Welcome to the craziness that is my life!

This is my story in pieces. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between. It is messy and flawed...just like it's author. I am not a selfliss person...I am not an angel...I am a loud, opinionated, most of the time crazy, Mom. I write here the things I cannot discuss in my "day to day life". These views are my own, from my own journey. Adoption has changed my life forever, some for good, some not so good. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. It's not your story...it's mine. Consider it a manual on "How Not To Act/What Not To Do When You Are Pregnant and Considering Adoption". If you learn nothing else, learn to educate yourself to the long term affects on yourself, your family, and the child you chose to place.

Oh...and please, don't call me "bitter". I prefer the term "enlightened".

***DISCLAIMER-I don't speak for anyone but me...in this story or in life. It is here as an educational tool if anyone chooses to learn something. I appreciate comments always.***

P.S. Just because I don't actively blog doesn't mean I still don't LOVE comments. Yes, I still check them. I guess I would just rather hear YOUR thoughts, than share mine.

If you missed the story, start reading the "Posts of Some Significance" located directly underneath and to the right of this. That's the story in a nutshell.

Monday, May 17, 2010

FORMSPRING QUESTION ANSWERED...How did you celebrate this past Mother's Day/ Birthmother's Day? Did you celebrate both of them? Were you aware of Birthmother's Day before your first Mother's Day weekend?

I am sorry it took soooooo long to answer this.

   I did much better than I thought I would this year. Last Mother's Day, I was still in shock over the adoption and so it didn't really phase me. This year, I had made ten loops through the "Circle of Grief" and was VERY much aware of both holidays. I was not aware of Birthmother's Day until earlier this year...and not at all last year when I would have celebrated my first one. I was 100% for it this year. I got some beautiful tulips (from my Mom) and reflected on every good memory I had of the baby's parents. I was not sad at all. I simply used it as a day to reread all of our emails to one another, and look at the few pictures I had. I shared a very amazing blog post from Courtney Frey on my Facebook page. I acknowledged the day publicly and privately. And when it was over, I read a really interesting post on another blog (I would LOVE to post it, but I still can't figure out how to link stuff to here (even though it's been explained to me)...which SUCKS because I really have some neat things to link to) that talked about how it would be if instead of Birthmother's Day we had Adoptive Mother's Day...and I have to admit, I agreed with it. I really don't know if I will celebrate it next year, though I will continue to remind others of the miracles birthmothers make happen, and remind people to reach out and hug these amazing women.

   Mother's Day for me was pretty tame. I am the only one in the family who ever goes over the top for holidays, so when it is a holiday that focuses on me, the celebration is usually very small. I received a nice card, and some balloons, and a sweet email from L* and M* that included...for the first time EVER...a full face, looking at the camera, cute little picture of the baby. She's adorable, and looks very happy. And I sent back a very nice email as well. The day was quiet, and peaceful, and a nice Sunday.

What was VERY different for me this year was my own perspective.

   This was a Mother's Day of Firsts for me. It was the first Mother's Day I was aware of my loss. It was the first year I was genuinely thankful to be a mother to my children. It was the first year I was completely aware of things like Adoption, Birthmothers, Infertility, Heartbreak, Emptiness, Sacrifice, Compromise, and of all of the little "subcultures" that run throughout our communities. I felt awake. Or awakened, depending on how you look at it. I went to church for the first time ever, since being a mother, and for the first time ever, was AWARE that there were probably women who had skipped the service because it was too much for them. When they asked the Mothers to raise their hands so they could distribute gifts, I was AWARE of the women who had pained looks on their faces, or tears in their eyes, who's hands were not raised.
I was AWARE of so many things that a year ago I would have never noticed.

