Friday, December 23, 2011

Long Live

This year has gone by quite fast.
I don't know if it happens as you get older.

There are definitely times when I wanted it to go by faster...

and even for time to stop.

Like last Saturday. I love seeing the J's :)

"Long live the walls we crashed through, I had the time of my life with you.
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Respect Birth Fathers

I respect birth fathers.

I know that may sound hypocritical if you've read my entire blog. You may be re-reading that sentence or even checking to make sure you are on the right blog. From the beginning, I was very bitter with Olivia's birth father. But it wasn't because I resented him being her dad. It was for my own personal happiness and reasons. I wanted him to be there for me and in return be there for Olivia. I was hurt and I retaliated by posting rude things about him. Hoping that would change his mind or drive him further away. Because it comes to a point that you don't want them to just be half way in the picture, you either want them all the way there or you don't. For your children, you want a father. You don't want a father that's just there when it's convenient. I knew with adoption, Olivia would always have a father, guaranteed.

I may not have been perfect during my pregnancy and I don't claim to be. I didn't treat N with the greatest respect in the world and that may have hindered whatever friendship we could've had during all of this. Instead of trying to make things better between us and for Olivia, we made things worse. I was prideful the first few months, I wanted us to get married and be a family. I fought for that. Then when I suggested that I was going to parent whether or not we got married, we also fought about that. Our friendship wasn't perfect, but we respected each other on the decision that was made when it came to adoption. I respected the fact that when I told him I was pregnant, he didn't automatically tell me to get an abortion, he never did and he never will. I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for the fact that he pushed me away so I could become strong enough (emotionally and spiritually) to get the answer of placing Olivia for adoption. Without the fighting and the difficulty, I don't think I would've been strong enough to do it. But I was for her. But you know what I did when WE chose adoption, I fought for N. I fought for him to be there because I wanted her to know his side. I didn't know him for very long and I knew it wasn't fair that I could give her the bits and pieces that I remember about him. She should know him personally, even if it made me cry myself to sleep - I wanted her to know her birth father. And I'm grateful for the sacrifice that I did as much as I could for him to be apart of her life. He didn't have to know that I was pregnant, I never had to tell him and I did. I didn't think it would be fair if he didn't know a part of him was someone out in the world and he didn't know it. I know he always wanted to be a dad, it's not that he never wanted to be one. He just knew in his heart the circumstance that we both were in wouldn't be the best for her. As much as it killed me to say that I wasn't enough for Olivia, I know that she's getting more than enough with the J's. More than N and I could've ever given her in this life.

I never fully comprehended how much he loved and cared about her until the moment we were in the hospital together. Sitting on my hospital bed, taking turns holding her. We cried together. A moment that has forever softened my heart towards him.

About 6 months after I had Olivia, her birth father kind of disappeared. No where to be found. Just fell off the face of the earth. I remember during those 6 months that I was angry and bitter and questioning why I made it such an effort for him to be involved if he wasn't going to try to make it work. I've had the opportunity to get to know his beautiful wife and more about his side of the story. I'm sure my jaw dropped multiple times. But they were the answers to my questions. Even if it some of it was hard for me to hear about it. I'm grateful she was willing to share that side of the story with me that I didn't know about. She's probably the only one, besides N to know his full story. I could never come close to knowing it as much as she does.

To read how much she's been involved and there for N, read it here.

Mine and N's rock bottom was finding out I was pregnant. He knew that he could never be a provider for his daughter and he couldn't be there everyday for me while I was pregnant. As I progressed during my pregnancy and felt her kick for 9 months. It was something I had become accustomed to.

It was when she came into the world that it all became real for us. The kicks and my big belly, eventually was a little human and I was a mommy for the first time. And for N, he was a daddy for the first time.

We were all together in the same room, experiencing new emotions and a new little person. We all came together for one purpose.

We spent two days in the hospital together as parents. As most normal parents would be taking the time to know every single sound and movement of their little one and preparing to take her home. For us, we would memorize her sounds and movements to keep locked in our memories about her and us as parents but we were preparing for something entirely different, heartache.

