Okay, so, this is not a subject that we talk about a lot. But I felt like I should talk about it because I'm having to deal with it in a serious way right now. And if you're wondering why there is a daisy at the top of this post it's because that daisy is my transference object.
Let me explain. I've been home from the hospital for about week now since having Joseph. My mother and I check the porch for packages and find this long package from 1-800-Flowers. We open it up and find this daisy in a green metal pot. It was wilted a little due to being in a box in the Georgia summer heat. But it quickly revived with some water. We opened the letter that came with it and discovered that my cousin Amanda had sent it to me. She had helped cook dinner the night before I went into the hospital and came to visit my first day here. But then she had to go back to Louisiana. She thought it was better to send me something that was living. So she sent this daisy.
I'm not very good at keeping houseplants. Never have been. But I figured I'd try. The summer got particularly hot so I kept the daisy in a window in the kitchen. One day I looked over and saw that the daisy was wilting slightly. It wasn't in danger yet, but it wasn't happy. I nearly crash into the sink getting water for it. And that's when I realized I had transferred all my loving instincts and such onto... a daisy.
I was living in a house with a dog. I thought it would be the dog. But Clarence (the dog) had been around for a few years before then, so he was already firmly entrenched in the role of being my little furry brother. I thought maybe it would happen if someone brought over their kid. But it did not happen. No, I transferred onto a daisy. At first I thought it was a little crazy and I thought of getting rid of it. But that thought nearly made me break down in tears. And then I had another thought: it's a plant, it's about as low maintenance as a living creature can get, no one is ever going to care about where it is but me... so, why is this a bad thing again?
Well, plants, even plants that you bring in during the winter and tend to very carefully, have a life span. Gerbera daisies have a lifespan of about three to ten years when taken care of well. And mine is about three months away from five years old. And this winter was not kind. I don't have a very bright apartment and I was starting to think it was dying. I know it's a little weird to say I was crying over a daisy, but I was. It's been with me a while now. And I wasn't ready to let it go. What I realized was I need a new daisy.
I have a few very close friends in Athens, and one of them, Kristin, used to work in a florist's shop. I told her about my dying daisy. And asked her to go with me to a plant nursery next month and pick out a new daisy for me. She knows what my daisy means to me and she knows that I need something to take care of. So she agreed and we are going next month. My daisy seems to have recovered since the weather has warmed up and is doing okay. But I'm still going to get another daisy so that I have a back up for when the other one dies.
At this point, I guess I will have daisies in pots the rest of my life. Every few years I'm going to have to ask a friend to go with me to a plant nursery and pick out a daisy for me. I figure we don't get to pick our kids, I didn't get to pick my firs daisy, I should go on having everyone pick daisies for me when I need to get a new one. It will be a ritual for me every few years.
My daisy does help me. Despite the fact it was breaking my heart when I thought it was dying, it has helped me to take care of something and raise something in place of raising my son. I will probably keep on growing daisies and for me they will remind me of Joseph. But they will also remind me that I can take care of something and raise something. They will remind me that I am capable of taking care of a living creature, even if it is just a plant.
I hope you are all doing well tonight. If you have any stories of transference that you'd like to share, please do so in the comments. Have a great weekend!
Finding out you're pregnant is the scariest thing in the entire world, even if it is a planned pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant I was devastated but the hardest part for me was telling everyone.
I was the first in my family to go to school, and my second quarter in I found out I was pregnant by a guy I barely knew. I almost immediately knew I wanted to do adoption. I considered terminating for quite a while, but by the time I was 8 weeks along I knew I wanted to do adoption. Parenting was never an option for me. I didn't want to continue the cycle of unplanned pregnancy and struggling to make ends meet, my daughter deserved so much better than that.
My mother found out I was pregnant in an interesting way. I made an appointment with a doctors back home because my plan was to go back home for the pregnancy and return back to school after placement. I gave the doctors my moms address and they sent an appointment reminder in the mail. My mom received it and opened it, saying she thought it was going to be a bill.
I was kind of relieved that she found out that way, I didn't have to look her in the eyes and tell her I was pregnant, but I still had to tell her about the adoption. She took it pretty well in the beginning, but later on in the pregnancy she did everything she could to try to get me to parent.
