Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's ok to cry

Simply said, I am going to school to be a therapist. I have one semester left until graduation! Can I just take a moment to sing "HALLELUJAH!" This school year was the first year I have actually been doing formal counseling. I mean the just you with the client sitting on a couch telling you their problems kind. I remember my very first day with my second client ever. She came to begin the grieving process. After the session when my supervisor read my notes she commented that she was impressed with my ability to handle the situation as well as the comments and advice I gave. I told her that was probably because I am well acquainted with the grief process and have been doing a sort of grief counseling for years. (She knows I am a birth mother).

The fact about grief is that it is hard. Grief that comes when you have lost something or someone so important is a life long journey. You will experience times of grieving that loss for the rest of your life. That does not say you will be sad all the time for the rest of your life. What I mean to say is immediately after the loss yes, it is normal for you to be sad. And possibly for a very long time. But eventually the pain begins to dull. That happy face you've been faking is not so hard to fake anymore. And sometimes you aren't even faking it. You develop the strength to get up and keep going. You don't move on from your loss. Moving on implies that you are leaving that loss and subject of that loss in the past and in a way, forgetting about it. Lets be real people. You never forget about it. You never forget about that person who means so much to you. That person, the loss, is a part of you. So rather then "moving on" after you feel your world has been shattered, you pick up the pieces, and I mean all of the pieces with that loss included, put one foot in front of the other, and move forward.

After you feel like the days have allowed you to breath again and you are doing ok, it is so common and normal to be sad and have hard days. It's ok to take out that blanket or those pictures and cry again. Even years later. I have found that happens most often at the hallmarks in life. I mean at births, baptisms, graduations, weddings. That person was supposed to be there. Your father was supposed to be at your wedding. You were supposed to be baptizing your child. You were supposed to have children before your younger sister. Sometimes you are sad and you don't even see the connection. You are just sad. It's ok.

As a birth mother, and actually with all types of grief, it feels like NO ONE but some one who's gone through the same thing can understand your pain. No one but a birth mother can understand. Other people don't know what to feels like to go through life knowing your child is taking his or her first step, saying his first word, and going to school for the first time and you aren't there to see it. You aren't the mama he is referring to when the name first crosses his lips. It's hard sometimes to feel that alone. Especially when you are in the middle of grieving...and grieving hard. You want to share that burden with someone else, but when you look around there is no one to share it with.

Something that I tell birth mothers and I told my client on our first day is that it is ok- It's very important actually- to let yourself feel. It's okay to feel whatever you want to feel. Don't worry what other people say. Don't listen to them when you get the, "But think about the wonderful gift you gave! Think about how happy you just made Bob and Jane". If you want to think about that and be happy, do it! If you want to be sad and hurt even though Bob and Jane are happy, that's ok! Do it! Other people may put time limits on you. Don't let them. You might hear, "You are still thinking about that?" or "It's time you stop being sad." Don't listen to them. You get to be sad and think about it for however long you want. And after five years when you feel like you have healed but suddenly you begin crying for that person again. That's ok.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adoption Interview Project!

I am a pretty lucky girl! I have been about to participate in an adoption interview project. Basically bloggers from all members of the adoption triad are paired up to interview each other about their adoption experiences.

I was paired with Dana from Life Unexpected. It was wonderful! I love Dana and Chris's perspective on adoption. I especially love their thoughts and concerns for birth mothers. Many people talk about how much they love and care about birth mothers and how they feel, but I feel like this family really means it! Their thoughts about birth mothers are not empty words. I was so grateful and impressed as I read through their blog and learned about the experiences that brought them to adoption and the heart breaking experiences they experienced as they went through two failed placements. My heart hurts for them when I even think about it.

Seriously Dana was so great to work with! I appreciated her prompt responses and patience with me as I tried to participate and keep up with darn grad school. You can read my responses to her questions on her blog. I highly suggest you visit their blog and learn more about them and their wonderful views on adoption.

You can visit Production, not reproduction to read more adoption interviews.

Enjoy reading the thoughts of my wonderful adoptive mother partner.


1.     Tell me a little about your family and what brought you to adoption.
My name is Dana and together with my husband, Chris, and our 5 year old daughter Addison we are a family…a family hoping to grow through open adoption.

We have always dreamed of having a large family, imagining years and years of watching life unfold through the eyes of our children.  After two difficult pregnancy losses, we came to the decision that trying to have more biological children was not in our best interest.  We love being parents more than anything in the world and so much want for more children to be a part of our family and our life.  We want Addison to experience what it is like to have siblings and also experience the joy of our family expanding.  After our losses, our family grew stronger and we realized, more than ever, how important having more children is to us and to Addison. 

From the time we met, Chris and I have discussed the possibility of adopting or fostering children.  Adoption seemed like a natural next step and a path that felt right for our family. 

2.     What do you imagine your relationship to be like with your future children’s birthmothers?
We imagine and hope that we will share a very open relationship with our child/ren’s birth parents.  We hope that our relationship will be supportive, honest and authentic.  We hope that love and respect will be at the forefront of our relationship and that we are able to share meaningfully in one another’s life.

3.     What do you see as the benefits of open adoption?
I see our adopted child/ren benefiting most from an open adoption.  Knowing who and where they came from and being able to experience a healthy relationship with the people and family that gave them life we see as a huge benefit. 

We also hope that our child/ren’s birth parents would benefit greatly from being able to see their child, talk to their child and watch their child take on life…having no questions about what he/she is up to, what they look like, what they like or don’t like and who they truly are. 

We also see that we, as the adoptive parents, would benefit greatly by having the birth parents involved to share in the love of our child, to answer questions, to become a part of our extended family.  We hope to not only grow through the child we bring into our lives, but also by way of his/her family. 

4.     What are some of your insecurities about an open adoption?
Most of my insecurities come from the unknown and are more like questions than insecurities.  Such as…Who are the birth parents that will choose us?  What if we disappoint them?  What if they don’t feel we are supportive enough?  I wonder if my “ideal” open adoption is unrealistic…if my “ideal” really is possible when dealing with so much loss, so much grief on all ends of the triad? 

5.     What are some of your insecurities about your children interacting with their birthmother?
I don’t really feel insecure about our adopted child/children interacting with their birth parents.  I do wonder how that may change when we have an actual adoption take place.  I think I will just be mostly worried about how our adopted child is feeling when we are all together, trying to create a space where we are all comfortable and are able to be ourselves.

6.     What are some of the things you do to cope with the emotional roller coaster in adoption?
Writing my blog has been one of the most helpful coping tools as we have moved through this process.  The support of friends, family and strangers has completely and totally helped us keep moving and pushing us forward.  I also listen to music that helps me “feel”, that makes me smile, that helps me cry, that makes me want to dance. 

I also try to very hard to stay focused on the fact that I know that we will share our lives with more children.  I imagine what it will feel like when we another child becomes a part of our forever family.  These thoughts help me to think positively and not give up.    

7.     Many families that I know who are hoping to adopt have waited many years for their baby to be placed in their family. Many begin feeling hopeless and feel like giving up. What advice can you give those couples?
I am not sure if I can offer great advice considering that I sometimes find myself in the same position.  The best advice I can give is to not ever, ever, ever give up on your dreams.  I feel it in my bones that this is the path that we are supposed to be on right now.  I know that it can happen and that we will welcome more children into our home.  I can’t give up.  I won’t give up.  I hope those who feel the same don’t give up either.  Lately I find comfort in the saying, “If there is a will, there is a way”.  I know that for those of us who have lost babies or experienced infertility there is not always a “way”, but looking at the bigger picture of having children, having a family, expanding a family…if there is a will, there is a way.     

