Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quote of the Week: Fear

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live."

If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Ongoing War

For me, coming to the decision to place my son for adoption was like a battle.  And dealing with the aftermath and the passage of time has been another kind of battle entirely.  I wanted to put my feelings into words, so I wrote a poem about it.  I actually read this poem aloud in front of my son's adoptive father.  He thought it was fantastic.  He knew it was something I had to say.  So, here is the poem that I wrote:

"My Ongoing War"

I have a son
He’s a few months over 3 years old now
I am not his mom
I am not his mother
I am his birthmother

I’ve gotten better at talking about this
Except for the sticky stinking horrible parts of it
I have an army of friends
Who try to convince me
Of my status
You are a mother
No, I’m not
You are a mother
No, seriously, I’m not
You are a mother
Ok if you say that one more time, really just don’t say it again
I’m not

And I think it’s partly because
No one knows
I think
No one wants to know
Even I don’t really want to know
The mental struggle that I went through
The mental and emotional war that I waged
With and against myself
And it was a bloody and fantastic war
Between the mother in me
And the birthmother in me

The mother in me wanted to keep him
Wanted against all good sense and reason in the world
To keep him
Tried to believe so hard
That there had to be a way
To keep him

The birthmother in me wanted what was best
Wanted to make sure that he was loved, cared for, knew where he came from
And be raised
By someone else
Knew the realities
Looked for possibilities
But found none worth the risk
And slowly began to convince me
He should be raised
By someone else

By the end of May I said to the father of my child,
I am 75% certain that adoption is the best option
And because he was and is still good at finishing my sentences he said,
It’s just the 25% gets loud?

It gets so very loud

I found a wonderful and loving couple
From the first time I saw them on the site
I knew that they would be the ones
They were the ones to have my son
And keep him
I met them at the beginning of June
And after an hour long talk
I was 95% certain that this was the right idea

I had won the war, damn it
I had won the war
The birthmother had won

But oh, at what a price

While I am still certain of what I did
Where he is
How he is doing
That if he had stayed with his birthfather and I
Life would have been far different
And something much more horrible
Than I could ever wish on my worst enemy’s child
There were still skirmishes left to fight
Two that I won
Three of them are still on going

After leaving the hospital
With my son travelling in the opposite direction
I got home
The first skirmish, was panic
What did you just do?
What the hell did you just do?
Do you have any concept?
Do you have any idea?
What were you thinking?
What did you just do?
Where is he?
How is he?
What will this even be like?
Will we ever see him again?
I know promises were made
But what if?
What if?
What if?

Pictures came a couple days later
And with that more pictures
More conversations
And slowly but surely,
The panic was appeased
And faded
I won
I was now 96% certain I was right

The second skirmish is an ongoing one
It was missing
I was told when he first smiled
I was told when he first rolled over
I was told when he started to crawl
I was told when he started to talk
I was told when he started to walk and very soon after to run
I was told
I never saw these things start
And I started adding up all the things that I missed
And would never get back again
That one I lost
I was still at 96% certain

The third skirmish that attacked my resolve
Was an internal one
Was guilt
I felt terrible for giving my child a complicated life
I felt terrible for the fact that he had three last names by the time he was a week old
I felt terrible that I had to give him to someone else to make sure he would be safe
I felt terrible that my decision affected people in both our families in ways I hadn’t foreseen
I felt terrible and I felt horrible and I felt ashamed
And I felt like I was a damned creature
That I had gone against the name of mother
And done something that people found abhorrent
And some people do find it abhorrent
I’ve met them
I’ve been extremely lucky
In that I have yet to be yelled at in public
But I have met them
I have met many more
And I watch the shift in their eyes
As they try to reconcile their stereotype of a birthmother
With this girl they see standing before them
And as they calmly ask questions
And talk to me about it
They begin to understand
And they begin to accept
And I came to terms with certain things
I did give him a complicated life
I did give him three last names
But it’s better than the life I would have given him
I won, and I am at 97% certain

The fourth and fifth skirmishes
Are ongoing
They’re names and arms
They make up the last two percent of my uncertainty
The three percent that are still the mother in me
They usually only happen when
I see him again
I see how tall he’s gotten
I see how much more he looks like me
And I hear him call me
I am not mom
I am not his mother
I am Elizabeth
His birthmother
And I wish that I could hold him
But he is a squirming whirlwind these days
And I’m not mom
And the arms that ache to hold him
Can’t contain him
And can’t hold him back
And deep inside my heart the creature that wanted to be a mother
Rakes her sharpened claws through me
And whispers,
I should have been mom

