Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adoption's Impact

Most of you know by now that my adoption was closed a million years ago. And at Christmas and other holiday times, I feel an emptiness or like something is missing rather than sadness. Since we have never shared any holidays together, I don't have those kinds of memories. You might say that my loss is rather undefined. A strange place to be.

This year for the first time I am acknowledging another rather undefined loss: the birth of my grandson. Now he's actually 4 this year, so it's not a brand new thing. But for some reason this is the year it is really hitting me. My birthdaughter Katie did not invite me into her pregnancy or delivery. I didn't actually find out about Little Man until he was about a year old. At that time I was juggling two babies of my own. Maybe that is the reason for the delayed response.

But this year I am experiencing the profundity of it. The enormity of the impact one decision made in secret can have. For me the decision to carry my unplanned pregnancy seemed huge at the time, and it was. In spite of my mother's wishes, I decided to remain pregnant with no plan.

The decision not to parent was the next big decision, although the obvious right choice for me and my girl.

But now... seeing a bigger part of the picture is overwhelming at times. Realizing that even though I made a mess of things, the Lord has redeemed it and used it for good. Seeing for the first time that my decision stretches far beyond myself and my child and her adoptive family. Seeing that my decision will impact generations.

Only God has the perspective and can see the full impact one life can have. He alone sees all the generations not in existence because of one abortion. And he alone sees all the generations in existence because of one adoption.

Be encouraged this Christmas. No matter your circumstances, you have given a great gift to this world. God sees you and knows your pain and your sacrifice. Trust him to get you through.

Photo credit

Monday, December 15, 2014

Music Monday: Black by Pearl Jam

"I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a star in somebody else's sky
But why, why, why can't it be, can't it be mine?"

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quote of the Week: Cherish What Makes You Unique

"Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cuz you're really a yawn if it goes."

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thankful during the Holidays

Oh the holidays!

I don't know about you, but I have much to be thankful for this year. I may have mentioned our family's time of trial earlier this year. My husband broke his hip and the day after the BMB Retreat, he had it replaced. Now that is a surgery for old people. In fact his mother fell and broke her hip a few years ago and had it replaced. But we are not grandparents!

I digress... This year has certainly been hard. Instead of two children to care for, I've had three. Instead of giving two baths each day, I've given three. And my normally self-sufficient husband was not able to drive himself to and from work for a while. For those of you who are married, you know that husbands are the worst patients!

However some how along the way, our relationship changed. We became closer. He began trusting me more, which was his issue, not mine. We began to communicate in a whole new way because we had to. And along the way we experienced a journey that is uniquely ours and our girls'.

So what's my point here? Well, struggle stretches us and grows us and changes us. It's hard and we often don't want to do what is required. I don't know how many times during that period that I asked God to pleeeaaasssee return me to my life of ease. I know he was just laughing. But we're on the other side and the benefits of that short period will last us a lifetime.

What trial are you facing today? I promise if you will walk through it you will reap the rewards.

Photo credit

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

4th Quarter 2014 Newsletter

The 4th Quarter edition of the BirthMom Buds Bulletin is now available for your viewing pleasure. You can check out the newsletter here

Monday, December 8, 2014

Music Monday: California Dreamin' by The Mamas and The Papas

"All the leaves are brown
(All the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray.
(And the sky is gray).
I've been for a walk
(I've been for a walk)
On a winter's day.
(On a winter's day)."

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quote of the Week: The Best Things In Life

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nature vs. Nurture

Today I thought I'd post a little something I've noticed about my son lately.

My son looks like me.  Now, that's easy to explain.  That's genetics.  I have two male cousins and one female cousin who all look like me.  We all look like our grandmother.  So as he's gotten older, we've compared to pictures of me and my cousins at the same age.  The funny part is that he often looks nearly exactly like the pictures of us from long ago.

But my son also acts like me in some ways.  And it's kind of spooky.  When he was two, he would insist on doing things over and over and over again.  My father said to them on a visit, "We had a rule, if you didn't want to do it a hundred times, don't do it the first time."

