Another Perspective being Married to a Birth Mother!

Lynea and I were discussing the hardships of personal relationships birthmothers experience as a result of placing. I had never really thought about these things on a personal level before but started to see what might be a really hard situation. I have been married three times, not a point of pride but rather it does bring me a lot of experience with baggage brought into a marriage.

My second marriage tied together children from the previous one. I knew going into the marriage I was taking on two children who would be in my world every day. There was no way I was going to believe I could ever have a satisfactory relationship with my wife without fully taking her children as my own and to her credit, she allowed me to be their father. However she was not as willing to accept my children and considered them as outside of the family, possibly because they did not live with us but more so it seemed to be a jealousy situation. We fought constantly over things like paying child support, bringing them over on a regular basis and just flat making them apart of our world. She would manage to provide some cheap gift to them on the holidays while flourishing her own with unbelievable amounts. On the other hand her children were completely accepted by me and I treated them as my own. Considering the fact that I raised them from small children to their adulthood how else would you live your life without loving them unconditionally. Our marriage failed due to my wife’s narcissistic personality but not due to her children. We shared one child together but there was no difference in how they were treated.

When Lynea and I decided to marry, I knew she was a birth mother and this child although not in her daily life was a part of it. Maybe because she made me aware of her situation and never hid the fact this child was a part of her that we had a great understanding of what level she would be in our lives. The one thing I know is through living almost 20 years with her this child had to be a part of me as well. At times it is overwhelming and at other times it is heartbreaking. Along with Lynea I have taken this girl as mine as well. This is not a separate thing in Lynea’s life. It is something we both deal with and come to terms with constantly. Marriage that works does not separate us; it is a constant working situation where we support each other to make things stronger. Any partner who believes you can separate yourself from the emotions and trials of your spouse is living in a fantasy world.

The funny thing about our life with this child is that sometimes I am more lenient than she is. We both grimace over her poor choices and feel the heartache of the carnage she leave along the way. We both take turns helping the other to work though the confusion we have for her actions. This is what a marriage is all about. I don’t see a lot of changes happening in the future but we both love this girl and our grandchildren. We will both continue to deal with the trials and tribulations as they occur. At times I’ll want to bail out and at other time she will but we will hold each other together as we continue to fight a good fight

I’m not a professional or have all of the answers to life but what I do know from my time on this planet is that relationships only work when there is an understanding and each person accepts the other for who they are. That is not to say someone who is abusive or narcissistic should be tolerated but it does mean that you can’t believe having unresolved or unacceptable situations between you will make a lasting bond. I know all too well how being a birth mother ties a woman to her child for the rest of her life. Regardless of whether she chooses to share her feelings about of not, it does exist and will be a part of her life forever. Accepting that decision and helping her deal with it should be within the mates soul and love for her. We choose to become mates because we wanted someone who would make our lives complete. This only happens when we help make their life complete. Selfish people seldom find happiness and if they do it is not through relationships. Love can only endure when you both love. You can’t accept the fact that the love of one will compensate for both. You also need to come to grips with the fact that there are times when the road ahead will seem too hard to travel. If you truly do give love to your spouse they will be willing to find a way back to the smoother lanes.

I kid Lynea telling her that there are two sides to any argument, hers and hers. That is not true but it does serve a point. Being right doesn’t always allow you to win and having to win is a huge human flaw in character. Understanding the other person’s challenges and wanting them to be happy should be life’s endeavor. Birth Mothers made a great sacrifice in their life and need a soul mate to let them know what they did was right for the time and place. I truly believe Lynea made her choice out of uncompromising love for her daughter and no other reason. She wanted the best life for her and lives her life still hoping some way that will happen. How could I ever deny helping her through these times? I married her because I love her and want her to be a part of mine. Only by supporting her will I ever hope to keep our relationship solid and true. I hope others will see that vision because these birth mothers deserve all of the help we can give.

I would be happy to share any conversations about my part in Lynea’s life as a birth mother and how I see her role as the founder of Life-After-Placement. I think I have a pure outlook on what this journey is all about. I want her to succeed because by doing so she will change a long time stigma which still exists that birth mothers are women who should hide and stay out of the light. I don’t accept the fact that adoptive parents are the great hope and saved some child from a horrible fate. Birth mothers provided them with a part of themselves and it is a gift which should be sacred. I am more than willing to preach this sermon to all who will listen.

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My First Mother's Day Card

I need to give a bit of a history on how Mother’s Day started with me.

When I was 6 months pregnant, I have already started my adoption plan. I was not sure how it was going to work out but it was a plan in the making. I was home making a special dinner for my mother. They were at church. On Mother’s Day, they handed out flowers to all the Mothers. My Dad grab one and come home to give it to me. It was strange for me. Am I a mother yet or am I giving that title away? No matter the feeling I was grateful for my Dad to think of me. Later that day my mother saw the flower and ask how I got it. I told her and the look of “Why” came over her face, she shook her head and walk away.

