Is she a birth mom or an expectant mom? I know this can be confusing, but it's worth diving in & understanding. Did you know that calling a woman a birth mother before she is one has actually been used as a form of coercion for decades? Did you know that calling a baby your own while it's still in someone else's womb has also been used as a form of coercion for decades? Does that make you cringe? Me too! Especially because I know that I didn't know the difference in the past. That's okay- when we know better we can do better!
Is she pregnant and considering the idea of possibly placing her child for adoption? She's an expectant mom. The baby is hers. (And the father's if he's in the picture, of course!)
Is she pregnant and working with an agency to make an adoption plan? She's an expectant mom. The baby is hers.
Is she pregnant and has chosen a family to potentially adopt her baby? She's still an expectant mom. The baby is hers.
Is she pregnant, she's chosen a family, and she tells them she's positive she won't change her mind? She's still an expectant mom. The baby is hers.
Is she in the hospital, in labor, and she's invited you in? She's still an expectant mom. The baby is hers.
Has she given birth and let you hold & love on the baby in the hospital? I know this is so hard. She is still the baby's mom and she still has every right to choose to parent if she feels empowered to. The baby is hers.
Has she signed Termination of Parental Rights and placed the baby in your care? NOW she's a birth mother. The baby is yours... But if you're really holding yourself to the highest standard you will acknowledge the fact that the baby is still hers, too.
This is tough stuff, friends. Adoption is complicated, messy, beautiful, and worth doing well. Like I said before, when we know better we can do better. When we do better we can look back with no regrets- knowing we held ourselves to the highest ethical standards we possibly could at the time. 💗
We had such an incredible day with our team (missing Beth and Whit) at the Utah Adoption Walk hosted by Tied at the Heart. (@tiedattheheart ). We walk for those that have personally touched our life, for those that we have had the honor of knowing and for all those that our work will touch for years to come!! It was a day filled with community, service and awareness! Doesn’t get better than that! A huge thank you to all of the adoption professionals that came to the table!!! .
This is what I wanted.
When life feels chaotic, hectic, stressful and I wonder what I was thinking 😂 THIS. These moments make it all worth it. When your toddler has a fever and wants to snuggle all day. When you have an excuse to pause your day, not just for her but for my own health. The way she (and all my kids) look up at me with adoring eyes like I’m still the best person in the world. This is what I always dreamed of— Wanting to be needed and loved unconditionally and returning that back. At 16 I gave this dream up to give her more than I could at my young age. She will never, ever be replaced. I miss her every moment, but God did redeem my story and blessed me multiple times.
Sometimes I’ve gotten lost in motherhood and forgotten that years ago this was just a dream, a wish, a goal of what I wanted to become and how I wanted to live my life. The marriage filled with love that I have, the house I clean, the kids I care for...it used to just be a vision and now I’m IN it. What a blessing 💕 What a joy. #grateful#gratitude#gratefulheart#mom#momof5#snuggles#momlife#thisisthelife#pause#joy#birthmom#openadoption#birthmother#bravelove#talkaboutadoption#dreams#motherhood#viewfromhome#herviewfromhome
They love each other SO much. Three different stories, three different little hearts, and it’s such an honor to be their mom. Yesterday, a simple mention of a third grade read aloud book, The Boxcar Children, rendered BIG conversations about the word orphan, adoption, their stories, birth moms, birth dads, Uganda, the differences, but also some similarities. The kind that catches you off guard, and breaks your heart a bit. But also, the questions you keep from bursting out laughing from, because your son wants to know medical terminology of how babies get in bellies like Aunt Katlyn, and how we’ve kept from having a baby in my belly. 😳🙅🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️ #frozenpeas 😳✂️ When I told him I’d wait till he’s older to share, Macy piped up and said, “Why? Cuz it has to do with privacy parts, or what?” 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♀️ oh, child. .
#Repost @alexisdelchiaro with @get_repost
“He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” Desha Woodall
Our recent trip to Phoenix to meet up with Grant’s birth mom filled my heart to the brim and reminded me once again that sometimes love can move mountains.
There are no words to describe my admiration and love and gratitude for this woman, our sweet angel birth mom. I mean, can you imagine how much she loves Grant in order to give him to us? Jess is beyond selfless and she is truly my hero.
Most days via social media AND in real life I get asked lots of questions about Grant’s adoption.
✨ •How did you start the process?
•Is adoption expensive?
•How long does the process take? ✨
•Where did you find Grant’s birth mom?
•Is your adoption open or closed?
•What exactly does an open adoption mean?
•Did you give Grant his name?
•Can Grant’s birthmom ever get him “back”?
•What about the birth father?
•How and when will you tell Grant his adoption story?
