Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Guilt



November is my daughters birth month and it is also national adoption month so needless to say, it has been a rough couple of weeks.  Most of the time I am happy go lucky and can see the light in most situations, but lately I have been feeling something I am not used to feeling, Guilt. Guilt about placing my daughter.

I have been having those moments of “I could have done it” or “What if I tried harder?”.

When I was pregnant and considering adoption guilt was never something I thought I would be feeling after the birth of my daughter. I knew I would be sad and emotional, but guilt was never something I considered. I still know that I did what was best for my child, there was no way I could have provided the stable and loving home that she deserved. We would be struggling everyday just to keep our heads above water and logically I know that adoption was the best thing that could have happened for her. Those what ifs are the most difficult things to get by. Your head says one thing but your heart feels another. 

I decided to write about this to let any other birth moms out there who feel the same way that they are not alone. This journey is hard and there are so many different emotions that we feel, and none of them are wrong. I love my daughter and think of her often, as we all do. And guilt, along with many other emotions are just a natural part of the grieving processes.
I was recently talking with my best friend about how i was feeling and she helped me come to a realization. The grass is always greener on the other side. Had I parented my daughter and struggled through life with her I would always think that maybe had I placed her she would have a better life. I placed my daughter so now I am dealing with the other side of this battle. 

The most important thing to remember is that you did what you thought was best for you and your child. You love them and nothing that happens will ever change that bond. 

How have you dealt with emotions such as guilt? What other ways have you felt that you maybe did not expect to feel?



Photo credit




Monday, November 17, 2014

Music Monday: You're Worth It by Cimorelli



"You’re more than labels
More than pain
Baby, you’re more than your mistakes
And you've got something to say"


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



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quote of the Week: Love



"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable."









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





Monday, November 10, 2014

Music Monday: Who Says by Selena Gomez


"Who says, who says you're not perfect?
Who says you're not worth it?
Who says you're the only one that's hurtin'?
Trust me, that's the price of beauty
Who says you're not pretty?
Who says you're not beautiful?
Who says?"


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



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quote of the Week: There is a Road...




"There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone."












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





Saturday, November 8, 2014

Can I Come In?


Several months after placing my son for adoption, I was invited to come to a Methodist church to be a substitute piano player.  I play piano and have done so since I was nine years old.  I don't play that much anymore and eventually I would just be a casual member rather than a piano player.  The pastor at this particular small town church is a woman named Teresa.  On my first meeting with Pastor Teresa in the morning before service, we talked for a while about a variety of things.  But then because this is a small town church and because I was more or less committed to telling the truth to people, I decided to tell her about the one thing I thought could get me kicked out of this place.

"I have to tell you, the reason I came back to live with my parents was because I got pregnant," I say to her.

"It happens," she said with a nod.  Now realizing that if I did leave this church it would not be because of her, I continued,

"And my boyfriend and I didn't have the ability to give him a good stable home so we placed him for adoption. It's an open adoption and I get to see him."  She expressed her glee and happiness that things had worked out so well for everyone involved and I realized that I would not have to fear telling this woman anything.

Religion has been a strange subject in my life.  Mostly it's because I had something of a weird upbringing on the subject.  Stuck between a Methodist and a fallen away Catholic who both decided the Unitarian church was the one for them (until I was nine and after that we didn't go anywhere) meant my religious education was rather weird.  But, it has also left me more open minded.  For now I attend the Methodist church when I go to see my parents and a Lutheran church in the town where I live if I stay for the weekend.

After everything that happened with my son, I wasn't quite sure that any church would let me back in.  I had (obviously) has sex before marriage.  I had bore a son and placed that son in the arms of others to be raised.  These still carry a bit of social stigma and much social stigma (let's face it) comes from religion.  So you can probably understand my nervousness.

But just as I've been extremely lucky with who my son's adoptive parents and how everything turned out, I've been extremely lucky when it comes to find churches that will let me in and won't bother me about anything that I've done.  Both the Methodist and the Lutheran pastors at the churches I have attended have passed the test.  They and many members of both churches have seen pictures of my son and have talked to me very positively about what I've done and what all happened.  And it has been a help to me.

I hope that all of you have the courage to look for the people who will help you.  And while you may have some bad times, I do believe that sooner or later, you will find people who will support and believe in you.  And trust me, they will let you back in the door.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fighting Fear with Peace



Oh girls, I have really been fighting fear lately. I mean on a level I have not experienced before. All the ebola and other sickness news has had me awake at night and on the edge of my seat by day. Sunday morning my pastor opened the service by saying he knew there was fear all around us. And he knows that many of us are really struggling. But that the God of the Bible is not afraid and not caught unprepared. As children of God, we needed to make a decision. Were we really going to put our faith into action? or were we going to let our fear consume us and dominate our lives?

