At BraveLove, we're dedicated to erasing the stigmas of adoption, and a big part of that involves sharing stories that honor birth mothers. As we all know, adoption impacts people forever. The journey isn't over after the decision has been made. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove over the years, like Allie.
Allie placed her son for adoption six years ago. Two years ago she shared her story with BraveLove (see here), and today we're catching up with her to see what the details of her life look like six years later.
How would you describe yourself today?
Today I am stronger. I am stronger because I've been able to build myself with grace, humility, and perseverance. 19-year-old me wouldn't recognize who I am today. Through my open placement of my birth son I've learned to give myself grace on the hard days and give grace abundantly to others when needed. I've learned humility because by God's power, not mine, that my birth son has a loving home and provisions I couldn't provide when I placed him. I've learned perseverance through being a birth mother; it's not always an easy road and it's often you become weary from. Persevering through the myths that come along with the title, and dispelling them whenever I can. Each and every day I try to be a better version of myself than I was yesterday.
What do your days look like?
My days are delightfully chaotic but rhythmic. My day starts out with a daily 5-minute devotional and A LOT of coffee (to say I am a coffee addict is an understatement). I am an artist and manager at a local pottery studio; I provide my artistic talent to those who are needing to learn a specific skill in pottery painting. I am in charge of loading kilns with bisque ware that has been glazed and ready to be fired. I take care of answering any emails we get, and I put in orders for more inventory. I sit down for a small lunch and then get back to work. My husband and I do CrossFit in the evenings, he coaches some sessions at our Box. Working out is what we do for fun and to stay connected with each other; it's our daily "date night" with each other! After that we come home to our fur babies (our boxer and boston terrier) have supper and usually catch up on some episodes of our latest Netflix find.
Knowing what you know today about life, what would you tell yourself 5 years ago?
19-year-old self, it’s okay to feel CHANGED. Changed isn’t a word I would have used almost 6 years ago. I could think of a million other words other than “changed.” Changed not only in the sense that your body just grew a human life (congrats on that by the way, it’s tiring work!), but that you just became a prime candidate for advocating adoption. You witnessed first hand the vast and endless amount of love you have for someone, and in turn watching the two most deserving people immediately fall in love with a priceless gift. It’s fine to feel changed in your mindset; there isn’t a moment of my day that I am not thinking of “C,” wondering what he is doing at the moment or trying to mentally plan a way to see him soon. I can’t even imagine life now without the instant family I found when I placed him in another person's arms; change isn’t a bad thing.
What do you want the world to know about adoption?
Adoption shouldn't be a taboo or scary subject to approach or talk about. If the world knew the love, sacrifice and thought put forth by the birth parents they wouldn't think of it as such a risky topic. Love is all that I had at the time of placement and love remains to this day my greatest motive to placing my child.
What keeps you up at night?
Honestly, nothing major keeps me up at night these days. I've learned from an early age to give it to God and go to sleep. He is mightier than any problem I have, and it does me no good to lay awake worrying about something I have no control over.
What are you looking forward to this year?
In 2018 I am looking forward to new challenges (good and bad) because I know I can handle whatever is thrown my way. I have new goals set for myself in my marriage, in the gym, and at work. I am very excited to see who I become at the end of this year.
Allie also writes for BraveLove's Being a Birth Mom column. Read her letter to her younger self here.