Showing posts from 2010

Between the years - familied out and too much sugar in the system....

It s that weird time of the year. The Christmas buzz is over, the New Year only a couple of days away - next year is really next week. New Years resolutions float around and people have this dazed look in their eyes - a result of too much food and too much family contact. Which brings me right to the point: Family. Contact. With my mother on a plane back to Germany I am left with my normal psycho cocktail of emotions: sadness, relief, guilt and hope that next time everything will be easier.

How do other people do it? Spend happy family time together without diving head first into bottomless pools of unresolved childhood issues? How do they manage not to have their buttons pushed every time a mother makes that annoying chewing noise or a sister  monopolises every conversation with tales of her achievements?  Most people either don't  talk about their true feelings about family or they don't have my issues, which I can not believe - because - I really do not want to believe it.

Happy Holidays!

I feel I really have neglected my blog for too long after such an enthusiastic start. I made several attempts to start a new post, had a couple of ideas and now they are all sitting in my drafts file waiting to be finished. One of the issues I was stuck with is the question I often get asked by friends:

How can you live in this country where there is so much evidence of poverty everywhere around you?

This is a question that rolls around in my head at regular intervals. Sometimes I find it easy to answer, when I feel good about myself; when my business is doing well and people who work for me, who otherwise might not have jobs, are happy; when I give to someone who is asking for money or food and get rewarded with a genuine smile. When I feel connected.

And then there are the other times: When somebody is looking through my dustbin for food and I look away; when I see little children living on the street without anybody - including myself - feeling responsible for them; when I feel o…

Will I be able to love an adopted child?

We had our bi monthly adoption meeting on Monday and this time I was one of the few (due to crazy holiday season I am sure :-))who were able to make it. As we got chatting - as always with one ear and one eye on our kids throwing food items at each other and falling off monkey bars - many interesting issues were raised. Of course half way through any conversation one of us tunes out or comes back in and the general thread of conversation is always a little frazzled and unfocused. But with my mind on my blog, I took two issues with me, that I want to take a little further: The question that many parents - adoptive or birth parents- ask themselves often in a flat panic throughout this journey of conception: Once my child is here, will I be able to love him/her enough. And people who adopt often have the additional fear that loving a child who does not come from their genes or their body is different.

The second issue, that is somewhat related to this is the secret or open wish that &quo…

Keep it simple ! What do we tell our kids - and when???

As our kids get older, we have to adjust our antennas to their more evolved perceptions and understanding of life. When previously asked by Leah at age 3:

Where is my tummy mummy now?

I could simply reply

"In Paarl " and she won't give it another thought - as the next interesting subject presented itself in form of a dead beetle on the stairs (why is it not working mama? Humph .... Why indeed?) .

Where at first I stopped and thought and stammered my way through much too involved answers, losing her after the first imaginary comma, I quickly learned to give the simplest and most obvious answers to her questions. ("In Paarl" and "it's dead" ) .

I also learned to leave all judgement out of my answers. When she asked (shortly after the dead beetle question) where did I drink milk from - a bottle or a breast? My first instinct was to over explain because I felt I had to compensate: ...the poor child sees mothers breast feed their babies and now I hav…

Favourites of the week:

My  friend, mother of two - one self made and one recently adopted - suggests, I put the following comments up for discussion.

1 Where is her real mother
2  Don't these people use contraception

Ok ... let's see: the first one might possibly fall under the clemency of yesterday's enlightened state of mind, in which I suddenly found understanding and love in my heart for those who don't think before they speak (!!! )but are essentially well intentioned. They look me in the eye and hush their voice as to not to alert my child to the fact that a total stranger is asking an intrusive and utmost intimate question about her life. They seem to think that there is some level of understanding between them and me that naturally excludes her -  something that they think they ought to know and she should not. Some uncomfortable, maybe even nasty secret:  THE REAL MOTHER
To those, who look me in the eye and ask where is her real mother, I calmly respond: I am her real mother.

October Child Magazine published this one

There is one thing that bothers me whenever I read anything about adoption, and that is that people don’t seem to consider the possibility that adopting a child can be a deliberate choice and not the result of many years of failed attempts to conceive “your own” biological child. There seems to be a common perception that adoption is only a second choice, reserved for when all else fails, and that loving a biological child is more natural and comes more easily than loving an adopted child.

This is absolutely not the case. The feelings we have for our children are only determined by our capacity to love and not by their genetic backgrounds. If you have the ability to love, you will love your child – whichever way he or she comes to you.

I chose to adopt my children because it made sense to me from an early age (I was 12 when I first decided I was going to adopt). I wanted to be a mother to children who needed mothering, rather than bringing more children into the world. At the time t…

Cute kids - where did you get them?

Yes, people notice us, wherever we go. They stare, they smile, they make contact, they make a point of not looking but no matter what, we always get noticed. Does it bother me? It used to. A lot.
When strangers came up to me and said things like:

It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Being a parent to these children.


They are so cute, where did you get them? (for real!)


Are they real sisters. I mean  REALLY ? sisters?

I never knew what to say, so I smiled stiffly and carried on walking or if we were stuck in a restaurant, I turned away pretending that my kids needed my full attention, to indicate that I was not interested in any further communication. Inwardly I was seething: Who do they think they are, that they can come up to me and comment on my life choices, or my children or ask questions about my most private affairs? Do I go up to total strangers and say:

Ooooh excuse me, did you conceive your child naturally or by invitro. Is this their real dad or did y…

Cross Cultural Adoption

Cross cultural adoption….
There are those who feel it is important to restrict or even forbid by law what they call cross cultural adoption. They claim to have proof that it can’t be good for a child to be adopted “out of their original culture”. They think that those children are burdened not only by being adopted but also by having been deprived of their roots.

Lets have a closer look at the this cultural issue: What culture are we talking about? Are we talking about continents, countries or language? Is it - for example - ok for a German person to adopt an Italian child, but not an Asian child? Are French parents acceptable for a Russian orphan? And how do we trace the exact culture of an abandoned child who might have two genetic parents from different cultures? Should parents from different cultures not have children because it might confuse them when they grow up? Is it not time to face up to the fact that we live in a world community? Some people live in many different culture…