About Me

This blog is about me and my voyage to becoming a mummy. Ironically called “mummy in the baking” as together with my passion and obsession for all things cake related, I will never be able to have my own "bun in the oven." Years of fertility treatment have taken their toll and I now find myself on a new..eek, i hate this word...journey! The crazy train to adoption. I hope you will join me while I bake my way to becoming a mummy. I want this blog to be a source of information as well as a comforter. I hope it will inspire and help anyone who is considering adoption or who has in fact already bought their ticket for this..here I go again...journey. Cake makes me happy and I hope you will enjoy sharing my love of it. I want it to help lift your spirits and hearts through what can only be described as 'the trials and tribulations of the adoption process.' Along with my desire to be a family, I love my dogs, have an unhealthy love of sausages and chenin blanc, adore my land rover uber-nerd of a husband and continiously dream of balmy summer evenings. Baking in progress…..

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Secret thoughts of this prospective adoptive mother.....

1. I am angry with Miss Delia. As suspected she has cancelled our date for panel due to her not meeting her deadlines. Why Delia....when technically you had an extra month considering you have already delayed our panel once. What frustrates me even more is that I just can't express this rage for fear of being judged by her.  I have to put on my nice, accepting face and just take this in my stride. Any amount of outrage is immediately noted as 'Oh, it seems they are not handling stress very well. This is interesting. Parenting adoptive children is super stressful. How do we feel about this?  Ooh lets have a meeting and discuss it" Next, they'll  be suggesting putting us on an anger management course.

2. They suggest we take time out for yourselves, go on a holiday they say, just the two of you. Not so easy when you need to use all your holiday allowance for social worker meetings, prep courses,  child care experience volunteering days, and time off for LRUN when the little one does finally come home with us. Two weeks paternity leave just doesn't bode well for attachment parenting. Plus finances don't allow for it when you are saving for the time you will be off on adoption leave plus all the things we are going to have to buy to welcome a little one into our home. Switching from Waitrose to Aldis is not going to do the job of kitting out their bedroom, is it?

3. I feel resentful that I have to go through all of this just for some 'expert' to decide whether or not I can be a parent or not. Why do I have to prove myself to you and who are you anyway to know and understand how much love I have to give a child. To nurture them and show them a real life filled with love, fun, laughter, adventure and stability. Who are you anyway?

4. I lie awake at night in fear worrying that.... is this still what I really want? When you have to wait so long for something, you sometimes lose the desire for it. I worry that one day I will wake up and no longer actually care whether I become a mummy or not. I can totally understand how so many people  pack it all in and pull out of this process.

5. I feel guilty that I am not giving my usual 110% to my job. I find myself not getting involved in new projects  just in case we get lucky and are matched with a child quickly.  I worry I will let my boss down if I am then not there to carry them through. I just don't have the passion anymore, I need some time out and just want to be at home with my family.  Not at the beck and call of some rich people living their dreams, avoiding tax and spending their children's inheritance.

6. I'm annoyed that something so personal as wanting a family has become so public. Our bank accounts have been scrutinised, (yes yes I'm afraid that is another amazon purchase!) Our sex life analysed, our families, friends and ex partners contacted and grilled all because we just want to be a family. When couples decide they want to start a family, it's a very private decision. It's their little secret and the build up of excitement to the first scan when they can finally go public is so special. We'll never have that. It feels like every man and his dog know that I am infertile and that we are going through this gruelling process.

7. I am tired of being strong, accepting, determined and patient. I want people to understand.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Have I got a bit more news for you.......

It's been a week of headlines. No disrespect to the tragedies of Boston but the news in particular that has caught my attention is that of the young mum who killed her pregnant self and her three children. I should be saddened by this but the truth is, she's cheesed me off. Taken the lives of those four children when I would be grateful to have just one. I think this level of cheese-ing off  has really hit a nerve with me because technically,  she was in our 'zone'. You see, the world of adoption is funny. There are numerous underlying geographical restrictions of where you can adopt from. We cannot adopt any children from our nearest town which is six miles away due to the potential security risks of running into the birth parent or a relative outside Boots! Now, I will admit, it is not the most affluent of towns and the number of looked after children is increasing rapidly. So it's a shame but we had always expected to wait a bit longer for our little one and presumed that they would come from a similar town up north. And this mum has just gone and taken the world away from those four little souls in that town. That's four little children instantly removed from my potential quota.