And that 97% of myself
Aching and bleeding and trembling and bruised turns back and says
No, you wanted to be but you couldn’t
You are not mom
You are not a mother
You are a birthmother

Because that is the best that we could be for him


Any other poets in the house?  Any one else used writing to finally put down what they feel into words?  Let me know in the comments.  Or just let me know what you thought of this.  Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Leaving a Mark


As a birth mother we experience pregnancy in a different way than many other mothers. When we face the difficult decisions ahead, the thoughts, fears, and realities we see are unique to the birth mother experience. We may not all have the same experience exactly, but many of the emotions are shared. There is no doubt that regardless of our journey, the birth of our child and the creation of an adoption plan left a mark on our lives.

For many of us there are the physical marks left on our body from the difficulties of pregnancy and childbirth. We may never feel like we can fully return to our post pregnancy body. For me I see the signs each day when I look in the mirror. My son left me with stretch marks, which have faded, but are still there as a constant reminder. For me these are my "Aidan Tracks." They have been a source of sadness for me as I feel I lost my body in some way, but I have come to love these marks that were left with me. They always bring me back to a time in my life which was extremely difficult, but they make me feel close to my son. He left his mark on me.

The biggest mark we are left with is the one on our heart. Pregnancy and childbirth are an experience like no other and regardless of the circumstances surrounding it, you are never the same after it is all said and done. Our hearts are left with a mark forever which is characterized by pain, suffering, sadness, confusion, but most of all, by love. Through our journey as birth mothers we learn what it means to sacrifice our own wants and needs for that of another. When I made the choice for my son I knew it was not what I wanted, but it was what HE needed. This gave me the opportunity to learn something at such a young age that many never learn. This mark has changed who I am. I know a kind of love which is manifested in my life each day. I have felt a kind of pain I never knew was possible, and I lived through it. I face each day with the thoughts that I can do ANYTHING. I have all the LOVE in the world to share, and I do it for MY SON.

Through my journey I have come to see that for many birth moms these "marks" we have are often kept to ourselves. For some this may be exactly the way we want to keep it, and that is great. These are our memories and we have every right to hold them close to our hearts. For others, it may be a cause for pain in the silence we feel we are forced to keep. When my son was born I found my solution to this problem. So many people aren't sure what to say, or if they should say anything. Other people don't even know my story. I have a tendency to share each thought, feeling, or emotion that comes my way, and through my journey I wanted to share. I always wanted everyone to know. It was so hard for me to have this huge part of my life and think that people didn't know or care who he was. So I made a point to carry with me an outward sign to others to be my mark for the world to see. Over the years this has been many different things, but typically I wear a necklace which has a baby on it. I also have a baby shoe necklace which holds my son's birthstone. I have had several bracelets bearing my son's name, as well as a ring, which I wore on my "married" ring finger before I was engaged as a sign to my future husband of the mark my son had left on my heart. Other people may have tattoos or other symbols which share the same purpose. It gives others the opportunity to ask about these items if they choose and learn something about your story. It allows the door to be open. As we journey through the healing process and grow as people with a unique story to share, sometimes it may be helpful to give the world a glimpse of our mark.

Picture Credit

Monday, May 25, 2015

Music Monday: Sorry by Buckcherry

"This time I think I'm to blame it's harder to get through the days
You get older and blame turns to shame"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Quote of the Week: Fate and Destiny

“Fate is how your life unfolds when you let fear determine your choices. A path of destiny reveals itself to you, however, when you confront your fear and make conscious choices.”

If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Friday, May 22, 2015

BMB Reform Blog: "Birthmother Homes"

I recently came across a post in Facebook about an agency that is opening a new "Birthmother Home."  For those that don't know, birthmother homes are places expectant mothers considering adoption go to as a "safe place" to house them during their pregnancy, and to have their babies.

The first problem I have with this is their inaccurate use of the term "birthmother."  Now, I personally don't call myself a birthmother anyways, but I understand that some use the term.  However, with that said, I think calling an expectant mother a birthmother prior to relinquishment of her child is highly coercive.  To call someone something before they become that puts added pressure on them to "follow through" and not change their mind.  And their choice should be free of that pressure.  In the instances of these homes, that is exactly what they're doing.  In the commercial I had seen for this particular home, they even had the pregnant women referring to themselves as birthmothers.

