Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dear Adoptive Parents

Dear B and K,

                It may not be the traditional thing for the birthmom to write to the adoptive parents. Usually it’s the children or the adoptive parents writing to the birthmom or the birthmom writing to a child (like I did with my letter to Colin), but I was sitting here thinking and realized that I have so many things I want you to know as well. Some of these things I’ve probably said and maybe some of them I haven’t.

                The first thing I want you both to know is that even though I’ve only known you for such a short amount of time (even though it feels like we’ve been friends for a lot longer!) I can honestly and truly call you a part of my family. There is a bond and love here that no one will be able to replace or tear apart.

                I mention a lot of the pain that I’m going through and believe me this is not to make you feel bad at all! I’m quicker to talk about the pain of placing Colin than I am to talk about the joy of it. I love you guys for so much that you haven’t even technically done yet; for the home you’re going to provide this little monkey with; for the financial stability; for the two-parent household. I love you for the things that I know you’ll provide for him; the things that at the moment I can’t.

I hope you don’t feel like you owe me anything because (and don’t take this the wrong way- it’s meant to be completely positive) I’m not giving Colin to you; I’m giving you to Colin. He deserves the best and that’s what you are. You’re his gift and I didn’t realize that until today. You’re his parents and he is your son and he is my birthson; my pride and joy and nothing in this world is going to change that; any of that. He has so much love already and while it makes me sad to know that I won’t get to hold him every day. It makes me happy to know that I gave him what I wanted to give him all along. I gave him a family. He has two dads, two moms, three grandmas and grandparents, and a WHOLE bunch of aunts and uncles. He is loved and for that I’m so happy.

The second thing is that I don’t want you guys to be afraid of saying something wrong around me. Don’t be afraid to call him your son; your little boy; your baby. He IS. I may call him mine from time to time (such as my birthson, my baby, my little monkey) and in a sense I do feel like he always will be. That’s not to take away from your role as his parents at all! He is just as much yours as mine and as much mine as yours. It’s the parental and unconditional love that makes someone a mother or father. I’m not his mom and I’ll never try to be. I’m his birthmom and I’ll respect that role and be proud of it.

Another thing is that when he is FINALLY here please don’t feel like you’re being “pushy” if you send me little updates (even if it’s every 5 minutes –I’ll keep my phone on silent when I’m in class) or thousands of pictures. I’m going to be grateful for every single one and there won’t be a single time where a “he has the sweetest smile” or “he just loves being on his tummy” texts annoy me. Those small little things are going to mean everything to me! And don’t be afraid to tell me how much you missed him if you went away on a trip or even out to eat. I love knowing how much you love him! Don’t think for a second that it’s going to hurt my feelings. I’ll be the first one to tell you everyday how much I miss him so don’t be afraid to tell me the same. Now I’m not saying you have to text me 24/7 I’m just letting you know that you’ll never come off as “pushy” or “annoying” to me.

In fact, even though I am going to love to hear about him, you can always text or email me or facebook me about anything! You guys are family and I want to know what you guys are up to and to tell you how college is. I’ll probably need help on homework or just need advice. Colin brought us together but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ask about me or I can’t ask about you. Keep sending me pictures of Milo and Jasper, send me pictures of you guys just hanging out and being silly if you want! (although I would love pictures of Colin “cuddling” with Milo and Jasper!) I care about you guys just like I care about Colin. You’re family now; you’re not just my little monkey’s parents. You’re not someone I HAVE to talk to. You two are family that I WANT to talk to.

                When he gets older and starts to color and he makes 8,000 pictures of nothing but scribbles please don’t throw them out. I would be more than happy to have pictures of nothing but scribbles. And all the pictures you send don’t have to be perfect. I want to see him acting silly and pouting. I want to see him as he is.

                Life isn’t easy but it’s worth it and I’m so grateful to know that Colin is going to have two amazing parents that love him unconditionally. I hope you both know that you can come to me with anything. Whether it is fears or maybe I’m getting “annoying” with texts or emails. Please know that you can talk to me about it. Conversation and trust is huge in open adoption. I trust that you’ll take amazing care of my little monkey and you have to trust that I’m going to make this decision and that I’m going to respect my role as birthmom and your roles as mom and dad.

                I’m lucky to have you two in my life. I seriously don’t know what I would do without you.

                Love always,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dear monkey

Dear my little monkey,

                You’re growing bigger and stronger every day. Right now you’re still in my belly and I can tell you right now that I am so excited to hold you! Sometimes I sit up all night wondering what you’re going to look like. I wonder if you’ll look anything like me and if you’ll act anything like I do. You’re already really silly. You love to wake me up by kicking me very very early in the morning (usually about 5am!) I wonder if you’ll be a morning person. I have so many questions about the future, but one thing I know I won’t have to worry about is you getting the love and care you need.

