Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Birthmother Quilt

We had our local FSA conference November 5 - 6, 2010. This year, Tara and I planned a class each hour fir Birthmothers. Some of the classes:

1. Adoption Advocate
2. Birthmother panel
3. Soul collage Art
4. Grief through Movement
5. Group
6. Post placement communication

I finished the Birthmother quilt and had is on display. The raffle was GREAT!

We had a tamale dinner and BBQ Pork sandwich lunch---all food was excellent. The fireside on Friday had the theme of growing through adversity.

I thought the conference was excellent. I was disappointed in the low attendance.

Display from Adoption Advocacy Class


These messages were written on paper and placed in a balloon which was blown up, popped. The popper of the balloon then read the message as all the birth mothers honored the feelings shared. This activity occurred at the 3rd Annual Birthmother Retreat at Zion’s camp on September 12, 2010.

• Placement was scary, hurtful, but I’m happy that he is with a family he is loved by an event I won’t ever forget.

• Spiritually divine looking at the face of god pure grace perfection beautiful. If I could freeze time and hold this baby forever I would but I can’t , what it was all about the ultimate mother-love: sacrifice loving somebody is wanting the best for them, whether it involves you or not. Everything I had planned and worked towards and set in place and strived for: All my efforts and desires and decisions plus plans plus heaps plus dreams….were all for THIS moment

• An amazing scary lonely journey there is a little man out there that I love more than I love anything and I must trust someone else to love him as much as I do so much more than I expect.

• Placement, Bitter Sweet didn’t want to let go, but I knew it was right. Can’t deny the feelings I received when I prayed and prayed about what to do… Even though she didn’t have the perfect life I still feel for whatever reason it was she was where she suppose to be. I LOVE YOU FOREVEAR Rachel.

• I’m grateful for the openness the adoptive couple is willing to offer me. I am surprised at how emotional I still feel and the number of hard days I’ve had lately I pray for my relationship with my daughter and her adoptive parents continues to go so well and mill always able to stay to open as we did now I love and miss my daughter every day!

• Day of placement, I remember looking at her little feet my last time and hugging her and kissing her goodbye. I then placed her into the arms of Tawnia’s assistant and said goodbye one of the saddest days of my life.

• I always knew I did the right thing for him and me.

• With tears and a broken heart, I put him in her arms. I wonder if he’ll want to meet me when he’s older, or if he’ll resent me for what I did. I’m so afraid of missing his life.

• It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. It’s a moment in time that stays with you forever. As much as I miss her I love her more. All that I have learned and all that she has been given confirm the cause for which we stand. Through all the pain I still would have done it again God has and continues to bless me for my sacrifice. He helps my heart to heal.

• My 16 year old self thought I made the best choice for my son. I hate that my adoption was closed, I feel like it hindered my healing. I am happy to be healing now, I am happy to finally know about my son. I am happy that he has been successful and that he is original like me.  I hope to someday have a meaningful relationship with him, but am beginning to realize that is not my choice. I am trying to accept that what happens now is really up to my son. I will always love him no matter what.

• It was very bittersweet, the absolute hardest day of my life. I felt so much happiness for the adoptive couple and that they were finally able to have a baby. As I walked away I felt so EMPTY I collapsed into my dad’s arms and sobbed uncontrollably. I could NOT wait until I got to experience pregnancy and labor and deliver all over again with my own baby to take home, most of all it was the BEST and most right decision I have ever made in my life. If it weren’t for the gift of adoption I would not be who I am or where I am today.

• I am so happy that I could give her what I couldn’t. The 9 months I carried her all I wanted was to keep her but I knew there was a better place for her and I knew that at placement it wasn’t the last time I would see her. But that I had become part of her mom and dad’s family altnagon I am sad she’s not with me I know I did the right thing and that’s a great feeling.

Monday, November 1, 2010


This weekend, I attended a class with 2 friends and we made Soul Collage Cards. It was a short class and in a forested area with the rain falling. The best part for me was time to process some of my own feelings that were near the surface. I recently had melanoma removed from my face. I also had shingles and a minor car accident---all at the same time. It has been almost 2 weeks from the time of the repair and about 4 weeks from the first removal and living with an open wound for 2 weeks.