Now, many kids like to do the same thing over and over.  It's true.  But then it keeps going.

He makes up stories.  He likes to make up stories and tell them to his parents to see what they think.  I tell stories.  I write stories.  I wrote stories when I was little as well.  Not great ones, as you can imagine.  But I was writing then too.

He hates it when his things get messed up or you rearrange the words in a song.  Absolutely hates it.  Will get very upset about it even.  And yeah, you guessed it, I did that.  Still hate it when someone gets into my things.  I don't cry or scream anymore as you can imagine, but I still have to control myself when people start messing with my things.

He's musical.  He and his adoptive dad have been banging on the fridge and the cabinets and making music all their own.  I picked well in his adoptive parents.  I'm a musician.  And his adoptive father is too.  I can see the delight in his adoptive father's eyes when he talks about making music with Joseph and recording it.

If I added up the time that I've spent with my son, it would probably amount to about two and a half weeks all together.  But there are things I passed down to him without even knowing it.  There is one thing that puzzles me.

He's a practical joker.  I fail at practical jokes.  His biological father never did pull any on me or anyone else I know.  I don't know where it came from.  Maybe some distant relative.  Maybe he learned it from someone in his adoptive family.  I have no idea.  But we all delight in it.

As the years go by, I expect other traits of mine and his birth father will come out.  And traits he picks up from his adoptive family will come out as well.  And I can't wait to see what he makes of all of this.  Hope you and yours are doing well and let me know if you've seen bits of yourself in your own children.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Music Monday: I Miss You by Incubus

"I know I'll see you again
Whether far or soon.
But I need you to know that I care,
And I miss you."

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quote of the Week: Fill the World With Hope

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful For Being Lucky

It's Thanksgiving week.  I've been with family all week like many of you probably have.  This year my mother was still in a cast due to a broken arm she got at the end of September.  So I was enlisted to make Thanksgiving dinner.  Fear not, I've done this two times before due to her having a very bad knee and by now I'm much more confident and I am able to nearly recite the recipes and get my mother out of my cooking if need be.  Third time through, I did well yet again.  And now I have a post to write.

I'm no fool.  I know that I got extremely lucky with my adoption agency, the family I placed with, the willingness of everyone in my family and my boyfriend's family to step out of our way and make the right decision for our child, and that my child was born healthy and well.

I am thankful that at a time when I needed it most, my luck turned for the good in a serious way.  I am thankful that my son's parents continue to involve me in his life and keep me updated on his life.  I am thankful that my son is growing up tall and handsome.  I am thankful that he has a very creative mind and soul.  I am thankful that he has loving, wonderful, and capable parents who can raise him the way that I wish I could have.  I am thankful that they have become my friends and people that I can talk to not just about my son, but about many other subjects as well.  And I am thankful that I got so very very lucky when I needed it the most.

I wish you all the luck that I've found.  I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families.  Know that while I am thankful for all of these things and am grateful that my son will get the life he deserves, it is a fact that I have to live with every day and it is a fact that pains me every day.  But I always knew I would live with this better than raising my son in a home that would have been unstable at best and hostile and unbearable at worst.  May you all find peace with your decisions as I finally have.

Friday, November 28, 2014

BMB Reform Blog: Gift Cards for Mothers?

Recently I came across a Facebook post that was quite alarming.  An agency had a "promo" going where if you referred an expectant mother to them and she placed through them you would get a $500 gift card once the adoption was finalized.  Needless to say, I was pretty outraged as were a lot of other women I know.

I am a firm believer that when women are coerced into adoption, even by the most subtle means, she really doesn't have a choice.  And this promotion?  It screams coercion.  First of all, we're treating an expectant mother and her baby as a commodity.  I can trade in movies on Amazon for a gift card.  I can enter contests for gift cards.  I should never be using a woman going through an unplanned pregnancy for monetary gain.  And how will she feel if she wants to change her mind, but is obligated to "keep her promises" due to her "friends" involvement and compensation?

