Thursday, July 26, 2012

Uncharted Territory

When all of my family had heard the big news, it was time for my extended family to hear it! My parents sent out a mass email and called their brothers, sisters, and parents. I was worried they would be disappointed or have judgmental feelings towards me. But to my surprise- only support and words of comfort! I will never forget what my grandma Bott said- 'I wish I lived closer so I can give Laura a big hug'. How small and simple those words are, but they were so comforting! (I've learned through this journey that silent hugs are the best things ever)

I made myself a promise that I wanted to be open about my pregnancy no matter if I went through with adoption or decided to parent. I wanted to show people that we can make something great out of a not so great situation. I really think being open and positive helped me the most! I went public on Facebook and to other people when I was about 14 weeks along. I didn't really know what would happen but I posted my 12 week ultra sound and waited to see the reaction.

My 14 week belly-cute huh?



I was of course nervous. I didn't know what people would say or think (I really didn't care. Only what my family thought). People were shocked, surprised, supportive, excited,confused,etc. every emotion in the book really. I had floods of comments, people texting me. Half of them thought it was a joke! Ummm why would I joke about being pregnant?! I'm not THAT desperate for attention!

The next week or so I think I could count about 30 new friend requests-which I declined more than half of them! (nothing annoys me more than nosey people). I didn't decline because I was ashamed or anything of that nature- I just didn't like that people all of a sudden cared about me when something big was happening. I'm also very picky with my Facebook! I only friend people I ACTUALLY talk to- not random people I went to high school with or have never met in my life! Basically what I'm trying to say is I was looking for support at the time, not people trying to butt in.

I had been researching adoption agencies in the Grand Junction area to find out which one I wanted to use and also to see what adoption was all about! This was all new to me! There are only about 3, at the most, agencies in this town. Two of which were through the health department (NO THANK YOU!!!) and one was a Christian based agency. That was the one I was going to pursue. If I could have my way, I wanted to go through LDS family services (LDS is my religion), but there wasn't an office here(dang it).

Luckily, my mom knew a friend who knew a friend(this is the way us Mormons work) who knew the number to the Denver office for LDS family service. I called the guy and left a message with the receptionist and waited. I waited and waited, thinking that my hopes of using this agency was going down the pooper. About a week later I FINALLY got a call from a really nice sounding lady named Chelsea. She said she was a case worker/counselor for the Grand Junction branch of LDS Family Services! What?! The agency is here in town?! YESS!! We scheduled a meeting at the Institute building that week. There isn't an official building for the agency and Chelsea is the only caseworker in Grand Junction so it was kind of neat to see how they just adjust to the surroundings and make the best of limited resources.

Chelsea made me feel so comfortable. She made sure no one was in the building when we met, reassured to me that everything we talked about was kept confidential, and that no one would know I was pregnant. I reassured her that I didn't care if people knew and I would still come to meet her even if there were 500 people in the building. I never felt ashamed or embarrassed that I was pregnant..EVER! In my mind I was pregnant, yes, but I was doing what I needed to do so if other people didn't approve- who cares? It's my situation and I don't need them anyways.

I had my mom come with me to my first appointment with Chelsea. We signed papers stating that everything was kept confidential and blah blah blah! (I don't think I have signed so many papers in my life compared to the past 9 months) I introduced myself and told her the background and all that. I told her I had chosen adoption at the time but I was more concerned about exploring my options. She explained that that was totally ok! Her purpose as my counselor was to help me make the best decision, weather it be adoption OR parenting. I think that is why I liked LDS family services, (I'm going to call it LDSFS because it's a pain to write it all out every time) they were open to helping me figure what was best and didn't ram adoption down my throat.

I had never been to counseling before so I had no idea what it would be like. I loved it from that day on. She asked me questions that helped me vent my feelings. She asked me how I felt and , to me, that was like the best thing anyone could ask! I could talk about ME and explain how I felt! I didn't have these crazy emotions or anything to get off my chest, but it was a great feeling to just tell her what was on my mind! I think after that appointment, that was the time that zombie-like feeling went away for good.

I want to add in that my counseling was 100% free! LDSFS provides free counseling to birth moms even if I decided against adoption. This is another amazing thing LDSFS does, I think!

I have said before that I am a planner. Things have to go a certain way and no surprises. I named this post Uncharted Territory because from the day I found out I was pregnant, everything was unfamiliar and new! It took a LOOOONG time to be ok with this.

My body was doing different things(annoying), I was going to counseling(weird), and I had NOO idea what to expect with adoption! I had a hard time getting used to the fact that I was no longer in control and I was now entering uncharted territory!