Monday, March 31, 2014

STOP IT


Is it truly so hard to STOP?

After my previous post, I've had a few FEW people come to me and start going off about Yes I hate This group and that group... or I can't do stuff with this group because that group will get mad... etc.  SERIOUSLY.  KNOCK IT OFF.

There are many groups out there in support of adoption, of birth moms, of adoptive couples, of hopefuls, the list goes on.  I am part of A LOT of groups.  I don't pick apart what one group does better than the other. I don't pick which people are the worst in that group. I don't worry about any of that. If someone is having a hard time, or wants to celebrate... THEN I PUT MY HELP IN WHERE NEEDED.  I am not there to criticize, to pick apart, to belittle, to spy, to break down. I am in these groups because we all need support, we all need love, and faith, and courage and mercy.  Where can we go if we can't feel safe in these areas?  

I have determined, that if there is something going on in a group; say a retreat, or a class, or a get together; if its going to help you on YOUR journey... GO AND DO IT. Join in, and do what you need to do to grow and heal.  If you need to go so you can express your story positive or negative, you should be able to do it in a safe place.  

If you are going to GOSSIP about "she stole the idea from her" or "she is stealing the idea from them", you need to take a step back.  With all the blogs, websites, facebook pages, support groups, adoption groups, etc, there is bound to be repetitiveness. BUT, I can assure you, how rare it really is for someone to "STEAL" another story.  Maybe you take and IDEA about a blog post. Or and IDEA of a doing a retreat, either way there is probably someone, somewhere, that is doing that EXACT thing that you are, or that they are.

As I stated before. We all have strengths and weaknesses.  ALL OF US.  Oh if I were to sit on here and list all my weaknesses i'd be on here for weeks. Believe me I sat down and started a list of weaknesses.  BUT, guess what, we all have strengths as well.  And what I lack in my abilities, I can learn to accept them, and grow from them. I can learn to make a weakness a strength. And I can do that by being a part of EVERYTHING..  I can do that by supporting all adoption triads, and realizing its a part of life. 

What I will do though, is be done.  I have blocked people who don't do much other than pick out every piece of negativity they can.  I have blocked those who go out of their way to pick apart every other person they can find that doesn't have a view of adoption that we may have. This is it. This is the end of this road for me. No more posts about competing, or gossiping, or whatever between adoption groups.  

I am here to find the POSITIVE, I am here to embrace the negative. I am here to do my best to help those who have had crappy adoption experiences. I am here to grow, and learn, and succeed in life. 

Stop gossiping about our community and what you do or don't know. Or what you THINK you do or don't know.  If you THINK this person is going to assume you stole their idea, GO TO THE SOURCE. Tell them of your concern, OR tell them that you got an idea from them, and that you wrote it about your story.  Good grief, if we were all allowed to only share 1 story or experience... we'd be SCREWED.  The end. We wouldn't have anything worth sharing, or growing from.  So STOP IT.  Be better. Be stronger. Be wiser. BE THE GOOD.  Push for the good. Push for the positive.  

Is that a rambling enough for the masses????  
Its all over the place I know, but oh my heart can't take anymore.  So its done. It has had all it will take. And I am going to go back to doing what I need to do to grow and heal.  What I need to do to be able to help another. Because that is what I am here to do. To be the good, to be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to have a friggin awesome sauce party with!!!!!!:)  Be jealous:)

I love this community, and all that we have in our hands to be proud of.  
So lets start being proud. Being the winners, the educators, and the fighters(in a good way). 

LOVE YOU ADOPTION GROUPS, ALL OF YOU.

We need a united front.  WE ARE ALL FIGHTING FOR THE GOOD OF ADOPTION.
How can we educate, and instill the idea of adoption if there is so much crud? Lets just stop.  
become UNITED.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Competetion?

I haven't been in the adoption advocacy game very long.  At least, not publicly. I was able to become more involved when I found Open Adoption, Open Heart.  I slowly started making comments here and there, and soon realized what a great thing this was!  

 Only within the last couple months or so, has my involvement grown and expanded to the point I am at now.  In that time I've been able to come in contact with SO MANY birth parents.  Many stories good, many stories bad, many similar to mine, and some extreme opposites.  The idea of what is possible in sharing and becoming an advocate... is AMAZING!  The things that are happening are dreams come true!  

