Sunday, September 16, 2012

Group & my hardest day in 9 years.

I know I need to get back to "my story" but its much more fun when people ask questions!
Plus, I was able to go home for a week and that made it possible to go to my "group".  

At LDS Family Services, they have a "group" for single expectant mothers. I've motioned it before. BUT, since moving away 6 years ago I don't get to attend often anymore. I have, and will probably continue, to mention my desire to do MORE with my experience in adoption.  In that, I try to get to group as much as possible. I want to be there to answer any questions someone may have, or be able to help in anyway that I can.  This time, I forgot group starts at 4:00 here... so I was late.. 100% late. I only made it for the last 15 minutes of the meeting:( BUT, I was able to share a little and answer a few questions.

How is life 9 years after placing?  What has been your favorite moments?  Is it still hard? Was his 1 year birthday hard? Was the finalization day hard?  ... The questions I didn't want to answer was this: 
What has been the hardest moment in the last 9 years?

Honestly, I haven't had very many really hard moments in the last 9 years. I think that is a blessing from my Heavenly Father. I am more aware now of the moments of clarity surrounding my placement. I also have felt, 100% of the time, that placing was the right decision.  I have never had a moment where I truly regretted placing. I have always known he is with his parents, his family, and that is how its supposed to be. I have always trusted them and even, at some very small moments, when I have hoped for something and it didn't happen, knew it was RIGHT. 
So, what has been the hardest moment in the last 9 years? Well... it came last year, in October, when I had to drop off his Birthday/baptism gift to his little sisters Birth Mom, and I had to drive home, as she got to drive south to attend the sealing of their little family.  

I don't know what it was, but I felt completely broken that day. I wasn't angry about placing I wasn't angry about the baptism, the sealing, anything... Mostly, I was jealous. I was jealous that she was able to attend the sealing of that little girl to her parents. I had talked with my sister(aka S), and knew that I may or may not be invited to attend the sealing/baptism.  I felt, at the moment we drove away from each other, that whatever happened was fine and that it was no big deal. I honestly did not think that not being there would affect me like it did. And, I think, I was just jealous, and it broke my heart.  It was a hard couple weeks. I kept wondering if they were going to call and say, "We would love for you to come...".  And I wondered if they would call and say, "We think it best that you don't come." Which, I would have completely understood.  Its hard, I do my best to include E's brother and sister in gifts etc. But I never remember their birthdays and I never remember to ask when they are.  I would at least like to send cards to them. I mean, hello, they are my little buddies too!  
Anyway. I never got a call saying they were or weren't inviting me. So, I brushed it off and was fine. I then found that little miss A's Birth Mom was going to be down there for her sealing. And I lost it.  OK, not completely but I did go out to my husband and cry a little because I was jealous.  I was jealous, and then I was so completely happy that she was going to be able to SEE them as an eternal family. 

* another moment where open adoptions are a huge POSITIVE*
I know she had healed in ways I hadn't at that point. 

Anyway. I decided instead of mailing his gift down, I would just send it with her. I ended up waiting, what felt like FOREVER, to meet her a few hours from my house, and the waiting was no good for me. I put on a happy face, and smiled and laughed and did all that, when inside I wanted to cry. I wanted to tell her how jealous I was of her, but how happy I was as well. But I just said how happy I was for her and to give them all big hugs and kisses from me.  

As I drove away, I'd gotten to where I had service, I called my mom(which I rarely do when it comes to the whole adoption thing), and could no longer hold back the tears. "I know they have a good reason for not inviting me, and I know that its gotta be right, but I didn't think it would bother me. I didn't think I would ever be upset over it.  I wish I were B, that I was able to not be involved with the birth fahter, maybe that would have helped my emotions in the beginning and I could have been there. Ugh, I hate crying over this..." Obviously, it was ridiculous that I was crying over it. 
I wasn't sad, thinking "my little boy is getting baptized and I wont' see it..." NO, not at all, not in the slightest. What I was missing was my FAMILY. I was missing such an amazing moment. I was missing eternity.  I wanted to see his DAD baptize him.  See his Dad, Grandpa's, Uncles, etc give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. I wanted to see them come out of the temple with their new baby girl, together, as an eternal family. 

All I know, is it does still sting a little, but I know that everything is fine. That the way it is; is right. 
That day, was truly, the hardest day in 9 years.  I was jealous... am jealous(lets be honest) of their relationship. BUT, I have had 9 years:)  and that makes me lucky!  They are absolutely INCREDIBLE. And should ever anyone disagree with me, you will get a swift kick in the knees!!! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

my very first little

On Friday, we celebrated my very first Little's birthday!!!!
5 years old, and so tall, and blond, and beautiful! 
Little did I know, that she would be my loudest, craziest, grumpiest little ever. If she doesn't get the sleep she needs, you know it. And she tries ever so hard to be a grown up. Tonight she posed the question, "Why can't I just be an adult like you and do the things you do?" I wish I could go back to her little days and wish to be big, instead of actually being big.

I remember that day, the day she decided she was ready to come see us. It was a Sunday, just like E, and I started having contractions, just like E. I even went to church and sat through DJ teaching our Sunday School class. Just like with baby E.  It was oddly the same, even left the for the hospital at the same time.  It was a quick 5 hours, I got scared and had the epidural too soon, and didn't dare tell them it was too much. So, we slowed a bit.  BUT, in that time, I got to talk about how I was gong to have my own baby. I was going to be able to bring her to my house, and name her, and take care of her. I would be the one to witness all those "firsts".  I was so excited.

