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 Jori.
Jori placed her daughter for adoption nine years ago. She shared her story with BraveLove about five years ago (see here). Today we're catching up with her to see what life looks like nine years later.
How would you describe yourself today?
I am a wife of 8 years. A birth mother to an amazing 9-year-old girl. A mom to twin 7-year-old girls, a 4-year-old dinosaur-loving-boy, and the sweetest 10-month-old baby boy. I am a non-paid taxi driver, chef, house cleaner, laundry folding expert, Netflix junkie, and a book reader while in a warm bath lover.
What do your days look like?
My days consist of waking three young kids up in the morning who swear they didn't get enough sleep (me either). Helping them rush out the door to school. Working part-time as an assistant in a friend's realtor office. Picking up kids from school. Taking them to various after-school activities such as basketball or soccer practice. Rushing home to make dinner for the family while entertaining a 10-month-old. Spending time with my family and friends.
Knowing what you know today about life, what would you tell yourself 5 years ago?
Five years ago I would have told myself that being a mom won't get easier — it just changes. There will be great days and not so great days but you can always start fresh the next day. Make sure you tell the people in your life that you love and care about them. Don't take your life so seriously. Laugh. A lot. Find joy in the everyday moments. Have courage — don't be afraid to share your adoption story. There are people that are supposed to hear it and could possibly change their life. Forgive more — it gives you freedom. It's ok to make mistakes, just learn from them.
What do you want the world to know about adoption?
Adoption CAN be amazing. Yes, I know that it isn't for every situation, but it can be open, raw, loving, kind, considerate, healing and so much more. It is not a one size fits all. I want the world to know that you don't need to have biological children to be a mother. It can be beautiful. It is a journey, ever-changing and evolving. ADOPTION IS ABOUT LOVE!
What keeps you up at night?
My million long to-do lists, my thoughts about what I didn't get accomplished that day. My children and thinking of their happiness.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to financial freedom. I am looking forward to many more family memories. Being present in the moment. I am looking forward to writing and sharing my story more. Watching how all my children will grow this year.