I Am A Birth Mother, That Does Not Make Me A Bad Person

I have an Adoption Tattoo on my arm. I don’t try to hide it. I am proud of it, and I am proud of what it represents.

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I am an Adoptee and I am Birth Mother and I will share my story with anyone who asks and will listen.

When people see my tattoo they are always interested to know what it means. As soon as they find out I am adopted it brings on a slew of questions and remarks, always good things. Some such remarks I have heard are “Wow that is amazing. You are so lucky you found a good home. That is such a beautiful story.”
However when those same people that get so excited and happy that I was adopted as a baby find out I am a birth mother everything changes. Those same people will suddenly take a step back, look me up and down, shake their head and walk away. Sometimes they will even say things like “How dare you! How could you do that to your baby?” and storm off.

As long as someone views me as some helpless baby that got “taken in” or “rescued” its sweet and cute even. However as soon as they learn that I gave up a baby for adoption I am suddenly a bad person. I am here to tell you that that is not the case, not even close.

Birth parents are not bad people. We are not heartless. We do care. We do love our children. We did what was best for our children, even if that wasn’t what we wanted to do, we had to put our children first.

I had my son when I was 17. There was no way I could give him the life he deserved. I wanted the best for him. I wanted to give him a better chance at life. I wanted him to have a life that I knew in my heart that I could not give him.

Did I want to keep my son? Did I want to be the one that he calls Mom? Did I want to be the one he cries for when he’s scared, hurt or sick? YES. A million times yes.
Did my heart break into a million pieces every day of my pregnancy knowing how it would end? Did my heart completely destroy itself when I had to walk out of that hospital empty handed while I watched another woman walk away with my son, her son? YES. A million time yes.

I sacrificed my own heart, my own feelings and my own dreams so that my son could have what he deserved. So he could have more than what I could give him.

I am not heartless, I am not mean, I am not a bad person.

I am a birth mother. I put my sons needs before my own.

I sacrificed everything so my son could have a better life.

So next time you find out someone is a birth mother, think before you speak, find out her story.

~ Michelle

I Met My Birth Mom. What It Is Like Two Years Later.

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Roses my Birth Mother gave me 2 years ago

Two years ago I met my Birth Mother and Birth Grandmother for the first time.
Two years later and honestly I still feel just as confused as I did on that day.
On that day I could not find any of the right words that even resemble what I was feeling or thinking. I just could not seem to put this into the right words, and I still can’t. This is not an easy situation, it is a lot more complex and confusing than I would have ever thought possible.
So please bear with me through this.

I met my Birth Mom and Birth Grandmother.
This should be a happy moment. Right? Cloud 9. Jumping up and down. Happy dance. All of that right?

Let me back up a little bit. I spent my entire life, for as long as I can remember with certain beliefs about my birth mom. I knew it was silly, and I shouldn’t assume things about someone I knew nothing about, but I also felt I was right. Something I knew in my heart to be true. Like we had a connection or something. As I grew older and heard horror stories about Adoption Reunions I knew to always “expect to the unexpected” so to speak. So I tried my hardest to expand what I believed. There were just certain parts that I could not let go of. My heart just told me they were true. I hoped for the best and prepared for the worse.
My first mistake was thinking my search would be easy. Of course she would be looking for me. All of them would be. Of course there would be an easy trail for me to find. Turns out it was not easy, or quick. My search took nearly 10 years.
Then reality came knocking on my door, more like destroyed it actually. Out of the 100,000,000,001 scenarios I thought of none of them were true.
I realize this was fully on me, I only have myself to blame. But after believing for so long in something, trusting your heart for so long, and realizing it was all wrong, to have your beliefs’, hopes, dreams, thoughts, all crushed… It was hard. I had to re-evaluate everything I thought and believed about myself, about her, about everything connected to my Adoption. That connection I believed I had, that I was somehow special because I felt this, was gone.

Throughout this I did, and still do, feel so blessed and lucky that I have been able to actually find my birth mom. That’s the important thing here. I actually found her. I am one of the lucky ones. My search was finally over. A whole new journey is before me now.

When it came time to actually meet her, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to feel. I was confused before she even stepped foot in my house. Which took me by a giant surprise. I thought I was ready to take this step. I thought I knew what I wanted, how I felt, everything. I thought meeting her would be the next natural step and everything about it would be natural and free-flowing.

