Category Archives: healing

Dear Brave Soul,

Dear Brave Soul, I want to spend five minutes to remind you how much I admire you. How much you matter to me. 

It takes a lot of bravery to be in “our shoes”. 

If you’re having a shit day I’m here for you. I’m here for you because I get it. I know that the grieving can take a toll. Not just with your mind and soul yet your body as well. 

I’m here for you for all the reasons left unsaid. 

I’m your biggest fan. When in doubt I look to you. To the community. How strong we are together as a whole. That we link arms with one another and help fight this hellish beautiful fight. 

You’re brave for everything you’ve done. For everything you have been through. You’re brave for getting through those sleepless nights. You’re brave from finally stopping yourself from crying, even though it’s been four days straight. Your face is finally numb and you think just maybe the numbness will take away the grief and pain. 

Yet my dear brave soul. You are brave for giving life! That is what I want to celebrate the most! You are brave for getting through this. You’re brave because when no one was there for you; you were there for this life inside you. It’s women like you that help me pick up my dragging feet and hold my head HIGH. 

It’s women like you that I long for to meet face to face and tell you how much I dearly love you. 

It’s women like you that remind me that when I’m having a shit day or feel nothing you show me that my dear beautiful birth daughter is beyond blessed. When I feel guilty at times for having a life with my son you remind me that I have to brave and strong for him. To remind him daily that he has a half sister and one day maybe one day they will hold hands and play. Or better yet maybe be at one another’s wedding. Oh the days like this that help me push and fight my fight. It’s you that taught me that my bravery is all up to me. That you will be here to hold my hand yet you are here to support me and love me. 

Oh my beautiful brave soul I can’t tell you how much I love you. 

“All the emotions came at once because this was the end for us. But the beginning for someone else and that was astonishing, and terrifying.”

