Ready to Come Clean

Every day I read moving articles, articles that inspire me and others to share our stories and to be better. Every day I wonder why I hide behind an “internship in LA”, “visiting good friends” and “oh, that’s my friend’s baby on my background”. I want to come clean, I want to share my story and I want to help other men and women through this. I want people to know how beautiful adoption is, and how open it can be. My story is unlike any other I have ever heard of. I want it to become the new normal, because when we push down the walls and let go of the fear it creates the most loving and trustworthy environment for a child, in my opinion.

About a month ago I had someone tell me that I was the “worst person ever”, I was “selfish” and so many other terrible unimaginable. This person said these things out loud to me because I placed my son for adoption and I have a relationship with him. He told me I need to leave my son alone. Yes, I know that everyone is initialed to their opinion, the fact that it was my boss, ex boss now, made him not entitled to it, but how can these words come out of someones mouth? For a few weeks I believe him. I became so lost in my life. He made me feel like I had feared people would make me feel if it was out in the open. This man made me question my decision and my reason for waking up every day, to do big things for my son. He pushed me into a dark place, a place I didn’t think I could get out of, a place even if I did get out of I knew it wouldn’t be on my own. I feel so blessed to have the friends and family I do. They knew and they were there. They were there to pull me out of my room when I just wanted to lay in a dark room for days. They were ultimately there when I had to make a decision: continue to live there and not know the fate of my life or get out and start over. Thank god they were there. It took about 3 seconds of convincing me to move to the East Coast from Minneapolis. There was a window in my lease, which never happens, and a friend who wanted to pack up and move across the country for a fresh start. It was perfect. All of the pain I was feeling there went away, talking about it now still tugs a little bit, but everything that man did to me felt so far away. I knew I wasn’t in the same city as him, I knew I wasn’t near anyone who had relations with him, it was over. I could start living again and not in the depressed state I was in.

I think about what this man did to me and it makes me wonder how many other women have gone through the same exact thing, and how many other women had anyone to speak to about it or relate too, whether it came from a boss, friend, family member or stranger on social media. I am positive there are women everywhere going through the same thing. I want to speak to these women. I want to share my story of how I turned my life around and not just from what this man did, but after the adoption. I want to share that open adoption is okay, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to know your child after they are born and as they grow. I also want to tell them that we are in this together, we are not alone. We need to be strong for each other and for our children. I can’t hide behind lies anymore. I can’t see pain and know that I can help someone through it but I am to scared of what someone might say to me. I know I did what was right by my son and at the end of the day, what else matters?

So, time to come clean. But how?….

MSP 2 LAX

My son turned 1 last week. 1 year old. Where did the time go? I now understand what people say about time flying so fast when you have children. I swear it was as if he was just born, I closed my eyes and now he is 1. And he is the best 1 year old!

I am sitting in an airport right now headed to his birthday party in LA. My last few visits to LA to see him have been short, one day or a few hours, this time it is a three day trip. Three days with my son. Three days to take in every scent, sound and movement. I am so nervous and so excited. Nervous to see him and his family. I don’t want to be a let down to them. I just had to leave me job because of a horrible situation that occurred and now I am going to see them and I have to tell them I already left my fist “grown up” job. I know they will understand the reasoning for leaving it, but it’s frustrating. I do everything I can, everyday, to make them proud and him proud. My days aren’t about me and they haven’t been for almost two years. I don’t wake up in the morning and say what can I do to fulfill myself today, I say what can I do to fulfill my son and his family today. What can I do to make them proud of the woman they know as Hopey. Ah. It’s time to put a show on and act as if my life is going amazing. And maybe it is, maybe everything going on is the best thing for me.