                Adoption is the hardest thing in the world. Don’t for one second ever feel like I did this because I didn’t love you. I love you more than anything in the world, monkey. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with you, you have been my entire world! When I first found out I was pregnant, I was scared but I thought I would be able to raise you. I didn’t think for a minute about not calling you mine. I didn’t have a plan but I knew that I had to have you in my life.

                I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have any money, a car (I didn’t even have my license), a home, a job, or a boyfriend/husband. The only thing I had was you, honey and that was enough. It was enough for me. The problem was that it wasn’t enough for you. The more I thought about you and how much I loved you the more clear everything became. I wanted more for you. I wanted you to grow up in a nice finacially stable home with a mommy and a daddy. I wanted you to have the best life possible and have all the opportunities.

                It was the hardest thing in the world to realize that adoption was the best plan for you. I met with this social worker and she was super nice! She taught me a lot about adoption and also about “open adoption”. She said that I could place you for adoption and still be able to watch you grow up and see you. I couldn’t pass something like that up. Here was a plan where I could give you the life you deserved and still be able to have you in my life; to tell you just how much I love you.

                Soon after that I started looking at couples that wanted to adopt. I went through profile, after profile, after profile. I looked at the couples from the agency, couples from online profiles and even from other agencies. I searched high and low for the perfect mommy and daddy for you. I started talking to your mommy after I saw her’s and your daddy’s profile. They looked so silly (in a good way of course). They looked kind, loving, goofy, and as silly as it sounds they looked like parents. I could picture them holding you and taking care of you. Something just told me that these two were the ones.

                I met your mommy and daddy in September for pizza and cupcakes! I officially made up my mind about them the moment we started talking. I didn’t do much of the talking but things just felt right. I told your mommy that night after meeting them that they were going to be parents! They couldn’t have been happier, honey! I knew from that moment that your life was going to be filled with so much love.
                I want you to have everything you want out of life. Whatever you want to do in your life I’ll always be ther e to support you. You can grow up to be whatever you want to be. Dream big. No dream is to far out of reach. You can be an astronaut, a firefighter, a doctor, a teacher, an artist, or even all of those things if you really want to. I want you to grow up knowing that you’re loved by so many people. I want you to grow up and be someone YOU can be proud of because I will always be proud of you. I hope that this life becomes all that you want it to.

It’s not easy to place such an important part of your life into someone else’s arms but I think I’m making the right choice and I hope one day you feel like I did. I just want so much for you, monkey; so much that I’m afraid I can’t give to you right now. One thing I can always give you though is my love. Never doubt my love for you. Words can’t explain how much I love and care about you. I would do anything in the world for you. Everything you do, every kick and squirm inside my belly and every hiccup too, amazes me. I promise you that I will always be here for you. You can call me at 3 in the morning just because you can’t sleep or you don’t feel good and I would talk to you until your eyes can’t stay open anymore. If you ever need me you let me know and I’ll be there for you. You will always be my little monkey.

I love you to the moon and back, Colin.

Love always,

Friday, September 7, 2012

The gift of a child

I don't think there is a more precious and amazing gift than the gift of a child and today I got to experience what it is like to give that gift to someone; to an adoptive couple who have been praying for a child to call their own. 

I will just say that no matter how hard the choice to place your own flesh and blood up for adoption is this part is truly amazing. To know that you just made someones day a miracle is the most amazing feeling in the world. I told the adoptive mom tonight and to hear how excited and happy she was made all of this worth it. I gave her something that very very few people will be able to give her and her husband. That is the gift of a child. 

It's not an easy choice to decide on adoption but not all of it is horrible. You can change so many people's lives for the better. This little boy is going to have two amazing parents (and one awesome birthmom too!!) and a life that alone I would never be able to provide. This couple is going to experience the joys of raising their first baby and all the excitement that comes along with that. I'll be able to go to college and watch this little boy grow and smile and I'll know that everyone is so happy with the decision. 

I'm excited to go shopping with the new momma for baby clothes! I know I'm going to spoil this little monkey to death. He's never going to be short on clothes and toys! It is going to be great to be able to have that bonding time with the adoptive parents too before he gets here. 

Also he now has a name: Colin Tony-Gerald. 

He is named after both my grandpa who is struggling with cancer and also after his adoptive momma's grandpa who has passed away. We are honoring to amazing men in our lives with this amazing child and I am so so proud to call myself his birthmom. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Letter to Me

I see all of these people writing letters to themselves. They usually start out with "Dear 17 year old me" or something along those lines. Well I'm going to do things a little different....

