Friday, July 17, 2009


Oh man, I've been having a feeling that I should write this post. But I haven't and then I've been inspired to.

Let's start off with, I've been bitter with a certain someone. I know he thinks I'm ALWAYS mad at him. But if you were in my situation then you can't help but think about him and what he did to make you this way and what he's not doing now to support you. It hurts. I know people tell me that I need to hear his side of the story. What if I've given him many opportunities to contact me and he hasn't even taken one? Even when I confront him about things and get lied straight to my face about it.
Just so you get an idea of my bitterness, I don't even know if I should give him the opportunity to see his daughter after she's born. That's how bitter I am. Sadly enough, I've asked everyone but one person- God.
I mean, I've felt great. I had a fantastic week in Virginia and wished it never had to end. Then I come home to the drama. I wish I could make you all understand how I feel. But I can't. My friend's post was just sort of an awakening to me. Ever since... Wednesday night at group, I've felt emotional pain thinking about him. And I pushed God away because I want to try to make things right on my own.
But guess what? God has been there for me since day one of this journey. He's not going to let me off the hook with this one. He knows I need His help and this is his way of showing it. Andee posted a few quotes which I will post that feel applicable to me in my situation.

This is advice given from Elder F. Enzio Busche from the Quorum of the Seventy at a BYU devotional in May of 1996.

"When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts away from yourself and direct them, in gratitude and love towards God."

"In your life, there have to be challenges. They will either bring you closer to God and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision of which road you take."

"God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us -- everything will fall into place."

"When you cannot love someone, look into that persons eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him."

"If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again."

"Avoid at all costs any pessimistic, negative or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm."

"The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it."

"When you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better."

If you want to read or watch more you can go to Youtube and type in: Advice from Elder Busche

My group on Wednesday at LDS family services was about Grief. I had no idea what it was about before I came in. And as soon as I found out I knew I would be crying. Of course, I did. I got to crying right in the beginning.
Just from this song. I thought this was funny the same friend that posted the quotes made this video of her placement and we played it in group. Just listen to the words. I just listened to it a second time and cried even harder.

I have put up a post before about a session I had with Loni about the stages of grief.
But mostly I was grieving over the thoughts of N and how he hasn't been involved. Now that some things have happened and realized that I don't need him in my life or in Olivia's life I can move on.

Here is a list of appropriate grief expectation you can have for yourself during grief:

  • Your grief will take longer than most people think (minimum 1 year).
  • Your grief will take more energy than you would have ever imagined.
  • Your grief will show itself in all spheres of your life: psychological, social, physical, spiritual.
  • You will grieve for many things both tangible and symbolic, not just the placement alone.
  • Your grief will depend on how you perceive the loss.
  • You will grieve for what you have lost already and for what you have lost for the future.
  • Your grief will entail mourning, not only for the actual person, but for hopes, dreams, and unfulfilled expectations you held for and with that person.
  • Your grief will involved a wide variety of feelings and reactions, not solely those that are generally thought of as grief (i.e. depression, anger, sadness, etc.).
  • The loss will ressurect old issues, feelings, and unresolved conflicts from the past.
  • You may have some indentity confusion as a result of this major loss.
  • You may experience reactions that may be quite different for you.
  • You may have a combination of anger and depression, such as irritability, frustration, annoyance, and interolance.
  • You may feel anger and guilt, or at least some manifestations of these emotions.
  • You may experience sudden grief episodes that occur without warning.
  • You may have trouble thinking or making decisions.
  • You may feel like you're going crazy.
  • You may become obsessed or preoccupied with the adoption.
  • You maybe being to sense an increase in your spirituality, religion, or philosophy of life.
  • You may find yourself acting differently in your social interactions.
  • You may experience a number of physical reactions.
  • Certain dates, events, or stimuli may bring upsurges of grief.
  • Experiences later in life may ressurect grief reactions for you temporarily.
The feelings I hate to admit is that I've been hurt. I don't want to admit that. But I know that there will be a lot more hurt in my life but I need to prepare for it and with God I can be comforted and know that everything will be okay.
I also hate to admit being scared. I am so excited for Olivia to enter the world. But at the same time I'm so scared for her.
In group, there were some adoptive moms there with their birth moms and they were saying that they felt some post partum depression because they feel like they have to cater to the birth moms needs and feel like they're doing a good enough job for you. Sometimes they feel like it's not enough. I hope V doesn't feel that way and she has to be this awesome, fantastic mom that I can't be. I just want her to love Olivia with everything she has and I'll be satisifed. And I already know that she does.
With that out of the way, I'm scared of Olivia coming into, what I feel, a scary, awful world. I've had my trials that have hurt me and caused me pain. But I know that they've made me a stronger person. But when you're going through a trial, all you feel clouded with is pain. You feel surrounded by thoughts of judgement from others. I know that Satan is trying to influence me to make me believe that everyone is against me. I know it's not true. But I've been so distant to God, I feel, that I do feel that way at times. I just know I have to take a few steps back and look at my situation and realize I have an awesome support system and I'm doing the best I can. And that's all the Lord asks for. Even if I stumble, He'll always be there.

With the list of grief I thought I would add the list of Taking Care of Yourself while during grief and what rituals you can do to remember our loved ones in loving, healing ways and with a sense of peace. You don't need to "hold on" to the pain in order to remember the person.