And I totally get it. I understand why these questions are important and I am more than happy to answer them because I believe that God wrote me this beautiful story so I could share it with you.
As we approach #WorldAdoptionDay on November 9th, I’ll attempt to answer these questions here and on @whatthefertility in hopes of opening your eyes and hearts to the beauty of adoption. ✨
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” #adoption#adoptionislove#birthmom#birthparents#honestmotherhood#adoptivemom#miraclebabe
Brian Anderson was an incredible human being. He had an infectious laugh, a very British dry sense of humor, and just this aura of compassion that followed him wherever he went.
He and his wife Christine were involved in the adoption community for many years in many capacities. One thing you could always count on was Brian and Christine being there, with their three sons that they adopted at birth. Often times, they were also there with one of their kiddos birth mothers.
Brian loved birth mothers. He always made sure that if they were alone at the walk, or were looking for support, he would help direct them to the right spot. He knew that birth parents needed support long after placement occurred and he honored them always.
His boys are always excited and ready and waiting for the raffle. They love the orange prizes Alison hands out each year to those who dress in the most orange and most creative costumes.
Brian Anderson passed a few short days after Mother’s Day last year. His wife Christine and his three boys will be present at the walk this year, walking in honor of him and their birth parents. We are so excited and so honored to have them there and to allow the boys to help us hand out the raffle prizes.
At the walk we will be participating in a moment of silence to honor Brian and think of all the wonderful work he has done and for the beautiful family that joins us.
I can’t not be happy for what I have!! Sharing a real piece of my heart. My life revolves around Derek and my decision to place him for adoption. I have shared every detail of my life for countless people to see...personal, shameful details. A lot of which has been used against me. I talk about grief and acceptance and trauma. I talk about missing him and wanting time with him. I talk about change and growth and healing. And I talk about regrets. But here...present, in the life that I chose and fought for, my husband and I have been blessed with two amazing children. It is such a conflict to be so grateful for what I have and feel guilty about what I don’t...and who I don’t. I know in the depths of my soul that I wouldn’t have my husband and kids and this life if it hadn’t been for my adoption journey. Is it how it was supposed to always be? Maybe, maybe not, but for today I am giving thanks for what I have...and acknowledging that it came from losing something great. I love my life and everything and everyone in it and I am not feeling bad about that. .
In case you didn’t know, we are coming up on National Adoption Month, which is the month of November. And Orphan Sunday is November 11th.
I had the privilege of shooting a family lifestyle session for these sweet friends who were getting ready for their home study. When I look at this photo now, I can’t help but get a little teary remembering our home study was a year ago, and we still are waiting on our baby.
I have yet to meet the baby God has for us, and yet I’ve already learned so much through our adoption journey. God has brought me to tears countless times: tears of repentance, tears of awe, tears of sadness, confusion.
Most recently in our journey, we were matched with a baby, and then had a failed placement. This time was full of prayer, extreme highs and terrible lows. My prayer through the whole time was for the precious Mama who considered us. I prayed for her, as I knew she would be the only one who could make the best decision. Though it was terribly hard for me, I praise God that she kept her little one. This is how it’s meant to be. And while I long to meet our baby, I know that in my joy, there will also be an incredible loss that I never wish upon anyone.
But I just want my birth mama to know I’m here for you, when you’re ready. And to my child, I love you forever.
