This was Saturday at the FSA conference. I figure I'm going to finish up what I learned on Saturday. This is me and Andee. We took a picture because we were both matching. I guess they decided to take our picture at the same time... so we're looking at her camera. I'm sure her picture is a lot better than mine.
We honestly did not plan this matching, but everyone kept asking us. Accidental. I swear. I try not to coordinate my outfits with others. Please.
So, there was a birth parent panel in the morning. They had 3 birth moms and 1 birth father. It was very interesting.
We had lunch and then went to class. The first class was Who, When, and How to tell your adoption story.
How to tell your family, or boyfriends, or whoever.
I'm going off the notes that I have.
Be respectful if people ask you about your adoption and you're not ready to talk about it yet.
-If that is making any sense. I'm giving an example, if someone asks me or was like, "I heard you had a baby and placed for adoption." I could just say, "Yeah, but I'm not ready to talk about it right now." Instead of being snotty about it.
There is a time and a place to talk about it. Don't feel obligated. Stand proud- the world may view it differently but be confident in your story and the world can change.
Send the message of the joy and beauty- not just to tell it.
Speak positively of adoption push away the old image. Put a good face on adoption.
Share it with the utmost joy as you saw your baby's precious face.
They had a visual. They had a carton of (hardboiled) eggs. The egg was the adoption/story and she threw one egg and the lady was able to catch it. She threw two eggs at a time and she was able to kind of catch them but struggled. Then she threw a lot at a time and they were everywhere and she wasn't able to catch them all.
In this it means you don't have to show/tell everything on the first date. Just one egg at a time.
Finding out that you're a birth mom or did adoption, it's new to them. They don't know how to react. Even if it's simple and basic it could be too senstive. So just gradually let them know.
People can exploit or take advantage of your experience. Protect it.
Use disgression. Follow the spirit.
Have the spirit as your guide when telling your story.
Let them see the person you've become instead of the person you used to be or before you tell you tell your story.
When healed enough you will be able to tell your story.
If your story is told negatively- your story can become negative.
If there isn't a positive reaction within your family then there is time to fix it.
Family grieves with you.
Focus on yourself and don't be hurt by them.
Letters and updates.
Fullfill your needs, don't let them dictate your needs.
Tell them you need them, help, and support.
The ones who know the least, grieve the most.
Find your "rock"
Find people who completely understand. Have a support group for your healing.
Don't pretend it never happened, because it did.
Continue to build relationships.
Talk about it in a safe way for both parties.
Being a birth mom is not a negative thing. Birth moms aren't fornicators.
Let people know the positive (adoption) not the negative (sin).
It's not healthy to feel shame and to conceal how you feel.
"Who you are is NOT what you've done."
Listen to inner promptings.
"This experience is no longer for you."
You never know who needs to hear your story. You don't know where your story will end up.
The next class I went to was Desires, Expectations, and Disappointments.
This was about adoption and what you sort of expected from the adoptive couple and saw what actually happened after and how you feel. And how to deal with the disappointments.
Here are some desires and expectations:
Be told about major events.
Be considered part of their family.
You want to see the happiness and the completed family.
(one girl said that's the reason why we placed because if we kept it would've been broken and only a one parent home. But when we place we see the whole picture, the completed family.)
Greatest possiblity to be happy.
You're the birth mom instead of a friend.
You feel you took a step down from level of importance.
A piece of the process.
You aren't the parent.
Promises aren't kept.
Obligations aren't met.
Hope that they grow to love you as you, not as the person who provided them a child.
You don't want to feel like an obligation.
You want the family to be a "whole."
There is healing on both sides.
They feel as if you're only friends with them because they have your baby.
One girl said that she went to see her baby and hung out with the family.
The adoptive mom tried to "create" moments for her and her baby. Like take pictures and stuff.
But that's not what she wanted, she wanted.
She felt like she didn't want to get to know her or communicate. It was just a visit. Just a commitment.
The child misses out on blessings of family if it's torn apart.
Ways how to deal:
Take it a day at at ime. Live day to day- it's a process.
It takes two to make a relationship and also two to break one.
You can only be disappointed in yourself if you don't step up and do something. Don't be afraid to be open.
-Becoming a parent gives you a total different perspective on life.
Remember your child's future and the happiness your child will have.
Remember why you placed.
Give them time to establish a family.
Give them time to rediscover the relationship.
There is a dynamic shift in the relationship after the baby is born.
The couple is unaware of the friendship you want.
Take ownership. Grieve in the moment. Count your blessings.
The last class was Letting Go and Moving Forward.
There were two birthmoms who lead this discussion. They told their story of finding out, choosing adoption, and then placement.
This is their advice.
Be an example.
Learn how to love yourselves.
You did placement because you love your child and yourself.
Make goals after placement.
1. Be spiritual.
- eat well
- Self-help books
- Learn to budget
- Find "good" friends
- Support system
- Make social dates
What's my place after placement?
Be an example to your son/daughter.
Allow your couple to be the family.
Set boundaries and rules while dating. Get to know them as a friend.
Date the good guys who will be okay with your experience.
Accept you and work past it.
Move past mistakes and become a better person.
A year after the adoption don't make any big decisions.
Take it slow.
You have to work hard to become better.
Come out a better person after pregnancy.
It's easy to go back into old habits.
Have GOALS, work towards them.
After you choose what's right for your baby, you have to choose what's right for yourself.
Strive to prepare yourself for your own family. Be your best to be in the best situations.
Don't let the mistake, define you.
Hold your head high in confidence.
The Atonement will take care of you.
Don't be ashamed of adoption or a birthmother.
Don't let go and don't forget what you learned.
You're in a battle, everyday.
