Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kayla's story is a MUST READ!!!!!!!!

This is beautiful KAYLA! She placed two children after marriage for adoption.

My name is Kayla Janssen and I am currently 20 years old. I am going to school full time for Criminal Justice a year behind what would be “my class”. I had plans to go to school my first year out of high school, but I found myself in August of my senior year (2007) pregnant.
My pregnancy with my son was complicated, and frustrating. When I was a few months, my boyfriend at the time decided that he was going to join the Marines...so I spent nearly 3 weeks without any support. He came home earlier than expected because he was discharged for medical reasons. I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia and had high blood pressure and severe swelling through my entire pregnancy. I had to wear slippers to school, and sit sideways in the desks. I cannot even explain the hurt that I received from my fellow students over the looks and comments they made when they saw me. I was the perfect kid. I never did drugs, I never went to parties, I got straight A’s, and I volunteered. I was the girl that NO ONE could have ever imagined would be a teen mom...but little did I know that my whole world was about to come crashing down.
(3D pictures 7 months along James)

I gave birth on March 25, 2008 to my son James. My boyfriend was a little supportive which helped. We had been dating for a little over a year when I got pregnant, but had been sexually active for almost 9 months before that. At this point in our lives, we were set on staying together, and raising our son as a family. On July of 2008 we got married, and I got pregnant that same week. I found out a couple months later and was terrified to tell my husband, as he only wanted one child.

So we made plans to give, what would be our daughter, Emma, up for adoption while keeping out 6 month old son James. On October 14 of 2008, my husband came home from work at 2am after work and told me that he wanted a divorce after less than 3 months of being married... So I found myself alone with my 7 month old son, and almost 3 months pregnant with my daughter, and I had NO idea what to do, or where to turn.

Backtracking a little bit... Earlier in my teen years (when I was 15) I lifeguarded in Waupaca, WI at Spencer Lake Christian Center, which was an hour away from my home. While I lifeguarded I lived with a couple whose names were Bob and Tracy. Tracy's mother, Mary Lou, worked with my mom in our church office, so that is how I met them. I stayed at their house when I would work 2 or more days in a row, so that I wouldn’t have to drive every single day. After I stopped lifeguarding in 2007, I hadn’t spoken to them......

I moved back in with my mom and dad on October 16 of 2008. After a while I told my mom I was pregnant again, and that I was looking into adoption for both of my children. She had heard through Mary Lou (remember, that lady that my mom works with) that Bob and Tracy had been trying to have children for going on 5 years. They had been trying to have their own children since the year before I stayed with them. They had looked into adoption in early 2008 and things hadn't been working out the way that they wanted. So, they stopped looking and in March of that year Tracy prayed this exactly... “God, if you want us to have children you need to drop them in our lap.” That was right around the time James was born. I hadn't found out they prayed this until later.

So, in November I sent Bob a message on facebook of all places, just telling him my situation and that I had heard that they were looking into adoption. We met at Culver's for the first time and they met my son James. They were so excited, and I was too. After meeting there was a lot to think about and deal with. What if I did decide to do adoption? Would they take good care of James? Would they take Emma too? There were very few things that I was completely certain of when I decided to do adoption...James and Emma WERE going to stay together, and they deserved a mom AND a dad that loved them, and loved each other. So, the choice was made.

December 19, 2008 I signed temporary custody forms so that Bob and Tracy could have James in their home. My husband at the time (we were not together) refused to sign the papers, even though he knew it was what was best. So, Tracy, Bob, my mother, and I went to where he worked and had him paged so he could sign the papers. He had refused to return my calls, or return my emails, and he left me no choice. He hadn’t seen James in nearly 3 months, so that day I brought James over for him to see him before he left. That day at his house we got into an argument over something that was probably really dumb now, and my x got violent with me, tried to pull me down a flight of stairs, and threw a mayonnaise jar at me... after filing domestic abuse, I KNEW that I had made the right choice in adoption. There was NO doubt in my mind.

