Monday, August 24, 2015

Music Monday: If You Only Knew by Shinedown



"If you only knew
How many times I counted
All the words that went wrong
If you only knew
How I refuse to let you go,
Even when you're gone
I don't regret any days I
Spent, nights we shared,
Or letters that I sent"


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



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quote of the Week: Dreamers



"All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they dream their dreams with open eyes, and make them come true."








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



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Living through the Heartache

Heart in my hands

After talking  last week about milestones, I have spent some time reflecting on ways I cope with these hard times and work through the emotions. My son’s first day of school is tomorrow! I cannot believe how quickly he has grown and we are at one of those huge markers in his life. It has definitely hit me hard facing this moment alone and not being there by his side. I have had to look into myself and at those around me for different ways to help get me through this time. I have found over these past few years that there are certain things I can do that just help me when I feel like I may slip into a deep sadness. Other people may have different things they do that help them, but for me allowing myself to feel involved and to feel the emotions I have has been very helpful.

When my son was born and we all agreed on an open adoption plan, I promised myself I would always allow myself to stay involved. While it can be difficult at times when I feel as though his family sees me as a burden or I worry about trying too hard, the reality has always been that it brings happiness to my son. I have sent little gifts in the mail, cards on special days, or even for no reason at all. I have made special gifts which include pictures of me and the rest of his birth family to show him all the people who love him. Anything I can think of that gives him a special surprise and helps him to know he is always on my heart; these are things that give me peace. It is just something little, but has always been a helpful way for me to show him my love, even when I cannot be present. For his first day of school I prepared a little backpack filled with after school or lunch snacks with special notes on them, along with a few school supplies and special pictures my girls drew for him. I always take pictures of the gifts I send, so that someday, when he no longer has these items, he can still have a memory of those special things I tried to do for him.


I have also allowed myself the opportunity to celebrate! I have been blessed to spend every birthday with my son, and we celebrate special holidays, but often not on the exact day. When I am away from him on special days or events I allow myself to celebrate here with my family, even though Aidan is not here with us. I feel like I have every right to feel happy for special events in Aidan’s life, and doing something special gives me that sense of being included, and including my girls and other family as well. This doesn’t make the pain go away, but it gives me something to do, and gives me some peace. So tomorrow as Aidan wakes up and goes off to school, I will take my girls out for a special breakfast. We will talk about “bubba” and pray that he has an amazing day at school. I will enjoy the pictures I receive and I will celebrate the day with my girls. My heart will still ache, but this is my journey, and part of surviving it is learning to live with the heartache. 


 


Monday, August 17, 2015

Music Monday: Make You Feel My Love by Adele



"I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
no doubt in my mind were you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love"


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


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quote of the Week: Jealousy




"Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening."







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




Friday, August 14, 2015

Milestones


As birth mothers, we face those milestone moments in our child’s life in a very different way than other mothers.  There is the normal excitement as our children grow and learn new things, but there is also a deep sadness and longing because we are often not there to witness these things first hand.  It is easy to feel left out of our children’s big moments because we are not the ones who get to see these things happen and experience the joy of these moments with them.
School Bus
The time is coming in my son’s life for another one of  these milestones, and I can’t help but have a heavy heart knowing I will not be there to witness it.  Aidan is starting Kindergarten this year.  I am beyond excited for him to begin his journey with school and enjoy all the fun things he will get to do and learn.  I just wish I was the one who would be walking him into his classroom and holding back tears as I had to leave him on his first day.  I know I will get pictures, and I enjoy having the opportunity to see these special events, but it is in no way the same as actually being there.  While I am so thankful for the pictures and I always want more, in some ways it can make it harder at times.  It gives me the chance to see even more clearly the joyful things I am missing out on.

I cannot believe how fast my baby boy is growing.  It is hard to believe we are at another milestone in his life and he will be starting kindergarten in just a couple of weeks.  It seems like just yesterday he was still here inside and with me at every moment.  It is hard knowing that I am not there with him, and even more so, that these moments are no longer meant to be for me.  I gave all of those moments away the moment I choose what was best for him.  I am beyond blessed to still be included in so many moments of his life, yet it doesn’t take the pain away when I am not with him.  So I will allow myself to feel sad and happy on that day.  I will smile at the thought of my sweet boy with his backpack all ready for school for the first time, and I will cry that my hand is not the one that he is holding. 




