Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Perspective

It's been almost a year since I lasted posted.  Time goes by so fast.  To let you know what I've been doing, I recently graduated from Utah Valley University, as in May 1, 2015.  And I've just accepted an English-teaching position for the 2016-2017 school year as an 8th grade English teacher, and I'm really excited about it.  It's crazy because I've been working so hard to complete my Bachelor's degree that I haven't really done anything else.  I've kept to myself because I've been so absorbed in academic pursuits that everything else just took a backseat.  And also I've spent a lot of time considering what I want this blog to be.

I'm in a very different place in my journey as a birth-mother than I've ever been before.  I've been an activist for adoption awareness in my own way, but I feel like my vision and perspective have shifted.  When I first found out I was pregnant and I took a hard look at my life I realized that I had wasted so much time floundering about and wasting my time on unimportant pursuits.  And as a result there was no way that I could provide for the child I was going to bring into this world.  And that realization came about over the course of my entire pregnancy with Baby Boy.  The day that I finally came to terms with the fact that I would be selfish if I chose to parent him knowing that I had no way to provide for either us was the day that I promised myself that I would create a future so that when I did become pregnant again I could provide for that child.  And that's been my focus.  And through all of that I have a better idea of who I am and I know what I want for my future, and it's happening for me.

This blog has been such a huge emotional outlet for me.  I love the adoption community and I always will because it's within this community that I found my voice.  For the first time in my life I realized that it was okay to say what I want to say and share my experience.  I will always treasure that and all of you who have supported me and been my friend.  And I'm going to continue to share my voice through this blog.

Something has been on my mind the last month, since about mid-April.  It's probably silly but I also can't shake it so I'm going to talk about it here.  It's Birth-mother's Day.  Why do we need a separate day?  Truly, why?  Did you know that the founder of Mother's Day wasn't ever a mother?  It's true.  Her name was Anna Jarvis and she loved her mother so much that she wanted to commemorate that love by inspiring a national holiday to commemorate the love for all mothers, and to ceaselessly show her own devotion to her mother, endlessly.  

Commemorate, that's a good word.  It means to honor, memorialize, and celebrate.  When I think of the word memorialize, I think of paying tribute to someone as a way of honoring them.  I wonder if that's what Anna meant when she inspired this national holiday.  In 1914 Mother's Day became an official holiday.  Anna Jarvis later became disappointed in the commercialization of Mother's Day.  For her, the idea for a day honoring mother's was born out of the recognition that children did not honor their parents, and that all that a woman does goes unnoticed and unrecognized.  Her mother served the family, her husband, and the community with selfless service and was never recognized or appreciated for it.  As a young child Anna swore that one day all women would have the opportunity to be recognized for the selfless acts they do for the benefit of others.

Now I recognize that Birth-mother's Day was born out of a need to create awareness, to educate the broader community, and to honor and remember.  All of that is very important and I acknowledge this.  But I'm concerned that it is beginning to become too commercialized.  Anna's drive to advocate for a day for mother's was born from a prayer her mother gave; a very sacred experience.  My experience to place Baby Boy for adoption was also born from a sacred experience.  It's sacred, in both cases, and many more.  To commercialize on the sacred is wrong.  If it's for awareness sake, then yes that's important.

But more important is that a woman who was never a mother inspired a day for mothers.  And now this day has become a day of stress and self-comparing to other women who seem to do "it" (mothering) better than you/me.  I don't think there needs to be a designation because we are all mothers whether you are an adoptive mother, birth-mother, hopeful mother, whatever.  One woman should not have one way designated for her because of the legal type of mother she is.  We have all sacrificed something great for the well-being of another, and in that light we are all incredible mothers.  To the women out there struggling with infertility, I'm sure mother's day means something very different to you.  And that's my point.  The day shouldn't be something that sets a person apart or that puts them in a different bracket than someone else, and that's exactly what Birth-mother's Day does.  We need to stop comparing.  I am an Other Mother, that doesn't make me less of a mother than a woman who parents her child because I sacrificed and did the best for him that I knew how given my circumstances.  And for women who are waiting on the results of fertility treatments, or for women who are waiting for a placement to finalize, you are also mothers.