As I looked into the eyes of the person that gave birth to me, as I looked into the eyes of my birth grandmother for the first time, my blood…. I don’t know. In that moment in time, I didn’t know what to feel, think or expect. I was shaken to the core from this meeting.

I looked into their eyes and it really hit me, there is a whole family history there that I’m connected to it. But I don’t feel connected. I should feel connected, right? Should it be an instant connection? We are blood after all. There should be a bond? Something small there at least? Where did that connection go that I thought I had with her growing up? Was that really gone? Or was it just my beliefs that were gone? I thought it was just my beliefs. For sure some connection should remain?

I never thought I would be this confused, I never thought I would feel like this. I never dreamed the emotional roller coaster this would be. I never dreamed it would go on for years.

I want to be able to tell people that this meeting was what dreams are made of. That it went perfectly. That it was wonderful. That it left me with no questions at all. I want to say that we had a connection and are now involved in each others lives. I want to be able to say that, because a part of me wanted it to be like that.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I met them. It was a good experience. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

But the truth is here I am 2 years later after meeting them and I am just as confused and lost as I felt on that day.

Our relationship has not progressed the way I thought it would, and honestly I am not sure where that leaves us, or what it means.

I spent 28 years without her, I spent 10 years looking for her, I realize a relationship will not be built overnight, related by blood or not, this is going to take a lot of work. A lot more than I thought would take for people related by blood, for a daughter and her birth mother.

Thanks to all those who have supported me throughout all of this! Your love and support means so much to me!
~Michelle

Adoption Mug

This is my Adoption Mug.

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Let me explain.
This summer I got to spend some time with my son that I gave up for adoption and his family. I even got a special lunch with the wonderful woman who adopted him. We even got to do a little bit of shopping before lunch. While out we found this mug, actually two of these mugs. We decided it would be fun to have matching mugs, thus making this to be forever known as my Adoption Mug.
One mug has traveled all the way back to Europe, while mine stays here, but when I drink out of it, I feel just a little bit closer to them, a little bit more connected.

I love my Adoption Mug.

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Sometimes it is the small things that mean the most to us.

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Or a Not So Wordless Wednesday post? Link up below!

~ Michelle

Sometimes Things Make Me Feel Uneasy

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Lets be brutally honest for a minute.
I never try to judge another person, especially a mother, especially a birth mother. I don’t know their story, their feelings. And some times people say things that I don’t agree with, and that is their choice to believe what they want. But sometimes people say things that make me feel uneasy.
When I hear a birth mother say “I finally got my son/daughter back after 20-? years my family is complete” I cringe. I can’t help it. I feel uneasy. It took me a while to figure out why. It affects me on a few different levels. I will attempt to break it down for you.

When I hear a birth parent say “I finally got my son/daughter back”, from an adoptees stand point this bothers me. I’m sorry, but you can never “have me back”. I found my birth mother, I never got her back. She didn’t come into my life and suddenly become my mother, she is still my birth mom. I have a mother, a very good mother, and she will not be replaced simply because I found the woman who gave birth to me. It doesn’t take away all the years that I was raised by someone else. Yes I am in a unique position to have two families, one made by blood, one made by love. My family made by love is my family. Another family may have found me, but they can not have me back and take over role as family for me. I’m sorry, for me, it doesn’t work that way.

When I hear a birth parent say “I finally got my son/daughter back” from a birth mothers stand point I still feel uneasy about this. I will never “get my son back”. I gave him up for adoption, my role ends there, I am a birth mother, not his mother. Just because I know him does not change my standing in his life. I will never be a mother to him in the sense that his mother is to him, or in the sense that I am a mother to my 3 younger children. I love my son as much as my 3 younger kids. All four of my children are my life, they are my world, they are my heart, my reason. But when it comes to my older son, I am on the sidelines watching and cheering him on in his life with his mother, his real mother. I don’t get to sit here on the sidelines, wait till he is 16 or 18, and say “your old enough to make a choice, come live with me, I want you back”. It doesn’t work that way. I will never “get him back”. I will never have a legal claim to him. I couldn’t even take him to the doctors if I wanted to, I can’t make medical decisions. I am a birth mother, not a mother, and I can never get my roll as mother “back”. I love him like only a mother can, but I am not his mother.

