Monday, June 29, 2015

Music Monday: I Want You Here by Plum

"An ache
So deep
That I
Can hardly breathe
This pain
Can't be imagined
Will it ever heal?

Your hand
So small
Held a strand of my hair
So strong
All I could do
Was keep believing
Was that enough?

Is anyone there?

I wanna scream
Is this a dream?
How could this happen,
Happen to me?
This isn't fair
This nightmare
This kind of torture
I just can't bear
I want you here
I want you here"

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Quote of the Week: Never Forget

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Power of Family

Family = Love

Each one of us has a very different story and different people who share in our journey or may have chosen to take leave from our lives because of it. While my particular story may not speak directly to everyone, I think we can relate to the importance of those around us; either because we experienced their love and support or because we did not.

 I have been blessed by an amazing outpouring of love and support from my family throughout this entire journey. I know for some this is not the case. I cannot imagine how difficult that can make an already difficult decision, followed with years of silent suffering. For those of you who do not have the support of family, I pray there is someone there that is your support when you need someone to lean on. If you don't then my door is always open to you. It makes such a difference having people around you who fully accept your story and know your pain.

My pregnancy and decision to place my son for adoption were filled with so many emotions. I was constantly up and down, I was angry when I didn't know what to do. I was sad and scared when I thought of what was to come and what I would have to do. Each and every moment was draining. I have never experienced so many emotions, along with the physical struggles I faced. It seemed, at times, that there was no way I could continue this journey. As a teenager, I was already difficult to deal with. I had an attitude and felt I always knew what was best and I never wanted the opinion of others. The difficult decision I was making only made it all worse. My family was facing their own struggles during this time as they discerned how best to help me. I know it was not easy for them either, and I did my best to make it even harder. Looking back I can't even explain everything that happened or what all I felt. I struggled through those months, I kicked and screamed my way through each decision, desperately trying to find a way that I could be the parent my son deserved.

Through it all my family was right there by my side, even when I wanted nothing less. They refused to let me go through it all alone. When my health worsened they all stepped it up even more. I had no choice in what was happening to me at that point in it all, but they all had a choice, and they chose me. They chose Aidan. I owe my family everything. Their love and support is what got me through each and every moment, even when I didn't know it. Their encouragement is what has made me who I am. It made me a strong person with a will that does not give up, even when giving up is all I want to do. To this day they are my support system. Since the birth of my son I have gained more people into my support system, but the power of my family remains strong. They love Aidan. They accept him and me and our journey. They remind me of my sacrifice and the great decision that I made. They show me my strength and love me when I do not feel strong. While they cannot take away any of the pain, they do their best to help ease it.

I know how blessed I am to have such an amazing support system behind me, beside me, or beneath me when I need to be carried. So many others are not as lucky. I have talked with so many birth moms whose family's do not accept their decision, or acknowledge their child. For all of you, I am deeply sorry. Reach out to someone. I may not know your story, but you know mine. I am always willing to listen. I have known the support, and seen the struggle of others who are lacking it. I have the opportunity to share my story with you, feel free to share with me as well! Stay strong!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday: Superman (It's Not Easy) by Five for Fighting

"I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
Bout a home I'll never see

It may sound absurd but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream?
And it's not easy to be me"

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Quote of the Week: Cultivating Love

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Father's Day

Father's Day is this Sunday.  While Mother's Day is difficult and a tough day to get through us, for my best friend and the father of my child, Father's Day is just as difficult.  Often we talk about our experience as birthmothers and what that means and does to us.  This one time, I want to talk about my son's birthfather, A.

A and I were dating when I got pregnant.  At first, we were terrified.  We had no idea what we were going to do and neither of us were in a good position to raise a child.  We talked, and we talked, and we said just about everything you should say and shouldn't say in order to do this and stay in a relationship.  But we kept talking.

It all came to a head when we got back to his mother's house after going to my friend's wedding.  He asked me again what we were going to do as he put a hand to my swollen belly.  I finally said to him,

"I'm 75% certain that adoption is the right idea.  It's just..."  The thing about A and I, we can finished each other's sentences.  So he replied,

"It's just the 25% gets loud?"

"It gets so loud," I said tearing up.  This was our decision.  The majority ruled.  Our son was going to be placed for adoption.  Then we thought up a name because we do everything backwards.