I hope my message is coming across clearly.  From the perspective of a feminist, which I consider myself to be, the last thing we need is the compartmentalization of women into categories for the sake of commercialization.  Mother "A" gets the traditional flowers and chocolate because she's a mother-mother, meaning she didn't place for adoption, whereas Mother "B" needs a special trinket from a specialized online store that specializes in gifts for birth-mothers because she's an "Other mother", and for women who aren't mothers, who don't have a child to prove their maternal instinct, well...

Do you get what I'm saying?  Mother's Day shouldn't be about commercialization, and why have 2 types of mother's day for the different types of mothers, when a mother is a mother whether or not she's had a child yet, or adopted a child yet.  Distinctions are made legally, and I can't resolve it within myself that within this adoption community that I love that distinctions are being made among powerful women, important women, life-altering and beautiful women.  This is just my perspective and so I'm not saying it is the only perspective.  But not everyone gets recognized on Birth-mothers Day or Mother's Day because the world fits us in a mold, or they don't know about the Saturday before Mother's Day and it's significance to birth-mothers.  And I've seen birth-mothers feel "less-than" because they aren't acknowledged and that's why we need to be careful.  Our self-worth and importance is not attached to a day that is commercialized.  We are powerful because of the difficult decisions we make.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Adoption Means Family

Something pretty incredible in my extended family happened this recent Independence Day.  It all began 38 years ago when my aunt placed a tiny, brand new baby girl for adoption.  In those days, adoption was something that was not respected.  It was something that was hush-hush and stigmatized.  This baby was delivered and ushered from the room and all my aunt knew was that it was a little girl.  My mother was there for the delivery and six months pregnant with my oldest sister.  Eighteen years later, this girl decided it was time for her to start looking for her birth-mother.  She felt like something was missing and so she began her search to find what she missed.  It was twenty years ago that this girl put her name on a list in hopes that one day her birth-mother would also put her name on the same contact list so that the two could be reunited again.  The fateful day came (a year or two ago, I can't remember specifically) that my aunt began the process to find her birth-daughter.  She had been thinking about it for years but wasn't sure where to start.  Any seeking she had done was in vain as the records were all closed.  My aunt learned within 20 minutes of putting her name on this contact list that her daughter had been looking for her and wanted immediate contact with her.  And so began the journey to this most recent Independence Day when this beautiful woman took an incredibly brave step towards meeting her extended family. 


My mother is the second of 11 children.  I am one of over 50 grandchildren to my grandmother, and there are over 70 great-grandchildren in this one family.  It began as a casual family get-together.  Anyone who could make it was encouraged to come for an afternoon of fun.  And then we all learned directly from my aunt that this beautiful daughter of hers was going to be in town and it grew to be a mini-family reunion where the guest of honor was someone we didn't know was out there but that we jumped at the opportunity to welcome into our love.  I was sitting at a table eating lunch and I looked over to notice a gentleman I hadn't recalled seeing before.  With mentioning how large my extended family is on this one side, I need to say that it is pretty normal for us to not directly recognize someone as new additions through marriage occur often enough that it could be a couple years before we meet the "new" additions.  So, I was thinking to myself Whose been married recently?  Which cousin did he marry?  


And that's when I heard my mother, along with a couple of my aunts scream excitedly and a mad rush was made towards the center of the room and a hugging mosh-pit happened.  That's when I realized that this man was a cousin I hadn't met yet, afterall, and his wife was the cherished cousin that this get-together was honoring and whom was the center of the hugging mosh-pit.  I jumped up and made my way over to this woman.  I introduced myself to her and I told her that I was the niece of her birth-mother and share the name as her birth-mother.  I then told her that I am also a birth-mother and that I was so happy that she was here with her family.  I was tearing up.  I hugged her and she hugged me and we were both emotional and it was beautiful.  I was able to spend some good quality time talking with her and it turns out that she is also a birth-mother.  When it was time to say good bye, I hugged her multiple times and the last time I told her that I may not know her that well but I love her and I'm so happy she is here.  She said something similar and we are now friends on Facebook. 