My first picture depicted a "strong young woman" that was capable of working hard and moving forward with life with a "smile on her face". But when it came time for me to start my card, I was drawn to the picture of two little girls (viewing them from the back), with their arms wrapped around each other and walking. Originally, the picture depicted the importance of friends in my life. However, as I brought several pictures together, I have a card with destruction, the girls stepping ahead with an eagle holding them up and eagles at the top looking out for them. I cried as I put it together and realized this was me working with my birthmoms. I cried for the pain and loss that I know they feel. I also cried knowing that we are not along. I cried for the peace and support I have felt through my personal healing.

During my healing time, someone sent me an email that hit home (my version).

Sometimes the master calms the storm
sometimes the master calms the sailor.


The Regional FSA conference will be this weekend----November 5 - 6----in Federal Way, Washingon. Tara, Pam and I have put hours into program planning and many others have put in their time to prepare what I hope is an excellent program.

We have 1 1/2 days of classes for birthmoms: Peer Counselor, Adoption Advocate, Grief through Movement, Art Therapy for Loss. These are a few of the classes. Each hour there will be 1 - 4 class options. We are having a Tamale Dinner and a BBQ sandwitch lunch.

I am hoping for a large turnout---I was dreaming of 600. I was told that was too large to hope for. Oh well, I can dream.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Tara and I were invited to present 3 classes at the National FSA Conference in SLC. Two of our classes were video taped. Tara is the main presentor and and I am the comic-story teller. The classes were on:

Understanding Birth Moms
Communicatin Post Placement
We also received an awawrd from National FSA for the work we have been doing over the past few years.
The conference was an excellent resource for adoption. "Good Job" to all those that worked so hard to make the conference happen. Our local conference will be held in Federal Way in November.


A ward Relief Society brought some bags in
to be given to the expectant moms I am working on.
They decorated and filled them.
So CUTE!!!!


Sunday, June 13, 2010


Snowflakes: A Flurry of Adoption Stories
by Teresa Kelleher
We had a class at the office last Saturday. A woman came to talk about her book and experience as an adoptive mom. It was excellent and I wanted to share the book. It is full of stories from children that were adopted. I recommend it. I also enjoyed her presentation. I kinda left like I should adopt an older child. Not worry, the thought fled quickly.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Salt Lake City offers a weekly Online Birthmother group.

Toll Free Number - 1-877-453-7266
Meeting ID Code - 3096 for participants
Thursday from 6 - 7 p.m. MST
This group is for Expectant Parents that want to participate in group but live too far away to attend and would like to talk to birthmothers who have placed for adoption.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Tara and I are doing the Adoption Education classes at the office on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are always happy to have someone attend. We usually get positive feedback on the information shared.

We use power point to cover various topics. Check out the office blog to see the topics covered.

Tara and I were also invited to present at the National FSA conference in July and are excited to share some of our ideas.


Tara and I are organizing our Birthmothers to be a part of FSA (Families Supporting Adoption). Currently, Tar has been serving on the local board and regional board. We have asked Megan to serve on the local board. We are also organizing birthmother to have their own board along side FSA to focus on birthmother support.

We look forward to seeing what happens. We are also asking for people to help with activities. We plan to have BM Day in May, BM Retreat in September, and some sort of activity in February. The National FSA conference is in Salt Lake City in July and there is usually a regional or local conference in November.


Here is a great article on Birthmothers.....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


A birthmother that gave birth 19 years ago tomorrow called this morning. I remember her as soon as she said her name. She sounded more grown up, but I knew the name. She was wondering if her son had sent any letters or was looking for her. I told her that I didn't think we had any mail, but that she could try She told me she has 3 teenage sons. We visited briefly after sharing information and said goodbye.

In about 15 minutes, she called back to say that her son had already registered on When she put in her info, up popped his name, address and phone number. Lucky for me, she called to tell me. WOW! We practiced what she might say and what to expect. As she hung up, she said she was going to call and keep me updated.