The other problem I have is the coercive nature of these homes themselves.  They make no reference to helping pregnant women make parenting plans if they happen to change their minds, it's strictly adoption.  What do they do with these women if they start to question adoption?   I would think that moving into a home that is strictly for adoption would put a lot of pressure on a pregnant woman.  I know, for me, it would make me feel like I have to follow through.  That I am obligated to relinquish my child, and no other avenue is available to me.

What are your thoughts on "birthmother homes"?

If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Beginning of a Journey

My name is Kelsey, I am a birth mom, I am a mother. I am so excited to have this opportunity to share with all of you wonderful ladies out there who have journeys that are similar to mine, as well as those that may be very different. To begin this new journey with all of you, I want to share the story of how I became a birth mother, and how it all has changed through the years and helped shape me into the person I am today.

The beginning of the journey which changed my life forever was the summer before my senior year of high school. I thought I was in a relationship with the man I would someday marry, and through clouded judgement I made some bad decisions. I found myself 17 and pregnant with absolutely no idea what to do. I told my boyfriend at the time, who seemed to have little reaction to the news. I would later come to realize he would not be there for me through the difficult times I would face, but looking back, I realize he was never the man I needed.

When I found out I would be having a baby my world completely changed. My first reaction was complete and total shock and doubt. How could this be happening to me? I had a great family and support system, I got good grades and always did my best to be a good kid. My family was, of course, in complete shock and were very disappointed. They made it clear they would be my support, but the journey we would take would not be one of peace and joy. They immediately believed adoption was the right option for my baby. As a strong Catholic family we have always valued the importance of a mother and father in the home for a child. I was not so easily convinced this was what I was supposed to do. I had always been the little girl that played with dolls and wanted only to be a mother. It seemed like the life I had always wanted was being ripped out from under me. Hesitantly, I agreed that I would educate myself on both parenting, and adoption. I felt that I could make the right decision for me and my baby, and my parents agreed.

As I searched for the answer I found myself falling apart. I had absolutely no idea how I could parent this baby that I carried in the way I believed he deserved. I wanted him to have a father in his life, and it was clear that my boyfriend was not going to be the kind of father he deserved. I wanted him to have a mother who was able to stay at home with him, but how could I  do that when I still had to finish high school and get a job? I was absolutely terrified when I looked at the kind of life he would have if I were to parent. I knew that he would have very little time with me as I attempted to work my way through school and pay all the bills that would come with jumping into adulthood. I also knew that if I decided this was the path I was going to take that I would give it all I had. I was built to be a mother, so I knew I could do it. The question was: Is this the best thing for your son? Despite my internal struggle I knew that it was not. My son deserved two parents who were prepared to bring a child into their lives and into their homes and provide all that he would ever need.

I began to search for the family who would take my son from my arms. I looked at more families than I can count, and none of them seemed to fit. My heart ached throughout this process and the world around me seemed to fall apart. I wanted nothing more than to parent my son, but there I was trying to find those people who I felt would replace me. How could I do this? I love everything about my home and my family and I felt like my son was losing out on all of that. I couldn't find another family that was all the things my family would be for him. It all broke my heart but I continued on searching until I found a family that seemed to fit.

Throughout all the emotions I faced on a daily basis I was still continuing my education in my senior year as a high school student. I attempted to enjoy the activities I was involved in and tried to act as normal as possible through the whole thing, while in reality I felt as far away from the norm as possible. I felt out of place and completely alone at times, except for the company I always shared with my angel baby. He became my everything. Through it all it was him and I. We were a team.

My health began to struggle early on in my pregnancy. Around 20 weeks I was diagnosed with early stages of preeclampsia and things began to get even more complicated. My doctor visits became weekly and the stress surrounding it all grew immensely. The doctors didn't know how long I would be able to carry the baby before my health became to risky to continue. Fortunately, I was able to get to 26 weeks before I was forced to start my month long stay at the hospital. I had to be monitored constantly, and remain in bed almost constantly during this time. As if this journey hadn't been hard enough I was now forced to give up any sense of normalcy that I had and focus entirely on this baby that I would soon be losing too. It was almost too difficult to handle at times. I had weekly sonograms to check the baby's progress and heard the heartbeat almost constantly. The bond I shared with this child only grew during this difficult time. My parents were my superhero's and the only real reason I came out of this all in once piece. My mom stayed with me 24/7 at the hospital and my dad made trips from home, work, and the hospital daily. My brothers and sisters were constant support and visited me often. They all did everything they could to help get me through. It was all such an emotional ride as we prayed that I would live through the birth, and then the pain I would endure following.

