Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christian Woman

Yes, I'm a believer in Christ. I've given my heart to God many a year a go. I don't often blog about that part of my journey as much as other parts, but when I found CWO, I think I might give it a try.

I am a single mother by choice, who has never been married. I felt led to adopt, and to adopt from China. More of that story can be found on my adoption blog.

To China and Back...and Beyond

I believe that Single Adoptive Parents are in the minority of the adoption world, and it would be GREAT to hear from some other, so we could lift and encourage each other!!!

I do read scripture myself, and will soon read Christian parables to my daughter. I am trying to be respectful of her heritage and so we are also reading some Chinese books (you can find an excerpt, not verbatim) on the right below. This is not to minimize our belief or following Christ. It is to let Mia hear some Chinese tales and stories to help her connect to her birth country. I don't have all the answers. All I can do is try to follow what I think God wants for my family.

I'm still prayerfully considering a 2nd adoption. Please feel free to add it to your prayer list, if you wouldn't mind. :)

May Thanksgiving and Peace be yours this season.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adoption stories

If you are ever like me, you'll be tempted to go out and looks up adult adoptee stories on the web. All I can say is... don' Man, can that be depressing. Every time I do, I get overly worried that Mia is some day going to hate me. :( I mean, if she does... she does. I can't do anything about that now, except to try to be the best Mom I can be, regardless...

There are so many sad stories out there. I wish I could find some more positive ones... with older adoptees. I know there are some bad reasons why people were taken from their first families... birth families... "natural" (i don't like that term so much...makes me feel like I'm somehow un-natural...?)

I digress.

I know that there have been instances where adoptees are taken from their first mothers and sold. Where the bio-mother is wanting to mother their own child, but because of society she can't... due to being a single woman (of all things). Where people guilt, cajole, put down... bio moms until they sign the papers. Then there are those that made an 'adoption plan'. And still others who can't have more than one and are forced/cajoled/feared into abandoning their babies.

This is all a big issue. And the issue is how are our children going to grow up and feel whole and not scarred because of it. I don't have the answers. Just more qustions.

I thank God every day that I am a SINGLE mother able to adopt a child. Whether or not I'm looked down upon is other people's issue. I have no control over how others feel. Just how I do.


Sunday, November 23, 2008


So, my nephew has had some anger management issues since he was really little. Even in daycare he had some trouble handling his own feelings... well, last week he got himself in trouble at school. I really feel for my sister because she is making progress with him, but as soon as he goes back to his dad's house, he gets negative input and goes right back to handling his anger in inappropriate ways. Talking back to adults, rude, hitting, threatening... I REALLY hope she can get full custody next time they go back to court. He really needs to be with his Mom. She worries, though, because finances are tight. What she doesn't always see (i don't think, 'cause we're hardest on our own selves) , is that she's a great Mom. I think she's starting to realize that, though, because he *does* do so much better when he's been with her for a couple of days, even.

Mia and I are doing well. I'm excited to have a long weekend this coming weekend. We had a play-date with a friend of mine (Mary-Kelly) and her daughter MK2. It was TOOOOO cute seeing them play together. I've been considering number 2. I put in a request for information about Bulgaria and Nepal, but they are VERY small programs and I'm not sure how likely it will be. I also worry that two children might be too much for me. Or I'll have a difficult second child. No offense to my nephew (sis and i have talked about it)... Not sure if I can afford all that, either... but definitely praying and thinking about it all.

We've got a pretty good schedule and I'm loving my new job. Especially how close it is to home. It's amazing how much extra time we have together. Mia is talking even more these days, of course. She says lots of short sentences... she even made up a pretend bubble maker last night. She's a very fun child. :) I just love her to pieces.

Speaking of love, it is interesting how this past year (plus) has been. When we first came home, I was TERRIFIED. Ask my sister!! Terrified!! I cried and worried... but I enjoyed Mia from day one. These past few months have been so amazing. She has this great smile and so many qualities, even at the age of 2!! I just love it when she says Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..... Mommy!!! We laugh and play and she'd rather sit with me than do most anything else. It's a gift. And she has my heart.. was there any question? But it seems like it is more and more every day, even. Amazing. And she's mine. :)


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Do you ever lose your temper over (what seems like later) nothing? I have. And do, on occasion. It makes me feel awful. I've been working on it, but sometimes it just happens. Of course, I'm the type of person to ask for forgiveness when it does, but that doesn't comfort me so much.

My dad used to lose his temper when he got stressed. My mom did, too. And I see both of them in me sometimes. Not cool.

I definitely give myself my own time-out when I need to. But I've been thinking today about how much I don't like that trait in me... the temper part. Since I changed jobs recently, I'm more relaxed. I'm not nearly as stressed as I was 6 months ago. Thank God. Things are starting to feel "normal" again, but I still have my moments. I supposed we all do....right?

