Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wedding, Wedding, Wedding

Janessa was first get married.

Megan was second.


Daniella was married early in December.


Persephone married sometime in 2009 also.

That would be 4 girls married that attended the first Birth Mother Retreat. 2008.

Megan's Birthday

Celebrating Megan's birthday at the office

Tawnia, Daniella, Janessa, Gabby, Megan, Tara

"Finding Experience" from Adoptive Mom

Recently 2 of my past Birth Moms found their child on Facebook and made contact. These 2 children are siblings. Birth Moms did not know each other. Below you will find the emails from the Adoptive Mom (edited).

Dear Tawnia,

I wanted to send you an email and let you know how much I appreciated talking with you a couple of weeks ago. I appreciated the information that you gave me concerning Birth Mom (BM). Needless to say, it was an exciting and an emotional week for the our family!

My daughter was thrilled, at first, to be in contact to BM, but for some reason has become reluctant to continue correspondence with her. Even though daughter is 19 years old, she is still immature in some respects. She tends to 'jump in with both feet' initially and then realizes that she maybe she should have taken things a bit more cautiously. Her primary response, in dealing with the uncomfortableness and fear, is avoidance. I know that BM is hurting right now. She took her cue from my daughter’s enthusiasm in the beginning and I think tried to establish a relationship with daughter too quickly. I don't know what the outcome will be as far as daughter wanting to pursue the relationship in the future. That will have to be daughter's choice.

On the other hand, the process with son (17) and his contact with BM is going very well, so far. BM contacted me first. I was able to correspond with her for several days and we both had time to analyze the situation. I was able to let my son read her correspondence to me and he became comfortable enough to begin corresponding with BM. They are being very patient with son and just asking him questions to get to know him better. He is asking questions of them and they are responding with honest, heartfelt answers. It has been a positive experience for all involved, so far.

I guess the reason that I am telling you this is to let you know that if a birthmother contacts you to get advice about contacting the adopted child, especially if the child is still young, please tell them to try and contact the adoptive parents first. This way the adoptive parent can help gage and monitor the process for both the child and the birthparents. The adoptive parents know the child's personality and can help the birthparents know how to properly correspond with the child.

In corresponding with both BMs, they both have expressed to me how much they appreciated your love, concern, help, and counsel through the pregnancy, placement process and beyond. They both have a great love and respect for you. One told me that if it hadn't been for your love, support, and encouragement during a long phone call on the night before daughter was placed with us, we probably wouldn't have received her. Emily also has expressed to me how much you helped her. Thank you!

In corresponding with both BMs, I have realized just how strong their love for the children they placed is. I guess for some reason I thought that love and concern would fade somewhat with time. If anything, it is stronger. I also know that the remorse that they felt when they decided to place their child is still there. I hope though, this has faded somewhat with time. I know that they have thought about and wondered about the child each day since the placement. I am sure it is a great sense of relief to know that their children are safe, healthy and doing well.

Thank you again Tawnia! Thank you for helping us have the experience of being parents to our chidlren. We love them tremendously and we are trying our best to help them become people that will want to make good choices.

Adoptive Mom


Second email..........
Tawnia,

Just to let you know, my daughter has had a chance to think things through a little bit more and has again been in contact with BM. I hope that their relationship will progress in a good and comfortable way for both of them.

Another observation that I have made in corresponding with BMs, which I didn't express to you previously, is that the birth mothers hold on to every piece of information or item sent to them about the children that they placed. In fact, I would dare say that they "cling" to it. Both BMs can practically quote to me the letters that I sent to them and have "reminded" me of information that I included about daughter and son that I have long since forgotten. I sent a Christmas card to son's birth parents and family and BM commented to me that she "recognized my writing immediately!" Who would have thought that she would have imprinted in her memory my hand writing?! How wonderful, powerful and divine is a mother's love for a child. Any mother's love, be it a birth mother or an adoptive mother, for I know that my love for my children is just as strong.

Adoptive mom

________________________________________

Response by Tawnia

Thank you for this beautiful email. I love my girls. I also love the adoptive couple, but my focus has been on the healing of the girls. Although they have pre-marital sex, got pregnant and “decided” to place their child for adoption, it did not occur without grief and pain. I have witnesses this over and over for 20 years. I don’t think people understand the feelings on either side of the adoption triangle. LDS Family Services has come a long way since 20 years ago in the open-ness, but the education is lagging behind and I hope to make a difference there this year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

3 Weddings

I attended 3 weddings this year of past birth mothers. All 3 girls attended the first birth mother retreat. Congratultions to all 3.

ADOPTIGON MANAGER

Tara and Tawnia
The Ta Ta Girls


I was given a new responsibility at work. I am now the Adoption Manager, which means I will supervise all adoption services for LDS Family Services. The change started in April 2009. With the help of Tara, we have reorganized our program and materials for birth parents. We laugh when we get together and have a good time. Sometimes we take road trips for work and talk our heads off with ideas of something new to do for the girls. Some of our new ideas include making a birth mom quilt each year with each birth mom making a block; involving FSA more for support; give each girl a binder to “personalize” and keep her important information in as well as help with the grief process. We are including with moms on the FSA board and in helping with the changes.

We hope to bring the same enthusiasm to the adoptive couple work in 2010. Tara and I have been reading and preparing classes to educate the adoptive couples on what a birth mother is experiencing. We plan to launch that in January.

Something else I have notice this year is more phone calls for people searching or wanting information. We cannot give out identifying information at the office, but the people are directed to WARM of Adoption.com. In this age of computerized information, more and more people and reaching out for more to find or be found
.

BIRTH MOTHER GRANDMOTHER - that's me


Rich, a co-worker, teased me and said I was a birth mother grandma. How you ask???


I worked briefly with a young woman that transferred to another office to keep things confidential. As the process continued, I was called upon to work with the birth father. In order to “bond” with him and seek his cooperation, I knew he was a hunter/sport mans/fisher man/outdoors man, as was my brother. We shared stories to get acquainted. Birth father did not want to place, but said he would cooperate with adoption if my brother would adoption his child. Much to my surprise, I called birth mom and my brother and a beautiful baby boy eventually came into my family through this birth mom and dad.


Fast forward to the present…………birth mom and I keep in contact a little. She has fertility issues and lost a pregnancy. Her husband is diagnosed with cancer which puts a hold on further pregnancy plans. They decide to try the adoption process. The study would be completed by another office.

I was sitting in my office one day, meeting with a new birth mom for the first visit. She said she was determined to do adoption—it was the best for her child. I listened to her. She said she had already met a family. I listened. When she told me the adoptive family lived in another state, I thought to myself, I need to show her some of our couples. The couple she met was a friend of her sister and I didn’t want her to try to please her sister. I asked a few more questions and suddenly realized that the couple this birth mom had chosen by the birth mom mentioned in paragraph #2. I was so excited and animated inside my body that I found it hard to contain myself. I continued to “calmly” ask questions to make sure my assumption was correct. I glowed when I realized that my nephew’s birth mother might soon be an adoptive mother.

