Tag Archives: birthmom

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#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.

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.”

2016

Cheers to the New Year! At times it felt like we were stuck in pilot mode being stuck in the struggles. Then there were times when we felt like we were speeding through life and we had to stop and catch our breaths. Either way, this year was one hell of year. We dealt with moving, family problems, heartaches, two losses in the family. A lot of broken this year. Not just mentally, yet spiritually. My healing journey had its high peaks and its lows peaks. Though I managed to get through it all with the ugly.

Cheers to the pain, the pain we manage to get through. Cheers to the joy, the ups and downs, the spiritual growth, the healing and the happiness we manage to have this year. Accomplishing the goals we had set up for us. As a couple, as individuals, and as a family.  To the goals we are trying to conquer and to the dreams we are still going to dream. To what life brings at us. To what we will face. To growth, and to becoming better humans.FP_20151224_000009 (2)

As many of you know this year has been quite a ride for me. Keeping up with “My Truth”, getting the hang of blogging, working, being a mom, and being a significant other. It’s been beautiful, ugly, hard, easy, a war, and a victory all in one. One big ride, one long ride, one amazing journey, beautiful and ugly moments yet all worth it.

Every year I would make a list of ‘goals’ on what I wanted to accomplish.  Lose ten pounds, grow mentally, yet to have a “New Year, New You” mentality and change who I was. This year, I realized that doing this, I kept losing a part of me. I realized that waiting every year to “change” was well dumb. That any given point in time throughout the year that if change is better mentally and physically why not DO IT NOW?!? Every year I kept putting off my journey of placement. “Oh I’ll wait next year to face the ugly” I waited and slowly one year turned into two, then three, till I finally said “OK SAM JUST DO IT STOP LIVING IN THIS FEAR OF THE PAST, STOP BEING SCARED TO GROW, STOP BEING STUCK, BE STRONG  AND FACE THIS PAIN, IT MAY TAKE YEARS YET DO IT. Ava would want you to be happy” These thoughts, these fears, I was scared to face. I’m so happy that I did to be honest. This year alone with being open about adoption has really made me feel closer to feeling whole. I have experienced new feelings and opened new doors along with forming new friendships this year. All good things because I finally gathered up all my courage and threw myself into a sea of wonder and adventure.

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For me this New Year is about change, yet change with letting toxic relationships go. Change in adventure. Change in maintaining a healthy life style and not just working towards those ten pounds yet living healthy lifestyle permanently. Change in being organized. Change in dedicating 30 minutes to myself to read, or to knit, better yet to sketch. Working more on “My Truth” and being more out there with my Etsy shop. To stop living in doubt that I’ll fail. To being a better partner and mother. To being happy! Its okay to be fucking happy! Being open about my healing and reminding myself it’s okay to be vulnerable. Being a feminist is actually okay. I will stop living in fear when it comes to being a woman. To show and give more love, acceptance and encouragement to the world.  To being my own victor. That I shouldn’t be ashamed of my body, for it has shelter and carried two beautiful souls. To continue to grow with self-love and self-worth. To stand for myself. To standing tall and proud of who I am and who I’m becoming. Avoiding who I am and my story, is a long road of suffering and slow living I have come to realize. To start living and not let it pass me by; to stop putting it off to make new goals again…

A letter from an adoptive mom.

Throughout the past month and half I have met an adoptive mom online from a support group that I am apart of. To be exact this is a group of women who all have a significant other that has been or is in the service. We talk about home life, to what to wear to the ball, to what its like being a mom. Life in general. 

I came across this woman who shared her story about being in the process of adoption with her husband. Her story shed light to mine. It made me see that I and other birth parents were not the only ones that have pain, have trouble healing, trouble moving on, or better yet have that piece of mind that our birth children are loved and treated well daily. The feeling or regrets and doubt we may tend to have even if we want to admit it or not.

