Sunday, February 27, 2011

An Introduction of Sorts

Hey, it's me, Leilani.....I'm Baaack !

For those of you who already know me and those that don't, I'm sorry!  Life kind of got in the way and for a long time I've been the person you only read about on the Founders page of BirthMom Buds, saw pop in from time to time during Monday night chats, possibly met at a Birthmom’s Day event, or heard of by reference as Coley’s BFF.  But I'm excited to announce you'll be hearing more from me every other Sunday on here on the BirthMom Buds blog. I will be sharing some inspiring insight from my faith walk to hopefully inspire you on yours.

My goal is never to offend anyone but realistically when it comes to faith it is very easy to find offense. So I ask you please, if one week you find yourself not feeling overjoyed with my thoughts, just bear with me and see if next week might apply to your life.  

Let me give you a little insight about who I am; I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ. I love the Lord and feel every day that I should live it out in all I do. I believe loving others is the greatest thing you could do for them rather than telling them what to do.  I know what it's like to live a broken life and find myself on my knees in hopes of God still desiring to be a part of my life. I can truly say I'm transformed, a completely NEW creation in Christ, and a much better looking one now at that.    So whether you're a Christian or not my hope is that these blogs may give you a great guideline to just being a happier you.

So enjoy and see you in the weeks to come!

Be Blessed,


Quote of the Week: Do Not Stop

"It doesn't matter how slowly you go
 as long as you don't stop."
- Confucius

Friday, February 25, 2011

Upcoming Date

Photo credit:
I have a date coming up.  No, it’s not with my boyfriend.  It’s with my daughter.  I go to visit her and her parents on March 7th.  I’m already nervous.  I’m excited too, but the nervous part of me is winning out over the being excited part.

Again, it’s the worrywart in me.  T and C know that I am, though I’ve never told them that I worry about the visits.  I worry that seeing Mackenzie will cause me to do something or say something that will freak them out.  It would be completely unintentional and pretty much unfounded in anything I truly think or feel.  I’m at peace with my decision.  Though I’ll always struggle with occasional sadness and/or some feelings of regret, I know I made the best decision for myself and more importantly for my little girl.  I know she’s happy.  I know that all her needs and wants are being met, both physically and emotionally.  She’s well adjusted and well loved. 

But that doesn’t help my paranoia.  It happens EVERY time I get ready for a visit.  Each time none of what I fear comes to fruition.  She doesn’t avoid me.  I get grins.  Each time I’m just happy to be around her and see how happy she is.  Of course I leave with post-visit euphoria too.

I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where I don’t struggle with worry or even nervousness about upcoming visits.  If I’ll ever get to the point where excitement and elation are the only emotions I feel.  I hope so.  Until then, I’ll remind myself of the previous visits and how they’ve gone with the hopes that those thoughts will help dissipate the worry that I feel.

What about all of you?  Do you deal with nervousness or worry too?  What do you do to cope?

~ Monika

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Always in my Heart, Always on my Mind

It's been awhile since I have posted but I have always wanted to write about something when I found something that was worth writing about. I have been in a "nothing is good enough for this blog" mind set. I wanted to write about something that others could relate to with me and it's just been one of those weeks I guess.

I have had a lot on my mind, just so much has been going on that I haven't really had time to sit down and think about E. I know that sounds really bad, because he should always be on my mind, but I feel like there is a place in my head that is trying to shut that off. Because I have spent almost 9 months trying to just stop thinking about him every second of everyday. I'm trying to cope and just trying to move past the point in my life of sadness and mourning. I have actually been doing a really good job of just staying focused on what I have going on at home. 

Ever since E was born and we actually decided on going with adoption, I have wanted to get his intials, his name, his birthday, SOMETHING about him tattooed on me. I wanted to have him be a part of me forever and I have been searching all over to find the perfect representation of him and his adoptive parents and myself. I wanted something that meant something, and I didn't want to get inked and then realize there was nothing I could do to change it if it was something that I didn't like or that didn't turn out the way that I had planned. And I really thought that fate had come along and tapped me on the shoulder when my sister-in-law informed me that she was having a tattoo party for her 24th birthday. So, I thought to myself, what the perfect opportunity to get what I want and start thinking more seriously about it. 

So, I did my search and came across the adoption symbol. And I went and did more searching and found the meaning behind the adoption symbol, and I just sat there in awe, and thought about it and it was the most perfect thing I could ever think of doing. Many of you are probably really familiar with the adoption symbol and know that the triangle part is made up of the birth parents (or just birth mom), adoptive parents, and the birth child, and the heart connects the triangle to show the love that each one has for the other. I found the perfect adoption symbol idea and I went in for the consult and I am waiting on Friday for it to get done. 

Here is what it will look like: 

Arching over the top of the tattoo it will say "Hope is", then an under-arch under the tattoo it will say "Easy", meaning that Hope is Ezra (Easy is Ezra's nickname), because he brought so much hope into our lives, all of our lives. and then on the left hand side of the triangle there will be a 6, in the middle of the heart and triangle where that space is there will be a 3, and then on the right hand side there will be a 10. 6.3.10. E's birth date. 