But, then you have something else that you see on this side of the fence.  Something I wasn't prepared for, or even anticipated. The idea that there are, more than not, birth parents competing with other birth parents. Support groups, or adoption advocacy groups, competing with other groups.  To be honest, I was IN SHOCK, to say the least.  

Why. In. The. World. are we competing?!  We all came to this point, to this title, by the same ropes. We all placed children for adoption. Whether it be by choice, or by force, or in faith, or fear, we are all here sharing in this experience.  There is no one story that is the same. NOT A SINGLE ONE.  We all have a different outlook. A different experience. A different love, and life.  What we DO have, is that we are all birth parents. We all love those babies we placed, we love their parents, and even though we are all at different places, we are HERE.  

WE need to be here supporting each other, supporting ALL groups.  Supporting ALL things positive in adoption. That doesn't mean that we cower away from, or ignore the hard, negative things. But, why not take the road we are all on and build each other up?!!!   Why not push each other to be the best we can. To help others the best we can?  We are all here, together. I don't know what else to say, how else to say it... 

QUIT THE COMPETING, the BELITTLING, and the BASHING.  
Start supporting, encouraging, and celebrating!  
We are all in this together. WE all need to be better. 
Do it. It really is that simple. JUST DO IT.  BE BETTER.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Open = Awesome

Open Adoption, according to Wikipedia:
'Open adoption is a form of adoption in which the biological and adoptive families have access to varying degrees of each other's personal information and have an option of contact. In Open Adoption, the adoptive parents hold all the rights as the legal parents, yet the individuals of the biological and adoptive families may exercise the option to open the contact in varying forms: from just sending mail and/or photos, to face-to-face visits between birth and adoptive families.'

Open adoption has changed very much over the years. Adoption in General, but I'll get more detailed about that on another post. This post is going to be about my Open Adoption. Many times I've claimed a "semi-open" adoption. Which, when you look at what qualifies as open, is lame sauce that I say 'semi'.  Because there are those who truly only have "semi-open" adoptions, and I'm not sure I'd be able to heal and grow, as they have, if I had a real semi-open adoption.  

Last night I had one of the most fun nights I've had.  It included the visit with E's Auntie T.  The most enjoyable part was wanting to see her not because she is E's aunt, but because I truly love and adore her.  She came to my neck of the woods with some of her friends. They were nice enough to let me barge in on their girls weekend, and come visit with T, and even stay WAY longer than I'd expected.   Truly, I felt that I was intruding and in the way, but they were all so welcoming and loving and kind!  I was able to play, laugh, and experience life with his family, besides being with them because it was a birth mom visit.  I was able to experience joy, and laughter, and life with his Auntie, as a friend.
I hadn't seen T since my first visit with the little guy when he was 2. We have, since then, became "facebook friends", I follow her Instagram, and her blog.  She is INCREDIBLE. She has had so many challenges put into her life since she married, and she carries through with her head held high and faith firm.  A blind husband, and a disabled son due to an accident; she truly is the strongest person I know!   When I saw that she was headed down I immediately asked if we could get together for a bit.  I wasn't sure if it would happen, and wasn't sure if there would be time for me to be a bugger and intrude on their fun.  But she made the time, and invited me to see her, and meet her hilarious and such fun friends.  I got emotional as I pulled up to the house they were staying at. And had to remind myself that I AM OK:).  It was awesome to see her, and her cute little prego belly.  It was so fun to sit and talk with her and feel so comfortable. She is as perfect as her sister:).


Some things I learned:
Its true, his family is PERFECT! They are HILARIOUS. They are REAL. The are AMAZING.
I also learned that i HATE the term "adoptive family". Explaining why I hate that term, uuugh, hard to get across when posting on a blog... when you cant see what I'm feeling inside.  They are not his adoptive family.  They are his FAMILY.  Straight, simple, true. And while I know that I wouldn't be saying this 10 years ago, at least not with the feelings I have now, its something I am not going to continue saying.  They are his family 110%, as if they'd always been, as if his momma had carried him.  There is nothing adoptive about it, because he fits perfectly, looks perfectly, and is THEIRS!  I am so lucky that I was able to bring him to them. I am so lucky that I have them in my life.

