Blog: news, updates & events

2014 Care Net Conference

CareNet1.jpeg

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… 

In Light of Being Known

dragon.jpgAn 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…

To My Son, Eli,

It has been just over a week since I gave birth to you and I miss you more than words could ever say.  I am your birth mother and I want to tell you a little about our story and how you were placed into the arms of your parents.

To My Sweet Etta,

I’ll start off by saying I am proud to be your birth mom. I am proud that I trusted and believed in God’s word and that was adoption. I know in my heart God had me picked out to be the special woman to carry you for 9 months for your Mommy. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what God is doing (and believe me at first this was very hard for me to understand). Though the minute I met your parents, I 100% understood God’s doings.

Our words surrounding adoption

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...

The Adoption Triad

Adoption TriadIn 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?”

Fully Loved: Thoughts on what it means

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.

Spread BraveLove: Tweet the Love

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! 

The BraveLove Shop: Wear the Love

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?

Coming Together: Our third Roundtable

BraveLove Roundtable friends

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.

A Birth Mother’s Heart

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. 

Dear Precious Little One,

We haven’t met you yet and have no idea when you will join our family. But we trust God and know that He’ll bring you to us at the perfect time. We can’t wait to welcome you into our family with unconditional love.

I’ve prayed for you, thought of you, and dreamed of you a million times. Waiting is hard on this mommy. I’ve written letters to you in my head so many times, so I thought I should put one on paper in case you ever wonder.

A Single Step: Meet the Ivey’s

In a world where we are given the freedom to operate on our own timelines, the ability to ‘just do something’, can often feel daunting.  Especially when that ‘something’ you are waiting to do could take a significant amount of time and effort – like adoption perhaps.

Janelle asks “What’s his label?”

Janelle asks what's his labelMeet Janelle. In 1993, she found herself facing the many burdens and decisions that accompany an unplanned pregnancy.  Feeling as if she needed extra support, she chose to move into the Liberty Godparent Home for the duration of her pregnancy.  It was there that she decided that adoption was the best option for her child and made the brave decision to pursue a placement plan while working with Family Life Services Adoption Agency.

Debrief from CAFO Summit, Chicago

Last week was our first time to attend the CAFO Summit Conference, and it certainly exceeded our expectations. CAFO is an alliance that brings together individuals and organizations from all different child welfare groups across the globe. It’s a faith-based group that’s doing a lot of valuable work primarily through the work of local churches to serve vulnerable children because - bottom line - children need families. If you follow us on Twitter, you may have witnessed our live tweeting from #CAFO2014. Lots of speakers, information, and good came from our time spent in Chicago last week. Some of our favorite highlights (in no particular order) were as follows...BraveLove attends CAFO Summit conference in Chicago

Birth Mom Dinner at Pappasito’s

Last week we ate dinner with a group of birth moms at Pappasito's Cantina in Arlington, Texas. We had women drive from Dallas, Ft. Worth and even as far as an hour away! Around the table, there were familiar faces from previous dinners and then some new faces.

Our second Roundtable

Last Friday we gathered with a dozen leaders from different pregnancy centers and organizations from across DFW (Non-Texans, that means Dallas/Ft. Worth).

Buy or Sponsor a Birth Mother’s Day Care Package!

Did you know that Birth Mother’s Day actually exists! It’s Saturday, May 10. (Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11.) This year, we’ve teamed up with Blessings in a Basket for the second year in a row to create a sweet care package specifically designed for birth mothers. Why? Because we want birth moms to be honored and encouraged on this holiday. And we thought a few fun goodies might brighten one’s day.

The Long-Term Health Benefits of Open Adoption

A guest writer from Healthline.com shares some of the long-term benefits of open adoption. Here’s an excerpt from her article:

“...Open adoption has been shown to hold many benefits for all involved, and this is the case when it comes to the child’s health too. Along with the benefits related to the adoptee’s emotional health, open adoption can also have a positive impact on their physical health."

Our Ambassador Valentine’s Party

blog_ambassador_party_valentines.JPGOn Thursday, February 13th, we celebrated an early Valentine’s with 130 of our Dallas Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are those who have committed to helping us raise awareness that adoption is a loving option. And Valentine’s seemed like a fitting time to acknowledge this different kind of adoption love story. Our founder spoke and shared where we’ve been in the past year and what’s ahead. For those that attended the event, THANK YOU! 

Birth Mom Dinner at the Porch

These dinners are our favorites. The purpose is primarily social - eat good food and get to know one another. It’s a way we can gather a group of women who have one thing in common - placing a child for adoption. These dinners allow us time to get to know the women we champion by sharing a meal and listening to their stories in person.

Philomena: a movie worth talking about

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith (The Lost Child of Philomena Lee), the movie Philomena focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee, played by Judi Dench. Philomena got pregnant at a young age, which was something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of.

Introduced a birth mom to thousands last Saturday

Last Saturday, January 18th, we had the opportunity to speak at the Dallas March for Life Rally. It was an honor to be a part of this HUGE event in downtown Dallas and to get to talk about adoption to thousands. Literally, thousands.