Monday, August 10, 2015

Music Monday: Selah by Lauryn Hill



"Coping with despair, knowing you're not there
Ashamed to just admit I've been a fool
So I blame it on the sun
Run away from everyone

Hoping to escape this ridicule
Trapped in misery
Wrapped so miserably
And his deception I wear it like a skin

Dying to maintain
While I keep trying to explain
A heart that never loved me to begin with
Oh, I'm such a mess"


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



Sunday, August 9, 2015

Quote of the Week: The Ropes of Life





“We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots.” 












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




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Trigger Warning



I kind of wish life came with trigger warnings.  I do hate when something happens that sets off things in my head.  This weekend won't be fun for me.  Many enjoy fireworks and I understand that.  But I am not a fan.  There was a shooting at my high school here in Georgia.  That was when I learned how similar the sound of gunfire and firecrackers are.  I also lived in Columbus, GA for nine years.  Fort Benning is right near by.  They often do artillery testing and I can guarantee you, the sound can be heard in Columbus.  And it often sounds like fireworks.

After becoming a birthmother, I discovered a whole new set of triggers.  Not long after giving birth, I went to the eye doctor to get a new pair of glasses.  It was a simple visit like many other simple visits I've had over the years.  But in the waiting room there was a new mother and her newborn baby.  People cooed and asked how old the baby was.  And her child was born a day after mine.  Immediately, I'm tearing up, my brain is racing with thoughts about where my son could be right now, and the only thing I really want to do is run out of this doctor's office right now.  Fortunately, I got called back by the nurse before I went into a full breakdown and was able to collect myself during the rote questions you get at every doctor's office.

It was the first time I was triggered by the sight of a baby. Children didn't bother me.  Children still don't bother me.  It seems that children four months and older don't bother me.  But newborns always get to me.  Friends have had children, but looking at pictures of their newborn children  is tough.  I often don't visit until their kids are at least six months old.  Fortunately, most new moms don't mind this.

Since then, there have been other times I have been triggered.  Sometimes it's a commercial for Mother's day.  Sometimes it's someone talking about their kid when I can't.  Sometimes it's a poem his adoptive father reads that has my son... our son in it.  None of these moments ever warn me of their approach.  They come and I have to deal as best I can.  But that's about all I can do.

How do you deal with your triggers and what do you find that triggers you?


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Good for the Soul


Holding hands

As I mentioned in my post last week, I just had a visit with my son this past weekend. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for these bimonthly visits with him. We had the opportunity to spend a full day doing exciting things and spending priceless time with him. While there are definitely some hard moments during visits, they are so life-giving to me and my family. We treasure each and every moment and carry them with us until we are able to visit again. It is so amazing to be able to watch Aidan as he grows and to see the growing relationship between him and his sisters, my parents, my husband, and of course, with me. I think the feelings surrounding a visit can only be understood by birth mothers who are involved in an open adoption. There are unique relationships with each situation, but I believe there are similar feelings for us all. I am still at a place of greater peace following my visit, and for me, I am just trying to enjoy this time and know that I have just seen my beautiful baby and shown him all my love, and I cannot wait to see him again.

There are always special moments between Aidan and I on each one of our visits. As he has gotten older they are fewer, mostly because he is so busy and excited to run and play he is not as interested in cuddles and sweet talk. However, I am always so blessed by the times when we share a special look with each other in which our eyes meet, and it is as if he understands everything I feel and our hearts are one. When I hold him in my arms and he locks his arms around my neck it is as if the world stops for a second. There is nothing better. I see his love for me and my family when I watch him interact with my girls. He constantly reaches for my sweet Ava’s hand, and they laugh and play together like they have never been separated. He laughs and plays with my younger daughter Olivia and gives her the sweetest hugs at random. I have no doubt that he feels a special connection with his sisters, and this brings me great joy. I can see the love in his eyes, and no matter how confusing things may be, or how our relationship grows and changes over the years, I am confident in the love that we have shared. We have so many memories together already. We share something I cannot explain, but it is beautiful. Each time I have the chance to be with him it gives me strength for the times when I cannot. He is everything to me. He is my angel. He is my girls’ “bubba.” He is a gift. I am so blessed to watch him as he grows and to continue to share my love with him.




Monday, August 3, 2015

Music Monday: In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride


"In my daughter's eyes,
I can see the future,
A reflection of who I am and what will be,
And though she'll grow and someday leave,
Maybe raise a family,
When I'm gone I hope you'll see,
How happy she made me,
For I'll be there,
In my daughter's eyes"


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



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Quote of the Week: Dream and Change the World





"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."










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



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!