I needed that challenge. I so want to be a true follower of Jesus even though it's completely counter-cultural. So the next day was Monday and I sent both of my kids to their Monday co-op despite Peanut's headache. I spent the day talking to the Lord, telling him the truth about my fears and even crying a little bit. It wasn't so much a goal of 'feeling better', I just knew that drawing closer to God would give me peace.

And so it was. Peanut's headache turned into full-blown vomiting that was still raging out of control 24 hours later. I opened a notice that said our life insurance had been canceled. And with family vacation looming on the horizon and laundry piled sky-high, I was at perfect peace. Like crazy peace. Like as still as the surface of a lake in the early morning peace.

In this crazy life, the only place to find peace is in the Lord. There is nothing else. No pill. No bottle. No sport or tv show can compare. If you don't have this peace, message me. I'd love to talk with you about it.




Photo credit

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The First Birthday


My daughters first birthday is coming up later this week and let me tell you, it has been a strange month. I’d like to think that I have been doing pretty well over this last year. Yes, I have cried when I needed to cry and yes I have been in touch with my emotions and yes I have had bad days when I didn't want to get out of bed, but all in all I have had a pretty good year. I returned to school and got my very first job. I am at peace with my decision and I know I did the best I could have done under the circumstances, but this last month has been so hard. Every time I think about her upcoming birthday I want to cry. I am sad that she is growing so fast and that it feels like yesterday that she was rolling around in my belly keeping me up all night. I have just been plain sad these last few weeks.

 Even during my pregnancy I never had a time like this where I was just sad. It has taken some getting used to and after talking to several other birth moms I realized that sometimes this is just the way you are going to feel. There will be times of the year that are just harder than others.  Everyone grieves differently and for me it took a year before I was feeling this level of sad. Trust me I was devastated in the beginning during those first few weeks and leaving the hospital with nothing in my arms, but that didn't last long because only 8 weeks after placing I returned to school 3 hours away from home and was able to keep my mind a little busy.


But now as this first year comes to a close I have been feeling emotions I didn't quite know was possible.  And for those of you, who are also in their first year; don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad for how you are feeling. Honestly this really applies to any birth mother out there, but if you feel like you have to cry everyday then do it. If you don’t feel like you need to cry, then don’t. Grieve in your own way. Every adoption is different and so is every birth mother.

This last year has taught me that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. We are all strong women who have made it through one of the hardest things we will have to. We survived and we are thriving. I am proud of every woman on birth mom buds who has made it through one of the hardest journeys in life. 


We have made plans to facetime on her birthday with her and her parents, even though she is only a year old and she most likely wont sit still for long, I am so excited to see how big she is. Just seeing her for a minute on her birthday would make me feel so happy and relieved to see how far we have come in the past year.  And I will be sure to let everyone know how this "visit" goes.


How did you handle your child's first birthday and the first year after placement? How did you grieve? Were you able to contact or speak with your child? 





Photo Credit 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Music Monday: Where Do I Fit In The Picture by Clay Walker




"Where do I fit in the picture
Or do I really fit at all
Or have I become a fixture
On an old forgotten wall"


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




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Quote of the Week: Forgive!






"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."










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





Friday, October 31, 2014

BMB Reform Blog: The Reunion Roller Coaster

For those of you who don't know me, I reunited with my newly teen-aged daughter this past year.  It was both amazing and traumatic, happy and sad.  It opened my eyes to a lot of those what ifs, and boy did it give me some answers I didn't want, and wasn't prepared to hear.  Don't get me wrong, reuniting with my beautiful girl was priceless and I am so happy we're forming the open bond now that we should have had from birth.  But one of the things they don't put in those brochures are the
emotional pitfalls a lot of us will encounter.  And, for some of us, those reunions don't turn out happy. Sometimes our kids don't want to know us.  Or sometimes, sadly, we find them too late.  I remember hearing people tell me "It's alright, you will see her again" and I wonder how many of us were also told that, and how many of us had that promise broken either by people themselves or by unfortunate circumstances.

Another thing I would like to point out, something I'm very vocal about, is the term "better life" and how I think it's grossly unfair to use this in terms of adoption.  And, no, I am not saying that our children don't have good lives.  But the point is, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.  One thing I became acutely aware of during my reunion was that my daughter has a different life, not a better one.  When agencies or adoption pro's tell expectant mothers this, it's almost like saying 'you would give them an awful life.'   And if there's one thing I know, it's that unless you are a true, honest to God psychic, you have no way of knowing the validity of that statement.  And often, as was in my case, we come to realize we could have been amazing parents to our children.  Or that the parents who raised our children, often don't live up to those 'better standards'  No, I am not saying all AP's are bad, not in the slightest.  I'm simply saying we don't know and to put that thought in our head that they are better, we are worse when you're pregnant is coercive.  And it slaps you in the face upon reunion if you realize that that better life is just plain...different.

