Monday, June 30, 2014

Music Monday: There You'll Be by Faith Hill


"In my dreams I'll always see you soar above the sky
In my heart there'll always be a place for you for all my life
I'll keep a part of you with me
And everywhere I am there you'll be"



If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Extracting Humor and Joy



"Henry."

"Henry?"

"Yes, Henry.  You have a problem with Henry?"

"Why do you want to call him Henry?"

"Because then I can call him Indiana!"

Realization hits me.  My son's biological father is actually arguing for fan service when trying to decide on our child's name.  The child who ten minutes ago we decided we should place for adoption because that's the best thing that we can do for this kid still living in my belly.  We're famous for doing things backwards.  So, of course, we decide to place our child for adoption and then we start arguing about the name that he should have.

"We're not naming him Henry!"

"Then we're naming him Indiana!"

"No!!  This is not happening!"

This argument went on like this for about ten minutes before his mother came out of her bedroom to determine what we were shouting and laughing about.  After adding her disapproval to the pile of objections I had just spouted, he finally asks,

"Okay, fine.  What do you want to name him?"

"The only name I've ever had for a boy is J. P."  He thinks for a second.

"Why do you have that name?"

"Because every girl has done this at some point and because that was the name I was going to have if I was a boy.  J. P. is my great-grandfather's name."

"I like J.  I just don't like P."

"Okay, fine!  We can compromise on this.  What's his middle name then?"  He looks to his little brother who is slumped in a recliner after laughing at us for the past twenty minutes.

"Why don't we name him after my brother?  His middle name is N."

"J. N.  Okay.  Yeah.  I like it."

"Alright, there.  We have a name."  He sits down on the couch next to me and for the tenth time that day rubs my swollen belly trying to feel our kid moving around.

"What about a girl's name?"  *sigh*

I'll save you the suspense and tell you that the hilarious part is that we decided on a girl's name in about a minute flat.  But we had a boy on our hands.  So the girl's name was never needed.

About two weeks later, I was sitting in a room at the adoption agency with my boyfriend, my boyfriend's mother, my mother, my birth counselor, J's future parents, their adoption counselor, and I believe at least one other birth counselor.  All of us packed into one tiny room with a tiny fountain that didn't work.

"We have a name picked out for him," I say with some trepidation.  "It's up to you if you want to keep it.  But we do have a name."

"What is it?" they asked.

"J. N.  It's a combination of family names; one from mine and one from his."  They surprised me immediately when they liked the name and kept it.  At the time, his future dad said,

"If we had gotten pregnant and had gone through the whole process, we probably would have thought of something.  But I like that name.  It's good.  It's a good name."

A few weeks prior I had said to my mother after a particularly long and insane wait at the car rental place,

"Mother, you have to extract joy from life where you can!"

So, after making the most painful decision of our lives, we laughed as we argued over a name.  When meeting the people who we would give our child to, we found that they were happy to keep the name we had so hilariously argued over two weeks ago.  It is still his name.  It still reminds me of a hilarious twenty minute argument and it still makes me smile.  In situations like this, you must find joy and humor where you can.  It may look crazy to those on the outside.  But when shared with those closest to you, it will bind you together and comfort you when you just feel like busting apart and sending everyone away from you.

So, yes, his name is still J. N.  And it still makes me smile.

Quote of the Week: Trust Yourself





"Trust yourself, then you will know how to live."









If you have any suggestions for quotes, feel free to email me or post a comment!



Monday, June 23, 2014

Music Monday: Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble


"And I know someday that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life"


If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Quote of the Week: An Affirmation

After the week I have had (Reunion and a Wedding) I felt the need to post this affirmation as the quote of the week, because I really, really need to hear it.

"I am enough as I am.

I am worthy.

I am here to add value to the world, not to get approval from the world. "






If you have any suggestions for quotes, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

I have to tell you something...



“When you have a child, you’ll understand.”

