Monday, September 27, 2010

Some Blogs I love to check...

I love to read blogs, here are some of my favorites... check them out :)

http://meghanloveskayden.blogspot.com/ A Mother’s Love

http://anickelsworthofcommonsense.blogspot.com/ A Nickel's Worth of Common Sense

http://mamamem.blogspot.com/ Adoption and Foster Care my Personal Experience

http://becauseadoptionmatters.blogspot.com/ Adoption… Changing lives from beginning to end

http://birthmothers4adoption.blogspot.com/ Birth Mothers 4 Adoption

http://mamavalerius.blogspot.com/ From Another Mother

http://ldsadoptioncouples.blogspot.com/ LDS Adoption Connection

http://diaryofabirthmom.blogspot.com/ My Adoption Journey

http://shanaemykael.blogspot.com/ My Adoption Journey (A different one)

http://etropic.blogspot.com/ Neither here, nor there

http://notjustabirthmom.blogspot.com/ Not Just A Birth Mom

http://sisterhoodofthematernitypants.blogspot.com/ Sisterhood of the Maternity Pants

http://stefaniejinelle.blogspot.com/ Stefanie Jinelle’s Journey

http://birthmom-buds.blogspot.com/ Birth Mom Buds

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Get out your tissues...a beautiful Birth Mom kept, then placed...

This is Jill's story... Here is her blog

I never, ever wanted to be a birth mother.

I always thought that a birth mother was a woman who had a baby she wasn’t ready to parent, and I think I was born ready. People would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and while I had an answer for them (which changed with my age), I always thought, what a stupid question. I am going to be a mommy when I grow up.

Adoption itself I was familiar enough with. My mother was adopted at birth and although her family’s a little crazy, she had a perfectly happy growing up, and she always knew without a doubt that she was loved. I thought of my mom’s birth mother only to wonder if it was she who was responsible for my height, or my nose, or my bosom, and to wonder if she was any less crazy than my maternal grandmother. But I was grateful for her. Because of her, my mom has an eternal family, and she grew up with a strong testimony and everything a birth mom could want for her child.

As for me, I never felt that I had it in me to be that selfless, that noble. When I love, I love deeply and with my whole soul. I didn’t think that I could ever give up a child I grew and carried and birthed. Of course, I never thought it would be an issue for me. At the age of 24, I’d never been on a date. When church leaders spoke of chastity, all I could think was how nice it would be to be in a position to worry about keeping the law of chastity! I’d all but given up.

Then I met H. We met in March, on MySpace. How embarrassing is that? But I didn’t mind. H was clever and charming and funny and he told me I was beautiful. I decided I was in love with him. I knew what I had been taught, but I think I always believed that H was my one and only chance at any kind of relationship, and I let things go too far for fear of losing him.

Things inevitably ended. H dumped me at the end of July, and I was completely devastated. He said he still wanted to be friends. I cried for weeks. I was inconsolable. Then came the news that my father’s brain cancer had returned, and he would have, at most, six months. I was fired from my job two weeks later. Insult, meet injury. Despite his promise, H kept his distance, and I tried to persuade myself that it was for the best. I spent time with my father and I am so glad I did. Six months became two weeks, and my dad died on September 9th.

I heard from H off and on. He seemed to be considering a relationship again, or at least that’s how it seemed to me. I was grieving the loss of my father and I sought comfort where I could. I mistook H’s sympathy for affection. I found out I was pregnant two days after I turned 25.

I was horrified and ashamed and frightened. It seemed too much to deal with. I didn’t pray, but I shouted and railed at God. “I get it, okay? I screwed up. Fine. Message received. Now make this go away.” At first I only told my mother and my bishop. But a few weeks later I tired of bearing my burden alone. I told H.

I had hoped that the news might scare H into growing up, growing a spine, growing a brain. He’d been immature and unreliable, and I knew that had to change if he was going to be in my life now.

He didn’t change. I saw him last in November of 2008.

I considered adoption. I browsed profiles on the LDSFS website. I found three couples I like. I met with two of them and decided a third choice would be too much for me. I liked both couples immensely and felt that they would be wonderful parents. I wished I could give each of them a baby – a baby, but not my baby. I knew it, I thought to myself. I just can’t do this. I’m too selfish.