8.     You talked about feeling hopeless in a post last July. What is the best thing a friend or family member can do to support you and be with you during this stage (the waiting stage) of your adoption experience?
The most helpful thing our friends and family can do is not give up hope.  If they are willing and able, we also welcome any and all thoughts and prayers…thoughts and prayers that our family will experience peace and comfort and that we are able to weather the storm we have been walking through.

The other thing that is very helpful is for family and friends to talk to us about what is going on.  Adoption is a very real and present part of our lives and acknowledging that fact is a huge help to us.

9.     Were there any hesitancies you felt before you decided on adoption? And if so, what were they?
We did not hesitate before deciding on adoption.  We certainly gave ourselves time to grieve the loss of our baby and spent much time researching adoption in general, but there was nothing holding us back from adopting.

10.  From what I have read you have experienced two failed placements with in the last year. How has that affected you view on your adoption process?
We still believe that adoption can work and be a wonderful thing, but I would be lying if I said we weren’t a little more guarded now.  We now understand the legal process, in Michigan, much more clearly.  We also understand on a much higher level how incredibly difficult it is for birth parents to make this decision, and how important it is for women contemplating adoption to have adequate counseling, not so that they end up choosing adoption, but so that they receive the help they deserve during such a difficult and scary time.  Although these situations were extremely difficult we believe that we learned a great deal and still have very positive feeling about adoption.

11.  How have the failed placements affected Addison?
This question truly touches me.  I am so appreciative of others who understand that this journey has also affected Addison.  Thank you for asking about her.

From the beginning of our adoption journey we have been very open and honest with Addison.  We have explained to her that a baby may come and live with us while his/her mom decides if he/she will become a part of our forever family.  We have told her that she will not be a big sister until the birth parents make their final decision (termination of rights) that only then will the baby live with us forever.  I truly believe that by telling her this, we have caused her less pain. 

The first failed adoption was a bit easier on Addison.  The mom was still pregnant at the time she decided to parent.  We never met the baby, he never lived with us.  Addison did ask a lot about the mom, “How is she doing?” “When will we see her” and for months insisted that the baby was indeed going to come and live with us, also wanting know if we would ever see him.  She seemed more disappointed by this situation than sad, and as time went on Addison accepted that the baby would not be coming to live with us.

The second failed adoption was much more difficult.  We had the baby, Little P, with us for 10 days.  Addison visited him at the hospital and shared her life and her parents with him during that time.  She absolutely adored him and tried so hard to help out in every way she could.  She loved that he got to ride next to her in the backseat and would stroke is forehead.  She asked everyday he was here, “Has his mom decided yet?”  She was sad when he had to leave.  Although she knew it was a possibility, she was still very disappointed that Little P could not stay.  She sent him home with one of her books and brings him up often in conversation.  We feel that she is doing really well and have encouraged her to talk about Little P as she needs to.

After Little P went home we talked with Addison about how she would feel if we stopped trying to adopt a baby….how she would feel if we never had another baby come and live with us, if we decided that our family would be complete with the three of us.  She did not hesitate with her answer, “I want another baby to come and live with us”. 

12.  What has been the most difficult thing during your adoption process so far?
The most difficult, lowest point, of this adoption process by far has been the night that we needed to take Little P back to the adoption agency and the grief that followed.

13.  What do you feel has been the most helpful in getting your name out to expectant mothers.
Our Facebook page and my blog have been the most helpful so far.  We have received many calls, unfortunately nothing that has worked out, from friends and family who know someone who may be considering an adoption plan.  It is helpful to know that people are spreading the word that we are hoping to adopt. 

We also are now working with an agency that has more contact with parents who may be considering an adoption plan.  We hope that more birth parents will become aware of us through that agency.

14.  How does your family feel about your adoption plan?
Our family is extremely supportive of our adoption plan.  They are all also anxiously awaiting a new addition to our family…a new child, sibling, grandchild, niece/nephew, cousin…our whole family is waiting with open arms. 

15.  What advice can you give to those women (and men) who are just beginning to adjust to the fact that the family they had imagined and the way they will build their family is different than what they had originally planned for them selves.
I would tell them to take all the time they need to grieve.  To grieve such immense loss you need time.  Follow your heart and find people that you can talk to that have experienced your loss.  Connecting with others is so very powerful and can be so helpful in the healing process.

16.  Have you come in contact with anyone with negative views of adoption? And if so, what have your responses been?
We have not heard much negativity around the subject of adoption.  We certainly have heard people repeat myths and stereotypes that, when we can, we try to dispel.  Most often people are just really interested to learn about adoption and specifically open adoption.  People are curious and we are always happy to share what we know with those who are interested.

17.  Is there anything else you would like share about your feelings or thoughts on adoption?
Adoption, we believe, can be absolutely beautiful.  We know that it does not come without pain, without loss, without grief, but we also know that it can come with much, much more beauty, life and love. 


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Placing my son in the river


When I was pregnant I know that the Lord was always near me. I know that he carried me through the pain and sorrows as well as joys and comfort I felt. I felt like during that time I was reading my scriptures and praying constantly. I was trying to find guidance. I was trying to find peace with what I felt the best decision was. I did wonder how I would be able to do it. How I would be able to bear placing my sweet little baby in the arms of another to watch him grow? My heart was broken by the thought but I felt it was the best thing for B. 

I remember that one night as I wondered why and how I could do this, the spirit reminded me of the story of Moses. As I read and thought about his story I could not help but empathize with Moses's biological mother. It was that night I truly understood the fear, the heartbreak, and the love that she had for her child as she placed him in the river knowing, because of the pharaoh's commands, he would not be able to live if she tried to raise him. I also understood the great faith that she had as she delivered her precious son into the Lord's care knowing this was the only way she could give him life. I am sure the Lord guided her and directed her in decisions because he had something great for Moses to do. I am sure the spirit gave her comfort and told her that he had wonderful things in store for Moses and that her sacrifice of letting him go to be another woman's son would bring great things for him.


Then the spirit comforted me. I was able to move forward with faith and cling to the thought that I was, in a small way, like Moses's mother. It gave me strength when things got hard and my heart felt utterly broken. It is a scary thing to let go of your child, but this story gave me the ability to have faith in the Lord that HE would care for B and everything would be alright. If he did it for that woman in the bible, I knew he would do it for me. It gave me comfort to think that I was placing B with C and L so that he would be able to fulfill the great things in store for him like Moses did. I don't think B will free a nation, but you never know. One thing is for sure, I know he will do great things. I am sure he will save souls and bring joy to the hearts of many people. I know he has already done that for mine. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adoption Awareness Month

Happy adoption awareness month!!!

The month of November is adoption awareness month. 

I wrote the first two sentences above fulling intending to write more like them to excite and build up this National Adoption Awareness month. Then, as I all too often do, I became distracted and randomly decided to take a blogging break to surf the web. As I was perusing the WWW looking for articles or videos about this month of national awareness I came across an article entitled, "Why This Birth Mother Will Not Be Celebrating Adoption Awareness Month". I originally thought it would be one of those adoption bashing blogs written by a birth mother who was feeling particularly bitter about her situation. I was wrong. Although I do not agree with some of the generalizations she makes in the article, it did make me think. She brought up good points, and I am a little embarrassed to say I Deborah Diane, a birth mother, over looked the fact that this month is possibly a hard month for many people.

