Adoption Awareness Month

November 19, 2009

I can’t let this month go by without recognizing November- ” Adoption Awareness Month` I think everyone who has been touched deeply by adoption is AWARE, but what concerns me is that EVERYONE should be aware….

Aware of all the children in foster care…aware of the thousands of them who are crown wards….aware of all the barriers in adoption we need to overcome……. aware that it will take our collective energies to make positive change!!

Forgive a little rant here, but I`m afraid I`m on a bit of a roll…..We`ve had to deal with unscrupulous plumbers,a car manufacturer not willing to do the right thing, and other assorted circumstances that really make me question where our integrity as a society has gone! It is discouraging and sad, to say the least.

I wrote an article for a little magazine called `Silver and Gold`about our adoption, as it relates to giftgiving ,and the holidays that will soon be upon us. You can read it at www.sngmagazine.com , and it is called `The Ultimate Gift`

The gift I would love for Christmas , would be to hear that more children in Canada have found forever families. I would ask all of you to do your part to make this happen…whether it`s writing a letter to your M.P.P or M.P. , raising funds , awareness, or participating in support programs….next year at this time, it would be SO great to have better news about Canadas waiting children

Happy Adoption Awareness Month !!!!!

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What a Day!

October 22, 2009

The AdoptWalk was great!   The weather could not have been better, the kids all had a  super time,  great prizes   were won, and the  gathering of familes, was  wonderful to see!  We are already thinking about next year, and for all of you outside of Ontario, we need your help in organizing walks for every province!  If you want to be on a planning team…please contact me, and I can help  you get started! I think for the first event , it was a great success,  in beginning to increasing awareness about domestic  adoption,  and the profound need for funding  for all parts of the adoption constellation….

    We do need to mobilize our efforts in reaching out more to the private sector, the  corporations  who are willing to partner with The Adoption Council of Canada to help in SO MANY AREAS……So again, if you are reading this, and are connected to someone or some company that has the desire to help children…please be in touch….remember…in Canada…there are over 100,000  kids in care, and over 27,000 of those are available for adoption.  For a country as prosperous and loving as Canada…that is just unacceptable. All I need to do is think of all those kids going to bed every night,   wondering where and how they are going to end up….and I stay motivated….

       So this is turning into a plea for help, but help is so needed.  I will  continue my efforts, but right now, I think the flu is visiting our house, and we’ll all be on a staycation for a  while…it has started with Diana. I’m  going to set a record for handwashing I  think.  Gotta go….popsicle run……stay well.

Time to Walk!!!

October 9, 2009

Wow…the time has gone by so quickly, and AdoptWalk is only about a week away….It has been a challenge to get registrations… for sure, and at this point everyone says that next week, the numbers will climb. I sure hope so!
I haven’t been here because the walk has consumed pretty much all of my free time. Now what we need… is good weather, and walkers!! If you see this and want to register or donate please do, either at http://www.adoption.on.ca or you can pledge for our family…we are walking with Dianas birthmother, which will be great! go to http://www.adoption.pincgiving.com for this option, and just specify the Brennan family…..I’ll check back in after the walk….Happy Thanksgiving!! Deborah.

The Party’s Almost Over

August 29, 2009

It’s been too long since I last checked in, but it has been a busy summer…not all play! I’ve been working away on the first annual AdoptWalk, and it is less than two months away!! Oct. 18- Port Credit. I hope you’ll join us in support of the Adoption Community! There is info and registration ability online at http://www.adoption.on.ca , The Adoption Council of Ontario website. Please consider participating, by walking, sponsoring someone, or simply sending a donation.
The release of the export panels’ research and recommendations in infertility and adoption , this past week, will I hope be a catalyst for change. The report is in a nutshell ,saying exactly what both of these communities have been saying for years, but it wraps all the details in up in a ” professional” package for all to read and ponder. Check it out on the Ministry of Youth and Child Services website. Of course , the most important result of it will be if and when ,some of the recommendations will be acted on……time will tell!
Anything to get the conversation going among movers and shakers is a good thing, and I will try to be optimistic and use this report to keep the chat going.
When I say party, I’m talking about the summer we were all longing for. I am now doing what many of you might also be doing…readying my children for the new school year…talking about what we hope for them, as well as what we expect from them….as usual! I remember still this anticipation, as a kid myself, of school….excitement, nerves, and thinking about the promise of seeing old friends and making new ones. It was and is a pivotal time for children….the start of another important chapter!!
I am looking forward to the AdoptWalk, the next A.R.E., and the resumption of the LOLA support group here in Oakville, for adoptive parents and potential adoptive parents…stay tuned for more definative news about these events soon.
All the best for the last days of summer and back to school!! Deborah.

