Friday, May 18, 2012

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Sterling

Sterling with the son she placed
Today's featured blogger is Sterling of My Adoption Journey: a birthmother's story.  Let's find out a little more about Sterling...

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 Sterling Bo Lloyd. I'm 22 years old and my husband and I live in Roy, Utah. I placed a sweet little boy for adoption almost 2 years ago. When I initially found out that I was unwed and pregnant, I decided to move home to be with my parents. They were disappointed and very sad that I had to go through so much pain, but they were very supportive and loving. Almost immediately, my mom wanted me to seek counseling so that I could get help emotionally and mentally... we didn't even consider the idea of adoption at the beginning. One month into counseling at LDS Family Services, my caseworker and I started talking about how to make a plan for my baby. Since I was living at home with my mom and her husband, my step-dad, I was beginning to see what a healthy, functional family looked like. I began going to church with them and slowly grew an appreciation and respect for a family - one with a mom AND a dad.  I didn't always have my dad around growing up, and it was very difficult. I didn't want my little boy to suffer for the mistakes I had made. His (birth) father would be involved in his life, but he didn't want ME. It tore me up to think about my child growing up being carted between parents. It wasn't fair to him. He deserved more than I could offer at the time. I'm also of the LDS faith and believe in the principle of eternal families - that families still exist after this life through a sealing ordinance (visit for more information)... I couldn't be sealed to my baby when he was born, or until he was 18 unless his (birth) father gave permission, which he said he would never do. My baby deserved an eternal family, and I had no guarantee that it was possible then, if ever. I began emailing Dave and Amy when I was 3 months pregnant, and when I finally met them at 6 months I knew they were his family. I had no doubt, and the feeling of peace (bittersweet) was so powerful that I couldn't deny it was the right decision for me and my little boy.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I began blogging when I was 18 and had first moved to college.  At the time I had plans to change the world through writing.  I had a blog that I essentially used as a journal. I would post my thoughts and rants about how unfair society is, really dark and disturbed stuff, and my pathetic love life. My second year of college I decided that if I wanted to be a serious writer, I had to have a blog that was themed. I had to have a strong stance on something... the problem was that I couldn't decide what that was. I couldn't do satire, it's not my thing. Politics were out. I wasn't the crafty type... so I dabbled for a year and almost gave up.  Then, when I began making an adoption plan for my sweet little boy, I needed an outlet. I needed a place where I could talk about my feelings and also seek advice from other women who had gone through what I was going through. I thought that if I could survive placement and move forward, it would be a good resource someday for others going through the heartache of an unwed pregnancy. This started my Diary of a Birthmom blog.

Tell us more about the title of your blog.  Why did you choose it?

I chose the name of my blog, Diaryof a Birthmom, because I felt it was catchy.  I'd read similar titles before, Diary of a Madman, Diary of a Vampire, Diary of a Wimpy Kid... I figured that was the closest I could get to having anything "memorable" in the writing world. That was me trying to be clever whilst pregnant. :-)

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

It's been mostly positive.  I've had the occasional negative comment, as most hot-topic bloggers do, but to be honest I generally delete negative comments or let my adoption advocate friends rip them to shreds. :-)

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?

My must-reads are listed on the top left column of my blog. They are:

"The Other Side of Sorrow," which is actually written by my little boy's mom, Amy, about their struggle with infertility and the years leading up to placement.  I bawl every time I read it, and it has helped others who read my blog and know my story understand the other side of things, and why I truly believe adoption is beautiful and perfect.

"Remember, it's okay to miss him," which I wrote just a few weeks after placement. I had some very raw emotion, and when I read back I can feel it all again.

"A Mother's Prayer" is the post about hospital, placement, and immediate post-placement. It was the most helpless and bittersweet time of my life, but I knew that if I shared then others might be able to find hope.

Others I really like are "a strong kind of broken"  from May 20, 2010, and the two posts following it. They were written when my step-dad passed away. He was very influential in helping me decide to place, and supported me constantly. He went into a coma ten days before I delivered and placed, and never came out of it. He passed away three months after I placed my little boy, and that experience changed me completely.

My favorite, though, is from this past year. I got married to the most incredible man in the world. I only did a short post, but it still makes me smile. It's in June 2011. Go have a read.

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

Really decide if what you are going to blog about is worth it, and if you can stick to your values and opinions. Have a purpose for your blog. The tiniest bit of negativity, especially if you want to blog about a hot-topic such as adoption, can really feel devastating. The most important thing is to be honest, open, and compassionate. Also, be original. Be sure YOUR personality is shining through each post, not some generic what-the-world-wants-to-hear personality. I love reading blogs that make me feel as if I know the person and can feel what they are feeling.  If I laugh, cry, or get angry... I know it's a good blog. :-)

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