Sometimes, I still only think of Olivia as infant, not as a two year old. When my arms ache to hold her, it's to hold baby Olivia. Because during that time, she was ours.

Remember when I fell off the face of the earth for about the same amount of time? I got a tremendous amount of support and I'm grateful for that.

Do you know what happened when Olivia's birth father did that?

It was something I expected from him. I'm sure everyone else did too. And we still did nothing for him. Never thinking that maybe it was a silent cry for help.

But this sends a BIG message for me and hopefully some of you will recognize it too, maybe in your own adoptions.

Why are birth mothers given all of this attention? I understand that we gave birth and we signed papers. We gave them life.
But there is also someone else in this picture too. Someone who also helped you create that little human being that you love so much. 
That little human being that may be in your arms right now, because his or her birth father consented to the adoption.
Isn't that something to be grateful for? Not be intimidated by?

The adoption has happened. 
Why is that something to be afraid of?

I respect Olivia's birth father because the adoption has happened. I was sitting right next to him as he signed papers and claimed that she was his daughter. He understood that she was his and he willing relinquished his rights as a father for someone else to be a father to his little girl.
For me, that's an action of love that I will never fully comprehend.

He could've acknowledged that the child may or may not be his. Or that he could've just said, "Nope. She's not mine." And walked out entirely from the beginning. But he stayed around because he knew and he loved her.

I know I've been a strong voice for birth mothers and for adoptive parents. I hope that you won't mind that I would like to be a strong voice for supporting birth fathers, as well.

I don't know the statistics or if there are any of how many birth fathers that are involved in the adoption or if there is some hope for families who have adopted to get in contact with the birth father of their child. I would keep that option open if at all possible. I'm not saying that things need to be opened right away. Obviously, do what needs to do to accommodate your family.

But I know some birth fathers that have wanted to be very involved and it has come to my attention that they have slowly faded out. Not because they've wanted to. Because that's just what has happened. I know birth moms can have a very strong bond and relationship with the adoptive family. That can become intimidating for a birth father, to want to be in the picture even if the relationship with the birth mother isn't that well.

I know with V, when I was frustrated with N - she'd be my "go to girl" about everything. I think sometimes that can put thoughts in the adoptive parents minds and they wouldn't want that in their lives. But the greatest thing about V is that she didn't let that deter her from wanting to have a friendship with him (and his family) and to let Olivia have a relationship with her birth father. She kept an open mind about the way N was and was willing to keep him involved, even if it meant making me a little upset. Not that I ever wanted her to stop contact with him. It sometimes hurt me when I would hear things about him. I wanted to ask about their visit because I was curious, but it was hurting me in the long run. So I needed to let V know that our relationship needed to be kept separate. I was hurting because I had seen little to no change in him. I thought he was still the same person.

I realized though, I had changed so much from the adoption. What makes it that he didn't change as well? Olivia motivates me to be better, why wouldn't she do the same for him? It's because she has and she does. I held on to my pride for so long that I refused to see the change.

Another thing, V would NEVER EVER post something negative about me or about N publicly. She would never tell Olivia in the future how horrible of birth parents we are because she's not that person. I know of families who have done just that. 
The child that you adopted (or that you placed) doesn't need to hear from you about the annoying things the birth mother/birth father do. You do realize that is their biology? With open adoption, they will know where they got their smile from, their beautiful eyes -- if you say something like, "Your birth mother is so annoying" or "Your birth father is such a jerk." I hope you realize, they will think- "well, I'm part of my birth mom, I must be annoying too" Or "if my birth father is a jerk, I must be a jerk too." I  know I'm pointing out the things that the adoptive parents may or may not say. But the birth parents need to realize they can't say anything negative about the adoptive parents to the child, those are THEIR parents. Someone who has been raising them practically since birth, the people they call mom and dad. Don't be stupid about it. How is it okay to tell your birth son or birth daughter that you regret placing them for adoption and that you wish you could take them back? That will just make them confused and upset them more.
I have seen posted on Facebook about how annoying their birth parents/adoptive parents are or how the birth father HAS treated the birth mother or yourself. Notice, has. I know I'm not perfect and I've posted imperfect things about N. And I'm going to be honest with you. I regret it. Every single day. It's there for everyone to read and I'm sure people hated me for it. I brought N down when N was already feeling crappy about himself. How fair is that? And then I had whoever read my blog be on my side of things, how does that feel when you feel like you're the only person in the world and everyone is against you? Not fun. I'm sure you've been there, and I've definitely been there. Think how he felt for 9+ months. I would want to fall off the face of the earth too.

