Friday, August 27, 2010

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Kathryn

This weekend’s featured birthmom blogger is Kathryn of Letters to my Baby. Let’s get to know Kathryn a little better…..

First of all, Kathryn, please tell us a little bit about yourself. (Name, age, where you are from, what led to you making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfy sharing!)

My name is Kathryn and I am born and raised in the state of Utah with a brief stint in Missouri as a child.  I have anticipation of traveling all over the United States and Europe... one day when I can actually afford it, but for right now just dreaming, haha.  I am the youngest of 8 children and I have 18 beautiful nieces and nephews.  My son is the 19th grandchild for my parents and he was born 7 weeks after his little cousin who is my oldest sister’s youngest son.  So, yeah, our family is full of squishy adorable little babies and children.

I knew from the moment I found out that I was pregnant that I was not in a place where I could raise my son the way I had always dreamed of raising my children.  I was living in student housing and student housing standards where I lived strongly opposed against single pregnant mothers and so I had to find another place to live, so essentially I didn't even have a place to live.  I was in ridiculous debt and in a job that was not conducive to raising a child on my own.  I was in a bad position, not only emotionally, but physically and financially.  As much as I wanted to raise my son, I knew it wasn't a realistic dream, not for any inconvenience to me, but because I knew he deserved better than what I could offer him.  Baby Daddy is also an extremely dangerous man and I didn't ever want him to know about my son, so when I found out I was pregnant, I quit my job and moved far away where Baby Daddy couldn't find me; and trust me, he did try to find me, but I remained well hidden.  I didn't know where to go and then my mom told me about LDS Family Service.  I started to work with a case worker through LDS Family Services to learn about the options I had available to me.  I was about 4 months pregnant when I began making my placement plan.  I didn't start seriously looking in to families until about month 7 and I delivered the news to the couple I chose about 2 weeks before I ended up delivering my little baby boy.

When and why did you begin blogging?
I began blogging very shortly after I delivered.  Maybe about 3 weeks afterwards.  I became zealous over finding people who had experienced the same kind of trauma I had... Nothing can prepare you for the moment you place your child in the arms of someone else to raise.  I had been preparing for that moment for months and it still... nothing can prepare you for that moment.  What I am about to say sounds so dark and depressing, but it truly is the only way to describe that moment... for me anyway, but I literally died on the car ride home from the hospital... my soul died and the birth of the new me began.  It's tragic and quite beautiful at the same time.  The old me died and the new me was created.  It was sacred and to this day... still catches my breath in my chest when I remember it all.  I wanted to find people that understood that feeling.  And then I started coming across all sorts of blogs relating to infertile couples and as I read them I began to realize that they've experienced that same feeling I experienced, only I believe that they have experienced it more often than I have.  They've experienced the loss of that dream child repeatedly... and, I wanted to connect with them.  The only way I know how to write is from my heart.  I'm actually a Creative Writing minor at University and so I've always loved writing, but I never knew what my voice was, and I finally now know my voice and the story I want to share and through blogging I am able to do that. 

Tell us more about the title of your blog – Letters to my Baby – and why you choose to write most of your posts as letters?
My biggest concern throughout my entire pregnancy was that my son, when he was older, would feel abandoned by me.  I have a couple of friends who were adopted and adoption was always a hush-hush topic in their household that was bordering on the taboo and they grew up feeling ashamed about who they are and that was something I never wanted my son to feel.  He is nothing to be ashamed about.  He is not a mistake; he is a gift in the life of everyone he comes to know.  My entire pregnancy, the one consistent question I had was, "If I could tell my son anything, what would it be?"  And so I started writing him letters while I was pregnant with him and those letters haven't stopped.  In fact, all of my siblings have written letters to him, as well as all of my aunts and uncles in my mother's family, my maternal grandmother, and my parents.  I am creating a book of letters for him that will let him know the type of woman I am based on the thoughts of those who know me best, me.  The letters from me to him are things that I've learned (specifically from the moment I found out I was pregnant with him) about life, people, and love.  I love him and I want him to always know that he is loved by more people than he'll ever know.  I also want the voice in my blog to ring true and deep with any adult out there who was adopted and unable to get answers to their questions.  I feel extremely maternal over any adoptee regardless of their age or race.  I want them to know they are loved no matter what the situation surrounding their specific adoption was.  To me there is nothing more personal than a letter from a loved one and so letters is how I choose to share my story.

Has the response to your blog posts been mostly positive or negative or a mix of both?
I am blessed to have experienced only positive feedback to my blog.  In all my interactions with people via the blog or a random stranger in the grocery mart line, my experience has been mostly positive.  I've found that majority of people outside the small circle of adoption simply do not know a whole lot about adoption, especially open adoption and I take extreme pleasure in expressing my feelings and my knowledge with them.  I think that if you approach this topic with a sense of learning and educating that you are going to have better reciprocation.  Then again, there are just really stupid and insensitive people out there who just don't care or want to know.  And that's fine.  I choose my battles and ignorant people are not one I choose.  I've heard of horrible experiences that other birth mothers have had and I've seen how it's affected them and it hurts because it resounds deep within me, but I don't let the fear of what happened to them and could happen to me control my desire to share my beautiful story of open adoption with others.  In fact, it fuels my passion further to advocate the beautiful gift that open adoption is.

Do you have any advice for anyone else thinking of starting a blog?
Figure out your voice.  What character are you in this novel called life and what audience do you want to appeal to?  Once you figure that out, you won't have a problem writing for them.  It will come naturally.  Also, and this is something I need to pay particular attention to, be aware of the mood you are in when you sit down to write.  You can definitely tell which posts I wrote when I was ticked off, lol.  If you are experiencing intense emotion, be it of joy or sadness, it will come through in your writing... that can be a good thing or a not-so-good thing.

Thank you Kathryn for your voice, your writing, and taking the time to answer these questions.

Be sure and visit Kathryn’s blog, Letters to My Baby


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  2. That was beautiful Kathryn! Thank you for sharing. You are an amazing woman! <3

  3. I think it is nice to write down letters to an adoptee. That is something special I would have liked to have had. When I was born in 1985, it had not yet become common place for surrendering mothers to be able to give things to an agency for an adoptee to have, let alone directly to the adoptee or even to the Adoptive Parents. Even with a few early 90's adoptees I have helped reunite, they were able to have letters and cards from the time of their birth. What a difference 5 or so years made in adoption practice.

    But I am reunited now and I do know how she feels and how much we love each other. But sometimes there are emotions that come with being adopted that make being adopted tough any way. That's not something she should take personally. It just is what it is.

    I think you and I might actually be the same age :-)

  4. Amanda, we are the same age. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time. Thank you for opening up and teaching me from your perspective.