Blog: news, updates & events

How to Navigate a Very Open Adoption

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With adoption as my option, I never considered how open it could be. In fact, my idea of “very open” wasn’t all that open at all. I never dreamed that my adoption would be where it is today.

It has, by far, exceeded the expectations of a scared and pregnant woman. I never imagined spending holidays with my birth daughters’ family, babysitting, or even taking family trips. But that is what my open adoption has become. It has gone from two families joining as one.

It has turned into my birth daughter’s mom becoming my best friend and my sister. We celebrate the highs and cry at the lows. In fact, it just does not feel like a normal day if her mom doesn’t text me.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Four. It’s a number that always sticks with me.

4 days.

Four days that I will never forget. I’ll never forget the pain, both mentally and physically. I’ll never forget the rush of hormones leaving my body, the unexplainable confusion, and the complete feeling of loneliness. Everything happened so fast that by the time I slowed down to take a breath, I had lived through the most painful, saddest, and darkest four days of my life.

Dominique's Story

I Wish I'd Known Then What I Know Now

Haven3.jpegWhen I placed my daughter for adoption twenty years ago, open adoption wasn't really discussed as a preferred option, and I didn't even know of anyone who had experienced adoption in that way.

It never crossed my mind that it was a possibility.  I received pictures of my birth daughter for the first few years from her mom, not because we had an open adoption, but simply because her mom is an incredibly kind, loving, and thoughtful woman. 

Second Act: Now Playing - Plus the Other Storyline We Didn't See Coming

Note: Some spoilers are included in this review.

In our opinion, the movie Second Act gets two thumbs up because of its positive references to adoption. What appears to be a light-hearted rom-com starring Jennifer Lopez and other recognizable A-list actors was actually a movie with its fair share of personal struggles and surprises... adoption being one of them. We didn't see it coming since there wasn't even a mention about it in the trailer.

Ana Almost 4 Years Later

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 Ana.

Ana placed her son for adoption 3 and a half years ago. She shared her story with BraveLove about two years ago (see here). So we're catching up and learning what her life looks like these days.

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How would you describe yourself today?

I am going to school, helping my sister plan her wedding and planning my own wedding. I’m super busy these days!

Meet Shelbi

Meet Shelbi! She's one of our newest contributors to the Being A Birth Mom column...

Hello, my name is Shelbi! Ever since becoming a birth mother, my entire life has changed! Adoption and being a birth mother is something that I am VERY passionate about!

Dear scared, pregnant, and alone:

Dear scared, pregnant, and alone:

My name is Elizabeth, and my birth daughter turned six today. It feels like yesterday that I was reading that life-altering pregnancy test while crying on the bathroom floor. I remember feeling scared and alone, but what I remember most was having this overwhelming feeling of needing to get rid of my secret.

Amber Shares When She Experienced a Threshold Shift

Enough time has passed I think, that I’m ready to share this. Yet the memories of the experience are as real today as they were when I had them. I’ve sat down to write this Story a hundred times, too, thinking it my duty to somehow show the World that miracles happen everyday. Particularly when major events in the world have led people to question whether there is hope and goodness. I’ve wanted to shout “YES! You have no idea how beautiful people are because I’ve seen it and experienced it with my own soul!” But these Stories don’t make media headlines day after day after day, and even if they did, the news couldn’t do it justice in a 60 second bit. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to do it justice in the hours its going to take me to write this.

This is not a normal Blog post. You won’t see but a couple of images. You’ll understand why in a minute. But it started with an inquiry for Photography Services that I did not know would change my life (and I’m not exaggerating). It was from a Mother who was contacting me on behalf of both her and the Birth Mother about photographing the arrival of their Baby Girl. So let’s be clear. This is an Adoption. This is an Open Adoption. The Birth Mother, Lydia and the Adoptive Mother were partnering together on this endeavor. Let that soak in y’all. If that hasn’t hit you in the gut yet..hopefully it will when you read the rest of this Blog, and then go back and read it again.

Paola A Few Years Later

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At BraveLove, we're dedicated to erasing the stigmas of adoption, and a big part of that involves sharing stories that honor birth mothers. Adoption impacts people forever. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove over the years, like Paola.

Paola and her husband have been involved with BraveLove since nearly the beginning. They've attended BraveLove events and expressed interest in adopting one day. Fast forward a few years and their family has grown through adoption! So we're catching up and learning what Paola's life looks like these days.

How would you describe yourself today?

Small but mighty. My mom used to tell me that and it stuck with me.

Jenny 5 Years Later

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 birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee forever. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove like Jenny who was adopted!  

Jenny shared her story with BraveLove five years ago (see here). So we're catching up with her and learning what her life looks like these days.

Brooke 4 Years Later

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 birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee forever. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove — like Brooke who was adopted!  

Brooke shared her story with BraveLove four years ago (see here). So we're catching up with her and learning what her life looks like these days.

Dear birthmom,

Dear Birthmom,

I want to encourage you today about the decision you have made. Having made this choice I know some of the feelings you may be experiencing. It is an exquisite pain.

Open Adoption - Strange Friendships and the Urge to Run

anatol-lem-186853-unsplash.jpgOpen adoption can feel like a strange relationship, and it’s a lot of work. During my pregnancy, I met with the adoptive couple monthly. Each time, we shared a meal and stories and got to know one another.

Throughout these monthly meetings, I grew to love this couple. I picked them to raise my baby, how could I not have love for them? I was sharing one of the most troubling times of my life with them, so of course, we grew close to one another. But were we friends? It felt like it, but I didn’t really know.

Meet Kelsey

Meet Kelsey! She's a friend of BraveLove's, a champion for birth moms and our newest contributor to the Being A Birth Mom column...

Hello ladies! My name is Kelsey. I am from Northern Indiana and I placed my son nearly 2 years ago. I am the Adoption Outreach Coordinator at Adoption Support Center, an adoption agency in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Nacole 6 Years Later

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 Nacole.

Nacole and her husband Duane placed their daughter for adoption. Nacole shared her story with BraveLove about five years ago (see here). So we're catching up with her and learning what her life looks like these days.

Dating As A Birth Mom

Most people are very cautious to date women that have children because it’s an added responsibility, especially if you’re in your early twenties.

Most of the time you want to date a girl first, then build a life with her before you introduce children into the mix. Being a birth mother, one would think this is no big deal to date/tell your boyfriend because you don’t actually physically have your child to take care of. What’s the big deal?

Allie 6 Years Later

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.

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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.