Time really does fly. We can hardly believe that 2013 has come and gone. As we enter 2014, here are some of our hopes and resolutions for the year ahead plus one of our favorite articles to date. In 2014, we hope to...
Wherever you may be this Thanksgiving - whether with friends, family or keeping it quiet - we hope you are able to slow down, take it easy and enjoy some pumpkin pie. It’s been a busy few months in the life of BraveLove as we’ve celebrated National Adoption Month, launched in Oklahoma and featured a compelling new adoption story. And now the hustle and bustle of the holidays is literally upon us. Therefore on this Thanksgiving Eve, we want to take a minute to acknowledge our appreciation of you…
On Friday, November 22, we were awarded the 2013 Hope Award at Gladney’s 10th Annual Hope Award Luncheon. What an honor! Thank you Gladney for this recognition. The luncheon was a sweet time in which we celebrated with friends, family and supporters of BraveLove as well as staff from Gladney and other organizations in the DFW area. To those who attended amidst the chilly temps in Ft. Worth, thank you for being there. To the rest of you, we appreciate your interest in this movement and caring about adoption. Happy National Adoption Month!
Today I’ve been swept away in my own reflections of the events from the last two years surrounding our daughter’s adoption story just as I have been in so many moments and in so many days before. I’ve been particularly stuck by the impact felt all because of one woman, one choice, one moment, one partnership and one amazing life. A loving, courageous, selfless, special, unique and remarkable woman I came to love who couldn’t be her baby’s mother but had all the love of every mother that I have ever known.
On Thursday, November 14, we launched this movement in Oklahoma! We gathered with about 175 of our closest friends in the Oklahoma City/Edmond/Nichols Hills area and shared the vision of BraveLove with the intention of raising adoption awareness. Our friend Clay shared his adoption story, and then BraveLove founder shared the vision of the organization. By the end of the night, people were excited to get involved, give and help spread the BraveLove in Oklahoma. For those that attended, THANK YOU for being there. We’re so excited to get to know you.
Meet April from Texas. Last week April won a BraveLove t-shirt. This week we wanted to get to know her a little better and discover why she’s interested in adoption. Thanks for sharing, April.
What’s your connection to adoption? My cousin is adopted. I work with parents who have children with special needs. Some of the parents adopted their children or foster parent.
Why are you interested in adoption / BraveLove / birth mothers? I love reading the letters that are on the BraveLove website. Reading each one, and all from different points of views, are sure to bring tears to your eyes! Being a mother has made me realize, even more now, how brave and difficult that decision would be to make.
Do you think birth mothers are brave? YES!
I was yours for three days in the hospital and then my adoptive parents took me into their arms. You chose my parents to take me because you thought they were wonderful and caring people; I want to tell you that you’re right. They taught me patience and gave me a sense of wonder and love that can only come from a mother that could not keep her baby and a woman that wanted a baby so badly, that she picked me. You are the strongest woman I know and I strive to make you proud daily.
Love Always, Lauren
Why Grace cares about this adoption movement:
"A few years ago a friend of mine had an unplanned pregnancy. She and her boyfriend struggled to raise their baby themselves because they didn’t understand the blessing that adoption can be.
I care about BraveLove because I want all birth mothers to know that far from being something to be ashamed of or “giving up,” adoption is both courageous and selfless, and one of the most loving acts a birth mother can do for her baby."
FYI. In the past year, we’ve gotten to know Grace and have been blown away by her desire to just help out. Did you go the 5K adoption fun run earlier this spring? If so, you saw Grace!
You didn’t give us much notice - just a few hours to get in the car, try not to break the speed limit, and drive to the hospital to meet our baby boy — but WOW did you give us a gift. Now, five months later, we have a roly-poly, feet-obsessed, smiley little baby boy. He is the light of our lives.
Why Erica cares about this adoption movement:
"Having observed the anxiety that can strike a woman in an unplanned pregnancy and after walking the road with a brave & loving birth mother, BraveLove absolutely matters! I’ve witnessed the encouragement and hope BraveLove offered this birth mother throughout her pregnancy and thereafter."
FYI. Erica is usually the one behind the lens so it’s rarity that we get to feature a photo of her! She’s friends with this mom, and happens to be the one who got us hooked on this song. Thanks for sharing, Erica!
Happy Thursday! We’ve run across some great adoption stories, articles and videos so far this week. Read/Watch these at your leisure...
