|Lisa with her daughter|
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 Lisa Rezendez. I'm 31 years old and live in Portland, Oregon, though I was born in and spent the first 10 years of my life outside of Kansas City. I placed my beautiful daughter in a very open adoption on July 17th, 2012, two days after she was born.
I found out that I was first pregnant when I was almost 4 ½ months in. I'd been on Depo Prevera, which prevented me from getting my period, and hadn't had any pregnancy symptoms, so I was in utter shock when I first found out how far along I was. I had been in a very rocky relationship with a man who made it crystal clear that he wanted nothing to do with our child and wouldn't be supportive of me during the pregnancy, so our relationship quickly ended when I told him that I was going to have the baby. Despite my small business taking a serious blow from the failing economy leaving me with little income, not being able to afford health insurance, and going it alone, I still initially planned to parent my daughter.
This plan changed when the reality set in that I wasn't physically capable of caring for my daughter on my own. I'd been in an accident 12 years prior that left my body in pretty bad shape. I knew it would only take a few months before she grew too heavy for me to pick up or carry. As many resources as there are out there for single women to assist them with the financial and emotional responsibilities of motherhood, the one thing no one could offer me was a full time partner to do the heavy lifting that I wasn't capable of, so I made the decision to place my daughter for adoption.
When and why did you begin blogging?
I've been blogging off and on for years about various topics, but this is the first time I've written about anything personal. Shortly after I placed my daughter, I started writing about my experience just for myself. I wanted to sort out the memories to make better sense of them, and to have a record of it all for when my daughter gets older and has questions. I'd spent hours, days, weeks recording these stories, all just saved on my laptop.
In Early October, I had some serious technical difficulties with my laptop. The only resolution was to restore everything to original condition, and silly me, I hadn't backed up any of my personal files for weeks, meaning I lost all of the writing I'd done.
I was simply devastated at the thought of starting all over. But, when I began writing it all out again, it seemed a little less personal than the first time, so I slapped together a blog and started posting them there. Saving it all online also means I won't lose everything again in the next tech catastrophe.
Tell us more about the title of your blog, “Navigating Normal.” Why did you choose it?
It just seemed obvious. The word “normal” has been prominent in my paradigm since the second I found out I was pregnant. Friends and family kept telling me how everything would “go back to normal” after my daughter was born and placed. What no one bothered to tell me is that what was normal before wouldn't be the normal for after, and I'll likely spend the rest of my life redefining what that word means. I'm no longer the single, childless, carefree woman I was before. I'm a mother now, in my mind and heart, but not by societies standards. That's a life I never planned or prepared for. As I started diving in to the birth mother community, there seemed to be a common mantra...the new normal, we're all searching for it.
Also, I really like alliteration.
Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?
My blog's still pretty new, and I haven't made much of an effort to advertise it at all, so I haven't gotten many responses. Of the few I have they've all been positive 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?
Again, I'm pretty new. There are only a handful of posts so far, and I don't know if I've written anything truly relevant yet. I'm still stuck in the “trying to make sense of it all” phase of my writing. But, I guess the one thing I've written that gives the clearest picture of the duality of my birth-motherhood, it would be Halloween in Two Movements. It’s the closest I've been able to come to explaining how I can find joy and comfort in this experience at the same time that it can be emotionally devastating.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?
To ask someone who has a better understanding of blogging than me. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. :)