(8 days before placing James for adoption )

I gave James to Bob and Tracy for Christmas on December 20, of 2008. It was his first one and I wanted them to be able to share that with them. They said he was the best Christmas present they ever got. :)

The days to follow were hard. I remember very vividly the day after James went to be with Bob and Tracy....I woke up in the morning thinking, “Why didn’t James wake me up at all last night or this morning?”...Then I leaned over to pull him out of the crib...and it was all gone. I cried every single day in the shower for weeks after that...It was harder than I ever imagined.

A few weeks after that I went to visit him and when I walked in he didn’t even recognize me. He wouldn’t even smile at me, or come by me if I called his name...It broke my heart to know that I would NEVER again be his “mom” that he came to if he had a “boo boo” or if someone was being mean to him. That would be Tracy.

At this point, James was 9 months and I was 5 months pregnant with Emma (she was due on April 29...Bob’s birthday).

Bob and Tracy kept up with me throughout my entire pregnancy with Emma, which was really good. I didn't have any issues the entire time I was pregnant.
(7 months 3d Emma)

I basically had the most perfect pregnancy that anyone can ask for. I gained a whopping 20 lbs, and could eat whatever I wanted whenever. Although she did wake me up at 3 am every single night. I can’t complain too much. On April 17, 2009, I woke up, went to take a shower and “tada” there was my mucus plugg. I do have to say that it was one of the nastiest things I have ever seen...but it is all part of life I guess...At 11am I went into labor. We called Bob and Tracy, and let them know, we had called them earlier that morning to tell them I had lost my mucus plugg. They had an hour drive to get to where I was. They showed up, and all I saw was excitement in their faces. That night, after 9 hours of labor, and one giant push, she was born, and they named her Emma Rose.

They hadn't told anyone what they were going to name here, so it was exciting. We stayed in the hospital together, and the hospital actually gave them a room to stay in. Tracy had been taking supplements so that she could breast feed, so as night she stayed in their room, and during the day they all came into mine. On Sunday, I went home alone, and they went home with my daughter.

That day was probably one of the hardest. Me and my mom go into the car and just started crying. Neither of us knew what to say to the other because we were both hurting, and nothing was going to change that. The day I went home was terrible, not only because of the fact that I had just given Emma away, but me and my mom decided to go to Pizza Hut and pick up some pasta...We get all the way home, which is about 30 minutes away, and it’s the wrong one. We started bawling over it, even though it wasn’t a big deal, but our whole day had just fallen apart. Well, Pizza Hut came and delivered our right order after my mom gave them a guilt trip about how I had just given up my child and just wanted some stinking chicken alfredo. 

We terminated our parental rights a couple weeks after Emma was born, and me and my x-husband filed for a divorce that same week. In June of 2009 his probation was revoked from the charge I had filed against him in December and he was put in jail for 45 days.

Our divorce was finalized on October 16, 2009, coincidentally exactly one year from the day I moved out.

Bob, Tracy, the kids and I keep in touch a lot, and it is a very open adoption. James is familiar with my family, and Bob and Tracy are comfortable with them calling my sisters "Aunt". I am just called Kayla, but James is catching on quickly to that and it makes me even more hopeful about my future relationship with him. I get to see them once or twice a month, which is awesome! I know that God orchestrated this whole situation with Bob and Tracy, before I even got pregnant, so that the relationship was there when I needed it.

This whole thing was never easy, and it still isn't. Seeing people with babies makes me cry, and seeing my own kids makes me cry. It is one of the hardest things I have ever, and probably will ever, have to deal with in my entire life. I know that there are people that hate me for the choice that I made, but they are the ones that wish they would have made the same choice themselves. But I also know that it was what was best for my kids. The unconditional love that they have now, from a mom AND a dad, is worth every second of pain that I have had to go through.

I have gone from being a married mother of 2, to a single adult. And I know that this will affect my life, and hopefully other peoples in a positive way. I just know that God has used me to bless Bob and Tracy's life, along with the lives of my two children. My dream is that this story will touch someone’s life. Only one person, that is all I ask, and if it does, I would do it ten times over.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blankets needed for Birth Moms....

My friend Jessa needs your help:

Hey guys! Just an update! We got 500 Blankets 4 Birthmothers! It was awesome!! However...AMAZINGLY...We have used all of them up! I have been putting them together with mini birthmother baskets etc and the girls are LOVING them!!