I'm just trying to say, for adoptive parents or birth parents in general. Talk to your caseworker/counselor about it. There is a way to talk about things negatively in a healthy way. Posting your problems in a Facebook status or a blog post- isn't healthy and it's just downright mean. Like I've said, I'm not perfect and I'm sure I've done this numerous times but I hope you all understand that I learned from my mistakes.
Also, adoptive parents and birth parents need to respect each other. You need to have a relationship/friendship for that child. The child will sense any sort of wedge that is there and that's not good either. When I say respect each other. Don't push each other's "sensitive adoption buttons." 

Birthparents: The family that you have placed with are so grateful for your sacrifice, you don't need to rub it in their face that all of your pain is their happiness. They get that. They don't need a reminder that because they can't have kids they had to hurt someone else. 

Adoptive parents: If the birth parents become the hardest people to love, just remember they probably need it the most. Don't push away and ignore e-mails and phone calls because communicating with them is frustrating. Just learn, that's their personality- deal with it and love it. (Clearly, if he/she is fighting and making threats all the time- that's a good time to step back). For me, there are no good reasons to promise an open adoption and then close it once you "have what you want." That's being selfish when someone has been selfless enough to give you their whole world, the least you could do is share it with them.
Also, if you have a closed adoption and your children want to find their birth parents. Don't feel like you haven't done enough for them as parents, they love you and don't want to disappoint you. They're curious and want to know everything about them. I know you've protected them since they were little, but when they become old enough to search for them- they need to guard and protect themselves and if things don't go the way as they had planned, just be there to pick up the pieces, don't be there to say, "I told you so." 

Look, nobody has it easy when it comes to adoption. We all get our feelings hurt, eventually. We all have our own problems. Let's accept the fact that for us as birth parents, will never know what it's like to know the pain of infertility. And people who deal with infertility, will never know the pain of placing a baby for adoption. Accept that you don't know what they go through. Nobody is perfect, nobody deserves to be perfect. So before you start judging, criticizing, or mocking, remember everybody is fighting their own war.
Anyone could easily walk away from somebody else. Nobody is forced to stay or keep the adoption open; we all have choices. But the real test is if someone would rather stay with you, even though walking away would be so much easier. Forget about all the reasons why it couldn't work and remember the only reason why it could.

I was reading a quote that could apply to open adoption when feelings have been hurt on either side, "The primary cause of unhappiness is not the situation itself, but your thoughts about it."

6 keys to a great relationship: friendship, freedom, honesty, trust, understanding and communication.

Remember, if you feel like things need to be laid out on the table then talk separately with a caseworker first so that way you know what to talk about when the time comes. Then when you all meet together, everything can be talked about with a mediator. 

I'm sure birth moms and adoptive parents aren't the ones to blame for all the negative light on birth fathers. Some birth fathers DO paint an ugly pictures for themselves and about adoption. Ones who have contested, been abusive and just simply aren't there. Not everyone is perfect. And maybe all of us need a reminder in that. We all need a reminder to let go of the hurt and the pride that we cater and hold on to. Longer than we should. I realized that holding on to that anger has never made me a better person. It has only made me better when I've realized it, apologized and have tried to make it better. And after all of that, you need to forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself for the things that you've said, if that person has forgiven you, don't hold on to your own guilt. That can almost be worse than the pride itself.

Another thing that has come to my attention, as I've said I've gotten to know N's wife, J.