I decided to plan on single parenting. I bought a crib, a car seat, diapers, Onesies. Adoption was ever present in the back of my mind, but I pushed it away. I wanted my baby. I wanted her more than I’d ever wanted anything in my life. I spent hours every day staring at my ultrasound pictures, rubbing my belly and talking to my baby, impatient for the moment when I would finally meet my baby and hold her in my arms and be her mommy.

The moment came later than I’d planned, after 36 hours of labor followed by an emergency c-section. She was the most perfect, amazing little person I had ever seen. Weeks before the birth, I’d told myself that if adoption was the right call, I’d know when the baby was born. What a stupid thing to think! As soon as I saw her, some deep, primal part of me said she was mine, and that was that. The decision was made.

Being a single mother was hard work, exhausting and unforgiving. I loved it, though. And I loved my baby girl. She was my entire world. I thought she was absolutely perfect, probably the most perfect baby to ever be born. She was calm and happy, rarely fussing, and she slept and ate well.

But I couldn’t get adoption out of my head. It had taken root in my brain months before and wouldn’t loosen its grip. If I had a free minute or two, I was on-line, looking at adoption websites and profiles and blogs. I cried as I browsed. What a horrible mother I was! I had the most beautiful, most perfect baby in the world, and I was trying to find a couple to pawn her off to. What was wrong with me? And yet I couldn’t stop. I spent hours on-line, scratching my adoption itch.

I loved my baby more deeply and completely than I’d ever loved anyone in my life. But I had moments when I was holding her or feeding her or bathing her and I felt that I was living someone else’s life. That I was raising someone else’s baby. I hated those thoughts, and when they came I held my baby a little tighter, worried about my sanity and my fitness as a mother.

H made another appearance in mid-August via late-night e-mail. He’d sort of internet-stalked me and found out I’d kept the baby. He wanted his rights and threatened all sorts of nasty legal action. He implied that he would seek full custody.

I panicked.

I called my caseworker at LDSFS and arranged to meet with her on Monday. I had notions in my head of having his rights legally terminated, of restraining orders and court orders and a police-enforced safety net. H had shown his true colors during my pregnancy, and I knew that I didn’t want him in my baby’s life. I was terrified of what influence he would have on her, what he would teach her and expose her to, and I was convinced that if he had custody he would corrupt her, confuse her, and turn her against God.

I wasn’t going to let that happen. She was innocent and sweet and pure, fresh from Heaven. I was determined to keep her safe. Once again I looked at couple profiles on-line. I liked several but none really stood out. One couple sort of did – their profile was well-written, sans spelling or grammatical errors, and their picture was charming – they’d adopted a beautiful little girl 18 months ago. But they didn’t meet the criteria I had in my head. I wanted baseball fans and they watched ASU football. I wanted people with educational experiences like mine, and they were both overeducated. He reminded me a bit of my oldest brother, but in my mind, they simply wouldn’t do. So I moved on.

Or at least, I tried to. God had other plans. The names of that couple came to me over and over again. Every time I saw a list of couples hoping to adopt, there they were. I swore their names were boldfaced on one list I saw, but closer inspection showed their names in the same type as the other 30 or so couples listed. And there they were on another page. On another blog. On another list. And another, and another. I shut my computer off, thinking that I needed a break, as I was clearly losing my mind.

I prayed, not for the first time, to know what to do. I hated the answer. I was not placing my baby for adoption. “Well, Heavenly Father,” I said, “That’s nice. But you gave me agency. So … yeah. I’m keeping her.”

My baby woke from a nap and I fixed her a bottle. As I fed her, as I burped her, as I changed her diaper and rocked her to sleep, the names of that couple came to me over and over again, steady and strong as my beating heart.

This went on for two days. When I met with my caseworker on the third day, I begged her to help me sever H’s rights. She explained that would be a difficult thing to do. She asked me if I’d considered adoption. It was then, I think, that my heart accepted what my spirit had known all along. My baby wasn’t supposed to be mine.

