Thursday, June 30, 2011

Twenty Five

Twenty five years ago this month I found myself pregnant. Honestly, that completely blows my mind. A quarter of a century? Really? I guess this really is my life.

It's still hard to believe how one decision has had such a far-reaching effect. And even though this is not the life I planned, God has not been surprised by any of it. He doesn't think I messed up. He knew all along the choices I would make. But God continues to love me and accept me and USE my mess ups for his glory.

Once my pregnancy was known, my mom and dad packed me up and looked for somewhere else for me to live. Those were the days of the maternity homes where girls went to visit 'auntie' for awhile only to return home nine months later like nothing ever happened.

My maternity home was comfortable, safe, and very far away from home. While sad and hard to understand, I can easily see now that God had a purpose in it. If my family would have been too close, I would have leaned on them to provide for my needs. As it was, I had no other options but to trust God. And because of that, my own personal faith in Jesus Christ was born.

Closed adoption was never forced on me. I just didn't see any other option. I was young and uneducated. And I had BIG dreams. Dreams of college and career and a family. Someday. When I was married. Way down the road.

So that's my story in a nutshell. I know I'm not alone. According to statistics, there are millions of you out there just like me. Caught in an era of shame and silence when our parents just wanted our children to go away and never to be spoken about again.

I'm Terri and I'll be blogging here on Thursdays so I'll see you next Thursday. I would love to hear from you. Tell me, why is it you have kept quiet for so long?

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Along Came Today

“Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.”

I love this quote....  It explains how I often feel in the grieving and healing process that I go through as a birthmother. Do you feel that way sometimes?

I certainly know that I do. I have so many feelings regarding Charlie’s adoption and the subsequent loss of mothering him that came along with relinquishing my parental rights and then add in being the parent of a special needs child, dealing with infertility issues and those losses, plus other issues that we deal with in life and some days it seems like I will never be done working through issues!

And you know what, truthfully, I probably won’t. In twenty years, I may not be working through the exact same issues that I am working through today, but there will always be something. I will always be working through whatever is going on in my life as that is just who I am and the only way I really know to deal with things. I will always be trying to grow as a person, wife, mother, birthmother, etc. as long as I am on this earth.
But for me sometimes it seems as though I do all this inner grief work, get to where I think I need to be, come to terms with things, and just when I finally begin to feel ok with something, just as the quote says…. along comes today bringing more thoughts, feelings, and issues.

Grief, loss, and the issues surrounding them really are circular. I’m always thinking of them (maybe not as much on some days, more on others), always working through them, going past things, and then circling around and coming back to them.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Music Monday: Ultimate Sacrifice

Music Mondays are back!!

Every Monday we'll be featuring some type of song. It might be directly related to adoption. It might be inspirational or it might be just a fun song to make you smile on a Monday! It might be a famous celebrity that everyone has heard of or it might be by an original song by someone less known. Regardless, it will be a song and it will be on Monday! 

This week's song is Ultimate Sacrifice by Madilyn Bailey. As you'll hear in the beginning of the video she wrote the song for a friend who was placing her baby for adoption. 


Also, if you there is a song you think we should feature one Monday just drop us a line at birthmombuds(at)gmail(dot)com and we'll consider it. 

Happy Monday! 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote of the Week: OK to Look Back

"Sometimes it is OK to look back just to remind yourself how much stronger you are now than you were before." 
- Author Unknown 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Amy H.

This week's featured blogger is Amy Hutton of Amstel Life.  Let's find out a little more about Amy...

First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age, where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).