Dear 40 year old me, 

I hope your life turned out the way I always dreamed it would. I hope you're married and you're the parent to 3 beautiful children and that you've kept in contact with your adorable birthson. I wonder what he'll look like and be doing with his life by the time you turn 40 and reread this letter. 

Did you become a social worker? Did you buy that house you've always dreamed off? Did you make a difference in the world like you promised you would? How's mom and dad? Have you called them up lately? 

I'm just writing to you to remind you to stop and breathe. Take the time to remember "Hearts Forever" (hopefully you have that tattoo by now); remember all the heart breaks you've went through; remember the joy of when your dad came home from the hospital after his kidney transplant; remember the laughs and all of the crazy things you did in high school; take a moment to remember how scared you were when you found out you were pregnant at 17 and the happiness I hope you finally found after placing this little man (who is kicking inside my tummy right now) into the arms of another couple. 

You may be older but try not to forget butterfly kisses, playing games with your siblings after being told to go to bed, getting accepted into college, getting your first guitar (I hope you FINALLY learned to play), graduating from high school, movie nights with the family even if some of the movies were really stupid, and when you recorded that song (you finally felt like you accomplished one of your childhood dreams). 

You went through a lot in your first 18 years and no matter how scary and horrible things were at the time you made it through. Whatever you may have going on now always remember that in life there is only one sure thing: it goes on. 

I hope you never grew up more than you had to; I hope you kept that inner child alive and that you still dream with your whole heart. I hope you've kept your head up, but tried to remember that being strong doesn't mean you can't cry. I hope you grew to be the woman I know I can be. 

I hope you never had any regrets. 

-18 year old you. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Ain't Goodbye...

A Journey Begins with a Single Step

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 

We've all heard that quote. One you may or may not have heard before is: Even the longest journey must begin where you stand. 

Both are great quotes but now here I am sitting on my bed, writing my first blog post, wondering: how many miles have I walked? Where do I stand? 

We could always start with the facts: 

Fact: I'm currently 18 years old. 
Fact: I graduated from high school in May of 2012
Fact: I live in No Where, USA (aka everyone knows everything about you- even the things that you don't know about yourself) 
Fact: I'm 27 weeks (and 4 days) pregnant. 
Fact: It's a boy
Fact: I'm placing him up for open adoption. 

If you've never been in this type of position and are wondering why I'm placing my own flesh and blood into the arms of another couple than we'll continue:

Fact: I have no degree
Fact: I have no job
Fact: I have no money
Fact: The father of this child doesn't have any of those either
Fact: I'm single
Fact: I live with my parents, my 5 younger siblings, a dog, 2 turtles, and I lost count on the number of fish
Fact: I could be a wonderful mother
Fact: He deserves better than just a wonderful mother
Fact: He's going to have a wonderful life

So where do I stand? 

In the hardest position I've ever been in. 

For those of you who don't know much about open adoption I'll give you a brief description: An open adoption is an adoption where the birthmom and birthdad have contact with the adoptive family and child after placement. The openness of the adoption varies from situation to situation but most include visits, pictures, and updates of the child at least a couple times a year. 

So lets quickly go over a few more facts: 

Fact: I'm going to be able to visit this child
Fact: I'll get pictures and updates
Fact: I'll be able to tell him in person how much I love him
Fact: He'll grow up understanding that I did want him but I wanted him to have a better life
Fact: It's not goodbye, it's see you later

A million things run through my mind on a daily basis and I've wished so many times and prayed to God that my life would take a miraculous turn. That some how I'd be 3 years older, almost have my degree, have a stable job, have a place of my own, and have a husband. I'd wish that I could be his mom. What I'm starting to realize however is that I am a mom. I won't be a parent, but I am his mom. I love this little boy more than anything in this entire world and it's because I love him that I'm able to do this. He gives me the strength to do this. 

God works in strange ways. He pushes us to what we think are our limits and continues to push us past them. One year ago if someone had asked me if I got pregnant would you be able to give your baby up for adoption I probably would have said no. Looking at it now though it is such a beautiful situation; a scary, sad, confusing, beautiful situation. 

God gave me this baby so that I could give the gift of a child to a couple who couldn't have biological children. He gave me this sweet little boy and asked me to care him, to love him and to carry him for a waiting mother who couldn't. I'm doing His work. He didn't plan on leaving me empty and alone though. He showed me what an open adoption could be like. Through this child he has taught me that it's not what I'm giving up, but what I'm giving; it's not how hard the choice is but how easy it is to love someone enough to make it; and that even in the scariest situations something beautiful can happen. 

Loved you yesterday; love you still. Always have; always will.