It can be a hard month as pointed out by the author of that article for birth mothers (and let's not forget birth fathers) as they are reminded of their loss, but it can also potentially be a hard month for perspective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Then I think about the birth families involved too. Like the birth grandparents and aunts and uncles. After thinking about all those who could be hurting during this month I am feeling much more solemn.

The author of the article made a suggestion that I think I will take. She said, 

"I can’t celebrate the thing that cause me the greatest pain and loss in my life.....

....And while I can understand that for many people adoption is cause for celebration because it brought something good to their lives, the fact is that ALL adoption is somewhere, someplace, somehow resting on a foundation of loss. That’s not a cause to celebrate. It’s a cause to honor. One honors a loss; one does not celebrate it."

I hope that is not to somber of a quote to add, but the fact is it is true. In adoption there usually is some sense of loss for everyone involved. I DO think that adoption can be a cause for celebration. It IS a wonderful thing that can bring about great JOY. As I have gone through my adoption experience I have chosen not to focus on loss. It is healthy to recognize it is there, however I fully believe that people see what they are looking for. When that pain you feel is so great it is hard to think of anything else. If loss in adoption is what you focus on then that is all you are going to see.

With all that in mind, this month I am going to change the focus of my blog. When I read what Claudia had to say about adoption awareness month I felt like I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was about to go down that path of celebration and talk of how absolutely wonderful and hunky dory adoption is. I was about to over look the very group of people who I am a part of. As I saw down the way I planned to go, I recognized it was a bit superficial. But not any more. I am going to make the posts this month a little more real. I do not plan to focus on the loss in adoption but I will not ignore it either. Rather then making my blog about celebrating adoption, I will be real. I will remember all members of the triad, and I will HONOR adoption.

Happy adoption blogging everyone! See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scary Things About Adoption

As I mentioned in my post just below this one, I am a member on an open adoption bloggers group called Production, Not Reproduction. Every now and then they put out a new writing prompt for the bloggers to respond to. I think it is a great idea and can't believe that every time I got an email that was what I was supposed to do with it.

Here is the prompt:

Write about open adoption and being scared.

When I look back to when I was pregnant and considering adoption I cannot remember being scared about many things. I remember being sad, but not scared. One fear I had is something I constantly have to fight even now. It is the fear that B will not understand why I chose adoption and will resent me for placing him. I am scared that he won’t want to have anything to do with me when he is older. When I placed him, one of the things that gave me hope was that one day he would find me and I would be able to have some connection with him again.

Now I want to clarify, when I talk about wanting to have a relationship with him when he is older I do not mean that I would expect him to think of me as his mother. L is his mother and would never want to take that role away from her. And honestly I don’t know what kind of relationship I would expect to have with him, but I do want to know him and have him know me when he is older. I guess deep down inside when I placed I was hoping that I would not be saying good bye for forever. I think it’s one of the things that helped me cope. Who knows what will actually happen over the next ten or fifteen years, but the thought of him never wanting anything to do with me is terrifying and too much to bear at the moment. So I choose not to think about it.

Another fear that I have sometimes I tell myself is just a silly one. But I am scared that B’s parents won’t like me. It didn’t really scare me when I first placed him because we were all too involved with the love and connection we felt for one another when I placed B. But now I do worry about that. Some of you may say, Deborah that is silly. Like you? They Love you! To that I say, “I agree. I do know they love me and are very grateful for me. But there is a difference between loving someone and actually liking them. I like to think that I am a pretty confident person. If there is some one that doesn’t particularly care for me -I know what you’re thinking, but it does happen. Even to me! ;) - I digress. If there is someone who doesn’t particularly care for me I don’t let it tear me up. I may fume about it for a day or two, but usually no sleep is lost. However, C and L are two of the few people who’s opinion really and truly matter to me. Because I live across the country we don’t have an opportunity to interact very much and so they only know me through emails, face book, and my blogs, but it still sometimes scares me that at some point they may not like me (even though I know they will always love me). I love and care about both C and L a lot and I really do like them.

There is one last thing that scares me sometimes about adoption. Adoption is kind of like a dance between the birth parents and adoptive parents where we take turns leading. When a birth mother is deciding to place and choosing a family she is leading the dance. There can be a lot of anxiety and fear on the adoptive parent’s side because at any point before the placement is final she may change her mind and ask for her baby back. I can only imagine that would be devastating to the adoptive couple and so they kind of follow her lead. Then, after placement the adoptive parents take their turn at leading the dance. It is up to them how much contact there is between the birthmother, child, and adoptive family. It is up to them how open the relationship is. Yes, they may have settled on an agreement before placement, but ultimately it is up to them after placement is over. So that can make a birth mother anxious. I know that if C and L ever decided they needed to stop communication and close our adoption it would be because it was the best thing for their family and it would not be a decision that was made lightly. I know that if that happened I would be ok. But I also know it would still hurt and there is a little tiny part of me deep down inside that is scared. But I think it just comes with the territory.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adoption Interview Project

Wow! It has been over a month since I have posted. Sorry about that to all tens of my readers. I am a member of an open adoption group and have been for at least a year now. I really haven't done much with the group but that is going to change! Next month i will be taking part in there open adoption interview project and I am really excited. Basically I will be given a fellow adoption blogger, learn all I can about their blog, and then interview them and post the interview here. Below is the button for anyone interested in taking part. It is for anyone who blogs about adoption even occasionally. Look for the interview November 17th.

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 
2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pictures with Meg

When Meg and I got together in August it was kind of a big deal. It was the first time we had ever really spent time together and it was great! I already knew that I liked Meg, but our communication had been limited to emails, texts, and facebook. It was fantastic to spend four whole days together. We talked a ton about our two little loves! It was so much fun to hear all she had to say about B. I LOVE telling people our children are siblings. She is a doll! When we were at the conference we decided to hire Blue Bird Photography to take our picture. Did you ever show up to high school and realized you totally forgot it was picture day? It's the most important day of the whole year and it just happened to be the day you slept in, wore a t-shirt, and discovered your latest pimple. Yeah, that's how I felt. I'm not looking for pitty, it just is what it is. However Bree our photographer did a fantastic job. Here are a few of the final results:




I love this girl!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ode to B's birth father

I should be studying about phycho dynamic therapy techniques right now, but I think my brain has had about enough. And I am starting to feel a little like........Well, a little like this:

I have decided to take a break and share with you a little tid bit I have been thinking about a lot lately. It has to do with M. M is B's birth father. It has taken me a few weeks to get this post finished. One, because I am a little busy with life but also because it's hard for me to talk about him.

He is one subject I am reserved and careful about when it comes to my adoption. There are a few reasons for that, but the biggest one is I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. I also want to respect his privacy. As I get older, however, I am starting to see my own shortcomings in our situation more clearly. I used to envy girls who's Birth Father's were not involved. When they would describe their situation I used to think, "Man! You don't know how easy you had it!" M was involved to say the least. I have realized that this thinking was all about what was good for me and not what was good for M and B. I am proud to say, I no longer have absent birth father envy. I will explain why, but first I feel the need to give a little back ground. It's a bit long......So go grab a snack...actually make that two, and get comfy.