So Please if you have any free time send them this way!
email me for my address!!

The reason for the blankets: I want to deliver them to the different agencies that I talk to (all together there are 6) and they have agreed to bring them to the hospital after the birthmothers have placed so they do not go home empty handed.
Where to send them:
Jessalynn Bills
10279 South Chestnut View Court
South Jordan, Utah

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Need to share info? Let me know! Here is some for ya :)

Clicking on Picture will make it bigger and readable :)

for further details people can leave an email addy as a comment and i can make sure they get on the mailing list or they can join the seattle birthmothers facebook grp page- http://www.facebook.com/birthmothers

Friday, July 23, 2010

Melissa's Story

Life is a tapestry woven together by the threads of our experience. Each choice we make is a single thread and each day thousands of these threads are intermingled. They cross over each other and the threads of our friends and family. And often our threads cross over the threads of people we don’t even know, people we see in cars driving past, people who work for us and who we work for. Sometimes out threads even become essential to the lives of others, but we can’t imagine how until our threads run into theirs.

I sat on the hardwood floor of my birthdaughter’s home last week, cradling a mug of hot coffee, watching my birthdaughter play with my own daughter. My infant lay on the floor by my side, my birthdaughter’s mother and I sat, enjoying the playful scene together. The threads of our connectivity are thick and complex.

Each time I look at my eleven year old birthdaughter, I see her looking up from my arms the night she was born. As I watch my daughter playing in her birthsister’s home, I am swept back in time to the night I gave birth for the first time, to the afternoon I met her parents, even to the day I found out I was pregnant.

It was January of my senior year. I left school just after my last final exam to walk the three blocks to my family’s doctor. I had been feeling ill for several weeks, nauseated on and off, tired, yet restless at night. “Is it possible you’re pregnant?” the nurse asked candidly. I flushed a deep red wondering how honest to be with the nurse who treated my mother too.

“Um, I don’t think so…” I hedged, “…but it’s possible.”

“Okay,” the nurse said politely, “I think we’ll do a pregnancy test just to be sure.”

The feelings I experienced when the nurse announced that I was indeed pregnant are indescribable. One feeling cannot encapsulate where my mind went. On one level I was terrified, shocked, confused and scared; but another part of me instantly shot through time. I could already imagine this baby that was growing inside me. The mixture of pride and fear I felt were unequalled by anything I had ever experienced.

Over the next six months, my life was marked by negotiations. I spent hours negotiating with my parents about what the “right” thing to do was. They were supportive and glad I was carrying the pregnancy to term. Of course they were also very sad, worried and fearful about what my future as a pregnant teen would hold. When I told my Dad I was pregnant, he cried. He said, “I’m so sorry sweetie, because nothing you do now is going to be easy.” His words were chilling; I knew he was right.

Coming to the decision to place my baby wasn’t easy; neither was convincing my boyfriend. It took me months to decide that I wasn’t ready to be a mom. But when I did, I was sure of it. I knew my boyfriend and I couldn’t do this together—we had a tumultuous relationship. We argued a lot; broke up often. I couldn’t see bringing a child into that situation. But he couldn’t see “giving his baby away.” To him, placing our baby felt like abandonment.

But finally, a month or so before I gave birth, we were able to agree on adoption. We met with a young couple who had been waiting to adopt for several years. After years of In Vitro Fertilization, they were ready to face the reality that they weren’t going to have biological children.

Over iced coffee in the heat of an August afternoon, my boyfriend and I realized we liked them, we trusted them; we thought they could be the parents of our child. That very afternoon we asked them if they would be willing to meet our families.

The night I gave birth, my mom and midwife stood by my side. For six hours in the hospital we walked, breathed, rested; walked, breathed, rested. Contraction after contraction ushered in the night. As I paced back and forth in the hallways, our baby’s adoptive parents sat, quietly waiting.