I learned, that changes are happening, in a great way.  I didn't see T because I wanted to talk about little man. I wanted to see T because I wanted to hear about her baby boy, her hubby, and her soon to be baby girl!  I LOVE his family. And Open Adoption has allowed me to have relationships beyond just him, his momma and daddy, and his siblings.  I get to see his cousins, aunts, grandparents.  ITS AMAZING  I love them more today, all of them, then I did yesterday.  I dont' know what it was about last night that made some huge leap of growth and healing, I really wasn't aware there was healing left to do, but it did something. I am SO lucky to build lasting friendships with this amazing family I get to call mine.  

Its like I said last night, little E's family is PERFECT, in turn their families get the perfect card as well.  And, well, its true. His family is PERFECT.  The most kind hearted, accepting, non judgmental, loving people EVER.  All of them.  I don't get to see them often, or really talk to them one on one often, but good grief they are amazing.  They are all examples in faith and courage, & of love and sacrifice.  Truly blessings for me.  I can't wait to see T again, and to see ALL of them again. I really can't explain how fun it was, or how it made me feel to be there as a friend. Even though we are connected through adoption, I think I would be friends with them if I knew them any other way!  Or, at least, I'd want to be. They're pretty stinking cool.

Thanks for letting me join in on the fun last night girls.  New friends made, lots of laughs, and new games I'll be playing with my family!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!! 

I know this is a jumbled mess... and that some may cringe at my saying I hate the term 'adoptive couple'.  But this is how I feel. These are my opinions and thoughts. I don't want to every try to make it look that every other Birth Parent feels as I do. We all have traveled different roads. We all have different openness. I am just grateful for what I have!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creating My Own Happiness

I hadn't learned, until I finally got the guts to move from my home town, to create my own happiness. I didn't know how to be happy unless someone else "liked me", or had an interest in me; how else did I have any worth? I had made one of the biggest mistakes, and became 'used'.  I had let myself be abused, emotionally and physically. I had allowed myself to join in and scream and yell hurtful things back. That's what you do in abuse isn't it... you take it and take it and take it, and then you fight it.  TOXICITY was my ultimate downfall. And after that relationship, I couldn't hold my own. I truly felt that I had to fit them so completely, otherwise, I would end up being left.

I relied on others to make me happy. I relied on others to make me believe I had any self worth. I couldn't carry myself, or see what I was. I changed, because I thought that would make me the 'happy' I thought I needed.  I thought I knew who I was before I'd gotten pregnant, but I didn't.  But now, after becoming pregnant, after placing my first baby, after being in that relationship, I did not know who I was. I had no clue who I was. I had no worth, because I'd given what I held sacred away.  It took big steps and little steps to regain my self worth. 

Slowly, each relationship changed me and showed me something about myself. Showed me something in myself. And slowly, VERY SLOWLY, I found myself.  It didn't take away from the time it took, or the continuation of the refiners fire.  But I was learning. I had to find that, in time, it was me. I created my own happiness. Molding to others wouldn't create happiness.  Trying to fit in with the girls from high school, each boy I dated, or other friends I came in contact with over those next 3 years.  They couldn't do anything for me. I had to look at myself, alone.

Not only that, but R, S, & E couldn't create my happiness. They added to it, tremendously, but they couldn't fix my broken heart, or my aching soul.  They coudlnt' do anything, because they were already doing everything.  They had saved me and that little boy.  They created my happiness that I could grow from.  

It was only my doing that could carry me through the future. It was my goals reached, my trials triumphed, and ties broken that could make me happy.  It wasn't quick, or imminent, there was no light bulb, or flash of lighting. It was slow growing, and very much involved learning.  There were moments of forgiveness that I didn't know still needed forgiving. The moments carried off my shoulders, that was a heaviness lifted that added to my own Happiness. Ultimately it was the Atonement, through Jesus Christ, that started the change in my heart, mind, and soul.  Without that, i was just there, staring hell is the face. At least, that is what it felt like. It felt as if I was standing on that bridge, looking at the flowing waters down to hell(what I'm picturing is more like the Disney movie Hercules, when he rescues Meg. Even if that's not really what I picture as Hell).  Either way... I was right there, ready to fall and forever be bound in hell.  Ugh, it was truly utter despair.  Slowly, and surely, I then heard the voice of my Brother, Jesus Christ, reminding that if I just knock... he will be there.  And he was.

