Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Open Adoption Bloggers Interview Project

     Happy Interview Day!  Today you are in for a special treat:)  For the past several months I have been part of an online blogging group- Open Adoption Bloggers.  Heather, the awesome moderator, put together a very cool project where adoption bloggers from all walks of life were paired up to interview each other.  
     I was doubly blessed to be partnered with Elle from It's All Write Here.  She is an adoptee and the birthmother to an adorable one year old boy.  I really enjoyed getting to know her through her blog and our interview.  She writes with passion and raw honesty.  She really has a unique voice to offer!  By the way, she also interviewed me.  You can read about it on her blog at
     In all there were 120 participants in this year's interview project!  You can check out the other interviews at . 

Here is the interviewer:)  Enjoy!

1.)  The quote on the home page of your blog is beautiful.  "And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.  And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.  Get over your hill and see what you find there, with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."  I see it is an excerpt from a song by Mumford and Sons.  Why did you choose to add it to your blog and what does it mean to you? 

     Oh, I just love that song. I feel like it embodies everything I have gone through and as it is with life will go through in the future. I always wish that with everything I do I do it with grace. When I think of the last line "with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair" I imagine the little child part of me dancing with a free spirit away from all the burdens of an adult life and the choices I have made. I think we all have hills to climb and when we do reach the top of whatever it is, we will dance away with the freedom and happiness we find. Ah, probably the child me talking, haha. 

2.)  Congratulations on your upcoming move to Arizona!  It sounds like there are a lot of changes ahead for you.  What are you most looking forward to about the move?

     I think I am most excited about doing something different. I feel like I have been stuck in this rut living in this place I have lived for the majority of my life and this move will force me to get uncomfortable. Even though I am essentially estranged from my family I think putting that space between us will either patch up parts of the relationship or it will crack and fall apart even more. Either options are fine with me but I would love to rip this band-aid off and find out. Ok ok, I am actually most excited about the school part. I love learning and I love school so I cannot wait to be back in school. 

3.)  I read in your blog that you grew up in a closed adoption and did not find out that you were adopted until you were 14.  Today openness in adoption is the "norm."  How do you think an open adoption would have impacted your life?  If you could go back and change one thing, what would you change?
     Oh boy I think open adoption would have really changed my life. I would have grown up without feeling like I had no one in a sense. I always kind of felt like I never belonged to anyone and while having my birthfamily in my life while growing up may not have changed that knowing who they are now. Knowing who they were, seeing their pictures, knowing their names, possibly having a relationship with my siblings would have put to rest so much heartache I went through because I never knew. I think it would have calmed me down a lot and I don't really know how to say it but I was always on edge wondering if this or that person was my birthmom and it made me so incredibly anxious all the time. It I could change one thing...I wish I had been placed with a different family. In some respects I agree with my birthfamily choosing adoption for me after getting to know them, but it would have been placed into a family that my birthfamily would have picked out. 

4.)  You searched for your birthfamily (nparents) as an adult.  What is the best thing to have happened as a result of finding them? What is the worst/most painful thing?

     Best thing, filling that void and having my questions answered. Worst thing, finding out they really and truly never wanted me, tried to abort me and probably thee most painful thing was finding out my birthmom never held me and never cared to know I was a girl. That hurt so bad. She didn't choose adoption because she loved me so much she knew it was the best thing, she chose adoption because it was convenient for her. 

5.)  It is evident from your posts, just how much you love the son you placed for adoption, Asher.  What are the most important things you want him to know about you as he grows up?   

     Oh geez, I guess it would be that even though I am not parenting him he is on a daily basis my world. Every life altering decision I make comes down to him. I want him to be proud of me and I want him to know that even though I made this choice for us it was done purely out of love. I would do anything for him, no matter what. In my mind, he will always be my son and he will always have my unconditional love. 

6.)  What are your biggest hopes and dreams for Asher as he grows up?   What are your biggest fears?

     I have so many! I want him to be happy(Asher means happy & blessed). I hope that he values education. I hope his parents give him the freedom to explore his talents and the things he loves to do. I hope that one day we can have a relationship and he lets me be apart of his life. My biggest fears are that he won't understand the choice I made. That he decides he doesn't want me in his life would probably be the biggest fear. 

7.)  I've read (and experienced) that loss is not something you "get over", it's something you learn to live with.  You write about the "new norm."  What does your "new norm" look like today?  Who/what is the support system that helps you make it through? 