When my birthdaughter was born, it was almost midnight. I reached out and took her from my midwife, holding her slippery, naked body close to my chest. I beamed, hardly breathing; tears filled my eyes as we stared at each other. Her piercing eyes remain burned in my memory. My mom went out and brought in my birthdaughter’s mom and dad. They smiled, they cried, I handed her to them.

We cried together, we hugged each other, finally we slept. The next night as I prepared to leave the hospital, my mom presented me with an idea. “What about a ceremony, a passing over ceremony? Some people do them now to mark the moment of placement.”

Many of us gathered in the hospital’s chapel. My aunt read a poem; my birthdaughter’s new grandmother gave me a book of angels and said that I was an angel because I was giving her son and daughter-in-law the greatest gift of their life. My father prayed, we sang, and then it was time. As I stood, everyone stood and gathered around me, some were crying, some touching my arms holding my birthdaughter. I walked to my birthdaughter’s mother and placed her baby in her arms. Through our tears we hugged; we thanked each other. She held her daughter in her arms and for the first time she looked like a new mother.

As I look at her now, almost eleven years later, in the heat of summer that once ushered in her daughter’s new life; she looks like an experienced mother. And I am the new mother. Now we are both mothers and in some way that makes us both whole. We sit and watch our children play and it seems that the threads that make up life’s tapestry are woven together in the only way they ever could have been.

Melissa Nilsen is a mom, a birthmom and a writer. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two daughters. She blogs at: www.birthmomguide.blogspot.com

Pic I is Melissa the night her birthdaughter was born.

Pic II is Melissa's two daughters

Pic III is Melissa with her oldest daughter and her birthdaughter

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Birth Mom Chat Forum for just Birth Moms

I was thinking how I wish I could make a chat forum for just birth moms, where no one could come on and say, PICK ME.... place with us.
A safe haven for Birth Moms to go chat. I went on a search for it and found this one site. I have checked it out the best I can without joining (because I am not a birth mom and want to respect that) So if your interested... here it is :)
Their chat and website is open to any and all birthmothers and pregnant women considering adoption. They are not affiliated with any one agency so it doesn't matter whom an expectant mother is working with or whom a birthmom placed through. They are simply here to provide support. If Birth Moms want to attend the chats and post in the forums, they do have to create an account in the forums but it is quick and free.
Just fill out a short application, they review it, and then you are approved. Sometimes it can take up to 24 hours to be approved. If someone does join the forums or chat and seems shady or like they are soliciting then that person is temporarily banned until we can get to the bottom of it. There are always admins in chats.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Share this with someone...

My friend Kelsey Snyder Stewart, wrote me an email.

This is what she said ,"I know you ladies reach so many in adoption and thought I would ask if you would spread the word about this Bloggers Unite site. I am always disappointed when November rolls around and the media gives one little blurb about adoption, and then it is forgotten. We all know that there are changes that need to be made to the system and we have all seen what a mass of voices can do: sometimes it can move mountains! So I ask that you make your readers aware of this, perhaps they would like to join the cause to bring adoption into a new light, a knowledgeable light so we can get rid of the taboos and allow women of lost to live full lives. Allow adoptive parents to understand better what is needed from them. Allow adoptees the same rights as all other Americans. It is a good cause and it is also time to do something about the broken adoption system."
I agree fully!!!!!!!!! Lets all start now... Lets see what we can do together! :) Lets make OTHERS AWARE OF ADOPTION!
This is the site.

November 01, 2010

Adoption needs so much reform. November is National Adoption Awarness Month, let's all be heard!

Have you ever heard of National Adoption Awareness Month? Neither have many other people, yet adoption has touched more lives than you know. In fact, there is someone you know right now who's life is involved with adoption in some way, shape or form. Adoption is still in the dark ages with so much controversy and taboo still attached. Birth Parents, Adoptees and Adoptive Parents are what is called the triad, but most of the attention adoption gets is negative about birth/first parents and adoptees. Most of the good stories revolves around the adopting parents. This event is here to raise awareness for the brave men and women who have lost a child to adoption and the adoptees that are looking for basic rights as Americans. Please, if you have been touched by adoption, join this group and spread the word so that when November comes we can all raise our voices and make some changes to a system that needs so much reform! This is not a fluff story for CNN in November, this is a way of life that needs to be changed in so many ways.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

As her Mother, I had to choose what was best for her....

