Friday, July 30, 2010

Will He Ever Have The Right Last Name?

And now for the promised continuation of Matthew's Story...

Matthew is two and a half today. I have no idea where the time has gone or how we've managed to get this far. Before I know it my baby will be ready to start school and then he'll be be eighteen and he'll have one foot out the door and I wonder what his last name will be on that day.

Matthew and I on the water taxi last month

My beautiful boy playing with Play-Doh in June 2010

Today, his last name is still the wrong one. I mean he goes by my last name and he was Baptized with my name and even most of his medical records are in my last name but the one important piece of paper, his birth certificate, lists his name differently. Wrongly.

Matthew had the unfortunate luck of being born the day before an election. The day before my lawyer became a minister of something or other. I think it's finance. It took weeks of calling and asking the law firm to send me the release forms for the birth mother to sign. And then it took months before she would come back to town to sign them. (Apparently, she lives in a village in the middle of no where and she didn't want me coming there.)

Finally, they were signed and I stupidly thought things would progress smoothly from there. What could happen to cause any more problems? It was supposed to be a simple, straightforward, adoption.

I took the signed forms to the law office only to be told I'd now be dealing with my lawyer's daughter. Okay, no problem, she's a lawyer too. She looked over the papers, took my birth certificate, and asked me for my passport. It was weeks away from expiring so she said I'd have to renew it before we could continue. I dealt with that and got the new passport in July of '08.

That's when things really started going wrong. We called the law firm only to be told the lawyer no longer worked there. But how could that be since it was her father's law firm and his wife also worked there? Phone call upon phone call and finally we got hold of the wife, I think it was. By this point it was December. I went in and signed my name about a hundred million times and thought okay, this is it now. I also made arrangements to pay in installments. (Previously, we'd go in, get the work done and then get a bill and pay it but no longer.) By January 2009, I paid my final installment.

After that I couldn't get an answer from anyone. I'd email and call and get told, "We're working on it... We are going to go and talk to Human Development this week... We are waiting for this... We are waiting for that... We'll get back to you soon...."

I should have asked them if the cheque was in the mail, too.

Then I heard Human Development was claiming they hadn't received any of the files the law firm sent over. They were sent again. Then I was told my new lawyer, the daughter, was out of the country studying. Then she was back and working on it. Then my social worker told me she hadn't received the file. I told her the lawyers had sent them twice and low and behold they were "found".

Then in March of this year I was told I had to come in and sign all the papers again because they were outdated. So I printed out four copies of the 25 page document, signed them all and delivered them to the law firm. A week later I was told to come in to sign the papers again. I did that. Then it was a different daughter because the first one was still away studying and this one was here on vacation and trying to get this all done quickly so I could get Matthew a passport to take him with me to Jamaica before my aunt died. Needless to say it didn't get done.

Now it's July, the first daughter is back but she's working on her thesis and isn't going back to work until September so we are STILL waiting.

Oh yes, I spoke to her on the phone and so told me I'd have to come in to resign the papers because they are outdated. I swear I nearly lost it on her at that point. I told her I'd already signed the papers twice this year. Then she said okay then she's just waiting to get the report from Human Development. I told her she already has that in the file. Then she said it just had to be filed with the courts then. I told her that too had already been done according to her sister. So, finally she said she'd go into the office and take a look at the file and let me know. Surprise, surprise, I still haven't heard from her.

My mother, thinking she might have better luck than me, called the lawyer and asked her to see if she can hurry up and get this done but of course she got the runaround too.

Two and a half years and one simple, straightforward, UNCONTESTED, adoption can't get done yet. I have lost all patience and am willing to let my mother deal with things for a while because if I talk to any of them I'm going to scream.

I keep telling myself something my mother always tells me my grandmother used to say. "When yu han in lion mouth, yu have to tek time an tek it out." (When your hand is in the lion's mouth, you have to take time and take it out.)

All of this has to finish one day, right?

And to think, I am ready to start looking again to get my girl. God help me!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - My First Baby

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lost Day

Another day completely wasted. Okay, maybe not completely but almost. Matthew and I woke up a little later than usual this morning. We started to get ready to head over to my mother's to help her pack up her living room. Just as we were about to start washing our faces the power went out - thankfully I keep a couple containers of water for just such occasions. We finished getting ready and left.

My younger brother, his wife and their daughter are moving here on Thursday so we were clearing space and putting down a mattress and stuff for them over at my mother's. We finished that and there was still no power. It went off at 8 a.m. and this was about 10 a.m. so my mother called the power company. Should I be worried that she knows the man there by name? She asked what was going on and when the power would be back. He answered that this was a power outage and it wouldn't be turned back on until 4 p.m.