A year after Laura graduated from college she started grad school to pursue a masters in music and vocal performance. 4 weeks later, she discovered she was pregnant.⠀
As she weighed her options, Laura was left feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. On Monday, we're releasing Laura's Story. Stay tuned to discover how she finds her voice through a series of unexpected circumstances. #BraveLove ⠀
We are going full throttle with fall flavors in The Palmer household 🍁 We recently discovered Maple @cheerios and I think The Squeeze finished off the box in one day 😬 oops! #sponsored We were so stoked to see that our local @krogerco exclusively carried them and we definitely will be going back for more! #maplecheeriosatkroger
“At least she’s young and you don’t have to talk about ‘it’ yet.” UGH. We hear this SO MUCH, and it’s so untrue. Nathan and I started telling Reni about her adoption before she had any idea what we were saying. She has every right to know the truth about her story, in age appropriate terms. Adoption is not bad. It is not taboo. We want Reni to know that. We want her to be proud of where she came from, and we don’t want her to feel ashamed of her adoption. Reni will always have two mommy’s and that’s okay! I will always be her mommy, but she will always have a birth mom too. •
Today we are feeling extra thankful for these amazing hosts that made our Shake Shack happy hour possible a couple of weeks ago. Zach and Caroline are good friends who are also both adopted. Earlier this year they asked how to get more involved with BraveLove. And here’s what happened — they hosted a happy hour, invited their friends and helped us raise more awareness for BraveLove. If you’re interested in hosting an event like this, contact us. This pro-adoption movement is going to take time, money and people like you that want to make a difference to change the narrative of adoption. First we’ve got to start talking about it more... ideally over drinks, burgers and milkshakes 😉 #SpreadBraveLove ⠀
Today we are honored to have Sarah (@sunshinebottle) as our guest blogger! Sarah was the first birth mother to sit on the board of the Southern California Chapter of Bethany Christian Services. She is a birth mother of two teenagers, placed at birth with the same couple and in an open adoption. Today she is sharing with us a letter she wrote to her children with 10 things truths she always wants them to hold onto and remember. It’s a beautiful depiction of the love that birth mothers have for their children. Use the link in our profile to read! #birthmom#adoptiontriad#adoptionislove#adoptionishard#bettertogether
We’re back!! 🤗 I caught myself thinking I haven’t talked to so and so in a long time, when in reality, I’ve never talked to them in person or on here, just love seeing how they are doing here on the gram 😆 We have lots of Squeeze videos, fun shops to share, blog posts and even a few blessings that came out of these past few days. So glad to be back 💓
FL Visit with Mama J • Day 5 Part 3 • The Final Chapter • After leaving the beach, we headed to @publix to pick up a birthday cake for our birthday brunch celebration before saying goodbye to Mama J and heading back to TN. The bakery even added Nathan’s name to the cake for me! ♥️ We showed up at @first.watch with our birthday cake and our server was fantastic about making sure we had everything we needed for our mini birthday party! Nathan loved the singing of “Happy Birthday” and was VERY into his chocolate cake— as you can see in the photos! 🤣 It was such a special day etched into our hearts forever. We are so grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Nathan’s first birthday with his Mama J. 🎂 Also, I want to add that strangers nearby noticed that this was a special time for us and SEVERAL came up to us and asked if we wanted a group pictures together and that we made their day, just watching our celebration! #thenathanandrew#nathanswild1stbirthday#firstbirthday#christiansonadoption#fallbreakFLtrip#visitswithmamaj
Lessons for my teen on love and adoption…▪️It’s hard. And then some.
When I asked my teen his thoughts about my story as a birth mom, he responded with, “It was hard…and then some.” Short words from a tried and true teen—but he nailed it. ❤️
To love isn’t always easy. It’s beautiful. It’s gut wrenching. It’s laughter. It’s tears. It’s skipping through the meadows. It’s a punch in the gut. Love is complicated. And its followed by a choice. When I hear others say that a birth mother didn’t love their child or were illogical in their decision, I literally gasp from disappointment. Really? ❤️
The very definition of logic is to be capable of reasoning, relating to, involving or being in accordance with. Oh I related to my circumstance. I was absolutely involved. And I reasoned…and reasoned…and reasoned until I couldn’t reason any further. Did I know how everything would turn out? Nope. But then..does anyone know the future? Do we know what our marriage will look like after we say, “I do?” Do we know how our children will turn out when we decide to have them? Do we know what the adoption journey will look like when we go before the judge? We make dozens of decisions out of love. And logic. ❤️
We can take polls, read articles and gather information until our brains are on overdrive. BUT in the end we still have to take a step of faith. ❤️
We will encounter mistakes and failures. We will learn forgiveness when things don’t turn out as hoped. We will have more compassion on ourselves and others. So…keep loving. Keep doing the hard thing. Make the best decision you can with what you know today. ❤️❤️
It’s time to come clean here. A while ago I raised my yellow flag for birth mom support. Now it’s time to raise a white flag to another cause. I’ve suffered from anxiety of my life. I would be exhausted at the end of the day from thinking so much. It just never stops. And I’ve found every excuse to not go to the doctor to get help. It’s caused me so much more than just my happiness. And lately it’s been at the peak. To the point that something that makes me happy also causes me to have suicidal thoughts. It has reached to my breaking point lately. Some unfortunate events have made me just face my fear and get help. Because I know this isn’t a way to live. I’ve tried every natural thing and it just can’t be fixed right now. So behind the pictures of a smiling girl that seemingly has it all together is a broken hot mess that has to be sent home from work. A person that has a short fuse. That worries about every tiny little thing to a point where I can’t be successful in school. I finally got the help I’ve been avoiding. Next will be finding some low cost or free counseling.
"You’ll be shocked to see how the pieces that you feel are broken come together and form this beautiful picture.” - Laura⠀
We are excited to release another NEW film on Monday! Laura's Story is a beautiful picture indeed. We can't wait to share it with you. Stay tuned! #BraveLove ⠀