That phrase spoken to me un-knowingly by a friend propelled me very quickly into a conversation I've now been having for nearly the past four years with a variety of people.

“Actually, Naomi, I do have a child.  He was placed for adoption.”

Let me just emphasize, until that moment, Naomi had no idea about my son or the whole adoption experience I had been through.  She really said that phrase because she was speaking about the choices she has to make as a single mother.  And, I agree, they are hard choices.  I had to make a very hard choice too.

When I placed my child for adoption, I had moved away from the town I had lived in for the past nine years and back home with my parents.  Their friends also knew me and were greatly supportive and also provided something of a boost for me when I and my parents were at odds.  But for the most part, I kept this to myself.  A very small population of my friends knew when it was all going on.  For a very long time, I kept it that way.

But at some point, things happen.  You get a sudden phone call, you hear a baby crying in the hallway, you just have a moment where you see a happy family together and…

My first supervisor I had after all was said and done, found out after finding me crying in a small store room, whispering on the phone with my 2nd best ex, who is also the biological father of my child.  He was not going to be able to come to my parents’ place for the Christmas visit.  It was more or less his family holding him back and I got very upset.  At that point I had to tell her because she was concerned.  After telling her, I started keeping a picture of him on my desk that she adored.  Slowly the others in the office learned of it.  All were calm and supportive.  So for now, it was a few friends, family, and work.

After moving out of my parents’ place and closer to work, I tried to settle down in the new city that I had picked, or that really had picked me.  I started knitting with a woman at a local coffee shop.  I had just seen my son a few days prior and had pictures with me.  When I told her about my son, she then turned and told me about her son that she had placed for adoption several years ago.  Suddenly I had another birthmother I could turn to for support.  And not only that, she was in town!  Until then, the other birthmothers I knew were scattered across the state.

Over the last year, I have finally started getting out into the city and finding friends to spend my time with.  And again I found myself having the conversation all over again.  It’s kind of like a never-ending conversation.  Sometimes it comes up when talking about trying to find someone to have a relationship with.  Sometimes it’s when talking about having kids and taking care of kids.  Sometimes it’s just because I’ve got something planned with my son and his parents and they ask, “What are you up to that weekend?”

I’ve been extremely lucky in that my friends that I have told have been calm and supportive and very gentle with their questions and always with permissions to tell them to shut up and go away.  I’ve only faced an opposing view a couple of times and at those times there were others nearby who were unequivocally in agreement with me.  What has been your experience when talking to others and sharing your story with those you know and those you meet along the way?


Friday, June 20, 2014

One Day at a Time

Five years after placement and a simple word, a picture, or a memory can refresh my tears and sadness.  I've been down this road before, actually more times than I can count or want to admit to.   

I'm sure you have been there, as well.  It is not a pleasant place to be.  Who knows how long this episode may last or if you'll need help working through it.  No matter what the case may be, every one's path is different.   


Right after placement there were certain things you did, or said to help you express your grief and work through it.  There may have even been someone there with you holding you up when you couldn't stand.   Whatever the case may be, and with each round of fresh grief you find things that do and don't work for you. Through this healing process the episodes become less frequent and less painful.  

So when a fresh round surprises you, remember what has worked for you in the past and continue to move forward and heal.  Its okay to feel what you're feeling, don't suppress it.  Allow yourself the time and space you need to work through all the emotions.  Don't let anyone hurry you through your process.  

My latest episode was on Sunday when I was attending church and a woman was talking about her newest and second adoptive son of three months.  Her 5 year-old son was so excited about their new addition and how their family felt complete.  She was being so great at hiding her excitement, but tears of joy were showing.  Her tears were contagious, but mine were filled with sadness, for I knew that I didn't feel complete.

I left the room to express my grief through more tears and was greeted by some great friends who lent me their shoulders.  No questions asked, just a simple act of unconditional love and allowing myself to express sorrow.  

That is one example.  Whatever the case may be for you, don't feel rushed.  Also don't try another's path, it may not work for you.  This is your story, your grief, your sorrow.  Fine tune the process, but keep going one day at a time.

