One step at a time

A step at a time,

I am taking one step at a time.

A time that urges me to rush

To run,

To push

Still, I am taking one step at a time

With every step I believe,

I am coming one step near you

One step closer to you

A step at a time,

I’m taking one step closer to you.

Poetry by Hidden Gems


It has been an overwhelming experience just researching and reading blogs and articles on adoption.

First, I think my heart is set on what kind of adoption and what country to adopt from.

The next day there’s a different kind and a different country on mind.

One thing for sure, I am getting better at making a decision.

Pretty soon , we are meeting our provincial coordinator as due to a lack of adoption agency in our province , we set up a screening meeting first with the Ministry of Social Services. With their ‘yay’ or neigh’ we proceed to finding a social worker for our home study.

Fingers crossed to our first date with adoption….in three weeks!

Escaping a prickly truth about my heritage.

August 14 or 15, haven’t prickled any feelings in me for around 8 years, until today. (disclaimer: this is not an adoption blog)

When I say who I am and what my heritage is, as if my hijab (head covering I wear) and my brown skin are not a complete tell-all, I rarely mention that I am from two generations of refugees and myself an immigrant to a ‘land of ice hockey and maple syrup’ 🇨🇦- things I had not even seen until a decade ago.

I conveniently ‘fail to mention’ that my parents and both sets of my grandparents were born in two separate countries and probably my children, if I have any, will be born on a separate continent altogether.

I choose to smile silently when people from Pakistan (land I was born in) ask me if I am from Bangladesh and people from Canada ask me if I am from India, only to reply that ‘I was born in Pakistan’. I always thought people don’t have the time to listen to my ‘heritage talk’. Only now I realized, it’s me who has been escaping it.

The dilemma of looking a certain way, being born in a certain community and living a certain other way will never escape people’s judgement. It’s a reality I have accepted to live with.

I never anticipated that it will also be a reality that may hinder me from a possible adoption. Adoption from Pakistan has been seized in Canada since 2013. Adoption from India is a notion, hubby hasn’t warmed up to…..YET.

Here’s a brief look-back at what divided the sub-continent of India back in 1947 and how Bangladesh emerged out of the division. Al-Jazeera English did a fair job at it in a 5 min. video..

My parents were both born in 1950’s East Pakistan that split from Pakistan in 1971, hence they were forced to leave their birth places to move to what is currently Pakistan. If you think that’s ALL they left behind, consider they also abandoned their heirlooms, their first schools, their parents’ homes and their childhood friends. Fast rewind to 24 years earlier when in 1947, both sets of my grandparents while they were in their teen years and possibly children under 12, they had to flee for their lives from current India to what was formerly East Pakistan. My paternal grandfather never saw his six other brothers again. My father grew up with no cousins, no grandparents and no family reunions. My mom still has some memories from 1950’s and 1960’s visiting India to meet her aunties and uncles and then life happened and rest is literally history.

It doesn’t matter if my father speaks, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and Arabic (’cause he lived in Saudi Arabia for most of his adult life) when it comes to his heritage, he is a foreigner everywhere. It doesn’t matter if I have dark brown east Indian eyes, a height and features of a Bengali and a pride of a Pakistani, I am simply a minority in Canada.

On this day, I look back and decide to uphold my east Indian identity. I was born in Pakistan 🇵🇰, my parents were born in Bangladesh 🇧🇩 and my grandparents and great grandparents and others before them, are from India🇮🇳. And I say this with no prickle of toxicity or remorse.

I am done escaping from it.

via Daily Prompt: Prickle

Sometimes you need to be awkward…

“Sometimes you need to be awkward, to beat awkwardness” – Charlie Flynn

Considering adoption when none of your friends or family ever had to consider the notion is awkward. Considering adoption when you are a South East Asian, bearer of a Canadian passport not by birth but by immigration, and being the ultimate taboo in society – wait for it- ‘infertile’, is another ball game.

You are the strange one.

You are the alien.

You are awkward.

A list of awkward questions that we will be getting from the Desis around us and are bracing ourselves for:

Before you go further down the list (What is a Desi?)

  • So, will you adopt a baby?
  • Who will give you a baby?
  • Why would a mother give up a baby?+
  • What? You will adopt a child over the age of 2?
  • What if that child is never yours?
  • Don’t you want to try another cycle of IVF?
  • Don’t you do it anymore?
  • Is it going to be brown?
  • Is it going to look like you?
  • What if it’s brown and still doesn’t look like you?
  • Is it going to be Muslim?
  • How do you know it’s going to be a Muslim?
  • What if the child reverts back to ‘not-being-a-muslim’ way?
  • Is it going to be an abandoned child?
  • What if the mom comes back and harasses you?
  • What if the child wants to go back to India?
  • Why choose India? Why not Pakistan or Syria or any another country as a matter of fact?
  • And the Mother of all Questions: Why not keep trying naturally?

If you know anything about the South East Asian culture, it’s that we care and we care immensely about family and friends. So much so that we don’t realize when we are pestering each other and choking them with our loving questions.

Our plan so far is to be patient with these questions. Explain to friends who are worth spending time with and keep our answers short.