A couple things.  How awesome is modern technology that you can stay in close touch with the people you care about?  And secondly, how beautiful is adoption?  More specifically, how beautiful is open adoption?  I think it's easy for birth-mothers today who have an open adoption to take for granted how truly blessed we are to be able to maintain contact with the parents of the child we all share in common.  I'm not saying that every birth-mother today has a dream adoption plan, because I know that there are so many adoption couples out there who made countless promises in order to secure the child and then turn their backs on those promises made once the adoption is legally finalized.  You all know my feelings towards those types of parents.  And I know there are people out there who really try their hardest to tarnish the name and intention of open adoption, and it's those people who have not done objective research because if they had they wouldn't be so biased.  And I know there are people who have had traumatizing and hard personal experience with open adoption who choose to defame it by painting all open adoptions in the colors of their own individual experience, and I don't agree with those people, though I truly can understand where they are coming from.


All I want to say though is that in my experience and the vast experiences of countless others whom I associate with who have direct experience with adoption, whether it is open or closed, adoption has been the single-most greatest blessing in their life.  That doesn't mean it was a hard blessing to accomplish, but it was an importantly life-altering and mostly positive experience for them, and they wouldn't change their mind if given the opportunity to go through the experience again.  I'm one of those people.  And on July 4, 2014, I learned something so precious and sacred, that adoption is a means of uniting family.  Whether that family is created through adoption, or is reunited after years of searching, adoption means family.  And family is sacred.  Family is not something so easily defined as the traditional nuclear family we all were taught about while growing up.  Family today is much more extensive and hybrid in nature and it's beautiful.  I am grateful for adoption.  I am grateful to know my cousin.  She is lovely and so much like my aunt in her mannerisms, it's uncanny (in a wonderful way).  She always felt like there were more people out there that she needed to know.  And ultimately, I think that's something we all wish one day for the child we placed for adoption.  Through open adoption, connecting back to the "other" family is much easier.  For closed adoptions, it's much more difficult and can take decades.  But we all have that burning question about who and where we came from.  For adoptees, this question is much less existential.  I couldn't be happier that she found us.  We love her and are so excited to know her.


It's time to paint adoption in an unbiased light.  It's beautiful.  It's fulfilling.  It's tragic.  And difficult.  It's rewarding.  It's honest.  And heartbreaking.  But in the end, if the focus is what is best for the child, it's honorable and nothing to be ashamed of.  For those out there who disagree with me, I would love to engage in an unbiased conversation with you.  The moment it becomes biased is the moment I will disengage.  The fact remains that adoption creates family and family is important and essential to existence.  And no one has the right to say that any family is less important than another simply because of how it was created.  That's all there is to it.  It's time to take a balanced look at what adoption is, and stop focusing on what it isn't.  It's a blessing.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Growth Mindset

It's been almost 6 months since I've written.  And in those 6 months, University has continued to be my main focus in life.  I'm officially in the Education Program this semester and it's been awesome.  I'm taking Educational Psychology, Secondary Curriculum Instruction and Assessment (CIA, tee-hee), American Foundations of Education, Exceptional Students, and Methods II in teaching English.  Yep, it's a heavy workload but it's been manageable.  I've been creating curriculum right and left ll semester and have been analyzing my lesson plans to learn how they've been encouraging cognitive development for the age groups they've been created for.  I've been learning some really amazing things in my Educational Psychology class and some of that stuff I'm going to share on this blog because they are too good not to share.

Carol Dweck is a Psychologist who devised a theory about fixed vs. growth intelligence mindsets.  She wrote a book about it called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.  This entire theory is based on the concept that many students have that intelligence is something you are born with and therefore a person's intelligence is limited.  So, if a student with this mindset struggles with math then they feel defeated because intelligence to them is a biological thing, therefore they will never understand math so why put in any effort?  Carol Dweck says, however, that intelligence is not fixed (biological), but rather it is something that needs to be exercised and strengthened and able to grow.  She did a study with students where she divided them into 2 groups.  Group A was put through an intensive 8 week intervention program to boost their math scores that focused solely on teaching them study skills to help them find success in their math grades.  And along with teaching Group A the study skills, she also taught them that intelligence can be expanded and that it is not fixed (biological).  Group B had the same 8 week intervention program focusing on study skills, but were not taught fixed vs. growth intelligence theory.  At the end of a couple of months, students from Group A (compared against students from Group B) showed improvement in their math grades.  The only difference for these groups was the change in motivation that students experience in Group A because they were taught that their brain had the ability to grow in intelligence.  It's quite fascinating.  You can read more about this study by reading this article: http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2007/pr-dweck-020707.html