About two weeks before my son would be born, the adoptive family I had chosen fell through. We thankfully had a conversation that ended up revealing the adoption they envisioned would not be as open as I had hoped. Through many more tears and confusion I had to tell them it was not going to work. So there I was scared to death for my own health, and unsure how long I had before delivery, with absolutely no plan for my child. Thankfully, God was watching out for us and through a miracle brought my son's adoptive parents into our lives. They immediately drove down to meet me and it all fell into place. They fit in my lives just like another part of the family, and they felt the same. We laughed and cried and made an adoption plan together. Little did we know that the following week my body would reach it's limit and I would have to be induced at 36 weeks.

My labor was very difficult. It lasted 30 hours and involved a great deal of sickness. I had to have magnesium in an I.V. to reduce the risk of seizures associated with preeclampsia. The magnesium itself is like a poison. It burns going in and brings nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.  I struggled through labor thinking only of bringing my son safely into the world. I cried and laughed through the times I could remember and at 1:03 pm my beautiful baby boy was born. I will never forget the moment the doctor placed him in my arms. He looked up at me with the most beautiful dark eyes I have ever seen. He had a peace and love in his eyes as he looked into mine for the first time. All those moments we had shared while he was inside all came together in that one moment. I knew then that our love would never end. We would always be connected. This little man that I brought into the world was my everything, he had my heart, always.

The days following were very difficult. My health declined rapidly the evening following his birth, but through some miracle I was able to recover. I spent every moment I could with my son, Aidan. Our bond continued to grow. It broke my heart to see him leave the hospital with someone else, but it was the plan I had made for my child. He would never struggle because of my decision and I knew that he would be well cared for. The most important thing was that I would be blessed with an open involvement in his life. The adoptive family stayed in town with him the week following our leave from the hospital. I was blessed to see him every day, and they even gave me the opportunity to keep him overnight at my house one night.

Aidan is now five years old. There are so many things that have changed, but one thing has always remained. He is the love of my life. We are so very connected and I have been beyond blessed by his birth and his adoption. I was able to graduate high school on time despite me missing the majority of my senior year. I went on to college and successfully completed my bachelor's degree. I am now married and have two other children. Ava and Olivia. We are all actively involved in Aidan's life. We have a regular visitation schedule and exchange texts, phone calls, and pictures on a regular basis. Our open adoption is very unique in the level of openness. This brings so many blessings, but also has its challenges..... All of this to come later!

The journey I began with Aidan is one that has shaped my life and I know will continue to throughout the rest of my years. I have felt a kind of pain and sadness I never knew possible, but through it all I also felt a love I never imagined. I have felt what it means to sacrifice myself for another. I gave my heart when I chose another family for my son. I feel it constantly and the pain has not gone away. I know it never will. However, the pain is only one piece of the puzzle. My son brings light and joy to the world, and to my life. I am beyond blessed by the gift of Aidan.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Entering the World of Semi-Open Adoption

Hey guys! Much like when I started my own blog, I don’t even know where to begin, so I will go ahead and introduce myself. My name is Kami; I’m a 19 year old daycare teacher who is also a birth mom to the most amazing, beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. Her name for blogging purposes is Mini M and she was born January 2nd of this year, so this is all new, but I've learned a lot. We don’t have an open adoption like most stories you hear, we have semi-open. I get updates and lord knows I appreciate them, but there are now problems arising in our adoption story that nobody anticipated. So how’d I get into this whirlwind of a semi-open adoption? I’ll start from the moment I met the guy I call a monster and end with moment I told the one thing that makes my life complete goodbye.

Working late in the sports bar, that I was at more than I was at my own house, I saw a flash of pearly whites my way and these eyes I could stare at all day. He was a bigger guy-just my type-and lord his personality captured my heart like no other. We talked for hours as my friend, that he was there to meet went and ran an errand for me. I, honestly, don’t know how I got any work done that night, but somehow I did just in time to get out and spend the rest of the night chatting and getting to know this guy, who had already made a lasting impression. Our relationship was the kind that burned hot fast. We were talking about apartments and our life together. We would spend time with my sister and he would put effort into the relationship that no other guy has ever shown. He talked like he meant every word and his actions followed those through. He would tell me how he wanted to be with me forever and how he was so in love me, and the day we looked at the gorgeous, first-floor apartment I knew it would be where we spent the next couple of years starting our life together. I saw the wood floors and knew we would never keep them clean enough, but I knew that his camouflage rocking chair would be perfect in the corner and that his Xbox was definitely going in the bedroom, not the living room.  I saw that beautiful kitchen and pictured me attempting those chicken enchiladas that we loved of my mom’s…then boom; it was gone the moment he told me he was sleeping with someone else. It was not a feeling I thought I would get rid of, nor did I think my heart would ever be so broken again. I was wrong. As he continued to play with my heart and my stupid, young self, let him, I began to have stomach pains that turned into vomiting and then turned into a bump. That’s right I was pregnant and those two pink lines that were burned in the back on my mind proved it.