I wanted to make this tattoo be something that would always be there, that it would always at least once a day remind me to think of him and make sure that I never ever forget him (as if that would EVER be possible). I am getting it on my left inner wrist, because the vein that it is going on top of is the closest to my heart. 

I will be able to blog next week on how that experience goes, just thought I'd touch base here and let everyone know how I was doing. 

~ Alicia

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Open Adoptions Legally Enforceable in Pennsylvania

Here's a link to an interesting article. In October of last year, the state of Pennsylvania made open adoptions legally enforceable. The article breaks down the law and tells you the specifics of the law. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quote of the Week: School and Life

"The difference between school and life? In school you are taught a lesson and given a test. In life you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."
- Tom Bodett

Monday, February 14, 2011

My True Valentine

I have been on a few sides of Valentine’s Day; the single woman lonely and feeling unloved, the married woman putting entirely too many unrealistic expectations on my poor unsuspecting husband, the Mommy busy to get all the Valentine’s done and sent to school forgetting entirely about myself getting all wrapped up in the kids  and the birthmom, thinking about and loving my child from a distance as I do every day.

All have had different feelings. As a birthmom you would probably not think this particular holiday affected me much but it does. A since of sadness comes over me. I sit hoping her parents will help her make Valentine’s and hoping she always has the love of a father and mother who on Valentine’s Day shows her, her very own importance and worth in this world. 

Then one day I received the best Valentine Ever and it helped me to put my feelings into a new perspective. Below I'll share with you that Valentine.


True Love

  For God so loVed the world,
That he gAve        
his onLy     
                      That whosoever
 believeth In him              
     should Not perish,
         but have Everlasting life."
-  John 3:16

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quote of the Week: Courage is Like a Kite

"True courage is like a kite; a big wind raises it higher."
- J Pettit-Senn

Friday, February 11, 2011

Birthmother's Day Details

Details are now available for our Birthmother's Day retreat. 
Check out this web page for more information.



I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since placement.  Mackenzie’s now 15 months old. 

The first birthday was rough.  Actually it started a couple of weeks before her birthday with the news that she had her first cold.  Now a cold is not a big deal.  It’s usually not life threatening.  It just tends to create a bit of misery while it lasts.  But it was hard for me.  I heard the news and just broke down.  I felt like, “I’m her momma.  I should BE there for her.  Even if I can’t fix her, I should be there.”  Add to that the fact that I knew her parents were going to be having 10 friends and family over for her birthday celebration and her birthfather and I weren’t invited.  That was rough too.  Looking back on it now I can’t see that I’d even be comfortable in a situation like that.  But at the time, it was horrendous for me to have to think about the fact that I was being denied something as basic as celebrating my daughter’s first birthday.

So I suffered.  Those two weeks between the time I learned she had her first cold and the day of her first birthday (even though her party wasn’t until the Saturday after her birthday) were the roughest time I’ve experienced so far in this placement journey.  I thankfully had some very supportive friends (that I’ve met through BirthMomBuds) that were there when I randomly contacted them and also checked on me at random intervals.  One of my friends was up with me all night the night before her birthday crying with me while she dealt with her own story.  That was an amazing experience.  I’m forever grateful for them…and BirthMomBuds.  Without this community I would have never met some of the women I consider among my dearest friends.

Now for future times like this, I’ll have an “attack plan” of sorts.  I’ll have friends that know exactly what I’m going through and that I know will be there to help get me through.  I’ll also be able to remind myself that I made it through the first birthday.  I made it through the first year with my sanity and emotions intact.  It is said that “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.”  So this experience made me stronger.  I have hope.

Is there anything special you do to get you through times of grief like birthdays or holidays?  Do you have supportive friends to turn to?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Valentine's Day Card Ordeal

Earlier this week I spent almost an entire hour in the kids’ section of the Valentine’s Day cards looking for a card that was appropriate to send to my birthson. I picked up after card growing more frustrated with each one. It seemed like every card said “son” or “grandson.” There were even cards saying “godson” and "nephew." If I wandered out of the kids’ section I found cards that didn’t use titles but they were more grown up and not very fun looking.
I know there are birthmoms whose children’s adoptive parents are perfectly fine with them sending a card that says “son” or “daughter.” I never thought to ask Charlie’s adoptive Mom about this in the earlier years of Charlie’s life and I worry that at an early age that type of card might have confused him and at nine years in it just seems odd to start sending those types of cards so I avoid ones that say “son.” Bottom of Form

Finally, I began to feel defeated and decided it was time to leave the store. I left totally frustrated. While I was pregnant and making an adoption plan, I never realized that something as simple as buying a greeting card would become such a complicated, emotional ordeal. 

My solution? Grab my crafting supplies and just make a personalized card!

Is shopping for a card an ordeal for you as well or are you able to find one that works quickly? 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Slideshow Submissions

We are now accepting admissions for the 2011 Slideshow! 

