Adoption Anniversary - Where our Adventure begun

Thursday, November 12, 2020

It's the most wonderful day! It's my adoption anniversary! It's been the most marvelous year of my life. Okay, it's been my entire life so far. Let's rather say, it was one of the best years of my Mommy's entire life. I'm sure of that. 

For my anniversary, I've decided to give you guys a bit of background to where I, my name and of course this wonderful blog, came from. 

I have no idea where I come from.  All I know is that a friendly lady picked us up in the Township (noun in South Africa a suburb or city of predominantly black occupation, formerly officially designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation.) Me and my brothers and sisters where about 4 weeks old,  under-nourished and scared beyond meows. We desperately needed someones to save us, foster us and hopefully adopt us. That's my very very very short story up to the 12th of November 2019.

My Mommy's is little bit longer. But I am going to try to make it short. It's not all sweet though.

If you look at our about info on the sidebar of this blog, you will see that my Mommy needed to let a few things go and by adopting me, it sure helped a lot. As some of you know, my Mommy used to have another blog three years ago. I had a look at that blog and she obviously enjoyed it. So why did she ever give it up and so abruptly as well? 

Around 7 years ago, my Mommy became part of the 15% statistic of women who suffer with infertility across the globe. As I'm sure you have noticed on this blog, she is not the type of person to give up very easily and where there's a battle, she will be on the frontline. She obviously went into this battle fully armored and ready for whatever might come their way. But giving up is NO option. After 6 rounds of IUI's, they started with IVF. After the third round, she finally fell pregnant. Whoop whoop! With twins! At 15 weeks they knew it were two boys and she and daddy were over the moon. At 18 weeks she was diagnosed with early onset pre-eclampsia, but the boys were fine. At 22 weeks she was rushed to hospital at 23:00 on a Wednesday night and the doctors did everything they possibly could. Unfortunately, both boys were born the follow afternoon as her body just couldn't keep them anymore. Both of them lived for a while and she did have the opportunity to hold them close to her heart. 

My Mommy was heartbroken. And I wasn't even here yet to give the comfort you can only get from a fluffy white kitten. Only the two labs where here and Lea says it was really a terrible time. I can just imagine. That's when she stopped blogging as well. Low and behold, she did not give up. You should really meet this crazy woman. I believe tigers will run from danger before she does. I run if the wind starts howling. Anyways, of course she just went for more treatment. But this time around, it wasn't as easy, as she unfortunately now had high blood pressure. Her heart also started beating by the beat of its own drum and caused some serious havoc, a couple of rides in the ambulance with a few nights stay in hospital. 

Almost three years passed before she became pregnant again. That was last year July. She miscarried at 7 weeks and 5 days. And that's when the doctor called her in for a serious sit-down and told her that she needs to let this go. She is 40 years old with high-risk medical conditions and continuing on the fertility journey,  is a really, really bad idea. 

She was devastated. Nothing to fight for, no battle to conquer. Defeated. Two months later, on the 12 of November, she was blow-drying her hair, browsing through Facebook and saw the following post:


Now I need to tell you, when the foster lady took our photos, I tried to put all the love, hope, comfort and joy I know I can give, into my eyes. And it worked!! My Mommy phoned the foster lady right there and then and 5 hours later, I was placed into her arms. It was the most wonderful moment of my entire life. I do believe hers as well. I immediately knew this is where I belong and where I can spread all that love, hope, comfort and joy. 

My name isn't too difficult to figure out. Is it? I mean, just look at the theme of our blog. Does that help? As I am a pure white and as white as snow (most of the time, but I love to play outside), all the students in class wanted to call me something dreadful like Snow White, or Snowdrop, or Snowy.  As you know, we speak Afrikaans and "snow", is "sneeu" in Afrikaans. Not going to work for a name at all. Mommy thought about the ultimate Snow Queen and even spelled my name with a 'z' to make sure everyone makes the connotation. Let it go also played its part in my christening. Yes! You've got it, I was named after: 


From the first moment I set paw in my new house, I knew that my Mommy is a reader. This house is filled with books and even during her darkest hours, she always had a book with her. Luckily, I loved the smell of the books and Mommy can read for hours. That means I get to snuggle with her for hours. 