Sunday, May 16, 2010


Saturday before Mother's Day, we celebrated Birthmother Day at our office. We had 22 birthmoms attend and a few support people. FSA decorated the conference room and prepared plenty of food. We enjoyed ham, egg casseroles, muffins, salad and fruit. Tara prepared a beautiful program with a circle of butterflies on front. (We will use this theme again for Birthmother Retreat). We shared a butterfly poem and another reading. Each girl that chose to shared a little of her experience. We had other activities planned, but the socializing seemed to be the most important activity. Visiting with other birthmothers is supportive and healing.

FSA also gave each girl a pair of earrings they made the night before and a little jar containing tiny rocks with a leaf on the lid. The decorations were earthy, like a spa setting. Thanks to the efforts of so many people, it was lovely.

Towards the end, Tara had a slide show of pictures girls had shared, set to music. We then lit a candle to commemorate our unity and strength. Tara had also written on shinny, black rocks "Birthmothers are Heroes" for each girl attending. I can't say enough about all that Tara does to make the birthmother program even better.

Denise and Pam helped with decorations, food, serving and support. Denise had not attended such an event and said it was so wonderful for her to be in attendance and see so many girls that have placed a baby for adoption. She already knew that the pain does not go away and was awed to see the gathering of these women for support and bonding.

This is the second Birthmother day in our office. We look forward to another in 2011.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Marci came to group last week. She helped us make a paper box from card stock. We decorated it card stock. We hope to eventually fill it with inspiration quotes to be read through the year. Please feel free to share your favorite QUOTES with us to add to the box. Send them to:

Seattle Birthmothers on facebook

I wish there was a way that I could connect to all the girls that I have known over the 20 years. I would love to invite all of them to our second BirthMother day---Saturday before Mother's Day.


Thanks to my daughter, I was able to hook my blog up to my facebook account. I hope that is not too distracting to people. I thought perhaps I could get some "readers".

Tara and I have been working on the BirthMother Binder to be given girls new to the program. Tara has done most of the work----I just "stupervise". We are excited to have it completed.

We also bought some supplies for the new "birthmother" wall that we hope to have complete before BirthMother day.
Calling all girls----we are hoping to display your talents on the wall
We will also be adding out first quilt, once it is finished. We will be doing a little painting as well. Tara and I hope to find some interest in creating the decor.

When Tara and I work together, we seem to get more ideas than we know what to do with. Tara brought in a note pad that said Brilliant Ideas. I keep it on my desk so we can write down some of our future intentions.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I read an article in Reader's Digest called "Life is better with a gratitude attitude". The author decided to be aware of expressing gratitude for a month. I think that making a decision to change/add a behavior is the best way to start---making the decision. Of course, one would need to follow-up and do something to activate the decision. There are rewards in having a "gratitude attitude". Not only does one uplift another when sharing gratitude, the expresser also feels better for focusing on what is positive.

3 Easy Ways to "Tune up your Tude"

1. Visualize it--make a poster (a positive example to others)
leave post-it notes on the gratitude tree (on the refrigerator)

2. Ask:
What have I received from ___________?
What have I given ____________?
What troubles have I caused __________?
In other words---think about the "other" instead of yourself.

3. Pick a day a week to focus on Gratitude.

Happy Easter

Just as seasons change, so do things continue to change at the office. As Tara and I were driving to Michael's to pick up some supplies for BirthMother Day, she commented, "I can't believe all that we have done for the program in such a short time. I agreed.

Since April of last year (2009), we have had the goal in mind, "how do we improve".

1. We have prepared and started doing Adoption Education power point classes for adoptive couples. All new couples are required to have 10 hours of adoption education. We have 2 classes that specifically help them to understand what a birthmother might be experiencing. Look at the office blog for more info. We do the classes once a month in the evening. In March, we invited birthmothers to come and meet with couples that wanted help with their profile. All that participated thought it was a great chance for us all to get acquainted.

2. We have a "BirthMother" binder that each new girl will receive when she comes into the program. Tara has created some pages that encourage future planning, birth certificate place, photos, preparing for face to face, how to choose a couple and more. We are encouraging girls to decorate and personalize their binder. We see this as a way to prepare for the grief that will come and empower the girls.

3. We will be starting the BirthMother quilt this month and adding new squares each year to build a new quilt.

4. We started the BirthMother scrap book at the last retreat and invite girls to create a page for future girls to see.

5. We are inviting BirthMothers to be a "buddy" for future girls and provide support.

6. We have a BirthMother on the FSA board.

7. I have been working more and more with FSA in order to strengthen the program and bring BirthMothers into the organization.

