Sunday, May 29, 2016

Do you wear your past?

I just got back from swimming with my sister and her family. I took the oldest 3 while baby Lenny stayed with her dad. We laughed, played, jumped, threw, and chased each other. It was such a fun and needed day with family. I realized shortly into our day, that being with them made me breath easier, and relax in a way I haven't in months. After getting back to the house, the kids left to go to their grandmas house with their dad. I was about to jump in the shower, when the thoughts started running through my mind. Lately I have thought to myself, "I should write that down so I can write about it later."  And then I continue on doing whatever it is and I forget. Today, was different. 

I have been on a LONG journey learning to love my body for what it is. I have come to accept what it is, what it can be, and what it will be. I am amazed at what it is capable of, and what it can be capable of, and what it will do.

Toady, as I walked to the shower, I looked at my body in a way I haven't before. I noticed that the extra sun I got from being outside the last 2 days, has accentuated those beautiful stretchmarks I received when I got pregnant with my children. I don't really think they are beautiful, I know other women do, but I don't. What I DO think, is that they are a visible sign of my past, my motherhood, my ability that I was lucky enough to be able to carry 5 children. It is a visible appearance of choices made, of stress, of sadness, of heartbreak. It is the ability to see redemption, faith, hope, and love. 

As a birth mother, I still get told that I should just, "let it go, and move on...", and so on and so forth. Something that I don't believe many realize, is that even though we could, MAYBE, forget those babies we loved so much, some of us have daily reminders of them.  I feared being intimate after placing that baby for adoption. I feared dating, and being close to anyone, because then someday they would actually SEE me. They would see the marks, they would SEE my past. 
Some of us LITERALLY WEAR our pasts. We do not choose to hang on and remember every day; or do we really even want to remember in the beginning.  But, my choices led to a pregnancy, which led to my body changing, stretching, moving, and becoming something opposite of what it was prior. My past has not faded physically, but has even been more accentuated because of the other children I had. If it were not for those stretchmarks, I probably wouldn't remember daily. I probably would not have been so scared and closed off.  Then again, I probably would have been the same because I was so changed. I was so different. I was trying so hard to be something I wasn't, and hide something I was. 

I wear my history on my body. 

Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes its joyful. Sometimes I accept it; and sometimes I do not. I felt imperfect, and I believe many of the boys a dated after thought so as well. That is why they didn't last, or didn't even begin. There is more to having a fresh start, for us as birth mothers, when we physically see our past. It is hard to move forward, it is hard to forgive, its especially hard to feel like we fit in. 

Remember, for us, that we wear our past. Most of us do, anyway. We won't forget. We will have fear about our future spouse, our families, the people we date... Will they believe we are worthy if they SEE my history?  Remember for us, adoptive families, that we don't forget and that we love you. That the moments when we may not like you as we grieve, that we DO remember why we chose you.  That we have to hold onto the reminders that we are Daughters of God, Daughters of a King. That despite our choices, our failures, our fears... that He is waiting for us to allow him to forgive us. For His grace, his love, his mercy. 

I know I need to remember that right now more than I ever have before... 

I am enough. I am imperfectly perfect. I am loved. I am lifted. I am His. I am a Daughter of God.

So are you. We can wear our pasts, and do so with class, with self confidence, and with a desire to continue to make better choices. WE ARE SO UNBELIEVABLY ENOUGH. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Twelve Years

12 years ago.

Today, at 1:00 I was supposed to have been at LDSFS to place my baby boy in the arms of his mom and dad.  His eternal family was waiting for him, just like they had been for years. The difference on that day, was the waiting was ending in the physical presence of their child.  

I can look back today and cry because of all the little miracles that took place that led me to them.  All the tender mercies that allowed hearts to be softened, and hearts to be filled with faith as we made a decision to place our child for adoption.  
After laying my own baby down for a nap today, I am blessed, even more, of the knowledge i have of eternal families.  The fact that these children were sent to me, and i get the privilege to be the mom I always wanted to be.  That even though the time was not right for me to be E's mom, the time was right for him to be sent to me, so that I could get him to his mom.  I didn't have to wait, and hurt, and ache for a child. I didn't have to even "try" to have one, The handful of times that I had sex landed me pregnant at 18.  But, I am thankful that I did get pregnant, because it has taught me much, and let me know some truly one of a kind people.  

On this day 12 years ago, I sat in my parents living room.  Preparing for the placement of my first born.  Something that I really didn't prepare for in any way. Pictures were being taken, diapers changed, gifts being put together, bags being packed.  I held him, took in every single detail, and ever smell.  I talked, whispered, promised, and cried.  The house that I came to hate, was a house that I had come to; to spend the last few hours with my baby.  It was quieter than it had ever been, at least that is how I remember feeling it was.  No one raised their voices, everyone was soft, gentle, and had a prayer in their heart.  My baby sisters and brother came to say goodbye to the baby they had only known for a few short days... a few short hours really.  