This letter Erika wrote, is short, heart warming, and brought tears to my eyes. The connection I have with her is different then many can imagine. We are slowly forming a friendship that is odd that some would say. We are helping one another cope, heal, understand, and move forward. Talking to her the few times that I have has made such a difference in my life in so many ways.11390087_10153395727022640_6449644350039714716_n

Her letter:

Dear Birthmom,
I honestly don’t even know how to start this off besides saying thank you a million times. What you did was so courageous and shows me that you must’ve been a strong woman. I hope Jayde inherits that trait from you. Everyone who knows Jayde’s story is sad for what you did, but I tell them “It is not by any means a sad thing. Her Birthmom loved her enough to give her a better life.” I don’t know what your circumstances were that caused you to choose this path, but I commend you for making this tough choice. 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. I promise to love her as my own. I promise to never let a day go by without telling her I love her. Although we may not know who you are, I will forever have a connection with you. The greatest gift in our life was given to us by you. There is no way “Thank you” will ever be enough. So just know that Jayde will be given the best life possible, and she will be loved forever. You will always be in my heart, and I hope you think of us too. 
Sincerely,
One very happy mommy. 
For more of Erika’s story you can read her blog here:

Hello November; National Adoption Month

Today we say goodbye to October and its festivities, and say hello to November.IMG_4858

November is the month that starts to cheer  Christmas is around the corner and that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Yet this month tends to hit home for a lot of men and women that are in the same boat as me. National Adoption Month.

In the past I have dreaded November, I actually wanted to get it over with. I wasn’t ready to share my story. I wasn’t ready for people to embrace me with extra love and make me feel like they felt sorry for me. Yet this year I have turned a new leaf and I’m wanting to embrace it. I’m now ready to feel the embrace-meant of others. I am ready to feel loved and know its not because they pity me. They actually really care about me.

I ask that you pray for me, and not just me yet people that are like me. People that are still healing. Birth fathers and Birth mothers. This Month I am lighting a candle not just for me yet for everyone who needs that little bit of extra light to get through this month. IMG_4808

This month will be a little different when it comes to blog posts. I will be sharing other people’s pain, love, healing, moving forwards. I will also have a story from an adoptive mother’s side. Her struggles and pain and how adoption changed her and her husband’s lives.

I’m mentally preparing myself for that I will be digging deeper into the rawness this month. My story is far from being over;

#MYTRUTHMATTERS

[I asked for a couple Birth Parents to share their stories; to share their thoughts and feelings on placing. These are real stories, each story is different; each pain is different yet the one thing we have in common is we did this out of love.]

“She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the WHOLE beautiful.”

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It’s been four years. Four years of sadness, grief, heartache, sleepless nights, pain, happiness, joy, strength, hope, I can go on forever. People think that placing is easy, that it’s a walk in the park. Yet there is so much more to that. It hasn’t just affected me, it’s affected my family and friends. It’s ruined some of my relationships. All this pain and happiness I have throughout the years; it’s been hard and easy all at the same time: yet, I wouldn’t change it for the world. During my pregnancy I was in doubt. I was in denial. I didn’t want to accept that I was pregnant that I was going to fail as a parent. That I would be a single parent at that: I would be struggling to make ends meet. I wasn’t emotionally ready. I didn’t believe in abortion then or now. My life wasn’t at risk or Ava’s. I would have been so selfish to do so. I would be so evil to end someone’s life because of my mistakes. I could have looked at this and told myself I can do this on my own, yet who was I kidding? I knew I couldn’t have given her a fraction of the life she really deserved. Did Ava really deserve a life like mine? A life where she would be homeless for a while, or watch her mom get beat up by her boyfriend? Live in motel to motel. Get taken away from school because your mother was an “unfit” parent? To live from aunt to aunt. Have your grandma be your mom? I’m not saying my whole childhood was bad, yet it was very confusing for a long time. It has taken me 24 years to finally accept my life on how I was raised, who my mother is, that yes I may be emotionally messed up and broken yet It is my choice to move on and accept that I’m a beautiful mess. I have flaws and that’s OKAY!

(((Those who believe in abortion, I clearly don’t mean to offend you in any way, this is my body, this was my choice. I chose to place my birth daughter up for adoption and no it wasn’t a mistake, it was a gift, a gift of life. A blessing at that. ))

It took me a long time to accept that I was going to have a child and that I needed to do the right thing, even though it was going to be extremely hard. I needed to do what was right. I had to open up my heart to people I didn’t know, people that I only have met a few times. People I fell in love with right away. They didn’t want to just help me at my deepest plea, they wanted another child to call their own. One to embrace, one to love, one to teach about the world and its beauty. These adoptive parents became family. My open adoption with Ava, is easy and hard all the same time. The first two years I was very active yet I noticed I was being so selfish at times. I needed time to heal and move on, to accept that this was not just a temporary fix, that this here was real life. I moved away not to escape yet to heal, to find my voice. To find who I was as a person. I thought I was in love yet come on who was I kidding. He didn’t love me for the right reasons, for he would always tell me I was a failure because I choose adoption. Yes I have gotten my fair share of people throwing this in my face, till this day. I met Derrik while I was away from home. He is my prince charming in so many ways. He is the one. He completes me, yes we have our faults and hard times yet there is one thing this man has always done, to continue to remind me that I am strong woman. That I did the right thing. That Ava loves me and will learn to love me. Derrik is right in so many ways.

