Interviews Part One

Throughout this journey I have met some pretty awesome women, women who are strong in their own way. I had the privilege to interview two birth mothers and one adoptive mother. Each story is different. The interviews are real and honest. Nothing has been modified. All pictures shared are approved and sent personally from each interviewee. I wanted to try something new and different. Interviewing these three lovely ladies has opened my heart to new emotions. I admire each lady for their own reasons. I thank you for believing in me and helping  make this vision come alive. Because of you three I able to share your truths and help others. If it’s helping them on wanting to start to heal, the need of reassurance that adoption is the best choice for them, or helping those see that adoption is the right choice for you and your family. I thank these women for being honest.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live life as you can”

 I have had the pleasure of meeting some pretty strong women. Brina and I are in a Birth mom’s group on Facebook. We have talked a bit and she is also a supporter of  “My Truth Ourunendingjourney” She is back packing around Europe right now. She is on her healing journey to grow mentally and spiritually within herself. She has had the pleasure of seeing her birth son and his beautiful family. They have embraced Brina and welcomed her in their home. I see her updates and the pictures she posts. I see how happy she is right now. That inner bliss has been found. Brina I wish nothing but peace and happiness as you continue your travels and adventures throughout Europe.12248668_10153254873643527_1217514123_n

Your name.
Brina Collins
Describe the day you first found out you were pregnant.
I was overwhelmed. There were so many emotions going through me, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I spent quite a bit of time crying and napping.
What where your thoughts?
I was terrified. I didn’t know how I was going to take care of a child. I was so broke that I had spent my last $10 on a pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe that I was growing a human.
When did you know you placing was the best choice to make?
I knew that I didn’t want my child to grow up in poverty. There were times in my childhood when we were poor, and I never wanted him to have to sacrifice for me. I wanted him to have an idyllic childhood.
What does being a birth mom mean to you?
Being a birth mom means that I made a choice and I will live with the effects of that choice for the rest of my life. It means that I’ve decided that I need to stay safe and healthy, because I am the only birth mom my son will ever have. I want him to always know how loved he is. It means that even though I don’t have parental responsibilities towards my son, I still choose to be responsible for my role in his life.
What where it still are your fears?
I am still afraid that my son will hate me one day. I know that he’ll have his own thoughts and opinions on adoption, and I will respect those 100%, but it is still scary.
Did you choose your birth child’s name?
Yes!
If so why did you choose that name?
Honestly, it was the only name that I liked with my dad’s middle name. The meaning behind it fits my son so perfectly though.
Is your adoption open or closed?
Very, very, very open.
Do you sometime wish it was open or closed instead?
Never.
What is one piece of advice you wish to share with other birth parents?
Let yourself grieve. It is natural and healing. The only way out of grief is through it.
What is your ultimate wish for your birth child?
I hope that he is happy and safe. I would do anything to make sure of that.

To read Brina’s blog click here:

http://www.reflectionsofabirthmother.com/

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A couple of months ago one of my dear friends had tagged me on a post from Instagram. I fell in love right away, with Ashley. I know this woman as the owner of Big Tough Girl. I looked at her site http://www.bigtoughgirl.org four a couple hours and one thing that sucked me was her definition of a Big Tough Girl
“A Big Tough Girl™ is any WOMAN that can and will maintain the ability to endure, to carry on, to push through without weakening or perishing. SHE is able to go on in the face of pain, loss, discouragement or suffering without being defeated. SHE will continue to move forward without regret, in healing and happiness. SHE has the ability to stand firm in her life, move past her greatest fears, and live an inspired life that shines a positive light for the world to see.”
-Ashley Mitchell, Owner BTG
This here is what I needed, it’s helped me in a lot of ways, especially on pushing myself with my screen tees and blog. I know I’m not famous, I know I don’t make any money off what I doing. I’m lucky to get a sell here and there throughout the week, it’s not that. It’s knowing when someone takes interest in what I’m doing. It’s nice to know I get that little support. If you have time, please check out Ashley’s Site and Blog it’s amazing! It’s honestly the type of girl power, healing, moving forward raw deep read we women need. She has formed a community worth being a part of. A woman I admire for all the right reasons. I’ve never met this woman face to face, yet I know if I do I would embrace her with love and hug the living day lights out of her. I would scream and jump for joy. As I did more digging it turned out that she and I are a part of the same birth mom community on Facebook. How I missed this before kills me to know I could have learned from this woman a year ago. I was intimated to send her a friend request yet I had the courage to do so. When she accepted it really made my week. Her posts are loving, and helps me with my healing. I have never see someone be so open about adoption. So honest. I was scared to reach out to Ashley and interview her, yet something inside me told me should make the time and help support me on my journey to help others.

