One word to describe how you felt the moment you discovered you were pregnant.
Why did you choose adoption?
As a stubborn first-born, I wanted certain things for my child. I wanted her to have a two-parent family, like I had, and to have opportunities like college. I knew as a single mother who had not even finished high school, I could give her none of those things.
What's been the hardest part of being a birthmother?
For a long time, it was not being able to own up to the fact that I was a mother. Things like Mother's Day was like hell on earth for me. Now that I have my own children, I can lump in my birth daughter and receive the recognition for being a mommy.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known then that you know today?
That this road was never-ending. My parents told me after Katie was born that it was all over. But the truth is it was just beginning. I wish I would have known how much I needed support and counseling so I could have been better equipped to deal with my grief in healthy ways.
If you could dispel an adoption myth - what would it be?
We're not monsters. We're not even that different from anybody else. We made the best decision we could make at the time given our set of circumstances. And just like anyone, we have to live with the results of that decision forever.
What's been the greatest reward or surprise of being a birthmother?
I think now that I'm a grandmother it's easier to see the long-term benefit for everyone involved. I didn't just make a choice in a vacuum 26 years ago. I made a choice that will affect generations long after I'm gone.
What's your greatest wish for birthmothers today?
For health and healing for the hole that's in their hearts. Jesus Christ is the only one who can fill that emptiness and restore us to full joy.
What excites you about BraveLove?
I'm excited about anyone who is talking about birthmothers in a positive way. We've gotten lots of bad press over the years and I for one am tired of it. Lead on, BraveLove!