Guest Post: Birthmother Blog Part 1

Guest Post: Birthmother Blog Part 1

Part 1 
The beginning

In order to understand all of this…we have to take it back to the beginning.

It started around May of 2014, I was sitting in 6th period, staring at the clock, wanting the class to end. I was finishing up my freshman year in high school. I had barely a month left. I was daydreaming and staring at the clock when I noticed the date my science teacher had written on right hand corner of the board. That date that is blurry in my mind even to this day will be the day that everything changed.

I was in my high school, in the bathroom stall, in the locker room. I was reading the directions on the box while my best friend sat outside the stall waiting for me. I guess the reason I was reading the directions even though I knew how to pee on a stick was because I was scared of what it was going to say after I took it. I guess I was stalling.

Millions of thoughts were running through my head like how this isn’t the first time I have had a scare. Him and I were careful but we had our slip ups. It had been 10 months since we started sleeping together and even though it wasn’t the first time I had had a scare…something about this time just felt different.

“You okay?” my best friend had knocked on the stall. I didn’t realize that I was taking so long but 3 minutes is a long time. You don’t realize how long 3 minutes is until you are sitting there waiting for some lines to show up on a stick. I’ll never forget walking out of the stall and just freezing. My best friend just looked at me and asked me what it said. I can’t remember exactly what I said to her or even if I said anything to her. I do remember handing her this stick with the results on it.

Two very distinct lines that read:
“Positive”

Finding Out You’re Pregnant As A Teen

Millions of things were rushing through my mind when I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test. Millions of things run through your mind no matter how old you are but as a teen, the things running through your mind are a little different. I can’t speak for everyone but for the most part you’re shocked, you’re scared, you can’t believe this is happening because you never really thought it would.

The first thing I knew I had to do was tell the father. Of course that’s hard to think about because you never know how a teenage boy is going to react. Would he make a scene? Would he tell you to get an abortion? Would he laugh at you and accuse you of sleeping around? These questions run through your mind and at the same time other things are as well.

Another thing was how you are going to tell your parents. Would they throw you out? Would they tell you that you were done with school and you could kiss your dreams goodbye? Would they make you keep your baby even if you didn’t want?…

What about school? What were people going to say? What were they going to think? It’s not easy when you’ve been the student that a lot of teachers respected…I felt like I let everyone down. I had dreams and I wasn’t supposed to let this happen but I always knew what I wanted to do when I found out I was pregnant.

Millions of things are always running through your mind when you’re a teen and you find out you’re pregnant but out of the million things I was thinking about when I saw those two lines on that stick that would determine everything for me…I knew I couldn’t keep this baby.

LET’S CLEAR THE AIR…

June 2, 2016

Let’s clear the air. There are reasons why people make the choices they do. Some choose them on a whim, other people think hard and carefully about the decisions they are going to make but nobody is perfect…to anyone that thinks they are I suggest you stop reading this because this isn’t some happily ever after story and at just 17 years old I’ve learned that real life is never that way and it will never be that way.

Adoption is hard for some people to understand. If you are a mother then you know it is hard to imagine handing over your child to a complete stranger, leaving everything up to faith. People think that it’s crazy and when you think about it, it kind of is. Half your DNA runs through this little person, you carry this person for 9 months, you feel it kick, you see its tiny fingers on the sonograms, you go through painful labor to give birth to this wonderful, little baby, only to hand that baby over and go home like you never went through any of that. It changes a person…how can that not?

Let’s get one thing straight though…adoption is not a bad thing. At my age, a lot of people doubted my ability to know what I could possibly want or to know that I was making the right decision. They could never understand that my decision wasn’t because I wasn’t ready to have a baby. Yes, I was only 15 when I found out I was pregnant (we’ll get more into that) but that wasn’t what scared me…it was how that child was going to grow up is what scared me.

I didn’t want to go through a lot of that because I wasn’t simply “not ready to have a baby”. I wasn’t being selfish. I didn’t care if my future was ruined or that everything I was “suppose” to experience as a teenager would be over. It was because I wanted better for my baby. I wanted more. If that meant that I couldn’t be there to stay up all night with him, be with him when he took his first steps, or missed out on his birthdays then I would. I would sacrifice my reputation and the very chance that he could end up hating me for the decision I made as long as he got the life I couldn’t have possibly given him. He deserves everything and that was something I didn’t have at the time and still don’t.