After several months and some occasional contact from all parties, a baby girl was born the end of the year and placed with her new family. Hence, I am a birth mother grandma.


I must say it was interesting for me, as I am sure it was for adoptive mom, to see the different sides of the coin. As a birth mom, she wanted more openness. As an adoptive mom, she wanted some confidentiality and privacy. All parties are working towards a comfortable balance.

I guess when I have worked here for so long, I might be a part of many interesting things.
Adoptive mom sent me a sweet card……”You have helped me so much in my life. Knowing you has forever changed me. Thank you. I love you.” Reading that and hearing those same words occasionally from other girls, makes this difficult work all worth it. There is no way I feel the same pain that my girls feel, but I am exposed to it over and over. I watch them struggle. I pray for their future success and happiness as they work through their grief.


I NEVER thought I would work with birth moms for 20 years.
Now, I find that I cannot leave.
You girl ROCK!
Go forward with strength and confidence.
Remember you sacrifice and build your future.
No one can fully understand your experience.
But, you are the master of your future.
Make it great!

CLARA = CAPRICE


A previous entry was title “Clara”. In reality, the name is Caprice. She has given me permission to use her name. Since the entry 9/20, Caprice and I were able to meet up again at the FSA conference in Portland. It was so good to see her, even if it was briefly. After our first phone call, she connected to my blog and discovered that her placed daughter was also connected to my blog. Her daughter, MeMe had come to me as part of her senior project to be a positive voice for adoption. MeMe met some of my current birth moms and spoke last year at an FSA event. She created a blog for her senior project and I added it to my Birth Mom blog. Caprice was surprised when she put 2+2 together and realized this young girl was daughter she placed 19 years ago.

Caprice was planning to attend FSA so we could meet in person again. She called about a month prior to let me know that he MeMe had been asked to speak at the FSA conference. Oh, my gosh! Thank goodness Caprice is a prayerful woman. She decided to attend, but be invisible at the conference so that her daughter would not meet her.

Several days after the conference, Meme called to let me know that she would be interesting in meeting her birth mother someday. Caprice had prepared a letter for such a day and I passed that letter on to the family. Before too long, they were exchanging words and hope to meet in person on the daughter’s birthday.


Caprice hopes to be an Outreach Specialist in her stake in Oregon. We were so glad to see each other again. There are happy and sad points to this story---all of which I hope come out in a book someday. I hope to help share the experiences that birth mothers’ have had in the adoption world. Due to some inaccurate shared information, Caprice and I lost contact for many years, but now look forward to staying connected.

GO EMMY


No word from Dr. Phil, but Emmy has decided to write her birth mother story. I am excited for her. There just doesn’t seem to be too many birth mother books out there. I think the world is in a “awakening” time as adoption explodes into a new a positive view. Good luck in the writing, Emmy! Maybe I will eventually get my stories organized and printed. Until then, blogging works for me.

PORTLAND, FSA


The regional Families Supporting Adoption took place in Portland this year in November. Tara and I attended. We met 2 new birth moms there and shared our room with 2 past birth moms. We even stayed an extra night to do a little shopping and relax. (Found some great fabric shops) I have asked that Tara be added to the Regional FSA board in order to bring more for birth mothers to the next conference. We also have a birth mother on our local FSA board. Families Supporting Adoption is learning to involve all parts of the adoption triangle. I hope to see continued improvements as ideas are shared and information brings growth.

Oh no, now what?

Last month I received a phone call from a past birth mom. she didn't expect me to remember her-------but I did. I asked her name. NO, not that one, your maiden name. Once she said it, I recalled my experience with her. Some of my girls, I have limited contact with but I still remembered Sheri from trying to find a family for her child with limited time and a difficult birth father. She found that family and placed her child. She was surprised I remembered her. (I have come to realize that birth moms often feel they are insignificant in this process and deserve nothing for their sacrifice.)

Her call was prompted from another birth mom that I had experience with several years ago. This birth mom placed through a different state (LDS FS) and was referred to me for reunification counseling. Her child had wanted to meet her and the law required (Texas) that they each have counseling prior to the meeting. During our "counseling time", we briefly became acquainted and she helped me work with another birth mom in her area.

This same birth mom (in paragraph #2) became acquainted with birth mom Shari. Not knowing the full story, Shari was concerned that her 17 yr. old child would suddenly come into her life and didn't feel prepared for any surprises. She is now a mother of 2 children and happily married for 13 years. She runs a day care in her home. Shari recalled that some time ago she felt worried about her child and contacted me. At that time, the couple was applying to re-adopt, so I was aware that her child was doing well. She appreciated that information and no longer worried. She told me that all that mattered to her was that her child had a good live and knew where he came from. Sometimes a little information bring much peace.

Thanks for calling!

Search and Find

In the last few months, I had 2 birth moms that did not know each other find the child they placed. The 2 "found" children are siblings. The birth moms found them by searching through facebook with limited information they deducted through the years. I became a part of the "finding" when the adoptive mom asked for proof of their identity, which lead to me.

Many good things have happened through this:

1. Aubrie and Emily have "found" a loved one. I believe it has been scary, difficult and amazing. The "finding" is new, but at this time, they communicate through email and facebook. The children are 17 and 19 years old and had some adjusting to do in this addition in their life. The most joyous thing for birth moms: the child appreciated birth mom for placing and their child was well and happy. (Birth moms are on my facebook account.)

2. The adoptive mom learned more about what it is like for a birth mom to place a child. Hooray and thanks for sharing. This will be shared in another blog.

3. I have a little more contact with "my girls" when exciting things happen.

4. Over the 20 years of working in birth parent services, I have seen changes and hope for continued education and growth. I expect 2010 will bring many changes and perhaps more "findings".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dr. Phill Show

Emmy called me yesterday and told me that she had been checking daily on various television show web sites to see who was asking about ADOPTION. She said she had sent many emails and even some hand written letters. Saturday, Halloween, she was called by the Dr. Phil show. They told her they were interested in her adoption story and they wanted to see photos.

WOW!

She called to tell me and said she would bring me along if she made it to the show.

DOUBLE WOW!

Maybe we can all go..............

In my enthusiasm today, I was searching other web pages and blog sites. I am going to attempt to update my blog and connect to other helpful resources. I think I need to create a "button" so my blog is "fancy" too.

SEARCHING

I heard from a co-worker today that

ADOPTION.COM

was a good source to search as an adopted or as an adoptee.

I believe it is free and there is no age requirement. I think each part just need to be searching.

Friday, October 23, 2009

WEB PAGE FOR BIRTH MOMS

I worte this almost a year ago and never posted it...........

Tara and I are hoping that she can get the Web page for birth moms up and going soon. It seems that other work matters take too much of our time. She has some great ideas and lots of resources to help girls. We are excited about the possibilities. I went through my old phone numbers and I am having someone call past birth moms to ask for email addresses. This is exciting to me, to reconnect to some of the girls. During this process, I am getting phone calls from girls, wanting to reconnect. In fact, Alisse called me today saying that she had a strong feeling that she needed to call me and wanted to offer her help in any way that I might need help for other birth moms. Exciting! She is even going to come to group.


