Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have been needing to write a blog for quite some time but my words just haven't been able to roll off my tongue or even onto this very site. I have had massive writers block and I think it's because there are so many things going on and coming up that I'm just not ready for, so I've been holding on to them internally and just becoming emotionally shut off from the world. I've been very anti-social and not very up to talking to anyone, and when I do I feel myself getting snappy at people for no reason. My patience has been wearing thin, and I know that it's because I haven't processed my emotions the way that I need to.

I guess the best way to start processing is to just let all the feelings out, nothing held back.

I think, my biggest thing going on right now is my first REAL Birth Mother's Day, coinciding with Mother's Day. Last year at this time I was 1 month away from giving birth to the most amazing little man, and I received the most beautiful flowers from E's parents. And, I didn't really officially FEEL like a birthmom because I hadn't officially had him yet, the decisions were still all mine and the choices were mine and mine alone. But now, as the day approaches I'm just really nervous about it all. Because it's official that I am a birthmom, and I won't be able to spend that day with him, or when he's older get gifts from him that say "Mom" instead they will say "My Alicia" and it's just something that is hard for me to cope with I guess. I know that deep inside he has the GREATEST Mom in the world and she deserves to have the official day, and she has waited a long time to have a Mother's Day, and I never would want to take that joy away from her, it's just going to be something different for me I guess.

And I also guess that I am freaking out because I had this great gift idea for her for Mother's Day and with the economy I can't get what I wanted to get for her and it just makes me really sad. They are both so good to me, and they always send such wonderful gifts and they go way beyond what they ever need to or even well, have to. They don't HAVE to send me a ton of pictures, they don't HAVE to send the most amazing pick me up text messages or e-mails and they definitely don't HAVE to allow me to even know anything about E, but they do, they go far out of their way to make it known that I am his first mom and that I am always going to be his first mom and that that'll never change. And E's mom is sending me a birthmom gift, and personally I'm scared to even open it because I know how great it's going to be, and I know how meaningful it's going to be. I know that no gift that I ever get them will be greater than the one I gave them when I gave them E, but I just really wish there was always something more that I could do. I guess that that perfection isn't enough for me, I just want to do more, I've always been that type of person.

I have also been running through my head that this time next week E will  be 11 months old. That's one month from his 1st birthday and 1 year after I signed the relinquishment papers and it all seems to just be piling up on me. I don't really know how I'm going to handle those things when the time comes but I for sure know that if things keep going the way that they are now that I'm going to be a massive wreck. I just have to try figuring these things out on my own without keeping all of these things locked inside. I guess it's so much easier for me to just let everything go internal without saying anything to anyone. Even though I know I have all of you amazing people that will be there for me, I always instinctively feel alone.

I guess another thing I'm upset about it that I don't get to go to the retreat this weekend, and it's not for not wanting to go, but it's this stupid economy that is keeping me. I tried to budget every which way and it was either go to the retreat or find a time to go see E and I of course had to choose going to see E. I know that there will always be more retreats for me to go to, but if I don't find a time to go see E then I don't know when I'll get the chance to see him again. I don't even know if I'll get to see E soon or not but I'm hoping to see him before he gets too big to cuddle with or love on, or to show that I'm still there for him, and that I still love him, and that I'm still "His Alicia" and that he can get to know me and not forget me.

Blah, just so many thoughts going through my head it's hard to keep them all straight. But this has helped me settle things in my head so that they won't be always on my mind and keep me wide awake at night.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quote of the Week: Hanging On

Image credit:
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” -Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Best for You Adoption Book

Our friend, author, and fellow birthmom Kelsey Stewart asked us to spread the word about Adoptive Families Circle Magazine seeking nominations for your favorite adoption books. While, I'm sure they are expecting a lot of aoptive parents to vote and nominate books, I think it would be awesome if some birthmother voices were held as well. 

Kelsey is asking you to consider nominating her book, The Best for You. I had the pleasure of thumbing through a copy of Kelsey's book last year when she donated some copies as door prizes for our Birthmother's Day Celebration. It is written from a birthmother's perspective and talks about how a birthmother just wants the best for her child. It has fun illustrations appealing to a child. 

Here's what Kelsey had to say about her book and nominating it: 
"I get at least two to three messages a day from folks telling me how much they appreciate the children's book I wrote titled, The Best For You. I love these messages because it tells me that so many have embraced the message in the book that adoption is about the love for a child, not that the child was not wanted. Always touches my heart to hear others talk about how the book is helping them, or their chidlren, understand the mind of a birth mother a little better.

Well, I found this link this morning and thought I would pass it along to all of you. Adoptive Families Circle Magazine is taking nominations for your favorite adoption books and one of the categories is Children's Books. Take some time to click on the link and tell them about what your favorite books are and who knows, you may even win the Kindle that they are giving away!

