Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It really does get better

Sometimes people just say things like that, but I want to be the voice of hope to tell birthmoms everywhere that it really does get better. I've had some low lows and I'm sure will have more, but like is looking great right now. I'm in school to chase my true dreams I've so long been afraid to chase. I'm moving to a new apartment this weekend. I'm at a great place in my relationship with D&G. I'm not struggling with my feelings of anger or jealousy- just love for what they've given A and I. I'm happy with my relationship with A. I love that we actually have a relationship and bond. I think during some of my darker days I was so distracted with my anger and grief to see this amazing thing right in front of me. It's not something obvious yet, but it's in little things like the fact that she lets me hold her longer than anyone else except D&G, or the feeling of deep connect I feel when we're staring into each other's eyes. She's even growing to look more and more like me every day, which provides some sort of gratification for me.

My message to all birth moms is that it's hard and painful to be involved in adoption, but the good far outweighs the bad. Know that your rough moments are temporary and focus on the good of it all- which will look different for everyone. When I have lows it's only torture to compare myself to other birthmoms and my adoption to other adoptions. It even hurts to think of the great life I gave A by choosing adoption for her. It does help to focus on how strong I am as well as other goof parts of my personality (which is hard for me). I focus on my future and everything I'm going to accomplish like me pre-req's, then my BSN, then becoming a Nurse practitioner, then becoming part of a practice where I can practice functional medicine for pediatrics. I also focus on one day having a house full of babies that call me Mommy- a baby happily nursing in a k'tan on me all day. Find your happy place, and cling to it for dear life while it pulls you out of your dark place, because boy does life look good on the other side.

Now, to get some work finished for class and begin packing.

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Final

Today the adoption was finalized. I knew it was coming and have been bracing myself for it. I feel like it further secures that I'm no longer A's Mom, and that hurts deeply. I don't want to take back the adoption, but my heart longs to still be a Mom to her. I'm also comforted by finalization because it secures her in the home I chose for her forever. She has an amazing Mom and Dad, and I'm happy they are officially a family forever. Oh, the mixed emotions. I never thought I could be so happy and sad at the same time. It's so ironic that this had to happen on Good Friday... of all days.

Oh, A. I love you with everything I am. I hope you know that. I hope they tell you every day. I hope they read the book I got you every single day so you'll never doubt that. I hope your heart is so full of joy with your family that you never hurt over not being home with me. I hope that I'll always be a part of your family and that the future doesn't take away this amazing relationship we are developing. I hope that you don't one day hate me for giving you up, because I did it to give you so much more. I will always cherish those days in the hospital when you were my baby girl, and I was your Mommy, when I could give you everything you needed, when the world was you and me. I hope you always know how beautiful, smart, funny, and strong you are. We made an amazing team, and I hope this journey in life allows us to be a team as we navigate both of our roles and grief.

love always,


Gosh, it feels good to call myself that.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Babysat my Daughter

Never thought I'd say that statement. Saturday I visited A's town with a friend of mine and watched A for a couple hours. It was amazing to have the opportunity to care for her. I can't even describe how it feels to cuddle her, love on her, and have her smile and coo at me when I tell her how much I love her. When D&G were both home from work, we spent time together like a family and rejoiced together in some accomplishments for A. It still hurts to not be her Mommy, but I'm trying to focus on how amazing this adoption is.

A's been going through an attachment phase lately where she wants to be held by D alone all day. I know this is partly something some babies do, but partly fear due to losing me. It hurts to know that my decisions have caused this for her, but I am so thankful she has this amazing life I couldn't give her now that I know the little bit of pain she's going through is worth it. Honestly, it also relieves me that she has attached to D so well and affirms that she loves me and did miss me- that I was truly Mom and mattered to her. I'm trying to navigate this new role in her life and be thankful for this relationship we are developing.

When I say that D&G are giving A a life I couldn't, I don't mean financially. I'm happy that she'll have things I can't afford right now, but it goes so much deeper than that. A is a sweet and happy baby, but a needy one. I don't know how much of that is due to her pain of separation and abandonment feelings, but I know that at least some of it is just her nature. She would NOT do well in a daycare because she would cry all day. I'm thankful that she gets to spend all but maybe 15 hours a week with her Mom and with a Nanny during the others. They have the time, energy, maturity, and education to give her everything I want for her in regards to love, attention, nutrition (healthy, non-toxic food), education, and so much more. I don't believe that adoption is always the answer, but the more I see their happy family, the more I know it was the right one for me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Anti-adoption Activists

I've been reading a lot of anti-adoption activist material lately. I guess I'm just very curious about what everyone on all sides of the triad have to say. I've also been reading the primal wound and love it, but don't necessarily agree with 100% of it. I've come to my own conclusion that I feel all adoptees must feel some sort of grief at the separation even if it was at birth. I know I watched a lot of that happen with A in the weeks after our adoption and even now the innate connection she has with me. When she was born she immediately stopped crying when she heard my voice and started again when she was taken away – she knew that I was her grounding cord and that's all she knew. She has since bonded with D as her grounding cord and mother, but I can't see how it's possible to think she wouldn't have some grief over that loss. On the other side, I don't see why that loss has to be some great handicap or deep grief. At the end of the day she knows who her grounding cord is and knows she is loved and secure.