I was at the hospital with just my mother the first night.  The next morning A arrived with his mother. He stayed with me through the next two days of labor. He held my hand in the OR when they performed a c-section on me.  Once we both heard J crying, I saw A's eyes tear up and even from behind the mask I knew he was smiling.  I have pictures of him in the hospital holding J.  They are some of the best pictures that I have of him.  He stayed two more days.  And he held my hand as I signed the surrender papers; the same papers he had signed just a few days prior.

A has seen our son two more times: once when J was about three months old and again when J was almost a year old.  He hasn't seen him since then.  J is about to be five.  But I want to make this clear: this isn't due to a lack of care on his part.  More a matter of caring too much.  Seeing J is a torture to him.  Placing our son for adoption was the hardest thing both of us have had to do thus far, and he has dealt with it much more slowly than I have.  He is getting better.  During the last few visits, I've sent pictures to his phone instead of just his email at his request.  Every time he is stunned at how big J is and how great he looks.  One day I hope he can have a visit with our son again.  And J's adoptive parents have been amazingly understanding about this.  I've explained the situation and their words were simply, when he's ready, just let us know and we'll set up a visit.

I know not everyone has this experience.  And I think it's unfortunate that so many men turn away from their children and just don't want to know.  But those men who do acknowledge their children and love them even from afar, suffer as much as we do.  One thing I've had to do again and again since this has happened, is defend A.  I don't like that I have to do it, but I do it because it should be done, because he does deserve to be defended, because he is still my best friend who went with me through hell, and because when all else fails he's the only one in the world who knows what it's like to miss our son, J.

This Sunday, I'll tell him Happy Father's Day, just as he wished me Happy Mother's Day last month.  And I'll thank my lucky stars once again that I have him in my life.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bad Days

I try my very best to make everyday a good day, and most of the time they are. I go to class, I go to work, I hang out with my amazing roommates and have a beer or two. Recently I celebrated my 21st birthday and it was amazing and all I've ever dreamed of since I was 16. I had a rough patch a few months ago, I struggled with my decision for a while. Since then I have been extremely positive most days about everything. I learned in therapy how to love myself. Even still those bad days sneak up on you.

I know that I made the best decision for my daughter at the time of placement. I know that she is where she belongs and I am where I belong but those bad days can question everything you have ever believed in. I know that I am lucky and many of our birth mother sisters are not as lucky to be confident and happy in their adoption. I know that many of us have been lied to and cheated and felt that this was our only option. I know some of us live in regret and struggle with the everyday. The one thing that helps me get through these bad days are remembering that sweet little face. Remembering those little kicks I felt as I lay awake trying to sleep. I cherish every second I had with my daughter, even though it was for a short nine months.

The best piece of advice I have for people on their bad days is to think of their sweet children. Think about how no matter what happened in your circumstances that you did what you could for them at the time. Our children would not want us to suffer and live in distress. I heard a quote the other day from a friend on one of my bad days, "Being angry and bitter is like drinking poison everyday and expecting the other person to be hurt". It really helped me put many things into perspective. Being upset and jealous are natural human emotions and yes as a birth mother you are going to feel these things, but if I let them consume my life I am doing no one any good and only myself harm.

I was trying to find a good picture for this post and so I decided to search the word birth mom and see what came up. I found the picture above and fell in love with it. For those that made the decision to choose adoption, we gave our children all we could do for them at the time, no matter how you feel now just remember that. You gave them more than you thought you could at the time. Love conquers all.

 Photo credit

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What does Adoption Look Like?

My adoption journey has not been long compared to that of many birth mothers, but in my few years I have come to realize that adoption has many faces. Time has changed how many people view adoption and what can be expected, but even among those with the "same" kind of adoption there can be many variations. So the reality is that there are differences , but why then does it seem So many people have a picture in their heads of what an adoption should be?

Along my journey I have struggled with changes within the adoptive family, and my own, and how these changes have in turn caused a change in my relationship with my son. I often wonder how the adoptive family seems to be swayed by the ideas of what they, or others, have pictured of what adoption should be.

Between all of us birth mothers here how many of us have the same story? None. We all have a unique journey and different wants, needs, and desires. We often share emotions and common thoughts or feelings, but we are unique. So why can't our adoptions all be as unique as we are?

