Life as a birth mom Archives

All This Time

Britt Nicole has a new song and it makes me cry every time I hear it. When it comes on the radio, I picture myself as a scared 14 year old girl alone in my bedroom crying against my window. I’ve just found out for sure that I’m pregnant and  I don’t know what to do.

God met me that day and every day since. It has not been easy or even fun sometimes, but he’s been there. Take a minute to watch and listen and know that God sees you and loves you.

All this Time on YouTube

Happy Birthday, Baby

The funny thing about time is that it just keeps going. I remember being young and thinking my parents were so old. And I can remember when a year was actually a long time. Although I may feel that I am getting older and hopefully wiser with age, I am, in fact, aging.

I guess I always thought I would be just a girl who placed her firstborn daughter for adoption. But so many years have gone by. And so much has transpired since that time. I am that girl, but I’m so much more. That event is just a part of who I am. It is not my whole person. And it no longer defines me.

It no longer defines me.

The event that has shaped my life no longer defines me.

And so it is with Katie, my birthdaughter. This week she turns 25. And just like that, she’s a grown up. I’ve missed all of it. The birthdays, the graduations, the celebrations. I know she’s happy. She has a loving family around her. But I’ve missed that time and can never get it back.

Happy birthday, Baby.

Just Maybe

Check out my latest post for Birthmom Buds here!

100-Year Old Birthmom

This news piece has really captivated me this week. As a birthmom in a closed adoption, I know there are those of us who will never reunite with our birth children, we will never know the rest of the story.

But this one is so different. The adopted child is 77 years old! She is a mother and a grandmother towards the end of her life. Can you imagine undertaking such a major event as looking up your birthmother at that age? And then to find out she is still living at 100. The whole story is amazing.

I love seeing stories like this in the news. It encouraged me that there are others like me. I’m not the only birthmother in a closed adoption. I’m not alone in my experience.

Dear Myra

Dear Myra:

Remember me? Your old roommate?

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years already. You have just celebrated a big milestone. I’m curious: are you reunited? Is he a part of your life? What’s he like? And most of all, do you regret your decision?

Remember the couple years after when we kept in touch? You came to visit me in Branson one summer and we had such a good time. At a time when I didn’t feel like I had a friend in the world, there you were.

And when we went to visit your dad? How fun was that! I remember strolling the beach handing out gospel tracks and talking to people about Jesus. Fueled by our common experience, we were so on fire!

I’m curious. Do you still love God?

Thank you for being such a friend to me. I’m so sorry we lost touch. I look for you every year about this time hoping you have appeared on some forum somewhere. So far, no luck. But maybe someday we’ll cross paths again. Until then, know that you are in my prayers and I am indebted to your friendship.

Almost a Birth Mother

I know I’ve said it before, but if you throw out the word adoption anywhere, you are likely to get a response. Sometimes it’s visceral. Sometimes it is someone who whispers their story to you in secret. It’s almost always surprising.

Today was no different.

I was just going about my day catching up on emails on totally unrelated matters when a friend’s response was about the business at hand. But in her second paragraph she started, “And by the way, I’ve been reading your blog….” She then delved into her own painful story of unplanned pregnancy. She told me about her own decision to parent her son with lots of family support.

But then she sent a second email. That email told about how just a few years ago, she had learned that if she would have been any younger, her parents would have forced her to place her child with an adoptive family. She definitely feels like God’s timing was perfect in that situation. And now she cannot imagine life without her son.

The decisions we make today affect our tomorrows. In the case of any pregnant lady, the decision affects ALL of the tomorrows. Just one more story for the books.


Ann* was frantic. I could hardly understand her. “I’ve made a horrible mistake,” she said as I pressed the phone closer to my ear.

“I’m selfish and I shouldn’t have done it. But I did. And now I can’t take it back.”