So where did this blog come from? My Mommy seriously reads a lot and she keeps on adding new books to her toppling TBR list. At this rate, it will take her 8 years to get through the list. That 8 years are also a bit like the horizon. Constantly right there, but constantly out of your reach. She will never manage to read all the books she intends to, so she needs to learn to choose wisely. Some books should rather be avoided. The ones that break her heart and as you now know, it's already in a frail state. I have made a list of books that she's read that really broke her heart. 


Australia, 1926.
 After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.
Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
M. L. Stedman's mesmerizing, beautifully written debut novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel's decision to keep this "gift from God." And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another's tragic loss.


One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?
Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.
  I'm glad I'm a feline. Because human nature can really lead you to do unspeakable things. My Mommy says she does understand this one very well. She might have acted exactly the same. 


Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now . . .
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.
 
She never finished this one. She just couldn't. It upset her terribly. Yes, we know it's a "must read", but no. This one will remain a pass. 


For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

As Jenna’s memories dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, the story races to a mesmerizing finish. This book broke my Mommy's heart in little pieces. But strangely enough, it also brought so much comfort. Sometimes your grief is as big as an elephant. Sometimes the only consolation is an elephant. 


To the outside world, Electra d'Apliese seems as though she is the woman who has everything: as one of the world's top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous. But beneath the veneer, and fuelled by the pressure of the life she leads, Electra's already tenuous control over her mental state has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters as babies from around the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain, and as those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother . . .

In 1939, Cecily Huntley-Morgan arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her godmother, a member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, she meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai tribe. When disaster strikes and war is imminent, Cecily decides she has no choice but to accept Bill’s proposal. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, and with Bill away, Cecily finds herself isolated and alone. Until she discovers a new-born baby abandoned in the woods next to her farmhouse...
Sweeping from the frenetic atmosphere of Manhattan to the magnificent wide-open plains of Africa, The Sun Sister is the sixth instalment in Lucinda Riley’s multi-million selling epic series, The Seven Sisters.
Mommy loves this series and we can't wait for the last one. This was such a beautiful book and Mommy says she was right there with Cecily in Africa (we are still in Africa) and she felt her grief as if it was her own. It was her own. 

In 1936, the Nazi's are little more than loud, brutish bores to fifteen-year old Stephan Neuman, the son of a wealthy and influential Jewish family and budding playwright whose playground extends from Vienna’s streets to its intricate underground tunnels. Stephan’s best friend and companion is the brilliant Žofie-Helene, a Christian girl whose mother edits a progressive, anti-Nazi newspaper. But the two adolescents’ carefree innocence is shattered when the Nazis’ take control.

There is hope in the darkness, though. Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance, risks her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany to the nations that will take them. It is a mission that becomes even more dangerous after the Anschluss—Hitler’s annexation of Austria—as, across Europe, countries close their borders to the growing number of refugees desperate to escape.
Tante Truus, as she is known, is determined to save as many children as she can. After Britain passes a measure to take in at-risk child refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” in a race against time to bring children like Stephan, his young brother Walter, and Žofie-Helene on a perilous journey to an uncertain future abroad.
She ugly cried for days. And days. 

And that's when I've decided to crawl onto her lap, look her straight in the eye and tried my best to convey the following message: Mommy, it is done now. Let it go. No more. No more books that break your heart. There are thousands upon thousands of books that will not break your heart. Or some might still do, but in a different way. Get out there and find some new books! 

The fact that we are here, tells you that it worked! Aaah, these eyes. They must be magical. Better than Bette Davis eyes. Mommy finished The Last Train to London on the 29th of May. Our first post on Elza Reads were published on the 15th of June. We haven't looked back once. I can't promise that we will be here forever. But I can guarantee that while we are here, we are going to have fun and try to chase the book horizon as far as possible without breaking my Mommy's heart. 

For those of you who visit us regularly, thanks for hanging around! You encourage us to continue on this journey and we hope to discover plenty more new books with you and share a thousand and one stories. 

I need to go now, I am quite sure there will be a fancy feast treat or two waiting for me. So glad you could celebrate with me today!