Each child that has been adopted is unique. Each birth mother is unique, and each adoptive family is unique. What is right for one family may not be right for another, but that doesn't make it wrong. How do we decide? Well for me, and other birth mothers I have talked to, the decision making resides with the adoptive family.

As a birth mother this feeling of helplessness and lack of control is incredibly scary. I see that someone else is entirely responsible for making decisions for my son, and these decisions often affect the children I am raising at home.

Adoption is not easy. There does not seem to be one correct answer, but I believe there are MANY! As birth moms we have made the most unselfish decision that could be made for our children. A decision that often causes us unbearable pain. I know that when I made this decision I trusted that the adoptive parents would always make decisions for my son based only on what was best for him. So what do we do when we feel that is not happening as it should? Well... I have yet to figure this one out! I do not know if there is anything we can do but pray, trust, and believe things will work out as they are meant to be.

I hope that one day the world will see the many faces of adoption. Each situation is unique and that is OK!! When the world can accept the many different realities of adoption and the lives of birth mothers I believe so many things will be easier. We do not need to fit the mold of someone who secretly placed their child for adoption. We should be able to be proud of our decision! Our adoption relationship does not need to be any particular way, but rather should grow and blossom in whatever way is best for the child first, birth mom and adoptive parents second.

For anyone who is having a hard time and needs the extra support, just remember: be strong!! Be proud!! Be brave!! Love hard!!! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Music Monday: Forever Young by Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers

"May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you"

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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Quote of the Week: Fear

"Fear is excitement without the breath.”

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

Friday, June 12, 2015

BMB Reform Blog: What's Coercion to You?

I've been doing these reform blogs for awhile now.  For the most part, it's been interviews with different people.  I've thrown in some commentary on a couple topics I find important, and I still have some ideas floating around in this brain of mine.  But I also want this section to be about YOUR (the readers) ideas.  I wan't to know what's floating around in your brains!

There are so many topics out there on the subject of coercion in adoption.  From things such as the
language we use, to the money spent, to the outright force that has been and sometimes is still used.  In my personal opinion I think all of us should be knowledgeable on these issues.  We can't enact change without knowing what's out there, right?

So let me ask you all this.  What things in adoption do you find coercive?  What do you feel needs to be changed?  What happened in your own journey that doesn't sit well with you?  Please, let me know!  I am always looking for new, fresh ideas to reach the public!

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!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Times We Couldn't Share

Sunhine On The Lake

Every time another special celebration comes and goes, my heart feels a little empty, despite the joys shared with friends and family. I always stop and think about what it would be like for my son to be apart of these celebrations. As I write today I am particularly focused on this idea, because my family is on their yearly vacation to the lake house. Each member of my immediate family, along with their spouses and children gather in one home and share a week of fun on the lake in my dad's boat. It has always been one of the highlights of my year, and has been a large part of my life since I can remember. It is hard not having Aidan here with the rest of us. It is hard knowing what we all are missing.

For me I miss seeing Aidan with all the other kids running and playing. I see my two girls play together and can't help but feel like something is missing as I long to see him there as well. I miss seeing him play with all of his cousins, and enjoying the special bond they all share. It is hard to accept that he will not experience all of these things as he grows. It goes even deeper at times as I see the way of life that he is not experiencing. So much of what I learned about myself was learned on these trips. It provides a chance to escape the realities of life and experience life as a family unit without the distractions. It taught me strength and determination as I learned to ski and do other water sports as a young child. I learned how to really enjoy the company of others, and to deal with disappointments as they come. I know all of these things can be learned in other ways, but for my family these special moments are often shared alongside the water. It is hard knowing this is not a central part of my son's childhood.

I must believe that he will find these things in other places, and maybe someday I will have the opportunity to share these special moments with him. Each time I think of the moments we are not able to share I am forced to accept the reality, and to be honest, it is extremely difficult. Each birthday party we do not share, each holiday that passes, every family gathering: all of these are bittersweet. I want so deeply to fully enjoy all of these things with the ones who are present. It becomes especially hard when I see my girls, and I want to be fully present for them in those moments, and I do the best I can. I choose to love life as it is, and work through the sadness as it comes. No matter what I do those feelings are always there, very real, very strong. I honor him and my girls through those moments and live life to the fullest. Someday he will understand the pain I CHOOSE to feel was always for him. These times we couldn't share simply remind me of the real love I have for this little boy and the choice I made for his life. For all of us birth moms - we must remember how heroic our choice was!! How many people willingly take on the most difficult pain imaginable for the love of another? We know sacrificial love, and our children will be blessed by our love.