Placing has its beautiful moments, the moments of getting a picture sent to you in the mail, FaceTime calls, talking on the phone for a few hours, yet the thing that brings my heart to joy and warms my heart is when Ava and her sister Lilly can both tell me they love me. I have not only made a difference in one person’s life but a whole family. I noticed this past year I yet I made a difference in Lilly’s life. She gets to have a bond with Ava that no one else will. A sister bond one that I wish I had.  My story isn’t over yet for I am literally taking it one day at a time. I have my ups and downs, my silent cries, sometimes I bust out laughing when no one is around,  I talk to myself most days ( Yes I am a tad crazy at times.) Sometimes I have a dark cloud hanging over me, I get sad, I cry, sometimes my heart just feels weak, then I kick myself in the ass and I have Derrik who is here to help remind me that everything is okay. Even when I refuse to take his comforting. I still have some broken bridges yet I have learned that I am okay with that. I am okay with losing some people that I had in my life at one time. I have learned especially after having my son that the people that stay with you through the hardest times and embrace you with love are the people you want to keep around, are the people you want your own child to know. So that one day when my son sees a love one hurting he will know what to do. To offer his love, even when they push him away. To not give up, yet to always be there for them, it’s this act of love I needed the most and I still do till this day when I have my bad days. I did a beautiful and selfless act, I have finally now have accepted this past year. I am a birth mom and it’s taken me four years to say that loud and proud, my story isn’t over yet;

-Samantha M.

Throughout this journey I have meet some pretty awesome Birth Mothers and yes Birth Fathers! I asked on this group I am apart of anyone wanted to share their story with me; here are their stories:

A couple that placed together and still have managed to stay together. After placing not many couples stay together for a long time, yet this couple here is proving everything and everyone wrong!!

“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in your heart you never knew even existed until you love a child in so many ways you never knew possible”

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-My name is Lauren I’m 23.

I’m Cody and I’m 21.

We placed our son around 6 months ago to an amazing family who we see and hear from all of the time. For me (Lauren) placing Wesley was our only option. I have school to finish, and we’re not financially or emotionally stable enough. I’m an adoptee myself and I grew up with an amazing life and amazing relationship with my birth mom so that also helped. I knew that we could never give him the greatest life, a good life? Sure, but he deserves so much more than that. So it was a no brainer and his adoptive family has made it so much easier.

Placing for me (Cody) was kind of difficult for me. I think Lauren being adopted herself helped it be easier for her, but I had a hard time wrapping my head around placing my son with another family. But during most of Lauren’s pregnancy I was deployed and I knew this would happen again a time or two in our lives, and I don’t want to miss out on my child’s life for months at a time, plus I knew I wasn’t mature enough and we weren’t financially ready. It was difficult being away for all of the big moments and missing the birth of Wesley, but I was as involved as I could have been. Now that I’m home I like getting the updates and going to visit my son and his family and seeing them all together it just makes sense, I love them and they’ve become an extension of our family.

The biggest struggle we really faced was not being able to be together during everything, it was hard not having my go to person there during my birth (Lauren), it was hard not being able to be there for her, through the hospital visits, pain, cravings, during and after the birth (Cody) I felt helpless because she was all alone, it still amazes me she went through everything by herself.

Another thing that was hard was once I placed Wesley in his mother’s arms I just handed her my heart, then I went home with no baby, no son, and I felt empty, but his family is what got me by honestly, they just keep me so in the loop, and they treat me like family.

We’re not ashamed of placing our son, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We gave a family the greatest blessing you can ever give someone, and we gave our son the gift of an amazing life.

I’m proud to be a birth-mom because I feel so strong, I feel like I’ve been through one of the most difficult things a woman can go through and I survived, I’m a stronger woman because of it.

I’m proud to be a birth-father because I have a special bond that I feel like not a lot of other people can know and understand. It’s a different love.

Carrie; this woman here, her story is so shocking, so raw. I embraced her the moment I finished reading her story, I cried, I smiled because the hope, the pain, the beauty she has is special and strong all the same time. 

“I don’t know what this journey will be. I do know that the love I have for you will never fade”

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Here is my Thoughts

Broken or Not?

