2016 I hate you. I love you.

You took my best friend.  This a year I will never want back, except maybe the parts when we laughed as she garnered the strength to get up and out of her bed and pretended to me, well, to most of us, that yes, she was fine.  Just a little heartburn,she’d whisper in between smiles.  The cancer never took her spirit.  I remember telling my boss at the time when I needed to be back to work, “I can get another job, I can’t get another best friend.”  Needless to say I have a new job.  I still don’t have another best friend, not like Ames.  Not ever.  Irreplaceable.  She is with me, I know this to be true.  I still rely on her.  As always.  But F U 2016..  Not fair.

And thank you 2016 for my husband.  The deployment two years ago and the one we face that lies ahead this year … can all go to h. e. double l. hockey sticks.  This year though, this year I watched him drink his bailey’s and coffee while he opened up his nascar driving experience and shook his head, “NO WAY!” He exclaimed.  Oh, that smile.  That smile I love even more since the first of the 22 years I’ve been seeing it.  Next year he won’t be here.  Thank you 2016 for him this year.

I hate you. I love you.  You gave me the worst and the best.  You gave me a reality that I often detested but a truth that I couldn’t avoid.  You taught me to stand strong, to be courageous, to fight for what I believe in, and to be forgiving and accepting of other’s in their fight as well.  I have learned much, cried often, laughed hard, grieved more grief than I ever thought possible, and heard the whispers of a beautiful fighter angel.  I hold my husband and my children close and pray prayers of gratitude because I am blessed.  And I don’t deserve it.

As my father said to me after my bestie went on to Heaven ….

“It is what it is and will be what you make of it.”

Dear 2017 …. Here I come.  And I’ve got an Angel at my back so watch out. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build Your Bridge

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Rebecca and Courtney build a bridge in a ditch that is symbolic of their plight to bridge the gap between the little girls that were hurt and the grown women they’ve had to become to survive.  It is their story, but it is your story.  What sacrifices did you have to make as you survived the hands that hurt you?  What part of yourself do you hide away and shelter from the word for fear of hurt?  The walls you’ve built, they will come down.  It will be okay.  You’re not alone.

For all the women who’ve had to go back and get the little girl they’d left behind.  Bridges.  My song.  Your song.  The road to healing.

Listen NOW

 

Just Stand Up: A Brother’s Wise Advice

It was an early morning phone call and I didn’t expect to tell my younger brother how I was really feeling, but the truth came spilling out.  A bad day turned into a few more bad days, a grieving, a loss, a sorrow … the building of things heavy for a heart to carry.  When the light begins to fade.  When putting one foot in front of the other becomes a mission.  Everyone of us feels it.  Then, that choice we make to reach out; to be real.  To be authentic.  What I didn’t expect was his heart in return.  I had no idea he loved me enough to go there with me … and to allow it to be what it was.  To sit with me in that quiet place and not require me to be anything but that.  Then, the hope.  That eventually, I would find the strength to stand back up again.  To every brother out there with a sister who relies upon his wisdom, his unconditional love, his strength and above all – his raw honesty and love.  We sisters need you more than you know.  Thank you brother.

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I will go where you are.

Because I love you that much.

Just remember,

we don’t have to stay here forever.

You can stand up.

Here’s my hand.

You can take it.

When you’re ready.

Until then,

I’ll stay right here with you.

And while we sit here,

for this while,

I will tell you about all the

times you were standing.

Every moment of courage

and triumph.

The storms you navigated

the waves you jumped

the mountains you climbed.

And I’ll remind you

that weary and tired

is just a call to rest.

To be still.

It’s not failure.

Revitalize.

Your body, your mind,

your heart.

Nourish the temple that you are.

Feed the spirit.

In the quiet,

while we wait here

in this place,

together;

I will tell you a hundred stories

and in each one

you are the hero.

Because when the waters came

you remembered,

all you had to do was stand up.

I’ll be here.

