Blog: news, updates & events

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!

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.

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.

Jori 9 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. 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.

Wynter 17 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. 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 Wynter.

Wynter placed her son for adoption in 2001. She shared her story called "The Secret Inside Me" with BraveLove about five years ago (see here). Today we're catching up with her to see what life looks like 17 years later.

How would you describe yourself today?

I am a work-from-home mom, wife, and business owner.

What do your days look like?

I have three, school-age kids, work part-time for a fantastic, world-changing nonprofit called Mending the Soul, I am a part-time freelance editor, blogger, and author, and my husband and I founded and run a nanobrewery just outside Portland, Oregon!

A Conversation with Heather Avis about her family, her book and the beautiful chaos of adoption

Perhaps you've seen Heather Avis on The Today Show or read her best-selling book The Lucky Few. Or maybe you've seen her adorable children on her wildly popular Instagram account @macymakesmyday.

Whether you know her or not, Heather Avis is someone you should pay attention to and we'll tell you why. We were delighted to have an hour of her time to learn more about her family, their adoption story, and the advice she offers to families considering adoption.

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day (today!), we want to introduce you to Heather. 

Tamra 20 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 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.

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Gerrianne 30 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 Gerrianne.

Gerrianne placed her son for adoption in the mid-80's. She 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.

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How would you describe yourself today?

I am a joyful, fun, risk-taker and passionate (about adoption) individual.

Navigating the Emotions of Reconnecting After a Semi-Open Adoption

I have been a birth mom for 21 years and navigating what that journey looks like ever since.

For a season, I didn’t share my journey, it was mine, and honestly, it was very personal. I didn’t want to invite anyone else into it; kind of like a kid with candy! I wanted to keep all the good stuff for myself.

Meet Angela

Angela.pngMeet Angela! She's a long time friend of BraveLove's and one of our newest contributors to the Being A Birth Mom column...

Hello! My name is Angela and birth mom is just one of the titles I hold, but it is one of them I cherish the most. I placed my daughter for adoption in 1996 when I was just 17 years old.

Book Review - Daring Greatly

It's Book Club time again! And this one was a great read to kick off the year.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown

Reviewed by Laura Bruder

Daring_Greatly.pngThis wasn't our typical book club choice. Usually, we select something that has an adoption storyline like The Waiting, You Carried Me, or To Have and Not to Hold. But this year, we wanted to read something a little different that might resonate with a wider audience.

Honestly, I wish everyone would read Daring Greatly because it's profoundly fascinating about the simple but universal human experience. It gives you words to identify feelings and tools to move forward (like the title describes).

Brene Brown is a research professor who studies vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her 2010 Ted Talk is one of the most watched talks on TED.com (watch here). 

A Brief Look at Joy & Grief in Adoption

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Joy and pain being ever present at any given time. Of course, when I think about things for any length of time, I tend to see them in view of adoption.

There is no moment in life that I can think of where joy and grief are more present (in an all-out battle, if you will) than during an adoption.

Birth Mom Connections

priscilla-du-preez-234138.jpgI talk about being a birth mom a lot. It’s something I am passionate about because I long to see human dignity stretch into adoption from all sides of the triad.

I believe deeply in the inherent value of people. So, talking about adoption and my experience as a birth mom comes naturally, and sometimes I assume I am the only birth mom in the room. Most of the time I am.

A Letter to a Younger Me

florian-klauer-489.jpgThis letter is intended to reach birth-mothers who don’t quite understand their emotions yet of a new placement or even an old one.

I hope it reaches someone who needs to hear that they’re not alone in these times; I know I would have welcomed a “letter” from someone who has been able to sort through and know these similar feelings of the turbulent waters of becoming a birth-parent.

Meet Allie

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

Hey there, I'm Allie!  I am a birth mother, wife, daughter, blogger, manager and dog mom. My favorite nickname I have is "Mama Allie" which was given to me by the most precious little boy I've ever laid eyes on. I placed my son 6 years ago as of December 2017. I am a manager and artist for a pottery studio in West Texas.

Simple ways you can make a big impact!

Untitled_design.jpgChanging the way the world views adoption will take all of us. Whether you have a personal connection to adoption or not, you are needed. 

Here are 5 different ways to make a really big impact right where you are: 

Book Review

It's Book Club time! This month BraveLove's founder Ellen reviewed the book, and here's what she thought about it...

The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up by Cathy LaGrow

Reviewed by Ellen Porter

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(Warning: Spoiler ahead...)

The book The Waiting took me on quite an unexpected journey. It is the story of Minka, a 16-year-old child of immigrants who is assaulted in the woods by a stranger while attending a picnic in 1928.  She becomes pregnant and is encouraged to place her child for adoption.