She was seven weeks old. I was her mommy. How was I going to do this? My caseworker promised she’d help me find a couple willing to be very, very open. She mentioned the names of a few couples, but as she spoke, I made a connection that I should have been smart enough to make days ago.

“I know exactly where she belongs,” I said, looking down at my sweet baby napping in her car seat. I told my caseworker the name of the couple that had been haunting me for days. A phone call was made, and I arranged to meet the couple on Thursday.

I was more nervous about meeting them than I had ever been in my life. But I knew as soon as I entered the room that they were my baby’s parents. My baby knew it, too. I handed her first to her daddy. My little girl had a very expressive face, and while I could get smiles out of her, she most often looked puzzled or thoughtful. Not now. This newborn baby, this tiny girl, looked right into her daddy’s eyes, and she gave him the biggest smile I’d ever seen. She was enchanted. It was as if she’d said, “Oh, Daddy! There you are! I’m so happy to meet you at last!” I took a picture of my little girl with her new mommy and daddy. I had the most amazing peace. For the first time in over a year, everything in the world felt right.

When you are a mother, you have this innate awareness of your baby. Your baby is … well, yours. She belongs in your arms. I let friends and relatives hold my baby, of course, but when I did so my arms felt empty. I was on the alert, making sure the baby was comfortable and happy, her head supported, her limbs arranged just so. I was attuned to her so completely, I could hear her squeak or grunt from across the room. I could never relax when anyone else was holding her.

When I handed my baby to her mom and dad, something very curious happened. My mommy radar went away. My arms didn’t feel empty. I was at peace. I relaxed for the first time she the baby had been born.

I decided to place her in two weeks, on September 9th – the first anniversary of my father’s death. I decided that, that way, I’d have one day a year to be miserable, and I could be happy the other 364 days. Those two weeks were the shortest of my life. I had to fit a lifetime of memories into fourteen days. I took more than a thousand pictures. I skipped naps and meals so I could hold my baby as she slept. I whispered things to her, that I loved her so very much, that her mommy and daddy loved her already, and that she was going to have the most amazing life. And then on the 9th, I signed a sheet of paper that said I wasn’t her mommy anymore, and I handed her over to the woman who was.

The drive home was surreal, short and brutal. I’d been a mommy for nine wonderful weeks, and now my baby was gone. I wanted nothing more than to die. I missed my baby so much that I thought the pain would rip me apart. I felt like I’d been poisoned and I was dying slowly, the very fabric of my being dissolving and disintegrating from the inside out.

The first two weeks were without a doubt the worst in my entire life. I don’t actually remember them very well. Then came the first visit with my baby and her family. And it was wonderful! It was amazing, and comforting, and happy. My baby didn’t feel like mine anymore. She was theirs, as she was always meant to be. I knew on a cellular level that this little girl was where she belonged, in the home that Heavenly Father intended for her.

I love that little girl more than I have words for. She stole my heart. I miss her every day. But I would place her again in a heartbeat. She has the most wonderful parents and big sister that a girl could ask for. She was sealed to them in the temple in December. She is healthy and smart. She is the happiest baby I have ever seen. She seems to have an innate knowledge of just how deeply she is loved, and it gives her this magical, peaceful quality I can’t quite name. I’ll say it again: She has amazing parents. They can give her everything in the world she could ever want or need. The only thing they couldn't give her was a body, and I am so thankful that my Father in Heaven trusted me with that awesome responsibility. Her parents love her, and they love me. Because of my decision, both of our lives are forever changed for the better, and I am forever grateful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Wonderful Open Adoption Story...

This beautiful young lady is Cami! Her story is very sweet! I love how she feels about adoption!!!
"Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Oliver Goldsmith

When I think over my high school career, one thing stands out the most, Lily's adoption. This marked a struggle, but a changing point in my life and I have been grateful ever since.

During my sophomore year in high school I was making choices that weren't the greatest. But it was a total shocker when I found out I was pregnant. But I knew way before I took that test. I stared at the positive sign thinking, "how did it get this far? It should have never gotten this bad. What happened to my relationship with my Heavenly Father?". I was scared at what laid ahead.