Even when I found my birth mother after nearly 10 years of searching, I never once said “I have my mom back”. I have a mom already. I found my birth mom yes, but she is still just my birth mom. I love the woman, she gave me life, I have a great respect for her for what she did for me. But just because I found her, found my half-sister, does not mean I “got them back” and have some how replaced existing family members, or completed my family. My family was already complete. Finding my birth family was just an added bonus.

Let me just end this in saying there is a big difference between saying someone is back in your life, and laying a claim to someone saying you got them back.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk About Adoption Terms

There seems to always be a heated debate going on these days. Usually it is brought about by a news story that people seem the feel the need to completely pull apart and attack. Then attack each others views and opinions. Oh the joy of the Internet. Where you can insult and hurt people without ever seeing the true effect of your words.

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The latest debate I have been reading about has to do with Adoption. Actually not so much about Adoption, but about Adoption terms.

Adoption terms such as: “I placed my child for adoption” compared to “I gave up my child for adoption.”
I think these terms are used based on personal preference.

Now as an Adoptee and a Birth Mother I think I have a unique view on this subject.

I was given up for adoption. My birth mother was in no way forced into placing me for adoption. She went into it willing. My birth mother gave up her rights to parent me. As soon as I was released from the hospital I was given to my new forever family.

I grew up with the term “given up for adoption”. I have never once viewed it in a negative light. My parents have never once used it in a negative way. I have never once felt sad about it. I never even felt different about myself because I was “given up for adoption”. It is a fact. She signed papers and gave up her right to parent me, to be my mother, to take care of me and raise me. She gave up her daughter, me. She gave up her chance at motherhood so I could have a better chance.

When I was 16 I got pregnant. I made plans to give up my son for adoption and place him into a family.

I gave my son up for adoption. I placed my son for adoption.
At the end of the day it means the same thing, but does it really?

I gave up the chance to be a mother.
I gave up the chance to comfort my child.
I gave up the right to be called a mother.
I gave up the right to be the one to raise my child.
I gave up the right to stay up all night with my new-born baby.
I gave up the right to kiss my son’s boo-boos better.
I gave up the chance to hold his hands as he took his first steps.
I gave up the chance to hear my sons first words.
I gave up the chance to experience all the joys motherhood brings.
I gave up the chance to experience all the struggles motherhood brings.
I gave up a part of my heart to someone else.
I gave up a part of me.
I gave up the right to have my name on his birth certificate.
I gave up what my life could have been.
I gave all of that, and more, up because my love for my son outweighed all of that.
I gave up all of that so that my son could have a better life. A life I could never give him myself.
I gave up my hopes and dreams because he deserved more.
I did NOT give up on my son. I gave him a chance a better life.
I gave my son up for adoption, which placed him into a loving family.

By saying I ‘gave up my child for adoption’ does not in any way, shape, or form, or mean that I gave up ON my son! I loved my son from the moment I knew I was pregnant, and my love for him has only continued to grow. I have only ever wanted what was best for my child.

Adoption is a very sensitive topic. Adoption touches people differently. Some people have good experiences, some have bad.
If you are a birth mom and you prefer to say that you placed your child for adoption. Then I will respect your preference.
However for me, in my life, in my situations, I am comfortable with myself, my choices, and the words gave up for adoption.

To label something as negative, that is what makes it negative.
Do not just throw a blanket of negativity out over a term, and thus over people who use it.
Words and terms mean different things to different people, respect that.

Adoption is about love. Creating an adoption plan. Placing a child for adoption. Giving up a child for adoption. Placing for adoption. Which ever term you use, a great sacrifice was made in the name of love.

But of course this is just my personal opinion on it all.

~ Michelle

Lets Talk About Birthdays and Adoption

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There are not many times in my life that I have ‘felt’ like I was adopted.
There are times that it gets pointed out to me, like at doctors offices when they ask for family medical history. Or on my birthday. Yes my birthday. People feel the need to ask me if I’m sad on my birthday, or rather they assume I am. It usually goes a little something like this “I’m sure this day is sad for you, you know, because your adopted, but Happy Birthday anyway!” Um…what?!

My birthday has never been sad. My parents, the lovely and wonderful people who adopted me, did a good job at loving me, raising me, and making sure to always celebrate my awesomeness on my birthday.

