Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Therapy and Acceptance


I just wanted to take a minute and reflect on this year.  I am sure you have heard of the milestones or goals that your loved ones have reached.  But what about the milestones YOU reached?



I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, it was in a CVS bathroom with my best friend.  Classy, I know!  I was in serious denial for a long time.  So much so that I literally forgot I was pregnant for two months (even though I was taking prenatal vitamins).  I just never thought about it. When I finally started showing and feeling the precious kicks and turns, I realized that I was going to be placing this baby for adoption soon.  The adoption agency I went to recommended a therapist for me to see who was also a birth mom.  I thought, "why not?"  I had never been to therapy before and went in not expecting to get much out of it.

                                                     
Little did I know, this woman was about to change my life.  In my first session with her, she mostly listened.  I told her I wasn't going to see or hold my baby once he/she was born, I wasn't looking at ultrasounds, and I was going to have a closed adoption.  Basically, I had not accepted this baby's existence at all yet and never wanted to.  She was very gentle in asking my reasons and quickly identified that I needed some perspective on what was to come in my future if these were the decisions I stuck with.  After opening my heart and mind to what she had to say (and after 6 sessions with her), I ended up asking for a legalized open adoption, seeing my baby boy when he was born and doing skin to skin, and still sticking with not looking at the ultrasounds.

It is hard to open yourself up to a stranger in therapy.  However, I would recommend it to anyone going through this process, and also to someone who has placed their child already.  It doesn't even have to be therapy! It can be a best friend or a sibling.  It is very important to have a support system that you can vent to.  I can only speak on my behalf, but I know talking to someone who could relate to my situation helped tremendously.  Going to therapy helped improve my postpartum depression and continued my grieving process.  I was very worried I was going to be in a state of shock for a long time but talking to someone allows me to identify the emotions I am feeling and get those out instead of not feeling at all.

There are many birthmother support groups/sites (such as this one) as well as retreats and in person support groups that are fantastic in the grieving process.  I know that this is a roller coaster but we are in this together.  You are not alone!

Lots of Love,

Erin



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thinking of You!

We want to take just a minute to wish you and yours a happy, safe, and peaceful Christmas season!  

As birthmoms, we are all aware of how tough this time of year can be so please remember to be kind to yourselves and realize it's okay to reach out for support! If you need to talk, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 1-855-4mybbud.

You are in our thoughts and prayers, today and always. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Erin's Story

I'm Erin and I'm excited to be one of the new bloggers here at BirthMom Buds!

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be a birthmother.  I saw women placing their child on television and never once took the perspective of the woman who carried their chid for nine months then placed their baby girl/boy into the hands of a hopeful couple.  I like to think I am great at placing myself in other's shoes and taking perspective on situations, but I think the media had shaped me to think more about the adoptee and adoptive parents because no one really talks about birthmothers.


I became a birthmother on November 23, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia and this past year has been the most beautiful, painful year of my life.  My son is my greatest accomplishment and I am so proud to be a part of his life. After graduating with my Master's Degree in Elementary Education, I placed my son for adoption. This year I not only gained a son but also his parents who I consider family.  You may ask, "Why would you place after graduating with a degree?" Well, I wanted him to grow up with an active father.  I did not want to take his innocence by having him see a stressed out single mother trying to make ends meet or a horrible custody battle between two people who live in different states.  He now has a mom and a dad in the same house who he can run to in the middle of the night if he has a bad dream, he has a dad who will coach him in all the sports he will play, and he is able to grow up knowing what true love looks like.


I do have days where I question my decision, but I think that is normal in this case.  I love Noah (my son) more than anything and that will never change.  I have a healthy open adoption in which I get an update each month and two visits a year.  When I was pregnant, I made sure to build a strong relationship with his adoptive mom, which was easy because we would literally be best friends if we were the same age haha! She is God's gift to both Noah and me and I am so happy I chose her to be Noah's mama.


As of today, I am a 5th grade ELA teacher in Georgia and love what I do.  I have good days and bad days.  I am lucky because I know where my son is and how he is doing.  I am thankful every day for this gift and I look forward to sharing the up's and down's of this crazy roller coaster with you from here on out.


Lots of Love,

Erin

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Time Is Here



Hello!  It's been a while since I've posted and I hope all of you are doing well.  Christmas is upon us once again, and I'm sure many of you are like me and face the holiday season with a whole mix of feelings.

There is always the joy of seeing family and celebrating the holiday.  That usually involves good people, good food, good conversation, and an exchange of (hopefully) thoughtful presents.  I wish that I could be celebrating the holiday with my son as well as the rest of my family.  But I am also secure in the knowledge that he is having a good time with his family.  And that thought does make me happy.

Then there is the love that we hopefully all have when we come together during the holidays.  Of course, with family coming together there are always the questions: how is your life going?  What are your plans?  While my extended family is often not involved in our Christmas celebrations (due to living in two different states) we do see a number of friends.  Often those friends know about my son, and they will ask, I smile and tell them that he's doing well.  I then pull out my cell phone to show them the most recent picture I have of him.  I tell them that he's doing well.  He's in school, although it's been a challenge for him.  And his parents are managing it all quite well.  Better than I would have anyway.

And also there is the peace that comes with this time of year.  Every Christmas I try to come to a peace within myself regarding what I've done, where I've been, where I'm going, and what I must do.  It doesn't always work, but most times it does.  This year, I plan to make a pilgrimage out to the monastery near where my parents live.  It's always a very quiet and meditative place to go for me.  And I have always liked the fact that the chapel is always open with a sign inviting everyone to come in for a quiet moment.  Everyone is welcome, no matter where you have been or what your story is.

For me this season is not without sadness.  I miss my son.  I miss many people.  And I often have Christmas wishes that I know will never come true.  But it doesn't really matter that they won't.  I love my son.  I love those who have passed.  And somehow or another I feel they are always with me at Christmas and throughout the year.

I hope this finds all of you well.  I hope you enjoy the holiday season how ever you celebrate it.  I hope that you are surrounded by people who love and care about you this year, no matter who they are.  And I will be posting again soon.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Music Monday: Gown of Green


Background: This song reminds me to not look down on myself, because of the past. Instead I am reminded that greater things are planned for me and must trust in myself to find that hope I need. I desire that for everyone here. 


The Collection – The Gown of Green Lyrics
I am an anchor at the bottom of a lake
Longing for the ship from which I break
and I won’t let nobody down
no, I won’t keep nobody grounded

You walked around and you planted seeds
Your kingdom came out from up among the weeds
and the men all cried while staring at the trees
saying, “What are we supposed to see?
Supposed to see?”

Yeah, I say you’ll see freedom
I say you’ll see freedom
Stop looking at the ground, start looking at the leaves
Up among the dirt and rust is where the Kingdom breathes
You’ll see freedom

When we finally left that town
They had put all their stones down
You drew lines in the middle of the street
(Redefine the place we meet)

If the come to meet us there
We’ll turn all of the swords to plowshares
We’ll sow the Earth with diligence and love
(Must have come from Heaven above)

We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
It won’t matter anymore where you came from
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth
We will sow the Earth with diligence and love

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Music Monday: Hold On by Alabama Shakes


Background: This song is my "take on the world" theme. I am always encouraged to get up and motivate myself to do my best, every time I listen to these lyrics. I hope that all of you find strength, encouragement and hope in this. 

"Hold On"
Bless my heart, bless my soul.
Didn't think I'd make it to 22 years old.
There must be someone up above sayin',
"Come on, Brittany, you got to come on up.
You got to hold on...
Hey, you got to hold on..."

So, bless my heart and bless yours too.
I don't know where I'm gonna go
Don't know what I'm gonna do.
There must be somebody up above sayin',
"Come on, Brittany, you got to come on now!
You got to hold on...
Hey, you got to hold on..."

"Yeah! You got to wait!
Yeah! You got to wait!"
But I don't wanna wait!
No, I don't wanna wait...

So, bless my heart and bless my mind.
I got so much to do, I ain't got much time
So, must be someone up above saying,
"Come on, girl! Yeah, you got to get back up!
You got to hold on...
Yeah, you got to hold on..."


"Yeah! You got to wait!"
I don't wanna wait!
But I don't wanna wait!
No, I don't wanna wait!

You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...
You got to hold on...