Right here.

Until you’re ready to do it again.

 

A Christmas Love Letter for Family: Share Your Heart This Year

No matter the challenges we face, the mistakes we’ve made, or the trials we are called to endure there is an ever present truth that guides us – the love of family.  Those moments when unconditional love is given without expectation in the hope for understanding, patience, and growth.  The conversations that flow into the late night hours when hearts are revealed.  The days and nights in the flurry of life that can stop on a dime the second one of us calls out for help.  The cherished memories tucked into our spirits that leave immortal marks on our souls.  The heritage of those who loved before us who continue to walk with us when we need it most.

We are imperfect, growing, and always searching the truths of who we are and all we can be but above all we are loved.  We are this year and last year, we are our babies first cries and their last years  at home – we are the long hours and the tight budgets and the tears of grace that see us through.  We are the lessons our young one’s teach us and the legacy we choose to leave them.  We are humbled in the wake of years passing too quickly and praiseful that we had them at all.  Our hands hold one another’s, in embrace and in comfort in the perfection of true love without judgment or fear.    We are home.  We are God’s love.  May you truly feel our hearts and our gratitude for sharing this, the greatest gift of all, with you.   Merry Christmas family.

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The Most Wanted Holiday Gift of 2013

The #1 Gift Your Friends and Family Want This Year Might Surprise You

Families…we all have dysfunctional ones. How do we handle the stress of the Season?  What one thing can we give to our friends, families and others in 2013 that is so sought after? Listen now!

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Adoption Inspiration – Co-Counseling for the Triad

Sitting across from them, it was inconceivable that I had the right questions to ask which would bring me the answer I needed to change the life of my son forever.  I was choosing adoption for my first born child, and if that choice wasn’t the hardest I’d ever make in my life, choosing his parents was.

In 1991, the Internet wasn’t available along with such informative articles as “Birthmother’s Advice on Choosing Adoptive Parents,”  and Birthparents, What To Do, which are articles I could have benefited from when trying to hard to find the right path and questions to ask along the way.  I didn’t realize that the term, “Open Adoption,” wasn’t a legally binding term in a court of law.  I didn’t know that anything I agreed to with my son’s potential adoptive parents would be a solemn promise we shared, but not a promise I could take to court should it be broken.  I didn’t know a lot of things.

After being involved in the adoption community for about ten years, publishing my first book, “One Birthmother’s Emotional Truth on Healing, Recovery, and Success,”  later on going to Capital Hill to speak against a proposed bill, and traveling the country as a guest speaker on behalf of Birth Mother‘s in adoption; I discovered a major flaw in the adoption system and process.  It wasn’t just that I didn’t know which questions to ask, or how the process worked … it was my relationship with my son’s adoptive parents.  The one bond that required the most attention not only for myself, for my son, but for them as well.

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It seemed everywhere I went, whether it was to host a Birthmother Support group at an adoption agency, to speak at a conference, or to be at home at Adoption.com on the discussion forums for Birthparents and Adoptive Parents, no one – on either side of the adoption triad – had been offered co-counseling for the purpose of establishing long term communication in the adoption relationship they were entering into.  Birthmother’s are offered counseling pre and post placement by the adoption agency, and a good adoption agency will also require the adoptive family to financially support up to a year’s worth of third party therapy for their birthmother.  Adoptive parents utilize the adoption agency for support groups, counseling, and long term care.  However, there is a missing link.

For as many questions as I had, but did not know how to ask … so too did my son’s adoptive parents.  Sadly, it was only later on, after the adoption was finalized, that they realized they had them.   The long term effects and issues of adoption often time don’t surface until several years after the placement.  Birthmother’s and Adoptive parents alike will find themselves wondering, “Did I agree to the right thing?  What did I do?  Why didn’t I ask?  How do I maintain this?  What should I say?  How do I respond?”  Without initial pre-placement co-therapy and counseling together, these questions remain silenced.  There is no solid foundation for the freedom in discussion.