Lots of Love,

Elza 



28 comments

  1. This post touched me on a different level. I'm so sorry to hear about all the pain you've been through I couldn't even imagine it. You're so strong!
    I love the story of how you adopted your little furry friend, and those photos are bloody adorable. She reminds me of the cat my nan used to have, she was a beautifully white colour like Elza, but she was such a timid and shy cat she always used to hide behind the sofa by the radiator whenever anyone was in the house haha.
    Some of those books sound so good but very sad, probably books I would be interested in reading though (especially The Last Train to London and The Light Between oceans), I may have to look at picking those up.

    I'm glad you have decided to dump the books that make me feel even more sad and have turned to other enjoyable books. x

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    1. Hi there Chloe, I appreciate your message tremendously.

      Elza is actually also quite shy when we have people over and you can't find her most of the time then. When it's only us, she is all over the place though! My black cat, Stinkie, who has also had his appearance on the blog, doesn't mind people at all. You can even pick him up!

      I will still recommend all the books I've shared. The Light between Oceans is a brilliant read. But I will advice to read the book before you watch the movie.

      The last train to London is based on true events. Writing is not that strong, but the story is remarkable and will touch anybody deeply.

      Hope you will have a lovely weekend!

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  2. What an amazing story! Happy anniversary! Enjoy the Fancy Feast!

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    1. Hi there Yvonne! Thanks so much! My husband was a bit upset that we didn't have a birthday a cake. So we just baked one!

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  3. Wow. Just wow. This story is so bittersweet, and I'm sure it wasn't easy to write and post! I'm so glad that you and Elza found each other, and decided to focus on reading and blogging about books that make you happy. You are an amazingly strong person, and Elza is all the better for having found you.

    On a (hopefully) brighter note, I was recently blog tagged for a Narnia-themed post, and decided to answer all the prompts. I thought you might enjoy blogging about the series, too! (If you don't want to or can't participate, though, no pressure at all.) If you're interested, you can find my post and all the questions here:

    https://steppingstonesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/11/narnia-blog-tag.html

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    1. Hi there JadeSky, thank you. It does get easier to talk about it and it actually helps. Elza and actually all my pets are truly a big comfort. She is a handful, for a cat at least. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

      Oooooe I love Narnia!!!! I am so going to have a look at this tag right now and hopefully get time to do it.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. Oh, my heart! I'm so sorry for all you've gone through, but I'm so touched that you decided to rescue a little one in need! Most of the cats we've had in the family over the years have been rescues, but they've provided so much comfort, company, and laughs in return. Members of the family for sure! Happy anniversary!

    I usually try to avoid heartbreaking, tragic reads for the most part because we get that enough in real life. I don't like my entertainment to make me sad. Agatha Christie does have quite a lot of tragic stories contained in her murder mysteries, right? I do love that usually there's retribution, even if not in a conventional way at times.

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    1. Hi Rachel, I actually have 4 cats. 3 of them are rescues! Stinkie, my black one who has also made his appearance here on the blog, I've picked up and had to hand feed. He was only about 10 days old. He is now just a bit smaller than an actual puma (joking, but he is really really huge!) and king of the neighborhood. Then my aunt passed away two years ago and she had a cat that landed here with us. He is a big loner as he was used to being the only pet and all the attention. He does sneak in at night and sleeps on my bed though.

      Agatha Christie had knowledge of human nature beyond believe! It's amazing. I do believe that is why her stories are so popular even during our modern day and times.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. That is a very touching story, emotional to read and I imagine doubly so to share.
    Elza is absolutely beautiful and she must be a great comfort.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope you have a wonderful weekend - and you've made me want to read some Agatha which is always good.
    Lynn :D

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    1. Hi there Lynn. Thanks for reading it! Words are my power, my comfort, my escape, my joy and simply everything else. So use them. It wasn't easy no, but I'm glad I did it and it really is true, if you let certain things out - you create space for something new.

      Hope you will also have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. I am so happy you chose to share your very personal Elza journey that. I can tell how much you both needed each other. So sorry for the disappointments you experienced along your journey.

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    1. Hi there Diane, so glad you stopped by and read our story. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Believe me, it's true.

      Life is still beautiful and there are wonderful people out there to share it with. And books and blogging and bright sunny days. Never underestimate the power of unexpected blessings.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Mareli, thank you for sharing this story with all of us. It's a story of so much sadness, but it's also a beautiful story, too. I'm glad you and Elza found each other. Elza is perfect for you and you for her.