Birthmother Support Group | May 22

Birthmother Support Group | May 22

Birthmother Support Group

It is with great excitement that we announce our first support group created specifically for birth mothers interested in finding a safe environment to share, listen, encourage, and learn. Join us for an evening of casual conversation offered to provide support and love to those who have made such a brave choice in placing their child for adoption.

There will be pizza and punch, along with other surprises!

When

May 22, 2017
6:30pm – 8:00pm

Where

Journeys of the Heart, Hillsboro Office
1005 NE Cornell Rd, Hillsboro, Or 97124

RSVP

Please RSVP to Chelsea, chelsea@journeysoftheheart.net or call 503-681-3075

 

 

 

Journeys of the Heart Birthmother Support Group
Tiffany and Raf, An Adoption Journeys

Tiffany and Raf, An Adoption Journeys

Working side by side with Tiffany during her adoption planning was unforgettable and is forever imprinted on my heart. Her truthful, strong, and confident spirit is contagious! Seeing her and Rafael’s support for each other was special. The way this couple overcame obstacles and remained dedicated to their adoption plan was empowering to say the least. The love her and Raf have for their son Ian and his adoptive parents is pure. The first day I met Tiffany, she already knew she wanted to meet Tara and Daniel and she had a huge smile on her face. For the next 7 months or so we would discussing baby names, birth plans, future open adoption visits and contact, emotions surrounding the adoption and placing her son, and preparation for the hospital and Ian’s birth. Ian is named after his older brother, Deegan, and his older brother Alex. Which is very special to Tiffany and Raf and to the adopting parents. I feel extremely honored to have been a part of this adoption journey and I feel very lucky for Ian, who already has double the family and love on both his birth families side and his adoptive parents side.

 I look forward to seeing the relationship between these special people unfold. JOH is here for you and honored to be a part of your journey.

When considering adoption and your options, please view stories such as these as an example to what sort of control you have in the planning. You have the opportunity to be involved in the naming of your child, developing a relationship with the adoptive parents, have your pregnancy related needs provided for, receive counseling, and receive one on one time with a coordinator and birth mother herself. We are here to support you and work on a plan that is unique to you and your situation.

With love,

Chelsea Moore
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Birth mother

Daniel and Tara Meet Ian

Daniel and Tara Meet Ian

Dear readers,

While I know this is a blog for birth parents and birth mothers to share their experiences and stories as a birth parent, I wanted to take the time to share a story from an adoptive mother who is in an open adoption with her son’s birth mother and birth father. The bond she and the adoptive father developed for the child’s birth parents is very strong. The respect they have for them is endless. I wanted to share her words on this blog to show another perspective and to give you hope. As a birth mother, I found this short story very enlightening. I also found it very cool that they are getting  matching tattoos!!

All my best,

Chelsea Moore
Domestic Adoption Coordinator
Birth mother as well

After finally taking that leap of faith and submitting the adoption application you sit back and wonder what your journey will look like. No one could have possibly prepared us for the wide range of emotions we would encounter the following year. You begin in a class full of strangers, all from different backgrounds brought together because we all hope to gain insight on the confusing process of adopting. Fast forward awhile and you’re driving to meet an expectant mother and worrying about whether or not she will like you, or if you will have any common interests. Throughout our process Journeys has answered every question, been there through all the anxiety, and still remained neutral in the situation. We met Tiffany and Raf on a beautiful Spring day in a park, little did we know that these people would become so important to our family. At the end of our meeting we left knowing that something just felt right, and there were too many little “signs,” that led us to believe this was happening as it was meant to be. 

