Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Others Can Change Too

First off- long time no see! It's been almost a whole year since I have blogged. Life has a way of getting busy and adoption seems to be on the back burner lately. 

This blog post has been weighing on my mind for quite some time now; and I finally have a few extra minutes, while watching Home Alone (for the 4th time this month), to sit down and type it all out. 

I think it hit me when I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting about a year or more ago and there was a talk about the celestial kingdom and how Heavenly Father wants all of us there. The speaker expressed their want and desire for every person in the world to know of the gospel and make it into the Celestial Kingdom all together. I got to thinking and asked myself, "What if J joined the church? What if he was a part of our ward and showed up every Sunday? What would I do?" My initial reaction was to turn my nose up and refuse to believe he would/could ever do that. But then I thought a little harder and had a wave of compassion. If I could change, why can't others? I've done some pretty bad things in my life, but here I am a changed person. I like to think of myself as a good person, striving to make it to the Celestial Kingdom.

Other's can change too. I think that was the moment I got off my high horse and realized that anyone, even the guy who let me down in so many ways, can change. Over the past 3 1/2 years I've always held some sort of anger towards him. While I can always portray him as a forever scum bag in my head, all that will do is cause unnecessary anger inside me. I feel like I've entered a whole new level of acceptance and forgiveness. A few years ago, I made a new years resolution to work on forgiving Kinley's birth father. Little did I know, this would be a multi-year "project." I have been working on remembering J is a fellow child of God. I don't have any lines of communication to him(nor do I care to), so I don't know what is going on in his life, but I will continue to assume he is working on himself. Because if by some crazy coinkydink he were to show up one sunday to hear the gospel, I'd have to get over work through what happened and accept him as a changed man. Will I ever be his friend? no. But, I also won't hold a grudge and think I'm better than him either. 

I'm not even sure what I'm saying makes sense. I wanted to get these thoughts down before I forgot them and also so they stop circulating my brain every morning as I'm getting ready for the day. I'm learning that I'm not the only one who can change and become a better person. Others can too. For Kinley's sake, I hope and pray that when she is older and more mature to understand, she can look at both J and I and be proud of where her roots are from. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Walking the Talk

As most know, one of the biggest struggles in "birth motherhood", for me, has been birth dad issues. They have also been one of my top goals for overcoming. I have been working very very hard to jump these hurdles. I feel I have come a long way. I can't say I have zero anger, but it's very minuscule to what it was before. 

Ever since my own daughter, Allie, was born, her relationship with her dad (my husband) has been very important to me. It's important for her to know him and have a relationship with him. It has gotten me to thinking about Kinley and the lack of a relationship she has with J. It makes me sad for her. I want her to at least know what he looks like and what his childhood was like. 

I sometimes feel guilty that maybe I haven't been doing my part in letting J have a part in this adoption. I know that's not true, but it's just how I feel sometimes. J refused to be a part of the adoption early on, so I have just gotten used to him not being apart of things. I haven't been intentionally keeping him out or refusing him anything. I really just haven't heard from him in a good 2 years. 

A few months ago, I told myself that if he ever came asking about her, I would be of help in sending a picture and a little update about her. That wouldn't hurt anyone. He deserves at least a picture. More importantly, Kinley has every right to know at least a little bit about where her other half of genes come from. I know that there will most likely come a time in Kinley's life when she will question  things and feel a need to discover her biological identity. And I don't want to stand in the way of that. 

Well, life has a way of making sure you keep your word and making sure you don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Around Christmas time, I received an email from him with a "how are you? Can I see a picture of Kinley?" I gave it a few days to roll around in my brain before I replied with something I didn't mean. My mom suggested I talk to Toby and Nicole before sending anything, since they ARE her parents and they have the ultimate say in everything. They agreed to me sending him a recent picture in exchange for a recent picture of J and a little biography about him so that Kinley can know about him. It's been a few weeks with no reply, but I feel peace and comfort knowing I have done my part in helping both J and Kinley out. 

Will there become a relationship that comes out of it right away? Probably not. But there is at least a small passage way formed for Kinley. I don't and will never know the emotions and struggles Kinley will have as she gets older, and I hope by opening this door, it may help ease them.

