Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chairs

As I was watching a movie the other day, the quote has stuck in my mind, "Every woman has her chair, something she needs to put herself into..." you know, from that movie Phenomenon. I love it, still, and even though I haven't watched it in a million years, I still enjoy it.  

As I heard that, I remembered my own love. I remembered how he ' buys my chairs'. 

The VERY first time that I ever hung out with my husband, we talked for 4 hours. In those 4 hours he asked and I answered every question he had about my story. About my experience with adoption. About my relationship with that angel boy and his AMAZING parents. And, well, he also got to hear a lot about what he didn't ask.  As those few weeks passed, he invited me to meet his family.  We weren't "together", as we had been making very clear to everyone(verbally at least), and they saw through that hand holding.  A little surprised, and nervous, I asked if he had let his family know that I'd had a baby. I wanted to be sure that they knew, that they would be OK with their son being friends with/having a relationship with, a girl who'd had a child already.  That my past wouldn't interfere with their feelings towards me. 

You see, I'd dated/gone out with, many boys. Many of them told me that they didn't want to date anymore because the "kid". I had many flat out say, "I would never date a girl who had a baby.". It broke my heart. I knew that if they weren't OK with that piece of me then we didn't need to waste our time "meeting the family". I know no one is perfect, there are rare occasions where in-laws butt heads ALWAYS. And well, that was a big thing that I felt important for them to know first hand.  

Long story short, we got married(big smile), so they were OK with that big piece of me. 

Ever since then, he has let me do whatever I have wanted to do with my story. Not only that, he has always been supportive of my openness about placing a child for adoption.  Some people have told me I don't need to tell everyone that I had a baby that I placed.  The tones I hear are that of shame. I am not ashamed to be a Birth Mom.  I am absolutely HONORED.  Not only did I get to have the blessing of being able to carry a child, but I was able to give him a life he deserved. I was able to give 2 people a child they so longed for and wanted. I was able to give grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, another person to love. There are no children more loved in this world that those who have been placed.  

It is also lucky on my end, for so many reasons, but one in particular, is the BIGGER family that I have now, and that my kids get to be a part of..  My daughter calls them Papa and Nana, and knows them and loves them. And my husband and I get to love our kids more than ever!!!!

Every chance I get, I participate in group at the local LDS Family Services, and my Derek supports and encourages me to go. It is AMAZING the women I've met in just a few short weeks that I've been going down here.  And so many girls that have to make such a tough decision.  

I love doing panels, going to group, standing in a college hall during Adoption Awareness Months, or going to a local High School to talk about my experience with an unexpected teen pregnancy.  I hope that someone can make such an unselfish and hard decision because of me. Or that I'll have informed someone of what a blessing adoption is!!!

I am so grateful for Derek 'buying my chairs'.  I sure got lucky. Even if our road has been TOUGH, it has never wavered on his support in my desire to do more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Open Adoption, Open Heart

We don't have the Internet right now, we won't for another month until we move, it is a little difficult for old Jen over here!

Open Adoption, Open Heart: I have read this book twice now. I will read it a third time too, I'll probably start again on Saturday. Its short, its to the point, its informative, its everything.  I have had the opportunity of becoming part of a group on Facebook: Open Adoption, Open HeartThere, I have been able to talk numerous times to Russell & Jammie, to see their thoughts on Adoption, to hear of the love they have for their children and their Birth Mothers.  It also helped me understand a little more about those amazing couples who we place with.  Their struggles, and trials, and broken hearts that they have to go through. Then their love, strength, and EXCITEMENT to begin their families!

There are so many points in that book that I couldn't agree with more, and ones that I wondered if I could have handled things as well.  One example: Brianna, at 15, leaving her home, moving across the states, into a complete strangers home.  I don't know if I could have done that. She was brave, she wanted to do whatever it took to give that baby everything she ever wanted him to have. 

Russell also tells of how a person asked if his "mother" loved music because of how much Ira loved music.  Now, I can't deny that there were numerous times in the early years of placement that I made statements of how much he did something like me, or that he like something like I did.  It only took a couple years for me to learn/be inspired, or to feel something undeniable true.  As much as I love art and music(in all forms), he does not posses that talent from me.  Yes, he and I have the same blood, but everything he is and does he has learned/obtained because of his amazing parents.  I don't feel he has gotten anything from me; in terms of talents, abilities, etc.  If it weren't for his parents, he may not have had the opportunities to find so many of his talents. His grandpa is an artist, his other grandparents are incredibly hardworking and loving. His Uncles and Aunts are all incredible smart. His Mom, is a teacher, is  beautiful, and has such an incredible gift of love. His Dad, is also incredibly smart, hard working, fun, funny, and honors his priesthood. He not only mimics his family in talents, but in their physical appearance as well. His blond hair and blue eyes, match exactly, to his aunts and cousins. And even now, his little sister has blond hair and blue eyes(he was pretty excited at that turn of hair color). 

Also, they felt as if they were responsible for Briannas happiness. They were all "facebook friends" when she returned home after placing.  And they mentioned how it wasn't really in their best interest to try to read into one line statements and/or "updates" from facebook. 

I always had the assumption, while I was pregnant, that Heavenly Father wouldn't allow me to go through any more trials because this one was so large. That my life would be butterflies and rainbows. Awe, isn't it a great picture you can paint I'm your head, you can just see it all so clearly right?! Well, I could, and I truly thought there was no way life would ever get harder. Or, hard at all. 
As chance would have it, life has continued to had me lemons. I have continued to have trials, and have a hard time making Lemonade out of those lemons. Truly, I have had no desire to make Lemonade and have seem to swallow myself in self pity, or lack of desire to push for change. I didn't ask for help, and still don't.  I have, very very often, been very public and open about how hard my life is... not ever thinking that if someone reads this that is having a harder time than myself, they may just punch me in the face. I can say that, cause I've heard and read things by others and wanted to punch them in the face!  What I have learned in just the past few weeks is this...

My life is hard, but so is every other persons on this earth. Where 50 could be a LOT to loose to one person, it is the same as if a rich person were to loose 500.  I have learned, that I am in charge of my own happiness. I hope that R & S never felt like they were responsible for my happiness. If they were, I would be the happiest person alive(truly).  They have made me forever happy, because they were at the right place at the right time. Because they are E's parents.  I am not, but I am lucky enough to be his Birth Mother. And that is something that  could never make me sad.

That 'forgetting' is OK. That change is OK, even if it is hard. That asking for help, even if it is the thing i hate the most, is a GREAT thing.  I love when people ask me for help, I'd drop whatever I'm doing just to help.

I have learned, as of yesterday, that my story may be to honest for some people. That the truth will always be there.  And that my intentions of this blog is to start to organize all i want to say.  I will not ever say something to make someone feel bad. Everything I say is my opinion, my story, and MINE alone. If I ask someone to be a part of this and maybe allow me to post some of their story... that is different.  Just because I have a hard day(you know when I had my "hardest day") It isn't to make someone feel bad, its to express answerer. And to let people know life still is hard, and we all have to make CHOICES. 

I made many dumb choices after placing, Those are just some of the reasons my life has continued to have hard moments.  I can't base my happiness off of anyone else. I can't base their happiness off of my own(though that doesn't ring true with my kids - a story for another day). But If I am happy, maybe I can help be a LIGHT to someone in the dark.

Russell and Jammie, you have been a Light in my Dark. And even if I'm jealous at small moments of you, its only because I think the best of you. And, it gives me something to work towards. The same goes to R & S, you were the Light in my Dark.  And you are my heroes. You two are the best parents EVER. Those kids of yours are so so lucky!!!!  Us, girls, are lucky to have you.