Why am I excited about this?  Because this doesn't just apply to the adolescent mind.  I probably didn't mention that the study Carol Dweck performed was on Jr. High students.  How many times have you been faced with an experience you don't believe you can get through?  I know I've faced so many of those moments that I can't count them.  I want to say that I don't think that Carol Dweck's theory only applies to cognitive intelligence but also emotional intelligence.  You always hear that saying, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," but what if He does?  I read another blog a while back and I can't for the life of me remember the name of the blog, so just realize that this idea is not original to me.  This woman, in her blog, challenged the notion that we aren't given more in this life than we can handle.  But it wasn't defeatist.  She ended her blog by saying, essentially, that God does give us more than we can handle, but He does so that we will learn to turn to Him and let Him carry the part that we can't.  That's pretty cool.  I want to add to this that I think He does give us more than we can handle, because maybe that's the point of this existence; for us to learn the valuable life lessons that we would otherwise not learn unless faced with despair, trial, hopelessness, loss, anger, and etc.  That sounds depressing and I don't mean for it to.  All I am saying is that just like growth intelligence mindset (cognitively speaking), I also believe that we have a growth emotional-intelligence mindset.

Those of us in the Adoption community have faced hardship, and we continue to face hardships.  You know what I'm talking about.  As birth-mothers and birth-fathers (they matter too), and birth-families (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.), we experience a great loss in the placement of our beloved child to another family; a family that will have complete legal authority for the child.  As parents who are looking to adopt for reasons related to fertility, they've endured loss over and over again in their attempts to grow their family.  I can't speak for adoptive children, because I'm not one, but I can only imagine some of the emotions they would face at different times in their lives, especially people who were placed for adoption during time-periods where adoption was closed and considered taboo.  That kind of loss (for all of us) is deep and difficult to navigate, but we are navigating it and that is powerful.  Don't limit yourself in the amazing things that you can accomplish, but most importantly don't doubt yourself in the emotional depth that you can achieve when you face something that feels too big.  You can get through it.  We all can.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Light

I want to tell you all a story about goodness that exists in this world.  It's a true story and one that is very close to my heart.

It was in May 2013 that I met Marvell Smith.  I had just gotten out of an extremely bad relationship in December 2012 and I was pretty bitter.  Marvell was a wedding photographer and I had become familiar with his work in 2012 when the guy I was dating at the time was talking about marriage.  I was blown away by Marvell's photography.  He captured moments, not images, but heartfelt and emotionally intimate moments.  It was true art and not like any other wedding photographer I had ever seen.  You can see it for yourself at his blog:

http://vellvetimages.com/#/home--utah-wedding-photographer/

I never messaged him about his photography, though.  It wasn't until May 2013 that he and I started talking about getting to know each other.  At this point, I was in a bad place.  He was so nice and engaging and intriguing.  I wanted to know more about him, but more than anything I really wanted to know a man that wouldn't let me down.  Let me clarify that last statement.  My brothers and dad are amazing men and they don't let me down.  The type of relationship I'm talking about is outside of familial relationships.  I don't have that much experience with good men outside of my family.  Marvell surprised me because he was always uplifting.

In June 2013 we decided to go on a date.  We had a really good time.  It was really late, like after 9:00 at night when we had our date.  I was a bundle of nerves.  Borderline basket-case.  When I got out of my car to walk up to Marvell, I didn't know if I could even look him in the eyes because... I was nervous of men.  He smiled so big and his eyes were so kind.  We talked a little bit.  He was a master body language reader.  As a police officer, he made a career on reading peoples' body language.  we ended up talking for a bit longer and then we went and got what we thought would be a quick dinner.  Six hours later we were still talking.  We talked about everything.  I couldn't remember the last time I felt so completely comfortable and safe with a man that wasn't a family member.  He had me laughing to the point of tears.  And his laugh was incredible.