What worked for you in the beginning?  How has it changed?  What do you do now?  What didn't work for you?  Share your thoughts, they might help another birth mother. 



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Unique and Special




In my last post, Bonding, I talked a little about how good boundaries are rooted in strong, steady relationships. And that without strong relationships and a safe place to land, it is hard or nearly impossible to keep good boundaries.

So this week I want to review a couple more basics from the same book, Boundaries (Cloud &Townsend, 1992). The terms separation and individuation simply refer to our need as humans to identify ourselves as separate from others. This experience takes place in childhood, but as we grow up through different life stages, it's important to continue identifying ourselves as separate from other people even while being a part of them. Let me try and explain.

The hatching phase of this process is the time when as a toddler you recognized, sometimes suddenly, that you and mommy were not the same person. It's the time when you started crawling away from mommy and towards new things in order to touch them and explore them more closely. This is the beginning of us seeing ourselves as our own unique person designed with a special plan and for a special purpose.

In the practicing phase, we felt invincible, that we could do anything with no bad consequences. Of course that's not true, but it's also important that toddlers learn for themselves the fun side of this phase.

Finally, there's the third phase, called rapprochement, where we learned that we can't do everything. It's like a reality check. The toddler comes back to a relationship with her mother, but comes back having had her own experiences and thoughts. And so essentially she comes back as her own person, not simply as an extension of her mother.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because as adults, we could be stuck in one of these areas even though we're all grown up. Sometimes peer groups can pull us back into one of these phases by making us feel that if we are not of the same mindset, we just won't fit in any more.

Sometimes we never fully separated from our parent or caregiver that raised us. It's hard to be your own person in this world. It seems to me that there are lots of voices on tv and the radio and the internet and other sources telling us what to be, how to act, what to think, what to look like, even what to like and not like. It's hard to be our own person. But if God would have wanted a world full of people who thought exactly alike, he would have created robots, not humans with the ability to think for ourselves.

You are unique and special and designed for a purpose. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You are allowed to think your own thoughts and have your own opinions and be your own person. That's exactly what you were created to do.






Photo credit

Monday, June 16, 2014

Music Monday: Wonderwall by Oasis



"Because maybe
You're gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You're my wonderwall"



If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Quote of the Week: Forgiveness





"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." 










If you have any suggestions for quotes, feel free to email me or post a comment!


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Unexpected Visits

For my first official post, I wanted to tell you about something that happened a few months ago that I had worried about happening and perhaps some of you worry about it too.  My son and his adoptive parents live about twenty minutes away from me.  As such, there was the potential to run into each other accidentally, but this had only happened once at the local farmer’s market.  The encounter was slightly awkward, but we parted ways after about thirty minutes and I was able to go home and recover the rest of the weekend.

In October, I was invited to come to an open mic poetry reading at a bar and restaurant in the downtown area.  I had a new poem that I had written and I thought, what was the worst that could happen?  Well, one should never ask that question.  I was standing outside the restaurant when my son’s adoptive father and mother waved at me from inside the restaurant.  My son, J, was also with them.  I went in thinking, “It could just be a fluke.  They could just be here for a nice dinner.”  Yeah.  Right.

“Are you here for the poetry reading tonight?” were the first words out of my son's father's mouth after greeting me.  As it turned out, HE is the leader of the open mic poetry reading group.  J actually walked me up the steps to sign up for a place in the poetry reading that night.  Coming back down, he met one of my friends and it was the first time any of my friends had met my son.  It was an interesting night to say the least.  He stayed for a few poems, but then was taken home by his mother after a few poets read their work.  After all it was past 8 pm and he was only a couple months past three years old.  Sitting still for poetry is not a skill three-year-olds are known for.  He gave me a hug and a kiss for the first time when he left.  I and my friends stayed much later and I got a chance to talk to his father about several things about their life with my son and some details about their side of the adoption process that I’ll post about at a later date.  The last thing that he said to me was that he hoped I kept coming to the readings and bringing more of my work.  I went home that night a bit shaken and it took me a few days to get over that.  I just wasn’t emotionally prepared to see them.

