Children of Divorce

I think it’s an interesting notion that even though it’s a well known fact the children suffer the most during a divorce, there is nothing in place by adults to prevent this pain.

Children of divorce are known to love differently, live differently and trust less. How can you trust when your entire world falls apart, and your parents-who are supposed to put you first- put themselves and their vindictive agenda first. There’s also never a timeline. Adults are still children of divorce.

The never ending split holidays, guilt of leaving a parent out, the parent’s using “you’re just like your ___” as an insult, and almost without fail the parent that never lets it go. Whether it’s the small comments about what made the marriage miserable, or the “can you ask your dad/mom”, I wonder if there is still lying around the house. There’s never a boundary, and the longer that it goes on the less of one there is.

Children of divorce will never have it easy, and will always have pain. Sometimes being a child of divorce that never got stability, even as an adult, leaves you used to nobody in your corner. I’m always in the middle trying to please, trying to see everyone for the holidays, and left out if I do not try to include myself.

It’s always said children of divorce shouldn’t blame themselves, but who else is to blame when the only life affected in the negative, was mine.

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An Open Letter to my delivery nurses

You guys were so sweet, exhausted and ready to help me bring this life into the world. I was far from the only mom in the place, as hurricane Dolly induced every woman in her third trimester it seems.

You reassured me there would be a room, you let me know the contractions weren’t too strong to stress the baby, and you let me know that all my questions were okay-totally not stupid. Then you asked about my birth plan.

The air shifted slightly as I told you I was the Mom here who was placing into adoption, little did I know there was two of us. Your tone became sharper, your body became business and you went to the nurses station.

I was moved to a regular room, because birthing suites are for families and babies to bond. You laughed off when you grabbed the WRONG chart, and were preparing to give my baby to the wrong couple. You still smiled, but you asked if I needed anything less. You let me know the doctor was ready to do an examine, and you stood there as she reduced me to tears, because beyond my control-I could not deliver naturally. You patted my back, told me not to cry and walked me back to my room.

You told me to get some sleep and you would be back for the next day shift. I had nightmares all night, and you were back the next day. The morning wasn’t bad, since the sun had come out. You opened the windows and let me know the doctor had scheduled my c-section and you would be back at 2. Nobody checked on me until time for surgery.

After my daughter was born there was a different nurse. She was kind, she told me everything went well (see i passed out during the surgery), and my daughter was healthy. Later on, you were back. I asked for a birth certificate and you asked me “why, you aren’t keeping her.” I’m sure a valid question in your mind, but tact was not your strong suit. When I told you because I was promised one with my name on it, you got one and hastily handed it to me. At this time I was really hurt. I needed one person on my side, and there was truly nobody. When I asked for a shower, and you came to help-I noticed the look of disgust on your face, and the pointed conversation of not asking about my baby.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve forgiven you for your actions. I’ve prayed for whatever happened in your life to create that anger you held, and I’ve prayed that you learned love big enough that you would do anything to provide what’s best. I’ve made it my mission to help adoption to become understood from a birth mother’s point of view, so you no longer need to be forgiven by someone.

I remember you as I get older and have entered the medical field myself. I think of you when i don’t understand a person, and how I choose to respond. I think of you when I’m exhausted and really don’t feel like doing anything but my job, and remember my job is to make patients feel good, safe, and important. I remember you as I raise my son, and hope I show him love to be understanding when someone doesn’t understand him. I remember you when I write to fellow birth moms, to myself, and when I’m thinking about life.

I forgive you, and I thank you. Your actions hurt me for years, but your impact has helped shape me into a Women’s health Nurse Practitioner in progress. So I can make sure every mother knows, someone is on her side.

Thank you and God bless,

The Birth Mother in room 301

Not enough

Do you ever wish you were one of those Mom’s whose life just worked.

She stays home with the kids and she sells stuff from home, she has date nights, they take fun vacations, their kids are respectful and everything works.

Or she works, but she’s also always at the kids functions. She cooks dinner, manages date bight, looks great at work and play- also gets employee of the month.

Do you ever want to be that mom? Because i do. All the time. I constantly cannot win for losing. I have time at home, and we are scraping for bills. I work my share of a full time job and my kids fall off with behavior. I try to go back to school and everything goes to hell.