You can help out this author, who is still trying to get her message to the masses, reach many more people just by entering and nominating The Best For You. It only takes a few minutes, and feel free to pass it along if you like. There are other categories that you can nominate a book for as well, so go take a look and make your opinion heard!"

Go here to nominate Kelsey's book. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Extended Family

Image credit:
Most of you know at this point that I have a fairly open adoption.  I call it “semi-open” because we don’t have supervised visits, but they’re always in a public, neutral location and we don’t yet know their last name or their home address (though we know the city in which they live).

Last Monday, I got an email from T.  In it, she mentioned that she and C have decided they’d like to meet my family.  They want to meet my boyfriend’s family too, but they’re much farther away.  It won’t be until “after June,” but they plan to drive up north (they live in Oregon, and my family lives in Washington) and evidently stay with C’s family who doesn’t live too far from where my family does.

When I read that, I immediately got excited and then got nervous.  My family was NOT supportive of my making an adoption plan (they thought I should parent or place her with my sister – not good ideas).  I think they’ve come to terms with it now, and seeing that I’m working actively on maintaining a relationship with my daughter’s parents has helped a lot.  My main concern was that the visit would overwhelm T & C because my family would be so excited to meet them and see their granddaughter.  I didn’t want my parents or my sister to assume that because T and C want to meet them once that visits will continue and they’ll start to get updates about my daughter from “the source.”

I also have to fight with my feelings of selfishness when it comes to my daughter.  I would NEVER say this to T and C simply because I don’t want them to assume that I’m pushing for more contact when that’s not the case.  But I feel that I get limited visits with my daughter anyway, and now I’m going to have to “share” her with extended family as well.  I know that had I decided to parent, I’d be grateful to have my family spend time with her, but it feels different simply because I’m not parenting.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining.  A lot of you don’t even get letters or pictures, much less visits. I’m very grateful for the contact I receive.  I just now have to fight with wanting to keep my daughter “all to myself” when the extended family visit finally happens.

What about you?  Do any of you have contact arrangements in place that have allowed your families to spend time with your son or daughter and their parents?  How do you deal with anxiety over “sharing” that contact with your families?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote of the Week: Remember

Image credit:
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together...there is something you must always remember.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you." 
- A. A. Milne as Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quote of the Week: Happiness

Image credit:
"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have."
 - Anonymous

Friday, April 8, 2011

To Visit or Not to Visit?

Image credit:
Many of you might know that my daughter lives with her parents in Beaverton, OR, about 2.5 – 3 hours drive from me.  The distance doesn’t bother me.  In fact, most of the time I think it’s a great thing that there’s that much physical distance between us.

This past weekend, I had occasion to go down to Oregon for the weekend.  We didn’t visit our daughter.  In fact, I didn’t even let T and C know that we were going to be down there.  I spent some time with a couple of friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in way too long and I went out for sushi (yum!) with one of them.

But it just felt odd to be down there and NOT see Mackenzie.  We drove down Friday night and I got those familiar pre-visit butterflies.  I had to remind myself multiple times that we weren’t seeing our daughter this time.  I didn’t even expect a visit “so soon” since we just saw them about a month ago.  There was just something inside me that kept saying that I should be seeing her.

I found myself unconsciously watching cars we passed to see if I could catch a glimpse of her.  We actually stayed in Beaverton this visit when usually we stay in Portland (they’re right next to each other).  I think that contributed to my feelings of being so near and yet so far.  We went out for a late dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in Beaverton on Friday night.  The restaurant is part of an upscale sort of mall called Washington Square.  We had about an hour wait before getting seated, so we walked around the mall.  We actually met T and C at that mall for one of our visits, so I found myself wondering if they’d just happen to be there.  I don’t know why – they’re not the hanging out at the mall types – especially since it was late enough that I assumed it would be bedtime for Mackenzie.  But I couldn’t help myself.  Every young child crying made me ache to see her.

I talked to one of my friends about making another trip down there fairly soon to just hang out again as she’s on sabbatical right now.  I don’t know if it will work out or not with our schedules, but I think I need to make another trip down there when I’m not having a visit with my daughter.  I think I need to stop associating that area down there with Mackenzie visits.  I don’t know if it will help that weird feeling and the almost ache that was there constantly or not.  But it’s worth a try.

Have you had any experiences like that?  What did you do to help yourself get past the ache?

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Designs at Hearmark Designs

We've added some new designs to our Etsy store, Heartmark Designs. Be sure and check them out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Can do All Things

If you knew you would not and could not fail, what would you do????  

Really think about this for a minute…… Would you climb a mountain, run a marathon, write a book, or open a business? 

In Philippians 4:13, the Bible says, “I can do all things things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Other references are Job 42:2, John 16:30, and Ephesians 3:20.)

Don't try to use only your own strength next time you want to accomplish something. Remember you can tap into the supernatural strength of a King. 

Be blessed,

Photo Credit

Quote of the Week: Action

Image credit:
"You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind."  - Author Unknown