Picture Credit

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Getting Back to Normal...Or Not

After you sign those papers, the papers that you never imagined you would sign, your heart breaks in ways you never prepared yourself for. I thought I had things in place that would cushion the blow-so to speak-when I got home from 48 hours of nothing but holding my new baby girl in my arms and then placing her in someone else's. But, I was wrong. I didn't know that reading those lines, word after word, I would keep being shattered as the words bounced off the page. I was rolled out of the hospital with tears wetting my face when all I really wanted to do was stay. Stay in the room forever, holding this 6 lb 4 oz perfection. Today, it hasn't got easier. It just got different.

Saying bye to M and B and Mini M, I was in a daze after. For days I was just floating through day by day, sleeping as much as I could. I used the fact I just had a baby as an excuse, but really I just didn't want to face the reality. I slept on the couch near my parents room, because I was terrified of sleeping in my secluded pink room, by myself. I laid next to my mom when I could and cried. My heart ached like it had never done before and I didn't know if it would ever stop. But, it did. Some where along the way the ache became normal. I didn't cry all the time and I moved my pillow back to my bed. I became functioning and ready to go to work. I think of the missing part in my heart and the hole is still existent. I will always have it there.

I never thought I would date again, but I have. I never thought I would be able to talk about Mini M and not cry, but I do everyday. I don't think about her birth dad like I did, I don't want him back and I laugh when I think of my choice in guys before. My "normal" changes. My normal used to be no baby and dating when I wanted, doing what I pleased, then it went to me being a birthmom with an unshakable pain. Now, it is me being a workaholic, a proud mother, unsure of my standing with M and B, and having a big picture that I often forget. I didn't go back to a normalcy, I created a new one and I continue to.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Music Monday: Never Alone by Lady Antebellum

"Never alone 
Never alone 
I'll be in every beat of your heart 
When you face the unknown 
Wherever you fly 
This isn't goodbye 
My love will follow you stay with you 
Baby you're never alone "

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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quote of the Week: Lighten Others Burdens

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

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

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Answering a Simple Question

"Do you have any kids?"

It's a simple enough question.  People have asked me this question before and will most likely ask me again.  It's not impolite.  It's a fair question.  But sometimes I don't know how to answer it.  I usually answer based on who I'm speaking to.

Two nights ago when asked that question, my reply was, "Yes and no."  I was with the wife of the feature poet at the poetry group that my son's adoptive father is in charge of.  They had been staying with them.  They had spent a good amount of time with my son that day.   I explained the situation and that J was my biological son.  Like many who have struggled and wondered how raising a kid and doing everything was going to work, she understood and also understood the choice that I made.  We had a long conversation and completely understood each other.

But I haven't always answered this question so honestly.

Sometimes when in a supermarket or a big retail store, I'll smile at a little baby or I'll help a kid back to his/her mother or I'm in the toy aisle wondering what to get.  And at random times the question is asked, "Do you have any kids?"  Sometimes for time's sake or just for privacy's sake, I'll say, "No, not as of yet."

I make it a point not to lie to clergy, at least clergy who make it a point to be loving and create a safe environment for their congregation and visitors.  And given a nice person in a safe environment, I will tell my story.  But if I don't think I'm safe, I won't say it.  If I'm asked the question, "Do you have any kids?" I just reply, "No."

Doctor's forms are things I have gotten more familiar with lately.  And on reaching the question, "Have you given birth?" I have to answer yes.  But sometimes there's another question that says, "How many children live with you?"  At that point, I have to put down the number 0.

It's a sticky situation.  And for us, not the easiest of questions.  Back before I was 27, I would always answer, "No, no kids for me yet."  Now, my answer depends on who I'm with and what situation I'm in.  Sometimes I tell the truth.  And sometimes I lie.  But it's not really a lie.  Not exactly anyway.