8. We are continue to encourage girls to be involved to help with future ideas.

9. We developed and launched the "High School Adoption Outreach" power point---one of the programs to tell the world that adoption is a good option.

10. Tara has prepared a BirthMother and Adoptive Couple reading list

11. We revamped the paperwork process in the office.

12. I have several missionary sisters that help me in the office. With their help, I am more able to manage the load and give couples more personal service.

13. We have an Adoption Secretary who strives to keep things organized and make my work easier.

14. We have a weekly Adoption Planning meeting that we decided to call "the weekly Hub Bub", named after the office blog.

That is all that I can recall at this time.

I hope that anyone reading this blog will feel inspired and want to get involved to further the Adoption Option in the future. I can tell you that the hearts and minds of Tara and Tawnia are on BirthMothers and Adoption. Although this responsibility if stressful, we strive to help our sisters. Tara and I are surprised at the ideas that come to us through the days that we work together. (Tara comes in 2 days a week.)

Please facebook, email or call if you want to be more involved.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Even as old as I am, there seem to be more things I am intersted in "getting into" than there is time to make things happen. Besides work, which keeps me busy enough, I am looking into 2 other interests--each would be "helping people". As I ponder and consider the possibilties, I wonder what life hold for me. I share this because it seems that no matter how old I have grown, I still have new hopes and dreams. I hope you do as well.

I challenge you to dream and reach for the things you can accomplish and experience in life.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Book Reviews

Here are 2 books that are helpful in relationships. Remember, don't just read then, apply the concepts you learn.

Unhappiness in marriage often has a simple root cause: we speak different love languages, believes Dr. Gary Chapman. While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some husbands or wives may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one spouse, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their "love tank." Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice.

How do you discover your spouse’s – and your own – love language? Chapman’s short questionnaires are one of several ways to find out. Throughout the book, he also includes application questions that can be answered more extensively in the beautifully detailed companion leather journal (an exclusive set). Each section of the journal corresponds with a chapter from the book, offering opportunities for deeper reflection on your marriage.

Although some readers may find choosing to love a spouse that they no longer even like –hoping the feelings of affection will follow later– a difficult concept to swallow, Chapman promises that the results will be worth the effort. "Love is a choice," says Chapman. "And either partner can start the process today." --Cindy Crosby. This text refers to the Exclusive Journal and Paperback Book Set.

The Love Dare: Day by Day

Too many marriages end when someone says "I've fallen out of love with you" or "I don't love you anymore." The Love Dare discusses how these statements reveal a lack of understanding about the fundamental nature of true love.

As featured in the popular new movie Fireproof, from the team that brought us the #1 best selling DVD Facing the Giants, The Love Dare is a 40-day guided devotional experience that will lead your heart back to truly loving your spouse while learning more about the design, nature, and source of true love. Each reading includes Scripture, a statement of principle, the day's "dare," and a journaling area and check box to chart progress.

Dare to take The Love Dare, and see your marriage change forever. (Description of Product by

Friday, February 12, 2010


At group last night, Ann and Alise both showed up---both placed about 12 years ago and showed up on the same evening. It was so fun to see them--hugs exchanged. We also had 2 recently delivered birth moms. We talked about working through the grief, getting through the pain of placement which lasts a long time and what helps move one through the healing process.

Alise (came because she wants to get involved again) said that having a goal or a plan would be helpful after placement. She shared some of the struggles she went through since placement. She is now married with 3 children and a supportive husband. She hopes to return to school and get into psychology

As we visited, I asked what they had learned through the experience and if they saw the individual growth through the experience of adoption.

I was excited to hear that several girls plan to go to FSA Conference in SLC (July). They were also excited about becoming moved involved and spreading adoption as a positive option. I get excited when I see that more people will be involved. I look forward to the growth that occurs in 2010. I hope that the high school presentation gets going quickly.

Today I had a conference call with the Chair of the local FSA. We are starting to plan the area FSA Conference (November). It is exciting to see that birth moms will be more involved.