 
I met Shonda through my penpal project. Along with following her and her best friend on Adoptionislove on Instagram. Her story hasn’t been altered or changed. I can’t thank this beautiful soul enough for being honest and truthful with her story. Here is a piece of that journey.
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I am a birth mom. I am so proud of that title. I pushed my body and mind to its limits and I survived. I make it everyday knowing that a chunk of my heart is outside of my body and thriving. I am a birth mom
I found out I was pregnant (officially) on August 26th 2013. I already knew i was pregnant. I was sure of it in fact. I can’t even tell you why i knew it. I just did. I didn’t feel nauseous or tired. I didn’t have the classic symptoms. I remember buying a pregnancy test at a local grocery store and running to the bathroom because i needed some proof as to what my body already knew. I walked out of that bathroom stall with a negative test. WHAT??? I was so confused. but so relieved.  I didn’t want to be pregnant. I continued on that day with this thought of being pregnant in the back of my mind. why was I so sure that I was yet I had a negative test.
I survived a whole other day until I decided to go buy another test. I waited until I  was home this time and I took it. positive. Big bold plus sign stared back at me. I sat in my bathroom for what felt like hours, in reality only about 5 mins went by. I couldn’t even cry. My whole body was numb. My brain wouldn’t shut up yet I had no plan, no idea what to do, who to talk to, what to even think. I walked out of that bathroom, stuck that pregnancy test under my bed and pretended like nothing happened for the rest of the day
One of my very best friends at the time texted me the next day and said “I have bad news”… and all of a sudden that little thought in the back of my mind which I had pretended to think was not there, was front and center. I had bad news too… My friend replied before I even sent something back and said “I’m pregnant” I was shocked. I had felt so alone and then all at once not. I replied and said ” I think I am too”. She immediately came over and brought me about 3 more test. 2 more were positive and one was negative. I had no idea what to think, was I pregnant or not??
I decided to go to our local pregnancy resource center and confirm it. I had no idea how far along I would be or if I was even pregnant. I took my friend and we found out together. Only one of us could go in at a time so I went first. I was roughly 7 weeks. Dread started setting in and the girl working there could see the panic creep onto my face. Her words were “you have options” and then proceeded to tell me about parenting and abortion. She didn’t go into much detail but the majority of the conversation was all about parenting. I was barely supporting myself, I couldn’t support a baby. My thoughts were, “why won’t this girl stop talking about me being a parent because it’s the last thing I can do”. As I’m getting ready to go and becoming more silent by the minute, she told me I could pick out a handmade set of booties and a matching hat. I numbly reached into the bin and pulled out the first thing that I could find because I just wanted her to stop talking to me, I was in shock. As I was about to leave the room we had been sitting in, the lady goes ” oh here’s a pamphlet on adoption too” and let the conversation die.  My friend walked in after me, and I sat in the waiting room for the next 20 mins and cried.
I was adopted when I was 3 and I have never had any huge issues with it. I had a hard time understanding why certain things happened like being separated from my siblings and foster family I had lived with for 3 years. I was a happy and healthy kid due to my family loving me. But i hated the fact that i didn’t know my siblings until iIwas much older. I didn’t even know I had sisters until I was 12 years old. and I had been separated from my brother who was the only person i knew to be family at a very young age. Adoption is beautiful and hard all in one and my adoption story was that.
My cousin was adopted from Korea as a baby, so my family has grown up around adoption like its nothing strange. My cousin also happened to become pregnant 3 years prior to me becoming pregnant, and she made an adoption plan for her beautiful daughter. I watched everything she went through, and yet I was here, feeling alone, finding no way to tell her I was pregnant. I couldn’t face my family or anyone for that matter. I knew I had to tell the father though. It was a bit complicated because I had been with two guys within a few weeks. But based on dates, it had to be one over the other. Next problem was, we weren’t on the best of terms. We had been on and off for years. My family hated him, I had no idea how his family felt about me. He was honestly was not very committed  to me and the fact that this had happened was just going to make things worse. I texted him saying “we need to talk” while I was at work one day, thinking he wouldn’t text me for a while (like he always did). he immediately called me. I couldn’t answer. First, I was at work, and second, I wasn’t ready to tell him!! I texted back, “ill call you when I’m off work”
I left work dreading this phone call. I got home, sat down and called. The first thing out of his mouth was “your pregnant aren’t you?” I instantly felt better knowing I didn’t have to say the words out loud yet. I started crying and said yes. His next response was “are you going to get an abortion then?” i was shocked because i hadn’t even thought that was an option. I just said “no, I have no plan but that isn’t it. ill figure it out but thought you should know” and hung up the phone. i felt right back to the moment in the bathroom with that positive stairing back at me. Still no plan, and still no idea what to feel or do.
Another saving grace came my way a few days later. My friend who was pregnant as well, let it slip to my cousin that I was pregnant. She texted me one day and said, hey are you home? I wanna talk” I was so unexpecting of that fact that she was going to tell me MY secret. She urged me to tell my parents. She had waited until she was almost 5 months along and she regretted that. I needed a support system and I needed it as soon as possible, no matter what decision I made.
Lets just say my parents didn’t take the news well. simple as that. haha. I set up doctor appointments and I was texting the father times to be there. even if I didn’t know what was going to happen to this baby, it needed to be healthy,  I started telling people slowly that I was pregnant and everyone was so happy for me. I was the young mom who wanted kids and was totally ready for this according to everyone. I was not the face of unplanned pregnancy. I was not 16. I was a mess that no one was seeing.
My mom came around and she asked me constantly “whats your plan?” I never had any answers for her but she was being so supportive still. I value that so much still to this day.
I decided to call an adoption agency because it was the only thing I could think of. I remember googling “adoption agencies near me”. Lutheran social services came up and I called. I have no idea what I was going to say but I’m pretty sure I left a voicemail on the machine and it was something along the lines of “my name is Shonda, I’m pregnant and I have no idea what to do. call me please”
The inner Shonda was becoming more and more of a mess as the hours ticked on. I was getting more hormonal. I felt like i was never going to figure this all out.
I drug the father with me to the first appointment with Lutheran social services and it went better than I thought. we covered the logics. talked about what we wanted and what we both expected. why we were thinking of adoption, and why we thought we couldn’t parent. For a brief moment i felt reassured and relieved
The months went on, and details were falling into place. I picked Carson’s family and I also struggled each and every day. Every new day came with a new emotion. I barely had the support of the father after I decided to tell him about the other guy. I had a plan going but I didn’t all at the same time. I decided to not share with a lot of people about making an adoption plan, so most people didn’t think much of anything and I honestly regret that. I thought i was going to be judged that I would feel like a worse person than i already did. It was horrible. I questioned my plan each and everyday. The father finally decided to put issues aside and do what was the best for the baby which was nice because I needed as much support as I could get.
We met with Carson’s family when I was 8 months along, and that was a huge turning point in my adoption process. I left that meeting feeling loved. I went in with an anxious mind, and left knowing that my baby was going to be right where i wanted him, supported by a FUNCTIONING 2 person family, loved by an older brother, and so very loved. The birth father decided he wanted to do a paternity test, which i gladly accepted. Coming from an adoptee’s perspective, i wanted my baby to know exactly where he came from. We decided with Carson’s new family and us, to do it after he was born.
I went into labor at 7 am on April 22nd, 2014. I was so calm and I still to this day have no idea how. I called my mom who came and got me and took me to the hospital. I was triaged to make sure I was in labor because I still wasn’t convinced I was haha. I called the father and he said he would be there in a few hours because of work. I took some walks with my parents, my adoption counselor came and it was moving along. I survived 7 whole hours without getting an epidural. I remember sitting in the tub, the father holding my hand, and it all hit me. I was scared. All the emotions came at once because this was the end for us. But the beginning for someone else and that was astonishing, and terrifying. The father looked at me and said, “you’ve got this” and I was back into mama bear mode, ready to have this baby.
My birth plan for the hospital was to have the father and I in the room while I pushed and once things calmed down, and depending on the time, then Carson’s parents would come up. This plan caused a lot of chaos between my parents and I because of who I chose to be in the room with me and that was so hard on me, when I had a million other things to worry about. I was so focused on my feelings that I didn’t really think of anyone else emotions. Looking back, I loved how it went, but every girl needs their mom.
Carson entered this world screaming after an exhausting 18 hours of labor on April 23rd 2014 at 1:04 am. I instantly started crying because I had been so focused on labor and accomplishing this, that I hadn’t really thought about what was coming next. Compared to labor, this was going to be even harder. The father was the most amazing and helpful person during labor which surprised me. He counted to 10 every contraction and helped me breathe. He told me I was doing okay and I am so very thankful of that, to this day.
We got moved to a recovery room, and the nurse who had stayed over her 12 hour shift to stay with us,  told us how strong and proud of us she was, that she didn’t see many people like us decide to make a selfless choice for their baby. It brought me to tears honestly because I didn’t feel like i was brave at all.
Carson’s parents decided to come up in the morning and I was so nervous that I basically ended up staying awake for most the night with Carson because I refused to let him go. This was my bonding moments that I couldn’t miss. His parents got the recovery room next to us to give us space but also be close. They came and went and it honestly went amazing for how emotional we all were. There was a time I was sitting on the bed with the father, and carson, and I was so overwhelmed that I asked the father to bring carson to his parents to give us a moment. He left and up until this point, I  had not see the father cry. He stepped back into the room, and he just dropped to the floor sobbing. we just sat in that hospital room and just cried. It was all we could do.
I left that hospital after seeing Carson leave with his family in tears feeling hollow. I had spent 9 months preparing for this, my body had built up all the hormones to prepare for a baby, and i left with nothing. shock to my mind and body. My adoption agency actually got the father and I a hotel room because I didn’t want to go back to my apartment quite yet as well which was a relief. I felt like I had a neutral place that didn’t remind me of anything.
I was feeling horrible, and unfortunately it was just going to get worse. We had just sent off the lab results of the paternity test and we had to wait a week. While we were waiting, the day of us signing our rights over came. To say I was a mess is an understatement. I wanted it to just get done as soon as possible but I also just wanted to walk out of that room and go get my baby. I had no idea what to feel or do but I managed to go in there and sign. I walked out and sat in the car and just cried. My life had changed in the matter of a few seconds it took me to sign my name. How could that be?! how could this be real?!
The test results came back and the worst was true. The father was not the father. To say that my broken heart was ripped open all over again is nothing compared to the feeling that I had. He was the one who got me through my labor, who helped selecting Carson’s family. Who did everything in his power to keep me together while holding it together as well. I also had to contact the “real dad” who had to legally sign over his right or deny paternity to make sure Carson could be adopted. I was worried sick because as much as I was heartbroken and sad, I couldn’t have my actions affect the fact of Carson being with his family. I eventually got ahold of him, he denied any rights and said he didn’t want to talk about it ever again. A few months later, I learned he moved out of the state.
I haven’t talked to him since. He hasn’t asked about Carson or me, and honestly I don’t know if he will. As an adoptee, that breaks my heart to think Carson will have to deal with the fact of not knowing a part of where he comes from. I chose to do an open adoption because I wanted to be able to a part of his life. I wanted him to know where he comes from and to answer any questions he may have. I love Carson so much and want him to know that. I will forever consider the first guy to be more of a vital part of Carson’s life. He doesn’t make an effort to keep a relationship with him, which is fine, but he does ask me occasionally about him and that’s amazing to me. We didn’t talk for quite a few months after the results for obvious reasons. It didn’t help my healing process at all. I honestly felt more alone than i did pregnant. birthmom
Then one day, my adoption counselor and I decided we needed a support group. I felt like there had to be more people out there that could relate to my story. 5 girls came together and that first meeting was just us all crying. I wasn’t alone and to feel like someone could relate helped me immensely. we have kept up with it, and to be honest its one of the reason i feel sane to this day. They are my family, my sisters and we hold this bond together forever.
It has been 2.5 years and every day is a new one. I still get sad and I still cry about Carson. But slowly love has taken over. That little piece of my heart is thriving and growing too fast and that is all I could have ever asked for. I have become a part of his family and them a part of mine. there are SO many people who love carson and there is never anything wrong with that. I am taking one day at a time and i have spent my time spreading awareness of adoption to help me and others heal. I love my support group and run a support and awareness group with one of my best friends who happens to be adopted and a birth mom as well called Adoptionslove. I am living my life for myself and Carson,
I love being a birth mom and even though an unplanned pregnancy is not what I wanted to face, I made the perfect right out of the whole situation and I can only hope people can see and learn how amazing adoption is.