The years following were never good for me on Mother’s Day. I didn’t not know about Birth Mother’s Day then but Mother’s Day just felt like a day I was not allowed to celebrate. When I had my son, I felt a bit better about this day.

Last Thursday I was at group out a bunch of birth Mother's Day gifts and made sure everyone received the card in the mail early in the month. When I got home, I was so exhausted and by Friday afternoon I needed to leave town. We went up camping where there was no service. I didn't want to deal with Birth Mother's Day or Mother's Day.

My Son surprised me with his own thought out gift! My husband as always makes the best of the two days I struggle with. It was great family time. 

On my way home I received a text from a neighbor saying they stopped by the house. They had something for me. I just got home Sunday late afternoon. Opened the front door. A gift by the door with a card.  A neighbor up the street is an adoptive parent. I've never actually met her other than Face Book. I opened the card and I froze holding the tears back. This was my first Birth Mother's Day card in 26 years! 

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I had never really thought about receiving a Birth Mother’s card so this was amazing to me. Out there are people who honor what we have done and respect us. You never know what might come back to you but as life goes on special things can happen to make your day.

My heart full of LOVE!

My Holidays

Holidays have always been a struggle for me since placing my daughter so many years ago. They are focused on family interaction and that doesn’t happen too often for birth mothers. Some might have a great relationship where they are a part of the adoptive family and enjoy the interaction of the seasons and times but for me they were a time of pain and suffering. I was never made a part of any of these activities in my daughter’s life even to see if she was experiencing the warmth and collaboration that are typical. I spent those special days wondering what it would be like if I had the chance to be a part of it all. I have to admit I found myself in a deep depression with the loss.
There were three specific holidays which brought me total collapse each time, Christmas, Mother’s Day and her birthday. I actually would become so distraught that I would be physically sick for days before and after. I hated holidays and dreaded them coming up each year because I knew what they would do to me. No amount of preparation, counselling or avoidance could dampen the pain. Even after I made my own family this loss haunted me with little relief. 
After re-uniting with my daughter, I thought maybe this might bring some joy. I thought that if my relationship with her was good this might be possible but it has only become worse. She only complicates this mess. Early in our re-uniting the adoptive parents were very protective of their ownership and would do all they could to prevent interaction with me especially on holidays. They would make sure their demands of her were so that no time was available to visit with me. As she grew older and somewhat started her own life, they still worked to dominate her time. They have always portrayed me as not being worth the oxygen I inhale and probably not knowing made the comment to her when they were unhappy with her actions, she was just like me. That has an impact.
She also seems to always make excuses for not making visits. I have 4 grandchildren and I spend time finding gifts and making sure they will have a special visit but my daughter always finds major problems arising to prevent her from coming to see me. Our relationship is always based on her mood and if I am not pleasing her and she doesn’t have a current need for me I am ostracized and avoided. We actually celebrated Christmas in March this year. My grandchildren wanted to know why I didn’t still have my Christmas tree up. 
 
With Mother’s Day coming up quickly, I am again feeling the anxiety it brings. I know there will be no call or it will come a week later with some excuse of how her life was so dramatic that she was unable to pick up a phone and call. It will be an amazing story of how others caused a catastrophe that she was made to deal with and make well. I know it will be a complete fabrication as usual but somehow our lives will go on to the next event.  It will again provide me with another example of how badly I hate the holidays. 
I tell this story not because I want anyone to feel sorry for me or think a birth mother is a sad thing. I created Life-After-Placement because I want to educate birth parents and adoptive parents that what you create will live with you. Had the adoptive parents portrayed me as a good person who gave a great gift of life to them and showed respect for me, there might be a good chance this type of relationship would not be dealt with now and there’s a good chance this girl might not see herself as the person they painted me to be and willing to create a solid base. 
There is no ownership of another human being even if you are the biological parents. You have a duty to your children to be honest so they can face life with the best tools they can. Your shortcomings and insecurities should not be used to damage them. Making mistakes is a part of our learning and most of us never stop but if we are honest about it we stand a greater chance of a better outcome. My daughter is a mess due to some biological reasons but how she dealt with it is beyond belief. Misinformation, lying and selfishness by her adoptive parents gave her a completely false idea of who she was and why she was. She was not given up, I did not abandon her, she is not a piece of crap like I was made to be and she is not an ownership rescued by them. Trying to correct those years of misinformation, lying and selfishness is exhausting and with how she has become probably impossible.
I hope someday I will look forward to holidays and think back on my days of sorrow as a learning time but it is hard to do right now. I do wish all Mothers a great day and hope it is filled with love, peace and excitement. You deserve it. 
 

