BraveLove's Blog: news, updates & events
It's Book Club time!
To Have and Not to Hold: The Bonding of Two Mothers through Adoption by Lorri Antosz Benson
Reviewed by Laura from BraveLove
The title caught my attention, and then Phil Donahue's foreword motivated me to keep turning the pages of Lorri Antosz Benson's memoir To Have and Not to Hold.
Let’s just be real for a second…”Birth Mom” is not exactly a box that someone would eagerly check when creating their dating profile. Because being a birth mom is not a regular trait that you would find in a lot of women, it’s hard to believe that it would be high on any man’s “must-have” list when choosing a mate.
When considering the idea that adoption and being a birth mom can be uncharted or possibly uncomfortable territory for some people, how do we navigate dating and gently drop the Birth-Mom-Bomb on the men in our lives who choose to pursue us?
The more time I spend reaching out to others about the truth in adoption, I find the skewed words and ideas many individuals have on the placement of a child, from a mother and father that love him/her so dearly.
I encounter comments, and vocabulary that cuts deep into the being of who I really am as a birth mom. These statements that people throw around pertaining to adoption is crippling to my heart and to the hearts of many others. As with any sensitive topic, I think it is important to understand the truth behind the words we are spitting out of our mouths.
Jessica is an amazing woman with a whole lot of wisdom to share. She's our next contributor to Being A Birth Mom. Meet Jessica...
Hi There! My name is Jessica; I am a wife, friend, Realtor, sister, blogger and birth mother. While these labels don’t perfectly define who I am, I do wear them oh so humbly! Being a birth mother has been one of my greatest and most favorite “labels” to take on.
I made an open adoption plan for my son in 2009. Making this choice lead me to some of the brightest and some of the darkest phases of my life.
Hey friends! I write to you with such joy in my heart. This week I have several friends with children having birthdays. It’s such a joy to celebrate life! And it got me thinking…how do you celebrate your child’s life?
My amazing, loving husband and my children have a bit of a tradition for my son’s birthday. We get a sweet treat, put a candle in it (each of us have one), and we each say a silent prayer or wish for him. Then, we sing Happy Birthday to him and blow out “his” candles. I did it on my own at first, but now that my family is getting old enough to understand more of who this child is, my son and their half-brother, I get to share this with them. It is great to let them ask questions and celebrate him too. I love that my daughter made him a birthday card this year!
Lion, which is based on a true story, is simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of kilometers across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, he begins to search for his family back in India with the help of Google Earth technology and his memory.
If you ask me about myself; I will tell you I am a wife, and a mama to 4 kiddos, I will say that I love Jesus and journaling, and making reclaimed wood art.
At some point, I will probably mention my affinity for Dunkin Donuts and Harry Potter; and most likely I will tell you that I'm a birth mom, too. These are a few parts within the story of who I am.
Meet Kaedra! Our next Being A Birth Mom contributor...
I placed my son for adoption 14 years ago, in 2002. I was 19, and I knew that was the very best thing I could do for him at that time in my life. I love keeping in touch with him and his family through open adoption.
As humans we’re accustomed to having expectations. We expect drivers to stay in their lane. We expect stores to stay open until they say they are going to.
We like to plan…to not feel surprised. Unfortunately things don’t always go according to how we anticipate. How do we deal with these things? How do we deal with the consequences that come with situations not turning out the way we predicted? When it comes to adoption stories, we want to foresee the outcome, but the reality is, there is no way to know fully how they will actually turn out.
Meet Abby - our next contributor to Being a Birth Mom! We met Abby this summer at a conference in Dallas, TX.
After meeting Abby, there are two things we know for sure - she is a proud birth mom and loves her son with all of her heart! Abby's smile is contagious and she's got some invaluable insight to share. Without further ado, here’s Abby...
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I respond to people when they find out that I’m a birth mother. It’s interesting to think about my natural response because it tells me a lot about myself.