I've realized what kind of person she is. She is very compassionate and forgiving of others very quickly. Some things that I need to work on myself. With N's changes, he needed someone to pull him out of his rock bottom. She did just that.
I used to be bitter and think the only reason why N was involved was because of J. I knew about his "change" but I refused to see it because she was there and it was so easy to blame. It was easy to hide my insecurity of knowing that I wasn't good enough to be with N and to raise our daughter together. But in reality, it was never meant to happen and it didn't happen and I can't hold onto something that I can't change. N changed because of the adoption and I had too. J started it all for him and has been there for him every single day. Something that I never was for him when I was pregnant.

I respect their family. I respect the fact that they're all involved in it and that J's family has been so welcoming with Olivia and that they have accepted her as if she was their blood niece or blood granddaughter. It's something that families who have been divorced and have to deal with. If they can deal with it and live with it on a daily basis, why can't all of us?

When I saw pictures of Olivia with her birth father, honestly, it used to make me cringe. But now I see them, and I get a little emotional because my heart is full. Seeing how much he genuinely cares about her and he ADORES her and she will need to know that from him. I could never give her that, I could never just tell her that he cares. She needed to know for herself that she does.

I know some of you that may have had issues with the birth father and have thought, he doesn't deserve it. How is that fair? 
I used to have those exact thoughts and guess what? He knows he probably doesn't deserve it and knows it's not fair. But it doesn't matter what he deserves and what's not fair. What's fair is having his/her birth father in their life.
When you were pregnant, it's always been what's best for the child. Why has it changed what's best for the birth mother? I understand that we have wants/needs that we feel like should be met. But our birth child trumps our needs and wants, any time of the day. Agreed?

I respect birth fathers. Especially N, for letting the adoption happen.

I hope you all can at least muster any amount of respect the birth father(s) in your life for that reason.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shandi and Daniel are Hoping to Adopt!

A while back, I had a friend that I've known all through Junior High and High School, post on her Facebook that her sister and brother in-law were hoping to adopt. I clicked on the link to their blog, which you can find here. Reading their letter to expectant parents was simply amazing and brought me to tears.

About Daniel and Shandi:

They have been married for nearly 7 years (Nov. 2004). They have a boxer named Loafer.

They love sports. They play basketball whenever they get the chance. They've recently started playing tennis. They love hanging out with friends and going to Trafalga where they climb the rock wall, play laser tag and mini golf. They also love boating and swimming and going to Seven Peaks!

Daniel just graduated from UVU with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management and has worked for the same software company for the past 7 years. Shandi currently works full time as a receptionist at a local day spa. She went to cosmetology school and also has a salon in their home.

They are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and their faith is very important to them.

Age: 26 years old
Height: 6'0"
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Education: Bachelor's in Business Management
Job: Product Analyst
Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers, Steak, Ice Cream
Favorite Drink: Sprite mixed with Cran-raspberry juice

Favorite Book: The Alchemist
Favorite TV Show: Arrested Development, The Office, Jazz Games
Favorite Movie: Finding Forrester, The Count of Monte Cristo

Daniel does ADORABLE things for Shandi. He will surprise her and bring her lunch at work (jealous), fill up her car with gas, have dinner ready for her when she gets home from work. He loves to send her texts of encouragement along with notes of lists of things he loves about her. I might die that is SO cute and SO caring!

Age: 25 years old
Height: 5'5"
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Job: Cosmetologist
Favorite Food: Steak and Fries
Favorite Drink: Sprite, Rootbeer and Water
Favorite Book: A Severe Mercy
Favorite TV Show: The Office, One Tree Hill
Favorite Movie: Two Weeks Notice, Up

Shandi has a HUGE heart and I admire her for everything she's done for this particular family in the community and that she has been friends with. Daniel shares this story on the blog but I wanted to share it on here too because it's incredible!

"Shandi’s senior year of high school she helped start a 
school fundraiser for family friends who had two daughters with cancer. As a 17 year old senior, head cheerleader, she agreed to shave her head if the students could raise $10,000 for this family. The students raised the money, the local and then national media became aware, and by the end of the fundraiser, she helped raise over $100,000 for this family that she cared so much for. Most girls in their senior year of high school wouldn’t shave their hair off for a million dollars, but Shandi did this without a second thought, because it meant helping someone in need.