   My thoughts that day, for the most part, were not on ME. They were on the women I know. On my mother, whom with I wish I had a better relationship. I love her, and she loves me, but it weighed heavily on my mind that day that I do not know her that well as a woman. And I wonder if I will ever get that opportunity. On a friend of mine, who is due in a month, and ready to become a birthmother for the sake of the two children she is raising, as well as the baby she carries. On the couple who is about to become the parents of her child...how that soon to be Mommy will never have to miss out on Mother's Day again. On L*, who after 10 years of trying to become a mother, just celebrated her daughter's first birthday, and her first fully final Mother's Day. Of the four people I know who have lost their Mother's, some this last year, and how hard the day was for them. Of the mothers who have sick children, who have lost children, who don't know how special their children really are....on everyone but me. It was a first for me (though I probably shouldn't admit that), but for once...the world didn't revolve around me.
And as a humorous sidenote...the big song of the day at church was called "Awakening". Fantastic song. Great message. And my new favorite song. What would Rob Thomas think? LOL!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FORMSPRING QUESTION ANSWERED...Do you have any "pet peeves" in regards to Adoption?

I have lots of them...both in my situation, and in general. But instead of writing a lengthy response about what I think is broken in the adoption world, I am going to talk about the things I read in blogs, social networking sites, and in general that just annoys me to no end. Again, I will throw in my usual disclaimer, that I don't mean to offend...these are simply MY peeves.

I hate when people say "It takes more than being pregnant to be a mother". I hate it. It actually is one of the few things that an adoptive mom can say that makes me want to smack them in the face. It is usually said in defense of something, or as a way to justify that they are more important than a birthmother. And if that's not the reason, even if the reason is wonderful and beautiful then it still bugs me. If your birthmother had not gotten pregnant, you still would not be a mother. If she had not made the hard decision to place her child for adoption, had not selected you as parents, and had not chosen to place with you, and had not signed the relinquishment papers, you would not be a mother. All the skinned knees, late nights, first steps, first words, first visit with the cops (as is the case with my 8 year old...lol), first boyfriend, first prom, wedding, grandchildren...all of the reasons that people feel MAKE them parents...all of it would have never happened if she had chosen to parent. I know the warm and fuzzy thoughts behind the statement, but it makes me crazy to hear it. I love the expression, "Not under my heart, but in it." Much, much more fitting. You are a mother because you parent a child who is the world to you. No one would try to take that from you. Don't discount how that came to be.

And as a side note..With the three "darling" kiddos I have at home, in almost nine years,I have had to only deal with ZERO sleepless nights, 3 colds, one dog attack to the top of Tyler's Head, 2 broken hearts over girlfriends, 7 visits from the police department, and an enormous amount of stress in trying to do what's right for them, and never once have I jumped up and down and said, "Yeah! Now I'm a real mother!!!" Not even when my youngest cracked ME in the face with a toy and left me with a dime sized bump and scar right in the middle of my forehead.
Another thing I find annoying are the words "Chosen Child". Adoptive parents do not get to drive to the baby store and choose which little bundle of joy they will make their own. Adoptive parents are the chosen ones. Somewhere, somehow, for some reason, a birthmom chose you to raise the life she could not.

Another peeve is when other people say things like, "Oh the baby's so lucky to have you guys" or "Thank God you're getting that baby." Just once, I would like to see someone say, "How lucky you are that the birthmother chose you!" or "Good thing you were in the right place at the right time to get chosen!" You know, something that acknowledges what really happened.

Not all birthmothers are bad people, and not all adoptive parents are saints. And vice versa for sure. I hate when adoptive parents think their birthmoms are angels. Or when birthmoms think their adoptive moms are "better moms". Right, wrong, or indifferent...adoption generally happens (although NOT ALWAYS), when one mother cannot keep a child she is pregnant with for whatever reason, and chooses to give it to a mother who cannot have one herself. At its most raw form it is supply and demand. I have...you want. I can't...you're willing to try.

I also hate the following words or phrases: unwanted, give up, give away, unwanted pregnancy, deserving adoptive parents, generous people for taking this baby...I could go on and on and on.
And last but not least..."If you don't want it, I'll take it!" If you have ever been pregnant, you soon learn how many people (many of whom you don't even know) will come up and touch your stomach. Anytime I was pregant, it happened a lot. And it drove me crazy. For the adoption equivilant...When people hear you are considering adoption, they will come from all over and say, "Well you're just gonna give it away...let me have it". Like a baby is an old sweater, or pair of shoes that you can just give away. People who have no knowledge or respect of the very complicated process adoptive parents go through in able to be considered acceptable to adopt annoy the heck out of me.
Wow. Now I am kind of grumpy....lol. Thanks for the question!