Also, anyone who is interested in adoption reform knows that one of our biggest issues is money. They say that adoption is not about buying a baby, but many things in adoption say otherwise unfortunately.  The rising costs, the payment for medical care when that should be provided by the government, etc.  And given that a LOT of us relinquish due to financial issues, it makes my blood boil that others are getting a $500 gift card to throw women into this.

So what are your thoughts on this?  Do you find this practice unethical?

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, November 26, 2014

"Who is That?"

For any of us birth moms who receive pictures of our children it is hard to not want to show the whole world the amazing pictures that can help us get through a hard day. My phone screen saver has been my daughter since the day she was born and I know that it will most likely remain that way for a very long time. I don't think much of it because most often the person looking at my phone is me, so I never have to explain anything, and the friends who do look at my phone already know about my daughter.

The other day in one of my classes I was talking to a girl who I am casually friends with. We talk about class and homework and have hung out a few times but we definitely have not reached the point where I would bring up my daughter. Today I sat down in class and when I checked the time on my phone my screen saver was on and she saw  the picture of my daughter and said "Aw, who is that?". Honestly at the moment I was so upset that I had that picture up, I didn't really want to go into about the adoption and everything 3 minutes before my classed started but I didn't want to make up a lie and say she was a niece or something. In the back of my mind I also knew that this girl is raising her boyfriends daughter and she often complains about how the biological mom is a deadbeat. Having all this in mind, it made me very intimidated to talk about my story with her because I was
scared she would also label me as a deadbeat or someone who didn't care for my daughter.

I took a few seconds to answer and then I just said "Shes my birth daughter, I placed her for adoption last year and she is with a really amazing family." And of course after I said that there were a million more questions I could see that were about to explode out of her mouth. Most of them were understandable like "How long ago was it?", "How old is she?" and grew more ignorant with questions im sure some of us had heard  "Are you still with the father?" "Why?",  "Was it hard?". Honestly in the moment I wanted to scream at her. Of course it was hard, it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. What kind of a person do you think I am?

The ignorant questions from some people are extremely difficult to deal with. Sometimes I wish people could just think about things a little longer before they say them. I understand the questions, I would probably have questions too had I not been a birth mom. I cannot wait for the day where telling someone you're a birth mom isn't followed by a million personal questions about yourself and the situation.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What kind of questions have you heard?

Photo Credit

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Ultimate Frustration

So, it's November.  November, among other things, is national adoption month.  A friend of mine, who is a photographer, posted a list of twenty photos celebrating national adoption month.  Of those, about two were domestic adoptions that were the result of custody battles and divorces.  All the others were international adoptions.

Okay, before I get scolded, I have no problem with either kinds of adoption.  I agree that people who get divorced and then end up with blended families, should be able to adopt their step children.  I also agree that there are children in other countries who need homes and the opportunities that this country can provide.

That said, my frustration is mainly in that the adoptions we hear about the most are those that happen in blended families or international adoptions.  Adoptions like the ones that we know of?  I hear about them at birthmother support groups.  I hear about them on this blog.  I hear about them when I look really hard for them.  I hear about them when I share my story and people find the courage to speak up as well.  I don't hear about our stories on TV, on the news, in the movies, or in books.  Not most of them anyway.

So right now, I'm just frustrated.  I'm frustrated that our society is one that keeps us quiet.  I'm frustrated that people like us get painted as drug addicts, screw-ups, and women who abandoned their children.  At least this is what it feels like right now.  That's what I keep seeing.  And it's so incredibly frustrating to me right now.

What's worse is that this will be something that will have to change over time.  I know that the best idea is to remain patient and work as we go along.  We're only a few people.  And even as I write this, I feel like a bit a of a hypocrite because I am not open about my son on my own Facebook page due to various family that I don't want to know about happened.  How can I call for people to be open when I'm barely open myself?

Sorry all, just very frustrated this week.  Feel free to vent your own frustrations on here.  I know I've been frustrated about this for days now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Monday: Hope In Front of Me by Danny Gokey

"I've been running through rain
That I thought would never end
Trying to make it on faith
In a struggle against the wind
I've seen the dark and the broken places
But I know in my soul
No matter how bad it gets
I'll be alright" 

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