Telling my friends was a really hard thing to do. I was friends with all of the "crazy" kids back home. We partied, drank and smoke anytime we could. I was scared that I was going to be left behind in a sense. I knew that we were going to lose touch and that they wouldn't necessarily be supportive. I sat them all down and told them I was pregnant and doing an adoption. Everyone was in shock, but generally supportive. I did lose a lot of friends because there were so many things they didn't understand. Nobody will ever fully understand the life of a birth mom unless they are a birth mom.
Telling the father was also extremely difficult. I called him and told him over a six minute long phone call. He told me that he was scared and he didn't want to be a father. I told him that I was planning on terminating and he made me promise that I wasn't going to keep the baby. I was 18 and he was 19, we were too young and too dumb to try and make it work. When I told him a few weeks later I wanted to do an adoption, he was extremely upset. He didn't like the thought of a child out there with his DNA. He was scared that I would change my mind and then he would be stuck raising a baby with me. There are so many fears in the beginning and now two years after finding out I was pregnant, it's crazy to think about how uncertain everything was. I wish there was a way I could tell my younger self that everything was going to be okay and that E was going to have the best life I could ever imagine for her.
If you are in the beginning of your journey, just know that it gets better. And whatever the decision you make for you and your child will be the right one for you.
How did you tell everyone you were pregnant or that you were considering adoption? Were they supportive of the pregnancy and your decision?
Sorry I have been on a little bit of hiatus lately. The stress of school, work, and being a birthmom was a little much for a bit. We all have our bad times, this one just lasted a few weeks. I am doing 100% better now and I feel better than I have in a long while.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. That day was March 5th 2013. It was probably one of the hardest days of my entire life, besides placement day. I was a freshman in college and my period was a little over a week late. I had taken a test 3 days before and it was negative, so this test was just the last one I was going to take to convince myself that I wasn't pregnant and that it was just stress from school. But oh was I so wrong. At first the test wasnt working so I put it away to go to class. I thought it was a dud. When I came back from class I saw those two little pink lines that changed my life forever.
I feel like you make up hypothetical situations as a woman. I would always say "if I ever got pregnant.. blah blah blah" and tell some line about how I was never going to have children. But when that white stick comes back positive, everything that you ever knew goes out the window. I knew my life was going to change no matter what that meant. Those three options are all you can think about.
I barely knew the father and I knew what his stance on the pregnancy was. I have always been pro choice but just something about termination just didn't sit right with me. I would never tell another woman what to do with her body, but I just didn't want to do that. And today a little over two years after finding out, I could not be happier with my decision to continue my pregnancy and give my baby the best life I could give her. I am still pro choice but I love that little girl so much and I couldn't imagine my life without her in it.
As women we need to be there for each other, no matter what that means. I had my best friend in my life who was able to help me. I can never thank her enough for that. Groups like these are amazing and are so much help when you need it. I have connected with so many amazing people through adoption and I am so thankful for all of them.
Howdy folks! This weeks BMB Reform Blog interviewee is a birthmom named Ellen. Let's hear what she has to say!
1. Please tell us your name and a brief intro to your story.
Hello my name is Ellen. In August 2012 my gorgeous son was taken into care. I was in a bad place and had failed to protect him or myself from harm. That doesn't mean I didn't love him though. I fought the proceedings all the way through placement hearing but the decision was taken out of my hands and my son was placed for adoption. In July 2013 he was placed with his new parents, and in June 2014 the adoption order was granted with my blessing. After much thought and heart break I had accepted that it was best for my son. I went to the court hearing prepared to be strong but as I uttered the words I was backing them, tears were rolling down my cheeks and I could barely speak. I left the court that day with my head held high, but by the time I reached the tube station I was in floods of tears and couldn't stop. I cried my whole journey home. I composed myself at my front door as I didn't want my flatmates to see. I laid on my bed and cried myself to sleep. I woke and tried to be strong. Two hours later my flatmate found me still crying and just held me and for that I will be eternally grateful.
2. Are there any aspects of adoption you would like to see changed? This can be within your own journey or adoption as a whole.
I would like contact to be more open. I feel in situations like mine, face to face contact should be essential. More support for birth parents.
3. What does adoption reform mean to you and why do you think it's important?
It means changes to the law which one day will mean I see my son again. He was and remains my everything. He is all my reasons.
Thanks so much for letting us interview you Ellen!
If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me! I look forward to hearing from you!