Why Michelle cares about this adoption movement:
"I care about BraveLove because human life is the most special thing we’ve been given, and adoption opens up the doors to saving that life. Adoption has blessed me and made my life fuller, and anything we can do to call woman to be brave, we should do!"
FYI. Michelle is one of the brightest 16-year-olds we know. She’s also super talented, too. You should ask her to sing for you sometime. She loves adoption. Why? Because she has two younger cousins who were adopted (see the pic!). She wouldn’t know them, love them, be able to play with them if it weren’t for their birth moms who lovingly placed them for adoption.
Why Ellen cares about this adoption movement:
“Because I am thankful everyday for the birth mothers of my babies, and I want to applaud all the brave women who make this choice!”
FYI. Ellen is a mom—an adoptive mom actually. She’s proud to call Texas home. She also happens to be the founder of BraveLove. (Read this story.) Besides currently rearing her four cute kids, Ellen’s all-time favorite job was when she worked at SeaWorld… just a few years ago.
We’ve stumbled upon some great adoption stories, articles and videos in the past week or so. We wanted to make sure you saw them, too...
Last Thursday, we had the joy of hanging out with about 400 of our closest friends at the Southern Social. The Southern Social is a series of free concerts meant to promote local music, good food, and help raise money for people doing some good in the world.
Fun Fact—Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, however Birth Mother’s Day is the day before, Saturday, May 11.
This year, we’ve teamed up with Blessings in a Basket for the first time 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 goodies would be a loving way to care.
(If you haven’t read Part 1 of Ashley’s post, better read that first.) Whether you are a birth mom, a single parent, an adoptive mom, a woman….it doesn’t matter…in my book you are a BIG TOUGH GIRL if...
This year we’ve become friends with the founder of Blessings in a Basket Ashley Mitchell. Ashley spends her days loving on her children, leaning on her husband and reaching out to women who, like herself, found themselves at a crossroad and chose adoption. She is the founder of a non-profit birth mom community called Blessings in a Basket. She is a die-hard college football fan, covets anything from Tiffany and thinks that snow is the most magical and sparkly thing in the world! Without further adieu, here’s Ashley:
Once there were two women
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
The other you call mother.
Two different lives
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.
Last week, we received two open letters from one birth mother (we’ll refer to her as “Mummy”). Mummy relinquished her son Seth when he was 2 1/2 years old. She shared two letters with us: one she wrote about his placement day and the other on his 13th birthday. Her words are poignant, honest and profound. Immediately after reading, we knew her story needed to be shared for a couple of reasons: 1) to better convey the sacrifice Mummy and other birth mothers make when they choose adoption. And 2) to encourage other birth mothers that you aren’t alone. We don’t take this lightly. We’re honored to get to know Mummy and listen to her story and others.
“I would be honored to share my story. There have been many ups and downs. I am grateful that I can say I have never regretted my decision as being the best for my son. But, I do think that after all this time I am in a place where it is easier for me to tell…because if [reading other stories on BraveLove.org] has helped me then perhaps some of my story will help someone else as well.” - Mummy
We were in the news this morning! If you are not in the Dallas area, have no fear - you can still read our paper. Reporter for the People Newspapers Georgia Fisher wrote:
“I’ve been more that a little entranced by the open letters and videos on BraveLove.org, and will have story in Friday’s paper about the organization’s founder, Ellen Porter, of Preston Hollow. Porter calls BraveLove a movement — one she hopes will forever change the way people look at adoption and birth parenting.”
The first week in February we gathered around one table with 17 different men and women from North Texas. We hosted our first (ever!) BraveLove Roundtable discussion and lunch with different DFW area leaders from adoption agencies, pregnancy resource centers, schools, churches, law firms, etc. Everyone shared their opinions and talked honestly and openly about the adoption stigmas that exist today. We shared our vision and then had a constructive discussion around plans for making this movement move.
We’re thankful to have 17 new friends of BraveLove and looking forward to more Roundtables!
We’ve been thrilled by the coverage we’ve received from in the past few months. So (in case you're curious), we're sharing some of these features in case you missed them in the news...
Today you are 13… a teenager! Wow…
I imagine what you’re like… What kind of young man you are becoming…
I remember being 13. I remember the highs and the lows. I remember the first boyfriend and the first kiss. I remember the awkwardness of wondering where I fit in. I remember trying to figure out who I was and more importantly who I wanted to become.