How do women manage it. How do Mom’s do this.

Questions i ask as i cry after another blow up from my teenager, another argument with my husband and another day of feeling not enough.

Life plans

Growing up, I never pictured the life that I have now. To be clear, I love my life. I love having a husband who I am so in love with it doesn’t feel real sometimes, and kids that make my entire world go round.. it just isn’t what I pictured. Watching Disney movies every Friday at 8/7 central like a religion, as only a true 90’s/early 00’s baby would, I wanted the successful life. The big nice houses, the family that takes the trips-gets the most futuristic robot house-minus it turning against us, the carefree and never have a disagreement family only TV can provide.

Like all carefully laid out life plans, everything did not go according to plan. I got pregnant in high school, and had my first child at seventeen years old. At that point in time I made the one decision that changed my entire life by choosing adoption. The moment I became a birth mom became the defining moment in my life of learning how to heal. The thing about healing is there is no manuscript. There are books, there are sayings, there are support groups, but there is nobody who can do it for you. You have to CHOOSE to heal, and let go of pain that has brought you down. It took me almost 10 years to learn this. It took me almost 10 years to learn to stop shoveling how life is supposed to be into the hole in my life, and to accept what life is-and learn to love it.

I always loved my husband and my stepson, at a guarded distance. At a very young and vulnerable moment I had love shown to me as fleeting. Everyone I loved and depended on as a child, abandoned me emotionally when I needed them most. THAT is life changing. That is also 100% of the cornerstone that I base all my parenting decisions off of. I teach my son it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to be brave, because you always have me in your corner. This can lead him to be a little..too brave sometimes. Because then he learns the difference between in your corner to defend you, and in your corner to correct you and help you grow.

Like most teens, he’s mouthy, full of attitude and snarky remarks, and moderately annoyed at his parents breathing in his vicinity-on a good day. Also like most teens, he has no idea what he is doing, even when he acts like he knows it all, and takes having his parents there to guide him for granted. This past summer we let him fly solo to grandmother’s house he went. Of course he was the coolest cat, not worried, keeping me at arm’s distance until we beeped his boarding pass and he realized this was as far as I go. There stood my snarky, moody, mouthy teen looking really small for being 6 feet tall, and lost. Because mom can’t come with you this time, this time I’ve equipped you with everything that you need to make it on your own-for a couple hours-and you’ll be fine.

In the weeks that followed that moment, it stuck with me. This is my life. This is why I went through everything I have gone through to get to who I am now. Because I found a man with a little boy, who needed a lot of healing too. Who needed a mom who knows how important it is to not give up on each other, and needed someone who understands pain and fear of not having a relationship you crave so bad it hurts. Everything that makes me a birth mom, makes me different, made me perfect for this family. God doesn’t make mistakes.

I found a man who fumbled his way into my heart, a little boy who needed a mom, and a peace that allows me so much happiness and joy for my birth daughter and her adoptive parents. Healing took away jealousy. Healing allowed me to love my life that went completely off plan. Healing allowed an angry, alone teenager to grow into a happy and loved woman, with an amazing life-just according to plan.

Psalm 71:9

Normally I speak on matters of being a birth mom, but today I had an interaction with my grandma that spoke to my soul.

My grandma is my Nanny. Nanny is my best friend, she has shown me true love in the deepest form and that beauty is only as beautiful as your true intentions in life. This woman is who i aspire to be. Worrywart, fussy and the kindest woman I know.

She was married to my Papa for 57 years before he passed away, and if you ask her today she’d let you know she is still married. They met in the fifth grade, and he was the only one for her. Their love story from WW2 is probably as beautiful as the rest, but I think it’s the best.. I’m a little biased.

She had my dad, and one premature baby girl who lived overnight. She taught elementary school and up until recently she could tell you something about every student she had, and she would beam about their accomplishments like they just happened. She is an amazing mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. She cares deeply, makes sure everyone is happy and makes sure everyone remembers to forgive each other at the end of the day. She is big on manners, the best cook (not the stereotypical white woman salt and pepper, call it a day cook either), she gets dressed to go to the store, and do not call at 7-9, she’s watching a movie on lifetime.

That’s the smallest nutshell I can put Nanny into. Like most grandmothers, she’s amazing.