It took so much work. So much faith. So much pain. But in the end I started to realize that I was worth it.  And that If they didn't like me for who I was, that they weren't the right one for me. I knew that I could stand on my own two feet and fight the world for EVERYTHING I wanted and dreamed.  And it was all taken care of. All of it.  I had to do my part, I had to do more than just confess and as for forgiveness. I had to do SO MUCH MORE. But I figured out what I wanted.  

It didn't mean I was perfect, I was FAR FROM.  I still am FAR FROM.  But what I do know how, is that I am STRIVING for perfection. I am doing my best. I am DOING. MY. BEST.  And that is all I can do.  That is all I could do.  I neededt ot build my relationship with the Lord, and in turn relize my worth, and be able to like myself, and then I would allow others to be in my life in the way I deserved.  And I needed to treat them with the same love and respect that I had for myself.  They are just humans to:).

10 Years later, I still have to create my own happiness. I can't rely on my Husband, kids, family, friends. It all has to come from me.  I struggled greatly for a few years... again.. and only just recently have I re-fired the worth.  It took a lot more than just looking in the mirror and saying "You are worth it".  It took a HUGE lifestyle change.  And it will continue to be a change that 'll have to work at.  It will be worth it though.  Because I am loving ME!!!  I am doing what I need to, so that I can create my own happiness! I was able, through the atonement, to start over.  I can start over often, daily really, and ask for help, and strength, and it happens!!!

here are some of my favorite "vidoes" about the atonement
HERE
HERE
HERE
HERE

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mother Teresa


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ~Mother Teresa

If you don't know Tamra, you should, she is incredible. She shared this little ditty from the wise Mother Teresa, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  After all that has been said and done, 10 years later, I still have to hear about people talking about my story, and myself behind my back.

I have decided facebook "friends" aren't such, and regardless of their motives to be there to spy, or look in to see what I do, I can be kind anyway.  Its too bad that some people change, good or bad.  But I will continue to be good, honest, and powerful in being positive.  I can do this!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Changing Myself

As I stated in Body of a Birth Mother part 2. I didn't know who I was. 
Molding to those I was dating was easy.  Molding to my friends, or attempting to, was easy.
When you hang out with girls, we all know, its a bit ridiculous.  A vast majority are often backstabbing, dishonest, or int other words, fake.  We tend to take talking about one another as a way to fit in.  And truly, it fits into more of the stereotypical women of the world.  

As I tried my best to hang out with these girls. I'd end up inviting myself over more than not. I would spend the night, but end up wondering why I was even there. They didn't pretend to act like I fit in.  They didn't pretend that I wasn't "different", and it made being friends hard.  I'm sure they didn't want me there. But where else was I to go?  My other friends were all married... which meant 2 of them were. They hung out with the popular people... and I always was the tag along.  I tried my best to seem normal and as cool as these girls. But it never turned out how I'd imagined.  I wasn't cool. I was the "slut". They all had money, or were popular. I was just there... trying so hard to be something. 

When i moved, it wasn't a big deal. I heard about the things they would say. And it truly hurt. I knew they'd probably felt that way, but I wanted to believe that they were better than that.  I would try to visit when I went back home, it ended up being a crash and burn.  I would hear of them coming to "my neck of the woods", and never hearing from them.  It took a long time to accept that these people weren't my friends. You lose those you thought were, when you are doing your worst.  I deserved better.

You come to find that after placement, those physical changes affect more than your body.  Remember, I LOOKED like I did in before I had a baby... but I wasn't the same inside.  My body ached to have someone there for me. To be kind to me. To welcome me to their world of friendship.  you often lose a lot more than just your 'purity'.  I lost my friends. I lost respect, for myself, and the respect from others. I felt like a phony  I didn't have acceptance from them, so I turned to the boys.  They would "accept" me.  

I didn't know who I was.  Also, I didn't know WHOSE I was.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that we are all Sons and Daughters of our Father in heaven.  There for, 
And, we are all children of God.  I didn't know that, and instead of trying to better myself for him, and for the person I had 'planned' on being, I was trying to be a certain kind of better for all those I came in contact with.

Though I molded to all those others, I learned something about me in the process.  I did learn who i was. I did realize WHOSE I was. I am a Daughter of God. A Princess, because my Father in Heaven is King.   I learned that I LOVE music, in all forms.  I learned that I am strong, faithful, and have been held in the arms of my Savior so many times.

