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.

adoption

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

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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. 

Adoption

Adoption is something that is very near and dear to my heart.

Here is one part as to why…
I am adopted.
I was given up for adoption right at birth, so I have never known anything else other than my family I have now.
And if you are waiting for me to refer to my family as my Adopted Family, you will not read it here. My Mom and Dad ARE my Mom and Dad. No other labels are needed. My Sister and Brother ARE my Sister and Brother. Again no other labels are needed. It takes so much more than blood to make a family, and my family has proved that.

I don’t remember ever being told I was adopted, it was just something I grew up knowing. There was no turning point in my life that things suddenly felt different for me because I found out. It has always been apart of me. I am so thankful I have a family that has always been so open to talking about it. Always there to answer any questions. There to hold me if my emotions got to be too much and I had a cry over it. I knew it was always safe to ask questions about my Birth Mom.

I grew up knowing that my Birth Mother loved me very much and did what was best for me. She wanted a life for me that she herself could not give me at the time. I love her so much for what she did for me. It was the most selfless thing ever.
I love my Birth Mother so much, but I understand why she did what she did, and I am thankful she did.
I would love to know her, to meet her, to finally be able to give her a hug, to let her know I love her, to let her know I understand why, and to thank her. I grew up with such am amazing family. My parents are the best. I got to grow up in Kenya, I got to meet some amazing people, do some pretty awesome things so far in my life, and I got to meet my husband and have our children. All because my Birth Mother loved me more than herself and wanted more for me. Thank you.

And thank you to my Mom and Dad. It is such an amazing thing for you guys to take in a baby that is not biologically yours and still love me so fiercely that made our mis-match of DNA a moot point. Not only did you open your hearts up to one child, but three. Thank you for building such an amazing family. Thank you for having such big, loving, gracious hearts.
Mom, you didn’t birth me, but you were always meant to be my Mom.

I love how Mom used to say:

Adoption Poem

I can not thank my Birth Mother, Mom and Dad enough for all coming together to give me such an amazing life and to love me so fiercely.

~Michelle

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

Welcome

I did it, I up and moved without really telling anyone. So…

Welcome to my new site.

After much thought and consideration (and countless conversations that drove my husband crazy) I decided this was the best way to go.  I loved my other site, I loved the name, I loved the feel over there, but this…this feels better. Sometimes life demands change, and not being one who likes change this is a big step for me, but I will embrace it.

Much like my other site you will find posts about life, motherhood, adventures, travel, adoption, Kenya, and so much more. And if you are really lucky you will read about my misadventures in the kitchen.

So now it is time to get on with the embracing of this new space.

Thank you for everyone who is joining me on this adventure.

Thank you for all your love and support.

~Michelle