Part 2 - Ashley shares what it means to be a Big Tough Girl

(If you haven’t read Part 1 of Ashley’s post, better read that first.) Whether you are a birth mom, a single parent, an adoptive mom, a woman….it doesn’t matter…in my book you are a BIG TOUGH GIRL if...

3. You can rise above.

One thing that I admire the very most in a BTG, no matter what she has been through is her ability to Rise Above! To be bigger and better, to be more beautiful than the ugly, to have enough self-love to respect herself and the way she views herself. Many times as we go through something terrible we get angry and we hate and we lash out and we run our mouth and we blame and it is so unattractive. We are all guilty of it. Adoption gets a lot of negative attention. Birth moms can either help put a beautiful spin on adoption awareness or an ugly harsh spin on adoption awareness. I work with the most amazing group of BTG’s in our daily and monthly support groups. I am so blessed to have these women in my life that continue to remind each other of the incredible miracle of adoption….these are women that truly RISE ABOVE every single day. They rise above the comments, the misunderstandings, the judgments, the guilt, the pain, the sorrow. They embrace the love, joy, blessings, the miracles and peace.

There is nothing more attractive in a woman that has love and peace in her heart, that is full of gratitude and is positive and focused on forward movement that has no anger or hate or blame that is full of forgiveness and understanding, power and self-love. That is the true beauty of a woman. That is a BTG.

4. You can still love with a pure heart.

Relationships are so hard. They are emotional and passionate and frustrating and challenging and amazing and fulfilling and damaging and lasting. There are people that come into our life that will always be connected, even if the relationship comes to an end. A birth mom will forever be connected to the birth father…whether they stay together or go their separate ways. They have been intimate with each other, they created life together, a life that is part of each of them. It can be so hard to move on from those relationships, even if they have ran their course. As women, we tend to hold on tight and choke it to death!

The greatest lesson that I have learned during this healing process is that I still have love in my heart, that I still want a partner to spend my days with, I want family around me that will continue to love me unconditionally. I have been able to let go of the pain and the hurt and put my heart back together and LOVE without doubt and without regret. I have amazing family around me that have forgiving hearts and that support me. I have two beautiful children of my own that my husband and I love and cherish. Finding your GREAT love after many broken hearts is the greatest gift. That is a BTG.

5. You know you can’t do it alone.

Another powerful lesson that I have learned in this journey is that I can’t do this alone, that the support group that has been established has been vital to my survival and my life choices. Being a BTG isn’t about going out and taking on everything and anything all alone. The support group of likeminded BTG’s has truly been such a blessing in my life. I am so honored to call these women my friends and I learn and grow from them and their experiences DAILY! We all have to make our own decisions and in the end it is what is truly in our hearts BUT when you can come to your knees in front of your “tribe” and plead for help and support…then you are truly a BTG. Admitting weakness and the need for help only makes you stronger…and truly allows those around you that love you to step up and be better, to help and lend support, to serve and to love. When the going gets tough….the BTG gets going. You will learn quickly who will stand by you and support you and those that won’t…finding that “tribe” of people that will be there to help you along the way is a rare treasure and one that should not be taken for granted. That is a BTG.

I am so honored to be a birth mom and wear my Big Tough Girl badge proudly! I am thankful for all those in my life that lift and love me. I am thankful for all the countless BTG’s that have inspired me to be better in all things.

Check out this list of recommended post-adoption support groups.