How have you answered this question before?  I would like to hear about your experiences with this and your answers.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Bigger Picture

Today I was in class and with the severe amount of rain we have been getting we seem to be going stir crazy, locked in our classroom all day.  So, I tried to find things for them to do to keep occupied and one of the activities actually used the rain to our advantage.  We made rain Kool-Aid water color.  It was so awesome to see their little faces light up each time a rain drop hit the Styrofoam cup and mix together to make a blood red.  As we took the paint inside we sat at a prepared table that had blue paper rolled out and taped so that we didn't paint the table.  They got paintbrushes and went to town painting.  Everyone talking among themselves about what they were creating.   However, an objective we haven't quite mastered yet is how to paint.  They tend to paint the same spot over and over again, resulting in the paper tearing.  So I told them paint a 'big picture', spread it all over and use all the space so that it doesn't tear in that one spot.  My choice in words hit me...the big picture.  Where was mine?

M told me before I gave birth to Mini M that there was a bigger picture than the moment we stood in.  Sure, it hurts now, but years later it will make sense.  I created a list that told about my future big picture soon after placement, but I began to forget about it all when things got more challenging.  Until now.  She's right, there is a big picture.  Much like my five year old's, if we paint in the same spot, or continue to live the same moments over and over and not venture out, we will tear and breakdown.  So, for the sake of staying together and continuing to be one, I will look at the big picture.  I will look at the need in the world and all the good that I can do because of my situation.  I will see that Mini M is where she needs to be because she will forever and always have what she deserves and desires.  I will look at the relationships formed because of this adoption.

If you are ever in a situation and you know you are about to rip or feel yourself slipping, change spots.  Spread that out and make it a bigger picture.  You have your entire life not just that second.  Use it all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Tangled Pathway In The Woods

Lately it seems like life has been a constant roller coaster of emotions. Things seem to fall into place only to fall apart. This seems to be true as well with the journey of being a birth mother. For me, this is a central part of who I am. Each day I feel the pain as if it's new, and each day I choose to smile through the hurt because of the joy I see in my son's eyes. As life moves forward each day brings different challenges, and recently I have had the chance to really reflect on the realities that are my life now, 5 years after my son's birth.

I seem to be at a crossroads in my life where everything seems to be changing all at once. For someone like me change is never easy. Especially when it comes to my relationship with my son and his relationship with his biological siblings and my family. When I was 17 and making an adoption plan for my son I knew that someday I would have other children and a family with me all the time, and I knew I wanted ALL my children to have a relationship. I think I knew it would be difficult at times to understand the situation surrounding each child's birth and how it all fit together, but at that time in my life I could never understand how deeply the changes that would occur could affect my life. As I began to grow and become the adult I always wanted to be I started to realize these things were going to affect my relationship with my son.

None of these changes would be my choice, which would make it all so much harder. With the birth of each child there seemed to be struggles with the adoptive parents as to how it all fit together. I could not, and still do not, understand how the birth of a sibling could change the love we all shared. As the adoptive parents were able to have other biological children things became even more difficult. To be honest, I cannot fully tell you why. I think this is simply one of the more difficult things we must experience as birth mothers within an open adoption. We do not have control over the choices the adoptive parents make for our sweet children. I cannot decide what will happen, and it is a feeling of complete at total fear as I have no control. It affects my son, but it also affects the children I am parenting.

It's hard to imagine how life will change, even if for the better, and that this could affect the relationship we were promised with our child. We all have different relationships and expectations,but for me it has always been depicted as an extended family. We have shared holidays, family get togethers, countless hours spent together, phone calls, pictures, tears, laughter, joy, and sorrow. We have walked the journey together as birth family and adoptive family. I trust that this will always continue, but as my life changes, I am fearful of the future.

As I face yet another time of change in my life, my husband and I await the birth of another child this fall, our children are growing, and my son is becoming more aware of things that surround him. I fear the things he may not understand, and the things I am not able to explain to him because I feel a longing as his mother to calm all his fears, to chase away any doubt, and to most importantly assure him of ALL of our love. I pray that he can feel my love and that through the changes and the hard times we will continue our relationship as it has always been, based on love, trust, and honesty. I place my son in God's hands and trust that no matter how hard the changes in life may be, the love we share will always be there, strong and pure. Always and Forever.

Picture Credit

Monday, June 1, 2015

Music Monday: Cups (When I'm Gone) by Anna Kendrick

"I got my ticket for the long way round
The one with the prettiest of views
It's got mountains, it's got rivers
Its got sights to give you shivers
But it sure would be prettier with you"

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