Thursday, March 28, 2013

Second Chance Mother

Hi friends! If you're like me, you love a good memoir especially when it's one you can relate to. I'm not sure when I downloaded this, but I came across it the other day on my kindle and have fought hard to put it down.

The author is so relatable and real about her forced adoption, the pain and turmoil of her years apart from her son and then her reunion. She writes so that the reader feels that they are experiencing this part of her life alongside her. Her train-of-thought style has certainly captured my attention.

Have you ever thought about writing your story? I have a draft in my drawer. Maybe someday I'll do something with it. But I think if for no other reason, it's important for us to have our stories written down for the children we place, the children we parent and all the other family members involved.

Even those of you in open adoptions, I'm sure there are things you don't want to tell your birthchild or their adoptive family. But someday you may want them to know things. And who knows when that day will come? or if you will be around to share them?

As you can tell, this book has me thinking about my own experience but also my legacy to my family. Funny how a book can do that. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Other Shoe

This week I feel compelled to write 'the rest of the story' as Paul Harvey used to say. While last week's birthday was heart-wrenching for me, it was also a day of celebration. Let me explain.

Remember if you will that my unplanned pregnancy took place in an era where that sort of thing was not celebrated nor hardly discussed. I was sent away to a maternity home to be pregnant, give birth, place the child then return home as if nothing had happened.

The God of my childhood seemed to be silent. And although I attended church every time the doors opened be it for youth group or choir or services, I was pregnant. Not in my wildest dreams had that ever been my reality.

Unknown to me at the time, the God of my childhood was indeed present and at work. I just couldn't see it until one night, close to the birth of my child, I felt that same God calling me to him. I was sitting in a church service, for we had many on the campus where the maternity home was located, and I felt a presence or heard a voice or some combination of those things. I knew I was not alone. Not for the sea of people around me, but for the peace I felt on the inside. Finally. There was peace.

And that was the cause for the celebration side of things last week. That same God who reached down and pulled me out of the pit is the same God who, 26 years later, is still by my side. He's the same one who carries me through weeks like last week and fights for me when I have nothing left.

He's still calling me, and still teaching me things about himself. Despite the sadness of last week, that fact gives me the strength to smile and have peace and continue putting one foot in front of the other.

If you want to know more, feel free to email me.

Photo credit

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Quote of the Week: Small Kindness

"Do not forget small kindnesses and do not remember small faults." 
- Chinese Proverb

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Birthday

So it's birthday week.... again. They seem to come faster and faster as the years go by, don't they? This year has been a doozy for me in a number of ways. I'm not sure I even understand why yet. But my birthdaughter, Katie, messaged me and thanked me for thinking of her and sending her a card.

Thinking of her.

That really did it. I asked her if she knew that no matter what was going on in my life, no matter where I was, I started crying like a baby the night before her birthday. Then I assured her that she has never - no, never - been forgotten by me. And then I wished her a happy day celebrating with her friends and family.

My husband can't understand either. He looks at me as I'm crying and replaying the above scene and asks, "But why is this year any harder than any other year?"

Why indeed.

Grief is its own entity. And until you've experienced it firsthand, it doesn't make sense. It lives and it breathes and it comes and goes as it pleases. There is sometimes no rhyme or reason. It makes no sense why the 26th birthday was harder on me than the 20th, or the 12th or the 3rd.

My thinking that I should have this thing licked by now gets me absolutely nowhere. So I just roll with it. I cry (this year in Wal-Mart, my car and at the dinner table) and allow myself the room to breathe.

My poor kids didn't know what to do with themselves. I could tell they were trying to "make mama happy" all day because I was freaking them out.

Now I can breathe a big sigh of relief because I'm almost through it. Who knows? Maybe next year I'll get a respite and Grief won't affect me at all.

Photo credit

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quote of the Week: By Being Yourself

"By being yourself you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before."
- Edwin Elliot

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spotlight Blogger: Meet Renee

It has been a while since we've done one of these! If you follow any birthmom bloggers that haven't been featured in a spotlight post, please let us know. We'd love to get the word out there about their blog!