That's from 8 in the morning!

How can they possibly turn off the power for eight straight hours? It's insane!

So, basically after we finished tidying the house we sat around and twiddled our thumbs for the rest of the day. Oh! Did I mention, it was raining and my older brother was on the road with the truck working so we had no transportation either?

Ahhhh... life in the rainforest.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Photoshop Fun

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Matthew's Story

Matthew, April 30, 2010, 2 years 3 months old

I chose single motherhood. I chose this child. This amazing little boy. My son. My heart. My love. And, yes, my stress.

Matthew is the answer to a prayer I've been praying since I was a little girl. I firmly believe God Himself gave me THIS boy. I've always wanted to be a mother. I always thought I'd be a great one, too. Maybe my belief in myself was too strong or maybe God wanted to knock me down a peg or two but I am not a great mother. I love my boy but I am impatient with him. I am impatient with life. I'm working on it though and with God's help and understanding I'll get better.

You see, Matthew is adopted, or rather he is in the process of being adopted. I despair that the adoption will ever be finished but that's a rant for my next post. For this one, let me tell you how Matthew and I came together.

Me and Matthew January 30, 2008 - He's yawning, not screaming - My little alien baby

When I was younger, I'd always say I was going to have a child by time I was 30, whether or not I was still single. But 30 came along and financially I was not able to support a baby. Time passed and things got better. Just after my 33rd birthday, I heard through a friend that there was a baby going to be born in late January or early February 2008 who was being given up for adoption. I spoke to the clinic doctors and was told there was another couple already in line for this child. I asked to be kept in mind regardless and was assured I would be.

For the next few weeks, every week, I'd call the technician at the clinic and ask if he had heard any news. The conversation went like this:

Me: "Hi. Sorry to bother you but any news on the baby?"
Tech: "No. No news, we are still waiting for the girl to come back in and you are not bothering me."

Finally, an appointment was made for me to meet the girl on January 31st. But God has a funny sense of humour because on January 30, 2008, at 10 a.m., my phone rang and woke me up. It was the technician saying, "she's here, she's in pain, the doctors aren't here, and now would be a good time for you to come and meet her and when you do, please take her to the hospital!"

I grabbed my mother, out of her sickbed, and the two of us flew to town. We got there at about 11 a.m. and by then the girl was at the hospital, the doctor from the clinic had shown up, the baby had been born and after about 15 or 20 minutes, although it seemed like much longer, he turned to me and asked, if I had any clothes for the baby? I told him I did and he told me to bring them. I got them from the car and at that point one of the nurses took pity on me and asked if I'd like to see him.

Outside of medical staff, I was the first person to touch him.

Matthew, 1 day old, in the sleeper I brought him home in. It was miles too big but having never met the birth mother I had no clue what size this child was going to be.

To this day, no one has said the words, "he is your son" but I brought him home the following day after the pediatrician released him from the hospital. Just before his first birthday, he crawled over to me, pulled himself up in front of my knees, looked at me, said, "Mama" and went back to his helicopter.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hi and Kisses

In the last few months, Matthew has started blowing kisses and waving hello many, many, many, times a day. It's the strangest thing but it seems to offer him comfort of some sort. He'll be sitting there drinking his milk and suddenly stop and blow me a kiss. I blow one back and then we wave at each other.

Or just now, for example, I sent him to the potty. He said, "Yeah! Yeah!" Nodded vigorously, took a step, turned back, blew me a kiss, waved and then went pee. It's got to be one of the cutest things ever!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Friday, July 16, 2010


There are but two lasting bequests we can give our children;
The first is roots, the last wings.

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had done something differently in your past? Or if you had not done something? If you had just made a different decision?

Those are the questions that have been plaguing my mind the last few weeks. Where would I be had I not left Calgary? Had I not moved to Jamaica? Had I stayed in Toronto rather than moving to the rainforest?

And maybe more than that, what would or could have happened if things had worked out with this person or that person? Would I still be single? Would I be married or happily shacked up - because I don't really see myself ever being married - or worse, would I be divorced?

Don't get me wrong, I like my life. I'm happy. But what would be different? It's like one of those choose your own ending books I loved as a child. Go to page seven the story turns out one way but go to page eleven and it turns out completely different.

