My name is Sterling, I'm 22-years-old, and I am the birthmother to the most gorgeous little boy in the world. I started this blog to share my experiences, thoughts, and help myself move forward after placing my sweet little boy. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I invite you to read my story (top of the left column). Feel free to comment with questions or requests. If you follow me, I'll follow you!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

If only they knew...

I feel that I've been selfish. That I've focused so much on MY side of adoption, that I never took the time to fully think about things from the adoptive side. Today, I woke up to read Ashley's Guest Post on the r house blog. As per usual, I cried. I cried because I truly wish I knew - Why was I able to get pregnant so (seemingly) easily, when there are hundreds of thousands of waiting, ready, and God-loving women who desire so much to be mothers, but for whatever reason are infertile? Why must these women, who have been dreaming of having huge families their whole lives, go through the pain and heartache of infertility treatments? I have begun to realize that ANY pregnancy is a miracle. My pregnancy is a miracle. I've always talked about adoption as a miracle, and I'm beginning to realize that more and more.

I wish I could fully convey the feelings I have for the beautiful, wonderful women who may only be able to sustain a pregnancy once or twice, if ever at all. Birthmothers are often told that we are "angels". It's hard to believe such a thing when the usual reason for us becoming pregnant is because we were immoral in our actions. But the truth is, the mothers (in EVERY sense of the word!) that we place our children with are the true angels. I hope that they know how loved, adored, and special they are. Amy is my angel. I don't know if I can fully express my gratitude for her and Dave. That they were righteous, worthy, and ready to be parents when I knew in my heart that I couldn't be. They are David's parents, in this mortal life and in the eternities. It is thanks to them, and their willingness to pursue parenthood in a non-conventional way, that I was able to turn my life around and live my life so that when the day comes, I can be a mother, too. They gave me hope and encouraged me to turn to my Heavenly Father when it would have been so easy to walk the other direction. How many people have that kind of unconditional love??

How much more beautiful our world is, full of these wonderful mothers and fathers who truly understand the sanctity of life. Who know that any pregnancy is a miracle. Who know that being a mother or a father doesn't necessitate a biological child.

The r house posted this quote, and I would like to share it. I think it applies to ALL mothers (you know what I mean).

You are the poem I dreamed of writing,

the masterpiece I longed to paint.

You are the shining star I reached for in my ever hopeful quest for life fulfilled.

You are my child.

Now with all things I am blessed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

That's Who I Am

If I make it to 100 and never see the seven wonders, that'll be alright.
If I don't make it to the big league, if I never win a Grammy, I know I'll be just fine
'cause I know exactly who I am.

When I make a big mistake, when I fall flat on my face, I know I'll be alright.
Should my tender heart be broken, I will cry those teardrops knowin' that I will be just fine
'cause nothing changes who I am.

I'm a saint and I'm a sinner.
I'm a loser, I'm a winner.
I am steady and unstable.
I am young but I am able.


I love this song by Jessica Andrews (I took the chorus out)

I tried a little experiment tonight. One year ago next month, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and analyzed myself, making a mental note of everything I would change about myself if I could. I can't believe I did this, but I actually wrote it down in my journal. Here are a few things -

~ My nose, it's too big
~ My hair is too thin and boring
~ My shoulders are too broad
~ My butt is too flat
~ My eyes are mismatched
~ I'm too short

There are others, but just these listed above made me realize how far I've come since that time. When I did that, I wasn't pregnant yet (well, technically I'd been pregnant for two whole days, but I at least didn't know). Now, a year later, I decided to sit down in front of the full length mirror in my room and analyze myself.

You know what? Even with my little post-partum gut, I couldn't find one single thing I'd change! 
I laughed at myself. How amazing it is that the one thing that could have made me hate and lose all respect for myself turned out to be what saved me and made me love myself! I'm so grateful to be where I am right now. I have hard days, sure, but I know who I am and where I'm going. I have dreams that I'm working toward, and I know how to get there.

Chelsea and I are going to be speaking at a Relief Society Meeting (formerly known as Enrichment) on the 13th of May. Just as we adjusted our focus to be more relevant to the YW we were speaking to, we'll adjust our focus again to be relevant to the "older" generations - those who may be in our positions, or have daughters/sisters/friends/neighbors/etc. who may be in our positions. It will be a neat experience, and I pray that the spirit will guide me on the right things to say. I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful friend as Chelsea to share these experiences with! She's incredible.

To end this, I'd like to share a thought I heard - "We always hear that 'if the Lord brings you to it, He will bring you through it'. Well, what about if you bring yourself to it? The Lord doesn't direct you to sin and bondage. What then? Place your trust in the Lord, and He'll bring you through those things as well. We will still hurt, and make some very tough choices as a consequence, but He is our Father. We won't ever be alone in our struggles if we simply place our faith in the Lord and ask for his help."

My sweet little David - I love you more than I'll ever be able to express. You healed my lost and broken heart. I'm grateful every day that you came into my life and, though I won't raise you, I'm proud to call you my son. You are my angel, and I hope someday you'll know just how many lives you've blessed. You're always in my thoughts, my prayers, my heart. Forever. Love, your birthmom.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Endure... and progress

This week has been so good... but I've had some pretty crappy moments.  I feel like I see infant boys everywhere.  Amy posted some videos of David to her blog, and my heart felt so comforted seeing them. He is so happy!

