Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slideshow Submissions and Newsletter

Slideshow submissions deadline is tomorrow! Check out this webpage for more info.

Also, the March/April newsletter is available. Click here to view it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Forbidden A Words

As my title says at the top this post is going to be about the two "forbidden" A-Words that sometimes happen to come up in conversation making that conversation become completely awkward, controversial, and sometimes can even make friendships non-existent.

I had a friend the other day post a status about a "Question of the Day" and he asked if a woman is raped is it ok for her to get an abortion. It got really heated. The status was eventually deleted because in my opinion the debate got a little out of hand.

I can't exactly remember what I said, but I know that I stated something about adoption and then it got even more heated because obviously no one could see my opinion or side of things. My whole thing is that the emotional turmoil of rape is pretty great and that if a woman adds adoption to the mix it can be an emotional down spiral and be really bad, but that if they have a great support system then abortion doesn't have to be the only option.

But that whole thing got me to thinking...why is it that when people talk about adoption its just as forbidden as when talking about abortion? They are completely different sides of the spectrum, yet they are debated and put in the same context with each other. You're either loved or hated for both and it's just really unfortunate. I have always been a person for woman's rights and I believe that every woman is in control of her own body, and what she wants to do with it. I believe every woman has a choice, now this is not a choice that I would make for myself, but I still think that it's your body, your area your stuff and what you do with it is your decision. Just like if a woman decides to have an adoption plan then that is her choice, that is her decision, and she has her reasoning behind it.

I've just been sitting around thinking that we get judged so much daily, still to this day about being woman and our choices and decisions are always looked at under a microscope. It doesn't matter what we say or do it just seems to never be the right decision.

I guess I'm rambling trying to figure out why people want to put us all in the same boat? I am just really frustrated these days because it seems that no matter what we do, be it for ourselves or for our unborn children that we are forced to have to make a choice dependent on other peoples views and ideas. We all have our reasons for abortion and we all have our reasons for adoption, I just wish that some people would stop judging. I may not believe in abortion, but I do believe that a woman's choice is a woman's choice. They also tend to be in hiding, or feel shameful for what they do, when in all actuality there should be people that step up and support these people. Just like I hope that people will one day step up and support adoption more so that these women who even have the thought about abortion, understand that there are more options out there.

Sorry for all the ranting, just been a weird day and I just needed to speak and say some things that I felt needed to be said.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quote of the Week: Attitude

"Our attitude towards life determines life's attitudes towards us." 
- John Mitchell

Friday, March 25, 2011

Contact Agreement or No?

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This post may be viewed as controversial, so let me begin by stating that this is my opinion only, and does NOT reflect opinions of BirthmomBuds as a whole or individually.  This is simply what I think.

As most of you know, I’m fortunate enough to have an open adoption set up with my daughter.  I don’t remember exactly what we set up in the contact agreement, though I’m pretty certain they do.  However, T & C have been more than great about making certain I’m updated on my daughter with letters, emails, and pictures, as well as the occasional visit.

Some of you are less than fortunate in that regard.  I’ve heard enough stories of failed contact agreements that make me incredibly sad.  After all, we’ve given our children’s adoptive parents the greatest gift they could ever receive – the gift of a child.  I’ve heard many of you state that you want pictures more than any gift that you could receive, yet it seems your child’s adoptive parents are more apt to send you a card for a birthday than they are to include a picture or two, or even a little note about what your child’s been doing.

As a result, it’s been discussed more than once that we wish that contact agreements were legally enforceable.  While I can understand it and have even had moments of panic where I wished I had more legal recourse than simply waiting and praying to hear something, I have a problem in general with that idea.  I have several reasons for my disagreement of the positivity of that idea. 

First, if you decided that you wanted to take your children’s parents to court over their non-compliance with some part (or all) of the original contact agreement, I think that you would wreck any relationship you had with the adoptive parents and ruin any chance of additional or different contact that you might get in the future.  Sure, they’d do what they agreed to do, but visits (if applicable) and any sort of contact in general would be forced and awkward. 