I do not need to have a pity party. I am done doing that right now. Honestly though, most of the people in my life couldn’t tell you the first or last problem going on in my life. Most of them would tell you that I am always happy and nothing ever gets me down, or nothing major is happening. I put on a front because I do not want anyone to see me vulnerable, because what would happen then? Would I let people in and allow them to see that I do have more then just sunshine and rainbows. Now, it is not to say I act unrealistic or naive. I just do not see why I should put my problems on anyone else and weigh down their life. We all know that people are going through things, and who am I to put my stuff on top of that. I do not cry in front of people. I do not scream in front of people. I do not talk about the deep issues I struggle with every day. The most ironic part about this is that this is an anonymous blog. Very few people know about this blog, maybe two people. I won’t even share this with them. I can’t be seen as weak. I can’t be seen as weak because then what would happen? Almost every friend I have ever had has tried to take advantage of me as it is, can you imagine if I showed this vulnerable side? What would happen? I run from confrontation, most of the time, and my friends and family know that. Friends I have had for years think I do not realize they are doing it. Well, I do. But that is besides the point. It is on my mind right now, but that is not the important thing right now.

I need to focus on that beautiful baby boy, the most beautiful boy. It is his weekend! Although, I have a very strong feeling every weekend and every day is always his. He is a lucky little boy to have the world at his feet and the most amazing family to provide it for him. I am grateful to be part of it, even it is only for a weekend a few times a year. Here is to Jesse and the happiness of this weekend and the rest of all of our days!

“The moment”

Every time I am around my mom she brings up “the moment”. The moment every birth mother goes through after the baby is born when she thinks she might change her mind.. I’ve posted about it before but it is such a frustrating conversation with her. She caused a huge mess at the hospital when my son was born and said it was because of “the moment” she saw. That moment everyone talks about, as she says. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t happening and it didn’t, maybe later on a few times, but it didn’t happen there. All of these problems where our families will never, probably, get over. It is heart breaking. My mom has still not reached out to my sons mom to apologize or to come to an acceptance on the situation. My son will probably never come here for a week in the summer, like we had talked about before. It will never happen. Maybe that was just talk to ease the adoption process along, but I trust Kim and trust in her words that she said. I wonder if it will ever dawn on my mom and my family to apologize to her, me and Jesse. I believe in “the moment”. It is every adoptive parents worst nightmare and it happens all of the time. I get it. Part of me wonders if I felt so much love for Kim I didn’t want to let her down. I didn’t want to take this away from her. I know in my heart it was the right decision, and in the end that is all that matters. The moment is real and my strongest advice to be able to overcome the moment for birth parents and adoptive parents is to picture 1 year down the road and 5 years down the road. What does it look like for everyone? Is it struggle or is it happiness and bliss? That is the answer. You chose this option in the beginning for a reason, remember that. My son spent his first birthday in Maui and I graduated college and started a career. That is why I made the decision I did and I will always stand behind it.

Time goes by..

I can’t believe it has been so long since I have posted anything. I let myself get so busy with life, that I lost the desire to write. I lost the desire to let out my feelings and share my experiences. I had a conversation with someone the other night and he helped me get back to it. I think in my head I was trying to be a different person. I didn’t want the adoption to define me, and I hear from my mother every time I talk about being open with people about it, that that’s what is going to happen. Right when I get the courage to make calls or visits to my family to tell them, she stops me. I don’t know if it’s because she is embarrassed or a ashamed but I can’t let that keep holding me back. I can’t let her fear become my fear. At the end of the day the only thing we can control is ourselves and our actions/reactions. I want to be open about it and I want to share my journey, because I truly believe it is something that needs to be heard. A new friend helped me see that. I’m vowing to do more. To write more. To share more. To open myself up more.