I tell this story to demonstrate the kind of love and caring she has for other people.In 2003 Shandi was awarded the Points of Light Award given by the Utah Governor for her involvement in this fundraiser. . Also in 2004 she was named one of 12 High School Students Most Likely to Change the World, by Utah Valley Magazine."

As of right now, Daniel and Shandi are looking for a private adoption. They are looking into agencies, as well. They are willing for either an open or closed adoption. Whatever the expectant parent prefers. They are willing to adopt boy/girl, any race and almost any age.

On their blog, they also have an updates section and keep that updated. Like today, they were apart of The Adoption Walk with Me at Liberty Park.

If you have any questions for them, feel free to ask. You can e-mail them at:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's November, Again

You know what time of year it is? It's getting colder and you're asking yourself, "Where did this entire year GO?!?!" I am, for sure. I know some of you may be thinking about what your plans are for Thanksgiving or already getting ready for Christmas. The month of November for all of us who have been touched by adoption is, National Adoption Awareness Month.

I just want to talk about ways to get involved. I'm sure you all have been aware of many things going on.

Maybe some of you have seen this fancy button?

The R House is doing a National Adoption Month Design Challenge. If you are more creative than I (which I'm sure you are) and are a designer and would love to help out the adoption community in anyway, and help us with a new button for next year? This is for YOU. Head on over to the R House here to read more information about it.

If you're in the state of Utah, there is a walk this Saturday and I will be there :) Hopefully I didn't scare too many people away by saying that. They have more information on their Facebook page.

P.S. If you recognize me. Don't be afraid to say hi. :) I'm realllllllly shy, at first.

One way to make yourself aware is to educate yourself about adoption. I learn new things everyday about it. One AWESOME birthmom friend of mine who has been posting facts on her Facebook. I'm going to copy and paste those. She said most of these are on

Approximately 7 million Americans are adopted persons

Approximately 140,000 children are adopted by American families each year.

As many as 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate family (adopting, placing, adopted);

‎72% of adopted adolescents want to know why they were adopted, 65% want to meet their birth parents, and 94% want to know which birth parent they looked like.

A comprehensive study in 1998 found that every birth parent who was surveyed wanted to be found by the child they had placed for adoption

A comprehensive study in 1998 found that 95% of the adoptees who were surveyed expressed a desire to be found by their birth parents.

‎86% of birth mothers and 81% of adoptees support access by adult adoptees to identifying information about their birth parents.

Less than .1% of adoptions are contested each year.

There are an estimated 3.3 adoption seekers for every actual adoption.

From 1999 to 2010 there were 224,615 international adoptions, 141,324 were females and 83,291 were males.

Approximately 130,000 foster care children were waiting to be adopted in 2007.

From 1952 to 1972, 8.7% of all premarital births were placed for adoption.

From 1973 to 1981, this percentage fell to 4.1%. 
From 1982 to 1988, it fell further to 2%.

‎51% of teens that become pregnant choose to parent; 35% seek abortions; 14% miscarry. Less than 1% choose to place their children for adoption.

Transracial adoption was not found to be detrimental for the adoptee in terms of adjustment, self-esteem, academic achievement, peer relationships, parental and adult relationships.

15% of U.S. newborn adoptions were matched after the child had already been born.

Another way is to read some blogs. I've already read some FANTASTIC posts:

Why Openness by A Nickel's Worth of Common Sense
My Kids Know Their Birth Moms by The R House

I blogged everyday last year for National Adoption Awareness Month. Check it out here.

You can also read any of the blogs that are on my side bars and on The R House, people who are blogging about adoption have linked up their blogs and you can check them out here. has many wonderful ideas.
And more events thanks to The R House. Crap, I keep linking up Lindsey's blog like 8 billion times, just look at her blog. That's what I'm really trying to say here! ;)

Somethings that I've personally done, I have been going to the expectant parent group every week and educating the girls who are undecided with their unplanned pregnancies. The group I went to last night, all of them were 17 and planning to parent. Maybe we need more birthmoms to come to group? Don't take this the wrong way- I'm not trying to recruit or make people place their babies for adoption. I know it's a VERY personal decision but it's good to look at ALL options and to see that girls who do place their babies for adoption do "survive" it.

