Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It was a little dark when I left home this morning and the moon was out. It was a large, beautiful, harvest moon. I just looked at it and enjoyed. I miss the sun, but with that lose come something new---crisp, cool days and a large, shinning moon.

So it is with life--when one door closes, another one opens. I think that is a Country Western song, isn't it????

There are pros and cons to each decision. Once a decision is made and I cannot turn back, I try to move forward. Looking back is a "killer". If a decison can be changed, do what needs to be done. If a decision cannot be changed, do what you need to do to move forward. And in the moving forward, ask yourself, "What have I learned". That is the importnat piece.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Last Post for the NIGHT

Here I was all exicted and for good reason. I am a little, however, disappointed because I have another birth mom blog and I was hoping they could connect. Since I don't know how to get into that blog, I will provide you with the address.

That one has older entries.

Second Birth Mom Panel

Saturday also brought another birth mother panel. The panel consisted of:
Brooke placed about 8 years ago. She has to choose a family at the last minute and was amazed that the birth father cooperated with her choice. Although things changed in the end and happened quickly, she doesn’t regret her choice of placement. She is currently married with 3 children (including twins). She sand a beautiful song she has written about being a birth mom. (Hope she has a CD soon.)

Stacey placed about 5 years ago. She struggled with “what to do” until the very end. She lived in a “foster home” situation in order to away from family pressures. She had a great job but wanted more education. She finally found an adoptive couple and decided to place. She has finished her college degree and just switched employment doing a job with some travel.
Janessa moved to the Washington area after placing her baby who is now 1 year old. She has an “open adoption” and chooses to visit her daughter who lives in another state. She says that seeing her daughter it hard—difficult for about 1 month after the visit. She says she made the “right decision”, but wants to see her baby for now.

The girls answered questions that the hopeful adoptive couples had. The panel allows birth moms to educate adoptive couples on communicating pre/post placement.

More FSA Adventures

Saturday morning, I met with Stacey to work on one of our future plans. We are hoping to come up with a presentation that birth moms can take into the local high schools to educate them about the Adoption Option. We brain stormed and plan to have a power point and outline ready to go soon. Stacey even has 2 classes waiting to be the “guinea pig”. (It is amazing what can happen when people step in to help make a difference.)

As we visited, Stacey asked if I knew Emily—a birth mom that Stacey had come across. I did remember Emily and we were saying “it is a small world”. As the conversation and planning slowed, I asked Stacey to go to the LDS Bookstore with me. I needed to have my new scriptures engraved. When we entered the store, there was Michael McLean signing books. He remembered me from last night. (He should have because he had a photo taken with me.) He was busy signing and talking, so I moved on quickly. I had my scriptures engraved and was turning to leave when Emily appeared. She just happened to be in the store with 3 of her children and she was pregnant with #5. I thought it was too amazing that Stacey and I were talking about her and then we run into her. Really small world.

As we visited, Michael McLean came up to me and asked if I needed anything from him. I was puzzled and then realized he probably through I wanted an autograph or to purchase one of his items. I needed neither and told him I great. He expressed appreciation to me for “being in the trenches” and offered a hug. (Tara scolded me later for not getting an autograph for her.)

Michael McLean

On Friday evening, Michael McLean came to the FSA conference. He sat at my dining table and I was able to listen to him visit with people and watch the interaction. I did not want to hog his time and didn’t have much to say because I thought his presence was for the other people attending the conference. Tara says she “loves him because he is depressed”. We wondered if he were not depressed if he would be able to write the songs. We also wondered what “depression” could teach an individual struggling with heavy feelings.

Michael’s performance was like a fireside. He spoke about his songs/feelings/learning and then sang the song. He shared his experience of having the Savior closer to his life and how that came to be—he started seeing things differently. He spoke a little of his wife and children. He shared about becoming a “grandpa” and having a new perspective of parents of a placing birth mom.
In the end, Michael invited the audience to sing the chorus with him. We weren’t loud enough the first time, so we did it again. (Does that sound like Primary?) I was glad to sing again because I wanted to get louder and feel more. I was sitting with Tara on one side and my daughter on the other. Next to my daughter was the agency attorney who received an award that evening for being a “Friend of Adoption”. I think he is a great man and appreciate what he does for the agency. The four of us joined arms (Michael’s request) and sang along, getting louder and louder. I felt connected, in that row, to some of the pain that might be felt and the hope for healing. I know my pain isn’t like anyone else’s. We all suffer or feel in different ways. Tara has asked me how I can be so “happy” and I tell her it is a choice for me. I cannot afford to go “under”. Anyway, as Tara said, working with birth moms is painful----YET, what else would we do?

These girls are heroes to me and they deserve to be loved and supported. I choose to be a part of that, even if it means I have to see and experience pain.
I hope that people everywhere, especially birth moms, will find the love, peace and healing they need as they “never forget”.


I just want to tell you all that
She reminded me today that it was just about a year ago when we started having some of our adventures. Perhaps I can share some of them later. Through the past year, we have served many and grown "tight". She would tease me that she would know what I was going to say or do before I did it.
Sadly, during this time together, Tara had plenty of hardships. Sore tooth, numb face, leaking roof, flooded basement, run over cell phone, lost jobs and more.......
We also worked together to share ideas and help birth moms. Tara helped put on the first Birth Mother Day. She planned the first Birth Mother Retreat. We even gave a "shower" of love to the girls we worked with and presented them with a donated quilt. (more to come later)
I keep trying to get her to come back to visit.

FSA Conference

Recently, July 2008, Families Supporting Adoption, hosted a regional conference in Bellevue. Part of my responsibility was to introduce the birth mother panels for each day. On Friday, a mother/daughter team from Oregon shared and Tara (my colleague and intern) with her mother spoke about their experience.
Oregon mom shared about the challenges of placing over 20 years ago and the painful feelings of the experience—especially knowing so little. She currently runs the birth parent group for her local agency and shared how difficult it was/is to go back and visit some of her feelings as she works with the birth moms. Her daughter placed two children in the last few years. Her story was told through mom’s experience (BM shy). One painful piece was the way people treated her daughter and as her mother not being able to do anything about what her daughter would experience through this experience.
Tara’s mom agreed that being the grandma was difficult and wishing she could do more to help her daughter. She talked of the struggles her daughter has had through life.
Tara placed over eight years ago and received very little letters/photos from her adoptive couple. Working with the birth moms through her internship has awakened feelings of grief and anger that she didn’t allow herself to feel before. “The pain (of placing a child) doesn’t ever go away, but it has gotten less over the years,” she shared. “I haven’t forgotten my child.” Her sadness comes from not knowing anything about her child. She told the audience to not be afraid of their birth mother, to support and love her. “We aren’t scary”, she said.
Both birth moms are now married. Tara has had a child since placement. The OR mom has a child and announced to her mom that she was expecting. Her husband will be getting on a submarine in a few days and going out to sea. Tell me that isn’t hard.