.............now for back to present time.......We have been busy this year reworking the birth parent program. The web page is moving along. My goal has been to get what "I do" all down on paper in an organized manner, so other people would know how to help and what to do. I am surprised at how long it has taken, but pleased to see the project come about. Along with the organizing, we have created various check-lists and continued to find more resources for birth moms. We have been reading books. We are doing classes for adopting couples.

Today, we had a secretary training so that they can become more efficient in the adoption area as well. Time savers gives me more hands-on time.

RETURN FOR HELP

One afternoon, the secretary came to my office telling me my appointment was here. I was concerned because I didn’t have an appointment that I knew about and was afraid I double booked or something. I went to peer into the waiting room and saw that it was a past birth mom from 2 years ago. I greeted her and asked her into my office. I was surprised because about 2 years ago, this birth mom had been rude and the office had been through a big conflict with her and the birth father.

She greeted me and said she wanted to return to group. She asked me if I could help her place her baby (now 2 years old) for adoption with the couple she had picked before. She and her child had maintained contact with this couple. She said she was too young to understand all there was to parenting. She was sorry for what she had done and she wanted a better life for her daughter now.

Now, you can all think what you want. I was just pleased that she felt safe enough to return to the office to talk to me. I told her I would do what I could to help her.

After many months, her child was officially adopted by the original couple. I consider this a miracle.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Group picture of some of the girls at
2009 Birth Mother Retreat
at Zions Camp.
There are more photos on Birthmother Seattle on FaceBook.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

CLARA'S CALL


Name has been changed-----


On the Tuesday following the retreat, I received a phone call from a birth mom that I worked with 18 years ago. I remember her and she remembers me and told me that she had thought of me often throughout the years. (that was a positive thing) What stands out for about this woman was when she said, "I just don't think I can do it", meaning live through placing her child for adoption. I was surprised when she chose to place. And, she did live through it.


She had another support woman in her life and had not kept in touch with me. Now that her daughter that she placed had turned 18 years old, she called me to tell me she was thinking of me and just wondering if I knew anything. I told her about the retreat and how I would love her support in the "work" that we all hope to do. She was so excited. With an email to another office, she will now be trained to do adoption presentations and work with birth mothers in her area. She said, this was her dream come true-------to "give back". Funny, I already thought she had given. I am also thrilled to reconnect to a woman from my past work and to know that she will have much to offer others.


We hope to connect at the upcoming FSA Conference in Portland in November.

RETREAT #2 AT ZION'S CAMP

September 11 - 13, 2009

I arrived at camp a little late because I was coordinating picking up at the airport, packing, making brownies and transporting people. I must say, it was fun from the start and the brownies came in handy on the drive to camp. Upon arrive, we unpacked and started visiting. We had a total of 15 women join this retreat. People were talking past 2 a.m., which is when I finally passed out.



The next day, besides eating, we did some self exploration activities which ended in each of of waving out paper in the air and calling out----"teacher, what does this mean". Cute. We "self explored" several times during our stay.




We also enjoyed the lake, that is until someone polluted it by sweeping geese poop into the water. Not everyone came prepared with a swim suit. Those who did not, enjoyed swimming in our clothing. I just say, getting out of a lake wearing jeans is heavy work. I enjoyed a few jumps on the lifeguard seat until I was told it was "against the rules".

Before leaving camp, we all met to share our closing remarks about our stay. One shared that she had been "praying for friends" and know felt that she had many many new friends. The healing from attending and connecting was great. Another pregnant shared that she now felt that she would be able to place for adoption because she could see that others had done so and survived.
I had been joined by a friend that was there to help do some presentations. In the closing moments she thanked the girls for letting her share in the retreat and expressed interest in joining whenever she was invited and could attend. She honored them for who there were and appreciated their sacrifices. She told the girls, "I think this is what (the connecting and sharing and sisterhood) is what Relief Society if supposed to be like." I agreed and told them to go forth to grow and share with others.





Yes, it was a fun time. It was also, I hope, the beginning of more healing and taking forth a positive message about adoption. I asked the girls to share in the work that I hope to take forward with their help. There are plenty to "get on board" now.

I look forward to next year, more fun and to see what we can accomplish in the next year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

SECOND ANNUAL BIRTH MOM RETREAT

The second Birth Mom Retreat is scheduled for September 11 - 13 at Zion's Camp. We will be meeting there around 7 p.m. I look forward to lots of fun, sharing and connecting. We will paddle boat, journal, walk, eat, talk and more.

I just got a call today from Beth telling me that she and Nicole would be coming. Hooray. Two more to share the fun.

Tara will be teaching a class on personal growth. Julie A. will be doing "Malory Drawing" for personal insight. Sunday, we hope to top of the weekend with personal growth.

Thanks to the internet which includes blogs, web site and facebook, Tara and I are expanding our outreach to girls from as far back as my beginnings at LDS FS. If Aubrie comes, that would be my second birth mom I ever worked with. Tara has even connected to women that did not work with the agency, but wants to participate in the support.

2008 Retreat

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FAST ACTION

Last week, a birth mother was referred to the agency through the missionaries who called the Relief Society President. She has a 2 month old child and was concerned for his safety due to struggle with birth father. She felt it was best to place baby for adoption, as she had planned previously. She came into the office on Wednesday and allowed someone to care for the baby over night while she made a decision about the adoptive couple she would choose. It didn't take her long to find someone she thought would be the "best" for her son. I had to laugh a little when she said she "wasn't very good at making decisions" because she made this decision fairly easily. She knew exactly what she wanted for her son: safety, someone that would love him and want him, a couple that wanted children but couldn't have them. Mostly, she wanted her son to be happy.

She met the chosen adoptive couple the next day. I was impressed with the bond that they developed quickly. Birth mom's story was sad and it thrilled me to see someone reach out to her and support her. The Relief Society president has also been wonderful.

After the visit, birth mom asked the couple to take baby home. Knowing that they might not be able to keep this little boy, they were glad to take him and care for him until it can be determined if parental rights can be terminated.

The couple send email and picture frequently to birth mom. They said I could share. They said that this little boy has changed their life and they would gladly care for him, even if they are not able to keep him.





Birth mom with gift quilt


Couple with Baby

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Imports

I forgot to mention that I have imported my first blog into this blog. The first blog is in purple.

I tried to keep the date on each entry.

PLACEMENT

5/11/2009

Today I met with Lisa and her chosen adoptive couple to do placement. Due to distance, I had not met either party prior to this day. There was some apprehension because birth father had showed up and wanted involvement in the last few weeks of the pregnancy. Although he said he was going to cooperate with adoption, there was still a concern from birth mom that he might try to disrupt her plans for the adoption.

