It’s been over a year since I posted. It’s not that I’m not writing. I’ve written a ton and almost daily. It’s that I’m not posting on my blog.
Why? I don’t know. I’ve said before that I wasn’t going to post just to post. So, I’m not. I think blogs can get gimmicky and boring. What I love most about the blog is the vulnerability of it. Whether the author intends depth or humor or to inform, I think it should be authentic and not because some guru has a formula you are forcing yourself into. YUCK!
So, today I want to share something I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT!!!
In June of 2015, I published a journal for birthmoms called Revealing You. Its purpose was to give birthmoms a grasp on what their new normal was. It was intended to go wide, be personal to the woman using it, and be a safe place to process what their life actually looked like now with their newfound title of birthmom.
Confession: I felt like a cheater. As an author, there weren’t that many words in the book and I had set it up so the person reading it was doing most of the work. I mean, I knew that was how it needed to be. They didn’t need me telling them how to feel or what to think about their experience. They needed to work these things out on their own. Still, as a self-proclaimed author of awesomeness, I felt like a cheater.
Reality: When the book went out it served a purpose. It plugged up one hole in the leaking dam of birthparent support. It gave women a place, helped them think, let them know they weren’t alone in all of this. It was good.
It wasn’t everything. Over the last three and a half years my life has been wildly full of loss. My mother died and I moved to China, to name the big ones. If you’ve never lost your mother, it’s terrible. You lose your first home, the first place and person you belonged to. This alone made me grieve my choice of placing my son for adoption in a new way. It was a kick in the gut on top of everything else.
So, I’ve been cozying up to grief and loss these past three years, and I have been thinking about healing and how as you move on it gets deeper and closer to the core of who you are. At first, I was just trying to survive the days. Next, I was getting familiar with my new normal. Then, I began to take inventory of who I was inside this new place, and I began to redefine success. With that came my annual (that I had skipped the last year) reading of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown. This time (because I pick something new up every time) I came across a line that let me know, for sure, I needed to write another journal.
“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” -Brene’ Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
This is what I needed to remember. He belongs to me as much as I belong to him. No matter what. Forever. I was his first home, his first person, of belonging. And if there is belonging, I get to be myself inside of this adoption relationship.
I knew birthmoms needed this truth too. We lose our sense of belonging to that little one when we place them for adoption. I wondered, what can I do to help drive this home? What can I do to help other birthmoms know and believe this in thier hearts?
I went back to Revealing You and re-read it. We need more of this, I thought. We need it to be deeper. We need to remember that we belong to them and they belong to us.
What if we could have that security? If we did, I think we would feel the freedom to be ourselves inside the adoption relationship. What if we were so secure in our belonging that we could see the other sides? What if we could hear and have compassion for the adoptive parents and adoptee inside our adoption relationships? How would that help the relationship? What if when we screwed up or they screwed up, it wasn’t a deal breaker but an opporunity to grow together, to learn with and from each other? What if we knew we belonged to our child in a way that helped us keep him/her at the center of the relationship when things were tense between parents?
My mind was spinning. I began to write and it poured out of me. When I finished it, I titled it Being You: A Journal for Birthmoms. This journal is a force to be reckoned with. It’s a slap in the face to disconnection. It begs vulnerability and authenticity. It fosters change and connection. It claims the Brene’ Brown phrase, you are worthy of love and belonging.
If you are a birthmom, this is for you. If you worked through Revealing You and thought, “Great! Now what,” This is for you. If you are a person, who needs something a bit deeper, this is for you.
You belong. Be you.
Chapters in Being You:
1. Kintsugi Warrior
2. Keeping the Child at the Center
3. The Two Loves
4. Fitting In vs. Belonging
5. Independently Connected
6. Open-Hearted Conflict
7. Transforming Failure
8. Digital Footprints
9. Love Relationships
10. Pregnancy After Placement
11. Parenting After Placement
12. The Sibling Connection
“If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected.
Decide what to be and go be it.” – The Avett Brothers, “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise”, I and Love and You (2009)