Tuesday, January 31, 2012

panel question #1!

I am excited to be on a birthparent panel, over at Birthmothers4Adoption. Here is the first set of questions I was asked to answer :)

Are you a birthmother or birthfather?
I am a birthmother to a little boy, born June 18, 2010

How long ago did you place?
I placed just over 19 months ago.. the date was June 20, 2010

Is your adoption open or closed?
The adoption with my son is fairly open. In our agreement, his adoptive parents are required to send updates at set intervals throughout the year, which gradually decrease to Once a year until he is 12. I have been fortunate enough to have had a few visits with them since he was born, and if I am the one to reach out and email/text them they will respond. We respect each other's boundaries, and do things that are only in our sons best interests. I understand that they are a family, and I don't impose on that. I wait for my updates, and sometimes I get to see him in between :) I am completely content with the amount of openness our adoption has, I think it is a safe happy-medium between the two, and is perfect for all of us. 

How/Why did you choose adoption?
I chose adoption for a number of reasons. The biggest one was because the birthfather was not mature enough at the time to be a good dad, and I didn't want to risk my child growing up without a father. I wanted my child to grow up in a really stable, loving environment. We were teenagers, and neither one of us was prepared to give our son the life we so badly wanted for him. So we went out to find the ones that could! There are other reasons, more difficult to explain. I have very strong spiritual beliefs, and in my heart I just knew that my child was not sent here for me, rather to a family who had been praying for his arrival. It made my hard decision a lot easier to bear, knowing God was on my side.  

What can adoptive couples do to help in the hospital/at placement?
My adoptive parents were great at the hospital and at placement. They came and saw him when he was about 10 hours old, and only stayed for a little while. They respected the short time I had to be with my son, and knew that they would have the rest of their lives to share with him. Seeing them together as a family was an amazing experience though, and it really reinforced my decision. The adoptive parents were not pushy at all. They acted as if he was only my child and they were just visiting, which I appreciated. It helped me trust them, and know that no matter what, they held my best interests and feelings at heart, even if it was hard to do. I believe it is important for the parents to come visit, but not to overwhelm the birthmother. That short time is all she has with her baby and it is so hugely important to her- she will cherish those moments for the rest of her life. At placement, the adoptive parents gave me and the birthfather special gifts that had great meaning. I treasure those items more than anything, and it always reminds me of the amazing experience placement was. To adoptive couples- please. Do not get greedy. I know you want to hold that baby so much, but use all of your willpower to stop yourself from grabbing him. Be patient. These few minutes will be the hardest thing that girl will ever have to do in her entire life. She will feel when the moment is right, and pass your child into your arms. Allow her to take as much time as she needs.

How did you find/choose the adoptive couple?
I went through an adoption agency, LDS Family Services, and they gave me portfolios of potential adoptive couples to look at that fit my requirements. 

What appealed to you most of their profile/blog/information packet?
What I loved about it was just how perfect they were to me. The mother spoke of her daughter's birthmother and how much love they had for her, and I imagined myself being talked about like that too. Nothing was special about their profile, it was just "real". I immediately fell in love with them. They were not anything that I was expecting, nor what I was looking for. But I just knew they were the right family. It does not matter what your profile looks like, what your blog says, or what's in your information packet. Birthmothers fall in love with the feelings, not the words. It's the voice we hear deep inside that tells us "this is the one". Don't stress about what to put.. you will be lead down the right path to each other, no matter that. Be patient. Perfection takes time, but I promise you will find it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

god gave me you.

Someone asked me two days ago, "If you could go back, would you? Would you make it so you wouldn't have gotten pregnant with Cash?" I stopped briefly to think about this, but without much hesitation I came to my answer. No, I wouldn't want to take it back. I was in a bad place. I knew I wasn't living life the way I wanted to, but I didn't know how to get out. I had a bad attitude towards everything in general, and I just plain wasn't happy. I cared about what everyones opinion of me was, without remembering what was really important. Then this little boy came into my world, and everything turned upside-down. Being the only pregnant one in highschool didn't make it easy to blend in. All attention was on me, so I no longer could be self conscious and worry about what others were thinking. I now knew what they were thinking. I embraced my belly and became confident with myself. I became optimistic. Most importantly, I became happy. I had a direction I was headed in, and I wasn't going to let anyone bring me down. I strongly believe that God sent Cash here to give me a wake up call and help me realize what I wanted out of life. Cash was my chance to start over, and my opportunity to learn so much from. I had to take time to look at the big picture, and I am deeply grateful for the experiences I had. I know I've said it a thousand times already but I will keep saying it for the rest of my life. No, having a child at 17 is not something I would recommend doing... haha. But I could never regret having that little boy. He's given me so much, without even knowing it. Here's a song that fits perfectly with the way I felt when asked this question- 

For all the times I felt cheated
I complained, you know how I love to complain
For all the wrongs I repeated
Though I was to blame,
 I still cursed that rain
I didn't have a prayer, didn't have a clue
And then out of the blue

God gave me you to show me what's real
There's more to life than just how I feel
And all that I’m worth is right before my eyes
And all that I live for, though I didn't know why
Now I do, cos god gave me you

For all the times I wore my self-pity
Like a favourite shirt, all wrapped up in that hurt
For every glass I saw, I saw half empty
Now it overflows like a river through my soul
From every doubt I had, I’m finally free
And I truly believe

God gave me you to show me what’s real
There’s more to life than just how I feel
And all that I’m worth is right before my eyes
And all that I live for, though I didn’t know why
Now I do, cos god gave me you

God gave me you to show me what’s real
There’s more to life than just how I feel
And all that I’m worth is right before my eyes
And all that I live for, though I didn’t know why
Now I do, cos god gave me you
God gave me you

-- Bryan White