After meeting with birth mom and adoptive couple, we did the official “placement”. Baby was a star at this time by pooping his pants about 3 times in 30 min. Apparently he had been saving up. We all knew that the birth father would be arriving soon, so we decided that they would leave so that they did not bump into each other in departure/arrival. Just as they left my hotel room, the birth father called saying that he was down stairs. I had a brief feeling of panic that they would all collide in the hall way. Lucky for all of us, he came up a different entrance and they missed each other.

During my meeting with birth father, he said he would like to meet “his baby” before he signed. I called the adoptive couple and they agreed to return with baby to meet the birth father. When everyone arrived, I was impressed with the birth father’s tender response in hugging birth mom. He was tearful in meeting the couple and baby. We all visited a short time before he was ready to sign the legal consent. We continued to visit and share information. It was a sweet experience and will bring peace to all parties for the opportunity to meet.

Previously, the adoptive dad told me that their first son was only 19 months old. They had just completed their Adoption Study and were on the “beta” web site. The mom was concerned that their profile would not be seen unless they got onto the “old” web site. They went thru the hassle of getting onto the site and had 2 hits on the same day—both from my birth moms. They were chosen by Lisa. They felt that the Lord led them to each other. They also had picked the same name for “their child”. How cool is that?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

AN IDEA IS BORN

For the past few months, I (Tawnia) have been working with an intern (Tara).
We call ourselves the TA TA GIRLS.

Through all the stress of the work, we enjoy each other.
We both have a passion to connect, help, support, and give a voice to Birth Mothers.
I have a blog---Birth Mother Heroes, which is where I share some of my experience as a "birth parent worker" at LDS Family Services.

Tara placed a child about 7 years ago.
She is developing a web page for birth moms.
The plan also includes girl talking through the Internet to find personal support and sharing information.

I have long felt that Birth Moms are the "un-sung hero".
I want to give attention to the "giver" (birth mom), not the "receiver" (adoptive couple) or the "gift" (baby).
It is easy to love the baby as the new parents are gifted.
It is difficult to sacrifice what you love for reasons not easily understood to others and move forward in life.

FSA (FAMILIES SUPPORTING ADOPTION) CONFERENCE

Recently, July 2008, Families Supporting Adoption, hosted a regional conference in Bellevue. Part of my responsibility was to introduce the birth mother panels for each day. On Friday, a mother/daughter team from Oregon shared and Tara (my colleague and intern) with her mother spoke about their experience.

Oregon mom shared about the challenges of placing over 20 years ago and the painful feelings of the experience—especially knowing so little. She currently runs the birth parent group for her local agency and shared how difficult it was/is to go back and visit some of her feelings as she works with the birth moms. Her daughter placed two children in the last few years. Her story was told through mom’s experience (BM shy). One painful piece was the way people treated her daughter and as her mother not being able to do anything about what her daughter would experience through this experience.

Tara’s mom agreed that being the grandma was difficult and wishing she could do more to help her daughter. She talked of the struggles her daughter has had through life.
Tara placed over eight years ago and received very little letters/photos from her adoptive couple. Working with the birth moms through her internship has awakened feelings of grief and anger that she didn’t allow herself to feel before. “The pain (of placing a child) doesn’t ever go away, but it has gotten less over the years,” she shared. “I haven’t forgotten my child.” Her sadness comes from not knowing anything about her child. She told the audience to not be afraid of their birth mother, to support and love her. “We aren’t scary”, she said.

Both birth moms are now married. Tara has had a child since placement. The Oregon mom has a child and announced to her mom that she was expecting. Her husband will be getting on a submarine in a few days and going out to sea. Tell me that isn’t hard.

I AM POUTING

I MISS TARA!

She reminded me today that it was just about a year ago when we started having some of our adventures. Perhaps I can share some of them later. Through the past year, we have served many and grown "tight". She would tease me that she would know what I was going to say or do before I did it.

Sadly, during this time together, Tara had plenty of hardships. Sore tooth, numb face, leaking roof, flooded basement, run over cell phone, lost jobs and more.......

We also worked together to share ideas and help birth moms. Tara helped put on the first Birth Mother Day. She planned the first Birth Mother Retreat. We even gave a "shower" of love to the girls we worked with and presented them with a donated quilt. (more to come later)

I keep trying to get her to come back to visit.

MICHAEL MCLEAN

On Friday evening, Michael McLean came to the FSA conference. He sat at my dining table and I was able to listen to him visit with people and watch the interaction. I did not want to hog his time and didn’t have much to say because I thought his presence was for the other people attending the conference. Tara says she “loves him because he is depressed”. We wondered if he were not depressed if he would be able to write the songs. We also wondered what “depression” could teach an individual struggling with heavy feelings.

Michael’s performance was like a fireside. He spoke about his songs/feelings/learning and then sang the song. He shared his experience of having the Savior closer to his life and how that came to be—he started seeing things differently. He spoke a little of his wife and children. He shared about becoming a “grandpa” and having a new perspective of parents of a placing birth mom.
In the end, Michael invited the audience to sing the chorus with him. We weren’t loud enough the first time, so we did it again. (Does that sound like Primary?) I was glad to sing again because I wanted to get louder and feel more. I was sitting with Tara on one side and my daughter on the other. Next to my daughter was the agency attorney who received an award that evening for being a “Friend of Adoption”. I think he is a great man and appreciate what he does for the agency. The four of us joined arms (Michael’s request) and sang along, getting louder and louder. I felt connected, in that row, to some of the pain that might be felt and the hope for healing. I know my pain isn’t like anyone else’s. We all suffer or feel in different ways. Tara has asked me how I can be so “happy” and I tell her it is a choice for me. I cannot afford to go “under”. Anyway, as Tara said, working with birth moms is painful----YET, what else would we do?

These girls are heroes to me and they deserve to be loved and supported. I choose to be a part of that, even if it means I have to see and experience pain.
I hope that people everywhere, especially birth moms, will find the love, peace and healing they need as they “never forget”.

MORE FSA ADVENTURES

Saturday morning, I met with Stacey to work on one of our future plans. We are hoping to come up with a presentation that birth moms can take into the local high schools to educate them about the Adoption Option. We brain stormed and plan to have a power point and outline ready to go soon. Stacey even has 2 classes waiting to be the “guinea pig”. (It is amazing what can happen when people step in to help make a difference.)

As we visited, Stacey asked if I knew Emily—a birth mom that Stacey had come across. I did remember Emily and we were saying “it is a small world”. As the conversation and planning slowed, I asked Stacey to go to the LDS Bookstore with me. I needed to have my new scriptures engraved. When we entered the store, there was Michael McLean signing books. He remembered me from last night. (He should have because he had a photo taken with me.) He was busy signing and talking, so I moved on quickly. I had my scriptures engraved and was turning to leave when Emily appeared. She just happened to be in the store with 3 of her children and she was pregnant with #5. I thought it was too amazing that Stacey and I were talking about her and then we run into her. Really small world.

As we visited, Michael McLean came up to me and asked if I needed anything from him. I was puzzled and then realized he probably through I wanted an autograph or to purchase one of his items. I needed neither and told him I great. He expressed appreciation to me for “being in the trenches” and offered a hug. (Tara scolded me later for not getting an autograph for her.)