My Inspiration

Inspiration

Inspiration to me is not something that stays as a burning desire without a lot of challenges. My inspiration for Life-After-Placement was a result of years of struggle with emotional highs and lows. It grew as a result of finding a cause by living the nightmare. I have been told by many people that my story is negative, especially those in the adoption communities. My response is “no my story is not particularly negative it is reality which should be told”.

As I engaged with the adoption community I found that they wanted a bright and positive story. Mothers who had placed and provided an outlook that their choice was the best thing since the invention of the rock were paraded about. No one wanted to hear that there were many down sides to life for those of us who made a decision to place. I always made everyone aware that placement was my best choice but I found that just getting to a point in your life where this decision is required is not a great outcome. If a birth mother is in a situation where she is faced with placing then her life is complicated and she is generally in a bad place. How can you make that a positive thing?

 

I knew after my experiences in several organizations and being ostracized for my outgoing ways it might be time to think about how I could bring about an organization which focused on the birth mothers and what could be done to bring women together who shared my challenges and feelings. I was able to gather interest with some other birth mothers in the early stages and I thought we had a unified goal in mind. For various reasons this did not turn out to be for the good of all. It was painful but still inspired I decided this must go on. I knew I had a cause to believe in and that was my inspiration. It took a lot of time but it did happen.

Since that time I have donated hundreds of hours to Life-After-Placement along with a considerable amount of my own money. It is obvious that creating a non-profit organization is not for sissies. It also challenges me every day to stay the course. Inspiration is what keeps me going because I believe this is a good cause and it needs to keep moving forward. I thought doing the right thing should bring on cheers and applause and it does have its moments of deep satisfaction but it also brings out those who wish you failure and harm. For whatever reason some people hate the idea someone might be doing a good thing and it is not them so it needs to be torn down. I have spent a lot of hours crying over some of the hateful responses that are thrown at me but I do understand it is a part of the game.

I bring these things up because again inspiration is not something that goes without a lot of soul searching. I know what I’m doing is right and helping others is ingrained within me. My inspiration keeps me focused and motivated through all of the noise which surrounds me. Those of you who find real inspiration will know what I mean. It is deeply inside of you once you find it but it will be challenged constantly by others. You must be in touch with a higher power who can help you when the worst is coming at you. Make a vow to never give up and find people who believe in you and will help you get through it all.

Adoptive Mother's Voice on Jealousy

With all the amazing people that have come into my life and blessed me in so many ways, this lady has given me such support and love that I couldn’t possibly thank her enough. My adoptive family has never been supportive or welcoming. It really was meeting with adoptive parents that helped me process the negative with my family and know that this is not the case with all others. They have shown me what true love really is. When I met Rachel it was such a joy to speak with her and see the true love she has for birth mothers and now seeing her being an adoptive mother. She is glowing with love and KINDNESS and is an example for others to emulate. Although this month’s subject is on kindness, I felt having her position on jealousy go unheard would be a loss to us all. She brings a great perspective to us from the adoptive parents which should be shared. Please enjoy her outlook and know how much we are appreciated as birth mothers by those who know it is a blessing we have given them.

 

The topic I am writing about is what jealousy means to me as an adoptive mom; what jealousies do I feel, and what do I have a right to feel?

For me jealousy is real. Besides the basics of wishing I could bring my child into the world the way a woman's body is designed to; I worry and I am scared of not being enough. It's a real fear that seems ridiculous at times but at others overpowers me.

A little about me. I have two biological children ages 13 and 11 years old. I had a life saving hysterectomy at the age of 27. Two years later, I prayed to know if we should adopt. I felt my deceased grandmother tell me yes, and that she was with our daughter that had not yet been born. Present day, it has now been almost 7 years since we began preparing to adopt. We did foster care for about a year. We moved out of state and back; each time securing our home study for our next house. We were matched twice and things fell through. We had over 40 potential situations that we applied for that also fell through. I honestly wondered what was wrong with us that no one chose us. I felt jealous over those who had been chosen and placed with a child. Three years into our journey I dreamed vividly one night that I was holding our baby and he was a brown baby boy. When I awoke I told my husband. I was so at peace and happy, but it was a baby boy. My husband said maybe it was the Lord's way of telling us He had a baby boy for us, and to not give up on him too... Since then I have felt it is time to get ready for our daughter. We know this may take a while and we are now okay with that. We waited 5 years for our little Malachi; and I've realized in my 35 years of life on this Earth our timing is not always the same as God's. Our baby boy is almost 18 months old now which is hard to believe. His sweet spirit in our home is such a great blessing.