In case you are a new member of BirthMom Buds and have no clue what I'm talking about, let me explain. Each year we create a slideshow featuring our members' and their children. The slideshow debuts at our Birthmother's Day Retreat and then they are on the website afterwards.

Here are links to the past slideshows if you want to check them out: 
A Birthmother's Love (2006)

A Birthmother's Wish (2007)

A Birthmother's Hope (2008)

A Birthmother is Never Alone (2009)
You'll be in My Heart (2010)

So, for the 2011 Slideshow we are looking for pictures of you with your child, hospital photos, pregnancy photos, photos of you with birthmother friends, photos of you with your child's adoptive parents, etc. Higher resolution photos work best. 

Please be sure and include details about who is in the photo when you email it in. Also, sending in multiple photos is fine as it gives us something to choose from so that we can use what fits the song best. We will use at least one photo from each person who submits a photo. 

By sending me your photo you are giving me your permission to use it. I'm also assuming that by sending me your photo, you have permission from the other people in the photo to use it.

Email your photos to us. 

Quote of the Week: Peace

"You can not find peace by avoiding life." 
- Virginia Woolf 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter 2011 Newsletter

The January/February newsletter is now live. Check it out here

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chocolate, the Root to all Happiness...

First, I want to start this post by saying I'm sorry for being so MIA lately with blogging, I just haven't really been in the mood to blog, write, or even look at anything that has been adoption related. Not because I don't want to, but it's just been one of those weeks. But I finally got off my "woe is me" soap box and am back now with lots of things to share.

I will start with last week, it was the week that I turned 24. The past 4 years I have always looked forward to my birthday because they are times in which you are celebrating your life and celebrating things that you look forward to in that year of your life. Well, this year I guess that I just wasn't as excited as I should have been. I think the biggest reason why, is because it brought back memories to where I was last year on my 23rd birthday. I was pregnant with the most amazing little boy on the planet and I was able to just enjoy that time, those kicks and finding out in the month of January that E was in fact a boy :). I also remember, 2 days before my birthday I was admitted into the hospital with a massive kidney infection (that was not my favorite part) but it's how I found out what his sex was. But, with this birthday looming over my head I just had a wave of emotions, and so many questions that I had to ask myself. I was wondering "what if people don't show up, what if people ditch me, what if we don't have the money to go out and celebrate the way that everyone should be able to celebrate?" and of course those are all pathetic questions but I'll admit those were things going through my head.

Well, the day arrived and I had many surprises, my husband brought me flowers when he had a break from work as well as he bought me 2 bottles of wine (he just knows me so well), and then I get this AWESOME knock on my door *insert sarcasm here*. It was UPS....I will say this they need to calm down with the knocking...I believe 2 times is enough. But it was a package from E's parents. I opened it and it was a potted rose bush plant (yellow roses, his parents' favorite).When I opened it I just started crying. I was never expecting anything from them. I mean, of course I was thinking I'd get some kind of card or a well wish via text message but never thought that they'd ever send me anything in the mail. Well, I opened it and was then sad because the leaves were black (meaning that the plant was dead and not because of the delivery, but because of how flipping cold it had been). I was just so sad, but I sent a Thank You message to them and told them how much I appreciated them, only to find out there was a second part to my gift which I was supposed to receive the next day. Needless to say, the weather in the Midwest, as well as on the East Coast made me receive it on Monday.

When Monday came I got another box from UPS....I was SO excited. I just love receiving boxes in the mail as well as getting to open up awesome surprises. Well, this one not so much. Thank you to the packaging for this company, as well as the H. E double hockey sticks that this box went through being sent to me from a bakery in NYC I had 4 smashed cupcakes and a ravaged box. The box that held my birthday cupcakes, which by the way were my FAVORITE flavors looked like it had been shredded by ravaged dogs and I had sprinkles and chocolate/red velvet cupcakes all over the place. I was so upset. I don't even know why I was upset, but I called the number on the order form and I was very polite and asked the lady if there was anything I could do. At first I didn't say anything about who they were from and how much this particular gift meant to me because normally people always feel sorry for you or think you're lying. Well, at first she was only going to give back E's parents half of their shipping cost, and I would be left with nothing. And I pretty much had to lay all of my cards on the table, to a complete stranger. I had to tell her, so I did. I just let her know this "these cupcakes, are more than just cupcakes to me. These are a gift from 3 of the most important people in my life and receiving them in this condition is just heartbreaking. The money isn't a huge deal to me, it's the fact that with this weather and the care that was taken with these I'm just not happy." and then I just started to cry.

I don't know why those two presents meant so much to me but they did. Normally, you have your adoption where you get things like pictures, emails, or phone calls and those light up your day. Well, they do light up my day, but knowing that E's parents care so much, and love me enough to even think about me on my birthday just really pulled at my heart strings.

The reason that this blog post is titled "Chocolate, the Root to all Happiness" is really just that. We eat chocolate to make us happy, when we get chocolate from friends we are happy, well, I received chocolate cupcakes and I was happy.

Photo Credit