Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why I'm Choosing to be Happy


So I've been a huge brat lately and I'll be the first to admit it! As a birth mother, still in the grieving/ healing process, it is really easy to play the "victim card" and kind of think the world is against you. And sadly, I was caught in that for a short time. I found myself over thinking things (yet again) with Nicole and Toby and just thinking people were being insensitive towards me. I mean COME ON I'm a birth mom - all should obsess over my sacrifice and I deserve a pat on the back every chance I get right? WRONG!!!

I read an amazing blog post written by another birth mom who is a big adoption advocate. I was able to meet her in person last month and I just adore her! You have probably heard of her also and adore her just as much- if not- you should! Anyways, her name is Ashley Mitchell and in her blog post titled, Victim of Adoption?, she does an amazing job at explaining her opinion of how birth moms should handle these kinds of situations. My post today is going to expand what I took from the second section she wrote about being the victim of the adoptive parents.

When I first read this part, to be honest it kind of hit me a weird way, probably because it totally opened my mind up to another aspect I never even thought of. As my birth mom journey progresses on, I have always known that visits with Kinley would become farther apart. Especially since Grant and I are married, we are our own family, just like Nicole, Toby, Taylee, and Kinley are all their own family. I know I have said multiple time that we are like a family, but that's just it- we are LIKE a family. Anyways- I always knew that there would come a time when there was a natural separation that would happen as time went on and the C family and I took our "separate ways." I don't mean this in a way that we never talk to each other again and we walk away from each  other, I mean it as we each have lives to live and there comes a time when we move on from the "new-placement" stage and live our lives and be productive and contribute back to life. Although adoption will forever be a part our lives, we don't have to dwell on it all the time. Anyways- after all the excitement wore off of Kinley's first birthday, we talked about her 2nd year. We decided visits would be a few more months in between. Me, being a brat, took it as a sign they wanted distance from me- which is true- but not in the way I was over thinking. Of course there needs to be distance- to have a healthy relationship with ANYONE you need some distance. But I made the mistake and pulled the "victim card."

Sometimes I think that I am entitled to things when it comes to Kinley and get upset if things don't go the way I imagined. But I love how Ashley says the adoptive parents don't owe us (birth moms) anything. It's so true- yeah I gave them a child- but that doesn't mean they are forever indebted to me. All I should expect is respect, but not because I'm a birth mom- because I am a person. the same respect I give the cashier at the grocery store or the guy walking down the street. And I want to make it clear that I 100% get this respect from them- I don't want to make it sound like I don't.

Like I said before, there is a natural separation that occurs every once in a while. This happened a few days before Kinley was born- I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to parent her, and I set up emotional-barriers to protect myself from unhealthy bonding. I love her no doubt, but I was preparing to love her in a different way than the typical expectant-mother. I also had this natural separation a few moments before I placed Kinley in her new mommy and daddy's arms. There was a part of me that just knew and felt it was time to place her. This natural separation occurred when Kinley was about 3 months old. It was the first time reality actually set in that I was not and never would be Kinley's parent. This natural separation happened again when Kinley turned 10 months old and I again detached part of my heart and realized I indeed would not be celebrating Mother's Day as a "normal" mom. And here we are at Kinley's almost 15 month mile stone and the natural separation is happening again. I am realizing that our lives are going on and time can't stand still. I don't want these separations to sound so sad and horrible, but they are hard realizations; but key to healing. When you are stubborn and hard-headed like me, you don't take these changes very well, and you try to find ways to blame others. In my case, there is no one to blame, no one.

I guess the whole point of this post is to let the world know, I AM CHOOSING TO BE HAPPY. I am choosing to embrace these changes and separations and I'm choosing to deal with them in a healthier way than playing "victim." I refuse to get hung up over stupid things and I refuse to neglect my own family and worry about Kinley's. She is taken care of- I know that- but I always still worry- can you blame me? I love her. Ashley talks about taking the "Guest star roll." I like how she puts that. When I was pregnant yes- maybe I was the "star roll"- but that was because Kinley (the actual star roll) was inside me. Choosing to place and be a birth mom means that I put Kinley first and I step aside. Which is harder said than done.  I feel like I never officially stepped down; until now and I have accepted that.

Instead of expecting the world and then some from Nicole and Toby, which is what I often find myself doing, I have decided to step back and let things happen on their own in their own timing. If you force things, chances are they aren't going to work out the way you wanted them to and usually you get your feelings hurt. Which is what happens when I force things with my adoption. Again- I'm not blaming the C family for being mean or anything- they don't know what I want. I'm just choosing to step back and be thankful for what I am given. Instead of being grumpy that an email was a few days or weeks late, I'm going to be grateful I got one- not all birth moms even get one email in a whole year. Instead of complaining I only get to see Kinley 3 times a year- I'm going to be so thankful her parents allow me to be in their lives allow me to see them! In the grand scheme of things- I am a very fortunate birth mom. I get to be involved in Kinley's life, I have some input on things, and I am aware of events in her life. I recently ordered prints of every single picture I own of Kinley and I put them in a photo album. One of the reasons was on case my computer or phone memory crashed, I would have hard-copies of them, but also to have an easy way to flip though pictures of my girl! Anyways- as I was going through all of these pictures I couldn't help but cry! Not because I miss her, but because I am so incredibly blessed to have more than 500 pictures of Kinley. In all stages of her life! It was at that moment that I wanted to slap myself and wash my mouth out with soap because how could I take all of that for granted? Sure, I don't get an email at exactly every week or month, but who cares? At least I get one!

So in conclusion, I'm going to put my "victim card" away- toss it in the fire actually- and put my big-girl panties on and start acting like a responsible woman. I am in charge of my feelings and only me. Starting today- I am stepping back from what I can't, and most importantly CHOSE not to be apart of, and I'm going to start focusing on my life I am in right now. I have waisted so much precious time when I could have maybe given my husband some un-divided attention or maybe helped out another person in need. My pretty girl is taken care if- her needs are being met- and I can't be more happy for that! Is it hard taking the "guest star" roll? oh yes- but is it necessary? Absolutely.

Until next time.