The next few weeks were a blur. I hid it from everyone. It was heart wrenching when I was named cheerleader of the year, knowing I wouldn't be back the next season. It was heart wrenching when I finally told my Dad, knowing I could no longer hide this secret and I needed help. I knew he no longer trusted me, and it hurt. I just wanted to hide in my room and cry. Instead I had to finish the school year facing my peers. Although I didn't come out in say it, rumors were already being spread and it hurt. During this time I could only think about me; How I could not longer cheer, how those around me could no longer trust me, how things in my life were going to change.

My Dad counselled me to go to LDS Family Services. At first I went to make him happy. I listened, but I didn't really feel. My caseworker said one thing that always replayed in my head though, "It doesn't matter what is best for you but for your baby". Or something to that effect. Although during this time, I didn't act upon this, it was a constant reminder in my head.

In July of 2008 things changed. My then boyfriend and I started having more problems and things ended. And my family was in shambles because of other reasons. With my world being thrown up around me, I tried to focus on the one thing I still had, this pregnancy. I wanted to parent this child so badly, but I knew I had to what was best for my child and I was going to do whatever that was, even if it hurt me. I was doing all the necessary steps for adoption but never came out to say I chose adoption. Maybe then I wasn't sure, maybe I just wasn't confident with it yet.

I started looking at couples online. I changed the requirements with every search. But for some reason I always ended up looking at families who already had children. For some reason I was drawn to them. But nothing like when I read and looked at T and B's profile. Their kids I loved by just looking at them. I emailed them for the first time with one line. "how do you feel about openness?" They emailed back and their response to my question just felt right. We started emailing daily. It was the highlight of my day. I would read, reread, and then email back to them. Their children asked me the cutest questions like "what color is your phone?" or "how many trophies do you have?". I fell in love with this family. They felt like my family. The told me about this book called, "For the Love of a Child", I went and got it the next day. I read it all in one night. I cried and had a strong feeling that this was the family.

We agreed to meet for dinner. T & B, my sister, my dad and I all met up at California Pizza Kitchen. They mostly talked as I listened. I was nervous and shy. With a little push from my dad I asked the one question I had been longing to ask, "Will you adopt my baby?". They said yes. We hugged and took pictures. We agreed to meet up again, this time with the kids.

Our next visit was at the park. The kids brought me a stuffed bear with their voices recorded telling me they loved me. We played. C (their youngest), tried to lift up my shirt to see baby Lily. I loved them.

The next few weeks went by fast. They were getting ready for the new baby, and I was looking forward to holding that little angel in my arms. My due date came and went. No baby. A few days later I was induced. The next day at 8:30 pm, my angel was born. They laid her in my arms and I just stared. She was beautiful, and I was in love. I called T and B to tell them she was born and they were excited. They and the kids visited me the next day. Holding Lily and loving her. I also felt the love they had for me.

I took Lily home to spend a few days with her. I wanted to spend time and love on her. I held her, kissed her, and told her how much I loved her. The last night she was visiting my home, I held her all night. We both slept through the night cuddling. It was amazing. I met up with her parents in the morning to take pictures (courtesy of Lily P. Photography). And we agreed to meet that afternoon for placement.

We left my house late and arrived at the agency to T & B, and my caseworker already waiting. I held Lily as I signed the adoption papers. I wanted that reminder why I was doing this right there in my arms. I knew she deserved a two-parent home, parents who prepared and planned for her, the opportunity to be sealed, and a life I couldn't give her. I am grateful for T and B being there and being ready for her. We walked to the car together, I buckled her in her car seat and I gave her a million kisses. I hugged Tand B. We said our goodbyes. The car ride home was the worst. Were Lily once sat, I now sat. My sisters on both sides of me holding my hands. I knew it would be ok, but right then it hurt so bad. I spent the evening with one of my best friends. We watched movies, played games, and ate yummy chocolates Lily's family had brought me in the hospital. All while I laid around in my pajamas. T and B surprised me with pictures that night of Lily and her siblings. I loved them.

This family has become some of my greatest friends, and support. They not only love Lily, but they love me, and there is never a doubt in my mind about this. We have hung out many times since placement. Each time I was grateful that this family was ready for Lily and that I was led to them. There is not one thing i would change.

