Every mom needs a tree

August 21, 2012 a father's perspective, Adrian, spina bifida 4 Comments

If you happen to want to adopt internationally, and you live in Ontario Canada, there is a certain course you have to take. It’s called the PRIDE course. And it covers many wonderful topics.

The PRIDE curriculum provides information to help prepare all adoptive parents for the responsibilities involved in raising their children and incorporates information about the following:
• Adoption and child welfare systems, processes and laws
• Attachment as a central issue in all adoptions
• Loss issues in adoption
• Impact of adoption on your own family
• Child development, child management and an overview of issues specific to the needs of adopted children
• The effects of neglect, lack of stimulation, abuse, institutionalization on children
• Identity formation and the importance of cultural and racial awareness
• The importance of connections and continuity for children

(source: https://secure.adoptontario.ca/pride.main.aspx)

These are all wonderful topics to be educated on.

Ummmm, for example, I know I could not have survived the adoption process without the keen insights into the Canadian Income Tax Laws and how they pertain to adoption. Or, equally riveting, the importance of having a double lock on the medicine box, and then taking that box and locking it inside a bigger box, and then burying that box in the back yard under the Pine tree to make sure the children don’t accidentally get into it.

Some of the other topics were a little more eye opening, like the loss issues, or attachment issues…

I loved the parts where they brain washe… er, educated us on the importance of race and cultural awareness, really, I think those were excellent and very very useful.

However, there was a whole section they missed entirely… Tree Climbing.

Yes, Tree Climbing.

Yes, that is my lovely wife… in the tree. Presumably, hiding from the children. See, my wife used to brag about her Tree Climbing abilities. When she was a little girl, she used to climb everything. I mean, if there was a tree with low hanging branches, apparently she was climbing it. I didn’t really see the importance of this… until recently. Let me draw a couple of things to your attention here with the picture…

1) You can see the children frantically trying to get to their mother. There must be something horrible happening that all the children would be clamoring around the tree to try to get her down. You can see that Seniour K has managed to wrangle up a ladder to help… so resourceful my children are…

2) So why are they trying so desperately to get her down? Well, this is why. We were in the middle of a Level 3 Melt Down. Why were we at a Level 3 Melt Down? Probably because someone we ran out of bubbles for him to play with. If you look closely though, he is grabbing his feet. He cries about his feet often, which is something the spina bifida clinic keeps asking about… numbness in his hands or feet is apparently common(ish) with spina bifida. So that is something the doctors are still watching. But really, he was crying over the bubbles. We know there are attachment issues with Bing, and we’re glad we had the PRIDE training. It’s amazing how much comes back from the class room when you have dye-cast cars being thrown at your head…

3) Oh, what’s this? A coffee! How did my wife manage to climb into a tree, with a coffee?!

4) Ooooh, look how happy she is up there! Smiling away, drinking coffee. Look how happy she looks up there! So happy. So peaceful. So beautiful. Without a care in the world it would seem.

*siiiiiigh* See, unfortunately, I did not take the Tree Climbing course offered by the Ontario Child and Family Services… so I was left dealing with the children on the ground. And the Level 3 Melt Down… while my wife… sat in the tree, smiling away… drinking coffee… safe…

… I think I may take up Competitive Hide and Seek, I’m thinking that might be a useful parenting skill to have.

4 responses to “Every mom needs a tree”

  1. Sonia says:

    Ok this CRACKED ME UP! Ha! I need a tree! Can I borrow yours? Or better yet, can I bring your wife a refill and we can commiserate about the battles we face bubbles or otherwise?

  2. Stefanie says:

    I like Sonia’s idea… I’d love to join Roberta in her tree, with a few refreshments 🙂
    Thanks for the chuckle, Adrian. The adjustment is something we all struggle with at some point and in some way when we grow our families through adoption and sometimes laughter is the best medicine!

  3. Adrian says:

    Yea, it was kind of funny how it all happened. She did climb up into the tree, and I thought it would be HILARIOUS if the kids all posed around the tree pretending to be trying to get her. Unfortunately, Bing really DID run out of bubbles and DID have a melt down. So the “staged” photograph quickly became a very *real* photograph. 🙂 Aaaah, well, some days are like that.

  4. Amy Murphy says:

    Oh! I’m soooo stealing her idea!!!! The tree in our front yard is going to be my new hideout!

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