SECOND BIRTH MOM PANEL

October 13, 2008

Saturday also brought another birth mother panel. Brooke (placed about 8 years ago) was on the panel. She has to choose a family at the last minute and was amazed that the birth father cooperated with her choice. Although things changed in the end and happened quickly, she doesn’t regret her choice of placement. She is currently married with 3 children (including twins). She sang a beautiful song she has written about being a birth mom. (Hope she has a CD soon.)

Stacey placed about 5 years ago. She struggled with “what to do” until the very end. She lived in a “foster home” situation in order to away from family pressures. She had a great job but wanted more education. She finally found an adoptive couple and decided to place. She has finished her college degree and just switched employment doing a job with some travel.
Janessa moved to the Washington area after placing her baby who is now 1 year old. She has an “open adoption” and chooses to visit her daughter who lives in another state. She says that seeing her daughter it hard—difficult for about 1 month after the visit. She says she made the “right decision”, but wants to see her baby for now.

The girls answered questions that the hopeful adoptive couples had. The panel allows birth moms to educate adoptive couples on communicating pre/post placement.

HARVEST MOON

It was a little dark when I left home this morning and the moon was out. It was a large, beautiful, harvest moon. I just looked at it and enjoyed. I miss the sun, but with that lose come something new---crisp, cool days and a large, shinning moon.

So it is with life--when one door closes, another one opens. I think that is a Country Western song, isn't it????

There are pros and cons to each decision. Once a decision is made and I cannot turn back, I try to move forward. Looking back is a "killer". If a decision can be changed, do what needs to be done. If a decision cannot be changed, do what you need to do to move forward. And in the moving forward, ask yourself, "What have I learned". That is the important piece.

Old Blog into New Blog

NOTICE!

I have copied all the entries from my first blog into my this blog.
The date it was copied is entered along with the date of the entry.
These entried will all be in blue.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

LUNCH WITH TAMMY

Monday, June 05, 2006

I had lunch recently with Tammy. She placed her daughter for adoption 8 years ago and we continue to have contact. She has married, had a son, divorced and has been a single mom for about 4 years. She is currently completing her AA degree and hopes to eventually work in the adoption field or human services once she completes her BA degree.

Tammy was one of my “wild” girls and I still smile when I think of her. She loved to dance and party and found it difficult at times to live her standards. She had enthusiasm for life without focus on a goal. Being a mom has helped her move forward with a purpose. She has been more successful in school since being a mom. She has also participated in some helpful group therapy which helped her address her relationship issues. Yea, Tammy.

We met for lunch because she was visiting family in the area and wanted to tell me about you plans to marry. She met Richard on the Internet. They became acquainted by phone before meeting in person. He lives in Washington DC and she lives in Washington . They plan to be married in the temple this summer. I am so happy for Tammy and pray that the one she chooses to marry is honest in his dealings with her.

It was fun to hear her talk about finishing school, buying a house, having a “ring” and raising more children with a father. At 30, she has had many experiences that I hope help her as she continues to go forward in her life.

CORE STRENGTH

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Core Strength

Leah delivered a baby boy on Sunday after being induced and having a C-section. It was a long haul. Leah demonstrated incredible strength and determination through this pregnancy. She came to me stating she was going to keep her baby because she knew the birth father would not cooperate and she was old enough to parent a child. She later had a spiritual impression that caused her to consider adoption. She changed her mind, decided to place her child and has agonized over whether or not the birth father would cooperate. Her blood pressure sky rocketed due to the stress.

One evening after group, Leah and I tried calling the birth father again. Much to our surprise, he answered the phone and said that although he didn’t want to place his child, he was going to cooperate with the adoption. Leah wept. It seemed to be a miracle. It has been interesting to watch things come into place for Leah. Although it has not been easy, it appears that she is going to be able to place. She feels strongly it is not her time to raise a child and the adoptive couple she has chosen is better prepared to parent her baby.

Leah stayed in the hospital 3 days before going home. She had planned to go home with her baby for a few days. On her first day home, she became overwhelmed with feelings of doubt. She called me crying and asked to come in for a visit. She came in immediately and we talked about her concerns. I told Leah the worst thing she could do was to place her baby because she didn’t want to “disappoint people”. I told her that many people might be hurt if she kept, but they would get over it. Leah said she didn’t know how much she would love her son after he was born and letting him go was much more difficult that she expected. She feared she would not be able to recover from the loss.As we visited, she decided that she would like to meet the adoptive couple that had driven many miles to meet her. They arrived shortly and we all visited, feeling tense as we were all aware of Leah “leaning towards keeping”. Twenty minutes into the visit, Leah asked to talk to me alone. She told me privately that they knew this was the family to raise her son. She told me that she knew from the minute they walked into the room to meet her. She felt peace and was confident that she wanted to place her son for adoption.

In this roller coaster ride that Leah was experiencing, she held onto her core for strength. She listened to her heart and her mind. She prepared herself, and although she was side-swiped by a wave of hormones, she was able to follow through with her plan. She cried at placement when she left without her son, but she holds on to the knowledge that she will see him again some day.

I know people wonder, "Why did she do it?" I can tell you "Why". Because she was thinking about her baby rather than herself. She was willing to suffer in order for her son to have a mother and a father.

"CRISIS"

Sunday, May 07, 2006

At group last week, we had about 9 pregnant females in attendance plus a Dula, a volunteer helper and me. One of the pregnant females is Heidi—placed a baby 4 years ago, is married, about 3 months pregnant and comes to group to help other girls. I decided I better bring another bread machine and make 2 loaves of bread because it goes fast.

A dula is a woman that helps woman during labor-delivery-post partum. Shelby, our dula, got involved with our group by recently working with one of my girls. Shelby expressed interest in adoption and working with birth moms, so we now have a new support and I am so excited. She is also going to become trained on child birth classes and will teach the girls in group. She also answers questions that the girls have concerning pregnancy and birthing during group.For the past years, there hasn’t been much of a “group”.

Either there are not any girls I am working with or they live too far away to come to the office for group support. I am thrilled at the increase in attendance this year. Currently, we meet every other week at 3:30 p.m. and schedule for 1 ½ hour. It is not unusual for the girls to linger until 6 p.m. or later, just visiting. In fact, last week, the girls were leaving group about 6:30 p.m. and going over to I-Hop to get something to eat. I did not join them because I had an “I 2 Eye” appointment (internet/TV) with a birth mother in Anchorage. My heart rejoiced to see the connection the girls were making with each other and building support for the difficulties they would be facing.

In May, 3 girls will be having their babies. One has chosen a family and is making final preparations. On the weekend, she had a “crisis” that we talked about at group. She had been shopping for baby items because her plan is to take the baby home for a few days after she leaves the hospital because the birth father (in another state) wants to see the baby before placement. We do not want to contact the birth father prior to termination of parental rights. “Angie” realizes this will be hard, but has been so focused on adoption, that she believed she could handle taking the baby home and still go through with adoption. Her “crisis” was feeling overwhelmed with fear of changing her mind and not telling me or keeping and wishing she had placed. In group, she could laugh at her “crisis” but at the time, it was difficult for her. I wanted her to share so the other girls could hear what they might also experience.