Taking Care of Yourself

  • Eat well-balanced meals
  • Try to get adequate rest- try going to bed earlier and sleeping a little later.
  • Try taking slow deep breaths in through your nose, exhaling through your mouth.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
  • Avoid making big decisions- let things stay the same for a while.
  • Avoid taking on additional commitmnets, large or small or a while.
  • Make a list of things that you used to enjoy and do one thing daily- even if it is small.
  • Keep a journal- it helps you gauge your progress over time.
  • Keep track of your dreams- they may help you understand what is going on inside.
  • Engage in a creative activity.
  • Try reading a book on grief, it may help you understand what you are experiencing.
  • If Sundays, holidays, or other dates are difficult, schedule comforting activities.
  • Express your feelings to someone you trust. All feelings are okay.
  • Invite other living things into your life, a new plant, a pet, etc.
  • Take time to be by yourself, but don't spend all your time alone.
  • Avoid napping during hte day, it can offset your sleep at night.
  • Take a warm bath.
  • Engage in relaxing activities.
Grief Rituals

  • Buy a very special candle and light it at times that are special to your loved one's memory (i.e. birthday, anniversary, holidays, etc.)
  • Write a special note, tie it to balloons and let them go.
  • Help feed the hungry/homeless at Thanksgiving, or other holidays.
  • Create a scrapbook of memories/photos.... a memory book.
  • Donate gifts, quilts, etc. in your loved one's name.
  • Plant a strong healthy tree or rosebush in your loved one's name.
  • Find a tree in the canyons or woods, tie a yellow ribbon around it, go frequently to remember (this is especially helpful when ashes have been scattered and there is no gravesite.)
  • Let balloons go, along with a prayer or special wish, to your loved one.
  • Offer a scholarship in the loved one's name.
  • On birthday's, holiday's, anniversaries, etc., buy your loved one a gift and donate it to a hospital, nursing home, or charity of your choice.
  • For Christmas, hnag up a stocking for your loved one and let everyone write a special note to put inside.
  • Buy a Christmas ornament each year to remember your loved one.
  • If you go on a trip at a special anniversary time, do something special to remember your loved one on the trip (toss a rose in the ocean, light a candle, etc.)
  • Have a wedding ring made into a new setting for a necklace.
  • Have a birthday party for your loved one on his/her birthday.
  • Have a family "memory" evening where you share photos, memories, reminisce about special times, and create a scrapbook of this occasion.
I know right now that I'm not the only one going through grief or a trial. But just remember you're not alone. You can't do it on your own. I've been selfish about it and thinking I could but I can't. God or your support system, such as friends or family, can help you through your tough time. Don't let that go. :)


  1. you're awesome Stefanie. seriously.
    We need to get together very soon.

    Email me and we can set up a time.
    I really want to meet you!

  2. I loved this post Stef. I think it is so appropriate for all of us wherever we may be.
    I also love Andee's song...I've listened to it several times in the past few months. =)

  3. I want to be as much of a support as possible to you, Stef. It is so good that you are going to that group and they are helping you in ways that none of us can. And I'm glad that you are also turning to the Lord because He will do the best comforting of all of us.

  4. We also want to support you Stefanie. You deserve all the support we can give you.

    ...Wow, the grief rituals seem very powerful. I'm going to save those to a file for later.

  5. OH My Gosh Stef!!! You are so amazing! I Love you tons! Thanks so much for following that feeling!! You've gave me comfort in ways I don't even know! But thank you so much for being a great friend! I Love you and I want to help support you! I'll be there for you to give you a shoulder to cry on before and after Olivia is Born! Seriously!! I'll give you my address when I move and you come over when ever you want and we'll just talk! And I'll do my best to remember those grieving process steps you have written down! :D You are such an amazing person and very Brave and I Look up to you in so many ways it is so wonderful! And I can't even explain it! Love ya tons! You know where I am if you need to talk and of course you know my number! You're amazing! Love ya tons! :D

  6. And thanks you've helped me realize I need to turn to heavenly Father more in my life... I haven't been very good with that habit at all in my life, and sometimes it is like I feel I can go through life on my own with out any help, and then it's like I turn to him and he gives me every ounce of peace I need! And then I fall back into the cycle again of not turning to him for help, most of the time i have no idea of what I want to do and just feel LOST and not exactly sure where to go in life... I hate it! You are so amazing that way Stef! You can make it through this tough time of trial! And again I'll be there for you to help you through the greiving process, I know I can't relate, but at least you know you have my support! :D

  7. Stefanie you are seriously an amazing woman! This post was very needed. As someone said earlier thank you so much for following the prompting you had to post about your feelings and thoughts on this. I have told you this before but you really do remind me so much of my little sister. This week she is here with us and has told me of some really really hard things she is going through based on the decisions she has made in her life over the past year. I know this is something she will appreciate greatly right now and you can probably touch her in ways we can't. You never know what kind of an impact you can have on someone's life by sharing your own journey. Thank you so much for your courage and strength to share this with us! You really are amazing!

  8. Going through grief as a birthmom will be hard Stef, but having good support, even from the a mom will bring you so much comfort. Besides the placement of Zyler, my life has been hell, but guess whose their to listen, Jeanne!!!
    I'm going through all the stages of grief, each month got harder. Prosac but you are strong, and Olivia will know what you did was out of love for HER. Zyler's dad doesnt know if he's alive or dead. But know things happen for a reason..good or bad. Your givin this family something special.

  9. you don't know me, i just stumbled across your blog. i am a hopeful adoptive parent. i am so glad that you posted is so amazing to look at adoption from all sides, especially from the side of the birth parent. I know the pain and heartache that my family and I are struggling with now but it is so good for me to learn more about the grief and pain that our birth mother will be going through and how we can better help her through that. From reading your blog you seem like a very strong woman and I wish you the best in life's journey. When we pray to find our birth mom, we also pray that all the other birth moms out there will know how much they are loved and cherised. You're amazing!