I recently did a panel as well like the end of October but close enough right? ;)

I would LOVE to highlight anyone who is hoping to adopt or to put their blog on my side bars. If you're interested leave a comment or e-mail me. :)

Love me some adoption stufffffs <3

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are you happy to see me?!!

Oh gosh. My heart is pounding. I haven't written a post on here in 5ish months. So much has changed.

Just so you're aware.

This has happened. Little miss turned 2 on September 23, 2011.

And my heart is whole again <3

Thanks for all you wonderful readers (I MISS YOU!). Thanks for all the wonderful words and prayers that you all have said when I was in a very dark place 5 months ago. I feel really at peace and whole. The break was much needed and I feel like I can be healthy and move on. I'm debating whether or not if I should come back and have this be an adoption blog, I'm just not one to keep up with two blogs. What do y'all think? :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


There was some good news but here comes the... I wouldn't call it bad so I will just call it news...

I will try to make this short and simple. Even though my emotions are super complicated right now. Over two years ago, I found out I was pregnant and it changed my life forever. I met some incredible people that I will never forget. I met my first baby girl and that day was perfect. I wouldn't ever change a thing. Then days later, I had broken my heart to give her more than I could at that time. Two parents who were going to love her unconditionally and give her everything. The answer I received was that she wasn't meant to be with my family, she was meant to be with the J's.

Over the past two years, I have written over 300 blog posts. I never thought how much my story could impact strangers and how their stories of trial, difficulty and peace in the end- could impact me. I learned life lessons through these wonderful people in the blogging world and I'm very appreciative and grateful for all that everyone has shared.

I say with a heavy heart, I'm enduring another hard goodbye. I've decided... and this was my decision and only my decision to make. As much as I have loved my open adoption and the peace that it has given me knowing my little girl is being taken care of and she's happy. I've come to the decision to verbally close the adoption.  In other words, the adoption could easily open back up over time or when Olivia is ready to talk to me. It has been getting harder, when it should be easier. I believe it's been harder because I've been holding on to those two days at the hospital for far too long. I'm holding on to something that isn't mine anymore.

I have so many fears and wishes. I've gone back to placement day. A day that I hoped to have long forgotten the torment and the sorrow that came with it. But I know that someday, I will find the peace that I've prayed for days and nights during my pregnancy and post placement. It might not have come immediately, but it still came.

I fear that Olivia will think I have abandoned her but I wish with all of my heart that her parents will educate her and let her know that it isn't the case. I have already given her the best. I have played a small but significant role in her life and she has many more life experiences to be written in her own book.

I wish that one day that she will want to find me and to know about me. To know about her and my love for her. I fear that she will never know how much I love her and that I deeply care about her. I wish someday she will seek for that.

I will be starting another blog. I don't know when- but I'm not going to announce it on here when I do. Please don't add me on Facebook or leave rude questions on my Formspring or ask me "what happened." It's not your business. If I wanted to make it your business, I would announce it here or just tell you in person. So, take this as a goodbye. I'm truly grateful for everything that everyone has ever done for me and for your kind words. Right now, all I need is your prayers. Thank you so much for reading this and I hope it continues to inspire those who continue through this journey of adoption. My journey ends here... for now.

Tonight is another night where I will hold my "Olivia bear" wrapped in her hospital blankets wishing it was her and that tomorrow wasn't ever going to come. But tomorrow always does. We don't need to hold on to yesterday. We don't need to fear tomorrow, but embrace it. This too shall pass.

‎"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is; even if we’re apart.. i’ll always be with you."
— Winnie the Pooh
If nothing else, one day you can look someone straight in the eyes and say, "But I lived through it. And it made me who I am today."


Well, I made a print screen of the person who won but for some reason, it's not working. So you're just going to have to trust me.

Winner is.... COMMENT #11

Carlie and Trent and Co. :)


Bree will contact you and you can set up when your free photoshoot will be!

Thanks for everyone else who joined in on the giveaway fun! :) I will send something out to you all who participated!! E-mail me your address. My e-mail is in my about me.