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Your name.
Ashley Mitchell, Owner Big Tough Girl™

Describe the day you first found out you were pregnant. What where your thoughts?
I think knew that I was pregnant long before I took my test but I was terrified. I couldn’t bring myself to take the test. I prayed day and night that somehow it would just “go away”, that I was going to be able to wake up from this nightmare and I wouldn’t have to face the reality of what was happening. I had to take a test, I had to know for sure, I had to confirm what I knew all along. I was alone, I was so scared and when the test was positive I sat on the bathroom floor in the basement of my parent’s house and wept!

When did you know you placing was the best choice to make?
For me it wasn’t about making the decision to place with 100% confidence. I never had that kind of clarity. For me it was about making the decision and then choosing to live with it every day for the rest of my life. I had a very powerful, terrifying and life changing event that took place at an abortion clinic. When God stepped in and showed his hand then I knew that Adoption was the ONLY option for my son.

What does being a birth mom mean to you?
Motherhood found me differently. When I became a Mother for the first time it was under unplanned circumstances. I always wanted to have a baby…but not like this! I had been dreaming of this moment for so long…but because of choices in my life, at the age of 26 I placed my newborn baby boy in the arms of another woman, one that would be known as mother and that would be with him as his parent. At the age of 26 I became a Birth Mother and my life changed forever!

What were or still are your fears?
My goal in life is to never be fearless. I am grateful for my fear. It protects me of many things. But I pray that I can always move forward in my life and tackle things that I truly have a passion for regardless of what my fear is telling me. I fear many things in this adoption journey. So many things are unknown to me. I don’t have a crystal ball. I fear talking seriously with my children that I parent about my past and who their mother once was, I fear the day that my son that I placed and I get to sit down and deeply and intimately get to talk about choices that I made years ago. I fear that he will never truly know the love in my heart for him, that he has never left me, that I long for him daily. I fear my role in his life…that he may want more than I can ever give. This journey is terrifying.

Did you choose your birth child’s name? If so why did you choose that name?
From the moment I picked the family that would later adopt my son I had to make a shift in my thoughts and emotions. I had to “detach” as much as possible from what was happening. I wanted this to be their baby as much as possible. I asked that they choose a name for him. I never had a name for him picked out, I never needed that for myself. From the moment he was born he was who they wanted him to be. His original birth certificate lists his name with their last name and me as his mother. I think it represents us both beautifully.

Is your adoption open or closed?
We have an open adoption.

Do you sometime wish it was open or closed instead?
There is no off switch to this role of motherhood. I spent years away from them, from him. It was never officially closed but I didn’t hesitate in taking the time I needed to grieve, freak out, be destructive, get burned to the group and to rebuild my life. I am grateful that they forgave so much and allowed me to come back, to build a relationship and that they have loved me through it all. This relationship has changed so much over the years….just like any other relationship in my life it evolves, changes, adjusts, goes through highs and lows and ebbs and flows.

What is one piece of advice you wish to share with other birth parents?
There is life after placement! You have an opportunity to make this experience whatever you want to make it. It will make or break you…and sometimes it does a little bit of both. Feel everything you need to feel, allow yourself to grieve and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. There is no manual. Do what you feel is best for YOU. No journey is the same. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the comparisons. Please know that you are NOT alone. This is hard, it usually gets worse before it gets better but the outcome is UP TO YOU!