M is a great guy. He and I were raised in two very different homes and I felt we had different ideas of appropriateness (I will say I was a bit...uptight). Nonetheless, he was my best friend. I felt like he knew me better then anyone. Our friendship/relationship was addicting to me. During my pregnancy M and I wanted different things. He wanted to get married and I....well, I didn't. There was a lot of stress on both of us and words were said and things were done that hurt each party. I can't imagine the helplessness M felt as he went though this experience. I probably don't have to mention the tension there was between M and my parents. They could be in the same room and be civil but let's just say they didn't plan any camping trips together.

I felt extremely torn between my family and the father of my child. This all started before I chose adoption. M got upset when I talked to my family and my family got upset when I talked to M. Sometimes I just wanted to take my little baby inside me and run away to a deserted island to escape the tension and pressure I felt. When things got too tough, I would fantasize about living in a small cabin in the backwoods with a little gray kitten I could cuddle when I got sad. I had an old lady as my neighbor and she would help take care of me through my pregnancy and the birth. And we all lived happily ever.

Back to my new and improved out look on the situation. I was jealous of M. As my pregnancy developed and the pressure built sometimes I wished I was the only decision maker in the process. I tried to consider M's feelings but I thought it would be easier for me if it was just me. I wanted to be the only one C and L loved and were grateful for. I wanted to be the only one B thought of. After all, it was MY decision to chose adoption. Oh the selfish girl I was. Let's be honest, I still can be selfish. My heart hurts when I think about how short sighted I was in regards to M's feelings. The more I talk to other birth mothers and the more we swap baby-daddy stories, the more my eyes are opened.

I am now so grateful for M! I've realized what a blessing it is that B not only knows that his birth mother loves him and thinks about him all the time, but he knows his birth father does the same. B will never have to struggle wondering where his birth father is and why he has never heard from him. He wont have to wonder why M didn't want to have anything to do with him, because M wanted everything to do with him. Last summer M went to a sports game of B's and it made my heart happy to hear. I know how much it meant to M and I am so glad one day B will know that M cared enough to be there. I didn't want B to have to go with out anything. And now thanks to M, and C and L of course, he doesn't. He has both of his parents and both of his birth parents praying for him and cheering him on in the back ground. I am grateful M is so involved in B's life. It has nothing to do with me but everything to do with B. What a blessing this insight is.

Dear M,
      Thank you for being such a good man. Thank you for loving B. Thank you for giving him the wonderful gift of life. Thank you for finding him his family. I can't tell you how sorry I am for the hell I put you through and the selfish things I could do and say. I am going to be better. I am so glad things turned out the way they have. You are a good man Charlie Brown. Thank you for being so determined and not getting discouraged and quitting when it mattered most.

With Gratitude,
Doo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Big changes for Ben

Last Tuesday I called to check in on a dear friend of mine. We will call him Ben. I had a 4 hour drive to make and as is customary for me, I began calling the friends to keep me company during my drive.  (No worries fellow drivers. It was all hands free). I started with a friend whom I haven't heard from in a while to make sure he had made it through the earthquake ok.

I expected him to let it ring to his voicemail like he normally does. Those expectations were not disappointed. I left a quick message, Hung up, and said another name for my little blue tooth to call. After a few phone conversations I had the thought to call him again. I did, and he answered. He said he was fine and had been ignoring all my calls for the last while because he had some shocking news he wanted to tell me.

Me: Are you engaged?
Ben: No.
Me: Then what other shocking news can there be?
Ben: I am going to be a father.
Me: That's Exc....well how do you feel about that?
Ben: I'm scared.
Me: Then I'm scared for you.
Ben: Thanks

Our conversation continued but we couldn't talk very long. I was getting emotional and he was working and trying to talk in code. Why was I getting emotional? I am sorry to say I was being selfish. I was thinking about how this new development affected me and my relationship with Ben. After I hung up the phone I was able to knock some sense into myself. "Deborah," I thought. "This has nothing to do with you AAAAND it doesn't matter what you think or feel about it. it only matters how Ben feels"

I was reminded of when I found out I was pregnant and the reactions of my family and friends as I told them the news. What I needed most at that time was love, compassion, and support. I already knew I had made poor choices. I already knew I was in a hard position and I understood the impact that my choices had made on myself and the new little baby growing inside of me. I learned through out the experience the impact it had on others and I realize they needed to deal with it in their own ways. And some times that way was expressing their hurt to me. But I felt disappointment in myself enough for everyone. I was scared and confused and I almost couldn't handle dealing with people's anger or negative feelings. The people I remember the most were the ones who rallied around me during this time and didn't make me feel guilty or poor about myself. The one's who loved me anyway. My heart still is full of gratitude and my tears still come when I think of the amazing service that was to me. They do not even understand the impact it had. The love they gave was a healing balm to my broken heart. 

Support from friends and family during this time is crucial for Ben. I can't imagine having to carry this heavy burden alone. I want so badly to be able to help support him through this experience but because of the circumstances the only support I can give him is through my prayers. When I think about the hard decisions he is facing and the challenges that will come in his specific circumstance, my heart breaks for him. I wish there was a way I could fix it. I know he will be a great father! (Adoption is not an option for him. As the birth father all to often you don't have much say in the matter)

Ben,
     My heart really goes out to you during this experience. As we have talked you have expressed some concerns and feelings to me and I understand. I understand that you are scared and confused right now. What a loop that has been thrown into this roller coaster we call life. It is ok to feel the way you are feeling right now. Strong men cry too and that is ok. I wouldn't be surprised if you feel a little angry right now. Just remember to let your self feel.
     As one of your best friends and some one who knows you very well, I know that some times you aren't able to focus on anything but the mistakes and struggles in your life. There is a rough road ahead for you but I know that you will make it through on top. I have always admired your kind heart. You have the most charity of any one I know. I appreciate how you always try to do the right thing and think of others before yourself. You have many strengths and talents that I know will only be strengthened through this experience.
    After our first conversation I could only think about the hurt, confusion, heartbreak, and fear you must be feeling. Then Stand by Rascal Flatts came on the radio. I know you hate Country (It's ok. None of us are perfect.) but try to endure it long enough to listen to the message. ;) And Friend, when you get discouraged through this life long experience you are stepping into, just remember that you can do hard things!

With Love,
Your Friend






Monday, August 29, 2011

What I learned at the 2011 FSA Conference

I am finally home from my tour of the western states. It is good to be home! The first thing people have seemed to ask me when they see me is "How did your class/presentation go?" I know they ask because they love me and want to know but honestly it is the thing I wish they didn't ask. According to my very supportive friends and family who came, it went well. They said, it was real and not sugar coated and.....well I can't remember what else they said. It is good and reassuring to hear that but to me..... it wasn't my best.

What do I think? I think it went ok. I've done better adoption presentations but it wasn't a failure. Over all I am glad that I did it. It was a bit of a challenging subject for me because I feel like my strength is found more in the topic of what to do post placement and dealing with the ups and downs of that. But I learned that I do know a thing or two about pregnancy and adoption plans. Huh. Who knew?

As for the rest of the conference, it was good. It was a fun change to have Meg, her husband, and of course my sister there with me. After the conference C asked me what I had learned. I quickly tried to think of something and the only response I could come up with was..."nothing". I think that's because my mind was probably on a hundred different things during those two days that it was hard for me to focus in the classes.