I will never forget the conversation I had with BM, the father, late one night. He must have been drunk-no surprise because when he was sober, he normally would react differently. I told him I was pregnant and he immediately told me it wasn't his. He wanted to know why I thought he actually cared about me or why he would care about my baby…and followed through with telling me exactly where to go…Hell. What was a girl, who just became a stereotype, to do? I was a teenager, pregnant, no baby daddy, no college education, and a dead end job still living with my parents. So I spent a night contemplating abortion, I did research and looked at clinics. The thought of termination to a child who was innocent, hasn't even take their first breath, was wrong. However, my mother instinct hadn't kicked in yet and I continued to deny the pregnancy, not only to others, but to myself. That is until the moment I felt a kick…this is not something I was going to dream away; there was no 11:11 wish that was going to change this. I began to tell my boss and coworkers, along with my friends, and then my little sister was next. They all painted this fantasy. They made it look like a picture perfect scenario. There would be a group of supportive people surrounding me, helping me, loving a child who was amazing and who called me mommy and who would love me unconditionally. But, then the time came to tell my parents. Oh, if you only knew the thoughts running through my mind. I sat down on those brown couches I had times before, but this was different. I suddenly became aware of the paintings above the two side recliners and how hideous they are. I noticed the little things that I hadn’t before. I tried to notice everything, but their face meeting mine. They were so infuriated. At that moment, I had no idea what to say or do…I just sat there. As my dad yelled, I took it with tears streaming down my face. Then words began to fly around that stuck with me. Adoption was one. The other was that I lacked the strength for adoption. So that idea was passed and I went to bed that night, without a resolution to the situation. As I cried into the pillow with the pink sheets enveloping me, I started to talk about adoption as a choice…to myself, to friends. Friends would quickly pass it off and say “No, you’re going to be a great mother, you can do this, and I will help.” However, is that what I wanted my child’s life to be? All of my friends helping, me being gone and working all the time, my child would have nobody to tell them the wrongs and rights of life or show them that you can become something, if you want. I stumbled through the Internet during the next day, looking at adoption. I didn’t want to go into something without having the information I needed. Well, I then found Gladney Adoption Agency, and I began to look. Nothing stood out about them at first, but as the day went on I kept going back to them for no known reason. When I began to look at families, I saw a few I thought were great, but as the days passed and I was at the point of not knowing what family I was going to choose and even if this was the right choice, I saw M & B’s video. They were it.

I fell in love, I watched their video over and over as I imagined my child playing in their house and with their dog, Abby, who by the way adores Mini M! I knew instantly that if I couldn’t have them that adoption wasn’t right. I met with my caseworker, A, for the first time, who has been a god send, and told her they were what I wanted. They only wanted a semi-open adoption, and to me, at the time, that is what I wanted, also. Semi-open, for those who don’t know, is the adoption that I get updates/pictures once a year, no visits guaranteed, and that’s pretty much it. Going through the steps, I never imagined that it would have been as hard.

As I rushed to the hospital with my dad and made it in a room, they were going to start an epidural finally, then here comes Mini M, a week late, and M is sliding around the door as I was going to start pushing. I remember asking why she was blue and that was about it, other than the fact that I had just give birth to this beautiful, perfect baby girl. I saw her and my heart instantly grew. She was it. She was what my life had been missing all these years. God had it planned that I would see her and have no empty spaces anymore. I thought I loved BM, I was wrong. My true love is and always will be her. Even now, as I sit here and type this, I choke back the tears, at the thought of how much love that girl is capable of having already. She changed everyone’s world. And she wasn’t even an hour old. As time passed in the hospital and I got her alone the first night, I held her tight, I stared at her with that pink bow on her head, and I began to feel tears fall. I rocked her back and forth and through the sobs, I apologized. I told her all my hopes and dreams for her; I promised her that when she was old enough to know who I am I would be a person worth knowing. I would be the person she could be proud of. I remember falling asleep early the next morning because I had her in a position where I felt her skin touching mine in a chair. Then we both transitioned to our beds, which were right next to each other. The next day passed and all of the people, who for the rest of her life will love her and think of her, got to meet her. Then, M & B got some time with her as I was in the room next to them. I was supposed to be resting, but to know I didn’t have Mini M next to me, I couldn’t. I couldn’t even be apart from her for more than an hour, because I missed her so much, how was I going to survive a lifetime?  M & B were amazing, but that’s for a different post. However, the night before signing the papers, M & I spent the night up, talking, sharing our feelings and stories. It was a night I will cherish. I woke up the next morning to M & B having news of a six month visit! Never did I think it would happen. I sat straight up and I cried into their hugs. They may think it’s just a six month visit, but they will never know what it meant to me that day to leave knowing I would see her again…no matter how great that was, though, it didn’t make it easier.