When I spoke to my parents about it that weekend, their reactions were positive.  But my father could still see that I was cautious.  Later that week, I found a hand written letter from him in the mail.  Let me just emphasize how important that is: the man is a computer programmer.  He is by no means afraid of an email.  He’s on Facebook and Twitter.  He’s about the most technologically adept 60 year old I know.  But he had decided to send me a hand written letter.  I knew that whatever he needed to say it was important.

His first words were that we never had to discuss this again, but he had something he wanted to say to me and make sure that I heard him.  He suggested that I keep going to the poetry readings.  His reasoning was that over time I would get to know J’s parents better and by proxy J better.  Eventually it would be easier for me to see them and it wouldn’t be as much of a shock to the system.  The words that made me cry were when he said, “I say this knowing that I could not do this myself.  But in this, I believe you are stronger than I am.”  I was bawling in my car for about ten minutes after reading that.  But after some calmer thought and a few more tears, I realized that he was right.

My father and I have never discussed the letter.  But he does know that I have been going to the poetry readings once a month ever since.   I have, over time, learned more about my son’s parents and their lives.  Sometimes it’s actually easier than sending an email about a visit.  Sometimes I just talk to his father at the monthly readings and then send an email a day later so everyone is on the same page about everything.  J has turned up a couple more times and I have handled it better than the first time.  Next month he will be turning four years old.  Sometimes I just think time moves too fast.

Have any of you happened to run into your child and their parents unexpectedly?  Or have you ever feared it happening?  If you have, I understand.  And if you ever do, I can report that it is survivable.  It was difficult.  But I was lucky that night in that I had a couple of friends with me who were more than happy to hold me together.


I hope all of you are having a wonderful day and I will see you all again next week!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Healing Words, Part Two

Read part 1 here

Some of you may not think you have the strength to tell your story, but you do.  First of all, you’re a birth mom, that right there says A LOT!   If you don’t know how to start, let me give you some tips.  Remember, nothing is going to be perfect the first time it comes out and you have the power to edit.  This is your story!

First of all, create a timeline of the events, from meeting the birth father to coming home from the hospital, and everything in between.  Then, take a section at a time, in any order, and expand upon it.  Talk about the details and your feelings.  It is important not to leave anything out.  There is no timeframe to finish or that the story even needs to be read by anyone else.  But I promise you that when you are ready to start, the words will come.

If you are having a hard time getting started I encourage you to read other birth mother stories on this blog.  There are so many adoption blogs out there and different stories of placement.  See how you already relate to so many women.   Writing the whole story can feel overwhelming, so if you are not ready for that, start with a letter to yourself and/or a letter to your birth son or birth daughter.  

Another fellow birthmother started a blog that began with her story in letters, entitled, Letters To You, then she added her whole story.   (I have guest posted on this site, as well, with the letter I wrote to myself.) 

Once you find a format that works for you and your story fill it with unconditional love, add some peace and understanding, and you will start healing.    

Have you already shared your story?  Is it on BirthMom Buds?  How has writing your story helped you heal?  Was there another way that you told your story? 

Also as a new blogger, are there any topics you’d like discussed, or have any thing you’d like to say? 
I’d love to hear your comments!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bonding


At the retreat, we enjoyed a breakout session on boundaries led by yours truly. And while an hour is not nearly enough time on such an important topic, it was a start.

For me personally, boundaries have been a struggle over the years. I don't feel like I got a good grasp on them growing up at home. I certainly didn't know how to draw lines in high school or college. It was only after I got out and away on my own that I really started realizing that I was in charge of myself. No one else was going to take care of me. It was hard when I started saying 'no' and doing my own thing. But it has been well worth it.

