Monday, January 31, 2011

Truth #3

I am beginning to think I should have read through this list before I committed. gets kind of deep! I am hoping by the end of this, I will be a more well rounded person. One can hope, right? Moving on...

Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.

I need to forgive myself for not being the perfect mother.

As long as I can remember I have always LOVED children. It was my dream to one day have 5 or 6 of my own. I have spent most of my life, from probably about 5 on, taking care of children. Whether it was my little brother, my neighbors' children, the nursery at church, teaching bible classes, sponsoring a child through the mail, Camp Fire groups, or name it...I ALWAYS found a way to be around and/or involved with children. I just LOVED kids.

As I got older, I started to realize that my desire to have children wasn't totally because I just loved kids. While that was a huge part of it, I had a very strong desire to have someone in my life that was a part of me. Being an adopted child raised in a family with bio-siblings, you reach a point where you realize that you don't have your mom's nose, your dad's eyes, your grandma's laugh, your aunt's jawline, etc. I reached a point where I wanted to be able to have someone that was my flesh and my blood. Selfish? Totally. But I wanted it all the same.

When I got married and we were expecting out first babies, TWIN girls, I was so excited. Not only was I going to have two babies, they were ours. They would have my genes. Maybe my smile, maybe their dad's nose..honestly, I didn't care. I was just thrilled to have a connection, for the first time, to another being...or two. :) That was until we lost them 6 months into my pregnancy. I was crushed, hurt, and devastated to my core. There are no words to describe that pain. Not only were my baby girls gone, a huge part of me was gone too. Two lives that were a part of me, were now buried in the ground. Only my heart knew the love that I had for them. I got to snuggle their tiny bodies, hold their perfect little hands, and kiss their tiny fingers and toes, and, of course, their little noses (definitely their daddy's!)and then let them go.

Letting go was hard. Choosing a funeral home, finding a cemetery, picking out a casket...there are no words. The days before and after were miserable. I was left to wonder. Why did God take my babies from me? Did he think I would not have been a good enough mother? Did he know that I would fail them time and time again? Did he think I couldn't handle taking care of them? I begged, and pleaded with God for weeks. Promising him that if he would give me another chance I would be THE BEST mom. Well, almost 2 months after we lost our baby girls, I became pregnant again. I was cautiously optimistic throughout the entire pregnancy, but almost 11 months to the date that we lost our little girls, we had our little girl.

I was elated about our newborn, but reality slowly started setting in. Motherhood was nothing like I thought it would be. It didn't matter whose smile or nose she had, there was a LOT of work and emotions that went into raising her. Not only was I dealing with crazy postpartum hormones, but I was also dealing with the loss of the twins and, SURPRISE, my first mom decides she's ready to enter my life. I WAS A MESS! All the promises I made to God about being the very best mother in the world seemed to go right out the window. I hated myself more times then I can count for not being a better mom, making better choices, knowing what to do in all situations, etc. AND to make things even better, 4.5 years later we had a little boy AND 3 years after that we added another little girl to the mix.

I still struggle with motherhood at times. However, I am also starting to realize that it was very unrealistic to think that I should be the perfect mom. Yes, raising children brings an abundance of responsibility upon myself, but I also need to give myself a break every now and then. My thoughts about raising children prior to actually having them were solely based on my need to feel like I belonged somewhere...I wanted "my people", so to speak. My thoughts since having children have drastically changed. Yes, it's nice to finally see myself in another little being (that has turned out to be a bit scarier then I ever realized!!), but there's so much more to it then that. I am so very thankful for my five little blessings. Even though my time with two of my children was short-lived, they have all taught me in one way or another how to be a better person. I'm so thankful for them and also grateful that I have reached a point that I can forgive myself for not being the perfect mother that I feel they deserve.

Looking at the road ahead, I have a long haul in this job as a mom. I want to enjoy it. I want to set a good example for my children. The only way that I feel I can do that is to do what I think is best (and not beat myself up when I later realize that I should have done it differently) and just be entirely me...their imperfect mother that loves them unconditionally with all of my heart and soul.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Truth # 2

7 days later and I'm FINALLY getting around to Truth #2?!! Guess you all thought I was just being facetious when I said it would take me a year! Ha! Anyway...

Truth #2: Something you love about yourself.

I've thought about this one a lot over the past few days. I am not one to take a compliment very well, much less compliment myself so this one was hard. BUT I did think of something, finally.

I think the thing that I love about myself is that I have a lot of compassion for others..friend, enemy, or complete stranger...I do not like to see others hurting. I used to think all people were this way, but as I've gotten older I have found that is not necessarily true.

If someone is hurting, whether I know them or not, I hurt too. You may think this falls under the "people pleasing" umbrella, but in my mind it doesn't. People pleasing is more of a selfish thing, which is why I DO NOT like that about myself. (I mean, really? Who likes to think of themselves as being a selfish person?) In recent years I have discovered that I please others to, unknowingly, make myself feel better. That is not the case with compassion. I have compassion for others, because I care for people and do not like to see others suffer.

I'm sure there is some grand psychological reasoning to why some people are naturally compassionate, while others can laugh at the sight/thought of an "enemy' in pain. Whether it is how I was raised or because of things that I have had to overcome in my life, who knows? Whatever the reason, I do like that I can look past whatever crap I have been handed to lend a hand, an ear, or a shoulder to cry on...even if they would not do the same for me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Why does life have to be so hard? Why do parents have to lose children? Why do children have to be abused? Why? Why? WHY??? I have been catching up on some of the blogs that I follow and have found myself in tears while reading a couple of my favorites.