I had the opportunity to speak to a Young Women's group last night with Chelsea, another birthmom who placed her beautiful little boy in November. It was such a wonderful experience. As we shared our stories, and focused more on the spiritual aspect of what we had gone through, there was such an incredible feeling of love in the room with us.  We
tried so hard to make the girls understand that, yes, something absolutely beautiful came out of our situations and we wouldn't go back and change it, but it's a long, hard road to repentance. I felt like I relived my entire experience last night as Chelsea and I shared some intimate details of our struggles. I remembered how badly I wanted to parent, and how my heart would ache whenever I thought about what I wouldn't be able to give David if I did. How I prayed so hard for so long that Ben would decide to marry me so that I wouldn't have to make the decision I was faced with. Then, how my prayers shifted to asking for strength to let go of Ben and make the decision. Then, again, when I started praying to know if the choices I was making were correct. Then, finally, praying that I would have the strength to go through with placing sweet little David, and be able to love him as much as possible during the time he was mine.

Now, I not only pray for David to feel loved and comforted (which I know he always will be), but I pray that I can keep doing the things I need to so that I will, one day, be able to be the mother that I wanted David to have. Dave and Amy have been such great examples of what parents should be. I know it's not right to idolize, but I chose Amy and Dave not necessarily because they are "better" than me - I chose them because I like to think they are like me... or, rather, how I will be.

So I always try to find gospel analogies in movies. Tonight, I finally saw "The Princess and the Frog". It is so cute! Very Disney-esque in that it stereotyped every character... but it was very cute. Towards the end, the "Shadow Man" has to repay his debts to the Voodoo gods. It's a pretty scary part, but as he is being dragged away by the dark spirits, he yells "I just need more time! I just need more time!" Honestly, all I could think was, when the world is destroyed by fire and judgment day comes, I hope I won't need 'more time'. I don't want to wonder whether or not I'll have done the things necessary to attain the highest degree of glory, and therefore be with my family and my Heavenly Father forever. I want to live my life in such a way that I won't need 'more time'. I will not only endure to the end, I will progress to the end.

On a not-so-deep note, my jeans that were tight before pregnancy are too loose now! Yay! Also, check out this AMAZING blog... I love this woman and the way she encourages open adoption. She also does custom adoption jewelry/boutique items. Very cute!

One more thing, Julie asked me to be on a birth-parent panel for a new group of adoptive-parent hopefuls in May. I'm very excited, and very nervous. I know I'm very blessed to have the relationship with Dave and Amy that I do, but I hope that by talking about my experience other girls will have the opportunity for the same type of wonderful, loving relationship with their adoptive couples.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

things birthmoms shouldn't have to hear...

I worked a very long shift tonight at work, and unfortunately had to work with all three of the people who disagreed with my placing David. I don't typically avoid the subject, but I knew I would have to go on the defensive around them, so I kept my mouth shut whenever I wanted to say something about him. These three people are also really great at trying to get a rise out of me by making anti-Mormon/religion comments near me. I've stopped reacting, because it's not worth it. Tonight got me thinking, though, about what kinds of things people have said to me throughout this process that I wouldn't have thought twice about before.

I made a list of the things birthmoms shouldn't have to hear.

1) "I wouldn't be able to give my baby away."
    I actually heard this from a girl in response to why she had had two abortions within a year, instead of placing for adoption. My heart broke.

2) "You're taking the easy way out [by placing your baby for adoption]."
I don't think this needs an explanation...

3) "I was a single parent and my children turned out just fine."
    Every person and their situation is different. If this is true of you, just know that we don't sit there and say, "She should have placed her children for adoption."

4) "You're so lucky you don't have to do all the 'mom' stuff!"
I know being a mom is hard, but there is nothing I wouldn't give to lose sleep, ache, get spit-up on, change diapers, and do all the other 'mom' stuff.  Infertile couples feel this way, too.

5) "Adoption is selfish."
Yes, I'm completely selfish, because I wanted my son to have the best life possible, and have all the things I can't give him. I wanted him to be raised by both of his parents, who love and adore him more than anything in this world, instead of a daycare or grandparents. I'm such a selfish, self-serving person for that. I'm selfish because I consciously made the decision to relinquish my parental rights and willingly go through more pain than I ever thought possible.

6) Complaining about pregnancy.
Again, this is one of those things birthmoms and infertile couples shouldn't have to hear. Given, pregnancy is hard. But I know people who had hellish pregnancies who would gladly go through them again because the magic of those few days between being pregnant and placement is worth every bit of pain or discomfort. And there are some people who would sell their left kidney to be able to be pregnant.
7) "Ohh, he's so cute! Too bad you gave him up for adoption..."
... really? Just, really? Well, your dog was really sweet, too bad it's dead.. (I really wanted to say this to my coworker who said the above statement.)

8) "You could have just gotten an abortion."
    ... not worth the fight on this one...

9) "Get over it. You made the decision, you shouldn't hurt over it."
    Just because I made that decision doesn't mean it was easy, or that I'm going to be completely normal immediately afterward.

10) "If you loved him enough, you wouldn't be able to give him to someone else." 
     Actually, if I loved him any less, I wouldn't have signed the relinquishment papers.

I hope I don't offend anyone... I just want people to be a little more conscientious about things that can hurt.

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