Another thing they don't tell you is the roller coaster of emotions you might feel upon reunion.  Boy, I was not prepared for those.  All of a sudden your precious baby is now a full blown adult (or in my case young lady).  They can now vocalize their thoughts, their emotions.  Which is a wonderful thing, but sometimes not always what we are ready or wanting to hear.  I don't want to get too personal in this blog, but I will say that not everything I saw and heard was wonderful.  Things I wanted for her, experiences I didn't want her to have - she has had.  And that was a big dose of reality that sent me spiraling for a bit.  The anger I felt at the system, at myself, at God was overwhelming.  Almost as bad as the initial months after relinquishment.

I want to end this by saying I am over the moon that I have my daughter back in my life.  And she is as well.  At the end of the day, I know that whatever obstacles arise we can work through them together.  The amount of love she has for me both surprised and overwhelmed me.  For that, I am blessed.



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, October 30, 2014

The Lie of Irrelevancy



Recently I attended a conference of sorts that was looking for ways to reach the younger generation, specifically those in their 20s. Now the organizers, attenders and most speakers were in their 60s so the generation gap is noticeable.

My situation is that I'm not 60. And I'm not 20. I'm somewhere in between. Yet the conference organizers were not focusing on reaching ME. They were focusing on reaching those younger than me. Much much younger.

Because of the way my brain works, it took me a couple days to sort out all the information I had heard and been bombarded with. And it left me feeling irrelevant. As in unimportant. Such a yucky word. And so deflating for someone who walks everyday in her purpose.

But my friend was quick to come alongside me and remind me that that lie of irrelevancy was straight from the pit of hell. We all matter. We are all important to God. And we all have a specific plan and purpose for our lives. Just because I'm not 60 or 20 does not take me out of the game.

Are you feeling irrelevant today? Is something making you feel that you don't matter? or that you are not important? It's a lie. Don't fall for it.




Photo credit

Monday, October 27, 2014

Music Monday: Broken by Seether feat. Amy Lee



"I wanted you to know that I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph and I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

Because I'm broken when I'm lonesome
And I don't feel right when you're gone away

You've gone away, you don't feel me here, anymore"


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


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quote of the Week: Don't Stand In Your Sunshine!




"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine."










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





Saturday, October 25, 2014

Accepting who I am...

"I am a... birthmother.  Yes, I am a birthmother.  Hi, I'm a birthmother!  Yes, I'm a birthmother.  A birthmother is part of what I am.  That's not the only thing that I am, but that is part of it."

Welcome to my brain ladies.  And yes, it is just this nutty in here.

The above statement is kind of a rewind, a playback to a different point in time.  After placing my son for adoption, it was hard to even say to myself that I was as birthmother.  I had to spend a good amount of time getting used to the title myself.  It wasn't taking over my whole identity.  But it was now a part of me that was never going to go away.  And it was a part I needed to learn to accept.  So I spent a good amount of time practicing saying and explaining what I am now.

"I'm a birthmother.  My son was placed for adoption when he was born and it's an open adoption and it was the best decision for him at the time."

The early days were tough.  First there were medical professionals who aren't that difficult.  Then there were old friends.  Then new friends.  Employers.  Co-workers.  More new friends.

In the early days it almost all came out as one word: "I'mabirthmotherandmysonisfineandIgettoseehim."  Yeah, that was really clear.  The questions seemed invasive even though I answered with a smile.  And somewhere in the back of my head I was always worried that I was being silently judged for this.

But as time went on, it got easier.  I got less and less afraid of the reactions people would have as the good reactions far out weighed the bad.  I got used to the questions and am now able to tell the difference between those who just don't know and those who are trying to peck away at my decisions and defenses.  And these days if they are silently judging me, I do a passable job at not caring about it.  In the end it was my decision and not theirs.  They were not there and therefore have no say in what I did.

Telling people that I'm a birthmother, to this day, is a gamble.  And it's one that for now I'm still willing to play.  I am more confident now in who I am and what I did and why I did it.  Those who try to argue with me are very calmly told the facts and what would have happened had things gone differently.  If still not convinced, I move on and try to put them behind me.  The simple fact is this is not going to change.  This is a part of who I am now.  It's something I will have to deal with every single day.  And those who know me and want to know everything there is to know, they need to know and accept this too.

We shouldn't be ashamed of being birthmothers.  But I do completely understand that desire to just push it away and not deal with it.  Sometimes it's necessary when dealing with people who are closed-minded or judgemental.  But other times, it is something that needs to be said.  I hope all of you find acceptance from everyone you talk to about this.  And I am with you when people can't understand and treat you poorly.  But do remember this: you should never be ashamed of being everything that you are.  And that includes being a birthmother.

I am a librarian, a writer, a teacher, a musician, a knitter, a dreamer, a thinker, and a birthmother.  But most of all.  I am human and deserving of respect just like everyone else.  None of these things make me any less than anyone else.