Because I finally started to figure out who I was, I was able to continue on that journey when I moved to Southern Utah. i still had a long ways to go. I was still imperfect, and still am.  But I was able to be the best I could be.  And, to be honest, I didn't want to date my now husband:).  He was such a dork, he was not where I wanted to be spiritually, and he was in need of "fixing".  But I truly ended up falling for him.  I didn't have to pretend to like certain music. I didn't have to dress a certain way, or act a certain way.  I was able to be ME. I could tell him when I thought he was being a dink. When I needed him to be more. When I needed to be alone. And what I would and would not put up with.  

I was terrified about what he would think of my physical body... because I had gained weight... but, he seemed to be kind, and loving, and appreciative of me and my "confidence".  I would learn that it was more about my strength. And I would soon learn that things still don't go as planned, even if we are trying to do better than we ever tried.  But this guy, would change me, and me, him.

May 2006 - our first "pictures" 




Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Body of a Birth Mother pt. 2


(sorry sister... this is the only one:))

Here I am, at 18, exactly one year(EXACTLY) before I had my sweet baby E. 
Things happen fast, I would have NEVER thought that ONE year later, I would be having a baby. I don't believe that anyone in high school believes they will become pregnant while still in high school.   I sure didn't.
I went from feeling OK with the way I looked, not always confidant, but OK. I was feeling excitement for the fun year I was about to have. The parties, sleep overs with the girls, dates, games, HIGH SCHOOL. I was ready for the year, it was going to be my best yet.  I had friends, I had family, and life was so good.  I was dancing, I loved dancing, the joy it brought to me. Performing was the best feeling ever. It was something id wanted to do FOREVER, and this was the 2nd year I got to be part of a company and perform at sports events, competitions, reviews. I had plans to continue dancing, learning, and performing. 
I had plans to attend college. I wanted to be an English teacher, I wanted to move to go to school.  I wanted to move out of state. I wanted to go nanny. I was planning on kicking butt at life.
I had an idea of who I wanted to be. But it was so far away. I didn't worry about what was necessary to achieve those goals. I didn't focus on what I needed to do right then to attain those goal I'd set. I was having so much fun, and doing so many things that I did not focus on who I was inside, and who i needed to be right then; and what I need to do. And because I didn't have that focus, I became caught up in the fun, the fitting in, and the life of a carefree teenager. I let my personal standards drop, and ultimately chose the path that I ended up on.  And by not proactively choosing a definite path, I found myself on a different path.

I didn't have plans, to not accomplish the goals I'd set for myself and my future.



 Now... here I was... 19, and exactly one year after that dance.
On my way out to deliver baby boy E.

1 year after placing, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight. Physically, covered up, I looked the same. I looked like I did in High school.  I fit into all the same clothes, could wear all the styles I liked, it was ideal.  Underneath those clothes, were the stretch marks, underneath was where i lots my confidence. Who was going to want someone with those marks?
 I would later learn that it wasn't just the physical appearance, it was the knowledge of WHO I was. I was not only physically damaged, I was spiritually, mentally, and emotionally damaged.  I didn't think that I needed to address those issues. I assumed that "time would heal all wounds". In reality though, time doesn't heal all wounds. Wounds can be healed, a large majority of the time, with time. But, wounds also, an even larger amount of time, need to be addressed. You need to talk about them, find the root of them, and work through all the things that brought about those damages and wounds.
  (yes, great crop job i know)

I had NO plans of having sex. Not of having sex in High School, college, or life, until i was MARRIED. 
Having that one plan, that one standard, that one thing, changed everything. Dating after placing baby E. Dating after finally walking away, fully, from the BF, was changed. I didn't like my body, my spirit, my mental and emotional capacity. In turn, dating became, molding.

The first date I went on after placing, was with one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. The problem there... I didn't feel like i could be 'alone' yet. I was still trying to see if I wanted to be with the BF. He was still calling, asking to go out, etc. I WANTED to date this other person... but didn't have confidence that he would like me for me. I didn't know who I was yet... and still felt like I belonged with the BF to one degree or the other.  That relationship with the first date, was more off than on. He was patient, and kind, and wanted to be with me... I wanted to be with him... but it just wasn't going to work.
 I didn't "mold" to him, because I was still "molded" to the BF.  Which means, I was still a "thug". I was into rap, hip-hop, and being tough in the black, rice rocket, Altima.  Truly, it makes me laugh now, but it was a joke back then.