She’s also old. She’s gotten weak, and it’s the hardest thing to see. When I go visit I do her hair, help her get ready for bed, and do her nails when she needs. Stuff I would not know how to do if it wasn’t for her. Activities I watched her do in awe as a little girl with her beautiful earrings, pins, hair that used to be brown and wavy, and the nightgowns she would let me wear because they were just like the princesses… not really, but I was a princess fanatic. She taught me how to play board games, how to brush my teeth, how to brush my hair 100 times a night and to lotion my neck as well as my face, so. many. things. She taught me. She also taught me kindness.

I was 7 years old when my Papa had his stroke. From the day he went into the hospital, until the day he was buried, I watched the ultimate display of love. Nanny waited on him hand and foot, sometimes so much he needed a break. She was at the hospital basically sun up to sun down, she helped him with therapy, she fed him his food, she helped bathe him, she showed me what it means to be a wife. She showed me what it means to be scared, but to be brave for the ones you love. She showed me how to be a strong woman when the only man you’ve loved your entire life isn’t there anymore, and you have to keep living.

I’ve been in the medical field since I was 18 and you always hear, “Take care of them like you would your grandparents.” I don’t think that statements truly hits home until you are looking at your grandparent in the shoes of your patients. I’ve helped treat plenty of old people. I’ve helped treat plenty of grandmothers, but helping treat my grandmother is a blessing.

I have felt honored when I’ve helped almost every patient I’ve laid eyes on. Even the difficult ones. Even the ones I groan a little to deal with, a medical professionals heart is just wired different, y’all. When it comes to it, I treat you like you’re me. I want you to feel honored, safe, heard, and loved because aside from modern medicine-medicine of the heart is the big healer.

But y’all, taking care of Nanny. Brushing her hair because I know it will make her feel better, helping her change/bathe/go to the restroom, guiding her to the bathroom and using the strength she gave me as a woman to remind her she is loved. That. That is the biggest blessing and lesson Nanny is giving me. I chose to name this blog Psalm 71:9 because it says as follows, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.”

Nanny does not say she is embarrassed by needing help with some things she needs help with, but she is. She is also grateful, as am I. When I didn’t have the strength to do for myself, she did for me, and I am more than blessed to do the same.

I don’t know a life without her. I know I will, and I don’t want too. But, I know I will learn to be okay. Because of everything she has given me in life, because of every smile I have shared with her, every laugh, and every lesson she has shown me. And because my family did not forsake Nanny and cast her away in her old age, we get the experience of the strength passed on. To wait on her like she waited on Papa and us when we needed it, and to experience a love so deep as this.

This spoke to my soul all day, and I wish for everyone to have a Nanny. To have the bittersweet joy of being strong for someone who was once strong for you.

*Pictured is young Nanny is the 40s wearing Papa’s boots and modeling their very first car.

Hiding

I feel like a majority of being a birth mom has to do with hiding.

Hiding a pregnancy, hiding a heartbreak, hiding how you search for updates/texts/phone calls, hiding the anxiety of being cut off from your lifeline, hiding a part of you that makes up most of what defines you, hiding behind smiles because society refuses to see the side of adoption that isn’t sunshine and rainbows, just simply hiding under the covers because the pain is too much to take on alone.

Why do we hide?

We hide from judgement that is all to everywhere. We hide from ourselves, our brain hardwired to protect our nervous system from too much trauma. We hide anxiety that makes us feel so vulnerable that we might as well ram the knife into our own hearts, again.

We hide from the feeling we aren’t good enough. We hide from not knowing who we are anymore. We hide from having our identity ripped away from a body that spent months transforming into motherhood, and goes home without a baby. We hide, because pain is supposed to be dealt with in private.

“Don’t hang your dirty laundry.”

How else is laundry supposed to get clean? Why is our laundry dirty? Everyone praises what a great decision being a birth mother is, then why are birth mothers left to hide. Left to feel powerlessly hidden behind a smile as everyone assumes why you made this decision, and reassuring strangers you do love your baby-and yes you’re okay. Because if you don’t hide behind that statement, society hides behind the norms that there MUST be something different.

You must love different, you must live different, your home life must be different, YOU ARE DIFFERENT.

This is a fact we can hide behind. Birth mothers are different, we do love different, we do live different and our home life is different.