You may be wondering if I am so happy with my life why I have all these questions. It is solely to do with Facebook. I love the reconnection that site allows people. I've gotten back in contact with a girl who was my best friend in elementary school, I've reconnected with a teacher who had a great impact on my life, someone who made a lonely girl less lonely, and Facebook makes it very easy to keep in some form of daily contact with family members who live in other places. But the down side I'm finding is that I get glimpses of other people's lives, people from my past, and I wonder what their life is like now. We started out in the same place and yet we've ended up in such different ones.

I think, and mind you I only think, I envy those people who have lived in the same place all their lives. Who know how deep their roots go in that place. My life has never been like that. By the third grade, I was living in my third house, albeit all of them were in Calgary but in different areas, different school districts, different groups of friends. By the ninth grade, I was bunking for a while in my grandparents house, I started a new school, did a month and a half there and then moved to Jamaica where everything changed again. After I finished high school, in Jamaica, I went back to Calgary, then back to Jamaica, then to Toronto, then back to Jamaica, then back to Toronto, then here. It's been fun and there is very little of it I'd change given the chance but my roots don't belong to a place. Instead, they belong to my culture and my family. How would things be different if they belonged to a place? Or even, would things be any different? Maybe everything is preordained from before you are born.

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Growth

View from my front door 2008

View from my front door 2010

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun and Games

Life has been complete fun out here this weekend. We've been hit with a lot of rain and for some strange reason, almost every time it starts to really pour the power goes off. My mother called the electric company and they gave her some cock and bull story. What this means is the power will go off and come on many times for the day. One day it did it seven times.

She also commented that every time the power comes back on the meter rolls forward a little. The person's suggestion for that was to turn off the central power to the property off and when we see power come back to turn it back on. That might be a solution if we lived in town and could see when the neighbors power came back on but since we live in the jungle, it's not really an option.

The constant on and off with the power is playing havoc with my stuff though. It's gotten to the point where I have almost everything in the house unplugged and only plug it in when I need it. I realize that is a good thing as far as the environment is concerned but it's a pain to have to crawl behind furniture every time I need to use something.

We also spent one day and two nights without water. I can live without power but I have the hardest time functioning without water. Somehow the main water supply got turned off so unknowingly we used all the water in our two vats which left them dry and the pumps running consequently the motor in one of the pumps burned out. $1800 and a new pump later we got water again.

And because the fun just never stops around here, now there appears to be a leak somewhere after the second vat and pump so that pump is constantly running. I'm sure the leak will be found tomorrow but in the meantime the pump has been turned off to keep it from burning out which means even though there is water I don't have access to it. Well, I can call my mother and she can turn the pump on so I can get water but then it's turned off again and all in all it's just been a fun weekend.

Thank God for Monday! :-D

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jumbled Thoughts

• "Analness"
I'm really anal. I know this. I admit it. And more importantly, I embrace it!

My friend, Lisa, over at This, That And The Other Thing, can tell you stories about me. She'd likely tell you about the time, in college, I lined up all my thumbtacks, down the edge of my cork board, separated by color.

Each night I put all of Matthew's toys away. Each toy has it's own place. Matthew is getting really good at knowing where each toy belongs, much to my delight. This is what my fridge looks like when I am done each evening, and Matthew usually pulls off at least half these letters each day.

• Ants
Some days I really hate living here. Yesterday and today were two of those days. Wednesday evening, Matthew and I went outside to feed the dogs and do some light yard work. We were weeding a series of pots that I'm growing bougainvillea in when Matthew started screaming. He had stepped in an ants nest and the little, black, pests were swarming up his bare legs. I grabbed him up immediately and set him down a few feet away. I brushed off as many ants as I could and then stripped him naked and hosed him down.

Last night, Matthew woke up crying three hours after falling asleep. He was rubbing his hands and feet against the sheets and repeatedly getting doggy, his stuffed animal, to kiss the owies.

This is what my poor baby's feet looked like today. His hands aren't as bad but doggy is still on kissing duty.

• Brutus
Brutus is now two weeks and one day old. His eyes opened today and he weighs a pound and a half. He's a sweet little dog but I think he's lonely. He doesn't make half as much noise as he did when Monster was with him. I feel sorry for him but Matthew and I talk and play with him as much as we can.

• Bland Food
Ever since Matthew started eating solid foods he's clamped his mouth shut or turned his face if he thought something was too bland. I ended up throwing away a few bottles of Baby Mac and Cheese I had made for him because he just refused to eat it.

He's also a difficult eater. He's not overly picky but he takes forever to get through a meal. He chews EVERYTHING what feels like 100 times before he'll swallow it. And when I say everything, I really mean it. He recently chewed his soup before swallowing it.