My name is Amy Hutton, I am 24-years-old and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I found out I was pregnant during my senior year of high school.  My boyfriend at the time, Robbie, was incredibly supportive and we immediately decided to raise our child together.  Robbie’s family had recently moved to Raleigh, and they had become good friends with a couple who couldn’t have children and were looking to adopt.  When Robbie’s family found out that I was pregnant, his mom asked me if I would consider meeting this couple.  Even though I had already made up my mind that I was going to raise my daughter, I reluctantly agreed.  The first time I met Don and De was at Panera Bread, and something just felt right.  They told us that they wanted to have an open adoption and that meant Robbie and I would be able to visit often and maintain a one-on-one relationship with our daughter.  I knew in my heart that this was the best decision for my daughter, but I also knew it would be the hardest.  Robbie and I spent the last 4 months of my pregnancy getting to know Don and De.  We talked about how our open adoption arrangement would work, how often we could visit, and we asked each other every question we could possible think of.  Robbie and I moved from Pittsburgh to Raleigh immediately after I graduated high school in May of 2005, and on July 11, 2005, Deanna Marie was born.  There have been many incredibly difficult and trying times throughout the adoption process, but there have been even more amazing and worthwhile times.  This summer will be six years since the adoption, and I can’t imagine where my life would be without Don and De.  Yes, I still get to see Deanna often.  She calls me “Amy Hutton” and knows that I am her “tummy mommy.”  I truly look forward to spending time with Don and De when I visit them at their new home in South Carolina. Some of my favorite times are after a day of fun on the beach, having the opportunity to read to Deanna and put her to bed, and sitting outside on the patio with Don and De, drinking coronas, and talking about how we ended up in each other’s lives.  There is no better explanation for how perfectly our open adoption has worked except to say that it’s a God thing!   

When and why did you begin blogging?

I started Amstel Life in February of 2009.  I decided to start blogging because there were a lot of people who had questions about what “open adoption” was and why I made the decision to place my daughter with a family we had just met.  Instead of telling the same story a million times, I decided to just start writing about it.  Amstel Life eventually morphed into a very personal account of my emotional journey through the process of open adoption.  I’m a very private person, so I was reluctant to share my emotions and thoughts about open adoption with “the entire world.”  When I realized how many people were reading and commenting on my posts, learning about the positives of open adoption, and sharing their own adoption experiences with me, I knew that opening up my personal life was well worth it.  The first time a birthmother contacted me and told me that my blog helped her to cope with her own adoption experience, I was blown away.  Knowing that Amstel Life had such a positive impact on others made it easier to open up and write about my journey through open adoption.

Tell us more about the title of your blog: Amstel Life.  Why did you choose it?

I began my freshman year of college one month after having Deanna.   To say that it was a very dark and difficult time in my life would be an understatement.  I battled depression and feelings of guilt, and I often cried myself to sleep.  While I knew Deanna would be okay, I wasn’t so sure about myself.  One time during my freshman year, I was at a college party with my friends, and I randomly started telling people that my name was Amstel.  (My friends and I were really mature back then).  We got some really strange looks, and most people didn’t believe us, but it always resulted in a good laugh.  Introducing myself as “Amstel” was the first time I remember being able to truly laugh again and let loose after Deanna was born.  The nickname Amstel stuck with me, and to this day, my friends still affectionately refer to me as Amstel.  

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

The response I’ve gotten to my posts has been overwhelmingly positive. Although I have had a very positive experience with open adoption, I do try to keep in mind that not everyone has had the same experience.  The few negative comments I get on my blog are usually from people who have had a negative adoption experience and are still hurting.  Someone once told me that “hurting people hurt people” so when I read the negative comments, I try not to take it personally no matter how insensitive the comment may seem.  I am constantly reminding myself that the point of Amstel Life is to show people, through my own personal experience, that open adoption can be successful and beneficial for everyone involved -- and it’s one more an alternative to abortion that many women haven’t considered.    

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?

My advice to anyone thinking of starting their own blog is to find something you are passionate about and write about it!   When you write about something you truly care about, the words come easily. Also, I would advise anyone who wants to start a blog to try not to take negative comments personally.  I know, it’s easier said than done, but the worst thing you can do is stop writing because you don’t want to offend anyone.  If something is in your heart, write about it and don’t worry about what people will think. That’s the beauty of blogging… it’s your opinion!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quote of the Week: Life

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"Nobody gets to live life backward.  Look ahead, that is where your future lies." 
-Ann Landers

Friday, June 17, 2011

Being Prepared

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The following post may be viewed as controversial.  This is my opinion only, and should not be viewed as the opinion of BirthMom Buds as a whole or individually.

The subject is birth control, or lack of it.  All birthmothers have lack of birth control or birth control malfunction in common, no matter how old or young we are.  My problem is not being emotionally ready for the decision we must face should we get pregnant and not being prepared to raise a child for whatever reason or reasons we have.  I personally did not feel financially prepared to raise a child, nor did I feel emotionally stable enough to properly care for her.  Becoming a parent is a lifetime decision and should not be entered into lightly, as I’m sure all parents would agree with whether they also happen to be birthmothers or not.