Each year BirthMom Buds creates a slideshow featuring our members and our members’ children. The slideshow debuts at the BirthMom Buds Retreat and then is on the website afterwards. The slideshow is made to a different meaningful song each year, is a touching look at our members and their children, and is always a favorite among many of you.
We are looking for the following types of photos: • Pregnancy pics • Hospital photos • Photos of you and your birth child if you are in an open adoption • Photos of your child • Photos of older birthmothers in reunion • Photos with birthdads are good too! • Triad photos – adoptive parent(s), birth parent(s), and child
Basically, send us your favorite photos and we will choose what fits the song and story line. We will use at least one of the photos that every person sends and more as they pertain to the story line. High resolution photos are best.
If you send us your pictures you are giving us permission to use them. It’s your responsibility to OK the use of your child’s pictures from their adoptive parents. Once you email them to us, we will respond letting you know we have received them. If you don’t hear from us in a couple of days after submitting your photos, it probably means that we did not receive them so please check in with us.
Please email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “slideshow pics 2015” in the subject line. Also, please put your name, your child’s name, your child’s age, and adoption type, and any other pertinent information regarding the people or what’s going on in the photos you are submitting.
Check out past slideshows to get a feel for what types of pictures we like to use:
Okay, before I start into this piece, let me be as clear as possible: this is not a man hating piece. The majority of my close friends are men. I have known many good men in this life, including the father of my child who is still my best friend.
That said, dating, when being a birthmother, can be terrible. After having my son, his father and I broke up about a year later. Not really due to our son and all that happened. More due to a matter of distance (we live in two cities over a hundred miles apart) and time and being in different places in our lives. As I said, we are still the best of friends. And maybe one day we'll be together again. Just neither of us are certain at this point.
Since then, I have dabbled on a dating site, although my profile is set to "only looking for friends." That's about as far into the dating realm as I have gone. And I know it's partly due to fear. It's hard enough for me to explain to new friends about my son and all the things entailed with him. Trying to explain this to someone who I might be dating and when in the world to do that in the course of a date or a relationship, ugh, just sets my head spinning. As I've said before, Ms. Manners did not write a chapter on how to best approach any of this. But some days I really wish that she had. I'd have some idea of what to do. But like most every birthmother I know, I do the only thing I can: whatever makes sense at the time.
In the past month, I have had two birthmother friends have problems with their significant others. The problems, while unique to us, were easy for my others friends to understand. One shouldn't have to hide away another part of their life because it makes the significant other feel uncomfortable. One shouldn't have to explain why they are still in contact with their children. One should never be put in a position where essentially one must choose between the child they still love and the man they are dating. And I hope one never has the fact that they are a birthmother thrown out at them in anger by their significant other when in the middle of a fight. It's unfair and it's uncalled for. And in the end, it most likely has absolutely nothing to do with what the fight was about in the first place. It's just taking a part of ourselves and using it as a weapon against us. This is something I hope no one ever has to experience. But I know that others have, and will have it happen. I just hope that if any of this does happen to you in a relationship, you are willing to leave that person. I know it might break your heart. But I know it would break more to cut off communication with your child (if there is any) and even worse when who you are is used against you because we cannot change who we are. We are birthmothers. And anyone who wants to be in our lives has to accept that fact or, unfortunately, walk away.
In my anger and confusion, I turned to a couple guy friends of mine. I know that may sound a little odd, but what I really wanted was an outside perspective. So I talked to them and asked them a couple important questions: Would you date a birthmother? Would the fact that a woman is a birthmother and still in contact with her child bother you? Both of them did say that while they would wish that the first time they were a father it would be the first time for their wife as well, sometimes it's simply not possible. And in this instance, obviously, it wouldn't be possible. But that would not be something that would bother them and by no means would be a deal breaker when getting into a relationship with someone. As one of them said, we all come with baggage. The only thing is whether or not you can deal with the baggage someone comes with. If you can't, you should move on. But if you can, then you should stay and see what happens.
All this said, I know it is disappointing when trying to get into a relationship with someone and it turns sour because they cannot accept who we are. But my guy friends also agreed with me that if you want to be in a relationship with someone, you need to accept everything you are. Certainly, some things can change. But this is not one of them. And any person worth your time, should be able to make peace with everything you are.
There are good guys out there. I know several of them. So be brave, keep looking forward, and know that, whoever you are, you are an amazing person. Don't let the stupid boys get you down.