We are different because we knew we would be treated differently for loving our child so much, we could change our life and have a home life that okays ourself with our child not knowing us as mommy. We are different, because we see the depths and non existent boundaries of love. We are different, because in the process of healing our own heart, we can empathize with those who need to feel heard. We shouldn’t hide.

We should pray.

Pray for those that judge, pray for our brain to process our grief, pray for the strength it takes to be vulnerable and we should build a support system when our vulnerability leaves us weak.

We should pray to love ourselves like God loves us, see what he sees in us. Pray for our body, for it is a temple, and it has housed a galaxy. Pray for our pain, and allow ourselves to feel it because the only way to stop feeling it, is to let it process.

We should celebrate.

Celebrate that we are enough. We are mothers, we made this decision any way but lightly, and we are not always okay. It’s okay to not be okay.

In church a couple sundays back, our preacher pointed out the devil works with separation. Separate us from who we thought we were, separate friends and family who don’t understand, separate us from societal norms and what it is to be okay.

The only way to beat it, is refuse to separate and refuse to hide. Let the birth mother who chose adoption’s story be heard. Let the hiding, the fear and the shame go. Let it fly in the wind, pray and celebrate yourself like everyday is your birthday. Because birth mothers are beautiful. Birth mothers are strong, birth mothers are brave and birth mothers deserve to not hide.

Birth mothers are the best example of a love like Christ, and that is nothing to hide.

*photo is not mine.

Birth Mother’s Day

Hey, my friends who have joined me on this birth mom journey! Tomorrow 5/12 is Birth Mother’s Day!

When i first became a birth mom this felt like an insult. Why am i not celebrated with the rest of the moms, why am i separated? It felt like i wasn’t Mom enough to be celebrated on Mother’s day.

For the first few years it was rough. I’d try to sleep in to miss church on Mother’s Day, but with a nanny like mine it’s hard not to go to celebrate her. It’s a strange stab in the heart when those innocent little faces with pink carnations walk down the aisle and squint their little eyes to see if you deserve a carnation, and either walk away or awkwardly hand you one they aren’t sure you should get.

Even more awkward is the stiff smiles and looks of people deciding whether to tell you happy Mother’s Day or not, most deciding not too. Because, awkward. Which is understandable. I’m THE most awkward person alive. Tough situations make people tuck tail and run, i get it.

Going through this I slowly accepted that this is why there is birth Mother’s Day. I didn’t flip through paint catalogs to pick the perfect colors, but instead flipped through family portfolios to pick a perfect family. I didn’t prepare a hospital bag for baby and I, i prepared a backpack for myself and left the hospital alone. I don’t wipe the tears, tuck away the monsters, or go to mommy and me. But, i do live my life for my birth child. I read her favorite books to see what she sees. I browse American Girl stores because they’re her favorite dolls. I think about her, worry about her, and dream big for her.

I’ve been told I’m not a mom, which in the most basic and literally sense concerning her, is true. But i am a mother, and a birth mom. I didn’t stay up at night with her, but i stayed up at night thinking of her. I stayed up nights praying all night that I wasn’t making the biggest mistake of my life. I don’t get to shape her dreams with my two hands, but i searched high and low to find two strangers I trusted to provide her with the opportunities I couldn’t.

So as time went on, and I got older I realized a day for birth Mother’s is appropriate. Separate, but not less than. Birth mothers deserve to be celebrated for what we do and who we are. The amount of love, selflessness and strength to make our decision, stand by it and keep going in life. All mothers who are moms have the same love. All mom’s deserve the utmost praise for the patience, love, sacrifice, and devotion they give to their family. Birth moms just walk a separate path, that is completely deserving of its own special day.

Requirements to be a birth mom

Another lifetime movie about a birth mom trying to steal her baby back, another adoption story from the adoptive parent perspective, another birth mom in a crackhouse or high trying to comfort their baby and make themselves look presentable, another newborn in a dumpster or a bush or found with drugged up parents.

Another stereotype.

Another way to distance normal society and birth moms. Another reinforced, mythical requirement to being a woman who chooses adoption.