“Angie” called me during the “crisis” and we talked. I told her that it was good practice telling she might change her mind. If a birth mother cannot tell me what she wants, I am in big trouble. The trouble comes after the placement when she is not happy and it is too late to do anything about placing the baby other than healing and moving forward. I told “Angie” it was normal to have second thoughts, especially since she was making such a major decision. Unfortunately, even if an adoption decision is sound, planned and thought out, hormones make it difficult and there is emotional pain. Trying to avoid the pain from placement might help in the moment, but one doesn’t know what the future will hold for the mother or the child.

“Angie” shared at group, that after her “crisis” and falling apart, she soon felt better. She continues to focus on placing her son for adoption. She is anxious to no longer be pregnant. She loves her adoptive couple. She shared that the evening of her “crisis” she got an email from the adoptive mom telling her that they (adoptive couple) would love her even if she changed her mind. We talked in group about how in-tune and timely that email was--a blessing.

UPDATE ON "JAKE"

Monday, May 08, 2006

I want to do a follow-up on the 2 ½ year old, “Jake”. I had several women comment to me, “How could she place him for adoption” and “what about the sister”.

“Judge not”. The web page doesn’t tell the whole story. I think Mom realized that she wasn’t able to give Jake what he needed. She said she would be “overly mothering” at times and “angry/frustrated” at other times. She wanted more for Jake than she saw herself giving him. That caused her pain and hurt Jake. I don’t know the role of step-dad in all this. Addiction issues were a concern.

Since the placement, mom called me daily to see how Jake was doing. She has received a few picture/letter in the form of scrap book pages from the adoptive couple. She knows how well Jake is doing in his new home. Jake loves his new parents, calling them mom and dad already. He has the full attention of 2 adults that are thrilled to have him. Adoptive mom commented that after Jake was in her home a short time, she cried and cried because she felt so blessed to have him and couldn’t remember not having him. In a short time, she and dad are so connected that it would be difficult to loose him. They have been to the park, on walks, visited cousins, attended church and more. If Jake suffers from being placed for adoption at the age of 2 ½, just think about what he might suffer if he stayed in his original home.

Birth Mom appeared with me and the attorney before the Judge. She was clear in stating that she knew what she was doing and felt it was in the best interest of her child. I agree with her. Jake is free of the conflict that was happening in the home. Unfortunately, the 6 year old sister and baby brother are still in the home. I believe that mom and her family are connected enough to sister that she will be safe. I think sister could see what was happening to her brother and knows he is in a better place.

I will share with you that Jake is thriving in his new home. I also think that Mom has a better chance in being successful in her life. She has completed flagging school and started working. So, now when you look at a female flagers—be nice, maybe it is her, and think about how brave and unselfish she was. She sacrificed her feelings in order to give her son a better life.

ZING - ANOTHER IDEA

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sometimes I am just going along in my life when I am suddenly “enlightened” by some awesome idea. I ask myself where this idea came from. When the idea has nothing to do with anything, I consider the possibility of being inspired and I am thrilled that I had a random idea attack. The more random the idea, the more I think I am inspired. I will usually ask myself, “What were you just thinking?” I seem to get a “random idea” if I “wonder”. Wondering has brought me many insights.

A great time for me to wonder is when I am trying to understand what is going on for someone else. When the idea ZINGS into my brain, I pay attention to it because it could be helpful. One morning, I was in my bed, working on waking up. (Morning is the time I pretend I am getting up as I ponder or pray. As I sleepily wander through my day and wonder about things, helpful thoughts might come to me. This reflection time might also occur in the shower or when I am driving.) I visited with my daughter the previous night. She hadn’t been feeling well, so we were talking about her symptoms. In my “waking up state” I wondered what was going on with my daughter. ZING! In comes the idea that she had been attacked. I was shocked because an attack seemed terrible. The thought was so random; I decided to wonder more about it. You can bet that I was feeling a little more awake at this time. As I thought about “attack” I realized that perhaps it could mean something other that being attacked by another person. The idea came to me that her body was being attacked by something. I didn’t end up with a firm idea of what was happening for my daughter, but I did feel more empathy for her. Before getting out of bed, I sent her healing energy. (Oh, mom, that's woo woo.)

Another time, I was visiting with my friend Wendy. She is a therapist and I value her expertise. If someone asked me who my “hero” was, it would be a person that I think can easily learn and use the knowledge to help self and others. Someone I admire would be Wendy. She was sharing about her sister getting remarried. I was listening, but my subconscious must have also been listening. The idea ZINGED in that the future husband was Afro-American and this might be difficult for the family to accept. I didn’t know where the idea came from until I realized that I had just been unconsciously wondering what the fiancĂ©e was like. Wondering must have brought in the idea. I shared my thought with Wendy, “Is he Black?” She answered, “How did you know?” We laughed and I felt inspired. This incident was a wake-up call for me to value my own intuition.

My hope is that I will develop and use my gifts, whatever they are. I think we all have potentials far beyond our expectation. I you ask me, ZINGERS are right up there with x-ray vision.

TACOMA TIDE

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I saw a great commercial the other day. A man drove onto a beach in his Tacoma truck. He got out, took his kayak into the ocean and disappeared. Using time lapse photography, the tide came in until the truck was tossed and tumbled by the waves. At some point, the truck was submerged and rolled in the ocean. The tide eventually receded, leaving the truck sitting up right again. The man returned and loaded his kayak into the back of his truck. I watched with my mouth open and laughed as the man drove away.

I chuckle when I recall this commercial. To the man, it was as if nothing had happened to his truck. For the viewer, it was amazing that the truck survived and started. The commercial, stating that the truck was “resilient”, seemed to be a metaphor. To the man, it seemed that nothing had happened to the truck. The truck, however, had been through a difficult or challenging situation. I don’t know if the truck would really survive such a thing in “real life”.

I do know a birth mother that places her baby for adoption goes through a difficult challenge. Often, people cannot understand what she has been through or even know of the challenge. In “real life” I have seen many women survive the experience and go forward.

One thing that struck me from seeing the commercial was NOT about buying a Tacoma truck, but that I want to be resilient in my life. I want to overcome my challenges and grow. If I am going to face a challenge, I want to land on my four tires, start my engine and keep on going. Life can be a wipe out or a learning experience.

