Friday, July 31, 2015

Preparing for a Visit

finding peace

My open adoption is incredibly open. I never knew exactly how it would all play out, but it quickly evolved into a very open relationship with a great deal of active involvement. Currently I am blessed to see my son every other month. I will be leaving for my visit this month, so I thought it was a good time to reflect on some of those feelings and emotions that arise when getting ready for a visit, during, and following.

In the days and weeks leading up to a visit I am incredibly excited. There is nowhere I would rather be, so knowing I have that opportunity coming is so great! I am always anxious counting down the days and begin planning and packing days before! I'm so blessed that my family also has the chance to visit, so I keep myself busy preparing with my girls for a long trip.

There are also some nerves that arise when thinking about visiting. It often depends on things surrounding the visit, such as my own emotions in life, or the adoptive parents recent behavior. I often fear that things will be different this visit, or he won't be excited to see me. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced this in our five years of visits. Our relationship has continued to grow and be one that brings so much joy to us both. I pray this will always be the case. I often worry about my girls and how my son will react to them. I don't want their feelings to be hurt if he doesn't seem interested or is too busy playing to focus on them. Again, this has not been the case, but as a mother to all these beautiful children, the worry is still there. Despite these worries my heart is so overjoyed knowing I will be together with my baby again. It is the only opportunity I have to feel my heart at its fullest. When we are visiting Aidan I have all of my children in one place around me and my heart is full!

My husband, my parents, or my other family members have all told me they can see a difference. Not that I am sad all the time in my daily life or anything to that extreme, but the fullness of my heart just radiates from me. I know it because I can feel it and others have seen it. I can also see a difference in my girls. They are always happy children and don't struggle in daily life, but when they are with their "bubba" I see a new spark within them. They all run and play together as if they have never spent a day apart. They laugh and hug and love each other as any mother would wish for her children.

These moments are life giving. They bring so much joy to my family, and do wonders for my heart. My spirit is always lifted and I feel like I can do anything. It is a feeling like no other! I have often wondered if this feeling is unique to the birthmom experience or if mothers who parent each child feel this way all the time? If so, I hope they treasure it! I believe in many ways that this is just another gift given to us birth mothers, for we have known such a great loss, we have the gift of feeling joy and love more fully.

After a visit there are many tears shed as I have to leave, yet again. It hurts to again be left with that empty place in my heart, but it is worth it. I would never give up the opportunity to spend even a minute with
My son, even if I knew I would cry thousands of tears as I leave. We are all sad to leave, my girls, my husband, my parents, but we are all so happy for the time we have shared. Each moment we build priceless memories, and they help carry us through until our next visit. These times give me the opportunity to see the amazing life that I brought into the world, and to treasure the place I have been given in his life. My heart is happy as I anticipate this weekend and the joys my son brings to the world each day! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Music Monday: When I'm Thinking About You by The Sundays

"Hey, hope Ill never wake
When Im thinkin' about you
Yeah, hope Ill never wake
'Cause now Im thinkin' about you"

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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quote of the Week: Be Yourself

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


As I reflect on my life and this forever journey of adoption, I can't help but realize how much timing and circumstances have shaped my life.  As I sit here now, pregnant with my fourth child, I can't help but reflect on all my pregnancies, but in particular the one I so often remember with my son Aidan.

In many ways, I try not to look back on my decision to place my son for adoption.  I know it was the right decision at the time and there are so many blessings that have come from it.  However, it is so easy to look at the time that has passed and think, if only it had been a different time; if only I was a little bit older; if things were a little bit different.  In my story, my life drastically changed following the birth of my son.  I believe this was due to things I learned and experienced along the way, but it is still hard to look at the time and the changes and not wish things hadn't happened differently.  Obviously, if it had been a different time then it wouldn't have been Aidan and the years following would not have followed the same path, but in my emotional reflections on things there is always that little wish, or wondering if the time had been different.

For me it was only two years later that my daughter was born and I began the amazing journey of parenting.  Now I have three beautiful daughters in my home and an amazing husband.  I have the family that I felt my son would be missing out on, and here it is only a few years later.

It was always so important to me that my children had a mother and father in the home.  I knew Aidan would not have a father figure, and that played a part in my decision for adoption.  Now I see my husband with our girls and it breaks my heart that he cannot be the father to Aidan.  It is amazing how quickly things can change.  While I am so blessed to be at such an amazing place with a wonderful family, it can also be hard. If only I had known.... If only....

I know things have happened as they were meant to be, and I am forever grateful for each and everything I have learned along the way.  I am blessed beyond all belief by each one of my children in their own unique way.  I know that time has changed things and I know more change will come with the years.  I choose to feel peace.  I choose to feel joy.  I choose to feel love.  I must remind myself: keep looking forward, while still embracing the past.  It has made me who I am today.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Music Monday: Timing is Everything by Garrett Hedlund

"You know I've had close calls
When it could've been me
I was young when I learned just how fragile life can be
I lost friends of mine
I guess it wasn't my time
Timing is everything"

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

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Quote of the Week: Truth

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people."