Over the course of the next 3 months, he became a fast friend.  We never did go on another date, but we became amazing friends.  I always looked forward to his updates about weddings he was shooting and if I was ever having a rough day, I knew I could text Marvell and he would say the exact thing I needed to hear.

On September 18, 2013, to the shock and sorrow of all that knew him, Marvell died in a motorcycle accident.  I woke up that morning at 7:40 a.m. thinking to myself, "I need to text Marvell and tell him how much I love him."  I pushed that thought to the side because it was so early and I didn't want to risk waking him up as he always stayed up so late editing photos from his wedding shoots.  And I didn't want to interrupt his morning with his sons if he was awake.  It was a school day.  So, I didn't text him.  I found out at about 10:00 a.m. what had happened to him and... nothing can prepare you for that kind of news.

I've really struggled this week since Marvell passed away.  I didn't know him as well as I would have liked.  My heart is broken for his friends who knew him for years.  My heart is broken for his family and his two boys.  There is nothing easy about an unexpected passing of a loved one.  In some ways I don't feel like I have the right to mourn his passing because I didn't know him as long as others.  But, I know that if Marvell heard me utter that thought that he would laugh at me and tell me I'm an idiot, or something like that.  And I would laugh.  He had this way of bringing things into perspective in such an easy and comical and non-judgmental way.  It was honest.  I loved that about him.

I believe that there are people who come into our lives when we need them the most.  And if we pay close attention, we will learn from their example the things we most desperately want to know about ourselves, our lives, this world, and love.  It was no accident that I met Marvell when I did.  I needed his example the most when I met him.  I only knew him for 4 months, give or take a couple of weeks, and that's all it took for him to change my life and impact me for the better.  I wish will all my heart that I could have known him longer.  But, I know he's not gone, and better yet, I know that I will see him again because of the Atonement.  He taught me about the Atonement.  He taught me so much.  He taught me about God.  He taught me about trust.  He taught me about friendship.  He taught me selflessness.  He taught me love.  He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought.  He saw me in ways that I'm still trying to comprehend, but he helped me see that those ways are there.

I miss him so much.  Words are not enough to express my gratitude in knowing this man.  When we lose someone so important to our lives it's hard not to question why they were taken from this world.  It's hard not to question why someone who was a light in our life, why their light had to be extinguished from our sight.  Especially, when they made the world seem less dark.  What happened to Marvell was an accident.  I believe that accidents happen and they hurt God's heart just as much as our mortal hearts.  And it is in those moments that God has to make something beautiful out of something tragic.  Marvell was a protector and a visionary in this life.  He always chose only to see the good in people.  I know that he is still protecting on the other side.  And that's a comfort to me because we all need protecting angels because there are so many aspects to this world that are dark.

I will never forget Marvell.  He was so talented in so many ways.  And he was an amazing father to his two boys.  He was a brother, the oldest in his family.  And he was a son.  He was a friend.  He was so many wonderful things to so many people.  He will be missed by so many.  And that's a testament to the man that he was.  He was good.  He was honest.  And he was loyal beyond words.  And he's got two boys that need all of our love a support right now.

I rarely do this, I can think of one other time that I did this and that was for a local family trying to raise funds to adopt siblings from Ukraine.  This is important, otherwise I wouldn't mention it on here.  There is a fund that has been set up for Marvell's two incredible sons who entered the 7th and 10th/11th grades this year.  Any donation you can part with will be greatly appreciated.  Marvell was the type of man that helped out everyone.  He was so giving.  He gave so much to the community of Utah.  Even pennies will help.  If you would like to donate to this fund, you can find it at the following link:

http://marvellsmith.org/

Thank you for remembering this man with me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Birth Mother Baskets: Guest Blogger ~ Kathryn

Birth Mother Baskets: Guest Blogger ~ Kathryn

I have had the honor to be a guest blogger over at Birth Mother Baskets. You can read what I had to say by clicking on the link above.