But I know I won’t be able to hold fort for too long. Very soon or in a year or so I will first start avoiding such people, create a cave in the prairies (if I can find a hill-like -something) and hide away. Secondly, I will start yelling back at them or worst giving them eye rolls (extremely rude in our culture).

That would be my tip for you too if you have just started to think about filling an application. Be patient. Be private. They don’t know what you are going through. A lot of times they mean well but don’t understand the excruciatingly long waiting process involved. We are private people too and usually confide in one or two friends at a time only. But then get ready for life to go down hill.

For example; back in May 2017, I carefully selected a dear friend to bestow on her the news that we have started to look into adoption. Only to find out a month later that she got knocked-up ‘surprisingly’ for the third time. Out came the pouring congrats and cheers of ‘how far along are you’ and I was left thinking ‘I thought you were done!’. All I did was give her a bear hug hoping it would hide the sheer shock I was in. Hence, (the quote), sometimes you need to be awkward, to beat awkwardness.

Also remember there will be those who, in some weird way, envy you, that you have lead a kids-free life so far. And then I remember, may be you are not surrounded by such awkwardness.

A friend took this photo in Brampton, ON and sent it to her naive prairie friends.

Brave and Awkward!

Sometimes I pretend to be normal and then I go back to being me.

“Sometimes I pretend to be normal. But it gets boring so I go back to being me” – life

I wish my life was different. I wish I could travel on a whim. I wish I could live in a strange city on my won.

I wish …so many things.

Sometimes I find myself envying parents who made a decision, followed their hearts per-say and applied to adopt. I and hubby are still going through the huge turmoil of ‘is it worth it?’ scenario. The price tag for international adoption in Canada is $30,000-$40,000. Today I found out it may take up to three years to get a child from India to home in Canada. Sisssh!

One thing that ‘filling-out-form’ ritual required was me to research all the facts and myths of adoption.

Our prairie province doesn’t have a licensed agency so started a Canada-wide search for a credible agency that has experience in adoption from India. 5 days of reading multiple blogs finally brought me to Adventures in Adoption – a fellow prairie wanna-be-mom by adoption.

Her blog makes me smile, laugh and look at life in a different lens. She gives voice to my own fears and hopes.

In my last blog I admitted that I feel lonely and feel like I don’t belong anywhere. Well, that self image has slightly begin to shift. I came across so many strong women who are in different levels of adoption whether domestic, private or international.

I think I am beginning to find my place among these courageous women!

Right when you feel like giving up on life, it gives you a reason to get back at it again.

Grateful for small things in life

From one prairie province to another – Summer Trippin’ 2017

It seems impossible until it’s done.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

My quest to start a family started in 2008. I never thought a word like ‘infertility’ will be associated with me. Fast forward nine years and I know I face infertility, for one reason or another.

In 2010, I started fertility drugs and first attempted IUI (intrauterine insemination) and then three rounds of IVF between 2012 and 2016. When Invitro Fertilization was introduced to me, I remember shaking my head saying I would never go through something that intrusive and intense, that will hijack me both physically and mentally. Needless to say I had to change my mind. That was first time I learnt it seems impossible until it’s done.

Looking back I wonder what convinced me to try it and actually go through a grueling process like that. Being a person of faith, deep in my heart, I always believed, that superior being that some call God, some call Allah and some just believes he exists, has something special in store for me. Also, my amazing partner has the most beautiful heart. He will be a fabulous dad some day. It kills me to think he can’t call a child his own.

In this journey called life, I have seen:

  • two nephews
  • 6 baby showers that I coordinated
  • 12 babies born to my 8 friends
  • 2 friends facing infertility who finally now have kids, one though fertility drugs and one through adoption
  • countless desi aunties who bugged me with questions about when I am starting a family the first five years of my marriage

Before you think I was jealous of their families exploding in front of me, that is not the case, at least not until recently. Mostly the feeling I feel is of being lonely. It feels I don’t belong among anyone. But then I keep going. I keep purging and keep trying to keep my head above water.

I started sewing as a hobby. I started yoga that keeps me grounded. I volunteer profusely with the local community. But there is a void that I still feel.

I have started to look into international adoption. I am scared. I am overwhelmed as there’s so much to learn. I hope it will be the second time I learn it seems impossible until it’s done.

I have started to read adoptive parents and adoptees blogs. Here I want to mention two blogs that I have immense respect for and am fortunate that I stumbled upon their stories.

Hopefully this is a beginning of a chapter that leads to a happier ending.

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A dear friend’s baby shower that I coordinated in 2014. We love both her girls like our own and are thankful they are in our lives.

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Just because my path is different, doesn’t mean I’m lost.

Who knew? “Not all those who wander are lost”.

Who would have thought, I would have a life full of very different set of adventures. A path very different from friends around me and from siblings and cousins I grew up with.

Nonetheless it has been a life full of joy and sorrow, giggles and tears, highs and lows.

After being married for 11 years, all those years in Canada, in a home away from home, I find friends who are like family. Faced 8 years of infertility, two miscarriages, three attempts of IVF and now hoping to adopt.

Here’s to my 38th year on earth that started on July 30th, this blog is going to be an honest heart to heart conversation with my readers, if there are any.

Welcome to my blog.

I’m humbled you are here and are reading this.

Welcome to Fishing for Three!