So where do boundaries come from? and how do we learn them? According to the book Boundaries (Cloud and Townsend, 1992) that I referenced in the breakout session, the very foundation of our boundaries is actually rooted in bonding. According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, individuals need to belong. The need is so strong, in fact, that we see it in children who continue to cling to parents who abuse them.

God created us for connection. And many times when we draw a boundary, it can feel as though we are being 'mean' when in fact we are simply caring for ourselves. In order to have good boundaries, we need to have strong, healthy relationships that will support us in our quest for health. So stated simply, we cannot develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others.

So I challenge you to think through your family and friends. Who among those is truly supportive of your need to develop and maintain boundaries? Who among those is dead set on getting their way and making you do what they want you to do? Starting to recognize the difference is the first step towards change.





Photo credit

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Adoption Story

In 2001, as a girl in her early teens I always said to myself “I will not get pregnant at the age of 16." I wanted nothing to do with following the footsteps of my older sister, my mother, and grandmother. Each of them had gotten pregnant at the age of 16 and had their babies at 17. It was something I was terrified of. Well, guess what? I got pregnant when I was 16 years old. I found myself in a situation that for years I swore I would not get into. Once I found out I was pregnant, I automatically knew that I would not succeed at being a teen mom. Now that I think back about it, I was in a calm state of mind when I chose adoption and knew it was the right decision for both baby and I. 

At the beginning of my pregnancy, scared and clueless of how to even be a mother at 16, I was scared to tell anyone that I was pregnant. My parents are divorced, my mother is an alcoholic and my dad is a drug addict. So you can see how the lack of support would steer me in the direction towards adoption. At this time I was still in high school and did not want to be a dropout like others in my family. I had planned to graduate high school no matter what I had to do to get there.

Once I got the courage to tell my mom that she was going to be a grandmother, she told me that she already knew. Of course like any mom, she did not want to hear that her young daughter was pregnant, not married, and now she would be a grandmother at such a young age. Shortly after telling my family, my mom decided that after 14 years of working in a potato plant, it was time for a change and to move to Texas. We packed up a U-Haul and moved to Texas and life started over. 

Before I left Idaho for Texas, I had been searching for an adoptive family for my unborn child. I was very lucky that I had found the most perfect adoptive parents for Maria. We had communicated often and once we got to know each other it was agreed that once I was settled in Texas that they would fly me out to San Diego, California to meet. Once I arrived in San Diego and met Kim and Chris, I knew instantly that this was the family for my baby girl. I was met by not only the adoptive parents but practically the whole family with open arms and warm hugs. They were so happy that I was going to be able to provide Kim and Chris their first child.  It was a joyous time. 

Once I got close to my due date Kim and Chris flew out to San Antonio Texas and were there for the birth. The whole experience was amazing and to have them there to help welcome their baby girl into the world was great.  Thirteen years later, I am still very happy with the choice I made for Maria and placing her in an open adoption.  

Due to the fact that I am married to a Army Soldier, it is hard to get to go see Maria in California. But for the last two years they had been vacationing in New Jersey and I was within driving distance and got to see them. My open adoption is awesome. Sure there are bumps in the road but it’s about dealing with and finding a solution to dealing with those bumps in the road. 

I hope that I am able to meet some of you and help you cope with the trials and tribulations of adoption. I did not have anyone to ask questions or lean on in time of sadness. I would like to be that for others.








Save the Date - BMB Retreat 2015

Mark your calendars!

Also, we're looking for members to serve on various retreat planning committees.  If interested, please email us! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Music Monday: Waiting For the End by Linkin Park

"Waiting for the end to come
Wishing I had strength to stand
This is not what I had planned
It's out of my control"


If you have any music suggestions, feel free to drop me a note here or leave a comment!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Quote of the Week: Forgiveness



"You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it."