But I've finally figured him out. I mean, I've always known about the bland issues, but Matthew is totally into being able to dip things. He refused to eat french fries for the longest time until he discovered a little over a month ago that fries dipped in plum sauce are amazing. (The plum sauce was really for his chicken fingers.) Then my mother introduced him to ketchup. And last night, he wolfed down his fish as he dipped it in Tzatziki Sauce.

• Really Fresh Fruit
One of the things I love most about living here is eating a fruit, planting the seed and watching the seedling grow. Some years ago I ate a sweet sop. Today, I ate the first sweet sop from the tree I started.

This is the year where things are really going to start happening for me in the fruit department. My sweet sop tree has born one fruit so far, my pomegranate tree has about 6 or 8 fruits on it in various stages of growth but none ripe yet, my orange tree has some small oranges on it and my otaheite apple tree is bearing for the third time.

There is something to be said for walking out the door and picking a fruit straight off the tree and eating it. Now if I can only convince the surinam cherry tree to produce more than two cherries at a time Matthew and I could have a fruit salad!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Tropical Storm Alex's Destruction

Missed the stairs to my house by inches.

Two previous breaks to the same tree.

To see more Wordless Wednesday posts visit my other blog CoconutPalmDesigns or go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Monster Fast Asleep_July 1, 2010

Today was a horrible day. The two rottweiler puppies I'm hand raising woke me at 5 a.m. I fed them their breakfast and settled them. I got back into bed hoping for a few more hours sleep but the little one, Monster, kept whining and whining. He hadn't really eaten anything so I started over with him to see if he was now ready for his milk. He again turned his face so I put him back in his bed and tried to go to my bed. He started whining again. So I scratched his ears and back. That settled him and he went to sleep. Less than five minutes later though, he started again. I scratched some more and offered him the bottle again.

This went on for nearly two hours. I tried everything I could think of to settle him down. I warmed his rice bag in the microwave. I gave him some gripe water. I repeatedly offered him the bottle. Nothing really worked but he eventually settled a little.

By 10 a.m. he was getting worse and worse so I took him to the vet. He thought he might have an infection because his tail hadn't dropped off yet. He cut it off, which I was very grateful for because that part just grosses me out, gave him an antibiotic and vitamin supplements and we came home. Throughout the afternoon he just got weaker and weaker. He tried sucking his milk but didn't have the strength. I tried the eye dropper that had worked before with him and I gave him his antibiotic. I even mixed up a new formula that I read about online but that didn't interest him either.

Monster died this evening.

Last week when his brother's and sisters died it was sad but I just buried them and moved on. This time it was so different because he was in the house, living beside my bed. I talked to him and rubbed him and played with him. This time it hurts.

Thank God there is one last puppy here to occupy my mind. Brutus is a fat, greedy, little boy.

Cheers :-(
- Rainforest Mommy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Yeah! My First Blog Award! - The Versatile Blogger Award

Lisa Day, from This, That and The Other Thing, has awarded me my first blog award for this blog. Thank you so much Lisa for this honour!

The rules that go along with this award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason.

1. Thanks Lisa. You've really made my week by giving me this award.

2. I always have a hard time thinking of things about myself but here goes...

- I am totally impulsive when it comes to moving. I moved from Canada to the Rainforest based on a split second decision. I move back to Canada from Jamaica without ever really making a firm decision.

- Among my many, many, many, animals my heart still belongs to Topanga, my cat. I got her when she was 8 weeks old from the Toronto Humane Society. She's now 12 years old and when I moved, she moved.

- I cry at sappy movies. Oh, who am I kidding, I cry at sappy commercials!

- I'm not married and I don't really want to be but I would definitely live with someone if I found him.

- My favorite food is white, cream, clam sauce. Yes, I realize it's a sauce but I'd eat it on bread if there was nothing else. Or better yet, I'd like just a big bowl of it plain.

- I love all four seasons which begs the question why I'd voluntarily live in a country that only has two, hot and rain.

- My favorite color is blue. I buy candy if it's blue just because it's blue. I eat the blue Smarties (the Canadian candy coated chocolate kind) last. If someone is giving me something, anything, and I have the choice, I'll choose the blue one. This begs another question, why did I choose to paint the outside of my house yellow?

3. Passing this award on to the following bloggers...

- Fourth Grade Nothing

- Pretty Shiny Things

- Monkey Butt Junction

- Living With Chronic Illness

- The Practical Mom Guide

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy