Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 is Unwritten

A New Year always reminds me of the Natasha Bedingfield song, Unwritten.

I am unwritten,
Can't read my mind
I'm undefined
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your innovation

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten.
A new year is great like that - such a fresh start.

What are you hoping the chapter of 2011 will add to the story of your life?

I leave you with the video for Unwritten. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Memories

I remember growing up and always being so excited about Christmas and the New Year and being able to make cookies for Santa and also having that special NYE kiss at midnight with that one special person. Now, that I have all of those things now that I am older I now am starting to look at Christmas and New Years Eve a lot differently. When my children had their first Christmases they were the most special to me and I was so happy to see their faces when they saw what Santa had gotten them for the big day. And also going to the church service the night before and having them be a part of that. This year, because of the adoption, I didn't think that I would enjoy the holidays as much. Thanksgiving was probably the hardest for me, as you may have seen I haven't posted in a few weeks. I actually thought that I would be angry, sad or mad, but actually because I have such a great family it was filled with love, laughter, and "OMG IT'S A BOX" (an inside joke that we came up with while opening gifts at my in-laws). Those things happen every year, there is always something that we come up with.

My favorite thing, was getting to open the gifts from our adoptive couple. We weren't even expecting gifts from them, we never do. Trent got an awesome game for the Wii, as well as the kids were given an amazing gift card so that would help us with Christmas this year, because we didn't really think we would be able to afford gifts this year. Also, getting the gift from my Secret Sister really made my day as well. Probably out of all the gifts from everyone was my locket and bracelet that was given to me by E's mom and dad. They had pearls on them, pearls are the birthstone for June, the month that E was born in. I think that I cried more with that than with anything else. I have tried wearing the locket a couple of times but it's really loud, not in a bad way, but it makes me laugh because I'm a loud person so it kind of went with everything. Also, on Christmas I received a picture of E in this "little elf" onesie and I all I could do was smile. Knowing that he is getting all of these traditions with other people does sometimes make me sad, and I wish I could have seen him open his first gift, or eat his first cookie. But seeing him be with some of the most amazing people that I know was great enough, and I was lucky enough to not shed any tears on Christmas. As much as I thought that I would be so upset and sad I really had the most amazing time with my mom&dad, my husband, my beautiful children, as well as my in-laws. It was so nice, because my sister-in-law is pregnant and it reminded me of when I was pregnant last year with E and it made it even more amazing, to know that her beautiful daughter will be here next year for me to spoil and everyone to hold and love on. I always believe this that with every adoption comes a miracle of life born into a family...and lucky enough my hunch was right and when we had E she told us the day after that she was pregnant and it just made me so ecstatic to know that I was going to be an aunt, and for that little girl to grow up knowing about E and being able to one day be able to spend time with each other.

I wanted to let everyone know that Christmas is about love, blessings, and sharing time with your family near and far. Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to see our birth children, or know about their day. But I was lucky enough to know about it and be able to see him (I didn't get to in person although that is the the goal one day to be there for one of his Christmases) but being able to see a picture melts and warms my heart to the core.

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas, and has an amazing New Year. Remember 2011 is a new year, a new time, and a time to cherish what we do have, and not to be angry or harsh about what we don't have.

And I must make a public apology to my secret sister, for being so late on your gift, I really hope that it got to you on time.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to ALL of you. You are all in my thoughts everyday.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quote of the week: Memory

"Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." - Kevin Arnold

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Poem

by Linda J Schiltt

It's Christmas time, the gifts are wrapped,
And piled beneath the tree,
Yet every year there's an absence,
That is only felt by me.

I prepare the table for the feast
And bow my head in prayer,
I try best to hide my grief,
For the child that is not there.

We raise our glasses for a toast,
To family and to friends,
But all that I am wishing for,
Is to hold you once again.

So amidst the Christmas joy,
Is an emptiness I bear,
An ever present heartache
For the child that is not there

And when I see children laugh
With that twinkle in their eyes,
I cannot help but wonder
If you think of me sometimes

And when the day comes to an end,
No grief can quite compare,
To another Christmas yearning
For the child that is not there.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote of the week: Wonder and knowing

"It is better to know and be disappointed, than to not know and always wonder." - Unknown

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Traditions

( as shared in the Founder's Corner Section of the December 2008 BirthMom Buds Bulletin)

Traditions are an important part of any holiday but it can be hard as a birthmother because your child will be participating in his/her adoptive family’s traditions and those may not be the same traditions that you have grown a custom to. But you can create some special traditions as a birthmother.
Coley’s Ornament Tradition
One tradition I’ve created for Charlie is to give him a special ornament each year at Christmas. I originally didn't plan on it becoming a tradition but it has turned out that way. 

When searching for something to give Charlie his first Christmas, I came across a really neat Precious Moments Christmas “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament that had a spot to write his name, birth date, weight, and length. I purchased the ornament and thought what a neat keepsake item it would be for him to have one day in the future.

The next Christmas it only seemed natural to give him another ornament, thus it has become a yearly tradition. I plan to continue this ornament tradition for years to come and when he is all grown up and leaves home, he will have years worth of ornaments to put on his own Christmas tree.

Lani’s Verse Tradition
have always loved family traditions and thought it would be great to still have a part of that in my birth child’s life.  Since the time she was born I started a  neat tradition that I do periodically when I send her gifts. I have a special Bible verse (James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift comes from God.) that is kind of like my thoughts about her.
Over the years I have given her different things that have that special verse on it such as a blanket with the verse embroidered on it, a stuffed bunny with the verse embroidered on it, etc..  One day I hope that she will see the link in all these things and know that time, thought, and love was put into it.  

We both encourage each of you to find some sort of tradition that you can do over the years for your child. Even if you are in a closed adoption you could still do something and just save it for the day when you are reunited.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quote of the week: A New Ending

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." - Maria Robinson

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quote of the week: Life

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we might as well dance! - Unknown

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 2010 Newsletter

The December 2010 BirthMom Buds Bulletin is now available here. If you have any problems viewing that or if you just prefer to download the PDF file, you can download that version of the same newsletter here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Path of Adoption

I don't know you and you don't know me, but we are one in the same. We gave our hearts away to fill someone else's life with joy and happiness. We gave our children the best life that we thought we could, by allowing ourselves to love our child enough to let them go. We walk along the same road, maybe down different paths but always in the same direction.

When I refer to paths- I mean the option of adoption paths. Some of us chose a closed adoption to make the pain or hurt less, even though it is always there and it will remain a part of us forever. Some of us were forced with closed adoptions because it was the only option at that time. Some of us chose the semi-open adoption path because there was a part of us that still wanted the option of seeing pictures and knowing how our child was. Then there are some of us that chose the open adoption path, like myself, who wanted full access to all of the information, wanted to feel in control, even when most of the time I feel like I'm out of control. And some of us didn't get a choice at all. 

No matter which path we have decided or are deciding to take it is one that we all go into with a heavy heart and did so because we thought it was best for our child. No one said that it would be easy. Many of us will wake up in the morning thinking of whether or not the decision we are making or have made is the right one. 

Some people may tell us that we are selfish because we just want to live our lives without the "burden or responsibility" of a child, or that we are abandoning our children. I want to address those comments. 

Our decision was the hardest one that anyone can ever make, one of the least selfish things anyone can do. How is it selfish to love your child enough to give them to a family that can give them more than you could ever dream of? Give them the option of being anything they want to be? How is it selfish to give people the most blessed gift from God that they literally are so happy that they cut up newspaper and magazines to show that confetti is flying in the air to show a celebration of their happiness? Or being so grateful to you that their cup runneth over with love and joy? It's not...plain and simple. 

If someone ever tells you that you are selfish they haven't walked a mile in your shoes, or carried a child for 9 months knowing all those kicks, heartbeats, ultrasounds, and even your first moments of holding that child would be the only firsts that you'd get to have in person. They will never know the pain, heartache, and happiness that you feel, and I really feel sorry for them. 

As for those that want to make snide jerk comments about you abandoning your child to live your life with no worries, no responsibilities or any other selfish comments they want to make, are obviously too self-absorbed to even care enough about what you are going through to see that you are not selfish and you are NOT abandoning your child. 

Maybe this post was more of a rant-- maybe it will put some people in their place, maybe it will put comfort in some birthmom's hearts and let them realize that they are not alone and what they are doing is just making others wish they had the strength and the selfless heart to go through it all. 

I've just been feeling so down lately because of some of the comments made by others who are bitter, and also been told straight to my face that I am not E's mom because I'm not raising him. I'm so frustrated with the arrogance and ignorance of others to think they even had or have the right to say such things to me. I am E's birthMOM, see MOM. Even if I didn't already have 2 kids before I gave birth to E I would still celebrate Mothers Day and I'd still be proud to call myself a mother because there are plenty of women out there that believe their children are a burden to their independence and that pregnancy is the most horrible thing that they ever had to go through, AND there are even "mothers" out there that leave their children with random people, ship them off every weekend, and even leave them with their parents so that they can have their "alone" time with their significant other, party with friends, or  do drugs. THOSE mothers are the ones that are abandoning their children NOT you. But yet they are still considered "mothers" even after doing all of that. We are giving the gift of life and love to families that can't do it themselves. We make very important decisions for them before they are even born. 

We are moms one and all, you never know the journey of someone's life and path of adoption if you never plan to walk a mile in their shoes, but you are willing to spit on the road that they are traveling. 

"All that still matters is the love and the laughter, after the life we've been through"


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quote of the week: Hourglass

Life is like an hourglass... Eventually, everything hits the bottom. All you have to do is wait it out until someone comes along and turns it around. - Unknown

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you traveling - be safe!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thanksgiving Holiday & Heartache

So, I've been wondering for the past couple weeks how I would handle holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas and even little milestones. Since this week is Thanksgiving I have been thinking about how I enjoyed Thanksgiving time with my children that I already have and what I am going to miss about not having a new baby to share with the rest of my family.

With my daughter her first Thanksgiving was a riot because she was only 3 weeks old, and with Ethyn he was older and it was so much fun to see him interact with family.

When I think that we won't get to spend Thanksgiving with E or get to see his first moments maybe eating some mashed potatoes or green bean casserole, it kind of breaks my heart. I don't think it has really hit me quite yet on how I am going to feel on the day of. He is so blessed to have such a big family support and so many people that want to share their Thanksgiving with him, and somewhere deep down inside of me I wish that I could be spending it with him as well. I am wondering why my heart hurts so much during these times and why things are the way that they are. At this moment as I write this I'm not very hurt, I'm actually very calm, but I know that it's going to hit me on Thanksgiving when we are talking to family and friends about what we are thankful for how much I am thankful for him. I am thankful for E in so many ways, he has made me grow so much over the past 5 1/2 months that I can't really explain it, it's weird. Even though he is not around I still feel him in my heart.

I don't want to cry this week, I don't want to be sad, because Thanksgiving is about family, thankfulness, happiness and joy and it should be celebrated not mourned. I am in a content place this week, I think that Christmas will be the biggest hit for me, but I'll write about that another time. But I'm just wondering is how do I get through the holidays with the family that I do have here with me, instead of always missing the one person that I don't?

So much pondering and self reflection this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quote of the Week: Friendship

"Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts." - Maragret Lee Runbeck

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gift Ideas: Photo Gifts

In continuing with my gift ideas series, I have another gift idea for you: gifts that incorporate photos. 

First, let's talk about the photos themselves, then we'll talk about what to do with them.....

You are probably wondering what photo you should use. For those of you in open adoptions with visits, you could use a photo of you and your child at a visit. Or you could use a photo of your child that you took yourself. Or if photos of you and your child aren't an option, then you could use a photo of a neat area near you, a tourist area near you, yourself doing something cool or interesting, or simply a snapshot of yourself holding a sign saying "Hi ______." Those are just a few ideas of photos off the top of my head but you can get creative and have fun with it. 

Now, what to do with those ordinary photos to turn them into a special gift?? So many things! 

Photo puzzles - Photo puzzles are a fun idea. Send it all broken up and then the child will have to put it together to see the photo. You could also send some puzzle glue so they could glue it together once completed. 
Recordable picture frames - With a recordable picture frame you can display a favorite photo and record a short message for your child. 
Photo books - Nowadays, there are so many different companies where you can make photo books. You could make a book of pictures from visits that year if you have enough, you could make a scrapbook of your life, you could make an ABC photo book for a younger child; the options are endless! 
Photo mousepads - For an older child who is using a computer, a photo mousepad would be an unique gift idea using a photo. 
Photo playing cards - This would be a great gift idea for an older child to give them a set of playing cards displaying a neat photo. 

So tell me, what you have done interesting with a photo?? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quote of the week: Be who you want to be

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I am angry...I am angry because I want to know when my bliss starts and when does it plan on happening for me? I want to know when my happiness starts. I am tired of crying over stuff that I shouldn't be crying over. I feel like this whole thing is taking over my life. It consumes every part of me. I can't sleep because all I feel is anger and animosity, and even jealousy. I see all my friends enjoying their new babies and all I want to do is scream. I don't have that new baby to hold, kiss, feed, change, and wake up with in the middle of the night.

I am angry at myself for not being okay with my decision. I was okay in the beginning, even hell bent on making sure that I was okay. And now, all I am is pissed off and mad. (sorry about the language). Don't get me wrong, I have two of the most amazing children that I could ever ask for-they are a blessing. And I have such an amazing support system in my husband that I truly need to stop complaining, but there is this huge hole in my heart. I feel like when I gave E up for adoption I gave away a part of myself. I feel like I have no passions, ambitions or dreams anymore. I always tell myself that I can do anything I set my mind to do, but I can't get myself out of this hole.

My grief system is off. Someone stated about the stages of grief in an earlier blog and I feel like all my stuff is backwards or non-existent. I can't deny that I gave my child up for adoption. I have accepted that part. But my anger and depression are starting to rear their ugly heads.

Through my agency I get a lifetime of counseling for this, but that's the thing...I DON'T want to talk to a complete stranger. I don't want my situation analyzed, I don't want to be told that "everything will be okay"...Because it won't be, and it isn't. Until we are financially set and able to see E I don't think that I will have the closure that I need. I don't want to be told that my feelings are normal, that will set me off. I am in a fragile state where if you say something, anything to me I go off. Like I said in the beginning this whole thing consumes my life. It is taking too much out of me and I need it to stop.

I want my life back....

Those were my feelings last week, and over the weekend things seemed much better. On the 5th we celebrated the 1 year "You found me" anniversary. A year ago on November 5th we found the adoptive couple that would completely change our lives forever. It was such a bittersweet day. And this weekend, November 7th my daughter turned 4 years old and we had amazing family and friends to share it with, so it kept my mind off of those things. But when those people leave and it's just me I sink back into my hole.

"Well I never pray
But tonight I'm on my knees yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now
But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now"
- The Verve-Bittersweet Symphony

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quote of the Week: Another step forward

"I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." - Thomas Edison

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Newsletter

The Fall edition of the BirthMom Buds Bulletin is now available. You can download it here.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Selfless vs. Selfish

Some people say they "wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy", but recently I've been waking up in the morning feeling like dookie. "Dookie" is my code word for crap. I sometimes feel like "Is this the day that I lose it?"

I haven't had that mental or emotional breakdown that I was told would come from this whole process. I keep getting told "your story seems too good to be true", "this is not how adoptions go, you're not telling the whole truth". How do you explain and make people understand you're not normal? That's the thing, you shouldn't have to explain to others your feelings or explain to them how your story is. Because your story is your story and how you feel, deal, and handle everything about it is all you. Nobody else can be in your shoes or know your experience. Only you hold the truths to all of that.

I've always been a very emotional person, someone who wears their heart on their sleeve. But up until about 6 months ago I've put up a very high wall when it comes to my feelings and my story. There are always going to be people that don't understand it and don't really even want to understand it.

For example: The day that I gave birth to E I received a very hateful message from a woman telling me that "I was a horrible mother and that E is going to hate me for what I've done and that I will regret what I've done and that I should be ashamed of myself for having two children and thinking that E wasn't good enough to "keep"". You can only imagine the pain that I felt by that message, the anger, resentment, and sadness that was going through my head. I was trying to look at it from her point of view and trying to understand why she thought what I was doing was so selfish and was wishing that I could show her that it wasn't a selfish decision but a selfless one.

Our decision was one that we made, that I made with a very heavy heart. I didn't go into it thinking that it would be the easiest thing I'd ever do in my life, when in all actuality it is by far the HARDEST most DIFFICULT thing that I have ever had to do in my entire life. But I will never apologize for the decision that we made.

Our story is one in a million, not everyone gets to experience the joy in it too. But where there is joy there is always that lingering pain.

We aren't the only ones that are hurting. My mom is a mother and a grandmother, so it was hard for her to understand this choice. It was hard for her because she loved me and loved the child that was growing inside of me but no matter what my choice was she stood by me. She even came to visit me while in the hospital to say her hello's to E and let him know that she loved him. Selfless.

My husband has had family members that have been very loving and very supportive of our decision, most of which also came to the hospital to see E and to be there for us in our time of sadness. Selfless.

We also have had family members tell us that our adoption was a "publicity stunt to make people feel sorry for us and to like me more". We have taken those people out of our lives. The negativity of some people personally is disgusting but you have to realize that those people have nothing better to do then to talk badly about such a selfless and strong choice that you have made. That makes them selfish.

It's the reaction and actions you give and take that make the difference. I sometimes feel sorry for those people who can't understand or feel such an act of selflessness and love. You just want to shake them to make them understand, but doing so won't help, because you can't make those who aren't in it get it. Not everyone is strong enough to make this kind of choice. We are among the few that are strong enough to understand that we were chosen, we were picked to bring these children into the world and to bless others with the ability to have a family when they themselves could not do the same for themselves.

In closing I want to tell you do not let anyone tell you you are selfish, that you have made a bad decision. And don't ever feel that way either.

"We reflect on how things could have been but it was worth it in the end" -Daughtry

With love -


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Carolina Birthmoms

Carolina Birthmoms, there will be a PAGE (Post Adoption Group Encouragement) meeting on Saturday, Nov 6 at 10 AM in Charlotte, NC. For more information, email Meg at!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quote of the week: Questions of a child

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. - Unknown

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas: Recordable Books

It's hard to believe but Christmas is just right around the corner. And those of us in open (or even some semi-open) adoptions are beginning to think about what we should send our children for Christmas. 

It is such a dilemma when it comes to gift giving for holidays and birthdays isn't it? We wonder things like: Should the gift be sentimental? Should it be age appropriate? Since we are not parenting our children and giving them the daily things such as clothes, food, and shelter like other parents do I think ultimately that it makes the dilemma of gift giving even harder because we given our children fewer things.

So between now and Christmas I'll be featuring some different gift ideas that I think would be appropriate for birthmothers to give their children. Hopefully this sporadic series of posts will help you and you'll either use one of my ideas or they will inspire you with other ideas. If you have a great idea, please email it to me or write a post about it on your blog and email me a link to it and I'll feature it here.

The first gift idea I'd like to share are the Hallmark recordable children's books. I orginally heard about these over a year ago and instantly wished that they had been around back when my son was young enough for these type of books. 

This book was also featured in the season finale of MTV's Teen Mom. In the episode, Tyler and Catelynn, visit with their daughter Carly. On the last day of their visit Tyler and Catelynn give Carly one of these books. Carly's adoptive Mom helps her look through book and you can hear Tyler and Catelynn's voices reading the book to Carly. It was a precious moment! 

There are currently 15 different books in the Hallmark recordable books line including some holiday books perfect for the upcoming holidays like The Night Before Christmas and some everyday titles as well such as All The Ways I Love You, Bright and Beautiful, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The books are simple to use. You simply open them up and there is a "record" button in the front. Follow the prompts and record the story in your own voice for your child. 

What a great gift one of these books would be - it's an age appropriate yet a sentimental gift.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finalizing Forever

“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”

You've signed the papers, you've given someone the gift of life, you've been that person to heal the hole in their hearts and you've been trying to move on and move forward and live your life. But what about what happens when you find out that your adoption is being finalized? 

Some people don't get the opportunity to hear or even know about the finalization hearing let alone given the option to attend it. When Trent and I first went with our open adoption our agency told us that there would be a hearing that we would be able to attend if we wanted to contest our adoption. And we immediately said, we don't want to know about it, we don't want to know where it is, what time it is, we personally just don't want the option to say "We want him back". I mean we spent the whole time making sure that we didn't get attached, that all these big things that would even give us the chance to go back on our agreement would be taken care of by the agency. We were set in our decision the day that we signed the papers, and never would have thought to say we changed our minds. But sometimes people do change their minds and that is normal, it's a motherly instinct. We, were just not those people. 

Well, we found out through E's adoptive parents that their finalization hearing is on October 27 and that's when they will be legally Ezra's parents forever, not that they aren't already, but you all know how the law works, it has to be written on paper. And I also found out that on October 30th E will be sealed in their life for eternity through their church. 

So, the reason for this blog is just to kind of go through the feelings. When I first found out about E's finalization hearing I was happy and excited for his parents but then I started thinking and I got sad. I know that I will always be his birth mom, I know that I will always hold a place in their hearts forever. It's just different because I sometimes feel like I should be the one he calls mom, but all it takes is looking at his pictures to realize, no, I was meant to be his birth mom, not his mother. That Trent was meant to be his birth dad, not his father. But looking at it from the outside looking in I know how people feel about these sort of things. I have had so many people ask me "If you love him why don't you just go get him", but what they don't realize is that our love for E runs so much deeper than all of the technical paperwork. Our love is a bond that will last a lifetime and he is being loved by the greatest people I know and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

When I found out that E will be blessed in their church I think I was more sad by that, only because we can't be there. Money is so tight so we are just wondering when we'll get to see him again. That's a really special day and we've seen other birth mom's be able to be there for their child's blessings, baptisms, etc. and it just seems like I am in this place where I'm wondering...when is it my turn. Then I have to sit and think to myself, I will get my turn, that things happen to us when He wants them to, not when we decide. And I also have to think that we are going to be at his 1st birthday no matter what. 

I also received some amazing pictures this past week. The first set of pictures were over the past few months and when I went to put them in E's album I realized I had ran out of room and I will need to get another album, probably a bigger one. I also received a photo book of their professional photos that they had taken for when E was 3 months. I feel completely blessed to be able to receive pictures and get to see him grow up.

Finalizing forever is like finalizing hope, finalizing your child's life, that he/she is going to be in the greatest hands that He could put them in. 

So, I leave you with this...

It's never goodbye, always see you soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote of the week: Past, present, future

You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future. - Unknown

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My blessing...My story

Hello everyone, my name is Alicia and I want to give you an introduction into my adoption story, and my journey/search in finding the parents of a lifetime.

October 2009: We (my now husband and I) found out that we were pregnant. And normally when you find out that you are pregnant it is an exciting overwhelming happy feeling that just makes you so full of joy and bliss. Unfortunately that was not the feeling for us. When we found out we were pregnant it was a huge surprise, we were scared, upset, angry (more me than my husband), and feeling very much in denial of what was going on. My husband and I had just moved into a new apartment, I just started going back to school and my husband had been laid off from his job. Times were hard, we were just getting our life, and our kids' lives back to normal. We already had (in 2009) two beautiful children who had been through a rough summer and we just wanted them to be happy and be stable in one place. And since we found out about the pregnancy it was a complete shocker and we weren't exactly "thrilled to death"...more like "scared to death."

For two weeks my husband and I talked and went back and forth back and forth over what was good for us, this little being that was inside of me, as well as what was best for our two children. At the end of October we made our final decision that we were going to give our child up for adoption.

November 2009: We found the most amazing website that was so easy to go through and search for adoptive couples.
While we were searching for our adoptive couple we wanted to lay out what we wanted from our adoptive couple, what our hopes were, or our aspirations for how our child would live, and what kind of life that he/she would have. I think it’s very important while you are considering adoption to remember that while you are pregnant and making your adoption plan you are in control of what kind of adoption you want like open, semi-open, or closed and you have the option of how much information that you want to share, and how often you want to talk to your adoptive couple, or even if you want to share with them the experiences that you are going through such as doctor's appointments and ultrasounds. (Editor's Note: Open adoption isn't legally enforceable in most states.)

We wanted a couple that had no children because we wanted our child to be the first, to be that answer to a couple’s prayer. To be able to give the couple all of the firsts that they were looking for. First smile, first laugh, first diaper change, first feeding, well you get the point…just all of the firsts that most mothers and fathers get, and we wanted to find a couple who had been trying to conceive yet because of God, were not able to because He had a bigger plan for them. We also chose to have an open adoption. We wanted to be able to have pictures, phone calls, letters, e-mails, and to also know where our child was going to be placed and what the adoptive parents’ last name was going to be. We really wanted to be in the loop, yet out of the loop all at the same time.

On November 2
nd, 2009 we contacted a couple via the website we'd found because we read their letter and it made us so hopeful about adoption. The next day we received a return e-mail stating that they had already found their birth mom, but gave us the profile of two of their friends, Kris and Timmy, who have been trying to conceive for awhile but were unable to have a child of their own.

So, that same day we read their adoption profile and their birth mom letter and we KNEW. The moment we read their birth mom letter we knew it was meant for us. That we were meant to heal the hole in their heart. We immediately contacted them and let them know that we would like to talk to them more.

On November 3
rd we received an e-mail back from Kris telling us how happy she was that we contacted them and that we were able to find their profile and that it spoke to us the way that it did. Several e-mails and instant messages were exchanged in two days and by November 5th we knew that we wanted them to be our adoptive couple. We told Kris and Timmy through e-mail that we wanted them to be the parents to take care of our son/daughter. They were thrilled to say the least. Thrilled isn’t even a word to describe it...

Our main goal throughout the process, and the reason we chose adoption so early was because we wanted our adoptive couple to be a part of EVERYTHING. And by everything I mean, ultrasounds, the first heartbeat, finding out the sex and also being a part of the delivery experience. When I had my first ultrasound at 10 weeks we were yahoo chatting with webcam and we showed them the ultrasound and Kris cried and Timmy was elated. That moment just re-affirmed to us that our decision was the right one.

December 14: THE BIG DAY…Well meeting day that is. Kris and Timmy came to Indiana from Arizona to see us. And to also be apart of the doctor’s appointment that I had on that Monday. I can’t really give all the details of the visit but it was the most informational moment in our entire adoption. We learned so much about them, what they were like, what their families were like, their religion, their marriage, etc and so forth. Needless to say the visit was amazing. And, on that Monday we all went to my doctor appointment and they got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. I’ve never seen bigger smiles in my entire life. The moment that we had to say our goodbyes was pretty hard for me. Of course, my hormones took over, but I cried, Kris cried, it was just a very emotional moment because it was real.

Over the next months we talked on a daily basis. We kept in contact and we wanted to re-assure Kris and Timmy that we were serious about them being our adoptive couple. And the way that we are different from most, is because we truly feel like God sent them to US, not the other way around.

We also found out through these months that we were having a BOY. It was amazing to be able to give Timmy his first boy (I wanted a girl because they are so easy to dress up) but all we really wanted was a healthy baby. Another way that we wanted Kris and Timmy to be a part of the entire process was we wanted them to pick out the name, we wanted them to be able to design their own nursery and not be putting one together 2 days before he was born. And, my biggest thing is I wanted K to have a baby shower. I wanted her to literally experience everything that a mom experiences without being pregnant. And I’m so happy that her sister-in-law and church members were able to give her those things.

May 2010: By the near end of my pregnancy I was ready to be done being pregnant, I was ready for this experience to start for K&T and I wanted them to be able to hold their son. So, I convinced my doctor to have me induced on June 3
rd, 2010. I wanted to have our induction because I wanted K&T to be a part of the birth…now I know what you are thinking but I will clear that up.::

We talked to Kris and Timmy about being a part of the big day, and they were so supportive. We told them that we wanted them to experience it all and that even meant them being in the delivery room while it all went on….here is a breakdown of that wonderful day::

Tuesday, June 1, 2010: Such an exciting day. Kris and Timmy were flying out this evening to see come for Ezra's arrival. Needless to say I didn't get much done. I was trying to stay busy and keep focused and get some cleaning done but that just didn't happen. It was just a very relaxing and exciting day with so much going on I can barely remember it all.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010: This was just a great day! Timmy and Kris had arrived safe and sound and I would get a little bit of "day time" with Kris as well as get to have them around for my doctor's appointment. They got to hear the baby Ezra's heartbeat as well as get to be in the room with me while the doctor set up my induction time and pretty much made it official that we were having a baby the next day, bright and early! After the doctor's appointment Kris and I went to get pedicures. We wanted to get blue toes, I originally thought that Kris should get an E (for Ezra) and she could add some polka dots, but we had a NAZI nail lady who insisted that we get since the lady spent so much time on the flower I decided oh well I'll keep it. (Kris later went and covered her flower up. haha). After the pedicure we went to BabiesRUs and I showed Kris what it was like to park in the "Expecting Mothers" parking. We had to get a boppy and a boppy cover. After that running around we picked up the boys and the kiddos and decided to hit up my place of employment and have some lunch. I introduced them to some fried pickles (which because I was still pregnant they were AMAZING...and they still are!) We then decided to go home because they were coming over later. After dinner we went out separate ways because we had a long day the next day (at least we hoped it wasn't toooo long)

Later that night: So, I was supppose to be up at 4 am (I set this time because I wanted time to get ready) well...needless to say I had NO sleep....I think maybe 2 hours.

Thursday, June 3, 2010: D-DAY!!! (Delivery Day) Woke up at 4:15-4:30ish and got ready. At 5:30, we headed to the hospital to get ready for my induction! Around 6:30 I finally received my Pitocin. It was pretty awesome. It was perfection. I asked for the epidural before the doctor came in to break my water because I knew if the doctor broke my water before I got the epidural that things would just be worse. So, perfection means that when I asked for my epidural the anesthesiologist walks in and then the doctor walked in right after they started to put the epidural in. Wooo. So, I got lucky. Then after they did the epidural the doctor came in and broke my water and finally around 12:15 I started feeling like OMG I have to push. And finally, at 12:33 PM Ezra made his debut! And the only thing that I could ask everyone was "does he have hair"...and the reason that I wanted to know that was because I wanted to know if my heartburn had a reason! :D And of course he had hair!!! AND he has blue eyes. All the more amazing. That whole day was a whirlwind.

was told not to eat from midnight on the night before because right after I had Ezra I was suppose to have my tubal ligation and unfortunately because of ALL the babies that were being born that day (7 all together) and so unfortunately I didn't eat for 18 hours and was finally told you will have your surgery in the morning go ahead and eat. So, because Timmy is so awesome he went and got me some food! And I let Kris and Timmy enjoy some time with Ezra, and to make sure that they were able to get the most time of the feedings, and also the diaper changing they could. So, Kris and Timmy stayed on the couch in my room so that Ezra could stay in the room with us. After all of that was said and done I was exhausted and just passed out!

Friday, June 4, 2010: Bright and Early, because I was having surgery I didn't eat yet again! So, at 9:30 because I was still so exhausted I headed down to surgery (I had to have general anesthesia) so I get downstairs and I pass out because I'm super exhausted, but they wheel me in the room to start my surgery and they say breath this in (supposedly it was oxygen) but after about 5 or 6 breaths I PASSED OUT! Next thing I remember I am going back into my room and getting back into my bed and going back to sleep because I'm soooo exhausted. I wake up remember eating, and remember how much pain I was in, looked down at my belly button and realize it has these tape pieces on it. I didn't even want to see the incision. Friday was a dramatic day, come to find out that Ezra wasn't able to be discharged without a court order (just a wrench in the whole adoption thing) and I couldn't sign papers because I had been under the anesthesia and I wasn't able to make an "informed" decision until 24 hours after the anesthesia wore off. So, we ended up having to stay in the hospital until Monday.

Monday, June 7, 2010: One of the hardest days of my entire life. The night before, everything was okay, until Ezra had his first "hungry, unhappy" cry. And, then all of the sudden my "mommy mode" came into play and I started to bawl my eyes out. I tried to keep it on the down low, because I didn't really want to show my sensitive side. So, I cried, and then just went to sleep. So, in the morning Dave showed up around 10:00 to start the paperwork. Before this Kris and Timmy went upstairs and had their showers and so I called Ezra in from the nursery to have some alone time. So, when Dave, my social worker arrived and Maria, a support person was there as well and she read me this book that just made me cry some more. But finally, after time I was able to sign the papers (Ezra still in arms). There were so many people in the room it just felt really unreal. But after the papers were signed we invited Kris and Timmy back in the room and I wanted to be able to give her Ezra and say "Hi, Mommy" just let her know that it was official, the moment she had been waiting for had finally come, and it was official.

I was discharged from the hospital that day and so was Ezra. Leaving was hard. I slept most of the day, barely ate and pretty much cried whenever I saw something that had Ezra on it, clothes I had worn when I was pregnant with Ezra, and even his ultrasound picture, I bawled my eyes out. I had to sleep with the elephant that they got me just to feel "relaxed".

I will not sugarcoat this for you and say that it’s easy…because it is the hardest decision that you will ever make in your entire life. It’s one that you shouldn’t take lightly. But like I said in the beginning YOU are the one that can make the choices, the ball is in your court the entire time.

In closing of this introduction I want to apologize for how long it was, I do want to say that there is not a day that goes by that there aren’t tears, or sadness, happiness and joy. But adoption is bittersweet… it is bitter because you are giving away a part of you forever, but it is sweet because you know that you are giving your child the life that you yourself cannot provide. You are giving HOPE to a family that has a huge hole in their heart, an emptiness that cannot be described or felt by any other. I am happy that each and everyday I am able to hear about our birth son Ezra, and that I get the opportunity through our open adoption to see pictures of him and his smiling face. He looks just like me with the big blue eyes, but he has all the personality and laughter, love, and happiness of his parents. He is my Ezra, and I am his Alicia…and I am pretty okay with that

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quote of the week: Timing

Life is all about timing. The unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable; attainable. Have patience, wait it out. It's all about timing. - Stacey Charter

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Quote of the week: Be who you are

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Amazing Race Birthmother and Daughter

If you follow this blog you probably saw my post about Andie and Jenna, reunited birthmother and daughter who were competing in this season of The Amazing Race. Sadly, Andie and Jenna were eliminated this past Sunday in just the second leg of the competition.

There's a short interview with them in People Magazine. You can read it online here. There's also a good interview on MSN, you can read that one here. In the MSN interview, Jenna is asked what their relationship is like today since the episode was actually filmed months ago. Jenna answers, "We really achieved our goal that we set going into the race—we wanted to become friends, and we definitely have. We email back and forth—we're never going to have time together again like we did on the race. I always know that if I need to talk to Andie, I can. "

Since they don't live in the same area, Andie and Jenna say they don't see each other in person much but they do stay in touch via email, texting, and such.

While this reunion playing out on TV was definately unique and not typical it was interesting to watch and even though they were eliminated early, I think they did those of us in the adoption community proud.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quote of the week: Drop in the ocean

Each of us feels that we are just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that missing drop. - Mother Teresa

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reunited Birthmom and Daughter on Amazing Race

Color me surprised when I was watching The Amazing Race premiere tonight and one of the teams is a birthmother and her reunited adult daughter!

Years ago, Andie DeKroon found herself in an unplanned pregnancy at age 22. She chose adoption for her baby girl and went on to get married and have 10 more children that she is raising with her husband.

In 2008, University of Georgia student Jenna Sykes decided she wanted to locate her birthmother and found Andie. The pair wrote old fashioned letters for 18 months as Jenna needed to ease into a relationship. She says she felt extremely overwhelmed just knowing her birthmother's name.

Last year, Jenna posted a Tweet saying she'd love to be on The Amazing Race. Seeing this, Andie thought it would be a unique way for them to get to know one another. Jenna agreed and they recorded separate audition tapes merging them together. In fact, the first time they heard one another's voices was on the audition tapes!

Anyone experienced in the adoption community knows that reunions are tricky, challenging, and emotional. I can't imagine having it all play out while you are being followed by a slew of cameras and racing around the world for a million dollars but I'll be watching and rooting for Jenna and Andie!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quote of the week: Light within

People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Maryann

This weekend's featured blogger is Maryann from Bright Spotz. I love the quote Maryann has on her side bar and I must share it with you. Maryann defines a birthmother as "a woman who acts in faith, seeks for peace, and hopes for knowledge." Love the definition!

First, Maryann, please tell us a little bit about yourself. (Name, age, where you are from, what led to you making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfy sharing!)

My name is Maryann. I am 36 years old and have lived in Utah most all of my life. I am Birth Mom to one daughter (age 17), and Mother of two daughters (ages 9 & 5). I love running, reading, and I am learning to Irish dance.

I was 18 and attending my first year of college in Idaho when it was confirmed I was pregnant. I was 19 when my daughter was born.

An adoption plan is never easy to make – and never plan “A”. The first thing I considered was what it would be like if I decided to raise my daughter.

I had used all the money I had saved for tuition, books and housing – I had very little left in my savings account. So, I would take her back to Utah with me, to my parents 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house where there would now be 9 of us living.

I would need to find a job, and somehow obtain all the baby items I needed, a car, and eventually our own place to live. I would need to pay for daycare while I worked – and if I ever wanted us to be out of poverty level living, I would need to find a way to continue college.

But, if I went to work and college… day care would be raising my baby.

The sperm donor was demanding abortion and threatening to physically do it himself if I did not…… If I brought her home, I would also have to keep her safe from him.

This was NOT what I wanted for my daughter. She deserved to start life in a home where two parents welcomed her and were concerned for her well-being. A home where she would not want for the things she needed and desired. She especially deserved to have a Dad that wanted to protect her and expected to provide for her.

It was a heart-breaking decision to make… I had already chosen a name. Already thought of all the fun we would have together – the things I could teach her, the places I wanted to take her….reading together, going to the zoo, the park. I longed to see her grow up, to hold her, to protect her, and take care of her.

The final factor that led me to an adoption plan, was religion. Because I firmly believed only God knew what was really best for this baby, I asked Him. It was the spiritual confirmation I received that led me to making an adoption plan.

When and why did you begin blogging?

I started blogging in August of this year. My adoption was a closed adoption (because that was the only option at the time) and I stayed out of state to have my baby, so very few people knew I had placed a baby for adoption.

It was very much the mentality of the time that you should “forget about it.” I remember asking the caseworker what it would be like for me if I placed my baby for adoption. Her response was:

“Oh honey, you will forget about it. You will get married, have your own kids, and everything will be fine.”

Well, I didn’t believe her, and I DIDN’T WANT TO FORGET ABOUT IT. However – there was not really anyone to talk to about all the feelings and emotions I had inside. After 17 years, I have A LOT to say!

After attending an Adoption conference this year (FSA), I saw those who are in open adoptions and are able to talk about their experience are in a much healthier state …. I am blogging because I have decided it is time to talk about my adoption experience.

I love the title of your blog, Bright Spotz. Can you share the story and meaning behind your title?

My blog title comes from my journal at the time I was pregnant. There is much shame associated with being pregnant when the world thinks you should not be…. Some people are rude. Some people are opinionated. Some people judge without ever asking the circumstance.

However, I had a few friends who although they did not know where I had gone or why I had left continued to do nice things for me. They sent all kinds of cards, letters, and packages to my Mom’s house which she would forward to me. In my journal I referred to them as the “bright spots in my life”. They helped me to keep going when I felt like giving up.

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

So, far it has been positive, but I am a brand new blog with not too many followers yet. I realize not everyone loves adoption or is happy with their adoption experience. I am sure at some point I may get a negative response.

Do you have any advice for anyone else thinking of starting a blog?

Do it! It is healthy to talk about your adoption experience regardless of your take on it. In the words of Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

We just all need to realize everyone’s story is a little bit different. Everyone’s perception of adoption is based on their experience. When we really face the facts, our perception IS our reality. All the experiences and perceptions help us sort out together what adoption really is and how to make it better.

Anything else you’d like to say/share??

Your blog is about your experience…. Stay true to what adoption has been for you. Share the happy and the sad…. I believe adoptions stories have both.