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 Tamra.
Tamra placed her son for adoption in the mid 90's and didn't have an open adoption. She shared her story with BraveLove about five years ago (see here). Today we're catching up and learning what her life looks like these days.
How would you describe yourself today?
I am a Primitive living, Wilderness survival instructor and Backcountry guide. I am a minimalist and a nomad. I am the favorite aunt to 20. I am a Mormon. And I am a birth mom in reunion and an adoption advocate.
What do your days look like?
I have been traveling full time for 2 and 1/2 years. I live in an adorable short bus converted into a tiny home. I go to primitive skills gatherings, speak at adoption events, visit family (Barcelona, Italy, TX, FL, ID, UT), nomadic community events, Wilderness survival instructing or Backcountry guiding gigs, or occasionally to film a TV show!
Knowing what you know today, what would you tell yourself 5 years ago?
The biggest lesson of the last few years is that fear is a thief! After having been robbed by fear in some pretty tragic ways, I have determined to never let fear drive! When I start to hear that voice in my mind that tells me that I'm not up to the task or that I'll mess it up or all of the ways it could go badly, I go on autopilot and move defiantly in that direction. This has brought amazing experiences and changes into my world!
What do you want the world to know about adoption?
Since reuniting with my birth son almost 5 years ago, I'm still re-finding my narrative. My experience with and feelings and thoughts about adoption are still as grateful and positive as ever, but they are deeper and more complex, even confusing. I am still struggling to find what it is I want the world to know about MY adoption, but I still say with total confidence that adoption, when it's right and when it's done right, is so right. Even with the parts that sometimes seem wrong.
What keeps you up at night?
Not much keeps me up at night. I do have regret about the time between finding information to contacting the adoptive family, and actually doing it. And I do worry about my birth son, who is processing trauma and tragedy that couldn't have been predicted or prevented, that is no one's fault and that is unrelated to being adopted.
What are you looking forward to this year?
A year from now, I want to say that I have grown, that I have served others, and that I have had Joy.