The idea of birth parent seems so weird sometimes. It can make me feel like an alien species that none of the “normal” population can understand.
I just have to say this out loud....
You can't read an adoption story without a then and now. The world sees an event where the adoption community knows evolution.
My journey is seventeen years long and counting. Seventeen years was a long time ago. Much has happened. Much. But what happened seventeen years ago has rippled through my life, even into this post that you are reading...
BraveLove is excited to announce the start of something NEW!
We are launching a birth mom editorial column called Being a Birth Mom - a special space for birth moms from across the country to share their unique perspective. This is not intended to feature specific adoption stories, but rather a place to gain insight into the world of what it's like to be a birth mom.
Meet Michelle - our very first contributor! Before hearing more from her, we thought you might like to get acquainted and learn a little bit more about her story!
We're kicking off our very own BraveLove Book Club this summer, reading through some classic and not-so classic books about adoption. We want you to know what adoption books are good, practical, poignant, or just great page-turners. Here is our first book and a brief review of what we thought... Note: There are no spoilers in this book club!
Dear Birth Mothers,
I want to take a few minutes and say hello. I warn you this might be a little sappy, so bear with me. This time last year some of us were gathered around this table celebrating birth moms and motherhood. Frankly, I'm a little sad we're not doing that right now - enjoying some wine, eating lasagna, and listening to what's going on in each other's worlds.
We can acknowledge the love and bravery surrounding adoption. But sometimes it's easy to forget (or even easier to gloss over) the realities that adoption can be hard, complicated, and even messy for those involved. So we set out to do that with our latest video project - ask some of the hard questions and be prepared for some honest responses. Watch this short clip of what's to come:
Behind the scenes our latest video: (un)Wanted
The inspiration behind this video's concept came from an interview we had a few years ago with a New York Times bestselling-author, Patti Callahan Henry. At the time, Patti had just published a fictional book about adoption, And Then I Found You, which was inspired by her sister's life. Her sister had placed a child for adoption over 20 years ago and recently reunited with her daughter through Facebook. We interviewed Patti about the book, and to this day, these comments stuck with us:
Adoption is complex. There are multiple parties and a wide range of emotions involved. So today we are shedding light on this perspective. One adoption professional is giving voice to what it's like to work in adoption...
When you work in adoption, you learn a lot about people. You see people (whether they're placing or adopting) at their worst and at their best, and you are often humbled by how far loving parents will go to give children a better life than they themselves even had. You learn that even people in the worst of circumstances can make the very best of choices, and that children's needs are best met when adult needs take second seat.
(SPOILER ALERT) It's undeniable that adoption storylines are becoming more prevalent in television shows and movies. Some producers do it well, some poorly, and others are improving (progress)! We believe it's important to use media to show the reality of what adoption is today. Why? Because millions of people are watching, and media informs, educates and influences our perceptions, whether we like it or not. So what did we think about Downton Abbey's adoption storyline?
TLC's new TV series Long Lost Family premiered this week (Sundays 10/9C), and we can't stop thinking about it. The documentary series features family members trying to reunite with birthparents, biological families, or children placed for adoption. In the premiere, we watched two different stories unfold...
Meet Jessica. A few months ago, Jessica reached out to BraveLove looking for a way to get involved. Being a passionate writer and birth mom herself, it was evident that the greatest way for Jessica to give to BraveLove would be to share her perspective. Having traveled 6 1/2 years through her own adoption journey, Jessica says being a birth mom is her greatest achievement! She's got some invaluable insight to share, so without further adieu, here's Jessica.
“Courage (from Latin: coeur): to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” Brene Brown is a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and does research on human connection. She shared that definition of courage during her TED talk "The Power of Vulnerability."
What a night! Last Thursday, October 15th, we celebrated "A Brave New City" with over 200 new and old friends in Dallas, Texas. Watch this short video to get a glimpse of what the night entailed. A big thanks to all those who attended plus our amazing event sponsors, special guests, volunteers, and honorary speaker. We couldn't have done it without each of you.