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015


My son turned 5 on Tuesday.  We had a party at Chuck E. Cheese and his friends from school attended.  So did I.  We played the games, the kids rode the rides, and J's adoptive mother and I played Skee-Ball.  Because of the sensory over-load of all the lights, sounds, smells, and general insanity that one finds at a Chuck E. Cheese, we never did get around to opening presents there.  The kids got tired and just about done with everything.  So before anyone had a meltdown, we all packed up the gifts, piled into our cars and headed home.

I haven't done it yet, but I need to email J's parents about one of my presents.  It's a set of dominoes that has fruit on it instead of dots.  I got him a set of dominoes for a specific reason though: traditions.

My grandfather taught me how to play dominoes.  He also gave me my first set of dominoes when I was about J's age, or maybe younger.  I don't know if he has a set already or not.  But I wanted to be able to say I had given him one.  I loved my grandfather.  He passed away when I was very young so the few memories I have of him and the things I associate with him are near and dear to my heart.  So this year, I decided to continue this tradition.  I put a set of dominoes in a gift bag with a LEGO set and a Magic School Bus book about space.  I hope that he likes them.  Later I may give him a real set with dots and maybe I can teach him how to play.  It would be fun since there are very few things I get the chance to teach him.  I think it would make my grandfather smile too.

What kind of traditions have you passed on (if you're able) to your children?  Or are there any bits of knowledge you've been fortunate enough to pass on to them yourself?  Let me know in the comments!  And I hope you all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where Do I Fit In?

I recently had my fourth visit with my daughter E.  She is now 19 months old and is becoming a little person with her own personality.  It's an amazing privilege to see and watch her grow up and I will be forever grateful for that.  I know how truly lucky I am to be able to visit her at all.  I was able to take my niece and little sister along, as well as her birth father.  We all had a blast at the zoo together and it was an amazing day.  The adoptive parents and I were extremely close throughout my pregnancy and post placement, but time goes on and life gets busy.  We still communicate monthly and have our visits twice a year, but I cant help but think where I fit in in this picture of E's life.

She is the most amazing girl I have ever seen, and even though I am not sure I truly believe it myself, I feel like deep down she knows who I am.  I know her adoptive parents have told her that she grew in my tummy, but how much of that does a 19 month old really understand.  But when I held her against me and when I chased her around the zoo, I felt like there was an unspeakable connection.  She knew who I was, or at least felt that I was familiar.

So what does that all mean?  I am not her mom.  I will never really be her mother.  I am her birth mom.  I gave her life and I held her so tight in that hospital, but then I had to let her go.  I have moved on with my life in so many ways.  I am going to school with hopes of graduating in the spring, I have made countless new friends and have a new job.  I am supporting myself without help from my parents, something I would have never done had I parented.  I think about her daily and I know I will continue to do so forever.

When I was watching her with her mom and dad I couldn't help but feel like an outsider looking in.  I saw the little family that I helped create.  I saw her look for her mom when she was out of sight.  I saw her grab onto her dad and I felt that love between them.  They are her parents.  It is hard to fully come to terms with something like that.  Knowing that no matter how close I am with them, with E, I will never be her mother.  She will never call me mom.  She wont come cry to me with her boo-boos.  I'm not going to hold her when that first boy breaks her heart.

At our visit I had a really important moment with her adoptive mom.  A moment that is going to stick with me forever, that helped me discover my place in this ever so complicated relationship of adoption.  We were discussing all of the rude comments we get as birth parents and adoptive parents and sharing stories.  She told me about how someone asked her how she was going to deal with the dreaded "You're not my real mom" that was bound to happen one day.  I cringed at that.  I cant stand the thought of E saying that to her mother one day, but we all know eventually it will come.  Her mother told me that when she does have those moments when she feels like she doesn't fit in and questions everything, that she is so glad that I was there to hold her hand.  She was thrilled that when E gets older and she is having her own crisis that I will be there to help her.  She said she was happy that she would have someone there that is an amazing a trustworthy person.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Music Monday: Coming Home by Gwyneth Palthrow

"Well they say its where the heart is
and I guess the hardest part is
when your heart is broken
and you're lost out in the great wide open
looking for a map
finding your way back
to where you belong
well that's where I belong"

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

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Quote of the Week: Where Your Heart Is

"Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure."

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

Monday, July 6, 2015

Music Monday: Lullaby For A Soldier (Arms of the Angels) by Maggie Siff

"May you always be brave in the shadows
‘Till the sun shines upon you again
Hear this prayer in my heart, and we’ll ne’er be apart
May you stay in the arms of the angels"

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

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Quote of the Week: Intelligence

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

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