I dedicate this entry to Courtney. She had a baby boy on Saturday. The hospital social worker called to let me know she was concerned about Courtney “clinging to her baby like Velcro to her chest”. (What doest she expect? The girl has a short time with her child. I would be "clinging" too.) She thought Courtney was being pressured to place her baby by her mother. The social worker called me again later to tell me she was impressed by the “maturity of this 17 year old that wanted more for her baby—a mother and father and more”. I think the social worker couldn’t understand why I wasn’t at the hospital and doing my “casework” with this young girl. Little did she know that the “casework” had been happening for months prior to the birth. Courtney has prepared to think about what is best for her baby over what would make her feel good. I see her as “resilient” and courageous.

posted by Tawnia @ 10:00 PM 0 comments

THEY CAME IN THREES

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What a week! Three of the girls and I am working with delivered this week: Saturday morning, Sunday evening and Tuesday afternoon. I did the final placement today. Two of the girls seemed to sail through easily. The last placement, today, was a struggle. Birth Mom had been firm in her decision to place, but struggled when it came time to say goodbye. She previously had an emotional time before the baby was born, but was able to talk her way through her feelings. (This is normal.) She got caught up on, "Is this really the right things to do?" When the adoptive couple arrived from out of state, she struggled again but decided to meet them even though she wasn't sure what she was going to do. (This time she was faced with the "finality" of her decision.) Once she met them, she had the reassurance and peace she needed to follow through. More evidence for Hero Status.

When I say, "What a week!", it is nothing to compare to the week these women had. I was just trying to keep up with the paperwork, be supportive and get everything done. Each placement was so different and each young woman is coping in her own way. Tuesday we will have Group and celebrate the birth of the babies with brownies and ice cream.

About three years ago, I had the "Three's" in March. I had barely found out about a birth mom in Alaska when I received the call that the baby was born. I flew to Alaska the next day. Just before I left, Emmy had her baby. I was able to visit her after delivery, but wasn't around for the placement. While in Alaska, another girl delivered. I was able to get home before the placement. The birth mom in Alaska had chosen a couple that lived in Germany (temporary due to military assignment). I was able to meet the adoptive couple briefly and introduce them to the volunteer so she could do the placement.

Some one in the office that was observing the happenings of the week (she adopted 20 years ago) commented that she liked the way adoption was done in all those years ago. She didn't feel comfortable with the information that birth parents had. I hear this type of comment often. I have worked with Birth Parents for 16 years. Over the years, a birth mother has been given more options and power in the process. I think it is a great improvement and helps in the healing process.

CAN YOU HELP ME?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Friday was busy—nothing new. Adding to the items that needed attention was a call coming in from a young woman interested in placing a 2 ½ year old son for adoption. This is an unusual request and I needed to find a foster home before I could pick up the little boy on Saturday. After many phone calls, I was able to make the necessary arrangements and prepare for tomorrow.


On Saturday, I received the phone call from mom again, with directions to her temporary home. When I arrived, I found a young family: mom (daughter from previous relationship, son from “rape”) and husband with an 11 month old they share. Life had become complicated and mom believed she wasn’t able to give her son the love and stable family she wanted him to have. She tried to bond, but didn’t feel she was able to love him in the same way as she loved her other children. She felt guilty about this. We talked, filled out the paperwork and planned to meet after the weekend. I wanted to give her some time away from her son before making any final decisions.

The person having the hardest time was older sister. She cried and cried saying, “I don’t want him to leave”. This brought tears to mom’s eyes. Mom asked me if “Jake” knew what was going on because she said he just seemed to know he was leaving and was calm about it. Sister eventually calmed and occasionally asks mom about “Jake”.

I drove “Jake” to a church to wait for a ride to his temporary home. He didn’t fuss at all on the drive and quickly fell asleep until we arrived at the church. While we waited for his next ride to arrive, we ran and played outside—having lots of fun. He is a beautiful child.

I have had several calls from mom since the time “Jake” and I left. She has been concerned about how he is doing. I was able to report that he is doing great. He is temporarily staying with a family that has 4 little boys. He loves the boys, toys and trampoline. Foster Mom said he seemed to like the routine: bath, PJ’s, bedtime story and quickly went to sleep. He slept through the night except when he got cold when he kicked off his covers.

On Saturday, mom asked me if “Jake” would be messed up because of an adoption. I told her I could not answer this, but hoped that wouldn’t be the case. I hope that Heavenly Father will help “Jake”, his sister, mother and future family. I believe in MIRACLE.

MY ADD (attention deficiet) LIFE

Monday, March 06, 2006

I was visiting with my neighbor, Karen—actually, I went over to her home to get some help with a jewelry making project. I like rocks, all kinds. I collect them from the beach and from the store. I am not a big fan of jewelry until recently when I discovered that rocks could be made into jewelry. I had such a rock and needed help converting it into something that would hang around my neck. Karen is talented in areas that I have not discovered my talents--one being jewelry making.

As she was making my jewelry, we were chatting about having so many interests and not having enough time. She laughed and said, “It is like having an ADD life”. (ADD, as in attention deficient disorder or hyperactivity or in our case, hyper-interests.) We both agreed that we were grateful to have so many interests, some that we have not even discovered, because these interests keep life fun and full of discovery.

I noticed at the Bead Store, a beautiful rock hanging around someone’s neck. This rock was wrapped with silver to make something that I knew my rocks would be beautiful in. And, I was in luck---there was a class on this jewelry making Oh, dear! Could it be another interest? I decided to let my mind consider the idea before jumping into another way to spend money and time. I even sorted through my rock, looking for the ones that would look beautiful wrapped in such a way and pondered what else I might do with my gems. So far I haven’t “registered” to become a budding “rock embellisher”, but you can watch for me on QVC.

I think that people are a little like rocks. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are polished, some are cracked. I choose to look for the beauty in each individual rock. A rock might look like a simple stone and perhaps that is all it is. Even a simple stone can be something special or serve a purpose. Maybe when it is cracked open or polished, who knows what will be inside? Life has a way to crack us and polish us. Shall we look inside?

ROCKS

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

As mentioned yesterday, I like rocks. So did my father. When he was middle aged, he would bring home jumbo rocks to put in the yard. Sometimes he would gather small rocks, stack ‘em, glue ‘em together in 2’s or 3’s and give his creation to a grandchild. The family would laugh at my dad for his “thing with rocks”.

Here I am, years later, realizing I also have a “thing with rocks.” I even found a rock to represent me. I found it in my mind first. I was doing visualization for personal growth and saw a rock. I later went to the Black Market Mineral Store to find my visual metaphor. It was a ¼ of a geode that was cut and polished on 2 sides. The outer crust was rough, almost ugly if that is all one saw. Cut open, inside were many, many clear crystals with shades of blue closer to the outer edge. I saw the multi-facets inside my rock as the many parts within me. This rock reminds me to see my many parts as well as embrace my inner beauty.

My point---we are multi-faceted. We are complex. Look inside and find what is good about you. I gave up self criticism long ago and decided to look for what is good about me.

FUNNY STORY

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My husband was out of town, so I decided to get up early to go exercise. Due to the electricity blowing out from the wind storms, my alarm clock was no longer working. I tried several times to set an expensive alarm and finally gave up. (Have I mentioned before that I am challenged in many ways? I guess one way is with alarm clocks.) I set the little cheap alarm and went to bed far too late to get much sleep.