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Love

Sometimes I think that the only love I’ll ever need is the love of my son. I think that will be enough. I have spent the last few years of my life running away from anything that even showed a hint of truth. Even before he come along, I ran. I would use sex to feel fulfilled. That would be the fix I would use for that piece I didn’t want to chase after. Whether it was sex once a year, or a a regular thing, I used that. I remember so vividly the last time I really felt love from a man. Now, it seems like it was a life time ago. I sometimes think that love tainted me. I don’t know why. It was a great love, but a love that had bad strings attached. It was a young love, a love that blinded me from everything else going on around it. He became my life. It became all about him and wanting to be with him. I think that might partly scare me from it. I let it take over my life, and ya know, honestly, I think that it was an okay thing to happen. He changed my world. He made me more happy but at the same time so helpless. I felt I needed him to be happy and that he held that happiness. It was a time in both of our lives where we were young and wild. We made decisions we probably shouldn’t have and that caused us to hurt each other as well. I can remember him going back home for christmas, and right before he left we had sex for the first time and used the “L” word to each other. When he came back from that trip I was all of the sudden deleted off Facebook and I couldn’t understand why. Well, it turns out he had a whole different life going on back home. There was a girl before me, and then I showed up and messed things up, or at least made them confusing. It was heart breaking, but I still held on. I held on to him and thought I could just look past it. I thought maybe if he knew how much it hurt me, he would say sorry and end it. Well, we all know life is never that simple, and they continued to be together for a little bit, eventually it ended, but the worst part was I STAYED. I decided that it didn’t matter to me what life he had back home, because he was here now and I was there now. I wanted to live in the now and I wanted to be with him. He made me smitten in ways I had never felt smitten before. It was a very confusing time. In the end they ended and we stuck. We were together for months after that ordeal. It was some of the best months in my love life yet. He made me happy in all the ways needed. Sexually, we had chemistry like I have not felt since. Emotionally, we connected on such a deep level, that I still have not found someone I connected with that deep. Well, I take that back, kind of, I think, my Hawaii trip brought about a whole new side of me, but that post will come next! He fulfilled me and treated me like a princess when we were together, and I treated him well, not because I had to or he had too but because we both wanted too. We both wanted to make each other happy, and we did. He played hockey in my home town and with that comes a season ending and a man on a plane back home, far away from MN. He was from NY and at the end of the season was headed back there. On the day he left he brought me flowers and asked me to be official with him, to try and make things work long-distance. In my heart I wanted it, I wanted it more then anything in the world. My head on the other hand thought of Christmas when he went home for a week and came back in relationship. I didn’t want to go through that again, and be that woman who stays. So, I said I wanted to see how things went while he was home. This is where the running began, well it started far before this but not as bad. I remember being in Indiana, and then bam, all the sudden I quit answering his calls, texts, Skype calls, EVERYTHING. Out of the blue. It wasn’t like he did something or anything, I just stopped. I still don’t know the exact reason, but I see one thing now, that was the beginning of the end. The end being my love life. It wasn’t even a conscious thing, it just happened, and has continued to happen over the years. I don’t blame that man, I think he is amazing. I still keep in contact with him, randomly, but it’s there. He had a hockey tournament in the twin cities my sophomore year of college and I still remember the feeling I got when I went and picked him up and brought him to my apartment. It was the first time I had seen him in two years, and all of those feelings came back. It felt so good to be with him, I felt whole again for the first time in a long time. We had made plans to hangout the next day and I panicked. It was New Years Eve, and I had planned on staying sober so I could go get him, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t let myself feel that, in that moment I wouldn’t let myself. He must have been feeling the same way, because he changed his mind as well. He “got busy”, just as I “got busy”. How ironic, right. Every time we talk now, we speak about that time, how we both wished we would have seen each other one more time. We both still speak about our paths crossing again, and for some reason I believe they will. I am not sure how, but I think they will. We had a connection so deep and so special, it would be a shame if they didn’t cross again. 

Anyways, that was a long story, I was going to make short, but failed. This was the beginning of my “hard core” running. The running that was caused me to lose friends and lovers. It is a habit I can’t seem to kick. I run before things get to serious, or before I think I may get hurt. I sometimes think that I truly believe that all lovers and friends that come into my life are going to hurt me. I am in constant fear that today will be the end or something bad is going to happen. I wish I could kick that fear. I do not want to end a friendship or relationship because of this anymore. I want to be that person that can be counted on and someone who lets love in, not pushes it away. I am tired of making that one night stand make me feel fulfilled on love for as much time as needed. I am tired of meeting a great guy and never calling him again. I am tired of sticking around with the wrong men because I know I will never like them enough for them to hurt me. Most of all, I am tired of having a great man in my life and running away as quick as I can. I am working on this, and I will keep you all updated on the progress I make and how I get there. I want a great love… Even if it ends in heart break, I want a great love, a BIG LOVE. 