I only had a few more boyfriends after that. I became a skater, and liked U2(which i hadn't ever previously). I wanted to learn to skateboard, wear DC's and Vans, and be what he wanted.  I felt that if I didn't like what they liked, it wouldn't work.  If I didn't look like they wanted me to look, they wouldn't want me. I was wrong. Even in molding to #2, we didn't work out.  I learned a little more about who I was and who I wanted to be. I gained a little more confidence, but ultimately, I was still lost.

I then became an 80's rock/ballad, Harley loving, biker chick.
I learned... i really do love the 80's, and my dad taught me to love bikes. But, I wasn't as "hard core" as I thought I was. I wasn't as "hard core" as I needed to be for him. I wanted different things, in every way. He was cute, but i loved his family WAY more than i even liked him.

So in 3 years, I'd been a thug, skater, and biker... I continued to mold to each person i dated; a 'techno' dance party, dork... back to a preppy wannabe fit in... I continued to question who I was, because I was trying so hard to fit in with the people I was hanging out with, and dating. It wasn't working. I looked physically different when i went to the pool with friends, and as much as I tried to fit in with those girls... it never worked. I tried to be "cool" enough, in style enough, and independent enough to try to get someone to like me.  I wanted someone at the level I wanted to be at, to like me.  You can't have that, when you don't know where you are, who you are, and what you are. I was trying to do everything for everyone else.

3 years... and I had slowly started to stress, and become depressed. I started to gain weight, and hang out less and less with people that I was continually trying to impress. Eventually, going to the gym to try to "fix" my physical appearance didn't make a difference.  3 months of gym time, 6 days a week, and I didn't loose any weight... or inches... i maintained.  Why wasn't my body working like it did after placing?  How was I getting bigger?  NO ONE would want me FOR SURE now.

Slowly, I quit worrying about fitting in with these people. I quit trying to maintain the friendships I'd had in high school.  I decided it was time to change for ME.  The first step, find a job out of where I had been living for the last 10 years of my life. I left the valley and headed to Southern Utah. I couldn't nanny, because I couldn't hide having a child, on top of not wanting to hide it.  I looked for a job and had 2 before I left that weekend.  I put my notice in to my current job when I got home. 2 weeks later, I packed up and headed south. A car full of my belongings. I cried saying goodbye to my mom and dad.

I got down here... I learned that... no one knew me. No one could judge me for what I used to be.  They didn't know what I used to look like. They didn't know ANYTHING.  It was invigorating to be FREE.  I started to be the ME i wanted to be.  I didn't change for anyone, and didn't hide who i was.  I moved on a Sunday... and then... met the soon to be hubby that Friday.  I wanted to play, and have fun, and save money, and be independent.  FULLY.  The first time I hung out with the future Mr. I was ME.  I was all the way, 10005% ME, no hiding anything, no pretending, no molding.  I had to lay it out, because I didn't want the same thing to happen here, as it had at home.

I didn't change physically, i maintained that "weight", so I still was bigger than I had been. But I was ME. I started to feel confidant, and brave, and everything id wanted to be.  I had taken steps to meet with my bishop so my life could go where I wanted to be spiritually.  I started noticing my relationship with my Father in Heaven growing, and my testimony that had faltered, strengthening.

I took that boy home to visit the fam. I make it clear we were just FRIENDS(ha ya right).  When we did become official, this is what I remember...  my mom and dad sat me down when I'd come home one weekend, I thought I'd done something wrong again. Instead, they came to me and let me know how proud of me they were. That they were so happy to see that even though I was with this boy, that I was ME. That I had an opinion, and that I would stick to my guns. I would stick up for me, if I was being teased. I would voice my love of Country, 80's, hip-hop(not rap), and oldies.  And if he, or anyone else didn't like it, WHO CARED.  That day, I became CONFIDANT, in me. Because I chose ME. I chose the life I wanted, and I could continue to do so, and know that it was the right thing for me, and it would work out.

I knew I would still have trials, testing my faith, my confidence. I didn't know that I would ever fall again, but I knew I could get up and get going again.  I changed... and its changed me.