In my 10 years of being on this journey, i have heard many opinions on my adoption. Most of which don’t match my situation. At all. Or any situation of a woman i know. Yes, laws are in place because birth moms have tried to steal back their babies, but they don’t tell you about the adoptive parents who falsify documents to steal a baby. Substance abuse is real, but it is not a requirement to be a birth mom. Several stereotypes have become default “reality” when people think of birth moms. Let’s talk requirements.

1. Be pregnant or have a child.

2. Love the child

3. Want a better life for that child.

That’s it. Many times women aren’t on drugs, aren’t abused, aren’t homeless, aren’t worthless, and definitely love the child. Many grown women in healthy marriages, with careers, with good lives choose adoption.

But why?! Why would you give away your baby.

I’m glad you asked.

See. It takes more than money and two parents to raise a child. It takes mental health, being ready, support from family and friends, a time in your life that you can dedicate a majority of your life to being a parent, and so much more. If you don’t have that, if you can’t do that, the situation is not good for a child. Not to mention the good amount of adoptions that are not by choice. Yes, the papers were signed without a gun to the mothers head. But she is young and the parents tell her that she can’t live there with the baby, the dad runs off, her friends can’t help, and she has nowhere to turn. Where does she turn. What does she do. Abortion or adoption she will be crucified.

Which is also my next point. I intentionally broke it down to those two choices. Because again, people think “well at least you didn’t abort.” I never thought about abortion. I wanted to raise my baby. I wanted to be her mom, raise her, hold her, and teach her. But as I got farther along the reality of everything that entailed began to take form. The lack of support was deafening, and I realized love and wanting to raise a child isn’t enough. I was old enough to get WIC, get on the housing list, get food stamps..I could have done it. But was I willing to do it 100% alone and make my child suffer more than I did. That’s what it came down too. In MY personal life, I did not want to do abortion. This is not to speak down on women who did want an abortion, but chose adoption. You did what is right for your situation, and my personal beliefs or feelings aside, that is on you. You live with your life, it’s on nobody else to judge. It is on decent human beings and Christians to love you, and support you.

The savior stereotype/the requirement to need saving. The adoptive parents give the baby “someone who actually loves them”. “You have saved that baby from a horrible life! You gave them something that they never would have had! How could someone not love something so precious, how blessed that you see how precious they are!” I need to know how people know this baby was saved. What is ACTUAL love, if not enough love to want your baby to have a life you aren’t ready for..how is that not seeing how precious they are? How do you know what they never would have had. Every parent, adoptive, step, or birth can give a child something the other parent can’t. That’s just personalities. The adoptive parents aren’t saving the baby, always. Nor are they saving the birth mom. My adoptive parents call me their angel, they are equally mine. They hold me up SO high, and so loved for being a mom, and for allowing them to raise our child. ALLOWING. Their word. They are amazing humans, that other humans could learn from. Now, do I celebrate like hell when my friends who suffer infertility get blessed with adoption? Hell yes! I also see the birth mom. I pray for her pain, and I am grateful the friends I have seen adopt or have family members adopt never bash the birth mom. I’ve seen them thank the strong woman who made parenthood possible. For that, I celebrate them even more.

This closely ties with when birth moms talk about their child. I LOVE to brag on my daughter. I love to talk about her daily. She’s a part of my life, she’s a part of who I am. Unless you’re a birth parent, you don’t understand, and that’s okay. I’m not looking to be understood by someone who can’t understand, I’m just looking to be heard. To be seen, and to be able to talk about a huge part of my life without being cut off because it’s uncomfortable, or to have an opinion that’s invalid. I’m not talking about her because I regret, or because I want you to ask if I regret my decision. That’s frankly none of your concern. Do you want me to ask how you feel you’ve failed as a parent, do you want me to give my opinion on how i would handle your child I do not know like you do, or on your life that I don’t live? No. You don’t. You don’t feel I understand, which I don’t, and that’s okay. But sometimes you want to vent, you want to brag, you want to aimlessly speak that Clemmy painted her crib with poop because you passed out folding laundry. No judgement, maybe a laugh, but just a statement. Because you’re a parent, like me, who just wants to talk about their kids. We may have a lot of grief. We may cry, and hurt…but we just want to talk. We trust you enough to see that, please do.