Photo Credit








If you have any quote suggestions, feel free to send me an email here, or leave a comment below!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone!  My name is Elsa and this is my very first blog post here today!  I hope everyone is at least intrigued and informed by my posts if not entertained or inspired.  Please feel free to make comments and ask questions.  I do hold to my opinions rather tightly, but I have no problem with calm discussion and debate of other opinions.  I only ask we keep it respectful and friendly.  There’s very few of us about and we need all the support we can get.

Just to give you a little background on me, I’m a librarian, a musician, a writer, and a knitter.  It’s a weird combination of talents to be sure, but it seems to work most days.  I placed my son, J (real name not used for privacy reasons), for adoption four years ago next month.  Next month he will be four years old and I am still amazed at how quickly time has passed.

I realized I was pregnant at 6 months along.  Before you all start wondering how that happened, I was still having my period and on birth control pills.  My periods were supposed to be light.  At least, that’s what I was telling myself.  I found out at possibly the worst time ever.  I had been trying to live by myself with only a part-time job and help from my parents.  But they were starting to run out of money and things were getting worse.  My parents had asked me to move home so that I could figure out something else.  That’s when I find out I’m pregnant.  I told them and there was much drama and yelling as you can imagine.  But eventually things calmed down and we got down to the business of trying to decide what was going to happen.  My boyfriend (now my 2nd best-ex) and I couldn't put together a stable home for our child.  So, we made the decision together to place our son for adoption.

I found a couple on Bethany Christian Services’s adoption website and I knew that these were the people to have my son.  We met a few times and they were at the hospital when I gave birth.  Unfortunately I ended up having my son by C-section, but they did get to see him in the nursery just minutes later.  Having to say goodbye to him a few days later was the hardest thing I have had to do to date.  But I do know that it was the best decision for me given what has happened in the years since in my life, my  and where he is now.

I often see him three or four times a year.  We have a very open adoption and a lot of good and open communication between us.  He and his parents live close to me and so it’s very easy to set up visits to see each other.  One of the quirkier things about my relationship with my son's adoptive parents is that his adoptive father runs an open mic poetry reading that I started attending and reading poetry at several months ago.  They have no problem with me coming and I even spent a very long time talking to his adoptive father a few days ago about J, life, the whole hospital experience on both sides and how our lives have changed since then.  I know this is no the normal relationship, but it's the one that we've managed to forge and it serves us well.


Well, I think I've dragged on long enough for my first post.  I’ll be posting again next week and I hope you are all having a great day!



Friday, June 6, 2014

The Healing Words - Part 1

After enduring many trials and obstacles as a young woman, I became quite knowledgeable in many facets of heartache.   I quickly found my outlet and surprising talent for writing during these dark times.  I wrote down whatever words came to me, whether I was just being a hormonal teenager needing validation or when a crush did not return my feelings.  Words became everything to me; they were my happiness, my pain, my let-downs, and my dreams.  I transferred emotions from my heart into these words.  It lessened the pain and increased my joy.  I cried a lot during these writing sessions while trying to figure out the purpose of my pain. 

I came across a saying that, “All art is rooted in heartache.”   If this is true, then my life must be a work of art. (I hope that it doesn’t get appreciated after death.)  I thought I had experienced a lot of pain in my life, but I was proved wrong, once again.   

At the age of 29 I was in a bad situation and seven months pregnant when I decided to become a birth mother.  (You know that decision, the one that you consciously made because it was right for you and your situation.)  However, during this particular struggle I could not find any words that could even come close to describe my pain or help me understand any of it.   My mind was so stressed out that I just couldn’t see a smooth horizon in any direction.  It was all I could do to finish this pregnancy, work a full-time job, raise a 2 year-old, and live with my parents because of my estranged husband.

Through the encouragement of my caseworker through the adoption agency, I wrote a letter to remind myself of why I had made the decision to place my son for adoption.   Writing to me as myself was hard, but I wrote it as I would write to someone I truly loved.  And since I was continuously feeling pain I wasn't consciously coming from an unconditional love.  I had to dig deep and really find a peace within my soul, the part where my core was unmovable and unshakable.  I prayed that once I found this place, I would be able to find my way back.  