It was hard to put my own issues aside and put Kinley's best interest first, but sometimes growth and maturity need a little bit of pain to make progress. And for that, I am proud of myself.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Horizons

I have been so bad about blogging lately! Lots has happened and a little big thing called life has been keeping me busy!

In September, my husband and I welcomed a sweet little girl into our family. Her name is Allie Jane. Our lives have been forever changed by this little ray of sunshine of ours! I have a lot of things I want to blog about pertaining to this whole experience, but I will save it for another post all in itself.

2014 has defiantly flown by. It was such a busy year filled with traveling, over coming trials, adding to our family, and the other things life throws our way!

I was able to attend another birth mom meet up put on my Adoption: Share the Love. It was such a great experience!

I was also able to participate in a video Adoption.com put together. 

2014 has been such a great year! I wasn't able to get a lot of blog posts written, but I was out there doing my best contributing to the adoption community! I was able to visit Kinley both in May and in September. My relationship with Toby and Nicole has bloomed into something truly beautiful! It really does feel like we are a big family! 

So, now what is next for 2015? I have continued running my Instagram page and I recently started a Facebook page. All places to talk about positive adoption stories and also an easy place for others to follow this journey of mine!

I always say this every year, but I LOVE new beginnings. The opportunity to look at what we have accomplished and then dig deep to find what we can work on. I am truly thankful for this life and journey and I am curious to see what 2015 has in store! A big thank you to those who have been here along the way since the start of this blog!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Well, can you believe it? another year has gone by! I swear this second year went by way faster than the first. I hope the years don't pass by faster and faster each year.

I wrote this post the night before Kinley's birthday and almost deleted it because I felt like I wasn't being optimistic enough. Then I started thinking, why do I always have to be optimistic? My goal for this blog was to be honest to give people a realistic idea of what being a birth mom is. And quite honestly, I don't feel optimistic or happy or smiley 100% of the time. So, here is what I wrote on the eve of Kinley's 2nd birthday:

It doesn't feel like it's little Kinley's 2nd birthday already. I feel so much different this year than last. I haven't let the emotions come. I've been pushing them away and trying to avoid them. I've been keeping myself busy. I feel guilty if I cry or feel sad. I don't want these emotions to effect this unborn child. Even though I know it will have little to no effect on her at all. I feel guilty if I feel sad because birthdays are supposed to be happy. I am happy, don't get me wrong! Kinley's birthdays are just bitter sweet because of their nature. I feel guilty if I feel sad because I don't want to create something awkward for Toby and Nicole. I am happy, I really am. I love talking about Kinley and my journey (obviously) but when July 7th rolls around, I just feel like crawling into a hole and not coming out until the 10th. Raw emotions come back and it feels so real. The vivid memories come flooding in like I'm being taken back in a time machine. Is it bad I haven't taken out "the box?" The box that stores the hospital bracelets, blankets, certificates. It's like a time capsule. I want to so badly open up the box, but I'm scared it will trigger all the emotions. I just don't want to feel them. I don't want to sort through the emotions. I don't want to cry and dry my face with a hundred tissues. I don't want to feel that pang in my heart. I know I need to because its healthy and normal, but I just don't want to. I want to just think happy thoughts. I want to just celebrate her birthday like a "normal" person. I want the sweet without the bitter.

The past week has been flooded with tiny memories. Like her first cry. That precious sound of a little baby, almost like a mouse because it was so little. The split second her little body came into this world and my sister and I just locked eyes and smiled in amazement that she was finally here. The moment they laid her on my chest. The moment I looked at her for the first time. I remember her being so little and I thought she was going to slip right out of my hands because she was all slimy. A beautiful slimy. I remember the rush of emotion I had when I held her for the first time. I couldn't help but cry myself. All I could do was sob in happiness. My first words were "Oh my baby! Shh baby. I love you baby." She was the most perfect thing on this earth. The moment I fed her for the first time. She was so hungry she was sucking her little hands so we gave her a bottle and she sucked it down. I was so worried I would not know how to take care of a baby, but from that moment on, I instantly knew what to do. I had the instinct to feed her, burp her, sooth her.