However, when I read over my notes I remembered I did learn two things and I even wrote them down so i would not forget them! Looks like I need to look into ginkgo biloba. For those of you who are still reading and are interested these are my two take aways from the conference.

First!

Saturday morning Meg, Matthew, and I went to a grief and healing class because it was the only one we were remotely interested in. I sat there thinking that it had been a while since I went through the intense feelings the presenter was talking about. It was a process that happened so long ago for me, and the realizations she was talking about were one's I had realized already. I was feeling pretty dang good about myself and decided I could check out. And so I did. Until the presenter read a quote. I don't remember who it was by....sorry. It said, "You wont be the same person after this event, but why would you want to be?" Right then, I woke up and my immediate reaction was, "Why WOULDN'T I want to be?!" That's when I realized ther is something I haven't quite let go enough to stop grieving.

I don't grieve B anymore. Don't get me wrong. I still think about him and have days where I miss him, but my heart doesn't hurt anymore. I don't ache every time I think about him. However, I still grieve some one. I still grieve the girl I was before I was pregnant. This grief has nothing to do with the adoption and began long before I found out I was pregnant. The only connection it has to adoption is the fact that it transformed from an unconscious grief to a conscious grief at an adoption conference. I realized that I still actively grieve my 18 year old, naive, bubbly self when that loss of innocence so plainly stares me in the face. I am still dealing with the consequences of no longer having my innocence. I still find my self thinking about the what if's. There was a part of me that was lost during that time. I grieve that loss. There are still times I am brought to tears by the thought. It is hard for me to really describe my thoughts about this with out getting too personal but this is the first big take home I got.

Now that I have shared that with you I must say it is still a new thing for me. I mean, yeah I have dealt with it for the last 8 years, but it is new that I am actually aware I am grieving. It is still raw and I feel vulnerable. I love and appreciate your comments (actually I crave them) but  in this situation any comments that dismiss the thoughts and feelings I described above in your kind efforts to make me feel better are better left unsaid. This is a time where I need you to only listen and say, I am sorry you hurt and leave it at that.

The second take home I got from the conference was more of a relief. It was in the communication class (a class about how to effectively communicate with adoptive parents and vica versa). The presenter (a Birth Mother) wasn't really talking about communicating and I don't remember exactly what she said now, but it helped me realize that I should not feel guilty. Ever since I've become more active in the adoption world I have felt an unsettled feeling that I now reacognize as guilt. As adoptions are becoming more and more open I feel like birth mothers are talking more and more about their birth children. And although I learned early on not to compare my adoption to another and I try really hard not to.... I still sometimes do. And I felt guilty because these women are so active in their birth children's lives and I am not. I felt guilty because B is not the center of my life. I still love him more then I love anyone on this planet, but he is not the center of my world. He is the center of his mother's world. She is the one who lives to take care of him and that is ok. That is great actually! It felt good to realize that. It also felt good to realize that I feel guilty that it takes me forever to write a post about adoption because frankly, I do not think about adoption everyday. And some days I have nothing to say about it. And that is ok too. I walked away from that class feeling uplifted and a little freed.

At this point in the post I am exhausted (and I'm sure you are too) so I am going to go to bed. Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

National FSA Conference--Go!

I have a big trip coming up and I am very excited! In a week I will be flying out to Colorado and driving with Meg to spend time in Utah and then on my own to good old Idaho.

While I am in Utah we will be attending the Families Supporting Adoption Conference. I am very excited to go this year because last year was great! I would highly suggest it to every one.

For birth parents (they don't forget the birth fathers there) it helps remind you that you are not alone. I have never been in a room with so many other birth mothers. There are other women that understand your pain. It was uplifting, and insightful, and healing. Last year I sat there wishing Meg was with me to experience the highs and lows of the conference. I wanted her to be as up lifted and blessed as I felt. I am so excited to be able to attend the conference with Meg this year. If you are a birth mother GO! You'll learn how to deal better. You'll find even more peace and comfort in your decision and make more wonderful supportive friends. If you need a friend to sit by and hold your hand, email me. Meg will sit on one side and I will sit on the other.

For adoptive parents (or perspective adoptive parents) it helps to educate! It helps you understand birth parents so much more. It gives you ideas on how to strengthen your relationship with your child's birth parents and better communicate your needs, thoughts, and desires regarding your ever evolving relationship. You'll learn about the benefits of open adoption. You'll learn how to introduce the fact your child was adopted to them. You will be brought to tears and feel the spirit. C and L were two more people I wished were at the conference with me last year. Not necessarily because they need education, but because I love them and felt closer to them even though they were not there. I wanted them to be uplifted by the stories and insights too.

For adopted children (really it's for adult or teen adoptive children) it reminds you of how much you are loved by your birth parents. It reminds you that you are so special and so important that your birth parents did what ever they needed to to give you the best. You will learn that your birth parents think of you often and will never forget about you. It will give you more insight to how to deal with being an adoptive child.

For friends and supporter it will give you a better idea of how to be there for what ever member of the triad you happen to be closely related to.

If you are a perspective birth mother/father/grand mother/etc PLEASE come! There is something for you. I will be teaching a class with my wonderful co presenter Alli, called Step by Step: Pregnancy to Placement. We will give you many helpful tips and suggestions to help you in your decision making process. It will be great!

It is next weekend! I can't believe it is so close. Because there is an awesome Fillet Mignon dinner after the sessions Friday night you need to register to help the conference people prepare. the cost is $45 a person and no charge to birth parents and their families.

Visit familiessupportingadoption.blogspot.com for more information on the conference and registration.

*Man, I should get paid for all the promoting I have done for these guys! Then again seeing all the members of my adoption family next weekend is payment enough. -so cheesy! :D

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not just any seven year old

Recently B had his seventh birthday. (I purposely didn't write about him on his birthday). And then two days after that was the anniversary of when I placed little B in the arms of his parents. That story is one for another time. There has been something on my mind that I can't not stop thinking about. It was a conversation I had with a friend of mine on B's birthday.

For some reason it wasn't the best B birthday I have ever had.

Actually I know the reason. It was the mixture of a hard anniversary and the day of my pms where I cry over anything. PMS and placement pictures can be a dangerous mixture. That's for sure.

On B's birthday I was working on a deadline at work and was up early with my boss, Kristi, at a client's home getting it ready for the photographer. Things were busy and a little rushed. Both the client and Kristi know about B and my story. They are friends of mine and (Kristi especially) had front row seats as I went through my pregnancy. I wanted to mention to them what that day happened to be, but I wondered why. Did I just want attention? Did I expect them to react in a certain way? Looking back I've decided my motivation was simply a desire to share that day with someone else. Not many people know about B and it has been so many years that the event has seemed to fade into the background as they carry on with life. It's just nice some times to have some one else remember with me and acknowledge it's being. B's being. Well, things were so rushed that I didn't mention a thing. We finished the job and left.

After work I found myself in a friend's room helping her fold her laundry feeling that same urge to remind her what day it was.

So I said "Today is B's birthday".
"Oh that's nice" she said as she folded her husbands pants.

I guess I wanted a little more then that so I said, "It's strange to think I could have a seven year old right now isn't it?" (And here is the moment that has stuck in my mind.)

She responded with, "Yeah, but aren't you glad you don't?"