The times I felt jealousy in our adoption journey were very often. It was every time we applied for a situation and some other couple or family was chosen. I was hurt, upset and wondered what was wrong with us. When I first felt it for our son's birth mom it was the day I held him for the first time. He was three days old, a tiny newborn. I knew legally my sweet birth mother had the right to change her mind for another 4 days. We met her for the first time two days after meeting our son. The feelings of jealousy I felt was that even though he was in my arms she had complete control over us being a family. Did she have that right? Absolutely! I was scared to fully bond with our son. So I was jealous that she had power over making us a family. I knew many of the reasons she was making her decision and I knew it was more than fair for her to have that time to make her decision. After all, this was life changing, and it made logical sense to me, but I still felt jealous over it. Many times over those days, I would take a deep breath, push the fear away from the front of my thoughts. I would find faith in the fact that despite all odds she chose us and there must be some good she felt about our family to raise her beautiful child. I would then think of her, how hard this decision must be for her. How could she do it? Why was she doing it? How was she coping? And I would cry for the ache I felt she must be overwhelmed with. As scared as I was, she must be feeling it worse than I could possibly fathom. I would express my fears to my husband and then I would cry. He would agree with me and then tell me to look at our beautiful son and know all that he is, was because of her. And when the tears wouldn't stop my husband would gather our little family around the baby and we would pray for our beautiful birth mother. We never prayed that she wouldn't change her mind. We prayed that she would feel our love and she would feel peace in what ever decision she made. The day that relinquishment was final was the hardest day I have ever gone through. I cried uncontrollably. I didn't cry for me. I cried for her and her beautiful little man. I cried for the change of their relationship.

 We have a beautiful open adoption with Malachi's birth family. We talk about everything. We talk a couple of times a week. I send pictures and videos. We video call each other. They are moving across the country to live closer to him and us. We are all so excited to spend more time together again. His birth mother and aunt call me "sis" and his cousin even calls me "auntie." Do I think we will never have disagreements? No. Do I think they like everything I do? No. We are different human beings. I'm sure she would do things her way if the roles were reversed. She doesn't tell me those things though. I imagine as our relationship continues to blossom she will. I am nervous about that time. I try not to let it worry me. I know we will get through those times and become stronger as long as we both are committed to each other.

The second time (and last time thus far) I have felt jealousy towards our birth mom was when he was four months old. I drove to pick up her family to come spend a few days with us after Thanksgiving. It was a two hour drive one way (They lived closer back then.) They made food to share with us from their culture also. The car was packed. While they stayed, I cooked and cleaned like a busy mom almost as if I that didn't have a newborn. I let them have every minute with Malachi. The first time Malachi was awake and his mom held him, I watched closely. I wondered if he remembered her. If he would love her and be okay with her. I remember thinking that he was so little that he would probably wonder about this visit one day too. So I had my camera on my phone ready. The most beautiful picture I have of the two of them (I feel) is that moment. He smiled the biggest toothless grin. His eyes lit up as she held him, nuzzled him and spoke to him. I was in tears. Tears of happiness. I was so glad he could give her that moment. I was so glad I documented that moment not just for him, but for her. They had spent all day with us, and each night I was more than happy to pick him up and carry him to our bedroom for the night to sleep. I missed him and was surprised how much I ached to hold him. I cried again thinking of how those feelings must be magnified for his birth mom. Exhausted I pushed away thoughts of jealousy as I fell asleep.

The next day I felt jealousy here and there but I buried it. I reasoned that I had no right to it. His grandmother hadn't seen him since my last visit a couple of months earlier and she was only able to hold him for 5 minutes. His birth mother had only had an hour at most since the last visit. They needed to know this baby was still very much a part of their lives and they share it with us as he grows up. I remember clearly the depth of pain I was in as I waited for our little baby to join our family during our five year adoption process. I would see babies and mothers in public and want to visit with them just hoping conversation with strangers would fill that void by visiting with me... I never did approach strangers but I could see how someone crazier than me, might do such a thing. I ached to hold crying children and comfort them. I would walk through the baby or small children's department in a store and find my vision blurry with unwanted moisture. From that pain I knew when the time came that my arms were full, I would always be aware of that achy feeling in others. I would allow my child to comfort the pain in others. I would never deny someone that opportunity to heal for a moment by holding my tiny angel. I knew thinking of his sweet birth family, they needed this baby and all the time they could get from us to be with him; and I would give them all of it. When he cried, I offered to hold him or tell them what he wanted but I never stepped in. I let them choose. I specifically said something like this, "I know you don't get enough time with him or us, I'll tell you what I think he needs but I will let you do it for him; unless you want me to do something, then let me know." At the end of our three day and two night visit, knowing I would be driving them home and thinking the baby would do better by staying at home with my husband due to the later part of the day and fussy time, I almost teared up. I wondered why but instantly knew. I missed my baby and I was emotionally exhausted by our visit. It was the best visit ever. Everything went well and there really was no extra stress or concerns to worry me and yet I was worried and stressed. I was worried my baby didn't know me or forgot about me. I was jealous of the time I had given them with my baby. I questioned if I should have structured things differently.