What is a Birth Mother to Me.

I met Lynea through  a group of birth moms. We have formed a relationship that is a mother daughter type and  wouldn’t have it any other way. The 20 year age gap doesn’t bother us at all. I love this woman with all my heart. Her story is a beautiful one. I’ve noticed that throughout the time we have been friends she has been willing to be open and let me break down some walls that she has had up for a long time. I feel like I have helped her in ways to help her grow; as she has helped me. This woman and I have never met face to face. We have formed our friendship just through letters, phone calls, emails, and texts. Yet one day I will embrace her and look at her and tell her how much I adore who she is. Lynea is a woman of passion, determination and compassion. She is woman that would give everything she has to others to go without. I know this because of how much this woman has invested in me and what I believe in. My pen pal project. She is creating something with  meaning and I can’t wait for the WHOLE world to know about it. She is the founder of Life After Placement. A community for women and men who have placed and are wanting to embark a journey of healing and moving forward with life to be apart of.

Here is Lynea’s meaning of being a birth mom.

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Through the years I have found it to be odd how people view birth mothers. We are looked at as adulterers, sluts with no morals, mentally unstable with no cares about bringing a child into this world, etc.  What about the few of us who were raped or abused? Did we deserve it?  Did we have it coming to us? Where we asking for it by the way we dressed?

To me a birth mother is any woman who gives birth. A woman who chooses to place a child for adoption is a birth mother and a woman who chooses to parent her child is a birth mother.  That’s right, I said it, we are both birth mothers. It really is strange to how people respond to the words “Birth Mother”! All my life I have had to explain to people who and what a birth mother is. This has been strange for me because adoption has been around for centuries! This is not a new concept or new idea. What I found is that people dismiss that adoption wouldn’t happen without a birth mother. How did the babies get here? Sometimes I think people think adoption is like going to a store, picking up the baby and paying for it at the counter.

For years’ women who have become pregnant out of wedlock or been abused or raped and had to accept the fate of getting married or being sent away to a maternity home or distant relative to have the baby. When you came back you didn’t talk about it, like it never happened, and go on with life. The adoption was closed and the guilt and shame the birth mother felt were kept inside and never let out.  I remember growing up thinking couples who adopted were like heroes! I remember looking at them like they saved that child from bad parents or from unloving family.

Let me just say this, I am a birth mother and proud to say it! I was date raped and did what I know was best for my child by PLACING her with a couple who was able to give her what I know I couldn’t at that time in my life. I did NOT GIVE HER UP! Ask yourself, how would you feel if you were given up on. No one likes that!  Please use the word PLACED. “I was placed for adoption.” The psychological effect of saying you were PLACED instead of given up has a MAJOR effect on the child and about adoption as a whole.

As a birth mother of 25 years and having been reunited the past 12 years I can say “I NEVER GAVE UP!” I PLACED HER for adoption because I love her and always will. A mother’s love is never ending. My goal as a birth mother is to help our community see birth mothers in a different way. With open adoption and adoptees looking for their birth parents, I hope you can see that it’s really all about love, from the moment of conception. Life After placement is just that! Moving forward without so much guilt or shame but acceptance of choices made with nothing but selfless love.

~Lynea~

 

Birth Mother Means Brave, Bold, and Beautiful

The past two months have been one crazy ride for me. I have had time to think about the new direction I want to go with my journey along with what I want to do with this blog I have created. I have been so vulnerable and open with my story that I feel like it’s time to start sharing more of others as well. I have had time to think about the future along with my self care and getting it in line with how I want to grow in the adoption community.  I’ve learned that seasons change for people and they aren’t always bad when they change. Change is scary yet it can be so rewarding afterwards. My pen pal project has sky rocketed into something so beautiful. Something so big that I never knew it would in such a short period of time. The friendships I have made this past year are ones I would never want to replace or let go of. Even when life gets crazy I know that no matter what my tribe is a phone call away, a letter away, and a visit away. These brave women I have formed friendships with have stories that they are not ashamed of or scared  to tell. Callie is a woman that I love in so many ways. She is beyond pro active in the birthmom community. She is a woman I admire and love.

Here is her story. Her story has not been modified or changed in any way.

