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Testimonial: Please Respect Me

 Please share with friends in honor of all birthparents.

“Ok I’m not trying to be rude to anyone or am I wanting to put my situation on blast, but in the last week or 2 I’ve been contacted by not just one person, but a few people, asking me to let them adopt my child. This has been the hardest and the most responsible unselfish decision I’ve ever had to make!! I just don’t appreciate it, now that the time is almost time for her to come into this world! I’ve been pregnant 9 months, that’s 9 months that no one has cared, and all of a sudden, people are coming out of the woodwork. How I feel is if people actually really cared they would have been there for me during my pregnancy. Not just to decide to get a hold of me the last week. My daughter is already going to a good family, that has been waiting for her even though I don’t know them, they have helped me with my living expenses so much more support than anyone else has!! So I would appreciate it if everyone else would respect my decision that I have already had to make!! I don’t need the stress of people trying to change my mind on the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”          Respectfully Yours!

 

Birthparents make the hardest decision that anyone will ever make to put the needs and well-being of their child above their own needs, wants and desires.  The loving choice that a birthparent makes comes from countless hours of worry, stress, anxiety and the need to give their child the very best they can.  The LOVE of a birthparent is one of deep and unselfish giving.  There is NO GREATER LOVE than the love a birthparent gives their child.  The love from their arms to the arms of their waiting family.

I will get to meet him again one day…

SkylarI was talking to a friend the other day about my son, Matthew, whom I placed for adoption. (I was feeling a little sad.) I got the normal questions: Do you talk to the parents? Do you get pictures? Do you have any contact? Do you ever get to see him or talk to him?

These are all questions that…kind of startle me in a way. My friend was just being curious, but inwardly I kind of died a little with each question. No, I do not get to talk to his parents. Yes, I get pictures but only once a year. Yes, I have a form of contact-I get one update every year around his birthday that includes some pictures and a letter. No, I never get to see him or talk to him.

*tears*

Then my friend asked if I would get to see him one day. Inwardly, my heart swells with hope and joy because I know that I will get to meet him again one day. I feel like it will be a really cool experience. I remember, quite vividly, holding him, adoring him, and handing him over to his mom. (His sister would not let go of him, which I thought was really cute.) The next time I see him, he will be grown. He will be a young man. He will not fit in my arms, and it would be really weird if I held him like a baby and “baby-talked” to him.

As I was going through the adoption process, I had questions for AAOL about meeting him in the future. I had questions about how adoptive parents tell their children that they are adopted. Birth parents need not fear these things if they are on the same page as the adoptive parents. Most adoptive parents want their children to know where they come from and who their birth parents are. Most adoptive parents want the birth parents to write letters and send pictures. (Matt’s mom and dad told me in the last update that they were happy about the letters I wrote to him the months prior to them sending an update. They were a bit worried because I had not been writing as frequently.) Most adoptive parents want their children to meet their birth parents and have a relationship with them. From what I understand, adoptive parents tell their adopted children at a very early age about their adoption.

As a birth parent, you get to choose the type of adoption plan and your child’s family if that is what YOU want. I wanted a semi-open adoption plan, and I wanted to choose the family. I asked Matt’s parents how committed they were to honoring a semi-open adoption plan. They absolutely were open to that and verbalized their commitment to that…and they have committed to that. (I really have nothing to worry about here. B and J are the BEST family ever for my son! I love them so much!) As you interview potential families, just ask them how committed they are to honoring the adoption plan you have chosen.

To talk with Skylar about your adoption choices, send an email to adopt@aactofloveadoptions.com.

Share Your Beautiful Family

BeachAct of Love is excited to offer a great opportunity for adoptive families to add a video component to their on-line AOL profile! Recently, birth parents have shared with Act of Love their wishes to be able to see videos of prospective adoptive families on-line. Watching the video allows birth parents to see the interaction of the adoptive family with each other, their home, what is important to the family and to get a sense of who the families are in a more personal way. Many past birthparents have said things like, “They are much better in person than on paper!” or “I felt a connection, but it wasn’t enough and I wanted to learn more about them.”

We want our AOL families to be a part of this! We want birthparents to be watching your great family and all the fun things you do, the things that are important to you and reasons why you want to adopt a child!

Important components for your video:
• Show who you really are and your true desire and excitement to adopt
• Be upbeat and share your gratitude to grow your family through adoption
• Briefly address the points you share in your profile
• Be in a comfortable, non-identifying setting
• Clearly understood: speak slowly and clearly
• Good quality – iPhone videos will work great!
• Show your personality and the unique qualities of your family
• Share your positive adoption message
• Include some action shots, not just sitting and talking, Use lots of pictures! Let your unique personality shine through!

