Friday, February 17, 2012

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Danielle

Today's featured blogger is Danielle of Another Version of Mother.  Let's find out a little more about Danielle....

First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age, where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).

My name is Danielle and I am a birthmother.   I am 26, almost 27. I love reading, writing and coffee.   I live in Canada, with my husband, and two parented children. 

When I was 17, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. I had been using contraception to prevent, but still wound up with a positive pregnancy test. The birth father and I had broken up about a month before I officially found out about the pregnancy. Our relationship, due to circumstances and our being naïve, was not repairable.  He was very much absent from the entire pregnancy; it wasn't until a year or so after that we began to speak again. 

I wouldn't say that I chose an adoption plan personally, as much as I was guided, and demanded to do so. My parents are highly religious and it was pushed on me from the moment I told them I was pregnant. Being so young, and feeling like I had to be obedient to my parents’ wishes, I complied. I knew my only real options were parenting or adoption.  Abortion just didn't feel like the choice I could make at that moment (but I am very pro-choice!).   I was told in certain terms that if I parented the child, I would be on my own entirely.  So I went with adoption.   It's taken me years to come to terms with how my adoption plan was really not even mine to begin with.  It will be something I struggle with likely for the rest of my life.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I've always written things regarding the adoption.  I just never shared it with anyone.  This past year, thanks to other inspiring birthmothers, I have finally taken the brave step in talking about my experiences in the adoption process. This has been an incredible part of the journey for me as a birthmother. It has been therapeutic to dig deep and write about these intense and raw moments in my life, ones that I had repressed for almost the last decade.  It's definitely empowering!
Tell us more about the title of your blog.  Why did you choose it?

My blog title is "Another Version of Mother" because I am another version of mother. So often birthmothers are not recognized properly, or even as what they are: a mother. We are another version of mother. Even after relinquishing parental rights we still remain a mother.  We are always a mother. 

Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?

They’ve been positive, which has been brilliant and encouraging for me!  I'm sure it won't always be this way, but for the time being everyone has been "welcoming". It's been really incredible to have people say to me, "Keep writing, keep sharing! Your voice is needed!" I truly feel blessed to have had such a positive response so far. 

What post on your blog do you consider a “must read” for people visiting your blog for the first time?  Or what post(s) from your blog is (or are) your favorite(s) and why?

This post is more recent, but I love it.  When it was featured on BlogHer, it made me cry. To know people see the beauty in it, despite the tough feelings of loneliness, and regret, is so amazing! I am actually proud of myself for being able to relive this memory for the sake of putting it out there.  This one goes through the day I found out I was pregnant, the waiting game I played, and the internal dialogue I had with myself.  This post talks about discussing my personal experiences in real life with others, and I still feel strongly that no matter where you are in your journey, it's your choice as a birthparent, adoptee, or adoptive parent to share the story as you wish. 

However, some of my favorite blog posts are not always the most well written. They are the ones where I piece things together for myself, where I recognize traits that I have picked up along the way, and am able to grow as a person. 

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog? 

Just do it. I spent so many years terrified to share my own experiences. I felt like I couldn't, that I shouldn't. But I'm seeing that it's impacting not only me for the better, but also inspiring moments of epiphanies in others. I love the camaraderie that comes from sharing experiences like this through writing.

Thank you for allowing us to spotlight you, Danielle!

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