TLC's new TV series Long Lost Family premiered this week (Sundays 10/9C), and we can't stop thinking about it. The documentary series features family members trying to reunite with birthparents, biological families, or children placed for adoption. In the premiere, we watched two different stories unfold...
Meet Jessica. A few months ago, Jessica reached out to BraveLove looking for a way to get involved. Being a passionate writer and birth mom herself, it was evident that the greatest way for Jessica to give to BraveLove would be to share her perspective. Having traveled 6 1/2 years through her own adoption journey, Jessica says being a birth mom is her greatest achievement! She's got some invaluable insight to share, so without further adieu, here's Jessica.
“Courage (from Latin: coeur): to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” Brene Brown is a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and does research on human connection. She shared that definition of courage during her TED talk "The Power of Vulnerability."
What a night! Last Thursday, October 15th, we celebrated "A Brave New City" with over 200 new and old friends in Dallas, Texas. Watch this short video to get a glimpse of what the night entailed. A big thanks to all those who attended plus our amazing event sponsors, special guests, volunteers, and honorary speaker. We couldn't have done it without each of you.
Feels good to finish something, right? Well, we've just finished production on our BraveLove Adoption Resource Kit. We recognize that the conversation surrounding adoption can often be difficult to navigate, which is why we have been working hard to produce resources for professionals who are serving those in unplanned pregnancies. Why? To help them navigate the conversation surrounding adoption with a bit more ease. Plus we want more people to be exposed to the idea that adoption is a brave choice and also general information about adoption today.
In case you're curious, here is what's inside the kit...
Mark your calendar. Set the alarm. Save the date for Thursday, September 17th. BraveLove Giving Day is a one-day online fundraising event in which we're asking you to support the work of BraveLove.
In addition, we're asking for your help to tell others to get behind our pro-adoption cause This is a great opportunity for you to get creative and invite others in. Ask your friends, family and co-workers to give to BraveLove! The cool thing is you can be involved with Giving Day from anywhere and all within the comfort of your home, office, etc.
And the best part is...
BraveLove is a pro-adoption movement dedicated to changing the perception of adoption by acknowledging birth moms for their brave choice. Regardless of religious or political affiliation, BraveLove welcomes the support of anyone who acknowledges adoption as courageous.
For all you Mad Men fans out there, last night’s series finale marked the end of an era, according to AMC. (For you non-Mad Men viewers, keep reading this…)
Set in New York, the iconic, provocative, award-winning AMC drama follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising. The show exposes and stereotypes the 1960s-70s man who works all day and drinks all night, while his housewife looks the other way and has dinner set by 6. Even the name of the show and its opening credits lend itself to this sexist era. Though during last night’s final episode, we wondered if the oh-so-dapper Don Draper was going to survive this time as he performed another one of his disappearing acts - running away from life and all that comes with it. The final credits began to roll, and we were left with the typical finale questions and comments, “alright… well what does that mean? What do you think happened?”
BraveLove is excited to announce an extra special Birth Mother’s Day dinner with our friends at Neighbor’s Table - a love mission of ordinary people loving extraordinarily around the table. We believe birth moms are extraordinary people, which is why Neighbor’s Table is the perfect place to gather with the women we champion. Watch the video below to see what it’s like being around the table. Then scroll down for a few more details about the dinner.
On Thursday, March 19, we hosted a dinner for birth moms at Eno’s Pizza Tavern in Dallas, Texas. Women drove from Dallas, Ft. Worth and even as far as Houston! Around the table, there were mostly new faces and a few familiar ones.
We do these from time to time as a simple way to honor birth moms and allow them to connect with one another. Why? So birth moms know that they’re not alone. These dinners allow some face time with the women we champion. But most of all, the purpose of the dinners is social - eat good food and connect birth moms to one another.
We are excited to announce this year’s BraveLove Birth Mother Dinners! We love these dinners because it’s a way to gather a group of women with one strong commonality – placing a child for adoption. Our hope for these dinners is to create an environment for the birth mother community to meet, connect and encourage one another.
We want to celebrate the courageous act of placing for adoption through the simplicity of sharing a meal together.
Recently the National Council for Adoption hosted a webinar called "What We Want Adoption Professionals to Know" and invited two birth mothers, Jan and Heather, to participate on the panel. We had to listen in to what our friends were saying! The women shared their personal adoption stories and then specifically discussed the role of a birth mother and the reality of a birth mother’s grief.
This time last month, we hosted a fundraising party to shine a positive light on adoption in Dallas and beyond. Nearly 300 guests from across the metroplex joined us for a night of festivities to celebrate November’s National Adoption Month at 3015 at Trinity Groves. The Dream a Little Dream Party included food by 3015’s Chef Sharon Van Meter, drinks by Western Son Vodka, live music by Jon Christopher Davis, a photo booth, and our first annual Wall of Lights.