Just Some Thoughts

SkylarIn light of what I have seen in the media recently, I want to revisit my personal hopes for adoption. My purpose is to shed light on how wonderful adoption is and hopefully to get others to have a positive feeling about it.

Adoption is not usually the first choice parents make when they learn they are expecting. Ideally, a couple becomes pregnant and chooses to expand their family by raising the child. That is the way things should be, and there is nothing wrong with that. Children are great! Families are great! I love my own boys! However, adoption is a wonderful alternative when considering another option for your child.
When I was deciding between having an abortion (which was my initial choice) or placing my baby for adoption, I did tons of research on adoption. I was so shocked to see the negative commentary surrounding adoption. It was awful to see the reasons why some folks are against adoption. It was even more awful to see how harshly birth parents are judged for placing their child for adoption.

Adoption is NOT:
1) Selling a baby
2) Getting rid of a problem
3) Neglecting one’s responsibilities
4) Done for financial gain
5) An easy decision for birth parents

Adoption IS:
1) Saving a baby’s life (raising my baby was never an option, abortion was my first choice. Thank God for adoption!)
2) Doing what is best for an innocent baby (in some circumstances, decided by the birth parents)
3) The greatest loving sacrifice anyone can make on earth today
4) A blessing for the child and the child’s birth and adoptive families
5) A very difficult decision for birth parents

Adoption is not a scary thing as it is often portrayed in the media and TV. movies. The birth parents have control throughout the entire adoption process. They decide if they want to continue the adoption process. They decide whom to place their baby. If the birth parents want contact with the adoptive parents, they have a right to choose that.

It is so disheartening to hear people say I do not love my baby because I “gave him away.” *I did not give him away. He was not a doll that I outgrew. He was not an extra set of dishes I had no use for.* He was and is a beautiful baby boy, a blessing in my life, and a blessing to his family. Placing him for adoption was the hard thing to do; it was also the right thing to do.

Contact Act of Love Adoptions today to speak with an adoption professional and learn more about adoption.  Call Act of Love 24/7 1-800-835-6360 or text 801-450-0094.  You can also email to actofloveadoptions@yahoo.com and a caring adoption professional will be able to correspond with you.

Common Myths Associated With The Adoption Process

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First and foremost, don’t conform your decisions to match those of societies’. You and you alone, are the only person who can make any decisions regarding your child. With that being said, let’s take a look at a few common myths associated with the adoption process.
Myth #1: A Loving Mother Would Never Give Her Baby Up For Adoption
This is arguably the most common (and dishonest) myth associated with the adoption process. It’s a myth for the simple fact that all birth mothers want the best for their babies- even if this means having them raised by adoptive parents. Adoption is actually a very responsible process that shows just how much a birth mother really loves her child.
Myth #2: My Child is Going to Hate Me
You gave your baby life, and it’s your duty as a mother to ensure that they grow up to become the best person they can be. This is something that their adoptive parents will be sure to explain to them as they get older. As a matter of fact, it’s more likely that your child is going to be interested in getting to know you when they get older rather than hate you.
Myth #3: Adopted Children Grow Up With Personality Disorders
Adopted children aren’t expected to do any better or poorer in life psychologically compared to children who were not adopted. Many studies have proven this, demonstrating no correlation between children who are adopted and personality disorders. Quite the contrary, placing your baby up for adoption will probably make them more likely to succeed. After all, the last thing you want is to try to raise a child when you aren’t ready financially, emotionally, or physically. These are the things that often result in personality disorders- not adoption.

To Receive Further Adoption Information and Consider Your Options: Contact Act of Love Adoptions today to receive personal one-on-one care and support.  Speak with an adoption professional and learn about open and closed adoptions, financial support for your pregnancy needs, medical care and counseling. Your contact is confidential and gives you a safe and caring person to talk with about your pregnancy and plans for your child. Speak to individuals with over twenty years of personal adoption experience and talk to women that have chosen the adoption process.  Call 24/7 1-800-835-6360 or text 801-450-0094.  Visit the website at www.aactofloveadoptions.com and the Act of Love Facebook.

After the Storm

SkylarWe recently experienced a series of heavy rainfalls that resulted in devastating floods, particularly in areas around the Red River. Heavy rains ensued, flash flood warnings were issued, and the news was flooded with cautions and warnings against driving in puddles of water or flooded streets. Neighborhoods and numerous apartment complexes, including mine, were put on evacuation notice because the river was expected to crest.