I found his Grandma trying to wake his birth mom to hold him so she could get a break. I told her I would take the baby. She apologized to me, seemingly worried to have me take him in their place. I reassured her, everything was okay, we were family, I did not mind holding him at all; I only wanted them to have all the time they wanted with him. She hugged me and thanked me for understanding. She thanked me?!!! It blew my mind. I have an amazing birth family and I feel indebted to them; it seems odd to me that they thank me, to this day! Later when it was time to drive them home I asked my husband to do it. I loved them and wanted to visit more but I was exhausted and ached to hold the baby. So I did, I held him, cried, thanked God for him and prayed for his beautiful birth family. Did I feel jealous? Yes. I hoped I handled it okay.

Every time we've had a visit I have seen the silent tears from his birth mom as she hugs him good-bye and kisses his face. It has always made me cry too. Her love, her sacrifices for him are innumerable! How could I ever hold my jealousies or insecurities against her? How could I ever resent her? Do I wonder what lies ahead? Yes. Do I worry I may have some of these jealousies to face in our son's future? Absolutely. I may need to write more on this topic in his teenage years. For now, I am so grateful for the blessings of having such an open adoption. So I take one day at a time. I keep our communication open and talk to her as much as I can. Why? I love and care for her. How could I not love the mother of my child? She is the ultimate blessing in our lives. His life is blessed because we know her.

I think one of the things that I replay in my head the most is when they told me, we were all family now that we had adopted their baby. I will never forget that. We ARE FAMILY! I see them as that in his life and ours. I will do my utmost to respect our differences and respect them. They are the reason my son is alive and I will always cherish their love for us and him. I remember the first time I met with a couple birth moms who became dear friends Lynea and Sonya (about 7 months before Malachi was born). Their stories haunt me. It makes me teary just thinking about their adoptions. I ache for them! How sad that there aren't enough adoptive families that truly love and respect their birth moms. I remember telling them how sad I was to hear about their stories. I felt guilty that I would put a birth mom through some of their pains. I literally felt a desire to quit trying to adopt. I didn't want to hurt another birth mom. Lynea and Sonya told me not to give up, that there are adoptive families needed. Lynea expressed the need to educate birth mothers and provide support to cope with placements. She told me she had devoted her life to helping other birth mothers like her. I admire these women and all that they do for the women they come in contact with. I want to help too.

In closing, I think I have learned jealousy is an emotional feeling. There's no logic in it. It's just a fear. I've also learned you can not have faith and fear at the same time. I have lived too much of my life in fear. I refuse to let fear rob me of any happiness I could enjoy by having faith instead. For all of the birth mothers and birth families out there in pain and hurting in your adoption, I express my sincerest sorrow for you and yours. Please know, I believe if fear is replaced with faith by all parties involved and healthy boundaries are set, and unconditional love is shown; I believe healing will happen. Healing may not come immediately or even over many weeks or years, but don't give up. Only do what you can. Do your best and forget the rest. Reach out when it is healthy to do so. If it isn't healthy or if your adoption is closed please know how loved you are! Your sacrifices are not completely ignored. There is gratitude from your adoptive families that they feel towards you; even if they do not express it or choose to suppress it. 

You are loved. You are appreciated. You are not alone. There are people like me who wish to help and volunteer their time or resources to you. Do not give up. You are amazing. You are tough, strong, and smart. You are never forgotten. I love and care about you.

Rachel Douglas

An Adoptive Mom

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Jealousy is a Disease

To me jealousy is a disease. So many people are inflicted with it. It destroys your ability to think clearly, to justify normally and to see things how they really are. This virus stems from Envy. Envy is a situation where you desire to see a person fail regardless of what their intention is. You don’t want to emulate them or reach a higher goal in life. You just want them to be brought down. Have you really stopped and thought about how dysfunctional this behavior is? Why would you want someone diminished if their actions are not intended to cause any pain for you? If they did seek to cause you distress then your reaction should be justification and possibly compensation but not jealousy.

We have a society who now wants the successful people to be torn down. They don’t want to work as hard, study as much or do the things that others who have been successful did to get there. They just want them to be brought down. I was listening to a young college student say that America needs to be more like Cuba where they have free health care and education. Everybody is equal. Now that might seem a nice dream unless you actually visit Cuba and see the lifestyle up close and personal. What good does free health care do when there are only a handful of doctors and extremely poor hospitals and equipment. Whatever good can free education do for you if there is no opportunity in life? Why would you want to be equal when it means you live in squalor and destitute. To me this is an amazing lack of reality and critical thinking, just what jealousy and envy bring.