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Birth Mother Means Brave, Bold, and Beautiful

My Personal Journey and Perspectives on Open Adoption

By: Birth Mom, Callie Jett

 

Before I became a birth mother, I was a sixteen-year-old naive girl being pressured into an abortion. My story could have easily ended at the Planned Parenthood abortion center my mother drove me to, but because there were peaceful people outside the abortion center that day, my situation became refined. These people outside the abortion center, who were sidewalk advocates, introduced me to a choice that was so foreign to me at the time: The option of open adoption.

Life can be beautiful after choosing open adoption. During my pregnancy, I did not think that season of my life would pass, but it went by quick. A wonderful maternity home took me under their wings free of charge, and without judgment or chastisement. After nine and a half months, I gave birth to a handsome little boy through support and assistance from caring people around me. Being able to hold my birth son, rock him, and sing to him before saying my “Good-byes” was worth every bit of back pain and health complications.

After the placement of my birth son, I survived, seasons changed, time caught up with me, and I now have my own bundles of joy. Thirteen years to this day, I have a flourishing relationship with my birth son and his adoptive parents. But even if I were to have no contact with my birth son, his life was still worth every bit of sweat and stress. If these precious moments can ensue for me, then they can transpire for any woman facing an unexpected pregnancy and who have exhausted all possibilities to parent. That is the beauty of what open adoption is today. My journey towards the option of open adoption for my birth son made me stronger and braver. And my decision of adoption for him taught me true selflessness and love.

In turn, as my birth son got older, he encouraged me to share my adoption story to women who are stuck in similar situations as I was when facing an unplanned pregnancy. To share my story with women who are entering abortion center’s today, feeling scared, alone, and being pressured into a decision of abortion. Many of these women knowing very little about the option of open adoption; some never even knowing what open adoption is. And three years ago, during my activism as a Sidewalk Advocate, Talk About Adoptionlaunched. The rest is history.

Since the launch of Talk About Adoption, women facing unplanned pregnancies have found us for help, resources, and have even chosen life for their child – Whether choosing to parent or place their child for adoption. Thus far, twenty-one abortion-determined women have chosen life for their baby after finding the organization, or from my involvement as a Sidewalk Advocate outside one of my local abortion center’s. Seven of these women never even heard about the option of open adoption until finding our organization on the Internet or through a referral.

This begs the question: Does our current society truly understand open adoption today? Or, are birth mothers active in sharing their adoption stories to others – Specifically to women who are abortion-determined and who feel they have no other options? Birth mothers must stop hiding behind their fear that someone may think they “gave up” their baby for adoption and “did not want it.” As a birth mother today, adoption means that I have a wonderful opportunity to share my adoption story for someone else, because this is not about me anymore. It was never about me in the beginning. It was about my birth son.

Women, who are in crisis pregnancy situations and contemplating abortion, need guidance from a birth mother to offer them empowering choices: Parenting or adoption. Birth mothers have been there, done that. Our younger generation desires to speak to real people who have made this different decision. As open adoption becomes more prevalent, birth mothers have these amazing adoption experiences and the strength to help other women see that shining light at the end of the tunnel. The mainstream media does not understand this adjudication that relies on a mother to give beyond herself, and abortion center’s are businesses who profit off of … abortions.

You see, it is easy for the adoption triad to know the blessings of adoption and how to get that far into that decision, but abortion-determined women facing unplanned pregnancies know nothing about that exact process unless we speak up. Birth mothers have the opportunity to change people’s perceptions of adoption with their own individual, distinct adoption story; thus giving our younger generation the courage and knowledge if they were to encounter an unexpected pregnancy. This is about using our anecdotes to help another person in need. This is about loving others above ourselves. This is about changing the world. Yes! Birth mothers are that sacred and powerful in this diverse universe!blog

So, how can a birth mother create change? Most importantly, she should be proud and hold their head up high, because one, options support respect. Of course, birth mothers need their own individual time of healing and coping. Some even seek out the various birth mother support organizations and post-adoption counseling. But after we have acknowledged that this decision was the best through our own mentality and perspectives. Although it was not easy, it was the best. We can unveil our adoption story and share it with those who know nothing about the option of adoption. Where? We can start at our local pregnancy resource centers, our schools, and better yet, peacefully in front of abortion centers where women have never heard of this exceptional word. With abortion centers sweeping our nation, undoubtedly there are at least thousands of women who need to hear our voices. Birth mothers should not only share their adoption story, but also spread the knowledge of these amazing and honest adoption resources. We have this unique opportunity to provide, become involved in our community, to end the stigma of open adoption, and create a culture of life.

This is about changing people’s lives, which in turn, change others, and so on. It is a divine chain reaction. Adoption means a woman not regretting a decision of abortion, a heartache and life saved, and the cycle goes on – just because there was the presence of a faithful person knowledgeable on the topic of adoption, or a birth mother who shared her adoption story.

Birth mothers can produce fruit, too. I have been able to witness women make a parenting or adoption decision ever since I began sharing my adoption story, and became active in my community. It is a wonderful feeling for a mother to squeeze your neck, and to thank you for your presence when she was feeling as if all odds were against her. To see these women looking forward to delivery, naming their baby, and preparing for what’s ahead – it is breathtaking. Let’s create change now. Birth mother means brave, bold and beautiful. There is a new generation heading towards the word, “choice.” Choice also means open adoption. This is the twenty-first century – Talk about adoption.

Six weeks all in one

 

My alarm clock goes off this morning.  One of two things go off inside of me. Wake up and get the day started or hit snooze and repeat this process about fifteen times. I’m laying in bed to think about this for ten more seconds before my mind explodes from hearing the alarm go off. I choose to lay in bed. I have no energy left within me. I feel a lack of love from everyone around me. I feel alone and small. I just want to hide under the sheets and let everyone pretend I’m okay. Yet that’s a lie all in itself. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be aware that there is hurt within me and is causing suffering to my mind, body, and soul. It’s okay to admit I need help. I need love. I need embracement. I need reminders from family and friends. I need that connection. I need to feel appreciated. All these are needs. Needs we humans need from time to time. They aren’t wants, they aren’t “what ifs” they are simply needs. I have my moments when I feel like a lion and when I feel like a mouse. Today I feel like a mouse, I’m finally ready to reflect what this past month. On the days I feel small I have to remind myself twice as hard I’m worthy of love, my voice is worthy of a roar. I’m reminding myself I’m worthy of healing. I’m worthy of great greatness. The past six weeks has been such a blur. When I say blur I mean a complete mess of chaos and happiness all in one.

