Remember that one time I wrote that second book and it was awesome? Revealing You is being used. Man, I’m so excited about it! Women are interacting with my little love offering to all birthmoms and I am pumped up!
I wanted to share the preface with you, friends, to give you a taste of the journal. It has writing prompts and then pages and pages to write. If I have learned anything in my time as a birthmom it’s this: We all have a story to tell. So, I provided a way to tell it. Enjoy!
Revealing You Preface
This journal is for birthmoms from a birthmom. I am a birthmom, and you are my people. Let me tell you, my love for you is big. So, so big!
I am also a Pregnancy Counselor. I have seen a need for a journal for women post-placement—a workbook, if you will—to tell these amazing stories and get some of the feelings out. But the trouble is you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s hard to begin to get things out when there is so much to get out. It’s hard to commit to a feeling when there are so many. Which one is the right one?
The grief alone is paralyzing. It is completely overwhelming, right? I know it. I know it well, friend.
In John Green’s heart-breaking book, The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel has a conversation with Peter Van Houten after the death of her beloved Gus. Van Houten makes this remarkable comment. He says, “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” Your journey through adoption post-placement will reveal you. It will give you choices. It will be honest, even if you’re not.
When I placed my son in March of 2000, I did nothing but unabashedly bawl my eyes out and write for weeks. I had to get it out, but I had no direction. It was tender and painful, and almost impossible to touch, like an abscess deep in my heart. I was crazy with depression and I couldn’t talk about it.
I was supposed to be “better” since I “did the right thing” for my son. No pressure there to fit in a box and make others more comfortable with my story than I was myself. Nope. No manipulation either. Not a bit!
Needless to say, I needed help. I didn’t know any other birthmothers who lived near me. Nobody got it. I wasn’t even sure I got it yet. Journaling saved me. It gave my grief an outlet, let me be completely honest without fear, and allowed me to ask questions that were scary. I hope you find the same freedom here.
I created this journal using a gray scale. I did this on purpose. First, this stuff isn’t pretty. There are parts that are dark and nasty and there are parts that are pure and light. So, I needed the contrast. Second, I didn’t want to color any of your pages. I wanted you to choose and respond however you see fit. Different colors of ink can mean different things to you. Crayons in the margins, stamps in the corners, watercolors across the page—this journal is blank so you can fill it. Fill it with whatever you want to. Paste pictures inside of it, draw, and/or write poetry. There were days in my journal when I could only manage one word—help. You have the freedom to do as much or as little as you can/want. Do whatever helps you.
This journal is for you alone. You don’t have to go in order. You don’t have to do every chapter. You don’t have to like what I say. You can follow along and use the prompts as a guide, or you can mark over every word I wrote and swear, though swearing will only get you so far. Either way, get it out. Name it. Name the thing. Name the pain. Name the offense. Name the anger. Cry out to God. Cry out loud. Cry out on paper. Cry out. Cry.
It is a process. God loves process; we hate it. This journal will hold your hand and lead you through the process of grieving and healing, as it relates to being a birthmother. This journal is not all inclusive. As every adoption is as unique as the individuals in them, you may not feel that some of this applies to you. You may have to alter the language. You may have to do more work with a counselor or support group. That’s okay! Take courage, friend. Your story isn’t over yet, and you are not alone!