When we have sex, we should all think about the possibility that we could get pregnant as a result, no matter how careful we are.  Too often we think only in the present – how good sex feels (and it does), and we don’t consider the fact that sex was originally created for procreation.  We were created to make more of us.

Being a birthmother is NOT easy.  I never wanted to raise children of my own, and I love children.  The idea of being a parent scares me.  I admire those people who choose to parent, but I’ve always known it’s not something that I wanted to do.  Biologically the urge to parent my daughter is stronger than I was prepared for, and much stronger than I thought it would be.  I cannot imagine the difficulty of having to make the decision to become a birthmother more than once.  But that’s precisely why after I became a birthmother, I’ve now become a major proponent of making certain I won’t have to make that decision ever again.  Obviously the only 100% effective birth control method short of getting the uterus completely removed so carrying a baby becomes impossible is to not have sex in the first place.  Since that’s an unreasonable expectation for a large majority of the population in general, including me, we must be emotionally and mentally prepared for the “consequences” of our actions.

When we choose to place our children into homes other than our own, we choose unselfishly.  We choose to give them a life greater than the one we feel we could give them.  It’s an extremely difficult decision to make.  It is the ultimate parenting decision – putting the life of our child over the wants of our hearts.   If we become birthmothers and then make the decision to have sex, we’re taking the chance that we might have to make the difficult decision of placing again should we not be prepared the next time around for parenting.  To make it perfectly clear and plain, I’m not in any way trying to suggest that I don’t believe birthmothers shouldn’t have more children in the future at all.  I’m simply saying that we should use some form of reliable birth control until we are prepared emotionally, physically, and financially to have those children.  We become birthmothers because we don’t feel our lives are in a good place to raise those children, right?  So it only makes sense that we’d want to make certain that we’re in a better place to have children before we get pregnant again.  My heart breaks for the children of those mothers who are not yet ready to parent but who choose to parent anyway because they aren’t can't handle placing another child.  I don’t blame them for choosing to parent after becoming birthmothers initially.  I’m quite certain that were I in that position that it would be an even more difficult decision than becoming a birthmother for the first time.  That is why we need to be mindful of the decision we’re about to make, every time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

May/June 2011 Newsletter

The May/June newsletter is now available for your viewing pleasure at

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quote of the Week: Prettiest Sunsets

"The prettiest sunsets always come 
after the worst storms." 
~ Author Unknown

Sunday, June 12, 2011

You Are More

Sometimes when I'm really busy living out life and going through a rough time, it seems as if everything I've ever done wrong is slapping me in the face.  I will often retreat to the car for some me and God time. I'll turn on the radio and then by the grace of God, a song will speak to me as if God has called in a special radio request just for me, his daughter, to hear. I will notice the words and they'll pour through the radio my ears to my heart. 

Sometimes God is the small voice in the background that we easily dismiss with all the background noise in our lives. Tune in and hear his love for you. 

Below is a video and lyrics to a song God recently requested me to hear. I hope it touches you as it did me. 

Be blessed,

You are More by Tenth Avenue North

There's a girl in the corner 
With tear stains on her eyes 
From the places she's wandered 
And the shame she can't hide 

She says, "How did I get here? 
I'm not who I once was. 
And I'm crippled by the fear 
That I've fallen too far to love" 

But don't you know who you are, 
What's been done for you? 
Yeah don't you know who you are? 

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 
You've been remade. 

Well she tries to believe it 
That she's been given new life 
But she can't shake the feeling 
That it's not true tonight 

She knows all the answers 
And she's rehearsed all the lines 
And so she'll try to do better 
But then she's too weak to try 

But don't you know who you are? 

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 

You've been remade. 

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 
You've been remade. 

'Cause this is not about what you've done, 
But what's been done for you. 
This is not about where you've been, 
But where your brokenness brings you to 

This is not about what you feel, 
But what He felt to forgive you, 
And what He felt to make you loved. 

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 
You've been remade. 

You are more than the choices that you've made, 
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, 
You are more than the problems you create, 
You've been remade. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Spotlight Blogger: Meet S.C.L.

This week's featured blogger is S.C.L. of Choosing Love: An Adoption Story.  Let's get to know S.C.L. a bit better....