We had our California Mexico trip six weeks ago, we need a vacation from our vacation since all this maddens was about to occur.  We had to get in packing mode to move to our new home. Try to unpack the new house, get settled in, start my new job, all in between all this madness I’m trying to find that quiet time like now to just work on my projects, and last but not least finding that time to breath, catch up, and not lose my sanity.IMG_6018

We went to Mexico for a few days. I got to see my mom. For the first time in a long time we didn’t fight or argue. Instead we laughed and she played with my son. She’s a grandma now and she acted among the part really well. I’m proud of her.  You can really tell she is trying her best to be as sane as she can be. I give her credit for that.  It made me so happy to see my mom interact and form a relationship with my son and Derrik. I won’t lie a part of me wishes that was me. I sometimes wished life could have been different. Where I had my mom fully there. Mentally and physically. Someone who would interact with me make me feel safe. Someone to teach me how to love. I’m happy to say Elijah is her second chance. So far she’s making me very proud to be her daughter. From seeing her this last time it made me see that it’s my time to invest in her now. I need to invest in the reflection I wish the world to see. That investing starts with myself, my son, Derrik, and now my mother. I’m learning that expanding in growth there comes so much goodness. For that I thank God for guiding me there spiritually.IMG_6324

California had its moments. I got into a spat with my aunt. It hurt me. It really dug deep within me. I felt hurt, her action made me feel abandoned. She didn’t agree with my parenting. I know Derrik and I will never be the perfect parents in the world, yet I will always try my best to be the best for my son. I believe in positive parenting. I honestly think it’s a trigger for some people in my family. Derrik and I don’t believe in spanking and don’t believe to humiliate our child in front of others. We try to let Elijah know that some things are not okay and will teach him how to do things better. Example: We don’t hit people when we are upset. We go to the person who upset us and say “you upset me”. Yes Elijah is two yet he gets this concept he says “no okay mommy” translation for me; I hurt my son what can I do to be a better parent. My aunt just didn’t see any of this. She wanted us to pretend since we were on “vacation” to pretend to let it go and let Elijah pay for it later by retraining and getting him frustrated and explaining to him why he could get away with things in California and not at home. I didn’t think that was right and she hated the fact that I stood up for myself and my son ( since I was trying to save him from being confused and thinking it’s okay  to lash out just to lash out instead of using our positive parenting methods) she hated this she and fought with me. I was called many names. She walked out and didn’t even say goodbye to Elijah. I tried several times to reach out to her, yet she denied me, she denied my son. I felt so hurt by her. All because for the first time in her life I could tell her no and not get smacked or yelled at for it. One time she had to keep her cool because Derrik was there. I know that if he wasn’t everything would have been ten times worse. I felt so much pain because for the first time she was going to meet Ava and she walked away from that opportunity as well. I was ready to open a part of this world with her. I was ready for her to see Ava and hug her. To smile with her. To embrace her. I had so much sorrow for my son and Ava. She really knew where to strike her new wound with me.  My aunt reminded me through all this ugly that I have to let go of the hurt she has caused me and fight for hope. Every sorrow she has given me has made me dig deeper to let go and fight the fight. That I am brave.

For the first time Derrik and Elijah got to experience Lego Land, Disney land with real authentic Mexican food for nine days straight, to meeting most of everyone in my crazy Latina family and seeing Ava and Karin.IMG_6345IMG_6287

It’s been almost three years since I had seen Ava in person.  My heart was racing when I saw her and Karin. All I could do was hug her and hold tight for thirty seconds and thank God for letting me and my family see her again. I had my moments when I needed to step aside and get a breather. To be honest Ava clicked with Derrik so well I got a tad bit jealous. Elijah and Ava were inseparable. They held hands, played and rode rides together. This day was perfect for me and my family. There was hard times for my grandma, you could see her watery eyes from time to time. My grandma was so brave and so strong. I was so afraid there would be a sly comment or a day well spent ruined. My chest felt heavy sometimes when Elijah would call me mommy and Ava didn’t. Yet that’s the path I chose Yes it’s hard from time to time yet I chose to place Ava for many reasons. The love she gets from her mom and dad is the love I lacked to give her at the time. My greatest gift I could give her was to place her with people who were mentally, emotionally, and financially okay to do so. I felt numb when saying goodbye. I felt a whole and broken all at the same time.  I wanted this day to play over and over just a couple more times. Everything was just a fog after that. My week continued on yet it was one big blur. I didn’t really want to break down when I was in California. I didn’t want my family to see this weak side of me. One that has to force herself to get out of bed from time to time just to live life. I had to wear a mask because we never really talk about it. I feel many are afraid to hear the truth when it comes to Ava. I couldn’t let this hurt me till after we were done moving. I didn’t have time to process my feelings. I had to keep them bottled up till well now.

I sit here in silence while Elijah is sleeping and Derrik is at work. All I can do is just breath heavy and let it out. Let out the tears of joy and sadness I have had bottled up inside of me for a couple weeks now. The feelings I have right now are just raw emotions.  An ounce of panic and fear. A lack of trust I have people when it comes to just letting it out when I need to cry my soul out. The endless pleas and prayers. A little bit of me grieving again. Yet mostly grieving for my son who is so young to understand what Disneyland was all about. To just keep pushing myself to teach him the love I have for him and Ava. That the love I have is no greater than the other. My heart is filled with so much coldness and warmth I long of hope to fully be happy and not have a bad day take over and consume my mind. The baby steps I’m still working towards to. The fight I’m fighting even when I feel like giving up. People tell me that it’s over and done with to move on. To leave it alone. To keep it hush hush.  How do I process that I will always be an outcast?  Putting energy to my healing and being open means pain on my part, how do I process to think everything is going well when BAM a horrible day comes and I feel numb and weak all over again? I feel like some days I’m walking along the road picking flowers on my way to freedom to being free within. There are other days when I’m standing on the edge of a dark deep hole of emotions that have no way out yet to fall deep, deep down and hit rock bottom and be broken into a million pieces and put myself back together again. I keep standing on that edge trying to force myself to walk away most days. It used to be all days…now it’s just some. For my son’s sake and Ava’s I try not to have many mental break downs anymore. I wait for therapy. I wait to be alone. For me it’s all about baby steps. I know I’m doing better, I’m moving forward. I’m just going to try to do the best I can in this confusing, painful, joyful, sorrow hole of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Happiness Within the Soul

I’m slowly yet surely starting to maintain a lifestyle that has time for me time so I can unwind and breath.