My footsteps to that place were the words being written and the more I wrote, the more I understood.  Soon, I found my solace, my haven.  But what I really found was more strength and more faith in myself, the very things I didn’t think I had any more of.  After some minor tweaking and four pages later, my letter was complete.   I took this letter to the hospital with me so that when I was holding my newborn and looking into his eyes, I could read it and remember every single reason why I had chosen adoption for us. 

Most case workers also encourage a letter from the birth parent to the child, and for me this was no different.  However, this letter wasn’t written until after Karson was born.   Both of these letters were just the beginning to my grief and healing processes.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read them.  But I can tell you that if I didn’t find that peace through these words I could have lost the war to the pain.

Even after a year I still had not put my whole story in writing.  Perfection was expected, but procrastination won every day, until an awesome fellow-birth mom asked me to share my story on her adoption blog, My Angels from God.    It took about a week before I was complete with the first draft and it felt gratifying, like I had just finished a marathon.  The story was out of my soul and the weight of my loss seemed lighter.   The pain and grief had not vanished, but it was easier to step forward into a new chapter of my life. 

Stay tuned for part two next Friday!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Reform in Adoption Land


Hello!  For those of you who don't know me, my name is Amanda.  For awhile now, I have been doing the weekly quotes and music posts here at BirthMom Buds.  What you might not know is that I have a huge interest in a subject that often creates controversy, but is very important and close to my heart:  Adoption Reform.

So, of course, when Coley asked me if I would be interested in writing a bi-monthly blog (occasionally weekly when time permits), I jumped at the chance!  And here I am!  I would love to keep these entries interactive with input from you, the readers.  I would like to do Question and Answer sessions with some of you to find out where you think change is needed, as well as give you a platform to tell your personal stories.  And, of course, cover topics within adoption I personally feel need some change.

Being that this is my first "reform" blog here, I'm going to keep it fairly light and just mirror a question that was raised on the BirthMom Buds Facebook page.  What are some things you all feel need to be changed within the adoption world either in your own personal journeys or adoption as a whole?  I would love to read the various comments on this!

And please, if any of you would like to volunteer for some Question and Answers, offer tips or suggestions, or tell me your story, feel free to email me here.  


Monday, June 2, 2014

My Decision

Hey my name is Cassandra and I am from and live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I never thought in my whole life that I would decide to do adoption. 

In 2008 I was staying with a friend in Texas. I just wanted to see what it was like to live somewhere different. While in Texas, I met a guy named Danny; he was a truck driver. After dating a little while, we became a couple. I decided to go on the road with him just to see what it was like. Our relationship was really good at the beginning. I enjoyed the time I spent with him and going from state to state. 

A few months into our relationship, he started talking to his ex again. He would leave me in truck stops while he would stay in his truck to talk to his ex for hours and hours. I was tired of it but I thought things would change and I thought I was in love. My period was late and I kinda knew was pregnant. I was really really sick all the time. One day we decided to stay in a hotel right across the street from a store so I decided to go buy a test and just find out for myself if i was or not. While Danny was talking on the phone to his ex I went to the store and bought a test. I went back to the hotel and he kept trying to rush me to get out of the hotel so he could talk to his ex. I took the test and it was positive. i was so scared and freaked out. I didn't know what to do so I went out into the room and showed Danny the test. I was crying and he told me everything will be OK and then told me to go to the truck for awhile. It was hard because I wanted him to be there for me, not just tell me to go to the truck and we would talk about it later. 

While in the truck, I decided to call my sister. She said she would tell my parents and before we hung up she said, "Cass, have you thought about adoption?" That was the first time adoption ever entered my mind. Two days later, I was in a taxi going to the airport so I could fly home. My parents where very disappointed in me. I came home and decided to try to find a job so i could support myself and this new baby and didn't really think about adoption anymore.  