All these memories have been in the front of my mind. No matter how hard I've tried, I can't make them go away or wait until I'm ready to acknowledge them. The smells of the hospital, the sounds, everything is like I'm sitting in the hospital. I wish I could be back there. But at the same time, I wish the memories would just go on their merry way because of the emotions they bring with them.

Kinley isn't 6 pounds anymore. She is a 2 year old. She can walk, talk, run, and jump! She is a different person almost. I think thats what makes things hard. I've missed so much of her life. She calls someone else mommy. Someone else feeds her. Someone else soothes her. Yes, I am happy for her. I don't want to sound like I'm angry about it. I'm not. I am so so happy with how everything has turned out. I've had my closure and I'm taking control of my grieving process. I'd say I'm on top of it pretty well. I just feel its fair to be able to be honest and express the sad and real emotions that come this part of the year. I'm happy with my decision to place. I'm content and regret nothing about it. I wouldn't change a thing actually.

I still haven't brought myself to open "the box." I may not for a few weeks. Reliving those emotions are hard. I know we can do hard things, but I'm not ready. I think a big reason her birthday was a bit harder this year was because I didn't visit her. We agreed we would just have a visit around her birthday-which I'm so good with! As she gets older, she is going to have friend birthdays and how fun would it be for her to have to explain to all her friends who "that lady" is? Not fun and I totally respect that! I was able to FaceTime with Kinley though. She has grown so much and her vocabulary is exploding! She is so smart! Her and her sister love the movie, Frozen! She sang me some Frozen songs and showed me her Anna doll she got from her Uncle. She even told me her favorite food is Tacos! It was so great to talk with her and chat with Nicole. Kinley gets really excited when I talk with her and she is always saying "Lowa(Laura) watch this!" or "Lowa look here!" or "Lowa guess what?" 

It makes me feel so happy! I made her a little cake also. When she face timed me, I showed her the cake and I sang Happy Birthday to her! I just couldn't believe she used to be a tiny little baby and now she is a ball of energy and personality!

I also made Kinley a video which I burned onto a DVD for her here it is: (if the video doesn't play, here is the link)

Happy Birthday sweet Kinley! I love you so so much!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Toby and Nicole are Hoping to Adopt

That's right, they are! And I couldn't be happier for them!

As some of you may know, LDS Family Services (LDSFS) has recently changed their dynamics. They will no longer serve as an agency, but rather a place for birthmothers to find couples and then be referred to other agencies for all of the legal stuff. One thing I've loved about LDSFS is that their fees are low for hopeful adoptive couples and it served as a very helpful agency. For me, I loved knowing my baby was going to a worthy LDS couple. Anyways, with all that said, couples who are already on the website ready to adopt have until the end of the year to be matched or else they need to find a new agency. For lots of couples, this puts a financial burden on them. Most agencies are a lot more expensive than LDSFS.

Sooooo to the point of this post! Toby and Nicole don't think they will be able to adopt using another agency and I have taken it upon myself to help promote them and get their profile out to the public so they can hopefully be matched by the end of the year! I thought my blog would be a great resource knowing that it reaches many viewers, some being expectant mothers looking into adoption.

If you click HERE, It will take you to their profile on the It's About Love website.

Toby and Nicole are amazing parents. They love adoption and especially love birth parents- I would know. Adoption is not easy for any side, but they have made it an enjoyable journey. They are honest, thoughtful, they keep their commitments they have made in our open adoption, and they go out of their way to make things special. I really could go on. Throughout my blog posts, I can't even convey 100% how awesome they are!

If you could do me and them a favor and share this blog post or the link to their adoption profile, that would be awesome! Its crazy how far just word-of-mouth can spread! I am so excited for them to grow their cute family and especially excited Kinley may get to be a big sister!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Being A Birth Mother Has Prepared Me To Be A Mother

As some of you already know, my husband and I are going to be parents in September! We are both so excited and blessed! We found out a few days ago that we are going to have a sweet little girl!

