help of welfare/ family/ friends. So I guess it's not hard to have myths about adoption as it's happened to so few of us!

I love our adoption. The open nature of it is bringing such joy into our lives. We have a huge extended family who all love our children to bits. We are very blessed!


Friday, October 12, 2012


We're back from a holiday in the middle of no-where. Far away from the internet and any kind of cell phone coverage. It was the best kind of time.

We put out the nets with little helpers to catch our dinner. All we caught was a big shag (a sea bird with a nasty hooked beak). We freed him and he chased us, hissing. I was petrified.

The bach (holiday house) is rustic and quaint. It's not to everyone's taste. But if you like the beach on right your door step, a cosy fire and no-one else for miles, it's the place for you.

We read books, watched movies on the iPad when it was too cold and windy to go outside and made tutus. Little girls then practiced their ballet moves. Pretty much perfection.

It was super cold, hat and fleece weather. Not very attractive but when you are miles from the anywhere who cares? Plus roomy jackets have more room to stash beach-walk snacks in.

Blossom added to the beauty of the place and Rupi made himself useful. Well, kind of!

Riding up the track en route to the toilet in your pajamas and helmet makes perfect sense here.

Until next time!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Panda was "sick" last week and had to be put to bed. In Rupi's spiderman t-shirt no less.

Last week was so humbling. I don't like to ask for help and don't like needing help. Last week though I needed help in big doses. It's the school holidays and we don't have a nanny anymore. And I work in my own business which means very little time off.

Someone in Rupi's birth family had promised to come and look after the kiddies for a couple of afternoons. Which was amazing. But they cancelled the week before the school holidays started and I was absolutely stuck.

So my family and friends rallied round. From Monday to Thursday for at least 3 hours each day the kiddies were looked after. They had the most marvelous week going on adventures with cousins and friends and family. And I got to work- even more than usual.

And as this post publishes we are away on holiday. 4 nights away- the first holiday since Blossom was born. In a tiny little holiday home with no electricity we will be warm and cosy by the fire. And I will be far away from the computer, crafting a tutu for Blossom over coffee...

Just so blessed!


Friday, October 5, 2012

processing adoption

It's been a bit of a mystery about how to talk to Rupi about his adoption. I even got a book about talking to young children about adoption it but they didn't give any practical ideas. Just theory and stories. So we've just winged it a bit. We talk about how Rupi grew in Sweetpea's tummy and then came out of her tummy into Mama's arms. We have a life book for him that has lots of pictures and stories including everything Sweetpea ever sent us. We read it and talk about it, but we've been unsure as to how much he understands.

So we're driving to pre-school last week and talking. Rupi has just grasped the concept of someone being more than one thing. I am his mother and a sister and a girl and a daughter. We were talking about this and he asked about Dida so we named all his names (father/ brother/ son/ boy). He then asked about me then Cate, then paused...

Rupi: "What about Sweetpea, Mama?"

Me: (BIG pause, bigger breath) "Well Sweetpea is a girl and she's a sister and a daughter. And...she's your birth-mother because you grew in her tummy".

Rupi: "Uh... And what about J?"

Me: (Help me Jesus) "Well, he's a boy and a brother and a son. And he's your birth-father as he helped you get into Sweetpeas's tummy".

Rupi: "Oh ok, can we sing Wheels on the Bus now?"

The amazing thing about it all is that he asked about Sweetpea and J straight after us and before any of the other really close people in how life. And we've never put Sweetpea and J together and talked about them as a duo. They were never really a couple and he's never seen them together. I got to use the terms birth mother and birth father with him and it seemed to go well.

He's obviously processing things positively and I guess all we can do is answer honestly and keep talking!

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