Sorry for the time between posts. Finals are in less than a month so it's crunch time. Yesterday was the Adoption Walk With Me and despite the cold weather we had a great turn out. I was asked to be a photographer for the event so I will have fun pictures to share soon. If you want to see them all you'll have to join The Adoption Walk With Me Facebook Page.
Anyhow, for today's guest poster, you may remember my cousin J who guest blogged for me a couple of years ago. J is a birthmom and placed her son Kermit (his online nickname) 7 years ago. J volunteered to guest post this time about what life is like now for her. She has been struggling somewhat with her semi-open adoption and would like the advice of my readers. So without further ado.......
As I sit here pondering what to say 7 years after the birth of Kermit, I am listening to some songs that help me in times of stress. One of them that comes to mind is called "The Birth Parent Song". I received it from my LDSFS (LDS Family Services) Counselor on a night when we were out to dinner. I was 6 months pregnant with Kermit (nickname his adoptive mom uses on her blog to keep his name private), and my counselor decided to invite my family and his adoptive parents to eat. As we met in the party room and ate, we had a good time talking. I was getting to know this couple that had been through such a hard time, with the loss of their daughter, Angel Baby (another nickname used to protect her name), at only 10 days old. After losing her, they decided to adopt and I'm glad that they did. They have done such a good job of raising Kermit, and I know that they have given him more of a life than I could have.The song that is typed up is part of a CD that was given to both Kermit's adoptive mom and me, as a gift to help us through any hard times we might have. It was a way to keep us connected through the distance we have (we don't live in the same state). I hope you enjoy it as much as I do."Once I was expecting a baby, marriage was impossible; what was I to do? Everybody knew but me;All my friends told me to keep my child, but something deep inside my soul kept urging me to pray;I bowed my head and found these words to say:What can I do to help this baby of mine? So tiny and helpless, an angel divine;What were his feelings about coming to me?Did he know that some other loving father and mother were meant for him eternally?Why is this happening to me?I know I did some foolish things, it seems unbearable for me to let him go;Yet I'd do anything for him and pray that someday he will know; I gave him out of love, it was no easy thing; When he was born I held him close to my heart; I loved him and kissed him and tried to impart;That I knew the mom and dad God wanted for him; I've come to accept it, I'll never forget him; and I'll be a mother again, I pray;I know my Heavenly Father lives and that he loves me; I know that when I placed my baby, I followed his plan;So when my heart aches for the one, I will always cherish; I turn to Him for help, He listens to my prayers;And peace fills my soul, peace fills my soul; What can I do to help the one I adore? I pray for him daily, and it's come to me lately;His life with them will lead Him home;"You would think that things would get easier as time goes on. I have an open adoption that was offered to me as a choice when I first met his parents . They told me that they would be comfortable with whatever I decided, so I decided on open adoption. We decided on monthly letters, pictures, and then go from there once I was married and had kids of my own. I was married before Kermit turned 2, and had my first daughter before he turned 3. Up until I had kids of my own, I was receiving letters monthly along with pictures. Although I wasn't there to watch his first steps, his first words, etc, I saw enough pictures. Once I had kids, we decided to do pictures every 3 months, then somewhere along the lines, we pushed it back to every 6 months. Now I get a yearly letter with pictures, PLUS I get to see more pictures on his mother's blog that she keeps updated for my mom and me to see. I also have her and her husband on facebook, so I'm able to keep in communication with them. Time flies and Kermit is 7 as of Oct. 30th, and I now have 2 beautiful daughters. My oldest is 4 1/2 and my youngest is 2 1/2, and I love them with all of my heart. They're a handful at times, but I have a very loving and supportive husband that has been good through this whole experience. Every time Kermit's birthday comes around, he tries to be there for me and help me through it. It's especially hard for me because with the financial hardships in our marriage, we haven't been able to have another baby. As I sit here and watch all my friends have boys, I wonder if Heavenly Father will ever bless me with a boy. Will I ever have a chance to see what it would've been like if I would've kept Kermit? Of course I understand that I can't replace him, nor is it right to compare him. I just want to have a son to fill that joy that is missing in my heart, from placing him with his parents. I want to have a son that will love me for who I am, a son where I can watch him grow up. It's not the same, and I understand that, but shouldn't I be able to have a son of my own. I repented of my transgressions of having a baby out of wedlock, changed my life and was married in the temple, but will that day come? Let me ask you readers something. I would love the comments, especially if you are a birth mother yourself and have gone on to have kids with your husband. Is there ever a right time to have another baby of the same gender as the one that you placed for adoption? Will life be easy, or will you find yourself comparing, playing the "what if" game?The other reason why I am writing this experience down, is because I love my cousin Sharon. She is a very strong woman, who went through a teen pregnancy, raised a daughter by herself, went on to become married to a wonderful young man, and then wasn't able to have any more kids. After trying, they decided to adopt and were blessed with Emily, and I'm excited to be able to meet her after we move to UT. Anyways, Sharon started participating in National Adoption Blog Month about 2 years ago, and she asked for volunteers to write down their experience as a new birth parent, a birth mom who just placed, or a family member that was there as a support for either woman. I volunteered and sent my story to Sharon, then I e-mailed Kermit's mom and she also submitted her story. Now I'm volunteering once more, only I'm writing down my thoughts of struggle as I near the date of Kermit's baptism (in 1 more year) and the thought of possibly not being able to go. See, we have an open adoption, but to me, it seems like it's a semi-open adoption. I know their last name, have their address, have them as friends on facebook, and have a chance to see the blog that Kermit's mom started as a way for me and my mom to keep up with his daily life. However, I can't visit him nor can I call him. Up until now, I've been okay with it because I have a family of my own that keeps me busy, I've lived far away from him, and he's been too young for me to communicate with him. However, my husband will be graduating college in December and we have decided to move to UT. Kermit lives in ID and this troubles me, because now I puzzle with the thoughts of wanting to go see him, of wanting to call him. I, too (like Sharon), watch Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant. I very much see myself as Caitlyn and Tyler placed their daughter Carly up for adoption, and also have an open adoption. At the young age of 16, they made a grown up decision (I was 18 when I became pregnant and 19 when Kermit was born) and yet they have contact with Carly's parents. They can call her parents, they went to visit Carly when she turned 2 (?), and are planning another visit. They also get letters every 6 months with pictures. If they have the contact of an open adoption, then what is my adoption? Ok, here are some more questions for you readers. Is it too pushy of me to bring up the situation with Kermit's parents, and see if they're comfortable with visits? We'll finally be close enough where it will only be a 10 hr drive to see them, and I would love to finally be able to meet him. Also, if I already have their last name and address, why don't I have their phone number? Sometimes I sit there and cry because I can't call him on his birthday, or call him on Christmas. It's something as simple as that, and yet I don't have that privilege. Is there ever a right time to ask his parents? Is there a group of people in UT that can help me with this part of my life? I've been to LDSFS before and done a couple of counseling sessions with other birth moms 4 years ago, but would love to meet with some now that can help me. Will things ever get easier?I hope I haven't bored you all, but this is my experience.