3:34 pm hit on the 4th of January and they were ready to sign the papers. M & B went down and as I sat in the room with Mini M and my parents, along with A and my best friend K. I didn't know what to expect. I had known it was coming, but I never really played this moment out in my head. I sat with my back turned to my parents and faced A. She began with the papers and as she handed me them, I went through them. Every word I read felt like a dagger was bouncing off the page and into my heart. I cried. I sobbed. I was a mess. I knew I wasn't doing a good job hiding it from my family, but I tried. Looking at this precious girl, in a bassinet, all wrapped in pink with a bow on top of her head, I felt my heart truly shatter. She was my heart and she wasn't giving any of it back. I grabbed my bags and as M & B walked in the room and said their goodbyes, I cried more. Feeling the hug and embrace of M, was like pushing more tears out. She told me our promises we made and reminded me “big picture” and to always listen to “Love is An Open Door” (yes, the Frozen song). B, cried with me as he told me things I will forever cherish. These two were the perfect parents, but that was my baby. I left, and in the truck, watching the hospital get further and further, my heart got torn more and more. The month following was full of pictures and some texts, I even got two phone calls from M & B. I remember the last one. I remember hearing their voices for the last time…I would give anything to hear them again and hear Mini M cry. I will never be the one she cries for. I will never be who she calls mommy. I will never be the one who tucks her in or holds her tight. But I will always be the one who carries her in my heart, forever. I will always be her birth mom.

So that’s my how I got here story, but there’s more than you could ever imagine that has been happening and plenty of lessons learned just in the few months, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Music Monday: Hurt by Johnny Cash

"What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Quote of the Week: Wake Up and Live!

"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!"

If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


I don't talk about God and religion very much because I have a strange relationship with both.  My pastor is, however, happy that there's at least a relationship.  I never have liked taking orders. And I'm not one to judge others for their actions or how they live their lives.  Thus I don't always do well in organized religion.  I do believe.  I just don't always like the people who call themselves believers.  My guess is many of you can understand what I'm saying.  I'm really just saying this at the beginning so you understand where I come from on this.  Sometimes, God can put something in my path that makes me furious.  And other times, He brings me something that helps.

A few years ago, my pastor decided to start up a bible study.  It was a long one.  Took about ten months.  At the very beginning we had to read a couple of short passages.  One was to read the book of Philemon.  If you're wondering what in the world that is, don't worry, so did everyone else.  But it is a book in the New Testament; right between Titus and Hebrews.  In my bible, it's about a page.  In some shorter bibles, it's two pages, either facing each other or front and back.  There's only one chapter and has a total of 25 verses.  That's it.  Takes about five minutes to read.  It's shortness is probably why it is often over-looked.

It's one of the letters that Paul wrote while in prison.  While there he wrote a letter to his friend, Philemon.  It starts out like most letters do, "Hope all is well... Timothy and the others send their love... yadda yadda yadda..."  But then he starts to speak of a man who he is currently travelling with.  The man's name is Onesimus.  Onesimus was a slave owned by Philemon who ran away.  Somewhere along the line, Paul and Onesimus met up and Onesimus became a Christian and began following Paul and helping him.  Paul, in the letter, shows great affection and love for Onesimus, but knows that he needs to return to Philemon and answer for running away.  So Paul is writing a letter to Philemon explaining what had happened and for Philemon to welcome Onesimus back into his home.  The verse that struck me the most in this chapter is the twelfth verse:

"I am sending him -who is my very heart- back to you."

To this day I'm not quite certain how to explain how I feel when I read that verse.  But every time I read it, all I think of is my son.  He is my very heart.  And I had to send him back.  Not to slavery, nor to the family that I took him from; obviously I did neither.  I just had to send him back to the forces that gave him to me in the first place.  And from there it had to be decided to what to do.