Once I saw her precious little face, my heart came to my throat and about choked me.  I couldn't believe how much I loved her. I said a little prayer, thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing me to bring E to the world, so that I would be so much more grateful to this little angel!  The first thing I said,... "what do I do now?"  I didn't nurse E, how was I supposed to do that with her? What could I do? I didn't know what to do with a baby of my own. I didn't put her down once in the hospital... and her poor daddy didn't get to snuggle her much for probably 2 weeks straight!  I couldn't put her down, I was afraid I'd wake up from this dream and she'd be gone.  I finally relaxed. She was here. She was my very own. And I loved her!

Happy birthday to the cutest 5 year old EVER!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Open Adoption

I have come to love, even more, open adoption. 

As I have said numerous times, when I placed adoptions were "semi open". Ultimately, it was decided on between the Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents how open or closed the adoption would be after the 6 month mark.  Those first 6 months were all dependent on the rules of LDSFS.

As I sit here crying, I am more in love with the idea of open adoptions as they are now, because of a couple reasons. 1: I just watched Candace's videos HERE (the finalization of Jamison's Adoption) and HERE(Jamison's homecoming).  Seeing the JOY and LOVE and EXCITEMENT of their family members meeting that little boy for the first time... i've never witnessed anything like that, and it was just another thing telling me its right. Adoption is such a blessing and a great opportunity. Im grateful for Candace for posting those videos, because its a light into their world!

After being able to talk and meet with girls that have had Open Adoptions over the last, even 3 years, I am so utterly jealous. Not only jealous, but absolutely thrilled that the world is becoming more knowledgeable and open to the idea of Open Adoptions.  This is not to say that my own adoption isn't open, but its even still different than these girls. 

As a Birth Mom I can't even imagine being able to see my little baby days, or weeks, or just months after placing. As a Birth Mom, I have seen such a tremendous amount of healing that these girls have been able to have with Open Adoption.  I have seen these girls THRIVE in life after placement, and have seen them come to understand and be OK with so much in such a short time. I was not even close to where they are currently even a year after placing.  So, PART of that problem could have been attributed to the fact that I attempted to stay "together" with the Birth Father, but I also believe it was partly the way our adoption was. AND IT WASN'T EVEN BAD.  I think I would have had an easier time to heal if we could have continued on talking on the phone... I miss(even now) not being able to talk to them during those last few weeks that I was pregnant.  And I still wish I could go back in time and have R & S there to see their baby boy come into the world.  I wished it sitting at the house, in the car on the way to the hospital, and in that bed.  If we could have, I would have had them there.

I have been able to become a part of a "group"(I'll call it), called Open Adoption Open Heart, on Facebook, and its basically a public site where we try to get the word out about Open Adoption, we have little quotes, stores, and other things that we post or share. Also, if someone has a question or comment they can post those as well.  The people who started this page are Jammie and Russell, and even though I've not met them in person, they are amazing. And Jammie, how I wish we lived closer, I think we would be great friends;).  Um, so being able to be a part of that has been so healing as well.  There are other Bmoms, Aparents, and such and the stories they share are awesome. They are such great Adoptive parents, and their little babies are oh so cute! Plus, they LOVE their Bmoms:)!  And their kids. The BIGGEST THING I can say, is about the book that Russell wrote about their adoption journey, and their choice in Open Adoption.  EVERYONE should read it!  AMAZING. You can buy it from his page HERE

There are so many different levels of Open adoption, and some people would probably come to think that my adoption is more open than theirs. I have told Russell and Jammie that theirs is more open than mine, they've actually gone to the Bmoms house, and she has come to theirs. I've never been to my families house, but I have been to their sisters, and their parents.  It always has to be what is best for the baby, for the family, for the bmom, etc etc.  Only you guys will know what is right.  But, I think having it even semi-open does incredible things. 

My cute girls, that I was able to come in contact with because they were going to place with R&S, have done amazing things!  Biz(:)), got married, has a great job, and is living life. She was able to see her little girl when they came back to Utah to Finalize things here, that made me cry and oh so jealous(in a good way though I wasn't angry in anyway!). And she has even seen them since when she has gone to visit her family, and was able to be there when they were sealed.  The same goes for Lyss, that girl is one strong cookie.  She has been able to talk to them, they text pictures etc.  I think she saw him just a month ago, and is doing really well. 

Now, I think it all depends on what you want.  I know, PERSONALLY, that when I go to see them, I'm going to see my family.  Its doesn't feel right to say, "I'm going to see my baby." Nope, he isn't, he is theirs, he was meant to be theirs, and i know he was!!!  I still feel such a GREAT DEAL of love for them that they are his mom and dad.  I love hearing them calling R & S mom and dad. HELLO, that is who they are, and its PERFECT.  I love being Angel Jena, or Jena, or friend, or whatever!  I think its such an honor!!!!

If you are nervous about Open Adoption, go to our FB page - here -  and send a message, or talk to someone, I am SURE there is someone around you who has and Open Adoption or knows about it. You can also watch more about Open Adoption on the link above and also HERE