Thursday, 18 February 2016

3 Images of Kindness to Brighten up Your Day!

We had some errands to do and some of them took us past a pet store. The animals all looked happy and well taken care of, that to begin with was a pleasure to see.We went in and spent a bit of time looking at the bunny rabbits, guinea pigs and other little soft animals. The first thing to catch our attention was that the cages, even though not huge had space for the animals to run or hop or jump. saw dust was provided and little items for them to crawl into, under to curl up inside. Of course, a food bowl with food in and water spout were easily available too. I especially enjoyed seeing that the animals were not over crowded.

One little bunny was happily hopping over whatever he could. Then we noticed these two curled up together. The black bunny has his / her arm over the white bunny. In the image below you can see a slight shift in position but still the one cuddling the other.


It is so special to see kindness and caring between animals. Definitely helped to lift my spirits after a stressful morning.

Next we merited to see these two bunnies sheltering a baby bunny or much smaller one. Once again, just watching them for a little helped us smile.

What do you do to de-stress? I find looking at nature helps a lot, especially the beauty e.g. of plants, hills etc or kindness shown between animals. What kind of animals do you love and why? What images or places help you to feel calm or to put a smile on your face despite going through stress?

We'd love to hear from you so do post your comment below.

Have a blessed day. May we all merit to be hugged and sheltered from caring others just like the bunny rabbits in the images above

Shoshanah Shear
www.beahappymom.com



Thoughts about the Fertility Process and Adoption




I am busy reading an article about adoption published in a South African publication, Cape Town's Child entitled "Adoption, One woman's quest to be a mother, against all odds, as told to Donna Cobban". As an occupational therapist and infant massage instructor reading up on all kinds of topics related to our clients is important. The article begins about the weather. What an interesting place to start. It talks of a grey rainy day and I think of my own path towards becoming a mother. I always thought it would be rosy and sunny. But to me, it has been like a grey rainy day, probably the kind one experiences in Britain. Why? The skies I experienced in the UK are grey and feel low and oppressive, almost closing in with the bleak cold days.

I continue reading a little and am struck by a point that I mention often to clients. The couple interviewed in the article had elected to wait before starting a family and then when they did begin to try to start a family they began to discover difficulties. Why is this important to share? As the couple mention, once difficulties were picked up, there was less time to attempt to intervene. Fertility and starting a family is a very important reason to focus on getting married young and not to delay starting a family. Of course there are unique situations and every case should be discussed with a competent rabbi who is expert in the laws of family purity and aware of the consequences to one's chance to begin a family if one were to wait. However, in hindsight, if I had the chance all over, I would focus on getting married rather than on career, and make starting one's family a priority.

I often think of one of the best students I ever supervised. She was over 40 years old and had begun to study for her first degree after her youngest child began university. Then she felt her time was free to embark on a career. What a very wise woman. She not only made sure to have her family when she was young and to focus her time and energy on taking care of her family but, once she began studying occupational therapy she was settled within herself and had a wisdom that made such a difference in her approach to therapy with her clients.

Next in the article is a comment from a doctor. Their doctor found all tests to be normal and gave them a blessing to go forth and procreate. What a difference to the doctors I have met. The second doctor I went to began our discussion with "you have no Mitzvah to be a mother, what are you doing here?" Those words cut to the quick and still hurt more than I care to admit. I am so baffled. Why become a doctor, especially one involved in women's health if you have no positive feelings or thoughts towards your patients? I often wonder how different my life would be had the doctor greeted me, introduced herself and then asked why I had come instead of judging me upfront without even knowing my name, age, why I was there or taking my health insurance card. What a change in tone and attitude that would have been. I would have been more relaxed, more open to meeting with her, more willing to be checked out to make sure I was healthy. No blessing came my way, certainly not from doctors. On the contrary, the doctor who made an error had the "kindness" to inform me that he was "tired of those who don't have expecting blessing."

I am baffled by his approach too and again I find myself wondering, why did he get into the health profession of any kind. Why did he obtain a doctorate and elect to work in a hospital. Who else might have or must have suffered by his cruel and harsh words.