Lil M is amazing. I could not ask for a sweeter, more loving daughter. (I mean that. She is one of the happiest children I've ever known.) And I feel awful when I lose my temper over nothing. Ugh. Same with Chase. I have very high expectations of both of them, which is hard when they are children and can't help but being CHILDREN sometimes!! They are both wonderful children. Really. And I wouldn't change either of them in any way. I am, however, still working on myself.

I wonder sometimes if it is because I feel this mommy/daddy role responsibility sometimes. And in order to feel like they are really paying attention, I go into over-drive. :( Absolutely not an excuse. Just what I was thinking.

Thankfully, I don't lose my temper all the time. But I'm not proud when I do.

In Christ,
Mamma M

Potty and other news

So, Lil M is sort of starting to potty train. I put her on the potty every night, and they do at daycare too. This is new territory for us. I'm just taking it slow and getting her used to the idea. She's peed on it several times and poo'ed a couple. She usually does pretty well, and sits there quite willingly. Other times, she cries. That makes me feel bad.

On another note, she likes to put her babies to sleep (nigh nigh)... she does this with the dogs (dog dogs) and even Mommy sometimes. She has gotten quite attached to her stuffed kitty (Meow) and has tried to take it with us in the car a couple of times to daycare now. I haven't let her, because I don't want her to lose Meow. I'm wondering how this attachment is going to progress.

Speaking of attachment... we are at the stage where Lil M likes to make sure Mommy is very near and she checks back with me often. She does show some anxiety when there is a loud noise (TV or otherwise) that startles her. She runs to me and looks anxious. But she seems to calm down almost instantly. When I get to daycare she always yells "My Mommy" if another child comes close to me. She did this at the hair salon the other night, too. She definitely doesn't seem to want to go to others she doesn't know... and I'm actually thankful of that. I've heard where children sometimes aren't picky and will go to anyone, and that me...quite frankly, is scary.

I'm trying to decide when we are going to move to a big-girl (toddler) bed. I don't think she's ready, but will be in the next few months. She's 26 months old, and I think she's progressing quite well. We haven't been working as much yet on numbers and colors, but I'm going to get to that here soon. I periodically check my baby books to see where she should be at a given age, and she seems to be pretty close to what they consider the norm.

Days like today, I'm happy I'm the one who gets to make the decisions of how fast or slow we are going with potty and toddler beds and such. Other days aren't so easy, but it's been an amazing journey. There is always, absolutely more to do than can get done in a given day... especially with chores!! I've been trying to de-clutter, and have not quite conquered that yet. But I'm working on it. One day at a time. :)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Space heaters

Mindy and I went to the store this weekend and got space heaters. I had already purchased an ambient one, and really like it in my bedroom. It's really nice for spot heating. The ceramic one we got for downstairs works really nicely, too.

However, when I came into work this morning and told the guys in my office about them, one said that they thought I won't save any money this winter by using space heaters. Hm. Well. I really think Mindy will, because OIL is very expensive for her house. But I use traditional electric.

Then, I read some articles that said they are a fire hazard, and not to sleep with one on in the room. Ugh. So, now I'm not sure what to think. I think that men might know more about this sort of thing, just by the fact that they've been taught more. And now, again, I've got to do some more research!!! I do think that they will benefit me by not having to turn up the heat as much until bed time. So, that could be several hours a day. So, let's see.....


Friday, November 7, 2008

Difference and schedule

Why is it important for me to write about being a Single mom? What difference does it make? I mean, I made this decision... have known nothing different... so, some people are probably thinking, what the heck? Who cares about your thoughts Melissa. Well, maybe no one but me and Mindy!!! LOL but I felt like I should try to write some thoughts down. So here goes.

What makes me different as a single parent? Well, for starters, I'm responsible for everything. And I mean, everything! I pay the bills, am the bread-winner. When I don't work, we could be screwed, because I'm all we've got. That is scary some days. Down-right, freaking, horribly scary. I have to be very conscious about how much money is in the bank (or not). Thankfully, I have a good job, but I have been out of work twice in the past 10 years, and so, it is always in the back of my mind. I'm responsible for the mortgage, all the bills (satellite, broadband, telephone, cell phone, water, sanitation, heat, insurance (home, car, health), food, clothes, shoes, diapers, retirement, education....the list goes on). Is it overwhelming? Well, it could be if I didn't take it one day at a time. That's the key. Oh, and prayer. And good friends. And my family. You have to have a support system.