I have had so many moments in my life where I have asked "Why?". Whether it was my early childhood, adolescent, teen, or adulthood years, I've had my share of heartbreak and drama. However, as I'm reading the blog of a mom who unexpectedly lost her 1 year old (almost the exact same age as my baby girl -- I cannot imagine!) or looking at the picture of my sweet friend's abusive father, I am quickly reminded of how blessed I am. My heart breaks for their loss and their pain. Nothing I have experienced compares to either of their unimagineable circumstances.

It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself or wishing things were different in my life. Tonight, I was reminded of all that I have to thank God for. My husband, amazing children, incredible friends, a great job...what do I have to complain about? Sure, my days could go better. I wish my husband was sometimes more helpful or my children were a little less needy, but REALLY??? What do I have to complain about?? My life is far from perfect, but reading and thinking about the heartache and trials of others has definitely given me a new perspective.

30 Days of Truth

I have been inspired to attempt to do the "30 Days of Truth" challenge. At the rate that I have been posting lately, it may take me all year to do it, but it will get done. Besides, I never read that it had to be done in 30 consecutive days!!! :)

So here goes...

Truth #1: Something you dislike about yourself.

I can easily think of a hundred different things that I dislike about myself. However, my biggest dislike is the fact that I am a people pleaser. I drive myself nuts sometimes trying to make others happy. I will give up my only break at school to help someone else out. I volunteer to do jobs I really do not have time to do just because someone asked and said "they coudn't find anyone else to do it". I would give my last dollar to a total stranger just because they asked and I know I would feel awful later if I didn't help. I will even put myself (and sometimes my family)in harm's way by giving said stranger a ride to their apartment a few miles away because they said they were too tired to walk back home.

I's a little crazy...but that's me. I don't even have to know the person to want to please them. It's something I do without much thought. It's just a natural reaction. I don't know if it's a normal reaction, but it's what I do.

The thing I dislike the most about it is that people take total advantage of the people pleaser types. I think my willingness to do whatever I am asked makes me come across as 'easy'. Anyone will ask me to do anything because they know I'll do it. I guess since I realize all this to be true, it does make me seem kind of ignorant. However, I am fully aware of who takes advantage of me and who loves me for who I truly am...not a people pleaser, just ME! Those are the people that I try to please the most! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hard Cold my opinion

As you've noticed, I've been MIA for a while on my blog. I have been super busy, but I also think there's a HUGE let-down after the holidays. It has taken me some time to get back into the mood to do much of anything. I think I'm finally getting back on track...maybe. ;)

I was led back to my blog because I had a few comments that needed to be moderated. One was in reference to this post regarding having second thoughts about obtaining my OBC. The comment is as follows...

Jen and other adoptees:

Has it occurred to you( adoptees _that your aparents were doing the best that they could to shield you from the hard cold FACTS of your birth story?

There are many adoptees of today that don't have the "young teen mom" birth story. Today's bmoms are older and have children already...what makes you think you weren't one of them? Instead of jumping to conclusions, know the facts before you're against adoption or any other thing.

I was going to reply to this within the comments of that post, but really wanted to share it with ALL my lucky readers! I mean...who doesn't want to hear the hard, cold facts??? In response to the comment...

Yes, it has occurred to me that my aparents believed they were doing what was best for me to "shield me from the hard cold facts". However, they were facts about ME and I have the right to know them. In my situation, the only reason my AP's withheld information regarding my adoption was simply because they did not want me to know. They did not want me to find my biological family and made that pretty clear by keeping all documents relating my relinquishment hidden from me. Still, to this day, they are not willing to give me documents they have relating to my adoption. That is not OK. Adoption is very complex and is filled with emotions. First moms and adoptees suffer greatly in adoption. I believe adoptive parents must be prepared for this and should take great pains in helping the child cope. Hiding information from a child, or better yet an ADULT child, is wrong. EVERYONE has a right to know where they come from. PERIOD.

Also, I am not at all sure what parts of my blog you have read. If you've read anything leading up to that particular post, you will know that I have been in reunion with my first mom for over 8 years now. She did have the "young teen mom birth story" coupled with racial issues that unfortunately led to my relinquishment. I am fully aware of who I am to her.

Finally, asking other adoptee's opinions in regard to obtaining my OBC is hardly "jumping to conclusions". I know the facts and have never claimed to be anti-adoption. I do believe there is a place for adoption. There are hundreds of children in the foster care system that need loving families. Adoption has a place. Taking newborns from young, capable, uninformed mother's, in my opinion, is not the place.

I type all of this to say that adoption is not only the simple and wonderful thing many people assume. It is extremely complex, and the experience varies a lot from person to person. Adoption is based first on loss. For a child to gain a new family, they first lose their first family....their birth family. Sometimes it works out for the best, and other times, it goes terribly wrong. There are many possibilities. I do not hate my AP's and the purpose of my blog is not to bash them. I'm sure there are times that I come across that way...guess it depends on my mood. I write to simply share my feelings about my life, gain support, and hopefully help others going through the same situation.