It is amazing to see how much has changed and has been accomplished in the 2 1/2 years since I looked at that first positive pregnancy test. It almost seems unreal that that was my life since my life has undergone some major makeovers. Even looking back to a year ago when motherhood was tugging at my heart so heavily. I wanted to be a mom so badly, but Grant and I decided we needed to wait a little bit before we started trying for kids. It was a hard time in my life. BUT I'm glad I have a smart and patient husband because I needed to go through those difficult times. I needed to feel out all those stressful emotions that placement brought to me. They have made me stronger and have prepared me to be a mother.

Before I was ever pregnant with Kinley, I knew I wanted to be a mom someday, but that was in the future and I never really thought much of it. But those 9 months changed my mind-set completely. When Kinley came into this world, there was nothing more I wanted to be than a mother. I never grasped the amazingness a mother's love was until they laid her tiny body in my arms. Signing my parental rights away was the hardest thing in the world because I so badly wanted to me that little girl's mommy. But I knew I couldn't. From the moment after I placed Kinley all I wanted was to straiten my life out because I wanted to be a mom. I made big changes in my decisions to be worthy to marry a man in the temple, and I made personal emotional changes to be the best future mom.

Being a birth mom has made me rethink motherhood a million times over. Having a taste of motherhood for those 48 hours and it slipping through my finger tips has made me never take it for granted. After placement (and still to this day) it would bother me so much when mothers would complain about their babies being up all night or their toddlers getting into trouble. I wanted so badly to say, "Well, at least you have your little one with you every day." It's true though, I would give anything to be up all night with a cranky Kinley or pick up all her toys at the end of the day or clean up spaghetti sauce that she splattered all over my new dress. Those are things I miss out on and actually wouldn't mind doing! Having the opportunity now to be a mother, I don't want to take those things for granted. I will cherish all the sleepless nights and temper tantrums we will endure. I will take every chance I can to tell our sweet daughter how much we lover her. I will finally get the chance to witness all the milestones I have missed out on and be the mother I have always dreamed of being.

Over the past almost 2 years after placement, I have daydreamed and planned out what kind of mother I want to be. I have waited so long to fill these motherly "shoes" that have been empty and calling my name. No one or anything could ever replace my Kinley girl, but for the first time in almost 2 years, there is an ache that isn't there anymore. Those motherly instincts that came and have stayed are finally being able to be put to use. Those feelings of being useless and incompetent are fleeting. There is nothing I would rather be than a mother, and that dream "career" position is finally being filled with me! It still feels unreal, but its an amazing feeling.

Being a birth mother has prepared me for this. It has made me take the sacred role of a mother so seriously. It has made me not take the morning sickness, child birth, and all the things being a mom encompasses for granted. I have waited, prepared myself, and prayed for the opportunity to be a mother. Heavenly Father knew that I needed to wait a little while so that I could truly be ready to care for one of His children.

It has been such a rocky road over the past few years, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Being a birth mother has prepared me to be a mother.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gave Love, Gave Life, But Never Gave Up

I'm joining Birth Mother Baskets (BMB) in their #Placed campaign to erase the "Gave Up" stigma that seems to be used! I was so excited when I heard about this campaign! I hear too often people use the term "give up" when talking about what birth mothers do. For example, "I bet it was hard to 'give up' your baby." or "That is so brave of you to 'give away your baby'." Most of the time I here this from people who are unfamiliar with the correct adoption terminology. Also, "give up" was the term people used back in "the day."

The correct term is PLACED! I didn't "give up" or "give away" Kinley, I PLACED her! You give up soda and junk food for your new years resolution. I PLACED Kinley in the loving arms of a family. You give away old worn out clothes that don't fit anymore, I PLACED Kinley in a stable and safe environment.

I cringe when I hear people use the term "give up." It sounds…just…blech.

I will admit, I used that term a few times when I was first pregnant. Not because I felt like I was "giving" my child away, but because I didn't know what word to use! I HATED that term but had no idea what the alternative was. But after a few counseling sessions, I caught on to what my case worker was referring to it as. I totally understand that it can be a tricky thing to word. Especially when you are unfamiliar with the "adoption jargon." So lucky you, I am here to inform and educate you that PLACED is the correct terminology!

Birth mothers don't "give up" their babies- that's what you do with an old pair of shoes.
Birth mothers spent countless hours thinking, praying, and crying(lots of crying) preparing to PLACE their children in amazing families!

Gave love, gave life, but never gave up.