Friday, September 7, 2012

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Jan

Today's featured blogger is Jan of "Building Up Birthmothers."  Though her blog is fairly recent, her journey as a birth mom has been happening for quite a while.  Her experience and perspective as a birth mom who has a grown son that grew up in an open adoption is quite interesting.  I enjoy her perspective and think she has a lot of good things to say.  Without further ado, let's find out a little more about Jan...

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 Jan Collins. I am the birthmother of a 21 year old boy who is currently a junior in college. I am initially from Chicago but am currently attending graduate school in Texas, doing research about birthmother grief. I discovered that I was pregnant shortly after my boyfriend and I had broken up. He had already started seeing another girl and there was no question that our relationship was over. There was also no question that he would not be supportive of me during my pregnancy. I never intended to be THAT girl but knew that I had to make some life changing decisions for both me and my son. I chose adoption because I wanted my son to have the life that I had growing up, which included a mother and a father who loved each other and always looked out for my best interest. It's been 21 years and although there have been some very painful seasons in my life I have never regretted doing what was best for my baby.

Tell us more about the title of your blog, “Building Up Birthmothers.”  Why did you choose it?

I wanted something catchy but I also wanted something that really expressed my vision for this blog and that is to encourage birthmothers on their journey. I also hope that it will educate those who are unfamiliar with adoption and the concept of birthmother grief.

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

I created my blog a few months ago but just really started blogging and "advertising" in the past few weeks. Although I've noticed I have readers from all around the world, most of my comments are from Facebook friends that are supportive of me. No negative comments yet, but I also have to approve any responses before I post them. That's the safe way of doing it.

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?

I wrote a post called "Disenfranchised Grief and Ambiguous Loss" to help birthmothers understand their journey a bit better. It took me 20 years to really "get it". Maybe this will make it easier for another grieving birthmother. And for those who want to be uplifted spiritually, I posted two songs on the top right side of my page that are so encouraging to me. I hope they will be to others as well.

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

Make sure you have a clear purpose and goal and then be consistent.

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