At this stage I stopped reading the article. Perhaps I will go back to it, but for now I decided it was time to share my experience in the hope of opening the eyes of the public to how harshly women are treated when wanting to become mothers. As one health professional said to me, most women have the basic desire to be mothers and everyone should have the right to make this decision for themselves. It is not something for a doctor to impose on his or her patients no matter what kind of a bad day s/he might have had. On the contrary, if the doctor has had too many patients for the day and is starting to take out his or her frustrations on their patient, it is time for a break. Time to go home early, even if it means a loss of income for an hour or two or three. That would be preferable to damaging the lives of innocent others for no apparent reason.

Being a part of the medical team is a tremendous responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. If the practitioner begins to resent their patients or to feel that no woman should be having children, then perhaps it is time for them to take a break, have a vacation and maybe even change profession.

I look forward to hearing that all doctors are able to wish their patients well with a parting blessing. What a nice, kind world it would be if we could all learn from the kindness of the doctor mentioned in the article and give a blessing to those we meet with as we part ways. Fr those embarking on the journey to become mothers, may your process be rosy and filled with sunshine. May you meet caring, knowledgeable practitioners and may your goal be fulfilled for the good a good that is revealed, visible and manifest

What kind of fertility process have you had? Are you struggling to gather the emotional strength to do what it takes to become a mother? If you are looking for support, mentoring or a drug free approach you have come to the right place. Visit my website for further details and to schedule an appointment for a session.

With blessings

Shoshanah Shear




Monday, 15 February 2016

Learning some Tips for Success from Oprah

This video shows 10 rules for success offered by Oprah. I love her tip that "who has lived and hasn't made mistakes?" That is so powerful. Next time someone judges you or perhaps you find yourself judging, remember Oprah. No-one is perfect. ... "Who has lived and hasn't made mistakes?"

Enjoy the video and remember to stop by and let us know what your favourite tip is.


Monday, 8 February 2016

The Challenges of Fostering - or Trying to.

 

Over the past several years, I hear many telling me to be happy without my own children and to just foster or adopt. I looked into that about 8 years ago. One of the organizations I was told to contact was so incredibly insulting. Being a licensed OT was not enough for them, they would not even give me the opportunity to meet with them to explore further. The experience put me off and I turned to developing my Gemach to help other orphan Chatanim and Kallot. I found the response of the social worker I had spoken to, to be sad for many reasons. I feel sad when I think of the positive results I have seen from children who I have treated and to know that somewhere, some children will be denied the love and care that I can give them just because an angry social worker refused to give me a chance. So she had a bad day, perhaps she got out of bed the wrong way or had a nightmare or something, it does not excuse her being unkind and rude. 

A fellow OT thinks I should keep quiet and that speaking the truth is negative. I disagree. The truth has a way of coming out and truth can not be silenced. Organizations and therapists need to know the consequences of their negative actions. People need to know that the process is not all rosey. The heartbreak caused is unfair and uncalled for. I'm not the only one to receive such negative and harsh treatment. I've had women with fertility problems call asking me to arrange a support group for those rejected who could have been good foster parents.

For those who think my telling the truth is negative I have two responses. 1) My experience was hard and heartbreaking but I chose to seek another way to try to help orphans. The fact that over 30 couples and many others have benefited from our work can not be ignored. I did not just sit back and grumble. 

2) I wish I had known this information before approaching any organization to find out if fostering would or could be an option. I was convinced by others that my being an OT would be an asset and that  I would be able to assist many children who did not have parents or who could not remain with their parents for one or other reason. However, it all depends on the mood of the person answering the phone on the day that you call to enquire. I wish I had known this as then I could have been better prepared. I could have spent more time Davening to be able to meet the right people and the right organizations. I could have spent some time doing role play to determine if I had the emotional strength to face such a rejection. I could also have used role play for an opportunity to figure out some ways to respond to endeavour to counter the harsh judgement of the person I got to talk to. I could have spent some time brainstorming for possible solutions so that I would have a plan of action in place just in case I would need it.. But instead, the hard words sunk in and the damage was done.

As I said, I did not just sit back and grumble, I did look for another alternative and maybe someday I will come to take care of children who need love and kindness. But I do wish someone had warned me that there are no guarantees and that turning to an organization and saying I am a therapist I'd like to look into possibilities to foster children who could benefit from a loving home is not enough.