First, please tell us a bit more about yourself (name, age, where you live, what led you to making an adoption plan, and anything else you feel comfortable sharing).

Well, in my blog I call myself S.C.L. and I think that’s what I'm going to stick to right now. When I was little and thought about being a writer I wanted a cool name as an author and I just always like using my initials, so for my blog I decided to do the same. I am 20 years old and live in San Jose, California. I’m a college student with multiple house cleaning and babysitting jobs. When I have the time I like to read, paint, write my blog, and paint my nails with one (or two ;] ) of my 75 different color polishes.

When I got pregnant I was 18-19 and a freshman at a CSU. My ex-boyfriend and I had just broken up, I just got my first real job, and had only moved away from home 6 months ago. I had no man, not enough money, and not enough education to get a decent paying job. I was nowhere near ready to have a baby. My baby deserved the world and I knew I wouldn’t be able to give him that. I couldn’t get an abortion. My Ex and I talked it over multiple times and rationally it was the best thing to do, but I just couldn’t. I knew that I would be extremely disappointed in myself and probably more depressed than any other option I chose. Keeping the baby was never really an option, so adoption was our only choice. After I found the perfect parents for my baby I felt even better about my choice. In October 2010 I gave birth to my beautiful 10 lb baby boy. Four days later he went home with his mom and dad. We have an open adoption so I get pictures, updates and even visitations. So far, though it’s been painful and difficult, I am happy with my choice.

When and why did you begin blogging?
I just started writing my blog in February of this year (2011). It’s a funny story. I was writing an essay for a contest in a magazine. The topic was “What Makes You Amazing?” and I decided to write about the adoption. I was taking a creative thinking class and asked my teacher to read my first rough draft for me after class. By the time she was done she was in tears. I know I’m a blogger and spend most of my time writing, but I’m not THAT good of a writer. I started apologizing profusely, I didn’t mean for her to cry. “ No, I’m sorry” she said “you just don’t understand,” and she began to tell her story. When she had her first child, there were complications that led it to becoming to dangerous to have another child. So for the last few years she and her husband have been trying to adopt but it hasn’t been going well. She was on the verge of giving up, and then she read my essay. She said it was like a sign. Someone was telling her, don’t give up yet it will happen for you. “The real funny thing is,” she said, “I want a daughter and I would have given her the same name as yours. It's my favorite girls name.” I had never been someone’s sign before, so all of this was kind of overwhelming. I started to tell her more in depth about my experiences and what I knew about adoption. She listened and asked questions about my son, his parents, our adoption experience, and me. It really seemed to make her feel better and optimistic. After I went home, I thought hard about what I just experienced. I loved talking about my baby and the adoption either from an emotional standpoint, educational, or both. I didn’t have an outlet for all of my post partum feelings. There wasn’t a support group in my town, I was in between therapists, and I was feeling anxious because I had a visit coming up. I thought about all the girls out there who had the same feelings as me, and how I wished some one REALLY understood what I was going through when I was pregnant. I also thought about all of the misconceptions about adoption and birthmothers that society has. I knew I wanted to help them somehow. I always thought about writing a book or journal about my experience, but I didn’t have the time or focus to sit down and try to write a book ever day. Then I saw one of my friend’s blogs on Facebook and the rest is history. I created my blogspot blog first, then a facebook page, and then I created the same blog on Tumblr. My goal/hope is to help the general public understand adoption from a birthmother’s point of view and to help other birthmoms/ future birthmoms by supporting them and giving them insight from some one who has been there before.

Tell us more about the title of your blog,
Choosing Love: An Adoption Story. Why did you choose it? 

I played with a bunch of ideas for the name. I didn’t want to use a name that was overused, corny, or too long. I tried to play with a few song titles that meant something to me while I was pregnant, but I got nothing. Then I thought about what this adoption really was and meant to me. My biggest worry during the whole adoption (and it’s still my biggest worry) is that my son would think that I gave him up because I didn’t want him or love him, which was just the opposite. I gave him up for adoption because I loved him. When I was young I decided I wanted a certain life for my own kids and when I got pregnant I knew I couldn’t give my baby that life, a life he deserved to have. So I chose adoption, to find parents that would give him that life. Even though it nearly killed me to do it, his happiness was the most important thing to me. When choosing to adopt him out, I chose love. And that was it, the perfect name for what my blog would be about; what it took for me to choose love.