The effects of the rain and subsequent flooding were devastating for many folks. Many families’ homes were literally completely flooded, resulting in a total loss. Some folks lost their lives to the rising water levels and swift currents. Houses and infrastructure were swept away in the current’s unrelenting grasp. Firm in their foundation one moment, gone the next.

Communities wept together and came together to assist those who were affected. Various religious groups, along with the National Guard, came together to help “sand bags,” which were used along the river’s bank and in some high-risk communities to prevent the flood’s further invasion. Shelters were opened to provide sanctuary for those who were displaced. Hundreds of volunteers helped to feed and care for them. Dozens of volunteers helped families remove damaged furniture from mold-infested homes.

The volunteers cheerfully devoted their time and effort to provide relief to those families. They learned to be more grateful for their own families and the charitable spirit which moves us to help others. They experienced and witnessed that miraculous transition where groups with varying backgrounds unite to perform a task that far outweighs the disparate nature of differing beliefs. Unity and common ground were established among those who served together, and love for our neighbors and community was increased. Individuals and families who were served felt enormous gratitude for the help they received, and their burdens were lightened by the outpour of love and support that strangers freely gave them.

This story can be likened to an adoption journey for birth parents.

When I learned I was pregnant, I was devastated, among other things. I experienced many troubling and powerful emotions. At first, I was going to have an abortion, but after talking to AAOL, I decided that adoption was the best option for my son. The moment I decided to place my son for adoption, my life was flooded with ways to prepare me for placement. I detached myself from my son and did not bond with him the same way I did his brothers. (I love him just as much as his brothers now, but at first, it really was different.) I began to experience loss the moment I decided to place.

Thankfully, the wonderful staff at AAOL helped me through that period. They understood my feelings, acknowledged them, and supported me throughout the entire process. I was not alone during that storm. They were there for me to help wade me through the troubling waters, to encourage me to remain firm in my decision, to not be swept away by fear or hopelessness, and to help me see the sun once again.

Rebuilding my life after placement was an even more difficult journey than I thought. I knew that that particular storm, that trial, would be difficult, though I had no idea that the loss would be so devastating. Yet, here I am, two and half years later, standing on a firmer foundation than before. Rebuilding my life meant getting rid of the molds and debris in my life. It meant picking up some pieces and acquiring new ones. It meant constructing one aspect of my life before working on the next. Now, I can confidently say that my life is full. I stand firm in my beliefs and in whom I have become; I do not ignore the past, but I remember it as a passing storm that helped me become who I am today. I think of the people who helped me, and I am grateful for their love and kindness. Despite the tears I shed occasionally, I see beauty and blessings all around me.

Happiness is a Choice

SkylarI am going to borrow a story I once heard, which has had an impact on how I choose to adjust my attitude.

A set of twin boys grew up in the same home. Their father was verbally abusive to them and their mother, drank alcohol every night, and smoked cigarettes regularly. He never held a job for more than a few weeks and blamed the misery of his life on his circumstances. When the two boys grew up, one followed in his father’s footsteps, and the other had a steady job and never drank alcohol or smoked. He treated others with respect and was careful not to put others down. When asked why they live the way they live, they each said, “I learned from my father.”

It is true that sometimes our circumstances are not ideal, or in some cases, they just suck. (For example, sometimes it sucks being poor, but most of the time, it really is okay.) We cannot help the circumstances we are born into. We can, in most instances, change those circumstances through desire and hard work. More importantly, we have complete control over how we handle our circumstances.

Take adoption for instance. I chose to place my son for adoption. It would then follow that I chose to take on the pain and hurt that comes with it. I understood that placing my son for adoption would be a tremendous sacrifice and it would cut me deeply. So then, I am presented with a choice: I could allow the adoption to ruin my life, to let the grief take over and blame my misery on my circumstances, or I could accept the pain of adoption and see how wonderful and beautiful it is. It is a choice between letting it rule my life or letting it change my life. I have chosen to let it change my life, and what a beautiful change that is!

Our attitudes are in our control. It does not mean that we agree with things that happen or that we like them. It means being a strong person who chooses happiness in spite of things that are out of our own control. I have learned from experience that it takes much more energy to be negative than it does to be positive. This does not mean that we will not ever be sad, nor does it mean we will never have periods of depression. The defining factor is whether or not we are willing to acknowledge that it does get better and push forward to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Adoption
is An Act of Love

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