I think back on my work experience and wonder what the criteria are for those who do come to foster. Sadly I have had to intervene on more than one occasion where a child in foster care was clearly being abused. There is something wrong in the system. No, I do not have an answer as to what can be done to make sure that the children who need a good, loving home go to the kind of couples who can provide just that. But knowing myself better than the angry rude person who cut me off without a second thought, all I can say is that the truth needs to get out in the hope that somewhere the right key players can hear it and make the necessary changes for children to receive love and respect. Children are precious and should be treated as such. 

So for those who keep suggesting that I try fostering or adopting, for know all I can do is pray for the day that the world will be a better place. A place of honesty, truth and respect for all. A place where children will be loved and protected and where those who really want to be parents are given the opportunity to do just that.

Actually, come to think of it,  if prayer really helps, why should I pray to take care of the children of others, if prayer really helps I can pray for my own children and that the parents of those being given up for fostering or adopting have the strength and resources to be good parents to their own children.  That would be a better outcome.

 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Meaningful Moment with a Kallahs Watch

We had a fun time helping a new Kallah to select her bridal gown. I think the mother of the Kallah was far more excited than the Kallah. The Kallah looks about 18 years old and was a bit unsure initially, but she soon warmed up and even found a bridal gown to try on. The mother's joy at her eldest daughter being a Kallah was very evident when the Kallah took off her watch and asked her mother to please look after it while she tried on the bridal gown for size. Her mother became very excited that she was honoured with holding "THE Kallah watch".

For many Jews there is a custom that the Chatan give the Kallah a special watch when they get engaged. It is this watch that the mother was excited to be holding and to help her daughter in trying on a bridal gown, selecting the style suitable for her and generally being a part of the most important and minor details that will make up the big day. The day her first born will be a Kallah under the Chuppah.

I looked at the beautiful watch and the expression on the face of the mother of the Kallah and I thought of the many Kallot who turn to us for help. How many of our Kallot would give anything to have their mother accompany them to select their special gown. How many yearn for the potential to hand their Kallah's watch to their mother to hold while they try on a bridal gown. And yet, for most of the Kallot we assist, this moment will not and can not ever be, simply because their Imma is not here, is not in this world. The closest contact they can have is the memory of a mother they loved who is now watching them from Shamayim.

You see, most of the Kallot we assist are orphans either from the mother or the father or both. Our bridal gown rentals is a new section to the work that we offer. We hope that by renting out our bridal gowns that we can earn the money required to enable our orphan Kallot to feel special on their wedding day.

We hope by sharing this story, that you the reader will come to attain a level of understanding of what it is that the orphan Kallah is missing. Some think it is just monetary and yes money is important. But the love and support of one's own parents is something that money can not replace.

Have a blessed day and do stop by to visit our bridal gowns and our gift items.

Shoshanah Shear
Chessed Ve'Emet

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

First Kallah Visits our Bridal Gowns

We had a lot of fun welcoming our first Kallah to our Bridal Gown Gemach. We have 60 bridal gowns at present, each one different in style, design etc. It's so much fun showing beautiful bridal gowns to a new Kallah. This Kallah is coming to Chuppah G-d willing just before Purim. Out of our 60 bridal gowns, only one was sort of what she was looking for. Timidly she agreed to try it on. 

Sadly the gown is a tad too small with no seam width to let out. Since it did not fit, we were not able to obtain a photograph of our first Kallah. I hope the image above helps you to see half of our bridal gowns. Yes, we are still looking to move them to larger, more suitable space, anyone interested in assisting with this please be in touch. 

The Kallah wants a bridal gown that is modest with beautiful bead work on the top, a 'v' at the waist and a soft skirt. She is a size medium or 2. If anyone has a bridal gown that is just sitting in their closet and meets this description, please be in touch to donate it to our bridal gown Gemach. 

It's so wonderful to have some other items in our store, the Kallah did find a lip liner and lipstick to her liking. At least she did not leave completely empty handed and she was very grateful to hear we are willing to post a request for something more to her liking. 

If you are a Kallah getting married in Jerusalem or surrounding areas, please be in touch. We have beautiful bridal gowns at very affordable prices with an added gift - 9 Kallot rent a bridal gown for a price they can afford and the 10th will give us the opportunity to kit out a needy orphan Kallah. Come on by and do a Mitzvah when you rent your bridal gown. You save too on our wonderful prices.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

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