Being a birthmother has a lot to do with faith.  Faith that the birth will go well.  Faith that the people we give our children to will take care of them.  Faith that they will keep in touch with us and honor us.  Faith that everyone around us will at least let us do what needs to be done even if they don't agree with it.  And faith that one day our children will understand why we did this.

When I placed my child for adoption, a lot of the future I was taking on faith.  It was scary. Definitely the hardest and most frightening time of my life.  But I knew this was the only thing to do.  There was no other choice.  So far, things have been good.  I hope they stay that way.

I hope all of you are having a good weekend.  I hope you find your peace wherever you may find it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I did really well right after my daughter was born. I went back to school about two months after I had her and lost 50 pounds in five months through diet and exercise. I felt great and loved my new found freedom and getting my life back. Then one day it all hit me. I was just plain sad. I had never let myself truly grieve for what had taken place. I saw a therapist at my school and slowly I got better again. Through everything though I have never regretted my decision to place, and for that I am thankful. I grieved my lost motherhood. I grieved not being able to be her mom, but I knew that she was where she was meant to be. I wanted her to be happy more than I wanted myself to be happy, because honestly that's all that really matters.

For everyone out there who is struggling just know that it is okay to ask for help. No matter if its been a month, a year, three years or 34 years after placement, it is okay to let yourself grieve. Do not run from these feelings, they will catch up to you and hit you harder. I know that there are many of us who do regret placing our children, and for you I hope you find peace. You made the best decision you could with the knowledge you had. You put your child first in that moment, and that is the most selfless thing you could have ever done.

This last weekend was mothers day weekend and I know for many of us that is the worst weekend of the year. I woke up and felt an overwhelming sadness, thinking about how my motherhood was gone. But then I realized something. It isn't. I love my daughter and I put her above myself, which is what any mother does. I think about her everyday and miss her when she is not around, just like any mother out there. You are all mothers no matter what a mean spirited person says to you. You deserve every ounce of praise that another mother receives. Love yourself. I hope all of you had a good weekend and received that praise. And if you didn't here it is. Thank you for being so amazing. Thank you for being the best MOTHER you could be for your child. Thank you for bringing an amazing new life into this world.You are loved and honored.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 BirthMom Buds Slideshow

Each year we create a slideshow featuring our members and their children. The slideshow debuts at our retreat and then it is online afterwards for everyone to enjoy. You can check out this year's slideshow here.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Music Monday: Return to Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins

"So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered, "Boy, welcome home"

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quote of the Week: Don't Live in the Past


“The past is not the future unless you live there.”

If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Happy Mother's Day!

The ladies here at BirthMom Buds want to wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day.  We know how triggering today can be so please be kind to yourselves!  Do something just for YOU today! Talk to a friend, call one of your birthmom friends, go out and treat yourself to a dinner, a spa day, anything that will make you smile even for a few minutes.  Remember.... you are not alone!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Just Another Mother's Day

Mother's Day is upon us again.  I don't really like Mother's Day.

I don't like it because of the constant advertisements that are all over the internet, the radio, and the newspapers.  We're really lucky I don't have cable right now because I might have broken my own TV by now.  I know it's got to be all over the place right now.  I don't really like it because I don't want to be reminded that it's coming soon.  I know that it is.  And I will deal with it in my own way when it gets here.  But I don't need nor want to be reminded of it constantly in the days leading up to it.  All it really reminds me of is that my son is not going to be with me on Mother's Day.  I won't get a card from him.  I won't get flowers from him.  He's going to be spending the day with his mom.  And that's something I'm not a part of.  Of all the holidays of the year, Mother's Day, for me, is the worst.  I've tried to treat it like just another day, but that's not really possible in my case.

I get texts from my ex and his mother on Mother's Day.  They don't mean any malice in this.  I know. they do it because they still love me.  And I guess you could say I get my revenge because I tell my ex Happy Father's Day when that day rolls around.  Either I call my mom or she calls me so we can say it to each other.  I do like telling my mother Happy Mother's Day.  The first time she told me Happy Mother's Day, I was still big and pregnant.  My parents gave me a Mother's Day card in which they wrote, "Whatever you decide, we will always love you."  I knew they meant well.  And at the time I received it well.  But at the time I was still trying to decide what to do.  So it was difficult.