Has the response to your posts been mostly positive, mostly negative, or a mix of both?
It’s so new that it’s kind of hard to say. So far it’s been mostly positive. I get a lot of support from family, friends, and outsiders who read and enjoy the blog. My son’s parents and their families read the blog and they all enjoy it. I’ve got people that I haven’t seen in years reading it and sending messages about how they love it. Hopefully it will keep up this positive flow for many years to come. 

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of starting their own blog?
All I can really say is if you choose to write a blog, you really need to do it for yourself. I know it’s a hypocritical statement because I started writing my blog to help others, but this blog has unintentionally helped me so much. If you write a blog to just put on a show, then just make a youtube video like billions of other people. When writing a blog that involves your life and your experiences, you need to put your whole self into it; body, mind, and soul. No b.s., otherwise people will never take you seriously. As soon as I began to say what was really on my mind, more people began to read my blog. When you write for yourself, you lose all of that expectation to please others or say the right things. The only thing that should matter to you is writing out your thoughts, emotions, dreams, complaints, and whatever else you need to in order to feel better. You are going to be the most honest and sincere to yourself, so write for and to yourself.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Quote of the Week: Strength

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"Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them.  There are deep wells of strength that are never used."
~ Richard E. Byrd

Saturday, June 4, 2011

1st Birthday Blues

So, I've been trying to figure out what I want to say and how I want to deal with all these emotions that are going through my head and I think I'm finally ready to put everything I'm feeling into words. This may become scatter brained and all over the place so bare with me as I try and get all of my emotions and words put together.

So, I guess I will start with a little back story so that everything will make sense to those of you reading that may be new to the blog or new to my posts in general,  On June 3, 2010 I gave birth to the most amazing little boy ever. His  name is Ezra and he has bright blue eyes and red hair, just like me. And tomorrow is his 1st birthday. I have made plans in the past month to take a trip to Arizona for not only my first time seeing him since he went to Arizona with his a-parents, but also for his very 1st birthday party. I leave for Arizona on June 8, the day after the 1 year anniversary of signing the relinquishment papers.

E is turning 1. A milestone that I should be so excited about. I should be so happy and elated that he is going to be 1. But there are so many other emotions that are going through my head that I don't even know where to start. I'm happy, don't get me wrong, and I am extremely happy that I get to go see him in 5 days, but the sad thing is, is that I am missing the things he is going to do on his 1st birthday. I have missed all of his milestones. I am sad that I don't get to spend his REAL 1st birthday with him and that I don't get to hold him and tell him how amazing he is and how happy I am that he is growing into such a beautiful child. But I knew that would happen when I chose this path for him and myself.

I am also kind of freaking out, not only in a good way but a sad, nervous, anxious kind of way as well. Our open adoption is very open and when I go to Arizona I actually get to stay with E and his adoptive parents. And I get to celebrate in his big day as well as help make his 1st birthday cake, which I am so grateful for. But I have this really anxious feeling that they are going to HATE me staying there, cause let me just say this I have many "obsessions" and "flaws" when it comes to living with me, just ask my husband. I'm not exactly the "neatest" person and I'm also not exactly one that is very good about cleaning up after herself. I will be the first person to admit that I'm a slob, but what I'm worried about is having to walk on eggshells while I am there because again, it's not my house and they have done so many great things leading up to me coming that I don't want to mess anything up. E's a-mom even sprained both of her ankles putting in a new bed for me. If that's not love and devotion then I don't know what is.

I guess what I'm really nervous about is the little things like when he wakes up in the morning, what do I do? Just wait....When he's hungry and wants to eat do I offer to help feed him? Or do I just sit back and watch his mom do it? When it's his bath time would it be bad to ask if I can give him a bath? Or would that be too much.

I guess I am in the "What should I do" phase or "what is the right way to go about things" feelings. I don't want to say or do something that would ultimately make them feel uncomfortable but I also don't want to feel like I'm just doing nothing. If that makes any sense.

I also have this huge urge when I'm there to just play, laugh, and have fun with him, but I don't want to take away from what his mom does everyday or her routine with him. I guess I just want to soak it all in and enjoy every single moment, laugh, smile, kiss, hug and play time that we have.