Another piece of news which really caught my chocolate starved eye is the plea in the local paper for more adopters and foster carers. A bold statement saying there are currently more than 30 children in our county waiting for placement. So, my question is this really. They can barely cope with their workload at the moment, in fact it is clear they are not coping at all, so how on earth is this going to help. They don't need more adopters. They need more social workers, less admin and a little more trust.

To shine some light on things,  I throw my afternoon tea party on the weekend and its a hit! My house is filled with friends, babies, toddlers, laughter and a heck of a lot of cake. There are mountains of light fluffy scones with lashings of cream, sweet sticky lemon drizzle, cute little sandwiches and an array of sweet treats. But the crowning glory is the monster-size coffee and walnut cake and as friends are leaving they are begging for take-away slices. It takes me ages to clear up and I'm in good spirits. Probably due to the amount of champers I seem to have drunk and the Frank Sinatra that is on loud. I wonder how different things will be once there are little ones in tow. How would I manage something like this? In fact, how do mums manage all the housework while constantly having to look after a toddler. Ideas on a postcard please....

Scone anyone?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Don't let me down Miss Delia.....

No news is good news right? Negative captain..... Not in the world of adoption. Miss Delia has gone particularly quiet on us and this is suspicious. I emailed her two weeks ago to check a) that we were on track for our paperwork deadline for the PAR (prospective adopters report) of the 29th April and b) because I was having my own little toddler like tantrum and was simply seeking her attention. She has been a big part of our lives and suddenly she's gone and I was struggling to cope without updates from her.  More importantly, we were starting to get concerned that some of our references hadn't yet received their reports from her. This is something they have to check and sign and then return to her, bearing in mind if there are any mistakes and adjustments need to be made, this whole process would all have to repeated and posted back and forth in their little 'not so urgent 2nd class prepaid envelopes!'  I will have you know that I am not the only one who has deliberately stuck a shiny first class stamp over the freepost bar on their correspondence. Ha...! Just my little token effort to try and speed this process up.
So after no reply, I emailed her again today asking again if things were on track. In the last hour of an intense day at work,  I receive a reply. Her email smacks of another delay and yet more disappointment. She admits to me she is behind in her paperwork and is struggling to meet her deadlines. She then drops the bomb that they have neglected to contact an old boyfriend of mine ( we lived together for 3 years and they deem this as a 'significant partner' and must contact them but Frikkin Nora, that was 13 years ago! ) She admits that they have lost his contact details which I gave to them in July last year. Yup, you heard me, July  LAST year.....and it's taken them this long to tell me they have not contacted him yet. He lives in New York and is particularly hard to get hold of. This is not looking good. There is no way they are going to make this deadline.
I somehow manage to get through the last hour of work but the drive home is emotional. The tears are streaming so intensely down my cheeks, I can barely see the road. I consider pulling over but don't want to draw attention to myself. I just want to get home.

I pull into the driveway and smile at my neighbour, silently hoping she wont want to chat as she'll notice my red eyes. I feel a real mix of emotions: anger, sadness, disappointment and panic all in one go. I decide to pour myself the biggest gin and tonic ever ( cake just wont cut the mustard here I'm afraid and I have just discovered cucumber flavoured gin.... Yup, that's what I'm talking about right there!) The dogs are so excited to see me but they sense something is up and stare at me intently.  I down my drink, wipe the tears and head out on the dog walk in the glistening evening sun. I listen to some of my favourite tunes very very loudly and dance madly across the fields.   I must look like a complete space cadet to the locals but I don't care. It makes me feel better. LRUN gets home and admits that he is refusing to get angry over this. One of us being upset is enough. The mood at home is subdued. I try and think ahead to the weekend when I am throwing an afternoon tea party bursting with delicious morsels of cake, hoping this will lift my spirits but its not working. Perhaps now was not the best time to have given up chocolate....

Gin Gin a drop of Gin

Sunday, 7 April 2013

I've been to Paradise but I've never been to me.....

 I bet you're all curious as to how LRUN is coping with his new commute. Between you and me I think he is secretively enjoying it. In fact I've never seen him with so much spring in his step in the morning (unless it's his new gay sea and samphire wake up shower gel but I doubt it) He's home by 7.15 pm but he is finding the evenings a bit harder to get used to. His LandRover Man Den time is cut short you see..... This could also have something to do with the fact our oven has broken..... Disaster......I need to bake....I must bake....please fix it!