My Adoption Journey

For those of you who have been involved with adoption, in any way, know that it's one of the hardest, most incredible things a person can go through. It’s difficult on all ends of the playing field; for birth parents, birth grandparents, adoptive couples, etc. Well my name is ShaNae, I’m a birth mom, and this is my story.

In August of 2009 I discovered the heart dropping truth of my pregnancy. I have never felt so alone in my life as I did at that moment. The world literally came crashing down and all I wanted was to disappear. The news sent me into a complete whirl pool of emotions. Shame, guilt, disappointment, fear, anger, sadness, excitement, and worry were just to name a few. After disposing of the pregnancy test, I immediately drove to Planned Parenthood. There, I hoped to receive some kind of help or comfort. As I drove up and walked in I remember feeling like all eyes were on me. Like everyone in the room was thinking, "eww, you're just another pregnant, unmarried teen. The world could rid itself of you." However, the nurses were very kind and helpful. They helped me understand my options and move towards the next important step. As shamed as I am to admit it now, I will tell you that abortion was my first choice. I was over come with fear and knew that my pregnancy would be high risk. So, I asked the nurse what needed to be done to receive an abortion. She informed me that because I was under 18, an abortion required parental consent. You can imagine my horror upon hearing that...but needless to say, I nodded my head and said ok. I shook in terror the whole ride home, knowing that I'd have to tell my parents right away. If I was going to get an abortion, I wanted it ASAP. I knew I wouldn't be able to go through with it the second my baby had a heart beat.

I'm going to skip some details, simply for time’s sake. I will include, however, that I told my mom the moment she arrived home that day. Dad found out from mom that night. Abortion remained an option for only about a week after that. I just couldn't do it, it was wrong.

Anyway, at 8 weeks, news of the pregnancy was between me, mom, dad, the birth father, and my bishop. When I was 2 months along, we went to LDS Family services. And that's where my adoption journey really began. I met with my case worker (whose name I will not reveal for her own privacy's sake so we'll just call her Jan) and she put me on the path of options. I began meeting her once a week to help me through my emotions and sort out my problems. She also opened my eyes to every one of my decisions and helped me move toward the one I eventually felt comfortable with.

Now, before I continue, this is why I chose adoption:

After a lot of thought, prayer, and consideration, I knew adoption was the right choice for me. It's not for everyone, but it was for me. There are several reasons for my decision. Some are religious, some financial, some emotional, and some related to circumstance. My top reason, however, will forever and always be this: My daughter is my most precious gift. And I love her unconditionally. I believe that when you love someone unconditionally you put their needs before your own. As a firm member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know that every child is ENTITLED to certain blessings that come from the sealing covenant. That sealing covenant can only take place when a child has a married, temple-worthy mother and father, a condition that I was unable to offer at the time. As much as my heart yearned to keep her, and raise her, and have her as my own, I would never be at peace knowing I could have given her more. I wanted her to have stability. I wanted her to have a mom AND a dad. Parents who were mature and wise. I wanted her to have a stay at home mom, and younger siblings to love on her to pieces. I couldn't offer those things, and probably never could. I had to listen to my head, not my heart. I gave her more by placing her for adoption than I ever could by keeping her.

On June 1st, 2010,
the most beautiful baby girl entered this world. She weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. She has strawberry blond hair and adorable dimples when she smiles. This precious little girl is my daughter, Sophie. After a long 9 months of anxiously waiting, she arrived right on her due date. Which just goes to show that she's very special, seeing as only 2% of babies come on their due date;). Before I get into the emotional aspect of things I'll give a time line of how things went that day. I went in for an OBGYN appointment at 9:00 that morning. At approximately 11:30, my doctor came in and stripped my membranes. He said that I would feel some pain the rest of the day and then sent me off with a paper telling me to come in Thursday at 7:30 to be induced. Well, I instantly felt crampy and nasty and by noon I was experiencing my first major contractions. I got home by 12:15 and decided to stay home for a couple hours just to make sure I wasn't having false labor. By 2:30 we were out the door, on our way back to the hospital. By 4:30 they had my epidural in place and were wheeling me into a delivery room. Sophie was ready to come by 7:00 p.m. but they waited as long as they could so that her head was really low. She was delivered at 9:08 p.m.