 

One more meeting took place about a month before Ian was born, and once Ian was born we all had a couple days in the hospital to get to know each other more. We shared stories, laughed and even cried together. Journeys was right there with us to navigate the hospital stay, and just check in on everyone.  We look at Ian now and can see both Tiffany and Raf in him, we can’t imagine our lives without Ian. This whole process has been a test of patience, willpower, and at times nerve wracking. However, we wouldn’t have changed a thing, we consider Tiffany and Raf to be extended family and we look forward to seeing them as often as possible. Our relationship with Ian’s birth parents grew throughout the 6 month matching period and we are forever grateful of that time to get to know them. Because of this we were able to development important milestones and symbols that represent our unique bond to them, even if it’s a simple as a sunflower. The story of the sunflower could be a whole separate paragraph, but we will just say this… Tiffany and Tara are now getting matching sunflower tattoos during our next visit. Some may call us crazy, but it’s our story.

 

As we spoke with other adoptive families, the one thing I’ve learned is that each family’s experience is so different. If we had any advice to offer potential adoptive families it would be “the only predictable thing about life, is that it’s unpredictable.” Take things one day at a time, and know that everything will work out as it should. We feel Journeys not only was a wonderful support to us, but provides amazing dedication and care to expectant mothers and are passionate about what they do. Thank you Journeys for helping us through our journey of adoption!

Daniel and Tara

Journeys India Program is Open!

Journeys India Program is Open!

Journeys India Program Is Open! What India Adoption Means to Me

Years ago, when I wanted to adopt, I was directed to an India Program where babies were coming home as young as 2-4 months old.

My husband and I put in our paperwork and waited. It was a new program and the kinks weren’t out of it yet, as if the kinks are ever out of any adoption program.

About a year and a half later we were sent the picture of the sweetest, most determined looking little baby. She held her fists up as if to box and had a nice band of scabies across her forehead. We were instantly in love with our baby, who we named Alexis Kate Yashodhara. Alexis came home to us at four months of age weighing 9.5 pounds. Life had been hard for her up to that point and I’m sure coming into our home was even harder. She’d been in multiple settings with many caregivers and looked at us with suspicion.

Our family all fell in love with her as did friends and then a wider group that included church, school, and other activities in the community. So few people were aware that children were coming home from India but when Alexis went with us around our small Oregon town heads turned and smiles were abundant.

Though we could have done a better job encouraging her ethnic identity as an Indian, Alexis eventually grew to love India and volunteered there for three months just after she graduated from college. Her experience helping street children at a center was an eye opener for her.

Parenting Alexis has been one of the highlights of our lives. She’s done well and although she does feel a lot of the core issues of adoption, she forges ahead with the same determination she did in that baby picture with her fists out to box. She brings a wonderful and compelling spark to her family.

Graduating from Willamette University and working for a major corporation were short term goals for her. Now married with three children she perfects daily her most precious goal in life. We are so pleased that our girl became a mother who beams on her children now as a mother who knows what is like to be without blood ties in one’s family. She feels so complete now, through the eyes of her kids.

Grand parenting is one of life’s greatest joys! our hearts fill with such happiness as we watch our Indian grandchildren and remember our Baby Alexis, coming to us from Kolkata with her firsts ready. Two weeks ago Alexis’ five-year-old son was asked to join a group of Indians in a pick-up game of cricket, at a local park. As always we looked on with great pride and hope of finding more great cultural experiences.

So, it is with great pride that we enter into opening up the JOH India Program again. We can only fathom the pleasure that other families will have raising their precious children.

Susan Tompkins LCSW, Executive Director
Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services
info@journeysoftheheart.net

Congratulations Jon and Tara

Congratulations Jon and Tara

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer as much as we are here at Journeys of the Heart! We would like to take a moment to congratulate Jon and Tara from Beaverton, Oregon, on the adoption of their beautiful daughter, Isabelle.

Isabelle was born May 28 and was placed for adoption through our domestic program here at Journeys of the Heart Adoption Services! Tara and Jon have an open relationship with Isabelle’s birth mother that they truly embrace.

The couple say they are having so much fun loving on her!! 

We are honored and proud to have been a part of your adoption journey.

We Are Enough

We Are Enough

“As birth parents we get bombarded with negativity at times. We are told we were wrong or made bad choices. As much as we would like to know with 100% conviction that we made the correct choice, constantly being told we were wrong can only make us question ourselves. It is important to know one’s true self. To know that we can do hard things. We are brave. We are strong. We are incredible. And most importantly, WE ARE ENOUGH.”

–  Nicole Paulson

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