So there is a little more to my story; the reason for why I went to Texas in the first place was to get away from my 1 year old sons Dad. My parents were taking care of my son, Jordan, while I was in Texas. I was 17 when i had Jordan and being a mother and trying to deal with an abusive boyfriend was very hard so I ran away from my problems.  

I came home and established a great relationship with my little boy. I took care of him with my parents help. I kept telling myself if I didn't find a job in the next three months, I'd consider adoption again. I didn't hear from Danny at all. I would try to contact him but he wouldn't text me back or anything and it was hard. I wanted him to have a part in this baby's life. 

When I was 7 months pregnant I still hadn't found a job. I was hoping I would have a job by now so i could take care of my new baby boy. One afternoon, I Jordan was taking a nap and I was looking at him sleeping and started thinking I wasn't very good at being a parent to this sweet precious boy. He didn't have a mom and a dad together who loved each other and worked together. He had two parents that would fight constantly and were not together. I didn't want this life for Jordan so why would i want this life for this baby?  At that moment, I knew I was going to place this baby for adoption.I was scheduled for a C Section on December 29th. I had one month to figure out everything. I remember talking to my dad while sitting on the kitchen floor. I told him that decided what I wanted to do. I told him that I thought about it and adoption is what I decided and he told me he was proud of me and it was going to be hard but I would be strong enough to do it. My parents were both supportive because we were already raising my 1st son and I didn't want them to have to help me with with another. 

The next night my dad came home from work and told me that his co-worker Steve and his wife were looking to adopt. They had three kids of their own but couldn't have anymore and wanted one more. I decided not to look at any profiles and just get together and talk to them. A few days later, we went to the adoption agency to meet and talk about what was going to happen. We decided to have an open adoption and they wanted him to know that they were his parents and not me. We also decided I was going to have 48 hours with him in the hospital with my family. They would give me that time and would come up on placement day . Talking to them made everything feel so real. I was so sad and depressed. I was numb and just wanted this over with so I could move on with my life. 

The next month was so emotional. I cried every day. I knew this was going to be hard but I also knew that it was what I needed to do. I didn't have anymore contact with the adoptive family until the day before he was born when they told me they decided to name him Logan.

Logan was born via c section. I cried and kissed him all over after he was born. I had 48 hours with him my family. My son came to the hospital and got to see Logan. He was only 2 so he didn't really know what was going on. I didn't sleep at all. I wanted all the time I could have with him. 

On New Year's Eve of 2008, my adoption caseworker came up to the hospital and talked to me for a while. She was getting me ready to sign my papers. A little while later the adoptive couple came and I let the adoptive mom hold him and she put him in the outfit that he was going to go home from the hospital in. She was really grateful and happy. At about 10 am we went into separate rooms as it was time to sign papers. I thought I was going to be OK and not cry but every time my case worker read me a line of the relinquishment papers I would break down and cry. My mom and dad were in the room supporting me. My parents both knew that it was the right decision.I turned to look at my parents and my Dad was crying. After signing the papers, I held Logan  and cried for a few minuets. I gave him to my dad and my dad placed him into the adoptive moms arms. She gave me a hug, put Logan in his car seat, and left the hospital. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

My adoption hasn't been what I thought it was going to be. At first I had a open one but as soon as the adoption was final, they adoptive parents hardly talked to me and didn't want to have anything to do with me. I felt so sad, I didn't know what I had done to them.  At first it was really hard. It's still hard as I think about him everyday and hope someday they will contact me and send me pictures. I recently found out the adoptive parents got a divorce. I am sad because my reasoning for placing was so my son would have both parents. 


My life has changed so much since 2008. I met a guy in 2009 and I got married in 2012. I am so happy. 


Music Monday: Swimming Home by Evanescence


"I'm sorry, nothing can hold me
I adore you still
But I hear them calling

I was looking to the sky
When I knew I'd be swimming home
And I cannot betray my kind
They are here, it's my time"

Sunday, June 1, 2014