Thank you Gina and Jenny got the opportunity.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

R.E.S.P.E.C.T and Giving Yourself a Break

I've spent a lot of time thinking about Baby Daddy.  It hasn't been pleasant.  It's hard to find the right words.  I've been on this word craze lately where I don't want to use filler words.  I think words are taken for granted on a daily basis.  I think it's easy to talk about someone when you are somewhat emotionally disconnected because then you talk about that person in a very generalized way.  I've thought back a lot on what I've said about Baby Daddy in the past.

I can't be mad at him.  Without him I wouldn't have known my greatest joy.  

It's true.  But, also without him I wouldn't have known my greatest sorrow.  Nothing can truly prepare you for the moment of placement.  Don't get me wrong, it is good to educate yourself on the options and to make a birth plan and to decide beforehand who will be at the hospital while you are there or whether you want that time alone exclusively with the child you bring into this world.  But when it actually comes down to it... there are no words.  And he did that to me.  Baby Daddy did that to me.  Granted, I had a huge part in it because I took the risk on Baby Daddy being a man I desperately wanted to find.  And, the bigger the risk... well, I think you know the rest of that.

I realized I was pregnant immediately.  I know some women say that and it's unbelievable, but I knew.  That last time I had relations with him, I knew that I was taking a huge risk and I did anyways.  I am very body sensitive and the few weeks following I noticed the difference in the way I felt.  I knew I had to take a pregnancy test, but I also knew that I needed to be in denial for a little longer.  Two weeks later, I took multiple pregnancy tests, hoping the first, and second, and third, and fourth were wrong.  Six tests later, they all read the same, positive.  I was 4 weeks pregnant when I found out.  

I will never forget that day, the day I found out I was pregnant.  I was in complete disbelief, even though I was staring at the evidence that proved my disbelief to be invalid.  I think "awe" is the correct word.  That word is grossly misunderstood.  I think people think that it means something tender when in fact the dictionary defines it as "an emotion... combining dread... and wonder that is inspired by... the sacred or sublime," and in it's archaic form, "the power to inspire dread."  Thank you Miriam Webster, I truly would be lost in this world without you and your online dictionary.  So, what does sublime mean?  It means different things, but the sublime that is talked about in the definition is actually The Sublime, which is the same Sublime that Edmund Burke wrote about in his essay entitled, "On The Sublime" (soooo original, Edmund Burke), written at the beginning of the 20th century.  The Sublime is a branch of aesthetic philosophy which defines what the quality of greatness is, or that which terrifies and causes awe to the human soul.  Ultimately, The Sublime is defined as something that is so emotionally big that it can't be comprehended when experienced.  It has everything to do with The Romantic Movement in literature, something I can get real nerdy about very quickly.  I was alone when I found out I was pregnant.  When I was younger, I imagined what it would be like to find out you were pregnant and then tell your husband and the joy that would be felt because you loved each other.  I still hope for that one day.  But, the day I found out I was pregnant was harshly different.  I was alone in my bathroom crying and screaming into a towel so that my roommate wouldn't hear me.  I didn't know what to do.

For the next nine months, I would have you believe that I was the epitome of grace under pressure.  I was calm.  I was serene.  I was patient.  I was scared to let anyone see how ashamed I was.  I noticed the stares in the grocery mart when people would ask me if this was mine and my husband's first and I would tell them I'm not married.  Their eyes would dart to my ring finger and they would get this expression on their faces like they were mortified for me.  Mortified: to subject to severe and vexing embarrassment (Miriam Webster Online Dictionary).  Forget the fact that they should be mortified for assuming that everyone who is pregnant is married.  They were embarrassed for me and they would tell me so and suggest that I wear a fake ring just until I had the baby.  