What is your ultimate wish for your birth child?
He is a magical kid. I am so humbled and honored to be the one that gave him life. He has an amazing family that is helping him life it. I pray daily for him. That he will continue to grow in love and support. That his heart will remain open to all the information and adjustments that he will experience in his life. That he will always want to know me and spend time with me…but if not that he always knows of my love for him. That he is patient with me in his desires for a relationship and that he continues to walk in his amazing heart for forgiveness.11900032_677653422370036_4959656932628610311_n (1)

 

Erika was on my last post. She wrote a kind, heart felt loving letter to her birth mom who placed her daughter. The letter was short and sweet. These words have stayed with me since I read her letter.
“I wish I could tell you how grateful I am for Jayde. You gave her to us. You kept her healthy, and I could never thank you enough for that. I promise that John and I will be the best parents we can be to her and I promise to always remind her that you loved her. I promise to help make her proud of who she is, and her story.”
Erika’s story is a beautiful and sad one at the same time. She has opened up my eyes. That yes one set of parents may be dealing with a loss, yet another is gifted with a blessing. She has been so open about her adoption process. She has showed me the losses she had to go through with her husband. Yet one thing I admire is how humble they are. The loving hearts they have. She has never met me face to face only through Facebook and the Military support group we are a part of.  Yet the love she have given me is one thing I didn’t think I would get from another adoptive parent. I have been so stuck on how painful it is for birthparent’s. I lost sight of how hard it must be for those who end up adopting. We see them as our saving grace, our angles. Ones that we put our trust into to raise, to love, to protect, to teach, to adventure with our birth children. I noticed we sometimes [ I ] forget that adoptive parents have gone through losses as well. Having miscarriages, to still born babies. I forget the pain and sadness that’s in their eyes as well. The friendship Erika and I are forming is a slow and beautiful one. I noticed that we are opening each other’s eyes on so many things. We live three hours away and how I long to meet her and hug her when the day and time is right for the both of us. The connection I have with her is special and beautiful all on its own.

Your name.
Erika
How long did you try to have a family and realized adoption was the best path for you and your husband?
4 years. We lost 2 babies, did tons of testing and it just never happened. We decided to become foster parents (hoping we’d be lucky enough to adopt). Our first placement was Jayde! It was fate. She was meant to meet us and we were meant to be her parents. Adoption honestly intimidated me because I was nervous to be shot down or not chosen. I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to connect with a child that wasn’t mine, but I knew that whatever was meant to happen would! Adoption was our way to start a family, I wouldn’t let fear keep us from that.

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Do you feel like you failed sometimes?
I feel like I failed all the times, even now. My body failed. It’s meant to carry children and it can’t do that. I think I’ll always have a little feeling of failure when it comes to that. But I’m extremely happy with where this journey took us.
Is your family supportive of you and your husband choosing adoption?
Our families are SO supportive thank goodness. I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to bond with them, but my family and my husband’s family are in love with Jayde. I don’t think they could love her more than they do. I’m so grateful to have their support with this because they knew how badly we wanted to be parents.
Did you ever feel pressured to keep trying?
I 100% always felt pressured to keep trying. Mainly by myself. My husband told me time and time again that he’d be fine with no kids if it meant keeping our sanity. Infertility does that to you, it drives you mad! I wanted to experience pregnancy and I still do. But in the end all I really wanted was to be a mommy! So I’m thankful I get to be one.
Did you ever want to back out once you got in the process of adopting?
Not even once! Especially when we found out about Jayde and then met her. I just knew instantly she was mine. I have never been so overwhelmed with love like that. I never knew it could come too easily and so naturally with a child that wasn’t biologically yours.
Is your adoption closed or opened?
We actually have no idea who her birth parents are! Which is good and bad in our case. Bad because we have no idea any of her health history, and we wish we could’ve had a bond with the birthmother. Good because it has made adopting from foster care an easier process.
Did you choose your adoptive child’s name? If so why that name?
We did choose her name! Our daughter came into foster care with no name, so she had to go by Jane Doe. Which we absolutely hate! Her name is Evalina Jayde! Evalina means Life! (She goes by Jayde) I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than that in our situation.
What is your one wish to your birth parent?
I wish I could thank them, and tell them how happy our little girl is. I also wish that they this decision put their life in a better direction if that’s what they wanted.
What is your piece of advice to those who can’t have children yet fear the thought of adoption?
Adoption is incredible. I never thought it would be a part of our journey but I’m so grateful it came into our path. You CAN and WILL love that child as your own, sometimes you may even have to remind yourself they didn’t come from you biologically! I have never been so happy in my life and everything we’ve gone through truly did lead us to Jayde. She couldn’t be more perfect for us if we had made her ourselves.

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To read about Erika’s journey as being an adoptive parent you can read her blog here: http://dayswithjayde.blogspot.com

Stay tuned for Part Two. As I get the strength and courage to put together the interviews of loved ones that went through my pregnancy and adoption process with me. 

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