Wheels up..

Here I am.. Sitting at the airport waiting to board my flight. A flight that was a gift, an amazing gift. The gift came from Kim and her family, my sons mom. I am still sitting here in shock. I can’t believe this is real. I set alarm after alarms this morning, to make sure I would wake up. I moved in to my first “grown up” apartment yesterday, so to say I am exhausted would be a LARGE understatement. I woke up at 7 and my first thought was “why am I up so early?”. It took me a second to register that today was the day. Today’s the day I am going on the trip of a lifetime, a trip most people dream about. I spoke about swimming with dolphins when I was living with Kim before my son was born. It was almost an obsession, and has been most of my life. I am fascinated by them. I also love water. I would rather be in water then anywhere else.

Kim called me about a month ago and told me about the trip. Her family and her wanted to give me something to celebrate my graduation from college. When she called I could not even speak. I didn’t even know what to say. I was just in awe and shock. It was an amazing moment.

I decided to go by myself. I had tossed around the option of someone else coming and it looked unappealing. I would have loved Kim and Jesse to come, but this time that wasn’t an option. Kim has taught me about self love and self worth since the very first day I met her. When she gave me the trip she described it as being a trip to celebrate me and my achievements, a trip where I can feel loved and celebrated. I never really got the time to reflect and rewind on my life. After Jesse was born I moved back home and started an internship and job almost instantly, and since then my life has been non stop. I never got to sit back and relax and really take in life and what had just come about. I didn’t get to celebrate the birth of my son, or mourn the loss of his constant presence. Not even just life revolving around Jesse, but I have been so busy the last year that I am forgetting who I am and the values that I hold. I have been so preoccupied with my busy life that I have no time for myself. That is what this trip is about. Reflecting, relaxing, and releasing any feelings I have inside of me. I do not have to worry about pleasing anyone else but myself. I can do as much as I want or as little as I want. I hold the cards, just as I hold the cards in my life. I am more then excited to spend the week celebrating me and what my life has become. Of course, I know there will be tears. I am prepared for that. I also know there will be smiling. 

Well, they just called my zone. So, wish me luck on this week long journey of reflection and relaxation. 

The big day: Graduation!

So, this week is kind of a big deal in my life and for many reasons. First off, a year ago yesterday I found out I was pregnant on my 5th visit to the doctor in 20 weeks. I ended up getting so sick, almost dead, and went in again. It was unlike anything I could ever describe. I knew something was wrong with me, but I trusted my doctors and they didn’t do the tests, so I didn’t concern myself with it. My mom was also diagnosed with breast cancer the day after I got pregnant and I became one of her primary care takers. I made the two hour drive from school home weekly to help with whatever needed to be done. I was distracted taking care of her and my little brother, I ignored my own health. When I went to the doctor with concerns they thought I was paranoid about my mothers diagnosis. They never did a pregnancy test, even after 4 visits in 20 weeks. I found out I was pregnant on May 7th, at 21 weeks and 3 days. Talk about  a walking TV show. You want to know how I found out… I went in so sick, they thought it was my kidneys right away, gave them my urine and blood, but they didn’t test it for pregnancy, instead they gave me an Xray. The Xray tech saw a skeleton on the image. THEN they tested my urine and confirmed I was pregnant. Seriously, that happened. It was unbelievable and shocking to say the least. I had been sexual active twice that whole year and one of the times was a drunken mistake that I didn’t even know the details of. I woke up the next morning after that drunken night, thinking I had been drugged and very fuzzy about the night. BUT none the less, it happened and there as baby boy growing inside of me. That clinic was the worst visit of my life, and not because I found out I was pregnant but for many other reasons that I will share some day soon. Back to the point, this time last year my life changed forever. I didn’t think I was going to make it through it and NOW here I am. My son is across the country, but I am doing everything I set out to do and more. I know that he will be proud of me some day.