I was taken back by this question. To me it implied that I didn't want B. That I didn't want the responsibility of raising B. I felt like in her mind as soon as I placed B with his parents I wiped my brow and said "phew, I sure dodged a bullet on that one." It was very opposite to that actually.

After I over came my initial shock I managed to get out an "uh....well, uh....yeah, kind of."
She seemed as surprised at my comment as I was at hers. "Kind of?" She acted as if this was a sad thing and that I had not healed or was still in the past. I felt like this whole conversation was very strange since I had talked to this friend about my feelings and the adoption before. Nonetheless I felt I needed to explain my "kind of".

"Well, I mean I love my life but I do miss him."

That was the point she leaned closer to me, put her hand on my knee, and said: "Don't worry. Your time will come Deborah." Are you kidding me? Even now I am to speechless to express myself adequately. I wasn't worried I wouldn't have children in the future. I look forward to that time and those experiences but that was not what this was about. It wasn't just any seven year old we were talking about. It was B. The baby who grew underneath my heart for 9 months. The baby I played poking games with. The baby I talked to and who I had already fallen in love with. The baby I spent so much time and energy deciding the best way to give him the best life possible. Motherhood can happen again for me, but B is irreplaceable.

Now I don't want you to think that I regret my decision because I don't. I just felt like she was not acknowledging B as a human being that I created and thus miss sometimes.

Adoption is a wonderful wonderful thing. It blesses so many people in so many different ways. But I did not place B to dodge a bullet. There were lots of prayers, tears, and sleepless nights when that decision was made. I so desperately wanted him. I placed him so he could have the blessings I wanted him to have immediately. I knew that if I decided to be a single parent it would be hard but we would be ok. I hoped eventually I would be able to give him the things I dreamed for him. But I wanted more for him and I knew that I could give him those things immediately through adoption. How my life was going to change was not a driving factor because let's face it. Either way my life was going to change.

Am I glad I don't have a seven year old? Let me rephrase that. Am I glad I don't have B? No because again, that makes it sound like I didn't want him and I miss him every day. Am I glad he has the life he has and the family he has and the wonderful parents he has? Absolutely! Am I grateful for the blessings I have enjoyed in my life because of adoption? Yes. Do I attribute the fabulous life I have today to placing B for adoption? No. I think the quality of one's life is based on one's perspectives and choice. If I had a seven year old today I am very confident I would still have a fabulous life. Just a different one with different challenges.

I love you B! I am proud of you and am so glad you were born!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Happy Birthday L!

WOW! It's been a long time since I've blogged. Recently two very special people in my adoption story have celebrated birthdays! My birth son B and his adoptive mother L. I have wanted to write a post about L for a little while and what better time to do it then now, to celebrate her birth?

What can I say about L? She is amazing. But isn't that what almost every birth mother says about the adoptive parents they have chosen for their child? In my case it is true. Really. When I was considering all my options during my pregnancy I hadn't completely made up my mind on adoption. I wanted so much for my little baby and knew I could not give it all to him when I wanted him to have it. I did not want him to go one day with out the blessings he deserved. But I looked at profile after profile and I could not find the right people to raise my sweet little son. And there was no way I was going to give my child to a couple who was not perfect for him. When I found C and L's profile I knew they were perfect and I have been in awe of L ever since. She was everything that I admired and still is. She loves being a mother and is really good at it. I love watching her interact with her children on videos she sends me.

After placement L and I wrote letters to each other pretty regularly. At first, my motivation was to hear about B and how he was doing. But eventually my communication with her evolved to me wanting to know how she and C were doing. My relationship with her became about more then just B. I value her and C's friendship and love them for so many reasons. I respect L and see so many qualities in her that I want to have. I would do almost anything for her. My heart breaks when I think of challenges she may be facing and the heartache she has being a part of the adoption world. I wish I could fix them all make everything better for her always.

I feel like my ability to express myself tonight is limited. L I love you and am so grateful for you. What a wonderful mother and friend you are. Thank  you for all you do for me and how kind, sweet, and considerate you always are of me. Thanks for taking care of me so well when I needed it so much. Happy Birthday! I am so glad you were born!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One of the forgotten mothers

I love reading Stephanie's blog about being a birth mother. (Stephanie, I will miss you in the blogging world!) In one of her posts she had a link this article about birth mothers on mothers day. I remember reading through the post and fully intending to click on the article but never got around to it. Now that mother's day is almost a month past, I finally pulled it up. It talks about the forgotten mothers on mothers day. The ones who don't receive flowers or burnt pancakes for breakfast that day.

As I read the short article I kept thinking about how I never imagined myself to be one of those mothers. I never imagined myself having to spend mothers day watching other mothers receive the hand made cards and macaroni necklaces. I always thought I would be there for all of my children's firsts....and seconds....and thirds for that matter. But really who ever imagines themselves as a birth mother? 

Although I never imagined myself to have the title of birth mother, it is mine and I love it. It is a title I hold close to my heart and was given to me because of sweet little B. Because of that title, he is my motivation to accomplish great things in my life. I want to be some one B is proud to call his birth mother. Every thing good that I have accomplished in my life is because one day if B wants to have more of a relationship with me, or even if he just asks his mom to tell him stories about me, I want him to be able to be happy about what he learns. I want him to know that he comes from strong people who pick themselves up when they have fallen. People who are not afraid of a challenge.

I never imagined myself being a birth mother, but because I am B's birth mother, I do my best to leave others better then I found them. Because I am B's birth mother, I am getting the most education I possibly can. Even when it is hard. Because I am B's birth mother, when I am faced with a choice between wrong and right I ask myself, what would make B proud to call me his birth mother? I hope one day he will know of the impact he has had on my life and the lives of so many who he doesn't even know. He is the inspiration for good in my life and any others that I can reach. He is a pretty great kid and so I am trying to be the kind of birth mother he deserves to match.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

After seven mother's days I have learned that I never know what the day is going to hold for me. There have been some mother's days where I could barely handle getting through the day and couldn't seem to shake the thoughts of my own motherhood given up. And then there have been some when I don't understand why people seem so concerned about me because the day was about my own mother and how grateful I am for her.

This year was good. I went to church ready to hear talks filled with how grateful people are for their mothers and how much they LOVE being a mother themselves. I didn't need to practice the I am happy and unaffected by what is being said act because I have that one down pat. I wore my cutest outfit like I always do, put on my birthstone necklace B's parents gave me at placement like I always do, and prepared to put on a show like I always do. I showed up and to my surprise the talks were about family history. The primary children got up to sing (which usually is something that makes the waterworks start for me) and they sang I am a Child of God rather then Mother Dear. I went to Sunday school and we talked about parables. I went to Relief society and we talked about honesty. It wasn't until the end of the meetings that the bishop came in with the mother's day gifts and talked about how grateful he was for the women of the church. Not mothers but the women. I turned to a sister sitting next to me and expressed how grateful I was that they did not make this day about mothers. She agreed.

But as the day progressed I started to think more and more about B and how much I missed him. I got antsier and antsier. I tried to keep busy thinking that would keep my mind off of the day. I went to a dear friend's house and had dinner with that friend, her six boys, my mother, and my sisters. I needed that. It was nice to have the hugs and attention from boys that I love and make me happy.

Later that night I got a text from B's Adoptive mother with pictures and videos of him and it made my day! It completely got rid of the struggle I had been fighting to keep my self from crying and I now could not stop smiling. I sure love that little boy and it makes me happy to see him. I am grateful for my own mother and what a wonderful support she is to me.