“Be who you are and say what matters to you, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter will be happy to see you be who you are supposed to be!”

My little reminder I get from my best friend  once a week.

For the longest time I have bumped heads with Derrik when it comes to self-love and self-happiness, because  he’s a man and I’m a woman. They come from Mars as we come from Venus. Yet I have had such a hard time grasping this for such a long time. Derrik doesn’t care. It’s not that he doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t care what people think of him. It’s been hard for me to digest this because I have been the type of person that tends to people please. It’s been embedded in my mind to care what people think of me.  I would always say, “How can you not care about me?!!!!!” My mind would always play tricks on me. I have always had this dark gloomy cloud following behind me. Every time I turned my head to look back there it was. The dark gloomy cloud of worry, expectations, fear, the lack of self-love, and self- happiness.  I’ve had ideas embedded in my head of how I should act and look. I never lined up with those “expectations”. I’ve had a mask on my face and body as a shield to protect me so I could just “fit in”.  I’m not one to dress proper, sit tall and walk gracefully. I actually have a girly grunge vibe with a slight hippie soul, with a dash of feminist, nerdy glasses with red hair. Yup that’s me!IMG_5945

I’m now at a point in life where I’m starting to see what Derrik see’s. It’s amazing how you fall in love with people that manage to teach you things that you never thought you needed help to begin with.  I get frustrated from time to time because I lack to give myself credit for being as strong as I really am. I frustrate him for he doesn’t see how I don’t see what he sees in me. Though I’m getting there. I’m getting there slowly. I’m starting to say “to hell with the noise of people’s negative thoughts and opinions of me” I have carried so many memories of negativity and held on to them for such a long time. It’s time to let go of this pain. I’ve felt it way too long.

Lifting this weight of my shoulders has made me think a lot clearer. I still have bad days yet I know with all the panic and fear there’s now that ounce of freedom that helps me get through things in my own  way.

I’m not going to please everyone and that’s okay!

I’m not going to repress the best things about myself because others are too intimidated of me and how far I have come. How open I am with my adoption story. How open I am with the pain, struggles and accomplishments I’ve over come when it comes to anxiety and depression. I’m allowed to be happy! I’m worthy of love! I’m embracing the best and brightest aspects of myself. I’m starting to be someone I love.IMG_5967

Self-happiness and self-love are two things I told myself that I will work on. I now see that with my scars, and stretch marks still make me beautiful. My brain is slowly breaking from the idea of being abandon. That I am worthy of love, not from others. Yet with myself.  I can have a good day being alone. I don’t need a room full of people to pretend to make me happy.  Just because I don’t see myself beautiful it doesn’t mean that I’m not. It’s not like, “human or not human,” or “black or white.” I don’t get to decide whether I am beautiful or not, and whether someone else is beautiful. Thing is I am and everyone around me near and far is. I have dug deep into myself and found my love language. Quality time. I’ve been putting time aside for myself every day for 30 minutes to do something I love. Using my affirmations daily. Positive thinking, positive talks with myself in the car or simply writing them down. I’m starting to honor myself in many ways I never did before.  I fell in love with myself about a month ago yet every day since I’ve grown to build a stronger bond with myself. I’m loving myself more and more every day. I’ve learned my value. I’ve learned to believe in myself.  I have accepted that I have worth that isn’t based off my words, shortcomings, actions or success. Yet that I am just worthy of it and nothing anyone does will change the self-love I’m building up for myself. Hope and courage is my anchor. I refuse to stop living a life that isn’t  free. I want to explore and feel life at the edge of my fingertips. There will be good and bad days yet my self love will still grow.

 

Selflove

I have always loved the thought of Valentine’s Day. I love it! I’m a hopeless romantic. I see it as a day dedicated to love, romance, romantic love, friendship love, but all types of love. A day to recognize love living in us and around us. Though I have always loved this day. Derrik has opened my eyes and has taught me that showing love one day out of the whole year is well, dumb.IMG_5884.JPG

We don’t really make Valentine’s Day a big deal in the Kirk household. We kind of swept it under the rug. We like to show love to one another every day.  Romantic gestures and surprises. At first when I thought how could he not like Valentine’s Day? I saw Derrik was right on something. I came to EXPECT flowers and chocolate. I came to expect that I be gifted with something to show me his love. Oh how I was wrong. I now see that with loving someone I don’t need anything in return. Don’t get me wrong flowers are nice, plants are just nicer!

This year I’m doing something a little different. Every day this past week I’ve written love letters to myself. Yes you heard me right! I needed to learn to FALL IN LOVE WITH MYSELF.IMG_5891

I’m falling in love with all my strengths, my flaws, my scars, my pain, my past, my present, my badass attitude. I finally love my freckles. My funny laugh. My straight yet big smile. My broken yet put together heart. My eyes finally see how beautiful I am. The number on the scale is just a number. I’m eating and living a healthy lifestyle and that’s all that matters. The way I wear my heart on my sleeve from day to day. That being a mom and a birth mom are the best things that could have  happened to me. My “mom” tummy, the scars that once reminded me of pain. Scars to show that Ava was once here with me. Yet I see them as scars of bringing two beautiful healthy amazing souls into this world. Scars that I am not ashamed of anymore! Reminders of my strength. I finally have learned to accept no matter how many squats I do or donkey kicks, I will always have a flat ass!  I love my big heart and the people and the experiences it has drawn me to. I love all this because well, they are all different puzzle pieces that are forming a beautiful unique me.IMG_5896

I will always be a work in progress. I have come to accept that. Embrace it. Deal with it. Not letting it bring me down type thing. I can’t promise myself that every day will be a good day, yet I can promise myself to fight harder on days that are dark and toxic. I’m the only “me” I got.  I wanted to do this well because I suck with loving myself. I beat myself up all the damn time. I never give myself enough credit. Derrik see’s so much in me. He see’s more when I lack credit for myself. My biggest fan has stood by me on the worst days possible. Yet its him who I also need to give credit to.