Another requirement deemed common by society is the baby goes with the new family and the birth mom is at the will of the family. We have no right to know about our baby. We do, actually. It’s in the legal paperwork drawn up for the adoption. It’s also up to us how open or closed we want the adoption, not the adoptive parents. Agencies do their best to match parents that have similar wants, but we are not at the mercy of the adoption agency or adoptive parents. Most adoptions past the unwed Mother’s home era, and the 80’s are semi open or open. It’s not unique that a birth mother wants to know about her child, or that she is involved in their life. It’s unique that people will listen to the actual situation before they speak their opinion on the situation. Open adoptions can be confusing from the outside. As stated previously, mine is semi open so I’ve asked women with open adoptions to explain to me their adoption dynamics.

One that sticks out is the pride. They get a front seat to their child growing up, and the ability to be proud daily. When explaining the dynamics it was explained as in laws. They see each other regularly at agreed times, and attend joint family functions. All family members are involved, and respectable to each other’s boundaries. It’s extended family. It seems strange. It seems like the “My sister is my daughter” scenario..but it isn’t. It’s healthy. It teaches children that love is endless, there’s never enough. It also shows that love does not have bounds. It doesn’t see a birth mothers inability to parent at the time adoption was decided as a downfall, but rather just another way to love her and celebrate her. Celebrate her ability to love so much, that she can understand when someone else is in a better place to parent, and want that for her child.

The last “norm” I want to talk about it the mentally ill, off her rocker birth mom. I mean what sane person would inspire a lifetime movie about wanting to steal her child?! Hello! Cuckoo much?

Well, no sane woman would. I have not met one birth mom that comes out of the situation without any mental scars. When a woman has a support system to remind her she’s loved, those scars aren’t as deep in the area of abandonment. Even though the mother is doing the act of placing the child into adoption, it is a loss. It is a bigger loss when you are 100% alone. When you rip your heart out of your chest, and nobody is there to remind you you’re loved. I feel it’s important to point out types of love. I had friends. A handful of friends that are precious jewels of life. They loved me, they supported me, they were there. My family was not. There’s a love only family can provide. Without that, no matter who loves us, the loss is there. We lose a piece of who we are. I was the girl ALWAYS laughing. I loved to smile, laugh, tell horrible puns, and be incredibly secure in who I was. Adoption changed that in me. I didn’t laugh, I didn’t smile, and I was incredibly insecure. I didn’t feel worthy of love, of happiness, of anything. If I had not had my few friends, my husband, and my grandma I would have been more bat shit than I already went. Your brain can only process so much grief and loss. I got to a point I would have done anything to feel loved, so without my few friends and family actually caring, it’s not that far fetched for me to track down my baby. Which, doesn’t speak on me. My brain was pushed to the max, and I was abandoned by those I needed. Instead of demonizing my primal need for love and security, society should scorn themselves for not normalizing loving and supporting a hurting member of your tribe. Don’t accept your family for what’s acceptable to you, accept them for who they are. Sane women don’t try to steal babies, abandoned women do. Thankfully with semi open and open adoption being the evermore option of adoption plans, these instances are farther and fewer between. No matter what the news tells you.

I’m not saying bad situations don’t happen, or that some adoptions aren’t saving the baby. Some are. That’s a battle not for me. My battle is for birth moms to be seen. Not just the birth moms who society believes we HAVE to be to be in this situation, but the mother we are. The caring, sane, loving, strong and successful women that we are. The only requirement to be a parent is love, the requirements to be a parent who is in a place to raise a child are many, many more. See a birth mother for who she is, she will probably inspire you.

Three syllables

It’s a strange thing how doctor’s can deliver the worst news in a tone that is even, yet their eyes show they care. My doctor has a very can do attitude, and giving up is not her philosophy. I’m grateful for her.

I wasn’t grateful when she said the word. The word infertile. Three syllables. Three syllables that open up farther into the future than you had planned at the moment. You don’t know what to say, think or do. You want to talk about it, but you don’t want to make it real. You had dreamed of more children, you had dreamed of a little nursery with adorable pictures, forcing your moody teenager to do cute poses with their baby sibling. You had thought of names, and of so many details. But it was always in the future. It would happen when God decided it was the right time.