I am also dealing with this overwhelming feeling that he is going to absolute NOT like me. And yes, he is only a year old, but you know how some children are when there is a new person around they aren't usually apt to going to them right away. Even though E's mom has stated that he goes to anyone and everyone and that he is so full of love that he just spreads it around, but I just have this feeling that I'm going to be the ONE person he won't go to, or the ONE person he won't give a hug, or kiss, or even want to play with.

Hopefully all of my fears will be subsided as soon as I step off of the plane and see them at baggage claim, but a girl can't help but wonder how it's all going to go, especially when there are so many things going on, 1st birthday, 1 year after relinquishment feelings, and celebrating our first meeting since he left me over a year ago.

Oh, and I didn't even mention that I will be meeting most of their friends and about OVERLOAD. I'm not one to not be a people person, but I am kind of nervous, and freaking out all of the sudden. I guess it's because I have this "bubble" as I like to call it and I don't do well with it being "invaded". Now, I'm also a person that LOVES hugs, affection, and all of that, so try having those things put together, and you have me the big ball of affection loving STAY OUT OF MY BUBBLE mess. And don't get me wrong, I am excited to finally get to meet all of these people that are surrounding my Ezra, but I am also nervous that they aren't going to like me, or I'm not going to be all that they thought I was. I feel like I have so much to live up to and I'm kind of scared that I'm not going to be THAT person for them.

I am hoping to do some VLOGGING (Video Blogging) while I am there to document my visit and E's 1st birthday, my first time on an airplane in well over 10 years, and the first meeting in the airport so that I can share with everyone and also to have something that I can look back on and the biggest thing of all, I will have a severe case of carpel tunnel by the time I'm done blogging everything so I figured I'd try something new. But don't worry I will definitely be letting all of you amazing supporters know how it all goes.

Sorry for all of the rambling just had to get it all out there!

Friday, June 3, 2011


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This is something that’s been on my mind and heart a lot since the retreat, and after seeing a post written about a similar topic, I decided to blog my thoughts and feelings.
I’ve been carrying a lot of shame inside about my decision to be a birthmother.  I didn’t realize how much until I confronted the fact that I might be carrying some at the retreat.  One of the ladies, Heather B., addressed shame during her breakout session on Saturday.  She equated things that we have shame about to stones.  Sure, one thought of something we’re ashamed of may not be a lot.  But each thought can build up and end up being quite a weight to carry around.  If we think we’ve set the shame aside and haven’t really taken care of it, we can trip over it again.  Or we can put it away and then take it out again when we “need” it.

I have had shame about the decision I made.  I feel shame that I didn’t try “harder” to raise my daughter.  I feel shame that I didn’t think longer about how I could make it work and whether I really wanted to parent.  I have questioned during the most difficult times of grieving if I made the right decision or not, and I have felt ashamed at the time of my questioning my decision.  I feel shame and worry that she might grow up not only knowing who she is, but who she came from.  I feel ashamed that I didn’t start the grieving process that we all must go through at one point or another as soon as I felt I should have.  I feel ashamed that because of circumstances beyond my control, her aparents didn’t get to start their bonding process with her until she was almost 2 months old.  There are a myriad of other things I’ve carried shame about, but those are the main ones.  The biggest “stones,” so to speak.

So how do I get rid of those “stones of shame?”  How do I make sure that I’m not only not carrying them around anymore, but that I’m not setting them aside only to pick them back up again at a later date?  I have felt more than once that I “need” to have guilt and/or shame about something, and that I thrive on that negative feeling.  I’ve felt shame about being content.  But I also believe that God doesn’t want me to live with shame and the guilt that comes with it.  Whether you believe in God or not, or even a higher power of some sort, I know that it’s not healthy for anyone to carry around shame and guilt. 
We can ask other people for forgiveness.  We can ask God.  But we, me included, also need to forgive ourselves.  That’s where the true healing comes in.  That’s how I will get rid of the stones of shame that I’ve carried around about my daughter’s adoption.

Every day I will make the decision to forgive myself.  It’s not going to be an instant process.  It may be a lifetime one as I deal with watching my daughter grow from afar and not daily and even hourly like I “should be” doing.  But I will remind myself when that shame and guilt starts creeping back in that I’ve forgiven myself for my decision and that constantly dwelling on the shame isn’t going to change the decision or make it any better.

What about you?  What shame about your own adoption situation are you still carrying around, and how are you going to forgive yourself?