When I was seven months pregnant, Baby Daddy called me and he wanted to come back to me because he had "no where else to go" and if I didn't let him come back then he would "be on the streets".  He didn't want to come back to me because he loved me and he was sorry he cheated on me.  He didn't want to come back to me because he knew he had done wrong and that he let go of the greatest thing that ever happened to him in his life.  Simply, he had no where else to go.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009, I was in pain all day at work.  My boss kept telling me to go to the hospital and I kept telling her that I just pulled a muscle in my back, "no big deal".  She kept telling me I was in labor and I had no color and I needed to go to the hospital.  I told her, "we are short staffed and you need me here today."  She didn't argue and I stayed.  I went home that night and I couldn't get comfortable.  I was scared.  I didn't have anyone to rub my back or watch over me as I slept in case I went into labor.  When the pain became too unbearable, I grabbed my overnight bag and I went down to my car and I drove to the hospital and I was admitted.  They checked everything and I was only in pre-labor.  They offered me a shot of morphine to help numb the pain and I told them I drove myself.  They asked if my husband could come pick me up.  You wouldn't believe how many times I had that conversation when I was pregnant.  I ended up calling my sister and she and her husband came and picked me up.  He drove my car home and I drove with her.  When I came downstairs, a Lamaze class just got out and all these women and their supportive husbands came out of the room just as I got off the elevator to meet my sister.

The next day, Thursday, November 12, 2009, I went to work and then during my lunch went to my baby doctor appointment and he told me I was in labor.  Apparently, the morphine hadn't worn off yet (small favors).  So I drove myself to the hospital and checked myself in.  Sixteen hours later, early in the morning of Friday the 13th of November, the most perfect child I've ever witnessed was born.  I fell in love with him.  On the 16th I placed him in the arms of a social worker and I left the hospital.  

For nearly 4 years I have protected his father.  I haven't said one ill thing about him.  I have protected a man who never protected me and was never there for me when I needed him the most.  And through all of it, I have beaten myself up.  I have taken all the emotional responsibility on my shoulders.  I have put Baby Daddy on this pedestal for giving me the most sacred gift.  And he did.  He gave me the most sacred gift, but he also left me.  

I've blamed myself.  I'm not enough.  Those words have haunted me.  He left because I fought back.  And so I have been docile.  I'm not loveable, his leaving is my fault.  Those last words are the most hurtful.  For nearly 4 years I have harassed myself with cruelty.  At what point do you finally let yourself off the hook and give yourself a break?  At what point do you finally give yourself a break the way you do to others?  I ask you all the same question.  That's what this post is about.  

Accountability.  There is something to learn in everything, even the easy stuff.  I have learned that I am enough.  I have also learned that it isn't enough to simply say those words.  You have to believe it and live it.  And that's hard, but I'm working on it.  If you don't learn from your greatest hurts then they may happen again.  I chose the wrong guy.  I took a huge risk.  I gambled everything I had on him and I lost and it hurt.  However, my douche-radar is working much better now and that's something to applaud.  Be kind to yourself.  Let yourself off the hook when what's snagged you isn't your's to take responsibility for.  Your actions belong to you.  And the actions of other's belong to them.  Give yourself a break.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Adoption.NET

I want to take a minute and let you all in on an amazing website that has so many resources available to everyone in the adoption world.  It is Adoption.NET and on this website you can find answers to different questions posed in the adoption world by adoptees, birth-mothers, and hopeful adoptive parents.  There are also different articles that you can read regarding important topics in adoption as well as discussion on the latest legislative proceedings regarding adoption in different states.  This website... let's just say I really wish there was something like this website when I was going through the whole process.

This is unbelievably exciting because at the click of a mouse you can connect with people going through the same thing you are going through.  Also, there is a section on topics regarding foster care which is a huge component in the world of adoption.

I know some great women (not personally, but through blogging) who have already contributed such tremendous insight as gust bloggers and I will also be contributing my thoughts as a guest blogger, once everything is arranged.  The goal of the creators of this website is to have this website be the largest database of "everything adoption" on the website.  It's really going to empower a lot of people out there and I am so excited to be a part of it.  Check it out.

If you know of anyone who has found themselves in an unplanned pregnancy, guide them to this website.  If you know of a couple who are struggling to grow their family and they are confused as to how to find information out there regarding any decision they feel they are faced with, guide them to this website.  If you know of a person who was adopted and they are at a place in life where they have a ton of questions and they need some answers, guide them to this webpage.  What an exciting time we live in to have so much valuable information readily available!  Check it out, folks, you won't be disappointed.

Most Sincerely,
Other Mother

http://adoption.net