I was determined to wake up, so when the alarm went off, I only swiped at it a few times before I realized it wasn't the alarm by me, but something noisy on the other side of the room. I guess the expensive alarm did work.

I was sooooo tired, that I thought I would rest for just a few minutes. Then the alarm goes off again---on the other side of the bed. Apparently the expensive alarm clock worked.

I got up, dressed in a hurry and exited the house at this early hour. I have a remote trunk opener, which I used to put all my bags into. (I have a bag for working out, and one with all my change into work clothes.) Whoops, I accidently set off the car alarm. Hope the neighbors didn't mind at this early hour. I noticed the clock in the car said 3 A.M. I was a little confused and was sure there was an electrical error. (I have been known to cause electrical car error due to my energetic personality.) I continued on my way out the driveway when I wondered about the time. I couldn't be sure because 3:30 or 5:30, it is all dark. I was really confused and decided to return to the house to check and see if the clocks in the house were messed up too. Once I got inside, sure enough, all the clocks were messed up, just like the car. The house clocks all said 3:30 A.M. It took a little time to realize that I was the one messed up and the time was actually 3:30 A.M. That was over 2 hours earlier that I expected to awaken. I am sure the neighbor's didn't like hearing the car alarm that early either.

Well, I crawled back into bed, but was so wound up, I never fell back asleep. When 5:30 A.M. finally arrived, I got out of bed AGAIN. I had a good chuckle.

My day was long and I was tired by 6:30 P.M. I was wearing my new fancy cowboy boot--just what a girl needs for a long day. I was helping a young birth mom deal with emotions around placement and saying goodbye. I left the room to use the rest room and returned to help birth mom leave. She had been crying and struggling for about 2 hours. As I walked over to give her support, she asked me, "What is on your boot?" I was dragging toilet paper on one boot heel. We all cracked up laughing.

I just shook my head and thought to myself--A very FUNNY DAY. I hope you are laughing too.

TRANSFORMING THE DIFFICULT CHILD

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I recently attended a class called “Transforming the Difficult Child”. I enjoyed the instructor, but didn’t learn much because he taught what I already believed. I did get a few “gems”. Basically, he taught—be positive with children:
1. give frequent, positive feedback, being clear and specific rather than just saying “good job”
2. spend time with children in a positive way
3. use rewards over punishment or “take away”
4. if time out is needed, make it short (a minute)
5. don’t engage in power struggles
6. make the explanation clear to “earn rewards”
7. make the expectations for behavior clear

This program can help children of all ages—even adults. I think most of us do better with positive feedback and knowledge of the expectations.

Another point he made was regarding a child’s “intensity”. I liked this idea. People are different and so are children. We are all going about our journey in the best way we know how, trying to get out needs meet. We all have different needs and different ways of doing our journey. I decided I want to be someone that can help others manage their intensity in such a way that they are able to accomplish their life’s missions. We are all going somewhere and we can all use support. Our “intensity” if part of our “gifts” and learning to manage our “intensity” helps us grow stronger.

Transforming the Difficult Child is a book. The speaker/author claims his ideas even works with ADD children.

I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

Friday, March 19, 2006

Over the years, I have not been a fan of writing. I thought about writing a book, even started, but let it drop because my thoughts and ideas are so “random”. You are probably wondering why I Blog. Well, I decided that I did HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY and wanted to share with others.

Now that I realize that I have something to say, some of my ideas have shown up in print under another writer’s name. I am not insinuating that someone stole my ideas, just that someone printed their idea and it was an idea I already had.One such idea was in a church magazine. I’ll share my version with you. I have shared this idea in counseling sessions, but never put it into print. The author of the article was a therapist.

I believe I existed prior to my birth on earth. Although I don’t remember that pre-life, I think that some part of my being does. I can imagine feeling so “perfectly loved” by my Heavenly Father, that when I came to earth, I began searching for that same “perfect love”. No matter how wonderful my parents might be, they cannot compare to what I must have felt from my Heavenly Father, and so I search. Nothing can fill that void except a reconnection through a spiritual relationship with God. Some people turn to food, gambling, shopping, chocolate, sex, pornography…..Nothing will replace that “perfect love”. I have come to realize that I have so much more capabilities as I build a close relationship to my God. I also have more ability to help and inspire other people towards their positive goals.

Finding that “perfect love” comes from talking with Him. Get to know Him and share your joy, pain, struggle, success….with Him. Take the time to find Him and as you do, you will find yourself and a love far greater that any “boy” can give you. Good luck. Enjoy the journey. You will discover how fascinating you are and that you are indeed “loveable”.

posted by Tawnia @ 6:50 PM 0 comments

FULL CIRCLE

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

(names have been changed)

Several years ago I met Sarah. She wanted to move out of the area in order to keep her pregnancy confidential. I met with her briefly, offered support and sent her to another office. Jim, birth father, was in my service area, so I worked with him. He was not interested in placing his child for adoption; however, he said he would consider what Sarah wanted. I explained that Sarah wanted to place their child for adoption so they could both go forward with their lives as individuals. Sarah loved her child, but wanted a mother and father raising her baby.

In an attempt to connect with Jim at our first meeting, I talked about things that that he was interested in. I learned that he loved the outdoors (hunting, fishing), enjoying these activities with his father as he grew up. I shared with him that I had a brother who was also an outdoorsman and the joy it brought into his life.

As part of the process to encourage Jim to consider adoption, the three of us met to look at adoptive couple profiles, hoping Sarah and Jim could agree on a couple. They could not find a couple that met what they were both looking for.

I continued to meet with Jim. At one visit, he asked about my brother. He said he wanted his son to grow up like his did, in a family involved in hunting and fishing. This “love” had been passed from father to son for several generations. He asked if my brother would consider adopting a child. I was surprised by his question. I explained that my brother and his wife had 2 daughters (12 and 14 years old) and weren’t able to conceive again. They wanted more children, but no more children came into their home. Sarah wanted her child to go to a home that did not have children, but was willing to consider this option in order to work with Jim. As it turned out, my brother’s family was thrilled at the possibility of adopting another child. Letters and pictures were exchanged before Sarah and Jim decided this family was right for their child. Sarah chose to meet the adoptive couple (my brother and his wife).

A beautiful baby boy was born to Sarah. When he was a few days old, Sarah placed “Hunter” in my brother’s arms. He is a wonderful child and both his families love him very much. As he has grown, he has a strong interest in hunting, camping, fishing and the great outdoors. He is a combination of his birth father and adoptive father, as well as birth mother and adoptive mother.

Recently, Sarah invited me to attend her temple wedding. We have kept in touch throughout the years. She served a mission and will soon graduate from college. It seemed odd to sit in a room with so many people and not feel a part of the group. Very few people there knew who I was because of the confidentiality of Sarah’s choice. After the ceremony, one by one, the attendees (important people to the newly weds) walked past the couple to congratulate them. As I approached Sarah, I started to cry. I was touched emotionally to be able to share in this important event. Crying, I embraced her and whispered in her ear that I loved her and was happy for her. Now she was starting her own eternal family.