Adoption has helped me become a better person. It is a huge part of my life. I often feel the blessings adoption brings to my life. I cherish the visits, and the friendships I have developed from Lily's entire family and extended family, adoptive parents, birth parents, and so many other people. I love all of them. I feel blessed to be apart of adoption, especially an open one. I often feel like I am apart of special group of people. I am thankful for my relationship with my Heavenly Father, and how much he has brought me up in my hard times. Adoption isn't always easy, but it's well worth it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

An Adopted Linebacker With an Unlikely Story

Found this at : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703453804575479752667612216.html?mod=wsj_share_facebook

Bryan Kehl leans back, smiles and says his dad has always been a "storyteller."

He wraps exaggerated finger quotes around that last word to make it clear the stories his father tells aren't always rigorously fact-checked.

Six of Gary and Nancy Kehl's nine children were adopted, including Bryan. As a rule, there were never any distinctions made about whose genes came from where: Everyone was to be treated equally. But there was always one exception—and it always involved Bryan.

Emile Wamsteker for The Wall Street Journal

Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl, above after a preseason win against the Patriots, was adopted. He didn't find out until last year that his father was NFL journeyman running back Maurice Turner.
.In one of those yarns that his dad was so fond of telling, Bryan's biological father was an NFL running back. "I wasn't sure it was true," he says. "Like I said, my dad tells stories.''

The first time Bryan touched a football, however, out in the family's backyard in Salt Lake City, he decided to play running back. All through youth football and until he went to high school, he was a running back. Now, some 20 years after that first run, he thinks his fondness for carrying the ball was influenced by family lore. "I'm sure that had something to do with it. My brothers all played defense."

Mr. Kehl is a strapping 26-year-old linebacker entering his third season for the New York Giants. He's no longer a running back. He plays defense like the rest of the Kehls.

But when it comes to his path to the NFL, there's something basic that Bryan Kehl doesn't know—whether his athletic talent was something bred into him by his parents, his siblings and his Utah childhood, or whether it was coded into his DNA.

Emile Wamsteker for The Wall Street Journal

Kehl with his adoptive parents Gary and Nancy, and his wife Jessica.
.Unlike most people, whose sense of their origins grows deeper as the years go by, Bryan Kehl's has moved in the opposite direction. The mystery of who he is, and exactly how he got there, is still a deep one.

Nancy Kehl had three children when she decided she wanted a fourth—a half-white, half-black baby girl the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' adoption program couldn't place.

Mrs. Kehl says she found out soon after the adoption why that might have been the case: Her neighbors told her that her children could no longer come over. Still, four years later, there were three more biracial Kehls: Bryan, Kortney and Ed. The first three arrived as infants while Ed came as a 12-year-old.

Kehl Family

Bryan Kehl with his biological father Maurice Turner.
.The Kehls were a rambunctious and athletic lot, but Bryan's supposedly special "background" still earned notice. There were times when Bryan would juke a defender or make a great run and the neighborhood kids would say: "Yeah, his birth dad's an NFL player."

The years passed. Bryan never searched any NFL rosters. He didn't go look at old college media guides, either. To him, it was just a story. And besides, he knew who his parents were.

Meanwhile, up in the St. Paul, Minn., suburb of Shoreview, Maurice Turner would catch a college football game, hear the surname "Turner" and stop for a second, wondering if that was his son, the child his long-ago girlfriend Amy had put up for adoption. His other two sons, with wife Keren, played football.

"I knew that the child's name wouldn't be Turner, but the thought runs through your mind," he said.

Keren hadn't dated Mr. Turner for two weeks before he told her that he had a son. That son's birth date was etched first in Mr. Turner's dog-eared Bible, above where his marriage to Keren and the birth dates of their other children, Maurice Jr. and Billy, eventually went. "Our boys never felt cheated," Mrs. Turner says. "It was just something we all always knew—that one day we would find him and our family would be complete."

The Turners searched for the baby over the years, even calling the LDS church. But Mr. Turner never knew where the child was born and he couldn't get comfortable with broaching the one tenuous connection he had: As college students at Utah State, he and Amy had set up one of his friends with one of hers and that couple had married.

Amy—now Amy Smith—was in Utah, too, and raising five kids with her husband, Brian.