The whole process went so unbelievably well and smoothly. I know it's a miracle (seeing as my pregnancy was high risk and the doctors were sure I was going to die…HA!) and I have the prayers of many to thank for the safe arrival of my little girl. She came by the use of forceps and they hardly left a mark on her tiny little head. It was by far the most amazing, spiritual experience I've ever had. My mom and Rebecca (Rebecca is Sophie’s adoptive mom) were in the delivery room with me. Rebecca cut Sophie's umbilical cord and even kept the bloody shears! haha I told her she should frame them. Sophie cried when she came out, like babies should, but immediately calmed down once placed on top of my chest.

Ok, now for the hard part. I was in the hospital for three days. By noon on Friday, I was released. Once home, I was able to spend a few hours with Sophie before heading to the adoption placement. We took a nap, curled up on my parent’s bed, and then woke to bathe and get dressed. 5:00 p.m. was our scheduled time to meet at LDS Family Services and do placement. We arrived on time and while I was signing paper work, Sophie's birth father was in another room with Sophie and the Adoptive Couple, saying his goodbyes. Once that was over, my parents, Sophie, and I met with the Adoptive Couple in what they call the "group room". We exchanged gifts and spent some time together talking, exchanging memories. Then, I asked to have some alone time with Sophie. Everyone (meaning Troy, Rebecca, my mom and dad, and our case workers) left the room while I shared some final moments with Sophie. I talked to her, I prayed for strength, and I fed her a bottle. After about 20 minutes I was ready to go. I felt like I was dragging out the pain. So I called them back in and handed Sophie to Rebecca, exchanged tight hugs, and left. And that was it. Sophie was gone.

I had spent the past 9 months preparing for that final moment. The moment when I'd literally have to say goodbye and relinquish my parental rights. Well, I can tell you that no amount of counseling could have prepared me for the real thing. It was the most heart breaking moment of my life. Living through that first night without Sophie was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. My arms literally ached to hold her in my arms. The memories of her sweet little face and her big beautiful eyes looking up at me caused me so much emotional pain that it actually became physical. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't function. I barely made it through that first night. I was screaming out prayers to just make it through with out going insane. Only two days later it was still extremely hard, but I could already feel Heavenly Father easing my pain. I know that the pain will never fully leave me, but I do know that it will fade to a point where I can start to live again. This whole thing has been really hard for not only me, but my family as well. It's been an amazing, difficult journey for all of us; one that has brought us all closer together.

I want everyone to know how much the adoptive family mean to me.
The adoption itself was/is extremely agonizing and painful, but the Adoptive Couple have made it 100 times easier. They have opened their hearts and arms to me and my family. They text me pictures of Sophie every few hours just to reassure me that she's alive and safe. They allow me any kind of contact I need to fully heal from this experience, and not just me, but my family as well. They have become another branch to our family and because of that, I know that anyone who wants to, can meet little Sophie. She's my little angel, OUR most precious gift. I have entrusted her to a family that can offer her more than I ever could. I've heard several other birth moms say that their adoptions were made easier because they felt like they were carrying some one else's baby. Well, I never felt like that. I have always felt like Sophie was my daughter, fully and completely, and that I was her mother. And THAT is why I had to make the choice. The choice that no one else could that would determine the quality of her future. As her mother, I had to choose what was best, since she lacked the ability to choose for herself. I know that I love Sophie with all my heart. I have never experienced this kind of love before now. It is incredible. And it is because I love her that I was able to let her go. I put her needs before my own, and though extremely painful and heart breaking, it was right. And I know I'll be blessed for it. I can't wait to create more and more memories with her throughout her life. I am so blessed to even have that choice. Thank you Troy and Rebecca. Thank you for taking such good care of her, and me.

If you read this and have any other questions you can visit my blog at shanaemykael.blogspot.com
Thanks for your time, and thank you Karine, for allowing me to share my story.