We see someone who appears to have more than we do. We rarely have all of the information but we know they should not be where they are. We don’t want to be them but we want them to be as sorry, lonely and dissatisfied as we are. That will not make us happy or satisfy us but somehow we need them to be miserable like us. You can actually pull yourself into deep depression with jealousy. It makes you look at life in a very ugly way.

How about instead of looking at things through the eyes of jealousy, we seek to emulate those who have accomplished so much or see that they are not really someone to be jealous about? Our lives would be more fulfilling. We would not be as depressed and angry. We could actually find an upward movement in all we do. Joy comes from a sense of accomplishment and that is brought about from positive attitude. Jealousy does not serve that goal, it destroys it. If we stop and think about what we might be jealous about rarely will we find a solid piece of evidence to let it go on.

We are amazing people capable of accomplishing amazing things. Jealousy is disease that will diminish our ability to do those things. It will bind us with despair and hate and it will overcome us by causing us to dedicated time to it. Next time a sense of jealousy creeps into your life, do yourself a great service by casting it out and focusing your efforts on improving yourself. It will produce a much more satisfying result. 

My Jealousy

This word is complex to me. I struggle with understand it. I know sounds strange right! I think that for years I looked at people with admiration instead of jealousy.

In my adoption, I really didn’t feel jealous. I knew my adoption was a good decision and knew she was in a good place. I did have times that I felt like I was missing out on her mile stones. I would feel down and depressed and realized she was still happy and safe. Somehow that was all I need to tell myself. It wasn’t easy and of course always with tears but peace of mind knowing she was happy and safe make it better.

It wasn’t until I found out she was pregnant at 15 that it hit me. After being reunited with my daughter, I found out I was asked to meet her because they didn’t know how to deal with her. They wanted me to be the disciplinary and give her back to me like she was being returned to the store as a defective doll. When I took her for a holiday weekend I found out she was pregnant and took her home to tell her parents. For months, I was heartbroken knowing what her future would be.

When the baby was born, it took them three long days to tell me. I knew that day she had the baby. I could sense her and the baby. I cried for days till they called me. That’s when it hit! I was jealous. I wasn’t there to see her born let alone be a part of her life. I was so jealous that I was filled with anger and hate! How could they?? How could they leave me out after bringing me into her life! I felt like the adoptive parents didn’t deserve her or the baby! I was so angry that I couldn’t function. I was so bitter and beyond hurt! From that point it was beyond heart breaking!! Everything I hoped for her wasn’t happening!

I had seen the baby being used as a manipulating tool and bounced from person to person. At one point, I thought I would have guardianship of the baby. I did all I would to show my daughter she could have a better life. That she could be a single mother and move on with her education. She was so lost in drugs and endless feeling of abandonment I couldn’t get through to her. I emailed her parents and asked to help them and her. They were just as angry.

It took me a long time to realize she is her own person with her own decisions. It still haunts me to see the mistakes she makes. She had three more kids and I wasn’t there again. Yeah, I was upset and jealous every time!! I have grandchildren and didn’t get to see them come into this world! I wasn’t there to see the first smile, step or bond the way any mother or grandmother would want too. Every time I go through this heart break I would go through this pity party for myself and eventually find my way back from this prison I put myself in.

She is her own person and so are adoptive parents. I accepted this because you can’t change them! You can’t control what they do or say. You can however change your thoughts and behavior. Don’t let them control you! Even when you think thoughts of hate or anger and any kind of envy it controls you!

She is my achilleas heel because she is my daughter. She is also her own person as am I. I found my way through the worst of times! It didn’t kill me or cripple me but it didn’t leave a scar. I AM NOT A victim but I AM A WORRIOR!! I have been through hell and back but I made it through stronger than ever. 

What It’s Like To Be Married To A Birthmother

This guest post is by Bob Spears, who is married to a birthmother.

Although birthmothers have husbands and partners, it’s not every day that you hear from them.

That’s because many of them are not directly involved in their loved one’s adoption story.

But I’ve found that not being involved in your loved one’s story is not easy or healthy in a relationship.

Placing a child for adoption has a great impact on not only a birth mother’s life, but on ours as well.

It is a commitment that requires us to understand and help them through their journey.

I have been together with a birthmother for 20 years and married for 17.

I have watched experiences, changes and challenges to Lynea’s world each day.

I believe the most influential thing I have learned from watching her life is that a birth mother never gives up on her child.

Every day that child remains a part of her.

 

 

Through the years, I have observed how every birthday of Lynea’s child caused emotions to rise within her.