“The Drop Box” - Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.
We can hardly believe that the BraveLove Dream a Little Dream Party is less than a week away! We have been planning for this special evening for quite some time, and the closer we get, the more excited we are about gathering together to shine a positive light on adoption in honor of National Adoption Month!
We launched two years ago today. For those reading this, thank you! Thank you for caring about this movement and helping us show that adoption can be a beautiful thing and that birth moms are heroes.
Last week, BraveLove had the honor of participating in Care Net’s 2014 National Pregnancy Center Conference held right here in our own backyard – Dallas, TX! It was inspiring to be around hundreds of men and women working in different centers around the United States. We visited with some of our existing partners and then connected with over 100 different pregnancy centers for the first time. We even ran into our friend Angela, a birth mom whose story you may be seeing very soon! As we spoke with people about BraveLove’s mission, one statement was repeatedly expressed…
An adoptive mother recently introduced us to a children’s book called There’s NO Such Thing as a Dragon.
“Billy Bixbee was rather surprised when he woke up one morning and found a dragon in his room. It was a small dragon, about the size of a kitten.”
Billy goes downstairs to tell his mother, but she insists that there’s no such thing as a dragon! Billy goes back to his room to get dressed and the dragon comes close to Billy wagging its tail. Billy doesn’t give the dragon any attention, because, if there is no such thing as a dragon, then it is silly to pay any attention to it. As the story progresses, the dragon continues to grow larger and follow Billy around wherever he goes, all the while growing at a rapid pace. The mother insists the dragon does not exist, but has to make accommodations to clean the house around the dragon because it has grown so large that there is nowhere in the house the dragon isn’t. The dragon eventually outgrows the house and when it takes off running down the street, it takes the entire house, Billy and his mother included, along with it. When Billy’s dad comes home, he of course notices that the house is gone. He immediately goes looking for it and when he finally finds it, he has to climb over the dragon’s head to make a way into his own home. He asks Billy and his mother what happened and Billy says, “It was the dragon.” His mother starts to say “There’s no such thing….” but Billy interjects and says, “There IS a dragon! A very BIG dragon!” Billy then pats the dragon on the head and even faster than it had grown, the dragon shrinks down to the size of a kitten again. The end of the story reads…
One of the ways we can spread a positive adoption message is to intentionally change our language surrounding adoption. Many of us are accustomed to the term give up your child for adoption. When we take a moment to think about the implications of this phrase, we realize that a birth mother might be “giving up” a lot, but she is by no means “giving up” on her child.
We had to share this article from our friends over at Adoption.com, which sheds some great light on the importance of understanding the words we use when talking or writing about adoption...
In a recent conversation, an adoptive mother shared with us about her daughter’s reunion experience. Her daughter and birth mother had been reunited after 18 years. When asked the question by others, “Didn’t you feel threatened witnessing your daughter meeting her birth mother for the first time?” Her response was an immediate “No, absolutely not. Would you feel threatened if your daughter had a hole in her heart her entire life, and you found the one individual who could fill that hole?”
Isn’t it interesting that the English language has only one word to express this complex emotion? In one sentence, we use this word love to express our affections toward our morning cup of coffee, only to be immediately followed by the words I love you towards the ones we hold closest.
As we mentioned yesterday, it’s awareness week at BraveLove and all week long we are asking you to raise your voice. Today, we want you to TWEET and use your 140 characters to speak up about BraveLove!
It’s awareness week at BraveLove, and we need your help to spread our mission!
One way to do this is to wear the love and become a walking message to your friends, family and co-workers! The new BraveLove Shop is up and running, and we invite you to take a look around! These products are not just another t-shirt, bracelet or coffee mug to add to your collection. They are valuable tools which can be used to start the conversation that adoption can be a loving option. Will you be a part of helping change the way our culture thinks about adoption by sporting some BraveLove swag and engaging others in this conversation?
BraveLove is on a mission, and we are getting closer to releasing the details of our newest project to all of you! Last month, we hosted our third Roundtable discussion to build upon ideas gathered from our previous Roundtable held in April. This time, we gathered with a new group from pregnancy centers and organizations around DFW to discuss in greater detail this exciting new video project. This group shared their insight, knowledge and expertise for the sake of furthering our mission - to change the perception of adoption.
Last Tuesday, BraveLove joined a webinar called "A Birth Mother’s Heart," which was hosted by one of our wonderful partner agencies, Lifeline Children's Services. Two inspiring women, Katie and Deborah, shared their stories. Though from different circumstances, these women had one common thread weaving them together – they each placed a child for adoption.