I once thought that only the birthparents were broken. Why do we as birthparents think that Adoptive parents are perfect, and will be a “perfect” family? We all hope and pray that in the short time we get to spend with them that they will never change. I know that I wanted my daughter raised by a married couple, wanted her to have a “perfect” life, dance lessons, music lessons, and well on all the other things that we can dream up in our minds that we feel our children deserve. Well nothing in life is guaranteed. Heck nothing is a guarantee. I want to share my story of what just happened to me.

I woke up Wednesday to find a message from my Amom saying” I am going to swallow my pride now and am going to ask you for help now.” I went to look at her facebook page because that is how we stay in contact and found that she needed bail money. I was in shock. I have been dealing with this fear for a while, but now my nightmare has come true. These parents are the ones I trusted. I had always wanted her raised by a married couple, but that is not always a guarantee in life. Heck nothing is guaranteed in life. While I was talking to her on the phone to find out what was going on she told me we needed to talk face to face. I agreed. I was also told that my daughter that I placed wanted to meet me and with everything going on she needed, and wanted it. I was scared to death. All my fears so far were happening, now what if she hates me, what if this and what if that’s were all I could think of. Once I was out of my van she hugged me and I told her I loved her and missed her. I was so worried that she would not want to hug me or talk to me, she is a shy young lady, so I was not expecting much conversation either. After we hugged, we sat there and laughed and giggled and it felt so right. I feel whole now. I was able to put that necklace on her that was my strength when i needed it. So now Amom and I are having our discussions about what was going on. I found out that well, they are divorced, and now they were both battling their own drug addictions. I was sad that my daughter had to watch both her parents put her on the back burner. So meeting her was a blessing for her. So you may be wondering if I am questioning my Placement. NO I am not. I made the choice to place her for a reason, now I am sure this reason has been made clear to me. My daughter’s amom was there for me when I was in need of help, so it is only right that I be there for both my Amom and my daughter. My Amom is going to be checking into a 45 day inpatient rehab to help her with her addictions. Yes, I am hurt that this happened, but it does not change my thought about her as a mom. I have agreed to be there for her so that she will have a clean person to cheer her on in her sobriety. I am so glad that she was this honest with me and told me.

I could have looked at this and allowed it to put me in a very dark spot .It is all in how you look at life. They were there for me when I needed them most. Yes I am angry and hurt and I feel betrayed, but that is a negative way to look at life. They are human and make mistakes just like me. I have to turn my anger to god and let him guide me and be my strength when I need it. This was a blessing for all involved. Amom did not have to be honest with me. It shows that she trusts me and wants me to be a part of her recovery, and I will stand by her side just like she was by my side when I had our daughter and had to deal with the fact that I was rapped and was having a baby. This by no means was this easy. I had to really put my boundaries in place. I had to take a chance and not over step my role and respect the Amom. She never had to tell me. As long as she needs me I will be there for her. Anybody that knew me those 3 short years ago know that I would have bailed out Amom, gave her my car and made sure that k bug was taken care of, but I placed her for adoption because this was not something I could do at that moment in my life. They adopted her because they were able to provide for her. We as birthparents feel broken but we are not alone, adoptive parents are human just like us. They make choices and they are not are not perfect. It is our job as birthparents to not be bitter and not show judgmental love, but we need to show unconditional love no matter what the situation is. Now that I have shared this experience with everyone, I hope that you take what I have learned and apply to your own life whether it is adoption related or not, because only you can OWN your story.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Nicole through a support group on Facebook. We have formed a friendship of one that I know I can talk to about relationships, self-love and best of all adoption.

No one else will even know the strength of my love for you.”

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8 years ago I found myself pregnant at 19. I was scared, ashamed, and unprepared. After a long while of considering my options, I decided open adoption was the best choice for both of us. I wanted to be 19, as selfish as that may be. And I wanted her to have both parents, love and stability. Everything she deserved and I couldn’t provide. Although it was the hardest choice I have ever made in my life, I stand by saying it was the best. Every day I struggle with a piece of my heart missing. They say when you have a child, it’s like a piece of your heart walking around outside your body. That couldn’t be truer. But, the lovely thing about open adoption is, that piece of my heart is never far from me. I know her, I see her, and I got to hug her so tight recently. My heart is so full because of open adoption. I have an extended family who has seen me through some of my hardest days, and I get the comfort of knowing that little girl is right where she was intended. For all of those reasons I am proud to be a birth mom. Proud to be part of this community made of the smartest, strongest men and women I know. I am stronger, braver and unstoppable. I had to be for my birth daughter. I had to be for myself. My truth matters because I am proud to be strong, brave and a birth mom.