Sunday I will be going to church.  I'm going to church because the church I attend on occasion has a very low-key way of handling Mother's Day.  There is a blessing over every woman and girl in the church.  Then every woman and girl gets a carnation and the chance to go to the fellowship hall and have cake.  This will be the third time I've done so.  I like it this way.  No judgements about who I am or what I did, just that I am a mother as is every other woman.  I get a flower.  I get cake.  There are several people in the congregation who know about my son.  Even the pastor knows.  I'll show them the most recent pictures of him and they will wonder at how big he's gotten and how much he looks like me.  They'll be kind and tell me to have another piece of cake.  They know I miss him.  But in their eyes, I'm a mother as well.  And on Mother's Day, that's one thing I need.

I hope you all have a good Mother's Day and that you spend it how it suits you best.  Anyone else have any rituals or special things you do on Mother's Day?  Do let me know!

Friday, May 8, 2015

New Newsletter

The 2nd Quarter 2015 Edition of the newsletter is now available for your viewing pleasure. You can check it out here

2015 BMB Retreat Recap

We had a fabulous time at the 2015 BirthMom Buds Retreat May 1 - 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

This year’s theme was Queen of the Jungle and cute jungle animals donned the tables and d├ęcor. We kicked off things with a Pizza Party Mixer on Friday night. After enjoying pizza, we played some icebreaker-style games. Birthmom Bingo was really fun and watching the paper plate game was funny. Participants had to draw a scene, following our directions, with the paper plate on their heads! 

Saturday morning we kicked off the all day celebration with a couple of get to know you games at each of the tables. Then we headed straight into breakout sessions. This year, Terri Gake led a session entitled Empowering Yourself through Faith. Betty Philips taught others how to navigate a reunion. Leah Outten encouraged everyone to write and share their valuable story. Amy Schumaker shared the importance of self care with attendees. After breakout sessions, we moved on to craft time where everyone made a washer necklace. We then moved on to a yummy make your own fajita bar complete with chocolate cake for desert. 

We started the afternoon portion of the day with a balloon release where attendees wrote a prayer, wish, or dream for their child on a slip of paper, tied it to the balloon, prayed, and then released upward. Betty Phillips, fellow birthmother, and her (birth) son, Logan Funderburk, shared their adoption stories. A local adoptive Mom, Lindsay Smith, shared her heart and love for the birthmoms of her children. Following Lindsay, Leilani shared an inspirational devotion about the power of a lioness. We then watched the 2015 slideshow Coley created and afterward held the candlelight ceremony. We ended the day, by announcing the 2015 Buddy of the Year. Congratulations to Amy Schumaker! 

That evening, we went to dinner as a group and then walked to see the Duke Energy building in Uptown Charlotte which was lit up pink and lavender for the night in honor of BirthMom Buds. We ended the festivities on Sunday morning with a bittersweet farewell breakfast. 

We want to take a moment to thank everyone who played a part in making this year’s retreat a success. Thanks to all the birthmoms who attended, the sponsors and contributors who helped us pull of f this event, and the many people who donated items for our Swag Bags. Special thanks to Melanie Mosberg, our event coordinator. This event would not have been possible without each of you!

Check out more photos on our Facebook page

We’re already looking forward to next year!

BMB Reform Blog: Birthmother's Day or Mother's Day

When I first ventured into the Facebook support groups a few years back, I heard of something I had never heard of in all my years as a natural mom:  Birthmother's Day.  I've heard different origin stories of how this day came to be, and to be honest I have no idea which one is accurate.  But I have noticed that this day often brings up a debate.

For those of you who don't know, Birthmother's Day is a day some of us mark the Saturday before Mother's Day.  So this year it would be May 9th.  The debate usually centers around one very valid
question:  Does Birthmother's Day segregate us as not being "real" mothers?

I have a very personal view of Birthmother's vs. Mother's Day.  With my daughters birthday being so close to it, for me, regardless of any other issues I have it's all just too much.  Not to mention my story isn't one of happiness and acceptance.  So I always say I don't need a day to recognize or celebrate the trauma I have been through.  Also, I tend to agree with the fact that I feel like it segregates me.  I would much rather be recognized on Mother's Day for the mother that I am.   I don't judge anyone who does choose to celebrate this day, but for me and my beliefs, it just doesn't fit.

How do you feel about Birthmother's Day in relation to Mother's Day?

If you or anyone you know would like to be interviewed for this section, or if you have an important reform topic you would like discussed, please feel free to email me!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Music Monday: Cassidy by The Grateful Dead

"What you are, and what you're meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me, Cassidy."

If you have any suggestions for songs to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Quote of the Week: Negative Thoughts

 “Negative things you tell yourself are inCANTations, turn them into inCANtations.”

If you have any suggestions for quotes to use, feel free to email me or post a comment!