I know there's a lot of dirty things that go on in the adoption world and that there are many birthmothers who are Coerced into their decision. But I don't like the blanket statements that assume that all adoptions come from some form of coercion or that everyone involved has to end with some unhealable wound. I've often heard domestic infant adoption referred to as a long-term fix for a temporary problem in the anti-adoption community. I completely get where they're coming from and think that there are some cases where this is true. But I'd like to call the attention back to the primal wound theory – that children are permanently scarred by what happens around them as an infant. I know in my case, the circumstances that made adoption the best option may only be temporary. I will be in a place to raise a kid with a partner in maybe just a couple of years. But the first few years of A's life would have been rough. I think she would've had more abandonment issues because of her mother only seeing her a couple hours a day outside asleep. She would've hurt over not having a father involved in her life and loving her the way she deserves. Either way, she suffers a primal wound. Adoption allowed that wound to be minimal.

I hate that D and G had such a rough road that led them to me. But I am eternally grateful it did lead them to me. Because of domestic infant adoption, my daughter gets the most amazing life that she absolutely deserves. D&G get to have their dreams of being a parent come true. And I get to put my daughter first yet always be a part of her life.

*stepping off my soapbox*

Adoption Support Group and the Joys of Open Adoption

Yesterday I spoke at an adoption support group with A, D, and G. A started the evening by making sure everyone within a 1/4 mile radius knew she was there, then spent a good hour happily on my lap while everyone spoke. I love that kid.

I loved having the opportunity to speak about the joys of open adoption. My goal was to ease the fears of prospective adoptive parents and show them how great it could be, and I had some kind people tell me after that I had done just that for them.

For me, open adoption has been amazing for many reasons. I'm not cut off from my daughter. I still suffer the loss of parenting her, but I get to see her grow first-hand. I get to regularly look her in her eyes and tell her how much I love her (and see the smile that always follows that!). It has eased my grief more than words could express. A seems to have benefited as well. She was got hear her parent's voices before she was born, get to know them in the hospital before going home with them, see me frequently to know she wasn't abandoned, and gets to hear constantly how loved she is. But she still knows who Mom is. D&G said that they love the open adoption mainly for A- for the reasons I just stated. They love that she has so much love in her life from me and my family. D loves having a sister to talk to in this craziness- someone she can vent to when she's tired, someone who completely gets her fear during things like waiting to hear if A had a metabolic disorder when everyone else seems not stressed at all. She loves having A's family medical history a text or call away and getting to hear that I had colic, or frequent spit up, or was just a fussy baby even though I was happy and healthy to know that nothing is wrong with A. We also both love our relationship- even outside of A, the three of us are family. I love D&G dearly and we all feel that our lives are better with this friendship in them.

That's not to say that this doesn't come without struggles. I know D and I both struggle with some jealousy about the other getting to do and be things we can't. The level of openness we have shoves those insecurities and hurts in our faces, but it makes us deal with it and so far it seems to get easier with time. In the end. it's worth every bit of hurt to build this amazing family and support system for A, the whole reason we got into this in the first place.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A little Bit About our Adoption

We have a VERY open adoption. I met A's parents last August and we grew a very close relationship in the following months. They were there for her birth- her mom (D) coached and supported me the entire time. Her Dad (G) caught her when she came out, D cut the cord, and after my hour of skin-to-skin and nursing her, they were the first ones to hold and love on her.

A's birth and the months leading up to it make for a very interesting story that I plan to post at a different time, but right now I want to speak about how our adoption works. Because we were so close, A's parents were there for much of the hospital time. I would nurse A, snuggle her, then hand her off to D or G to love on and take care of.

I pump breastmilk for A. I know- crazy, right? My first visit was when A was 6 days old, 4 days after signing TPR and sending her home with D&G. My amazing dad drove me to their home a couple hours away and I caught up with D, snuggled, and even nursed A. Has your jaw hit the floor, yet? It's something that D and I had talked about before. We felt that if both of us could emotionally stand it, it would be best for A. It would help establish my supply as nursing triggers hormones, a mother's body responds to baby's saliva to alter to milk to baby's needs (more/less protein, carbs, fat, nutrients), and it was a connection that she would still have with me while dealing with separation grief. I was worried it would be too hard, but she took to it right away and it was amazing for me. I would never be a mom to A in the traditional sense, but I had one last special thing between us that proved to me I was still something to her. For the first 6 weeks of her life, we had weekly visits during which I nursed her.

She is three months old today and I'm still pumping, which has been amazing for me. In the early days, it was something to distract me. I spent almost all my time at first learning how to pump, which parts fit me, and reading online about exclusive pumping. One day I want to add a section on here to share all I've learned. Providing my breastmilk for A was a connection we still had, and something only I could do for her. Breastfeeding is so important to me that it gives me peace of mind to know that I've done everything I possibly could for her well-being. I'm trying to wean now because I started classes toward my BSN today, and I need my time back to reclaim my life. I don't want to transition away from my life revolving entirely around A, but it's time.

Going forward, we will have a bit more space on our adoption. We transitioned at first from daily texts and pictures, to every couple of days, to a good weekly update via google docs and pics uploaded to Snapfish. We text randomly, but not nearly as much. We are also moving after this week to visits roughly once a month for the first year, depending on our schedules. I love and respect D&G, so it's important to me to give them their own space as a family (not always easy, though).

Now, time to unhook from my pump and head to work!

Monday, April 7, 2014


This is my first blogging experience... ever. I'm so behind the times. Please be patient with me as I figure this whole thing out. I decided to create this blog to share my experiences, thoughts, and advice on adoption. I am C, birthmom to beautiful baby girl A who was born Jan 8, 2014 and placed for adoption on Jan 10. We have a very unique and open adoption and it is my prayer that this will help individuals on every corner of the adoption triad.