I feel as tired today as I did then.  But today I won't lay down with a tiny little boy.  Today I will take care of my own babies, my very own boy, and my very own little girls.  I wonder if I feel tired because of the emotions and experiences this year has held, and especially in the last few weeks.  Or if I am tired because I get to be a mom.

How did this time go so fast?  How did it all change so quickly, and still continues to change?  The unknown is still readily available in front of me.  12 years later and i have come to accept the fact that things are the way they are.  That 12 years later, its ok to keep this sweet memory and sweet moments to myself.  That its ok that I don't share details, or pictures, or experiences with my family.  And its most definitely ok to be angry with them for experiences in the last 12 years.  Part of grieving is doing so in layers, and I now grieve over my family, and what they will miss out on.  
But 12 years later, I get to celebrate, love, and support, and shout that I DO NOT regret that decision to place that boy for adoption.  I absolutely, 100%, with out a doubt know that he was not mine, and that he was always supposed to get to his mom and dad.  I know that whatever the story, whatever the reason, that in the preexistence his parents, myself, and E sat together and discussed the moments that would bring us back together on earth.  I know that we chose this, and I know that i did it to get him to them... for me or them... or him... I don't know... but I know it was RIGHT.

12 years later and he has been raised to be one incredible young man.  He loves his family, loves his mom, serves, and is SO smart.  He is more than I ever hoped he would be.  He is everything he is because of his mom and dad.  He has every opportunity to achieve his dreams.  He has support, love, faith, and people who believe he CAN.  He is super handsome.  He is perfect.  

I hope that the next 12 years he continues to go on the path he has been shown.  That he continues to be the boy he is now.  That he does what he wants, and achieves his dreams.  

Thank you, E, for letting me be your birth mom.  Thank you R & S, for the love and support always.  And for letting me love your son, and your other babies, and your families!  I am so lucky to have been blessed to have my family grow because of you three.  

Happy Birthday on the 28th.  Happy anniversary today.  Keep going.  Keep smiling.  

I will keep loving you forever and ever.  


Saturday, June 20, 2015

5 months

Its been almost 6 months since I've written.... I am not sure what to write today.  Computer-less for almost 6 months. Thoughts building up for almost 6 months.  And today, I don't know what to say.

So, to be honest, today I hate adoption.

Today, I hate being a birth mother. I hate the supposed "birth mom bond" that is supposed to unite birth parents.  I hate that I got involved in the adoption community.  Today, I just hate it.  Its been months of feeling so much anger and disgust. Not just for others, but for myself as well.

6 months after placing, LDSFS had set up a plan for updates.  For the first 3 months, I got pictures and letters once a week.  Since I, apparently, lived in the stone age, we communicated by letters, in the mail.  Pictures were printed and sent with the letter.  I had usually 5 or more pictures with each letter. They updated me on how E was doing, and how they were doing.  For three months, I very much needed to know how he was.  I needed that affirmation to keep my head on straight.  I needed to know that my decision was right.  I knew that he would have been in such a toxic atmosphere those first 3 months(had I parented).  But, I still needed to know that he was OK(even if Ii knew he was).  Every letter, every picture, eased so much pain and FEAR.  I SAW the joy in each face in each picture. I saw him being held, cherished, loved, adored, and carefully cared for.  He was perfection, and so were his family.

The next 3 months I received pictures every other week.  With each letter that arrived in the mail, more and more anxieties, fears, and pains were diminishing, many had been extinguished completely.  He was smiling, giggling, chubby, blondie, blue eyed, and the most handsome little boy EVER.  NO BATTLE.  I grew more and more love for his mom and dad, more and more love for his grandmas and grandpas, and for the every growing testament of the peace of where he was. He was home.

I owe SO SO SO SO SO much of my healing, my happiness, and my love for adoption, to his amazing mom and dad.  I was able to heal, to move forward, and grow because of their promises kept, and promises made.  Because they allowed me to know where he was, to know he was OK(with boundaries included) I was able to have peace fill my soul.

I went out with a dear birth mom friend this week.  My heart broke, tears were shed, and anger filled my heart towards people who "owe" so much to her.  I say that and then want to smack myself because they don't owe her.  Adoptive families don't owe us anything.  You don't owe a birth parent anything. We made the choice, we made the plan, we followed through. We chose to sign relinquishment papers, we chose to not be mom.  BUT, in that, we are still a mom, we still love them with every single ounce of our being.