I am enough.

I am worthy.

I need the courage to believe this and embrace that I am worth loving.

To break out of the box I live in and free myself from all the chains that keep tying me down. I am free indeed.

 

 

 

 

Cover Photo is from The Shine Project. 

 

#BMstrong [Birth-mom Strong]

Two words: Birth-mom and Strong.

I am Birth-mom Strong.IMG_5616 (2)

A motto I have learned to embrace this past year. I can reflect back on a time that sparked the spiral towards my hate and self-doubt. The past several years, I have been on a journey to reverse the trauma done to me by others and myself, since I have placed. I’m pushing through the thorns, standing up after each fall I have made. The hardest thing for me to do is to set my mind into my life, my heart and soul. This road I am on hasn’t been traveled very often. Yet I see the sunny road ahead, one of self-discovery, cleansing my mind and body of all the negative toxins that I have kept bottled up these past almost five years.

I am in self-discovery mode. Call it “selfish time” if you must. I have made a lot of choices. Ones That I am more proud of than others. Yet I have come to realize that I can sit here and ponder about the past and be sad, or get back up fight my fight and be a strong woman that I am becoming today. For I have realized this is MY future. MY healing. MY life. MY time of self-love, self-growth, and self-healing. It’s no one else’s. Though for a long time I have believed that. I had a mask on and pretended to be happy with the life I was living. I was told to embrace my shame and not be proud. Even though there was such a higher power telling me otherwise; to speak up, fight my fight, and embrace who I really am.

Self-discovery is messy. It will have its painful moments. The type of moments were you can’t breathe and everything starts to become a blur. Everything just slips from your hands, you’re not in control anymore. You start to feel like a puppet. Wanting to accept the pain has given me a complete different outlook in life. Having ambition comes with its own problems too. I’ve learned that believing in myself can be a difficult task, but it’s one of the important keys I need to have for this journey. Accomplishing my greatest aspirations. To choosing the road that has so many turns, some paths rockier than others. Yet I deserve to have this experience that comes to a beautiful end of seeing myself be the woman I should be. Standing tall and proud of the path I have been traveling.IMG_5617 (2)

Elijah has changed my outlook in life more than I can say. I started to really accept who I was when I found out I was pregnant with Elijah. I envisioned myself to be proud of who I am. One that wasn’t ashamed to say “I am a birth-mom” or “I placed my daughter for adoption out of love.”  To not taking the looks of others personally and have self-shame. Wanting to be birth-mom strong isn’t something that came to me over night. It has taken me a lot of sleepless nights, days that I spent crying. I have come to accept that not every day will be a good day, and that’s OKAY! I will have my moments of grief and I wont beat myself up for it anymore. Yet coming this far I can smile and be happy with who I am. My biggest fear was having my son and Ava hate me. I never want them to feel like she wasn’t “important”. I have come to the realization that this fear won’t become my reality. I will teach my son in his early childhood and through his life about Ava. About the choice I made. The pain I went through, the pain I will still go through. The happiness I have when I think of her. He will know to be proud of me. I will not be ashamed when he asks me. For I choose to be stronger than this.

Being birth-mom strong for me is being selfless, to not be ashamed of my choice. Giving a piece of me away to a loving family. One that I have to have complete trust with. I will never feel whole again, yet my shattered pieces of my heart will always be intact. To being fearless and having that never-ending strength to be strong and proud of the life I have not just chosen for myself, yet for the one I chosen for Ava. Having my head held high and not having an ounce of guilt or shame. To finding peace within myself and being proud that I am a birth-mom. One my son can be proud of as well.

Birth-mom Strong has so many different definitions by every single different mother who has placed.

I asked several Birth-moms to give  me their own meaning of being Birthmom Strong, this is what they had to say. I love each response.

[None of these have been altered, anonymous is kept for the privacy of their identity.] 

Roanne Olsen- Being birth mom strong is being a role model to my birth son. He just turned 18 and considers me his biggest role model.

Nicole Paulson- Being birth mom strong means being fearless. It means facing judgement knowing I did what was best for my child and myself.

Chanel Alyss Green-It’s reaching deep down and shattering my own heart to make someone else’s family whole. #birthmomstrong

Annaleece Merrill- It means that there is a piece of my heart that lives outside my body now, and is in the arms of someone else. And I will never quite feel whole again, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel perfect

Heather Gossett- It’s about giving but what you want and think you need, and giving that innocent baby the family and life that he or she really needs.

Anonymous- It means being selfless, strong, ambitious, courageous loving, and caring. Everyone’s story is different but we all have one thing in common unconditional love for our babies. Every day is a silent struggle. We live our life’s everyday crying inside. Trying to act like everything is ok. We still pull through. It so hard but worth see my birth son alive living a better life.

I choose to feel the pain

I choose to feel the pain. Pain and nightmares. Healing takes place in the open. I’m starting to drag my shadows from the darkness, to let them breath. Wounds that were once five inches deep are now beautiful scares I look at. My little reminders of the proof I’m capable of healing. The reminders of pain I once have felt. To letting myself appreciate the moments of happiness and bliss. To not be ashamed of my broken.IMG_5682 (3) To saying goodbye to the “band aids”. I’m not going to be a chameleon and have a desperate urge to fit in and wear the appropriate mask to the appropriate occasions. I’m not going to tell people what they want to hear anymore. Even though it hurts to rip off the “band aids” and show the ugly I have within that’s been festering to hide for so long, I’m not ashamed of who I once was. I’m actually quite proud of all the feelings I have felt. There is nothing easy about wanting to choose to expose my broken self. It will leave me vulnerable, maybe fragile, it will feel raw. It will hurt like hell. For I have simply been strong way too long.