The Adoption Education Hours will continue on a monthly basis. I want to start a "project night" where we meet to work on projects as well as the Birth Mom Quilt. Tara also shared the idea of "meet with a birth mom" where an adoptive couple can get help from a birth mom on their profile. Tara is also working on the birth mom binder which is looking great. She had some wonderful reflective worksheets.

Watch for us on facebook and e-vite.

Monday, February 1, 2010


We launched the High School Adoption Outreach power point tonight also. We had 4 birth moms and the FSA Regional Chair and the local FSA co-chairs. We even had a Stake Specialists who said she came to see if she wanted to share it in her stake. What a great idea. After viewing the power point, we discussed how to move forward. I think this will take off and I hope it makes a big different as it is a positive voice for Adoption.

I am going to offer the power point to the Stake Specialists to see if they also want to share it in their stakes. I am going to suggest that a senior might want to take on a project and take this into her school district.

Wait and see!


On January 31, 2010, Tara and I launched our first Adoption Education classes.

We started at 10 a.m (after I locked myself out of the office. YES! I made cinnamon rolls to cook and share so the office smelled delicious. I had several loads to bring in. I dropped everything on the floor and went back outside for another load. The office door was now locked and my keys were inside. OH BOTHER! Lucky for me, Tara was only 30 minutes away).

We had about 10 couples, the chair for the Regional FSA and a few other attendees. Tara's power point presentations were EXCELLENT. She had a few sleepless nights of worry. She also shared with me that she does not like to speak in front of people. You could not tell. She was great.

We forged through 5 presentations in 5 hours. We did stop for lunch and breaks. I think people learned things that they had not thought of before. We plan to offer a class a month on a Thursday evening.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sharing her Talents

Referring back to the entry "My Past Returns"......

A past birth mom came to the office and did a photography session with baby, birth mom and her parents. It was a wonderful touch to a difficult day. The photographer sent a CD full of photos to birth mom.

I you have talents to share, let me know.

We have 2 birth mom photographers---at 2 different ends of the office. They are willing to go to the hospital or placement. I hope this is a positive support to future girls.


Tara and I met with 3 other birth moms to plan for 2010. Our goal is to reach out to past birth moms and get them involved. We will be having group twice a month and an Adoption Education class once a month. We also hope to have a "create day" where those interested can come to the office to sew, craft, scrap or make anything of interested (within reason) once a month. We have a scrap book that girls can add a page with their story/photos if they want.

We plan to have a Birth Mom quilt (one a year) and will display them in the hallways. We want girls to add their "talents" to the hallway also.

My hope is that girls will stand tall
as they come together to create healing and help the girls of the future.
We are changing the ways of adoption.
Please join us.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Review

I read this book over the holidays. It was written by a woman that place a baby over 20 years ago and the pain that she experienced due to that decision. I did not enjoy it much because it seemed that there was more pain and now growth/learning.

I realize that not every person grows through adoption. I also know that things have changed greatly over the last 20 years. I hope that the change brings healing to pain.

I also read Because I Loved You. I loved this book. The author placed over 20 years ago. She was in h er 20's when she discovered she was pregnant. The chapters switch from "her story" to "what to do is you find yourself pregnant". She doesn't advocate that everyone choose adoption as she did, she just makes suggestions on how to get through the process. She even shares how she met her son when he was 12 years old.

I am currently reading this one. This woman placed many years ago and still struggles. This book explains her struggle as an adult--dealing with her decision and hoping to meet the child she placed.

This book was recommended to my by Tara. It is an EXCELLENT book to deal with any type of grief issues.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Yesterday I was rushing around in the car (safely) to prepare for placement. As I was driving, I received a phone call. It was from a past birth mom that had recently just reconnected to me. We were trying to talk on the phone and get together to visit. It had been 17 years. She had mentioned that she wanted to do something to "give back" to birth moms. That morning she kept feeling prompted to call and offer help by taking photos for birth moms/babies.

I told her that very day we were doing a placement. She offered to come. After many phone calls and mini-miracle, she was able to get to the office to take photos for birth mom and her family. It was a nice touch for the birth mom who will receive a CD of professional photos. It was also good for the one that "served" the other.

I am thrilled to be "found" by my past girls. I love that they want to reach out to each other.