Second, whether your child’s adoptive parents actually said anything negative about you to your child or not, your son or daughter would be able to read the negativity in their attitudes and there’s a good chance that it would rub off in their opinion of you.  No matter what you tell a child, actions speak louder.  Except in very rare situations, I would guess that your child would side with his or her adoptive parents in that situation.  So not only would you make an enemy of your child’s adoptive parents, you’d make an enemy of your child.  I’m certain that’s definitely not something we want to do.

Lastly, and my real point, we signed away our rights to legally require ANY contact at all when we signed away our parental rights.  At that point, it becomes a request only and the right of the legal parents to deny you contact.  Of course we hope and pray that contact will not stop.  We ache to hear from our children somehow, and many of us check our mailboxes every single day, just in case, whether there’s supposed to be mail delivery that day or not.  We obsessively check our phones for that text or phone call, and we try to avoid checking our email every minute of every day.  Just like every parent that chooses to raise their children and “loses” the right to require contact when that child turns 18, we’ve lost that “right.” 

It’s a difficult way to look at it somehow, though for me, it makes it just a little easier to NOT worry so much when I don’t hear from them.  Somehow it makes me more appreciative of every little effort that Mackenzie’s parents make to keep our relationship alive.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adoption Cards

Have you spent hours in the card section of a store looking for the perfect adoption related card?

Perhaps you are a recently reunited birthmother and want to send your child a card before that first face to face meeting. Or maybe you are an adoptee or an adoptive parent wanting to send a card to the birthmother in your life for Birthmother’s Day or Mother’s Day (depending on which you acknowledge.) Or you could be a birthmother in an open adoption wanting to wish your child’s adoptive Mom a happy Mother’s Day with a special card.

Whatever your connection to adoption is, I’m willing to bet many of you have trouble finding a card but now you can find cards to fit different adoption situations in the Heartmark Designs Etsy Store. You definitely won't find these cards in your local Hallmark!

Check it out and spread the word!

And if you decide to purchase something, use the code “BBUDSBLOGREADER” to receive 15% off your purchase. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Unplanned Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Unwanted

Sometimes society views adopted children as unwanted or unloved because the birth mother made an adoption plan and “gave her baby away.” Sometimes it’s assumed that she didn’t want or love her child.

Do mothers who make adoption plans really not love their children or not want them? Of course not! Just because an expectant mother is considering adoption or actively making an adoption plan or because a birthmother made an adoption plan five, ten, or even thirty years ago does not make her baby unwanted or any less loved than the woman painting her nursery pink down the street.

I didn’t try to get pregnant with Charlie and I didn’t want to get pregnant at that time in my life which is why I was on birth control in the first place. But, the unthinkable happened and I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. Sure, there were times throughout the pregnancy that I thought why couldn’t this have happened a few years later when my life was in order and I was ready to parent but the circumstances were what they were at that moment in my life and wishful thinking wouldn’t change them. 

Although I didn’t want to be pregnant at that time, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want and love my baby. I loved my baby with every piece of my heart. I spent many sleepless nights tossing and turning wondering what would be the best decision for my unborn baby. And once I decided to make an adoption plan, I chose the family, I asked them questions, and I got to know them over the duration of my pregnancy. I did all those things because I loved my baby. Once Charlie was born, I spent precious time with him telling him how much he was loved.

And now, even though it’s hard at times, I maintain an open adoption relationship with Charlie and his family. Just because he was placed for adoption doesn’t mean that he was unwanted or unloved.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Abandonment Fear

I've been trying to gather my thoughts together for the past week or so since I was at church and we were doing this series called "Scars" and it had a section on Abandonment last week and I completely was a wreck the entire time that our pastor (we'll call him J) was giving the sermon. Hearing him talk about his own abandonment that he had as a child just brought back all these fears and demons that I had with my own abandonment as a child, and the fear I have the E will think that I abandoned him. 

I was sitting through the service with all of these thoughts and things going through my head about what he's going to think when he is older. I was thinking to myself, "is he going to think that I left him? that I just gave him up? that I never tried to contact him?" All of these thoughts were going through my head and I had to take a minute to myself. 

Even though I know that E has some of the greatest parents who will tell him anything he wants/needs to know about me, I always have those little fears that keep popping into my head. Because, I know that financially we can't really afford to go see him so I've been thinking he's going to be all grown up before I will be able to see him and he's going to think that I didn't care enough to come see him, or be there for special events in his life. 