Today's featured blogger is Renee of Letters to Little Man. Let's find out a little more about Renee...

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).

Hello! My name is Renee, although my beautiful little boy, Liam, calls me Nay-Nay. I am 21 and a senior in college at UNC-Asheville. My son will be three this summer and he is my inspiration (along with his wonderful adoptive family)!

When I discovered I was pregnant, I was 18, a part-time server and a full-time student. I chose adoption because I knew that, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t provide for my son in the way I thought he deserved. When it came to adoption, I knew I wanted an open relationship from the start – I wanted him to know me, I wanted to watch him grow up, I still wanted to be his family. Luckily for me, his adoptive parents wanted the same things, and we see each other about once a month or so, plus we text, Facebook and e-mail constantly. It’s a wonderful relationship and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out. I got very lucky!

When and why did you begin blogging?

I began my blog about a year ago. It was an idea I’d been playing with since Liam was adopted – there are just so many things you want to tell your child. You want to tell them why you chose to place them for adoption. You want to tell them about yourself. You want to tell them that you love them so, so much. But as a birth mother, you don’t get to be around to say those things every day and sometimes, it’s really tough. I started my blog as a way to connect with my son – hopefully it will be a great thing for Liam to have and read someday but for now, it’s my way of communicating with him during the times I can’t actually be with him.

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

The title of my blog is Letters to Little Man, and it’s pretty self-descriptive: I use my blogs to write letters to Liam! Each blog is organized in a letter format, so it’s literally like I’m writing a letter from me to him. The “little man” portion is because that’s what my friends and family called him when I was pregnant. They would always pat my tummy and ask me how the “little man” was doing. Usually he was dancing…on my bladder.

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

I’m actually about to write a letter/blog post about that! The responses to my blog have been overwhelmingly positive. There is a huge adoption community out there and I feel very lucky to be a part of it. People have been so nice and complimentary to me, about my writing and about my decision. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it – compliments always make me blush! Mainly, it’s just nice to get support, even from total strangers. It means that you’re reaching out and touching other lives by spreading your own story. It means that somewhere out there is someone who knows exactly how you feel, and that’s always nice to know.

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?

Oh my, there’s so many! There is a lot of variety in the things I post – sometimes I post pictures of Liam or his family or our visits (okay, I post a lot of pictures) and sometimes I post videos. Sometimes I post funny things and sometimes I post about things that were really difficult for me. But I would have to say that my top 5 are…
-          Pain With a Purpose
-          The Best Five Percent
      These are my favorite because they really delve into what it’s like being a birth mom – the highlights and the sad parts. They’ve all got a touch of humor (I love to laugh and the sarcasm is hereditary) but they’re all very meaningful, by themselves and to me. As birth mothers, we all have such intense, extraordinary, unique stories and each one matters.

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

I’m going to quote Nike and say, “Just Do It.” I had no idea what I was doing when I started my blog – all I knew was that I wanted to connect with my son and I wanted to spread the word about open adoption and how wonderful it can be. I didn’t really “find my voice” until a few months in and there are days where I still feel like I’m learning about the blogging process (like, every day). But honestly, you just learn as you go so the only thing to do is start and see where it leads you. Write from the heart and you can’t go wrong!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Recently I was invited to speak at a women's retreat a few hours away from my home. It was such an awesome time to get away and be with my mom and not with my children. Not that I don't love them. If you're a parent, you get what I'm saying.

All the time preparing for this retreat I kept asking God to give me the right words. Words that would build up and not tear down. Words that would point them to God and not to the world. Words of wisdom that would impart to them wisdom and courage.

Since that time, I have heard this new song by Hawk Nelson on the radio. While I'm not a songwriter, I think these were the words I was praying as I prepped for the retreat. And while the retreat is over, I hope some of it sticks with me. I hope I am changed by preparing and teaching other women. And I hope my own words to my children build up and encourage and love and not tear down and belittle and despise.

How are your words today?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Quote of the Week: Success

"Sometimes the struggle is what makes success even sweeter." 
- Unknown