     My "new norm" is really just dealing with the things right in front of me not thinking ahead to the what-ifs and maybes. There is a lot of grief there that I have to constantly swallow down because I don't want it to interfere with my daily life. Life needs to continue, I will not let my emotions get the best of me. I have to remember that with every choice I make there is someone(Asher)who in the future or even maybe someday soon might be affected because of those choices. I think most of my "new norm" is hiding. I tend to hide it all with smiling and being this happy person that if I were to ever be emotional it would just be so strange because it never happens. I know that I have most definitely grown as a person and I like that about myself. I have a richness about the way I look at life and choices people make. 

8.)  In your "About the Author" section you explain that writing your blog is a "release" and that you hope to look back in ten years and "be in utter awe" of how much you've changed.  If you could jump ahead ten years, what would you like your life to be like?

     I definitely hope to be done with school and in my chosen profession. I would like to at least have my Masters degree. I would like to say married with kids, but I honestly don't know. Definitely want to be able to say I have been to Australia, New Zealand and Europe. 

9.)  What is the most annoying question people ask you about being an adoptee?  a birthmom/first mom?  (Hopefully I haven't already asked it!)

     About being an adoptee: hmmmm, I always hate the questions that assume your birthparents are terrible people and your adoptive parents are saints. Hate those. About being a birthmom: Probably my biggest pet peeve is when people say "I could never do that"(in reference to relinquishing their child) or "you are so strong/brave"...hate those.

10.)  What is one thing you'd like to talk about that I didn't ask?

     I think you asked some GREAT questions. I would hope that if you or anyone else wanted to ask me questions they should definitely feel free to do so. 

11.)  And finally...Describe a perfect moment or perfect day- recently or in the past-  that still makes you smile when you think about it.
     My friend S and I went out and we randomly had a sleepover a few weeks back. We didn't get home to bed until 7am and we spent the whole morning laying in bed laughing over anything and everything and random pictures we were taking of each other laughing. Pictures of pure happiness, laughter and ridiculousness. It was SO much fun to be able to let loose like that and just enjoy being in my early 20's. That was definitely a perfect morning. A perfect day is yet to happen ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jim and Amy Hoping to Adopt: Travelers on a Journey

Jim and Amy Hoping to Adopt: Travelers on a Journey: The following blog was written by my awesome husband Jim. He was inspired to write this after a walk we took a few days ago. Waiting...

Travelers on a Journey

     The following blog was written by my awesome husband Jim.  He was inspired to write this after a walk we took a few days ago.  Waiting for our birthmother and our match to come along has been difficult, but we are both learning so much along the way.  Hope this encourages you as much as does me!

     We went for a walk a few days ago.  It was a longer walk, inspired by the cooler air, the changing of the seasons.  It was relaxing.  It was a chance for us to talk, to destress, to bond.
     At first we mostly just enjoyed being back outside, the cool breezes, the falling leaves, a dozen deer slowly crossing the road in front of us, the ensuing stopped traffic.  The leaves were starting to turn colors, the trees entering a new stage of life.  Clouds checkered the normally blue sky.  A few birds were singing and rustling in the sagebrush.
     We started down the hill of Skyline Park and headed into the valley.  We crossed the bridge over the stream and continued to reminisce.  As we advanced along the foot path flanked by juniper trees we began to leave the shadow of the hillside we were rounding.  A few more steps and then...something moved by Amy's feet as we walked by.
     I am not always the most perceptive person, but somehow this caught my attention.  A stick moved as we walked by it.  We stopped and looked at it, even took a couple of pictures.  The natural light was just perfect to accentuate the moment.  We were walking our paved path and this little traveler was just trying to get across it.

Our little walking buddy
      We walked a few more feet and saw more fellow travelers.  We took a really good picture of one with its shadow just right.  They were "walking sticks", a type of creature I do not notice very often.  But, on this pre-twilight stroll Amy and I saw NINE of them.  Some others had been stepped on.  They had not been seen. 
     As we started to reach level ground near the top of the valley, I had a thought.  How often have I walked by these creatures and not seen them?  How often have I been unaware of fellow travelers along my journey?  Sometimes I have been convinced I was alone when I clearly was not.  Others have journeyed with me; on this walk just a few days ago I began to be more aware of their company, more thankful for our shared space.
     Our conversation changed to the adoption process as we began to climb the final hill on our walk.  We talked about some of the phone calls.  We had heard about two of our birthmother contacts who had given birth.  We wondered how their journeys were progressing.  We even breathed out a prayer for them as we walked.  May they complete their journeys and arrive safely home.  May they not get stepped on; may their journeys be seen by other fellow travelers who can help them along their way.  May the mothers and babies find happiness. 
     As we crested the final hill our thoughts were on the road ahead.  We still had a journey ahead, but there would now be a downhill slope into the home stretch.  Conscious of those who have already walked with us along our adoptive journey, Amy and I offered one more prayer:  "God, be with our birthmother and let us all make it home safely...and soon."