We all have different truths, different stories. Yet our pain is still the same. We all have felt hurt, sadness, and happiness throughout our journeys. It’s when we can form a community and surround ourselves with people that just get it, or better yet want to be there even if they don’t.

Believe

Believe

About a month ago my aunt had asked me if I would make a few tops for my cousins. I simply said “YES”! I was happy and filled with so much joy that she had an interest in what I was doing. That she BELIEVED in me. I asked her what she wanted. She simply said, Believe.IMG_4129

It got me thinking long and hard about this word. It didn’t click much with me at all. It didn’t mesh very well. I needed to believe in myself, because I simply wanted to be unstoppable. I want to be fearless, I want to be strong, and I want to be successful. I want to be free.

Even though we are miles away, we still have a strong bond. A bond I know in my heart is hard to break. She just gets it. She gets me, she understands that I am broken in some areas, yet she always embraces me. She simply loves me. I guess in other words you can say she believes. It took me to do a lot of self-healing and accepting that my aunt did the best she could when she could. She held my hand during my whole pregnancy with Ava. She herself embraced Ava and loves her more than anyone will ever know. She wanted to take the time to be a part of my messy yet beautiful life. She supported me and all of me even if she didn’t agree with everything I did, or how I saw things.

Growing up she always would tell me

“Do what is right Sammie, not what is easy”IMG_4155

In my heart I knew what was ‘right’ and what was ‘easy’. My heart told me another while my mind tried to take over and try to feed me lies. I slowly believed the lies, I let them control my emotions, I let the lies control me. Yet it took getting my hands messy once again and put my boots on because I was going to get dirty, I was going to get messy. I was ready to dig deep and face the pain. I was ready to feel those raw emotions and let them sink in. I want to feel love, joy, happiness, and believe in myself! I was ready. I am still am!

Going through fonts with my aunt, making this top become alive was truly fun. I’m happy that her and I have a top that we can call our ‘’own’’ and share it with one another. For I have learned its not the miles that separate us from one another, it’s the commitment we want to put forward. It’s the effort we show. The little reminders of “I believe in you” or “I’m so proud of you” is what helps me know I’m doing the right thing, not what is easy.  
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“You are braver that you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Top: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ourunendingjourney

ABLE; With Olivia.

Olivia contacted me asking if My Truth would be a sponsor for her, on her Miss Missouri Teen USA Pageant Show. IMG_3876

At first I was a bit hesitant to do so, for the typical standers what pageants give off. Having “high” standard for young and adult women being self cautious of their bodies, with how they should look, you must be thin, stuck up, or better yet you’re not beautiful unless you have on layers and layers of makeup. Yet when Olivia reached out to me, I knew in my heart there was something different about her. As I got to know a little bit of her and get inside her heart and soul. I saw that there was this young girl, full of life, full of dreams, full of fire. SHE WANTS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

She believes in what I’m doing. She simply wanted to help me, spread the word of “My Truth” spread the word of self healing. Self love, Self acceptance. That adoption is okay. That everyone matters.

I asked her to think long and hard about why she choose the word “ABLE”

“My dad is actually an abusive alcoholic and has been my entire life. Earlier this summer we actually left him and saying it’s hard is an understatement. I chose able because I am able to move past this, able to make something of myself and capable of not letting the past define me. Competing for Miss Missouri has given me a new dream to work towards so that whenever I’m feeling down, stressed, or full of anxiety, I focus on preparation rather than being stuck in the dark spot in my life.”

This is a beautiful young woman. This is a strong young woman I’m wanting to embrace with so much love.

Yet meeting Olivia I learned that ABLE can have so many meanings to everyone.

For me I was always sad, I was always alone; emotionally and mentally. I wasn’t able to tell my story. I wasn’t able to be free. I’m free now because I am ABLE to live, I am ABLE to tell my story now.

Your past is not your story, once you realize this it has no power over you. I don’t have the fear of rejection anymore. IMG_3962

I’m okay with knowing what it’s like to feel hurt and pain, and to learn to slowly cope with it on my own time. To being able to dig deep and get my hands messy. I have embraced that I have a beautiful mind and soul, that I am perfectly flawed. That I am me. My mission isn’t over for it has just begun.