I don’t know what it is like for other adoptees out there, but I can reassure you that my birthday was never sad.
There is however a difference with feeling sad and feeling like something is missing. Or someone is missing. With adoption you do always feel like a piece of you is missing, because it is.

But since finding my Birth Mom a couple of years ago, I have noticed a difference in how I feel on my birthday. My Birth Mother and I didn’t have the reunion that I am sure many adoptees dream of. Or maybe we just haven’t gotten there yet, who knows. All I know is that at this point in time we don’t talk. So now on my birthdays, now that I know her, now that I know she’s a real live person, now that she has been in my house, now that she is making the choice not to be involved (as she had no choice before being that it was a closed adoption), that is hard to swallow and deal with. Being rejected all over again.

For the first time in my life I do feel sad and feel like something, someone, is missing. I feel sad that it turned out this way. I feel sad for the woman I have yet to get to know. I feel sad that this woman is missing out on the potential to know some really awesome people; my family.

Yet in saying that it just goes to prove how powerful adoption is, how it doesn’t take blood to make a family. My parents love me so fiercely, I am their child, I am loved and we are a real family, and that is enough for me.

So next time you know someone who is adopted and they are celebrating a birthday just say Happy Birthday. That is it. Happy Birthday. And maybe give them cake. Cake is always a good option.

~ Michelle

Searching For Your Birth Family

Adoption can be hard. Especially when it comes to trying to find your birth family. Personally it took me almost 10 years of searching before I got any answers (And honestly I am still waiting for some). It was such a long emotionally draining journey. But I finally made it, I finally found my birth family.
Here are few things I learned along the way.


1. How important it is to keep up to date information with the agency or government. Always update it. Even if you don’t think someone is looking for you. Always update it. If you move for a job, get a new phone number, get married, divorced, whatever changes you make, Please update! My birth mother never updated her information, and even though I had a number and address for her, it did me no good.
And if there is any paper work to fill out stating you don’t want to be found, fill it out, don’t ignore it, let other person know so they are not left wondering and searching.

2. Don’t let fear hold you back. It is better to find out the answers than be left wondering. Don’t let the fear of bad news hold you back from what very well may be great news.

3. When filling out paper work, don’t just print the forms from online, Call. Talk to someone who works there, have them explain every little thing to you. Then call back again to talk to someone else and double-check. Trust me! It could help save you a lot of time, and ensure you get the right forms the first time!

4. Pray and have lots of faith!

5. Make sure you are actually ready for this, good news or bad news, and know what you want out of the relationship!

6. Make sure you have a good support system around you. People to help you, people you can lean on and turn to. It can be a hard journey, a little extra support and love goes a long way.

7. Sometimes what you are hoping for, isn’t what you find. Sometimes there are no happy endings.

8. Sometimes there are happy endings.

Hopefully if both sides of the adoption (Birth Family and Adoptee) can remember to do this, their search will not take as long as mine!

If you are searching I hope you find what you are looking for. I hope your road is a smooth one, I hope you find whatever it is your, or who ever it is, you are looking for.
~Michelle

Adoption Tattoo 

3 years ago I got my first tattoo it is of the Adoption Symbol. The three sides of the tattoo represent 1. The Birth Parents, 2. The Parents Adopting, 3. The Child. All included in the one heart for the love they all share.

I got this on my left forearm, right where my baby’s head was cradled the very first time I got to hold him before he was placed for adoption.
I’m Adopted and A Birth Mother so this tattoo represents SO many people. First off it represents my Birth Parents, My Parents, and myself, it also represents my Son, the amazing Parents that adopted him, and again myself.

For personal reasons there is no coloring, no extra images, or flare to it. I didn’t want anything to take away from the meaning of it. And didn’t want anything to ‘glamorize it’ as being a Birth Mother is not an easy thing, it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to do and don’t find anything ‘glamorous’ about it.

~ Michelle

Do you have a Wordless Wednesday post? Or a not so Wordless Wednesday post? Link up below!

Birth Mother’s Day

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It is May. So every where you look there is an overload of companies trying to sell you stuff for Mother’s Day.
May is all about Mother’s. Well at least one day is.
But did you know that there is a Birth Mother’s Day?
Its true. You wont find it on your calendar, but it’s there. Its gaining more and more popularity since it was started.
It is celebrated on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Apparently it was started in 1990 in Seattle by a group of Birth Mothers.