She had once loved Mr. Turner. She had ignored that he was black and Catholic and that she was white and Mormon, even as her parents pulled her out of Utah State because they couldn't ignore it. She cajoled her way back to campus, where she and Mr. Turner reunited. Later, he graduated and she found out she was pregnant. She thought they would get married; he said it wouldn't work. She said she would put the baby up for adoption. He begged her not to, pleading that he would raise the child.

"I didn't like that idea, either. I felt the baby deserved a family, to have a mom and dad that were stable," Mrs. Smith says. Then, more quietly: "Twenty-five years later, I have found out how much that affected him. I really didn't think he cared that much."

Bryan Kehl certainly didn't care. Not at BYU, not on his LDS mission in Toronto and not even when he was drafted in 2008. Then a Giants physical found he had a sickle-cell trait, and head trainer Ronnie Barnes asked for a family medical history. "I had no idea," he remembers.

Turns out Mr. Barnes was adopted, too, and Mr. Kehl felt a seed of curiosity. That seed sprouted last fall, when on a random November night he decided to see if a 1983 draft list lived on the Internet.

There it was, in the 12th round to the Vikings, a running back from Utah State named Maurice Turner.

Mr. Turner, who had spent five years bouncing around the NFL, was listed at 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds. In high school, Mr. Kehl had found an old form in a filing cabinet listing his birth parents' races, ages and personal traits. The mother was smart and good-looking. The father was gregarious, 6-feet-tall and weighed 200 pounds. "Honestly, I still thought it was a coincidence," he says.

Still, he casually mentioned it to his mother at Thanksgiving. The next week, while in California, Mrs. Kehl told her girlfriends and suddenly these Utah housewives had a case to crack. One friend started Googling Mr. Turner, another found a number and Mrs. Kehl dialed it.

Is this Maurice Turner? Did you play football at Utah State? Did you give up a child for adoption 25 years ago?

"He said, 'I have waited 25-plus years for this phone call,' " Mrs. Kehl remembers. "He was so humble, so sweet. He was awesome. But why wouldn't he be? Bryan is, too."

She gave him her son's number—their son's number—and minutes later, on Dec. 3, Mr. Turner and Mr. Kehl started what would become a two-hour conversation. They talked about life, family and faith with voices that sounded eerily similar. Mr. Turner cried. Their wives emailed pictures as they talked and the two men knew: This was real. "He right away let me know that he felt he had a great life, that he had been loved, that he had been very well taken care of. There's a sense of relief that he had not been abused," Mr. Turner said. "At the same time, there's a sense of anger: Those same things, I could've given him."

As Bryan and Maurice talked, Mrs. Kehl put off telling her husband, calling various children first. Until she called Ed, who, ever-conscious of their dad's feelings, scolded her.

"I was blindsided," Gary Kehl says. But with a cheer his children say is characteristic, he adds, "That's my wife, full-steam ahead."

As fate had it, the Giants closed their season at the Vikings on Jan. 3. The Kehls flew out from Utah, the Turners met them in the team's Minneapolis hotel and Bryan's wife, Jessica, said hugging Mr. Turner "felt familiar."

Surreal, awe-inspiring, indescribable—the Kehls and Turners run through a litany of adjectives trying to explain that first meeting. "You don't want this person to have a negative impact on your son because you've worked so hard to raise him this way," Gary Kehl says. "That was solved as soon as we met him. I started telling him about Bryan, he got emotional and I knew then. I put my arm around him and I said, 'Hey, I understand.' "

The Giants wrapped up their ignominious season in Minnesota and a few days later, Bryan and Jessica flew to Utah. In mid-December, Mr. Kehl had reached Amy Smith through the wife of that old friend of Mr. Turner's, and now he wanted to meet her, too. "If it's sitting right there, you want to know," he says.

The easy familiarity took longer with Mrs. Smith. She'd never considered that the baby would find her, and she still harbored shame from the out-of-wedlock pregnancy all those years before. She prayed and she worried, and it took one stilted meeting, one better lunch and six weeks before she told her kids.