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    1. Hi there Debbie, Elza truly is a perfect fit. My husband send me a video of Elsa from Frozen this morning and we were both laughing so hard! Little Elza is just af fierce. And I needed that. I do sometimes look at her and think, yea - be careful what you wish for. She can be a handful.

      She was very much like a real baby up until a few months ago. Doesn't sleep through and don't for one second think she is okay to entertain herself. She WILL wake you up at the most ungodly hours. Breakfast is required strictly at 06:00, 7 days a week. Do not try to ignore this.

      She is also a very needy little thing. She constantly wants to be with me and be cuddled and loved. Luckily she is highly intelligent and did learn very quickly to sleep BEHIND the laptop!

      Hope you had a good week and that you are enjoying a good weekend.

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  8. Such a touching story, thank you so much for sharing it with us. Elza is adorable, and I'm happy you have both found each other! Hope you have a good weekend and lots of great books (that won't break your heart)!

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    1. Hi Lindsey! Thanks for your kind words. Elza truly is adorable, but a real little madam as well!
      Having a lovely weekend so far with some great books.
      Hope the same for you!

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  9. Oh my heart. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn't easy. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law struggle with infertility, as well, and it's such a lonely path. In fact, they struggled with it for three years before they shared it with anyone. And it broke my heart to know they were going through it alone. I'm happy you and Elza found each other! <3

    By the way, I have a solid white kitty named Sophie that could be Elza'a twin. She's sassy, a little bit snobby, and loves to sleep on my pillow behind my head. ;)

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    1. Hi there Dedra, my heart goes out to your sister in law. It's not an easy journey. And they should try to talk to someone. It is necessary. Are they religious people? That helps a lot. Sometimes the Lord just has other plans.

      I would love to meet Sophie!! Elza is such a madam, but quite the treat! Glad you have your own Sassy white queen.

      Thanks for your visit and kind words.

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  10. I am so happy that Elza found a home and you found some comfort after such heart break. I trust God has a different plan for you and your husband.
    I am glad that you are sharing through your reading and reviewing.
    Have a good snuggle with Elza and enjoy your reading. Martha

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    1. Hi there Martha, how lovely of you to pop by. I do believe that the Lord has his own ways with all of us. As long we accept it, His path will become clear.

      Elza is a pleasure and a great comfort!

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  11. Oh Mareli, thank you (and Elza) for sharing your story with us. I’m so glad this adorable bundle of fluff has came into your life. Xxxx

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  12. This is quite a post and I'm glad you were able to post it. So sorry for your losses and I too don't have children for somewhat similar circumstances. Your kitty is very cute and so glad you found each other ... we give our affections to our yellow Lab named Stella, who is the apple of our eyes, crazy eh? Animals are a great help ...

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    1. Hi there, yes - they are a great help. We have two yellow labs! I remember when we got the female, she is very intelligent and extremely needy of Mommy's affection. The vet told me that the only difference between having a labby puppy and and a real baby, is that the real baby is going to grow up talking back to you. Otherwise, quite similar.

      Elza is also a bit of "be careful what you wish for". She is a demanding little thing and thrives on attention and love.

      It's always good to know you are not alone, don't you think? You are always welcome to pop by here.

      Thanks for the visit, we'll chat again soon.

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  13. Happy adoption day but I'm so sorry for all that you experienced. I can see why those books were so hard for you to read. I've read The Light Between Oceans and it was a heart-breaker. I'm glad you've found ways to carry on and you have such beautiful little four-footed souls to love you.

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    1. I've read The Light Between Oceans about a week after I was released from hospital after the twins. Yes, it broke my heart. But you know, it also helped. We can all carry on if we just really want to.

      I do count all my unexpected blessings though! Especially little Elza.

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  14. I am sorry your mom had to go through so much heartache. I am glad she found you, you were clearly meant to mend her heart. I love the movie Frozen. XO

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    1. Thank you, we appreciate your kind words. It does get better over time and yes, Elza is a wonderful companion. We also love Frozen!

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We love hearing from you and if you talk to me, I'll purr back as soon as possible. Sometimes I take a cat nap and it might take a couple of hours or days, but never fear - the cat always comes back.