I have just been trying my best to make sure that he knows that I love him and that I love him every single day and I'm always thinking about him. He is 9 months old now and I do get pictures, texts, and doctor updates but I seriously just want to hold him and tell him that he is growing into the most amazing little man on the planet and has such a cute personality. 

I don't know, I guess that I have been thinking about all these bad things that could happen instead of all the great things that are happening. He's growing up into a handsome baby and I love him everyday. 

"The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him."-Pablo Casals 

~ Alicia

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quote of the Week: First Place

"Always be a first rate version 
of yourself instead of a 
second rate version 
of someone else." 
~ Judy Garland

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Feel You Sister

While enjoying what I like to call my quite time (this is the time I leave my desk  and hide in my car for lunch or the few minutes at home when I’ve remembered to lock my bathroom door) I was reading a woman’s devotional book. After reading a verse out of Galatians, I stopped reading and was lost deep in thought soaking in the words on the page and letting them speak to my heart. If you would have tapped on the window of my car or knocked on the bathroom door, I would have hurt myself from jumping so hard.  (Now you can see just how deep in thought I was.) 

Galatians 6:2 reads, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the laws of Christ.”

I realized how powerful this verse is and how BirthMom Buds tries to encompass the very meaning. What would life be like if we all followed these simple instructions? Too many times we want to get in the pit with someone. This does not always help and you’ll both just end up dirty. 

None of us can take someone else’s pain away or fully understand it. It’s a possession all their own. Sometimes we treat our pain like a security blanket that is all torn and stained, fearing to let it go for a wash and repair when in reality if we let it do, we’ll get it back with a new look and a better use. 

If we help hold others up in their pain we might find that their eyes move off the pain just long enough to see there is someone looking down on them with love who longs to remove the burdens of pain; someone who fully understands letting a child go for the greater good. 

And I realize that not all of us were given a choice in relinquishing our child for adoption. But your forgiving heart can help another birthmom learn the power and freedom of forgiveness. Thus, living out Galatians 6:2 and lifting a burden. 

Be blessed, 


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Friday, March 11, 2011

Major Milestones

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As you know from my last blog, I got to have a visit with my daughter this past Saturday.  It went really well, though it had to be cut short because they had plans later in the day.

Her personality is really starting to develop.  She’s starting to talk too.  This is a major milestone.  She’s been babbling off and on for a while, but not really talking.  She now says “hot” (sounds like “aught) and actually holds up one hand like “don’t touch.”  Since she’s fully deaf in her left ear, I was very curious how she would hear and talk.  She really sounds like a “normal” kid!  I love to hear kids talk when they’re just figuring out how to do so.  It’s so cute!  She’s also figured out how to knock on doors to get people’s attention.  If her dad is outside, she’ll go over to the sliding glass door, pull herself up, knock on the glass to get his attention, and then wave at him.  Of course it’s more of a twist of her hand than an actual wave, but it’s obvious what she’s trying to do.

Mackenzie is also really trying to walk.  She’s a LOT more solid on her feet, and she pulls up on everything she can reach and does the “sideways shuffle.”  She actually lets go of objects for short bits of time before she feels really wobbly and grabs back on to whatever she was holding on before.  She’s obviously testing herself and her balance.

I’m telling you all of these things not only to brag about my daughter, but because Mackenzie accomplishing these milestones in her growth is definitely bittersweet.  It’s awesome to see her grow.  It’s sad to see the growth from a distance and not be part of all the little “steps” along the way that have gotten her to this point.

I think being proud of Mackenzie’s accomplishments and bragging about them to anyone who will listen is a way for me to feel closer to her while she develops.  It’s a way to feel like I’m still very much a part of her life like I would be if I were raising her.  Of course I realize deep down that I’m not really any closer to her physically, but it’s the emotional closeness I care about!

How do you deal with learning about your child’s milestones?  Is it a happy or sad occasion…or maybe both?

~ Monika 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quote of the Week: The Doors

"The doors we open and close each day 
decide the lives we live." 
- Flora Whittemore