Sometimes she had no idea why she was so upset, anxious and down.

I would remind her that it was that birthday thing again.

In the early days she would hang on the mailbox for her yearly picture.

It was always late and when it did come it was usually a keychain size but it would excite her to no end.

She loved and was so grateful to the adoptive parents but as I observed, they were not so wonderful. That didn’t stop her from cherishing them.

As the years went on, the adoptive parents continued to do all they could to insulate themselves from Lynea. But, as they lost control of their daughter, they began reaching to her.

As hesitant as Lynea was to become involved, she finally did after several pleading requests.

What she didn’t want is to become involved in a situation which would destroy her relationship with her daughter.

Entering her daughter’s life as a disciplinarian was not how she saw the reuniting would happen. And she was right. From that point on, all of their relationships became a nightmare.

Lynea’s daughter was not ready to meet her and was only looking for someone to rescue her from her own mess.

This mess has continued now for many years and has been a real ugly ride.

But the one thing that still prevails is Lynea’s love for her daughter.

I have watched her try everything possible to influence this girl and lead her along.

She has also placed boundaries through love to help her understand that respect goes both ways.

There are now four grandchildren in this mix and that only increased the anguish of the situation.

Through this adventure, Lynea has seen the need for birth mothers to have a safe haven.

Her experiences, although hard to deal with, have helped her understand the challenges faced by many birth mothers.

She sees the need of a support network where these women can connect and understand they are not alone and that their situation is not unique.

I have watched her selflessly spend hundreds of hours reaching out to these women to help. She now has created her own organization for those birthmothers who need help or would like to help others.

Life After Placement is a shrine to her efforts. All of her time and money have gone into this creation with no monetary rewards. I continue to stand amazed at her determination to accomplish these things:

1. Change the narrative that birth mothers give up on their children and get people to understand that they placed them as a selfless act of love.

2. Get an understanding that birth mothers never quit. They live their lives every day with their child’s life deep inside of them.

3. Many birth mothers suffer from PTSD. Throughout their lives they are struck with things which can emotionally impact them. There are constant triggers which will never go away.

4. Adoptive parents have a commitment to their child’s birth mother and her contribution. No matter how the agreements were agreed upon, there is a great need for integrity and honesty.

If you are interested as a birth mother, adoptive child or want to help the cause, I ask you to visit Life After Placement and see the wonderful things that Lynea has done.

I have no doubt this endeavor will grow as more people discover Lynea’s dedication.

Bob Spears is married to Lynea, founder of Life After Placement. They share a life together and are parents to a teenage son. He is an advocate for birth mothers and believes in the cause of Life After Placement. 

http://www.americaadopts.com/like-married-birthmother/

Can you see your Happiness?

Happiness is every were but can we see it?

Based on a date rape. I became pregnant. My decision for placement did not come very easy to me. One night full of fear and hopelessness as the day grew closer, I couldn’t stop crying. kneeling at the end of my fold out bed, praying for help to make this decision I just could not imagine making, I heard a voice! It was a male voice. For that second I stopped crying and listened. He said “Mom it will be OK.” “You are not alone and you will get through this.” Again, thinking I am crazy and now hearing things! I dared at that point I looked up! This handsome man with unique eyes, sandy blond hair and tall. “He smiled and said don’t worry Mom you are not alone.” I stood up thinking (Now I am seeing things!) I stopped crying and laid in bed, closed my eyes and slept better than I had in a long time.

After placement, I finished school and found the job of my dream and bought my first home. It took time but I did all by myself. I was determined to prove to everyone and myself “I WAS WORTH IT!”  Through the years I struggled with cervical cancer twice and thankfully I had great doctors who found it in time. One ovary was scarred during the surgery and no longer working. Then came endometriosis. I was told my chances of having a baby would not be realistic.

Eight years after placement I married a great man much older than me. We married and started our life together. We now had a combined problem, He had a vasectomy 21 years ago. He had talked about having kids but I couldn’t see a path to it now. He visited a doctor and discussed a reversal. Again, we were told the chances were very limited but decided to give it a go. After two surgeries with our odds being 1000 to 1 chance I was now pregnant!

This did not excite me. I found myself in a panic. The pain of my first pregnancy was way too ingrained in my soul. All the fears I worked though were back in play even though I now had a completely different situation. I had dreams of people taking my baby. This lasted through the entire pregnancy. The day I went into labor, I was also panicking. Would they take him from me? I just couldn’t shake the idea. When my son was born and things settled they put his incubator next to my bed side. It was a dream that didn’t seem real till he looked at me after calling his name. It was him!! That man that called me Mom!! I was stunned in disbelief he was that same person!