She invited Bryan and Jessica to her home, she called her parents and six siblings and the ice officially broke when her 11-year-old son, Max, not realizing Mr. Kehl is biracial, said, "Wow, he's been in the sun."

One of her sisters bawled when she saw him, her father kissed him and Amy's brother John, a monstrous BYU fan, insisted he'd always felt some sort of inexplicable affinity for Mr. Kehl. "Everything about this story is crazy," Mr. Kehl says.

Crazy and inspiring and wrenching, too, Mrs. Smith says.

"Maurice had been praying for this for 25 years. I hadn't," she says. She uses the words "grateful" and "blessed" to describe meeting Mr. Kehl, and she expresses happiness that he is in her life. But she also says she felt more in control before, and this "is a little tricky."

There's no guidebook on how any of this works. Mrs. Smith doesn't know how often to call. Mr. Turner can't call enough. Mr. Turner always said he had three sons. Mrs. Smith is bothered when someone refers to Mr. Kehl as her son. "That's for who raises you," she says.

So what about the old "story" Gary Kehl used to tell his son that his birth father was an NFL running back?

Mr. Kehl says he remembers someone at the adoption agency telling him that, although he can't remember the details and never saw any paperwork. His wife, Nancy, still suspects that her husband made the whole story up.

Either way for Bryan Kehl, whether the story is true or not and whether he owes his talent to nature or nurture, it's all the same. "I went to two parents who love me and were the best parents that a kid could ever have and I was born to two parents who are awesome parents," he says. "I know I'm lucky. This could be a very different story."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Grandmothers LOVE for Adoption

This is one of my favorite people in the World! Her name is Toni Redfern and you all might recognize her from "THE R HOUSE" She is Lindsey's mother in law.
Toni was my young woman's leader when I was growing up. I just love her and she made a huge difference in my life! She is a wonderful and beautiful Grandma too. I asked her if she would share her thoughts on open adoption with us, from a Grandma's point of view. These are her thoughts :)

We have been blessed with 2 grandsons through the miracle of adoption.

Adoption was something I never really thought much about. When my oldest son found out he was unable to have biological children I knew right away we would welcome any child whether it was thru adoption or any other means. I automatically assumed (not even know much about opened or closed adoption) we would know the birth mom and possibly the birth father. It seemed natural, important and in the best interest of everyone. How could a child feel a sense of wholeness without knowing their story? There is a saying that the greatest gift parents can give their children is to love one another. Well, I would add to that the best gift we can give them is to love everyone involved in their life that is healthy for them. Not to say there weren’t some concerns. But in expressing a few concerns to my son... I loved what he said. “They (the birth parents) will be in their life as long as it is healthy for our children”. The children always come first. We have been blessed with 2 incredible birth mothers. One that came into our lives when she picked our kids when she was 7 months pregnant and one we knew for several years before she placed with our son and his wife. They are part of our family. They gave our family a gift that we can never repay.

They (the Birth Parents) are an important part of our grandson’s stories. Their pictures are in their rooms. They will grow up knowing and loving them. One thing I love most is our birth moms have developed a friendship. They have a bond. Their sons are brothers whom love each other. When they send gifts they send them to both boys. What a gift for our grandsons to have so many people who love them. They have grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. They have more love than imaginable on every side. What a blessing adoption has been in our lives!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jessalynn's story from birthmothers4adoption

Our next guest blogger you might know... Jessalynn from the popular blog http://birthmothers4adoption.blogspot.com/ I am excited to share her story,(she is a birth mom) I think she is an amazing woman! I love her blog and read it often.

I know you guys are probably sick of hearing from me but in light of National Adoption Month and the 15 Month anniversary of my placement I thought, Hey I haven't told my story yet on this site.

I met my birthfather in basic training, I thought I was in love...or maybe I was just smitten with the fact that he claimed to be in love with me...I still haven't decided. Anyway, I got home at the end of October, found out I was pregnant a couple days before I was to leave to college.

My biggest fear was telling my parents. I could think of nothing worse then seeing my parents faces when I gave them the biggest let down of their life. To look into their eyes and tell them that seemed impossible. After they had been told they didn't react too bad. They were dissapointed but mostly sad. After we had talked for a while, they told me to call my college and make sure I could still live in student housing. Luckily, I was still able to.