Sum….sum….summertime!!

June 23, 2009

I can’t believe ( but am very happy about) the school year end, and the  beginning of what I hope will be a fun, warm and safe summer for us all! I have been very busy with adoption related activities…especially one that I am thrilled and pumped to tell you about!

In conjunction with the Adoption Council of Canada and The Adoption Council of  Ontario, I am helping to plan the first annual “ADOPTWALK ” to raise awareness and funding for the adoption community in Canada and Ontario. It is a 5 km walk, to take place along Port Credits ( Mississauga) beautiful waterfront on October 18th, 2009 . This will be a great launch for Adoption Awareness month in November, and we are planning to draw on participation from all over the GTA, in fact the Golden Horseshoe.

Looking forward, we hope this walk will find its way all across Canada  to each province and territory. We will need all your help to make this event a success…so if you are reading this and wish to help by registering, volunteering, being a sponsor….please do contact me through my website. I will add more details about the event soon!

The adoption support group I have begun in Oakville is underway, and we will have our third meeting this coming Monday June 29th. It is great to meet others and share experiences!
                                                                                       Have a great summer everyone!

For All Mothers….

May 11, 2009

Mothers Day is such an emotional time in our family….I lost my mom 10 years ago, and I still miss her presence every day. Thankfully Dave’s mom is with us, and we also have Dianas birthmom Artrina ,to embrace on this Special Day.

                Yesterday we celebrated and watched a piece on Global T.V. that  we participated in, on open adoption. It was so touching to see footage of  our early days with Diana…from the night we brought her home, our entrustment ceremony, first birthday, and other special occasions. We  were able to revisit our journey  of adoption so far, and it is truly wonderful to realize the relationship we have all developed with Artrina, and most importantly that Diana has forged with her. They don’t see each other a lot during the  the span of a year, but their connection when together  is so evident. I look forward to all the years  ahead!! 

       This gift of our relationship ,also brings to mind the families and children who  are are not able to know that link, and I am sorry for that. The upcoming disclosure legislation  on June 1 ,will enable those who wish to find birthfamily, and children placed in our province from 1921 onwards, the means to do so….with love, respect and empathy. Perhaps these potential reunions will also bring about the  education needed to move our collective thoughts about adoption forward, with more understanding, tolerance and compassion….for birthparents and their families, adoptive families and adoptees….

         Wouldn’t that be the best goal for all of us?

Finally……Sun!!

May 3, 2009

I  think it is finally safe to  say that the sun is here to green up the grass, and grow our  gardens! Spring is always a great time of year to start a new project, take a new path, and make new connections.  Labours of Love is taking me in some new directions that I am excited about!

                  I attended the Spring A.R.E. in Toronto with the book, and took along a new offering….Adoption -related greeting cards! It is one of those items, many of us involved in adoption have looked for, and have trouble finding.  The cards I had with me, received a warm and enthusiastic reception, so I plan to develop the line more fully !  Stay tuned for news on my website, and ordering details. In the meantime, if any of you need custom cards for any adoption events or occasions, please contact me at laboursoflove.ca  and I will be happy to design and produce anything you might need!