The unique thing about him is that he has one unusual eye. It has a different color to it. I wasn’t crazy and it wasn’t a dream. He has blue eyes with a patch of green/brown in one spot on his right. Somehow all this was meant to be. I had almost impossible chances but it did happen.

Life has some interesting challenges, both good and bad. I had reached a time in my life where I had basically given up any hope of a family and my choice of a husband along with my almost infertile condition made my outlook bleak. After having my son, other complications finished any chance of ever having another but I did get my last hope of having a child. This all proved to me that giving up should not be an option.

I have learned that happiness comes to us in the hardest times in our lives. We need to take what we can and enjoy it as much as possible. 

Lynea Krukiewicz

 

My Definition Of A Birth Mother

What is a Birth Mother to Me!

 Through the years I have found it to be odd how people view birth mothers. We are looked at as adulterers, sluts with no morals, mentally unstable with no cares about bringing a child into this world, etc.  What about the few of us who were raped or abused? Did we deserve it?  Did we have it coming to us? Where we asking for it by the way we dressed?

To me a birth mother is any woman who gives birth. A woman who chooses to place a child for adoption is a birth mother and a woman who chooses to parent her child is a birth mother.  That’s right, I said it, we are both birth mothers. It really is strange to how people respond to the words “Birth Mother”! All my life I have had to explain to people who and what a birth mother is. This has been strange for me because adoption has been around for centuries! This is not a new concept or new idea. What I found is that people dismiss that adoption wouldn’t happen without a birth mother. How did the babies get here? Sometimes I think people think adoption is like going to a store, picking up the baby and paying for it at the counter.

For years’ women who have become pregnant out of wedlock or been abused or raped and had to accept the fate of getting married or being sent away to a maternity home or distant relative to have the baby. When you came back you didn’t talk about it, like it never happened, and go on with life. The adoption was closed and the guilt and shame the birth mother felt were kept inside and never let out.  I remember growing up thinking couples who adopted were like heroes! I remember looking at them like they saved that child from bad parents or from unloving family.

Let me just say this, I am a birth mother and proud to say it! I was date raped and did what I know was best for my child by PLACING her with a couple who was able to give her what I know I couldn’t at that time in my life. I did NOT GIVE HER UP! Ask yourself, how would you feel if you were given up on. No one likes that!  Please use the word PLACED. “I was placed for adoption.” The psychological effect of saying you were PLACED instead of given up has a MAJOR effect on the child and about adoption as a whole.

As a birth mother of 25 years and having been reunited the past 12 years I can say “I NEVER GAVE UP!” I PLACED HER for adoption because I love her and always will. A mother’s love is never ending. My goal as a birth mother is to help our community see birth mothers in a different way. With open adoption and adoptees' looking for their birth parents, I hope you can see that it’s really all about love, from the moment of conception. Life After placement is just that! Moving forward without so much guilt or shame but acceptance of choices made with nothing but selfless love.

~Lynea~

A Birth Mother Never Quits

A birth mother never quits or gives up. Regardless of the decision. It is never final. We have placed a part of ourselves and that will never go away.”

— Lynea Krukiewicz, Birth Mother

To me placing is:

B eautiful

I ntense

R eal

T raumatic

H eart Felt

 

M oving

O verwhelming

T roubling

H opeful

E volving

R esiliant

Many words could be placed in these positions and as my experience has shown, will change as the moments of joy, pain and uncertainty do. In my years since placement I can attest that there will always be a new moment.

PLACEMENT LIVES WITHIN ME.

When I placed 25 years ago, I had a vision of what life would be like as commitments were made with the adoptive parents through open placement. I had no idea how these things would evolve and change through the years. Not only did the relationships change with the adoptive parents but as my daughter grew up and made choices, so did the interaction with her become a roller coaster of emotions.  

As a birth mother with many experiences, I saw I could help so many other birth mothers with guidance, direction and moral support. And I too could learn much more in a community where we all can find a common link with those who both need to share and find help as we face the next step in this complicated situation. 

Life is always changing and so are relationships. Placing created a birth mother and adoptive parents who must find ways to deal with everyday life and a child who is anything but predictable. Emotions will play a huge part moving forward. As a birth mother, I have found it is a delicate balance on how you help, when you help and if you help and just when you think you provided the right thing, you are completely wrong. I want to help birth mothers know it is never easy but we hope some reward and comfort can be won.

Placing has forever changed my life both good and bad.

Experiencing the ever changing situations with my daughter has brought me many hours of despair but it has also provided me with a great desire to help others. Life After Placement has become a dream and mission for me. Having spent years without support and understanding has been painful. I want to have a forum which can help other birth mothers see they do not have to life this alone and wear a scarlet letter in silence. We did the right thing for our child and we should be celebrated not forsaken.

I am a Birth Mother forever.