I moved in and because of some differences i moved to a different set of housing, then my life changed.... I walked into the apartment and I met this girl. Her name was Alyson. Now at first I wasn't a big fan of her, little did I know she would be the source of relief and overbounding joy, she would help me get through one of the hardest things of my life. After several days of 24/7 throwing up I figured I should probably divulge the information that I was with child. I told them and to my surprise they weren't totally rude to me, instead they opened up their arms to me. One day after having gone to LDS family services I had a pile of adoptive couple profiles. I was looking through them on the floor. I had a yes, no, maybe pile. I had certain things i really wanted. ( I am not going to share those because I fear that adoptive couples will feel they need to have those. This is not true. Every birthmother has different wants and needs.) Anyways...Alyson came in from class and asked what they were, I explained they were potential adoptive parents of my baby. Aly responded non chalantly and walked into her room. Minutes later she came back out and told me of her aunt in uncle who lived in another state. I told her to have them call me or send me their profile. Well her aunt called me on the phone. She sounded nice on the phone at first impression then I found more out about her and her family. They were involved in a lot of the activities I had hoped and dreamed that my baby would be able to be involved in as well. She had two other biological boys. Big brothers is something I had always wanted. Then she sent me their profile. I looked at that profile for hours. Scoping everything out. I cried, I smiled, I pondered.

One day, I just realized, This baby belongs to them. I had my caseworker set up a face to face so I could tell them. They thought I just wanted to meet them. I put together a basket with Alyson and had it all ready for them when they came down. I was very excited, nervous, and scared. I probably tried on like 7 outfits...Aly kept saying, " You look fine" My biggest fear was that they would think I was some stupid teenager who went out and got knocked up. When they walked into that room I felt calm instantly. Then when their boys walked in I KNEW I had made the right choice. They are the two sweetest most well mannered boys i have ever met. I handed them my basket with the sonogram and some baby stuff. They just looked at it. They didn't really say anything. I started to freak out then. No response I was worried they were going to say no. After the meeting we went to Ice Cream. We talked and I enjoyed getting to know them. Overall I was pretty quiet. I went home and I just cried that night. I can't think of anyway to describe it. You feel relief because you know you found the parents and yet you feel an overwhelming grief because it becomes real. I have never wept like I did then.

-- On August 20, 2008 Josie Jeanne was born.

She had a hard time getting here, but she made it. I regret it with all my might but I didn't even hold her right after she was born. I was just so exhausted. But on the other hand I think it was a good thing. She was able to have that bonding moment with her parents. The next two days went by so fast. Then I had to place that beautiful baby girl into their arms at placement. It was the hardest moment of my life. I didn't ever think in a million years I could feel hurt like that. But I did. I placed her in their arms and I walked out. That night I went to my parents house and didn't sleep at all. I was in shock. I kept putting my hand on my stomach. I was missing my baby girl. I wept, I looked at pictures. I missed her so so much. I cried for probably three months straight. Then in November I had the chance to see her for the first time since placement. When I held that baby girl again, the sadness started to heal, when I saw her with her family and how well she fit in, the sadness was even more alleviated. I knew she fit. She belonged to them!

I went home feeling worlds better. Skipping ahead. When I was getting ready to go to her sealing my friend who had planned on going with me skipped out. So I invited the guy who I had only been dating for a week (I know crazy! Yes, we are still together! lol ) and my birthmother friend and of course Aly. We went and I had some time with Josie before both the blessing and the sealing. When they came out of the temple they looked so beautiful. They looked so happy. It tore me up and made me happy all at the same time. But it was then I knew with no doubt in my mind I made the right choice.

Josie's adoptive parents are the most amazing people I have ever met and I am so thankful for them. I am thankful for their two sons. I am thankful for Aly. Most of all I am thankful for God.
19 months later I still miss Josie every once in a while and I still think about her everyday. But it gets better everyday. I can not ever regret my decision because she is with who she belongs to.
I know that when she grows up she will know who i am and how I feel about her. She will know she is loved by a ridiculous amount of people. She is a beautiful girl and is growing to be more beautiful everyday. I love my Josie!!