Monday, April 30, 2012

Music Monday: Capri by Colbie Caillat

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quote of the Week: Life is Hard

“When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’” - Sydney Harris

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Andee

Andee with her husband and their baby
Today's featured blogger is Andee of Andee Leigh: a birthmothers experience through an Open Adoption.  Let's find out a little more about Andee....

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 Andee, I'm 22 years old and I live in Herriman, Utah.  I think the number one thing that led me to making an adoption plan would be that I didn't want my baby living in a broken family. I wanted her to have every opportunity in the world and the only way to give that to her was to place her with a family that was financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically ready to raise a baby. I wanted her to be able to watch her parents in love and know what she wanted in a husband. I wanted her to know without a doubt what love is and to be provided with the things she needed to make any of her dreams come true.  The only way to give her these things was to place her for adoption. I was still in school, I was still a teenager and I still had a lot to learn. 

I love that beautiful little girl with my entire heart and I know she is now with the family she was always meant to be with. She is a thriving little girl and is currently in gymnastics. She loves to sing and is SO very smart. She is a huge daddy’s girl and is spoiled rotten. She is the happiest little girl I know. She told her mom last April (on the exact day that I chose them to be her parents) that she was really happy. She's only 3 years old, yet she knows that she is happy.

I love that girl.  

When and why did you begin blogging?

I began blogging during my first semester of college after placement.  I was still struggling and I missed Avery (the little one I placed) so much.  Blogging became very therapeutic for me. I could let out all of my feelings and developed relationships with other bloggers around the world. I found so many supporters and I felt so loved by people I had never even met.

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

The title of my blog is Andee Leigh: a birtthmothers experience through an Open Adoption.  I chose to include my middle name, because Avery's parents named her Avery Leigh after me. 

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

They have definitely been mostly positive. I've had many negative comments, but every time I receive one, I get 10x the positive standing up for me. I am so grateful for the readers of my blog and although I don't update it very much anymore, I know that I will eventually get back to doing it. I think I just needed to take a break for my new family.

What post on your blog do you consider a “must read” for people visiting your blog for the first time? Or what post(s) from your blog is (or are) your favorite(s) and why?

The post(s) that I consider a must read is the 4 part story of my adoption (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)
I really think it helps those that think of adoption as a negative thing, see it in a different light.

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

I think that if you're going to make your own blog, you need to remember that cyber-bullying is out there and you have to be prepared for the negative comments. You can't let them affect you. That's been my biggest struggle and is ultimately what's caused me to take a break from it for a while.
I think that blogs are a really good thing to go to when you're struggling, but you also need to remember that if it isn't private, anyone in the world can see it so you need to be aware of that when writing your posts.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quote of the Week: What Lies Within

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 20, 2012

Appreciating the Moment

Image credit
I recently had a visit with my daughter and her parents.  After the visit was over, Nick made a comment about looking forward to a time when Mack can carry on an actual conversation instead of spouting random words and phrases.  I agreed that it will be fun, but I also appreciated the moments we shared with her as they were – rambling and all.

Though I’ve never parented a child, I’ve been involved in childcare for many years.  I was a nanny for twin infant boys before I graduated high school, and my first jobs after high school were long term nanny positions.  Childcare, as in parenting, is helping those children reach their full potential, or in other words, to grow.  Therefore, it’s easy to concentrate on the next milestones or the next steps to reach those milestones.  It’s harder to treasure every moment.

However, as a birthmom, I’ve had the opposite experience.  I’m not involved in the day-to-day parenting tasks.  I’m not involved in raising Mack nor am I helping her reach her full potential.  I see the milestones she reaches through her parents’ eyes.  So when I get to experience the person she’s becoming in pictures, antidotes shared through letters and emails, and our visits, I can easily treasure each moment.

Treasuring the moments as you see them has a benefit too.  It’s easy to get caught up in the bittersweet.  It’s easy to look at a moment or a milestone, appreciate it, but then wonder what else you’re missing.  I’m sure all of us are familiar with that.  But if we work on concentrating on each and every moment, some of the bittersweet disappears.  It will never completely disappear.  The terms bittersweet and birthmom tend to be synonymous with one another.

Those of you who either know me in person or have been following my blogs for any time realize that I try to look on the positive side of things – to find the silver lining, so to speak.  I think that focusing on the small stuff, the stuff that can get easily overlooked when looking forward to something else, is a great way to look on the positive side.

In closing I urge you to do the same thing in your own adoptions.  Not only will it give you a new appreciation for the wonder of your child, but focusing on the moment will have greater repercussions for your attitude surrounding adoption as a whole.