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“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise Erdrich

Mind Over Matter

 

Mind 

Over

Matter

My mind has been overflowing with Ideas and projects. Projects coming in left and right. Ideas that I just  keep jotting down. Ones I will run to Derrik and tell about, others I am “pressuring myself” to finally convince myself that I am capable of doing them and I shouldn’t hold myself back. I promised myself this year to focus on my mental state of mind. Dedicating thirty minutes a day to myself has made me notice the small change in my attitude when it comes to “me” time; that this is important for my sanity, it’s a must do! I shouldn’t feel guilty of wanting this. I deserve to do the things I love. Mind stability is certainty appealing.  Don’t get me wrong I have my bad shit days, I am human after all.

Sometimes my negative mindset will take over. At times it feels like it’s all the time. It’s easy to feel so unwanted when you have been rejected so many times by the same people. That yucky feeling tends to take over. I sometimes feel alone, and hear hurtful things, sometimes I will consume it and believe it. I start to believe the lies and let the lies consume me, my relationships, and my parenting.

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Growing up I was taught:

Sticks and stones will break my bones, yet words will never hurt me.

In all honesty I call bullshit. Throughout the years growing up I would hear

“Wow you’re such a big girl”

Translation to my brain was “Wow you are so fat” instead of saying to “wow what a beautiful girl you are becoming”. I took this compliant wrong every single time. My body shaming and self-love really has a horrible relationship with me. There are times where I tell myself I’m breaking up with you and finding new self-love. My old habits of thoughts creep back from time to time.

My favorite one was being called my mother’s name from time to time. I love my mother and it has taken me such a long time to get here where I am mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and to have my heart open to her. I felt very abandon by her.  I believed a lot of lies, some were true yet there were a lot of lies. My mom is sick mentally it took me to finally let my walls down to finally accept her and myself. Having depression and anxiety is one thing. Being bipolar wow I can’t even imagine the constant battles she fights. I understand why she did what she did to escape her pain and suffering. I’m so sad it was hard for her to see what was really important; getting help the right way and of course….Me.  I felt rejected by my mother. I let my mind take over and feed me so many lies.

I never felt good enough. I felt unloved, unwanted, a failure, and ugly. I would think time to time well maybe if I was pretty she would love me. If I was smarter would she stay? Games of manipulation never ended. I would want to stop time to just make my heart stop racing so fast and for me to catch my breath.

My adoption with Ava was hard all on its own. I believed the lies and manipulation. That I was a failure. I was a shit mother. I was horrible. God would never forgive me and love me. I was numb and I was weak. I believed everything good and bad that was thrown at me. I let people have the power over me. I handed them my heart and mind and let them put whatever they wanted to believe about me and let myself believe the lies as well. People walked away from me after I placed; I let myself to believe what I did was wrong. I believed everyone’s lies. It took me four years to finally get here. To finally break free and start healing and loving myself all over again. To accepting my choice and believing the root meaning of why I placed. It was never because I didn’t love Ava, I did it because I loved her so much to let her live a fraction of the life I lived as a child. House to house, aunt to aunt, grandma to raise her, me to not have a home of my own. To constantly see me suffering, I was scared to see her live an ounce of a life I lived. I’m not saying my childhood was a complete nightmare; there are many happy moments as there are sad and self hate momments. I have good and bad memmories.

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Sometimes with Derrik’s sister, well all the time, we don’t get along. We don’t see life the same way. We are both stubborn and very dominate. We don’t have the type of relationship that I wish we could have. For I have always wanted a sister. I always wanted someone to laugh with, make jokes with, even have a dinner dates with and just dance in our seats laugh like crazy people and just make memories. We have hurt one another with words, and actions. We both let the lies we have said to one another consume us and come between us. Derrik’s sister has pushed me to my limits. Limits of where I wanted to give up. Ones where I want to cry my eyes and heart out. Moments of where Derrik and I spent fighting weeks on end. Questioning one another why we were together. On how he could let someone he loves so much get hurt so often. On why I wasn’t protected. We never saw eye to eye on this. We both were never understood  or empathized for one another. We tend to forget our words of admiration with one another. This has been almost a year battle Derrik and I fought almost weekly. A year of us finally letting one another’s walls down and seeing the true ugly we held within our hearts, mind, body, and soul. One thing I have now started to see this past week, even though it’s almost been a year is that I need to try and work on not believing the lies. To have mind over matter. That she isn’t out to get me and to hurt me emotionally. That we will probably never have the relationship I have dreamt about, yet to let my expectations go. To finally accept her for who she is and just let it be.  She is her and I am me. Since I have already “trained” my mind to believe these lies, I need to work on breaking the toxic cycle. I know it’s going to be hard. I have thought for so long that I was unwanted and I’m  not good enough, is just a lie. I am good enough, I am wanted.

She has pushed me to my limits, limits of wanting to call quits and be left alone yet in a way I’m kind of grateful for it. For its helped me see that I do need to work on my psychological health a little more, okay a lot more. My mental health is starting to affect my physical health. I noticed that I have gotten lazy a bit and just gave up on working out right now. I’m too down lately. I want to curl up in a ball and just pause life. Coming to terms with this has been extremely hard. I honestly have felt like a complete failure. I really let it hit me hard this past week. For I now see that I have the mind to change my matter. My mind over matter needs a different outlook in life. It needs positivity. One that has daily encouragement, love and trust. To kick it in the ass and to be the victor I am. To stop believing the lies and work on being stronger. Oh the journey I’m about to embark with this one. To fighting an everyday fight and letting my wounds heal. To finally stop the bleeding of this mental pain and to let growth take effect. Maybe a year from now I will look at the wounds I have now and see beautiful scars that they will become. To have something to look within myself and show myself the reminder that I am strong. It’s going to be hard, yet it’s all about training my mind over matter.IMG_5428 (2)

“Don’t let this world make you bitter. Don’t let the actions of others make you cold inside. Certain things happen that hurt us, people come that leave us, and most of all there are moments when you’re bound to fail. Don’t let those things make you unkind. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. But it’s never okay to do other people wrong just because you were done wrong. We’re human. We break. We make mistakes. But don’t let pain and sadness run your lives. Wake up in the morning and do what you think is right. There are moments in life where you feel like giving up and you can’t take it anymore. It’s okay. Breathe inhale. Exhale. I know you’re weak. But the things that show your weak side are the same ones that make you stronger in the long run. It’s all about taking whatever life throws at you and learning from it.”