        The other great news is that I have started an adoption group in  Oakville for adoptive parents and potential  adoptive parents. We  had our first meeting on April  28th , and it was terrific! It is a very diverse  group with a wide variety of adoption experiences, which will bring  different ideas and perspectives to us all. The meetings will be about once a month…. until the end of  June…so probably only a few more meetings until next fall. Again , if you are interested in attending…please get in touch for more details.

     I am also pondering another adoption book…..perhaps a childrens book, and I’d love to hear your suggestions about what is missing out there for kids in the way of adoption books…let me know what would benefit  you and your child, and family!

       As always, I am trying to get the word out there about the book, and doing what I am able to do with the Adoption Council of Canada…..they could use our support in the way of membership…if you are not a member yet…please consider joining, so that their work can continue.   Look forward to hearing from you!! Deborah.

March Break….spring!!

March 20, 2009

I love March Break….not because we ever go on exotic holidays  (  our son plays rep hockey),  but because it means spring is really coming, and the dreaded  months of January and February are behind us. I always heave a sigh of relief and look forward to buds of crocus and  tulips making their first appearances.

      I am getting a little bummed out though, that no one is adding comments to my blog……and wondering why? I saw a few really positive reviews on Amazon. ca  about Labours of Love, that  were very encouraging, and I’d love to hear from more of you, with comments, questions…whatever. Since I last posted, I’ve done a few more interviews and am still working on some adoption initiatives with the ACC,  ACO and NACAC.  I  also spoke at a PRIDE session, and know that I must take the course, so that I will know what potential parents are going thru these   days. I also want to know how helpful PRIDE is to you all….if you think it needs some rejigging or whether it is good as is.

             Anyway….enjoy the first days  of Spring, and maybe I’ll see some of you at the A.R.E.  April 25th,26th.  I’ll be there with    ” Labours of Love ”   so please say hi……

Is Love Enough?

February 9, 2009

With Valentines Day on the horizon, we all think about those in our lives that we love…top of the list…our kids! Sometimes I wonder what it means in our family, with our biological son, and Diana, who was adopted at birth. Because we have an open adoption, Diana regularly is reminded that she indeed has two moms, another brother…another family, besides ours. We all express our love by actions and words, every day, but sometimes I wonder if that is enough to allay any insecurities or wonderings about her adoption.
Diana had the benefit of a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and a loving permanent home right from the start…and I know that sadly this is not the case for many kids in care. I know a good foundation has to start with love….but there is so much more isn’t there, when it comes to parenting? Our son taught us much before Diana joined our family, but the experience of adoption stretches one’s emotional capacity to the max, as there is always the consideration of your childs roots/ heritage/and inherited traits that never cease to surprise and test us. I am grateful to have Dianas birthmom to share these things with…helps a little to unravel the questions.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this….what are your biggest challenges in giving love, and receiving love from your children, and what other attributes in being a parent the most important in your situation?? Happy Valentines Day!

Okay…I am high.

January 26, 2009

I just had to express my excitement about the weekend post adoption training event I attended, in Oakville. The facilitators did an incredible job, and it was simply wonderful to meet everyone of you who attended. We laughed , we cried, we expanded our minds and thoughts about adoption, children, parenting ,and about the responsibilities we all have ,in making a difference in our communities.This morning , my mind is racing with the possiblities of all that could mean for all members of the adoption constellation and for all of our waiting children.
I will be speaking about this during every media opportunity I have with ” Labours of Love”…the reality is that my dream of trying to make a difference is beginning to come true…and I owe that to everyone in the book….your willingness to share will be a part of the bigger picture in addition to the enormous personal differences in your childrens lives you make every single day….and night!!! Please think about how you can possibly help in your communities as well…be a support to other adoptive families…in your schools, hospitals, businesses, libraries, child welfare agencies…..use those teaching moments that often come up, because you are experts!!
I really want to see some folks on here blogging…..it would be great to hear your thoughts!! Don’t forget 100 Huntley St. this Friday, Jan.30th on Full Circle…check your local listings! Deborah