When I started the adoption process, they kept asking about my "support system". I am quite the independent person, so I wasn't sure how or if I really had a good support system in their eyes. I mean, I have Mindy. I have Dad, Janice, Ellen, Dave, Sue, Scott, Misty, Melissa M., my Aunt and cousins... and my Mom has (thankfully) come back in our lives. My grandparents have all passed, and my family lives an hour away... so, for the most part, it still leave just me. So, I made a friend at Daycare - MK and her daughter. She's a SMBC (single mom by choice), too.

I don't really get to go out as much as I used to, by choice, because I don't like having to have Mia in DC all day and then get a babysitter. She does go with Scott and I - everywhere. Scott has been a wonderful addition to our lives in the past year. Thankfully, he really cares about Mia and she seems to love him. That helps. Not only is he a really great friend, he happens to be my boyfriend, too. :)

So, besides all of that, I have the daily stuff, too. Breakfast, dinners, tooth-brushing, bathing, diaper-changing, cleaning, dishes, vacuuming, laundry, grass-cutting, dogs, cat, vet appts, maintenance... the list goes on! Things get done as needed... and I like to keep us on a routine. I'm pretty fanatical about that. But, when it comes to the other stuff (dishes, cleaning), I've found that even being by myself, I need some type of schedule in my head. I'm sure Mindy's found this to be true, too.

A typical day for me right now is:
Get myself up (usually with a helpful wakeup call from Sis... who'da thunk it?!! LOL)
Brush teeth, shower, dry hair, make-up, etc.
Make coffee
Get Mia up (diaper, change clothes)
Get Mia breakfast
Let the dogs out... then in.
Put shoes on, take Mia to Daycare
Go to work.

Go get Mia (do some grocery shopping before or after depending on what time I'm done with work, if necessary)
Go home, get us something to eat.
Let the dogs out - feed them
Dogs out...then in
Potty and bath for Mia (we're working on potty training)
Dogs out...then in...
Mia goes to bed (nigh nigh)
I finally have a little time to myself (pay bills, do laundry, dishes, surf web, make sure i have lunch for the next day, if i didn't make it right after dinner, pick out clothes for the next day, take a shower, if i know i've been up too late and won't want to take one in the morning...and whatever else needs to be done)
Put dogs to bed
Put myself to bed

Get up and do it all over again. :) And the crazy thing is, it's just going to get to be even more once she goes to school.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Single Mom by Circumstance

I'm so proud of my son. Today, at his parent-teacher conference, I found out that he made the honor roll (again!). He has come a long way since his father and I separated. I know he's only in the 3rd grade, but hopefully he will always enjoy learning as much as he does now.

His dad and I were together for roughly 12 years, that's a long time. And I know it was supposed to be forever... but sometimes you just can't control the direction a relationship will take. I wasn't prepared for this new direction, and I doubt that most people who decide to get divorced are prepared for what they are in for. By the time this is all over, it will have taken almost as long as it took my sister to go through the adoption process... I think she ended up with the better deal, ha!

Either way, we both ended up with children to raise. And I pray that they both become emotionally healthy, well educated adults. Mia is probably the happiest 2 year old around & with her naturally calm disposition I am sure she is going to flourish. Plus, I'm already seeing some positive signs with my son. He told me three times this morning that he loved me, and he went on and on about how much he liked my spaghetti tonight... even went as far to say that he liked it better than his dad's. And in his 8 year old eyes, his dad does everything better than anyone, so that is saying something!

So tonight, as celebration for his making the honor roll, we got out the "death by chocolate" ice cream and made hand-made milkshakes... the kind where you put the ice cream in a cup, add milk and stir - yum!

My story

Some of you may already know me... but if not, I adopted my daughter from China in June 0f 2007. She was born in August of 2006 and is now 26 months old! I decided to become a single mom (again, by choice) after a bad break-up a few years ago. I knew I wanted to parent, but I also knew that I hadn't found the right man to be my partner in life.

I'm going to share some of my story here from a single person's point of view, maybe to help others... maybe just to remind myself that I *can* do this...and if you are a single parent (by whatever means... choice, chance, happenstance, luck...) please feel free to chime in! Ok, even if you're married or have a partner! ;-) All are welcome. I just wanted to have a place to talk about these things and maybe find some folks who have common interests, issues, etc...

I've invited my sister to help me "author" this, so let's see if she does! That would be awesome.



I'm not sure what it is with me and the 'green' colors... I'm going to play around with the layout here and see what I like... today, it's good to be green!!


Single parent by choice

I decided today that I needed some inspiration as a single parent. I went out looking on the web...and couldn't really find what I was looking for. So, I thought I'd start my own inspirational spot!

I'm a single mom by choice, choice mom, single adoptive parent.... and even though I read there is something like 40% of the family make-up out there like mine... it seems like either people take it for granted or they just don't want to talk about our uniqueness... so, I will.