Some time's when I am answering ask a birth mother questions I talk about some of what it means to be a mother. Being a mother means you love someone more then your self. You begin to put the needs of another human being above your own wants and desires. You are called to do what is best for your child and provide them with the best life that you can. That is what I did for little B. I gave him the best life and parents that I possibly could at the time. I am so grateful for his wonderful Mother. I don't think there is a better person I could have chosen to be B's mom. I love her and look up to her very much. She loves her children and gives them the all love and security they need. She teaches them to be better people and has helped them to become wonderful kids. She creates a happy and healthy home for B and makes sure he knows just how much he is loved. I love you L. Thank you for being such a good example to me of what kind of mother I want to be.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birth Mother Support Group

It’s a little late but at 6 mst (8 pm east coast time) there is a birth mother support group on facebook. I am putting the information below but it is a wonderful thing. For those of you who are exploring your options or are a birthmother and would like to talk with other birthmothers….go get on facebook. I wont be there because I have class. (yes I am in class right now) The information is below! Have a wonderful day!

The support group will be held every 4th Thursday of the month on facebook. Search “LDSFS Expectant Parent/Birth Parent Support Group” and request to join because it will be a closed group (for obvious reasons). The dates of the group are are listed below. If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Lyon at 801-240-3096 or at sagerssd@ldschurch.org.

A borrowed post

About 6 months ago I wrote a few posts on my personal blog about adoption. It probably was what inspired me to start writing on this blog again. Anyway, I thought I would share it with you just for fun!

Some times I read The R House Blog. November is adoption awareness month and it's author has issued a challenge to celebrate by blogging about adoption everyday. When I read her challenge I knew there was no way I could blog everyday, but I decided I could blog at least once a week. I don't know if it is the lack of sleep or what but I am finding myself a bit emotional tonight. I have never spoken about adoption before on my blog and honestly I am at a loss as to what to say. It may be because this is something that is so close to my heart that I don't share my feelings about it very often if at all. The thought of talking about it on cyber space is a bit paralyzing. But I made the goal to take the challenge and so here it goes.....

I feel like I should write something quick and uplifting about adoption and then my goal is done for the week! With regards to the topic....This year has been a hard one for me. HA How is that up lifting? I am getting there. Yesterday as I was cleaning the kitchen, I couldn't help but think about how different my life could have been. I am usually pretty strong when it comes to this but sometimes.....you just can't help the what ifs. After my minute vacation on the other side of the fence I began to think of all of the joy in my life because a choice was made for adoption to be a familiar thing.

I feel very strongly that adoption blesses the lives of all parties involved.
For those who for whatever reason are hoping for children, adoption blesses them with the gift of parenthood. People often say that no other joy exceeds that of being a parent. Adoption gives that joy to couples who are not able to experience it otherwise.

For the birth parents who choose to place for adoption it gives them opportunities to provide their child with a home they always imagined for them. Although adoption is made with the welfare of the baby in mind it often allows the birth parents with opportunities to grow and develop in wonderful ways.

But most importantly adoption is a blessing for the child. In most cases the child is loved and adored by both a mother and a father in a stable home. That sweet child is often given every opportunity the adoptive couple can afford. That little baby not only has one family who thinks about them and prays for them, but they have two families who do that.

I wish I could express the joy that can come through adoption but I lack the words.

My heart is full when I think of how it has touched my life and the lives of those I love so dearly. I feel like in this society adoption is thought of as the easy way out and is very under appreciated. However adoption is probably one of the greatest tender mercies the Lord can provide. It requires a great amount of selfless love that in my opinion makes adoption a difficult choice but a huge miracle to the lives of so many people.

Adoption is an incredible gift and I truly am grateful for it's blessings in my life. It enriches my life daily and continues to refine and bless me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So much to carry!

I am on a bus to TN. We've been driving for 6 hours with about three more to go. So what better thing to do then blog? Right? I've been thinking a lot about how I felt when I found out I was pregnant. I am also thinking about a few of the young girls I know who currently have been finding out they are pregnant. My heart goes out to them. I mentioned in my last post the sisterhood of birth mothers and the instant love we feel for one another, but I also feel an instant love for those just finding out about their pregnancy and beginning their journey of choices. I dont think any unwed teenaged mother fully understands the emotional rollercoaster of a ride she is in for.

I remember when I first found out it didn't seem real. Sure I had missed my period, but there was no other indication I was pregnant. I wasnt sick, I wasnt showing, and I wasnt planning for this. I was unusually calm. I knew it was true but the reality of the situation hadn't quite set in. It wasnt until my mother asked me a question after I told her the news that it set in. "So what are you going to do?" I quickly gave her a few undeveloped thoughts only later to think "what AM I going to do?" I was 18 years old and graduated from high school. I had somethings going for me, but I didn't have a job. I didn't have a college degree, or a place to live, or even a ROOM of my own.

It was amazing to me how many people "knew" what the right thing was for my baby and how willing they were to tell me what I should do. I was overwhelmed with the judgements and the opinions. I felt torn between my family and my.....my....kind of boyfriend?. I also was weighed down but the new responsibility of caring for a new human being. Just a few months before, my biggest concern was what nail poslish to wear to graduation and if the boy who sat next to me liked me. Now it was getting enough sleep and nutrients for my baby. All of a sudden life was no longer about me. It was about giving my baby everything he needed.

What a weight it is to carry so young. It isnt until you have children of your own that you realize, you dont know everything and your parents were right about eatting those veggies. I completely understand the stress it is to be so young and have so much responsibility. It is so important to have someone to talk to and someone who will support you. The last thing a girl needs is judgement. The most important thing she needs is love and acceptance.

Although adoption isn't the answer for everyone, I am grateful for it in my life. When I honestly looked at it. And I mean HONESTLY. It was the way I was able to give my son everything I have ever wanted for him. It is not an easy thing do do. Adoption is not for the weak. I love my litte boy and still seven years after his birth would give my life for him. It warms my heart to see his smiles. Although it was the hardest choice for me it was the best choice for him.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

The Sisterhood

I have a little bit more energy tonight so I think I will write some more. Many may not know this but Meg is B's little sister's Birth Mother. So in case you didn't quite understand that last part, Meg and I both placed with the same couple. Basically I love her very much. Really we have only been together in person once, but she is like a sister to me.

 We have a special connection and I would do just about anything for this girl.  For those of you who do not read my personal blog, I have given up facebook for Lent. This means that my number one way of communicating with this cute girl is gone! So I don't talk to her as much and don't get to stalk her facebook wall anymore like I used to. I miss her. I saw her picture tonight and I thought, "oh, I love her". It reminded me of the other birth mothers I know who I love so nearly and dearly. 

You see, when you place a child for adoption, you enter into a special category. It is what I call "The Sisterhood".  You have a special experience that only those who have gone through placing for adoption can understand and truly appreciate. It bonds you together and you feel a closeness. I have never met a birth mother I didn't love. Have I met some I didn't want to be best friends with? Yes. But I have never met one I didn't feel an instant love and closeness to. It's a warm happy feeling when you meet a new birth mother. You know you are not alone. When you find this sisterhood there is a bit of relief. There are women out there you can cry with and express your fears, and anger, and joy with. It's a special sisterhood. A sacred sisterhood. 