After several years of attempting to get pictures and letters from my son’s adoptive parents, the agency finally sent me a letter.  They’d written, “We are deeply sorry for this response, and pray you are able to move on from here.  We wish you the best.”  There was a second letter re-typed by the agency, from my son’s parents which read, “We are grateful that you chose us to raise our son, however he is ours until he is 18 and we would ask no further attempt at contact be made.  We wish you all the best.”

In all my years of being involved in the adoption community with Birth Parent‘s and Adoptive Parents, and even today as I read through the Forum Discussion boards at Adoption.com, I see that this is a trend that continues to bleed hearts from all sides.  I am not an adoption advocate, and I refrain from giving any kind of advice to anyone making these life altering decisions, but I do hope and pray that anyone reading this connects to the eternal truth that they are not alone, there is help out there, and for every question you do not know you should ask … I hope you find the courage and the strength to reach out and seek more from those who are in place to offer help to you.

Suggest Co-Counseling for Birth Parent’s and Adoptive parents, in a unified and cohesive approach for the long term benefit of your relationship both to one another and to your commitment to a healthy adoption.  Birth Parents and Adopting Parents alike.  Your family, on both sides, deserves this.

 

The Power of Vulnerability

Over ten years ago I began working for adoption.com as a moderator, and within a few years I became a published author with my first book, “One Birthmothers Emotional Truth on Healing, Recovery, and Success.”  I spoke across the country and assisted with many support groups especially for birthmother‘s who entered into open and semi-open adoption that ended up, sadly, closed.  I wrote over 60 articles during that time which were published across a media platform of 6 websites.  I hosted retreats that were adoption based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado and I flew all over meeting amazing men and women both, in adoption.

photo (3)    However, after a few years, when my adoption being closed began to take an emotional toll on me, I stopped writing.  I closed down my desktop computer and I went to work, raised my babies, and attempted to tuck that part of my writing life aside.  I never stopped writing to my birth son or calling the agency every year, but my involvement in the adoption community simply became too difficult for me.  I’d been told I would receive letters and updates for the first five years of my son’s life and then, at that time, be able to have an open communication through the adoption agency with his parents with the ultimate outcome being preparing for a healthy reunion.  Unfortunately, this didn’t happen.

I have reunited with my son via facebook, and our online social media relationship has been ultimately healing for me.  He is happy, he is loved, and the parents I’d dreamed of him having … he got all along.  My decision was validated that I had done the best thing for him and he told me thank you, thank you for giving me life.  He’s having a fabulous life.  While he does not want to meet me at this time or speak on the phone, I am at peace.  He is okay.

These years of being in touch with him empowered me to write again.  I wrote another book, and began this blog, and as I work hard on networking and setting up all of the connections one does with blogs, I went back to adoption.com and re-registered.  Maybe, after all this time, I could offer something of value.

In registering for my profile it allows you to post a you tube video if you have one, and so I went to you tube to find the URL link to my own intro video for my blog.  Being an internet/blogging newbie, I didn’t know how to find myself!  I typed my name in, and was literally in total and complete shock with what I discovered.

Words I’d written, in painful vulnerability, over ten years ago, were being used to promote a nonprofit with a cause that is beautiful.  They’d given me full copyright inclusion, and I watched and read the description of the video, where my words are copied, with tears in my eyes.  I had never known that my words had meant anything to anyone aside from my own healing so long ago.

I’ve contacted the group to let them know, and volunteered to do a donation by giving proceeds from my last three remaining copies of my book to their group, Birthmom Mission. Perhaps once again, after over ten years, I might lend my own vulnerability to someone who may need to hear … we are never alone.  Our Reaching Out is Never in Vain!  *See my other blog post on this one!

Have you been blessed by a response from someone, years after you didn’t even know you’d made an impact?  I’d love to hear your story!

Watch the Video