Someone Pinch Me

adoptionstory_ashley.jpgMeet Ashley, our dear friend and founder of Blessings in a Basket. Ashley describes life as a birth mom. 

Recently I had the great opportunity to participate in a community adoption event. As I took a step back to watch and listen to all the amazing people around me, brought together to celebrate and to bring awareness, I found myself getting emotional. I was so overwhelmed by this giant family that I was now a part of all because of a decision that I made many years ago.

Looking back over the past 8 years it always comes at such a shock to me - this is my life.

When I was growing up and planning my future, becoming a birth mother was never discussed with my guidance counselor. I would talk with friends about what we would “do” if we ever got pregnant. Abortion was never an option; raising it would be hard but maybe adoption would be a good choice. I have learned a few things since those days, the simpler days. First is that you never know what you would be willing to do in time of serious crisis, and second is that being a birth mom is not an occupation, it is not who I am, it is what I am. My life has developed into so much more than that experience.

My decision to follow through with an adoption plan was not my first choice and was not in any way the easy choice. After a failed abortion, I was now facing only two options - adoption or parenting. Really, deep down there was only one option for me, adoption. In April of 2006 at 26 years old I gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy, and three days after his delivery into this world I placed him in the arms of his mother. At that moment a family was created, at the moment I would forever grieve a loss, at that moment when I officially took on the title of ‘birth mom’ my life was changed forever, my path was now unknown and I didn’t recognize myself or what had become of my life.

I have an amazing father, a father that to a fault believes I am capable of changing the world. He will talk still of the days that he would picture me in a pinstripe pant-suit railing away on some witness in a New York City court room. He knew even then that I had a voice to share. Little did I know that my journey would bring me here, that my voice would be for birth moms world-wide.

I spent years looking at my past trying to figure out all the “wrong” choices I had made. I tried to put a pretty Tiffany lamp shade on my dirty red light! I tried to make my past something that it wasn’t, I wanted it to be different, I wanted to see it in a different light. I wanted who I am now to reflect who I was, but the two didn’t add up. And that is the beauty of my life! I am the person I am now because of who I was and owning that and making peace with that has made me happier, more successful and has allowed me to inspire others.

I am always amazed at the constant reminder that our decisions greatly affect the path that we are on. Good and bad everything has a consequence. As I look back I can’t believe that I truly thought that it didn’t matter what I did, how I acted, what I said, because it was my life and it wouldn’t effect anyone else. How wrong I was. To this day my life is what it is because of what I did, how I acted, what I said, and depending on who was involved in my daily goings on, my life has winded and twisted and curved and has landed here.

I am not proud of the choices that I made to bring me to this life that I live but I am so grateful for this life. In April of 2006 at 26 years old I gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy, and three days after his delivery into this world I placed him in the arms of his mother. At that moment a family was created, at the moment I would forever grieve a loss, at that moment when I officially took on the title of ‘birth mom’ my life was changed forever, my path is now clear and I know who I am and what my purpose is. I am a part of adoption and it is a part of me. I wear a title of birth mom, along with many others.

As I am surrounded by the beauty of my life I ask often "someone pinch me." I am truly blessed from this path that I am on and I am so grateful to the adoption community for embracing me, helping me find a place in this world and for making my purpose clear.

I often look around and shake my head and laugh that this is my life. It truly has been a crazy ride to get here and often times I can’t believe that I survived at all. So many times I didn’t know if I would. THIS IS MY LIFE….I love it and I am living it out loud.