What do you do when there won’t be a right time. What do you do when you’re a birth mom who chose adoption, inherited a fantastic bonus child, but you will never get a joy filled pregnancy. What do you do. As a christian, I turned to prayer. I realize several women have gotten my same verdict, and still had a miracle baby..but what do I do. Do I hold onto secret hope that will happen? Do I tell myself I’m being selfish..after all I did have one healthy pregnancy and I get to raise my son… what else could I ask for? How do I stop looking at pictures of babies and not want to cry.

For years after my adoption,  I told myself and others I didn’t want another baby. I didn’t want the pain of another pregnancy, I didn’t want to replace my birth daughter, I didn’t want to deal with the emotions that would be brought up. Grief has a funny way of wanting to be resolved, and all the emotions came anyways. All the pain was felt anyways. Everything was processed, anyways. So, I worked through it.  I got to a place that I REALLY want a baby. I REALLY want to be pregnant, do a surprise announcement, do a gender reveal, do the frantic sprint to the hospital..I REALLY want that. I want everything that I never got to experience. But like I teach my son, we don’t always get what we want.

So where do we go from here. My husband is nauseatingly optimistic about everything and doesn’t want to give up. Part of me never wants to give up, exhaust all options, and against all odds bring home a baby. Another part is screaming what if that doesn’t work. What if I spend enough to buy a house on treatments to end up empty handed. Wouldn’t that money be better use on our son’s college, buying him his first car, and buying us a house? Wouldn’t all of that be a waste of emotion and money when at the end of the day there is no baby in my womb.

It’s so lonely being the woman with the broken womb. The one thing that my body is supposed to do as a woman..bring forth children and nurture them, is doesn’t want to do. So, I guess from here.. I process. Like I learned to grieve and accept my adoption.. I will have to grieve and accept my broken womb.

 

Same old love

One thing that really drives me nuts is parent shaming.

Mom A is the best because she’s 100% crunchy and all holistic, Mom B is the best because she’s 100% western modern medicine and her kids are fully situated in who they are-both Mom believes she’s doing the right thing and the other is wrong.

Dad A is the grill KING, man can he throw a football, and he’s at EVERY function for the kids.. don’t forget that job that allows his family to live more than comfortably. Dad B works sun up to sun down, his kids know the value of a dollar and a hard days work, he may never be there but his family never wants for anything. Both dad’s believe they are doing the right thing, and are proud of themselves for it.

Pregnant woman A paints a nursery, reads all the books, and can’t wait to raise her baby because she is PREPARED. Pregnant woman B looks at portfolios, watches a belly grow to hold a baby she won’t watch grow, she cries but knows she isn’t prepared for a baby and the adoptive parents are. Both women believe they are doing what’s best for their situation, and they’re right.

All the parents are right. Both moms, both dad’s, both pregnant women all have one thing in common. The love they have for their kids. A common statement is, “I don’t understand….”.

Mothers raising children don’t understand how a woman could love her child, and place them into another family to be raised by “strangers”.

The strangers is a misconception in itself. Along with most of adoption.

The love a mother has for her baby that she places into adoption is no greater than or less than the mother who raises her baby. It’s actually exactly the same. Any mother given the chance will protect her baby above herself, and that is what birth mothers do.

No, not every birth mother is a drug addict, in poverty, in an abusive relationship, or any other stereotype- some birth mothers just don’t want their child to struggle. It doesn’t mean they look down on mothers raising their children that do struggle.

This is their child and their choice. Just like the Mom who reaches for an organic nut bar instead of a lunchable, the dad who teaches his son to balance a checkbook or throw a ball, or the Mom who raises her child and the Mom who doesn’t. The two previous examples are obviously easier choices than the decision to place your child into adoption, but i simplified it to express just that.

The decision for adoption is hard, and not taken lightly. The love for the child, is never the question or changing. The love for the child is the one constant, binding factor to remind us we are parents. To remind us that what we fight for isn’t ourselves-but beyond it. Just like every other parenting decision, it’s trying to make the best decision to give our child the best chance to be the adult that we know they can be. Even when they are still growing in our belly or a few hours old. Or even if they are a few months or a few years.

It’s okay to not understand, it’s okay to feel like you could never do what another mother did. That might be true. You know yourself, you know your family and support system, you know YOU. You don’t know them. Don’t base another parents decision off your circumstance, quit parent shaming and remember we are all doing what we think will help our tiny humans be the best adults they can be.