We had been invited round to the Fraigs for dinner and to celebrate their adoption match with the two little boys and thought we might as well stay the night as we're bound to crack open the bubbly. It was a great evening and the news of the boys possibly being with them by the start of summer is certainly worth celebrating. Lets just say there was a lot of alcohol consumed and after a night cap of half a bottle of their finest whiskey, LRUN managed to fall asleep at the table. So charming. We laughed as we wondered how different hangovers would be with little ones in tow. Thanks Fraigs, not just for the hangovers but for sharing this milestone with us. Thanks for showing us how you were getting their room ready, it was beautiful to see how real this is all becoming for you. You've waited a long time for this and are so deserving of these two very special boys.

The frivolities continued at a wedding down in a hillier part of England. A huge grand affair for a very special Miss Blue Eyes and her husband and topped off with a cake made entirely of cheese! LRUN couldn't be happier. An enormous amount of good old days silly fun was had with our old yachting buddies. 'Gosh, I haven't seen you for like 5 years' said Miss Jonesy.."How are you.... What are you up to.... Have you got any kids?" It was with great pride that I answered loudly this time and far from the usual muffled whisper " Almost...."We're adopting!" The evening was filled with delicious food, lots of wine and I tell you, LRUN was shaking some moves on that dance floor.  I got to catch up and spend some crazy, fun times with my darling Miss Elaine Page and little Miss Sarah Jessica Parker....I love you girls madly. Way after pumpkin hour, the karaoke sessions kicked in and we triumphed in a live performance of the 70's hit by Charlene.... "I've been to Paradise but I've never been to me" Such an emotional performance possibly fuelled by the Bollinger but it got me thinking how lucky we were to have spent six years working on board luxury sailing yachts, travelling the world, spending time in those idyllic locations most people only see in the brochures. Now it was time to find that mummy in me. 

Cake of Cheese

My Cake Mantra

Monday, 1 April 2013

You can run but you can't hide......

This adoption 'thing' can be so all encompassing, so all consuming that if you're not careful, you find you live, sleep and dream adoption. A pregnancy lasts nine months and most woman spend the first few months in denial and then suddenly start panic buying baby wipes, pram accessories and nipple cream.  Adoption here in the UK takes on average two years. That's a long time to think about the subject. Feeling as though I am at  risk of becoming as obsessed with it as I was with Duran Duran as a teenager, I decided to give myself a break from all things adoption related over the Easter weekend....you know, give myself more time to focus on the important issue of the bunny celebrations....chocolate consumption.

This weekend is going to be all about me.  No adoption forums, paperwork, blogs, books. Nada. I pop into the supermarket for cocoa-infused provisions and decide to buy a nice novel to switch off with, lose myself in. Live someone elses life for a bit. Settling in on the sofa with the dogs, my favourite blanket and a huge pot of tea, I start my 'me' session. Low and behold, my romance novel turns out to be all about social workers, the foster care system, adoption and child abuse. What the....? There was no warning of this on the summary! It's tempting to shut it quickly and dash off to find another one. But I find I keep turning the pages. The book is annoyingly  gripping and I don't leave the sofa. Engrossed in this world of the care system, it gives me an intriguing insight into the world of Miss Delia.
 Later that evening, I run a bath and lie back in the zen like spa zone I have created for myself and tune into that radio station which people tell me is apparently aimed at the 55 year old...sorry...I can't help it....give me Woman's Hour any day over some annoying 'shout outs' about random people on the M1. Anyhow....I digress....the programme turns out to be all about international adoption. I try hard not to listen but it's interesting and I lie there listening to the whole thing..slowly turning to a wrinkly prune as the water goes cold and the Badedas bubbles dissapear. The next day, while listening to the squeals of delight of the neighbours little ones all enjoying their easter egg hunts,  I decide to make an Apple Streusel cake....a light vanilla sponge, topped with juicy tart apple slices and sprinkled with a crumbly streusel topping. It's good but not amazing, in fact if I make it again, I'd make some changes....probably make it bigger....and add custard...but that's just me ..... being greedy....in my seek for perfection.  I'm about to go in for a second slice just to be sure (what?)  and I hear my email ping. Its a copy of a long email my sister (my rock, my love, my helpline and amongst other things, a child psychologist) has sent to Miss Delia assuring her what amazing parents we'd be. I read it over and over again. Its beautiful, raw and real. I think I need to face up to the reality here that there is no escaping this adoption malarky. This is it Miss Sweetness....embrace it! No hiding allowed.

Hummingbird Apple Streusel Cake