My heart always goes out to those birth mothers who do not know any other birth mothers or about the sisterhood and carry their burdens alone. If you are one of them, please come join us! The sooner the better! All are welcome!

Just some thoughts for tonight

      I haven't posted for a while (I might explain my absence later) but I thought I would write a quick little note before going to bed. On my desk is a picture. It's a picture of cute little B at one year old. Every time I look at it my heart melts. I just want to kiss his cute cubby little cheeks. Seriously, I make cute babies! He's not a baby any more though. He is almost 7 years old and one really cute kid! As a one year old I thought he looked like me. I can see so many of my family's facial features in him. But now as he is growing he is starting to look more and more like his Birthfather. He has M's smile and as weird as it sounds, his earlobes. (if M were to read this he would swear he had my ears but I'm not budging on the earlobe thing) He has my forehead but that's all I can see of mine now. But what I love is to hear about his sweet personality! That he got from me! I may be a little biased but the stories about the cute little things he does remind me of me when I was a kid. Some people may not believe it but I actually had a really tender heart as a child. I could tease my siblings as good if not better then the rest of them, but I empathized with people really well.
     I love hearing how he cried inconsolably when he heard about the people in haiti because "he just wanted them to be happy like he was", or when wanted to hug his dog when watching 8 below and had to turn it off because it made him too sad. I love hearing that his Sunday school teachers think he is one of the best and most spiritually in-tune kids in the class. What a wonderful little boy he is! What an amazing Man he will be. What wonderful parents he has! It will be exciting to see where the future leads him. But for right now I am thinking about kissing his chubby little cheeks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Blogger- Jori

Im sorry I am like 3 weeks late getting this up. Life with 5 month old twin girls is rough but amazing!!
Thank you Deb for asking me to share my story. Your so amazing.  You were the first birth mom that I met and helped me with my healing process, even if it was only through emails. By the way... I am writing a book! It will be a collection of true stories. All about the wonderful gift of adoption. I would love to hear your story if you are a: * Birth mother * Adoptee * Adoptive parent Please email me your story. If you would like to remain anonymous that is up to you. Depending on how many stories I get, your story might be edited for space. If there is a large amount I will do more then one book. We will see. I am doing this for the one young girl who feels like no one has ever been in her shoes. Who feels like she has no options. Maybe if she reads my story or yours she will know what a blessing adoption is!! So pread the word...Let everyone who has been touched by adoption that this is their chance to be heard and to share their amazing story!!! email me at jorireid@hotmail.com.

Here is my story--

The article in the January 2008 Ensign magizine titled “Why Adoption?” touched my personal life so deeply I felt inspired by the Holy Ghost to share my story. After reading February’s 2009 article I could not put off writing it any longer. I just hope my story helps someone else going through what I went through.When you love someone unconditionally, you do what is best for them, not yourself. It was hardest lesson I ever learned, placing my daughter for adoption. It was also the best thing I have ever done. Early in 2008 a family knelt down for prayer in their home in Provo, Utah. During their prayer they told the Lord that they felt that their family was not yet complete and when he was ready to send them another baby they would be ready. They had no idea that their prayer would be answered so soon. The next night the couple received a phone call about a young woman in his home ward back in Delaware that was pregnant and thinking about adoption.
I found out in the beginning of February 2008 that I was pregnant. The news was more than I could handle. I was 20 years old and nearly done with my college education. I was so nervous to tell my parents. They had raised me in the gospel with strong values and morals. They were disappointed but love and cared for me. Adoption was already a big part of my life. I was adopted by my parents as a small baby. I knew the blessings that came from adoption, yet at the same time during my teenage years I found myself upset and angry with my birth mother that I never knew for giving me up and not wanting me. I now know how wrong I had been. I began to weigh all of my options. When I found out that I would be having a girl my heart was full of joy and excitement.
In June 2008 I had the most spiritual experience of my life. I met with the young man who lived in Utah with his family. They were friends of my family long before I was born. As I sat with him, he told me about his other two adopted children who I had met before and their stories. He told me how he and his wife would be honored to raise my daughter. It was finally my turn to speak. My chest began to burn and tears filled my eyes as I tried to talk. I was having doubts about adoption after finding out the baby was a girl. At that moment all of my doubts faded and I knew from that instant that he and his wife were meant to raise my baby for this life and eternity. By the end of the meeting we all were crying. Not only were their prayers answered, but mine were as well. I will never forget that tremendous testimony building experience as long as I live.
The last five months of my pregnancy flew by before my eyes and it was October before I knew it. I was writing emails to the family in Utah keeping them updated with my doctor’s appointments and even sent a few pictures of my growing belly. Knowing they were unable to have children of their own my heart went out for them. I wanted to make the experience about them instead of me, since they have never been able to witness their other two children’s births. I decided that I wanted them both in the room when she was born and I wanted the adopted father to cut her umbilical cord. I threw his wife a baby shower just days before the baby arrived. It was all so wonderful. The women in my ward showed me such kindness and service, never judging. They all were in attendance at the baby shower.
Two days later Talia arrived. All that I asked was that I get to spend those two days in the hospital with her and then she could go with them. Those two nights were a mixture of joy and sadness. I was so happy that she was finally here, yet sad because I knew that she would be leaving me shortly. From the time I found out I would be placing her for adoption to stay focused I kept a journal that I wrote in everyday of my pregnancy up until after she was born telling her how much I loved her, what she meant to me and why I choose adoption. I gave it to her parents who agreed to give it to her when she was older. I thought since I knew I would be placing her for adoption five months before she was born it would be so simple. I was wrong. I held her as much as I could, studied all her little features and tried to memorize them. They stayed a week after she was born and brought her over for my family to see her a lot. I didn’t know it was possible to love something so little so much. When they left our house and drove to the airport if felt like a piece of me was going with them. I did not think it would be so difficult to watch her go. In my heart I knew I was doing the right thing and my family was such a huge support to me.
About a month after she was born my mom and I flew out to Utah to sign my rights away and to visit. Signing my name at the bottom of that paper was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. Leaving her that time was harder than the first. But since then I have received many pictures of her and updates about her and the family. How eternally grateful I am that she has two of the greatest parents Heavenly Father could possible have given her.
In June of 2009 my number one goal for her came true, they took her to the temple in Utah and had her sealed as apart of their family for all time and eternity. What a great blessing it is for me to know that I helped another daughter of God find her eternal family. That gives me such great joy that I cannot express. The song by Michael McLean called “From God's Arms, to my Arms, to Yours” sums up my entire story. I feel so strongly that she came to earth through me, but not to me. I now know that Heavenly Father does not make mistakes. Talia was sent at this time for a reason. She has changed my life forever. She helped me see life in a whole new light and change the way I was living. She saved me along with the great and powerful atonement of Jesus Christ. The road to repentance can be long and not easy but I testify that it is so worth it in the end. I am so grateful for the love that Jesus offers me and I know that he will always be there for me in my time of need. I am indeed grateful for this experience that I went through because it has taught me numerous things. I know adoption is not for everyone but it has certainly blessed my life beyond measure. I have been truly blessed since 2008. I found my birth mother week of Mothers Day 2009 and we have a amazing relationship that grows daily. November of 2009 I married my best friend in the Washington DC Temple and we now I have been blessed to be the mother I was suppose to be to my twin girls who are now 5 months old.
 How blessed I have been for making the right choice.