This process made you who you are today.
Love what you stand for.
How are you moving forward?
You will move on.
Have boundaries. Express desires. Support the couples decisions because you trusted them with your child.
Be confident with the openness. No doubts will happen.
Respect the couple.
Set the expectations day to day.
Let teh child know their origins. Do what's best for your child after placement.
Understand your role.
You're not the mother/parent, they are.
It takes years to learn who you are and respect yourself.
Self-respect and self-esteem.
Don't let go of it all.
Let go of guilt and shame and being her/his mother.
Don't let go of family and the learning experience.
Trials come and go. Remember the love Heavenly Father had for you during your time and your closeness to Him.
Those are all of my notes.
So, I had my date later that night.
I'm not saying his name because things aren't serious and I don't want you guys asking me about him on my blog or Facebook (he has a FB, don't stalk). Ha.
Or I don't want him to be creeped out. I told him I have a blog. I hope he doesn't try to find it. I don't care if he does, but if he reads the things I say, he'll probably think I'm a FREAK.
My date on Saturday was MAGICAL. We ended up leaving around 5ish from Layton. It took me an hour and a half to get home. I told him to meet me at my house at 6:30. I had to drop two girls off at their house, then get home. So by the time I got there, he was already there. And I was so hoping to look sort of good. Then I just gave up. I brought my stuff in and he talked to my dad. They found out they served in the same exact area. My dad pretty much loved it. Then after that we went to JCW's by my house and ate food and talked. Ha. Mostly about future stuff. I asked him about school.
He's finishing his generals up at Salt Lake Community College then transfer to BYU. He wants to start his own business. But he's not sure what he's going to do yet. He was so funny. He asked, "So can you go boating while you're pregnant?" I just said, "Uh... yeah. I think so. I probably just can't do all the water skiing and tubing and stuff." He was like, "We should go." I said, "Uh, while I'm pregnant?" He said it'd be too cold if we waited until after. I said it was true.
He asked me about N at this time. I really didn't want to bring him up at all. He was just like, "So, how far away does the sperm donor live?" I just said, "Oh, he lives like 10 minutes East." He said, "Oh." I said, "Yeah, But it's not like I ever run into him. Only when he's working." And he asked where he works. I told him Wal*Mart. He then asked, "So... what's his name?" I said, "I'm not telling you! You might go after him!" He laughed and he said he wouldn't but he looked familiar. So I just said his name was N. And then he says, Alright. He's going DOWN. Haha.
Then we went to a park by my house and swung on swings. We sort of just talked about our families and stuff and what he's been up to. He was asking me stuff about the adoption. I'm trying to think... he asked me about the hospital and how long I have to stay there. So I told him I have her then 24 hours later I relinquish my rights and then when I get discharged from the hospital. I do placement. Where I physically place Olivia in the adoptive couples arms. I told him I heard it was the worst/best day. Worst because you're losing a child. Best because you're giving something to someone that they can't give themselves. And he says to me, that just shows what kind of person you are. and you're amazing. i don't think i could ever do anything like that.
We were sitting at the bottom of some slides at the time just talking. And Olivia had the hiccups. And he asked me before if he could feel her if she moved. That's the most she moved that whole night. I think she was nervous ;) ha. He felt them and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
We went back to my house and taught him how to play Kingsburg. It was just me, him, and my dad. K and my mom were out doing some errands. My dad beat both of us. But I beat my date. He said he's going to win next time. You know how the expansion set for Kingsburg came out this month? Well, we have it. And my dad taught us how to play it but we didn't have enough time to play it.
Anyway, after that we had family prayer and he joined us. Then I walked him out to his car. And I hugged him and he kissed me on the cheek. I told him good night and started to walk away and he said, Wait. I turned around and he just grabbed me and kissed me. Um, YEAH. This is FOR REAL.
He then said he would call me or text me on Sunday if he could come over.
He didn't come over on Sunday because he had a fireside to go to. He asked me how Olivia was.
Sunday I got some pictures done by my friend Michelle, she hasn't posted any yet. But when she does. I'll post them :)
Then Monday we were talking about work and how I'd have to get work off before and after Olivia was born. I would just play it day by day after because I don't know how I'll react to the adoption. He wrote back, If you need help, I'm here for you. I told him he probably wouldn't want to be around me because I'll be an emotional wreck. He wrote back, Nah. That's when I'll be closest to you, because you'll need it most.
He was going to go to my group at LDSFS with me, yesterday, but he couldn't get work off early enough. We hung out after though. We ate dinner with my family. Him and my dad swapped mission stories.
It was interesting to hear about them. They talked a lot about the crazy gangs and being robbed and stuff. Ha. Yeah, I guess at one point on his mission he got robbed at gun point. WHAT THE HECK?! And he wants to go back to Brazil?!? haha. That scares me.
We then went to the dollar theater and watched Terminator. He hadn't seen it yet since he just got home like a month ago. He hasn't seen Star Trek either.
Yes, I might be seeing him again on Friday. One of his friends is getting married, but he's not sure if he's going to the reception because it's pretty far. But if he does, he'll come see me after since it's on the way home to his house.
That's all I got.
33 weeks along.
I get to see D and V next week :)
V will probably be going with me to my doctors appointment on Wednesday and to group!
It'll be cool if she goes, they're actually doing an adoptive child panel. Where kids who have been adopted talk about their experiences being adopted and about their birth parents, if they have contact with them at all.
V's sister is getting married. I'm planning on going to the reception and stuff.
Then Friday V and D are going to meet N. If he doesn't bail.
No set plans for Saturday. Probably Kingsburg. :) We just got the expansion, and they'll have fun trying to play that. And D needs to win sometime!