Calmly I told her to take a breath and then tell me the whole story. She said she had been curious about her daughter’s birth mother. She said she had finally located her. Then late one night when she was on the computer, she sent her a note.  What happened next, I’m not really sure. But to Ann it was awful.

“She’s crazy,” she cried. “She says I took her child away from her and now she wants her back. What do I do?”

Since the adoption happened at birth and the daughter is now in her teens, I could tell that the birth mother was perhaps not in touch with all that is reality. However, she apparently was still deeply troubled by the experience.

“Did you tell your husband?” was the only rational thought that came to my mind.

“No. He’ll be so mad at me. And he should be! I’m such a fool. This never should have happened.”

“You can’t take it back now,” I started gently. “What needs to happen is that we need to hang up and you have to tell your husband immediately. I’ll keep my phone close if you need to talk afterwards.”

Well, we did and she did and her husband forgave her. As I prayed for her throughout that day, I wondered what was going through the birth mother’s mind. What had this contact done to her? for her? Where was she emotionally? spiritually? And did she have any support? I prayed for her too.

* not her real name



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Agency Adoption or Not?

I was very surprised to recently learn that agency adoptions are on the decline. Instead, expectant mothers considering adoption as well as prospective adoptive parents are finding each other through social networking sites or friends and family members.

Maybe it’s my age, but I’m still a firm believer in agency adoption. While expensive for the adoptive family, I think a good, ethical agency is on everyone’s ‘side’ and honors the wishes of the birthmother. The fees cover all counseling of the birthparents, all home study and related costs, as well as all legal fees.

But probably the biggest service adoption agencies offer is post-placement counseling for the birthmother. Some agencies offer it for free forever.

I did have an agency adoption. And my counselor was open to post-placement counseling. But since I was thousands of miles away and Skype and email weren’t readily available (I don’t think they were invented yet), my only option was communicating with my counselor through handwritten letters. My folks would not hear of me going to a live counselor in our area.

I’m curious as to why you wouldn’t choose an agency adoption. I would love your feedback including your specific experience and your perceived pros and cons of that choice.

Necessary Roughness

Are you addicted to this show like I am? This episode, Baggage Claim, was about a Martha Stewart-type woman who was well-known for her craftiness and organization. She was required to attend therapy for anger management by her board of directors. After a few sessions, the therapist (Dani)  learns that this well-put-together woman is a hoarder! Shocker, I know.

As Dani works with her to get to the root of her issue, she keeps saying ‘once you give something away, you can never get it back.’ We finally come to one of her many boxes that contains a blue cap and some booties. That’s right, the root of her hoarding habit is a son she was forced to give away and never grieved.

While I’m already hooked on the show, I thought it was wonderful to see this particular subject matter arise. There are so many women out there who have never grieved for the child that was taken from them. And as a society, we don’t even think about it. Nobody talks about it.

What do you think about the portrayal of birthmoms in the media?

Memory Lane

Ever notice how looking back can be dangerous? As we remembered 9/11 last weekend, I too found myself remembering those dark days. But more than just the events in NYC and other places, I found myself caught up in my own life at that time. My father was still alive. My grandmother had just passed. My husband and I didn’t have any children yet.

And I was still years away from meeting my birth daughter. In some respect, maybe that was easier. Maybe it was better not knowing and still having hope for a relationship. My fantasizing about having a relationship with her one day after she was older and settled and had her own children kept me moving forward on some days.

But that’s the problem with Memory Lane. It’s not reality. I was holding on to a dream, at something I hoped would some day happen. The truth was that in 2001, I was making some pretty bad choices. I kept thinking I was fine, telling myself I was fine. But my unhealthy behavior said otherwise.

Now that I’m on this side of it, that’s all changed. Even though she’s choosing not to have a relationship with me, I know. I’ve met her and gotten to know her and her parents. That curious part of me has been assuaged, no matter what the future holds.

God reminds me to keep looking forward. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

I have to be careful when walking down Memory Lane. How about you?

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