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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BABY BORN

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2006

Ashley had her baby last Wednesday. A beautiful baby girl—7 pounds 14 ounces. She was fortunate to have a dula help her through delivery and follow-up. Ashley had a firm decision to place and then the baby was born. This is always a difficult time. Girls are torn between the decision they believe is best for the baby and their desires to be with their child.

Ashley checked out of the hospital on Thursday and spent the night with the baby at a friend’s home. On Friday, she decided that she would place the baby with the adoptive couple on Saturday. The placement was sweet. Ashley invited her 4 siblings and mother to be present. They spent 2 hours visiting and then went to get something to eat before saying goodbye.

On Sunday afternoon, Ashley called to tell me she was so lonely and wanted her baby back. She was struggling with big feelings of emptiness and being alone at the house. She decided that she could wait until the next day to make any decisions.

When I talked to Ashley on Monday, she asked if she could visit with the adoptive couple again. She thought she needed a little more time to get to know them. The arrangements were made and Ashley was soon visiting with her “couple” again. They spent 3 hours together (Ashley, couple, baby). The focus, this time, was all about Ashley. Typically, Ashley is the one taking care of everyone. This time, she let her needs be met. After the visit, Ashley was ready to have her parental rights terminated. She said, “I am so blessed to have the best adoptive couple in the world”. Ashley’s couple loves her enough to take care of her needs. It was beautiful to see. As of today, she continues to heal.

YOUNG AND OLD

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Young AND Old

I had brunch the other day to celebrate a friend’s birthday. As we visited, topics ranged from teasing, spouses’ recent surgery, wrinkles (character marks), big noses, cut off fingers (I have one)……. Our ages ranged from 23 to 54 years old.

Eventually someone commented that the younger women in our church group didn’t want to be with us because we were “older”.

WHAT? I exclaimed. I found this hard to believe. I realize I am “older” when I look in the mirror. In spite of what is reflected back to me, I also see myself as multi-talented, funny, and resourceful and someone that most people would want to be with.

I have come to believe this about myself in my “mature” years. This realization has been one of the benefits of aging for me. Over the years, my confidence has grown with my experiences and I recognize my strengths in many ways. I purposefully decided in my younger years to focus on “what was good about me” rather than on what was “not so good”. There seemed to be enough input for the negative that I decided I didn’t need to add to the pot.

So, Young or Old, we can all be friends. I learn from you and you learn from me.

posted by Tawnia @ 9:58 PM 1 comments

EMOTIONAL INTENSIVE CARE

Friday, February 24, 2006

Emotional Intensive Care

I recently learned 2 new terms in group.

An adult volunteer shared what it was like for her to take a baby from the hospital to the new home. Her husband worked for an airline company, so she transported infants out of state. She called it the “second phase of birthing”. She shared how she felt the hand of the Lord, at times, helping her get where she needed to be in order to get the baby to the new home. She cried as she told the birth mothers in group about a specific journey where everything went wrong and she was still able to pick up an infant and make it to the plan in time to make all the connections. She made the “delivery” happen to a new location.

Heidi shared a term she learned from her father. She said that she had been determined to place her baby for adoption. She made a commitment to God and wrote her commitment in her journal—she would not disappoint the adoptive family—she would go through with her decision to place her baby for adoption. She was strong and firm until she passed the baby to the adoptive couple and turned to walk away. Heidi said she “collapsed into her father’s arms”. He “carried” her back to her room in the hospital where she sobbed. Although she knew that adoption was the best decision for her and the baby, she still felt pain. Her father, in his tenderness told her she was in “emotional intensive care”. is words were a caution for her to be careful with her emotional self and give herself time to “heal” from this unselfish act she had just participated in. Not only did she need to recovery from bearing a child, she needed to give herself time to recover from placing a child.

posted by Tawnia @ 10:25 PM 1 comments