Up until a few years ago I had never heard about “Birth Mother’s Day”. I never would have even dreamed that something like that was going on. Not because I don’t think it should be, but because honestly Adoption isn’t that widely talked about, especially when it comes to the Birth Mothers. Most times Birth Mothers tend to be forgotten. Most of the focus of Adoption is on the baby and new family. Little to no support is set up for Birth Moms after they sign their papers.

I think something like this could good. Birth Moms need support after placing a baby for Adoption. Also maybe, just maybe, it will help spread the word about Adoption (which you would be surprised to find out still tons of people out there that know nothing about Adoption), and also shine a good light on Adoption.

I realize that some people will be for this, some against it. Isn’t that always the way? You can’t please everyone. But really, unless you are a Birth Mom, or Birth Dad, this doesn’t really effect you, and so if you don’t like it, don’t bother with it.

As for me, being a Birth Mom, understanding the pain and heartbreak of it, a day for Birth Moms to be supported, remembered, and recognized, sounds lovely. To be able to come together in a safe and welcoming place where their stories can be shared and truly understood and supported would be nice.
If I had known about this, or any kind of support group for Birth Moms, that would have been amazing. I didn’t have anyone who knew what I was going through, no one could even begin to understand it. Having a place to go, a place that was full or support and understanding would have been helpful, even if it was a get together that only happened once a year.
I do hope that Birth Moms, Adoptees, and Adopting Families do continue to get more support.

In saying all this I do have to remember how incredible lucky I am. I may not have had a support group of fellow Birth Moms, but I did have my parents. My parents were so supportive of me, and always there for me. They always went the extra mile to make sure Mother’s Day was special for me after I placed my son for Adoption. For that I am eternally thankful.

If you are a Birth Mom, know that you are not alone. There are people out there that understand and support you.

To all the Birth Moms out there, Happy Birth Mother’s Day and Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the families out there that have adopted, Thank your child’s Birth Mom and Birth Dad, without them you would not be the family that you are.

~Michelle

Birth Mother

I wrote before about Adoption and why it is so important to me, you can read the first part here.

So as you know I am adopted. I was adopted at birth and I had a very hard long road to find my birth family, but after nearly 10 years of searching I finally found them. My search for my birth family is a whole other story for another time.
But here is what you may or may not know…
I am a Birth Mom.
When I was 16 I got pregnant.
I gave my son up for adoption right at birth.

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I still remember it like it was yesterday…

Today, I have 3 beautiful, amazing boys and one baby girl. Two boys and my girl live with me, and one lives with his family.

The way I feel with my own Adoption is that my parents are my parents, that doesn’t change now that I gave up my own son for adoption. He has his own family that he lives with, and two little brothers and sister that live here with me. Accepting that my oldest son had a ‘New’ Mother does not make me love or care for him any less. I love and care for all of my children all the same.
He is my son. I gave birth to him. But I stepped down in my role as mother. I am now a birth mother.

My children all know each other. My two younger boys know that my oldest son was adopted, well as much as they can understand in their young age. Of course my daughter only being one does not understand, but just as my boys did, she will grow up knowing who her oldest brother is. I am so blessed that they have been able to build, and continue to grow a relationship with him.

Having had a child at such a young age truly changes a person.
I loved my child the minute I knew I was pregnant, the first time I saw him on ultrasound I loved him more. When he kicked for the first time I fell in love all over again.
I still remember his birth, and his first cry. There are no words to explain the feeling that washed through my body at that moment. A moment forever burned into my mind and heart. A moment that truly changed me in ways I never dreamed possible.

I never wanted to give my child up for adoption. I loved him so much. I wanted to give him what I couldn’t. He deserved so much more than what I could give him at that time.
I know I could have kept him, I would have been a good mommy to him. But was it fair to him? I had the chance to give him what he truly deserved. How could I deny him that?
I did this for him, not for me.

To say this was an easy choice to make, and has been easy ever since, would be the biggest lie ever.

I still struggle every day with this choice. I miss him more than words can say. But I take comfort in knowing that he has the best family. He is in the best place for him.
He is so fiercely loved by everyone! He is one lucky and blessed boy!

I know I made the right choice for him.

~Michelle

If you, or someone you know has been touched about Adoption, I would love to hear your story.