Though you don't owe us "anything", you do owe us something.  By sacrificing every bit of human nature because we love our children.  Because we broke every ounce of mothering instinct to place those babies into the arms of the families that were supposed to be, we truly, TRULY, deserve respect.  I know there are lines, I know every situation is different.  I AM NOT BLIND to the crazy, to the alcoholic, to the mentally incapable, to the drugged... there are situations where you can be respectful but have to have VERY tight and closed boundaries.

What I can say, is that though adoption will not be "them" it will not define them completely, it will be  HUGE part of who they are.  Because of adoption, they have a home, they have a family.  Because of adoption they aren't biologically the same... so that will cause medical situations.  It will be a part of them.  My numerous adopted friends(since before I became a birth parent) say that adoption is a part of them, not defining them, but a part of them.

Adoption, for birth parents, doesn't define us either. It doesn't say what kind of person we are because we became pregnant and chose to place a child for adoption. It doesn't make us sluts, or whores, or druggies, or terrible horrible no good people.  It doesn't make us all crazy, or angry, or ruined.  For many, it helps us find out who we really are.  For many it made us open our eyes to what we REALLY wanted in life.  For many, it was the only way back to Him.

Respect us.  Love us. You can do so with boundaries.  UPDATE your birth families.  Let them know how those littles are doing, how YOU are doing. Let them know they are healthy and happy.  Let them know that they are THRIVING.  Why should you do this?  Because without knowledge, we are left empty.  We are left to question the very thing we chose. We are left in wonder of their health, their bonding, their well being.  Update, because those pictures and letters, even if its a quick text, or short 1 paragraph email, THOSE HEAL.  Those pictures were a CONSTANT reaffirmation of RIGHT.  They were always there to set my aching heart back to peaceful.  I KNEW he was fine, and he was where he was supposed to be.

So... we can even go a step further...


They happen.  Crazy right.  I mean, how can someone "give away" their child and then expect a visit?  No, this is not a like a divorce. No, we do not share parenting responsibilities(nor should parenting responsibilities be shared).  We do not get them "ever other weekend", or "for the summer" or whatever it is that divorcees have to deal with.  BUT what there can be, are in person visits, to show love and care for all those involved in the adoption triad.

Could you believe, that when I saw that little boy for the first time, I was scared, and maybe a little heartbroken?  I had waited 2 years to see him in real life again, and when I did, I realized he wasn't my little boy.  That part was heartbreaking; that he grew up from my 3 day old baby.  At three days old he became a member of his eternal family.  I was scared because I didn't know how I would feel. I was scared that I would break down. That the connection with his parents wouldn't be there... Did you know, though, that as they walked forward with their families, all those fears were filled with pure and utter HAPPINESS and EXCITEMENT!!!!  I couldn't have been more happy that he didn't have a clue who I was, and that he clung to his mom and dad.  It was a dream come true.  Could you believe that SO SO SO many holes and questions and fears were healed.  HEALED!

I could have gone the rest of my life with little to no contact after that day.  Why?  Because I saw, first hand, that he was PERFECT.  I have such a testimony of the power of prayer, of faith, and of God answering questions.  That moment strengthened me, and showed me much of what I had lost when I became pregnant. That day, helped me... find me.

When people say that they have never seen their birth child/children after placement, it breaks my heart. Only, because I know what it did for my heart, my soul, and my mind.  It breaks my heart because even thought they say they are ok(which i know there are some who are truly ok) they aren't.  I can't say that every single birth parent deserves a visit.... we all know when they shouldn't or can't.  But, in a lot of cases, we just would love to see them WITH YOU.  Pictures are wonderful, letters are amazing, and texts are like Christmas morning, but being able to see them, with our own eyes....  PEOPLE I CAN'T TELL YOU WHAT IT DID FOR ME. There are no words to express it. There is no way to show it.  But I can STILL feel it, when I think about it.

So why do I Hate adoption today...  because I hate adoption for my families, who just want to see those families.  Who just would love to sit down and watch y'all interact, and be a family.  I hate it for so many other reasons right now too...

I know I don't have people reading this a lot... I think that is good because it wasn't my desire for this... and it is going to be very sporadic writing anymore.  I am pulling out of the adoption community. I need out. I need a break. I need solace.  I need peace.  I am lucky to know the people I do because of adoption. I am lucky to be friends with so many now.  I'll keep those intact...  but I can't put this out there anymore.  Not like I have been.  Its kinda ruined me lately.  And I hate it.   So ... for my last post for however long... Adoptive families(who are REAL families) I hope you can see and hear what has been written.  I know that you know what will work, what is possible, what is right.  But I also hope that hearts will be softened and that you'll be able to let a visit happen, or even be able to send those pictures they are so desperately needed.  They will heal. They will give peace. They will save.