Tomorrow I walk across the stage of my University and graduate from college. I am graduated with a double major and a minor. The day is here. The day I have been waiting for, but now can’t believe it came so quick. This time last year I thought I would become another statistic drop out. I didn’t see graduation in my future. Now, here I am. I was invited to the Board of Regents brunch at my school this afternoon to speak about my political lobbying experience this semester. I spoke in front of the people who make all the decisions for my school, and provide most of the funding. They were telling me how proud they were of me for my accomplishments of writing legislation and it being projected to finally pass next week. That is my life. I went from being so lost and depressed and confused and broken, to a well known name in Minnesota and an “inspiration”, as I am told, to my fellow classmates and professors. I couldn’t help but want to tell them about my journey this past year and what I went through with my son. They don’t know, but I want to tell them it is because of him I am doing what I am doing. I have worked so hard and tried to do everything I possibly could because of him. I want him to know that it wasn’t for nothing. I did it to better both of us. Some day I will come out with my story.. some day I will have the courage to do it. Will it be soon? Probably not. But that is okay. For right now I am going to soak in this joy of accomplishing what I thought was going to be unattainable. It is here. The day is here and I thank my son every day for coming into my life. 

Busy Days!

Wow. I have been so busy these last few weeks. I was reading over my last post, and what a difference some deep breathes and conversations with loved ones can make. I can’t believe how angry I was at my sons mom. She is such an amazing woman and came in just when I needed her. I will never forget when I stumbled across her ad on Google, looked at her “book” and feel in love. She was everything I could ever want in not just a mom but a person. I am thankful for her every single day. I think anger is gong to come with adoption. Anger comes from hurt for me. I am hurt every day that my son is not with me, but at the same time so happy he is living a life he deserves. I remember flying out to LA to meet her after just a week or so of talking through text and once through Skype. I knew instantly we were brought together by fate. I was only there for the weekend and she wanted to show me what life would be like if I lived there, she wanted me to met the important people in her life. We weren’t going to have time to met the man who would be Jesse’s god-father and she was distraught about it. I remember we were driving under a bridge and I looked at her and said “I will just meet him when I come back”. She grabbed my hand and for the first time in a while I felt happy. It was like both of our prayers and dreams were being answered, and we were doing it for each other. The tragedy I was feeling didn’t have to be a tragedy. It could be something beautiful, a partnership for life. People who know ask me all the time why I picked a single mother, and I always tell them if you met her you would understand. She is amazing and I love her, even through the anger. 

 

My first visit with Jesse..

I wrote this shortly after my 22nd birthday trip to see my son for the first time after he was born.. 

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This weekend I saw my son for the first time since days after he was born. It was a feeling that I can’t put into words. I had waited four and a half months to hold him, to smell him, to hear him. I walked into the door of his home and there he was. It was the moment I dreamed about every night and day dreamed about every day. I did not know how I was going to feel or what I was going to say, and I was speechless. His grandma was feeding him on the couch and I just sat there next to him, looking at him as if he was the King of the world, and in my world he is. His bright eyes looked at me and I looked back at not just him but to his soul. I could feel him over power me. I could feel the depths of his stare in every inch of me. I knew that he knew me and I knew he felt what I was feeling, as if in that moment in time the world stood still and we were the only ones in the world. I embraced every second, as if it was lifetime.

            The months leading up to this moment I felt like I was missing his most important milestones and I was. He was in California and I was life times away in Minnesota. I wanted to be there to hear all the noises he was making and learn what his faces meant. I dreamt about the moment I could hold him through his cries and laugh with him. I dreamt of the in between moments. The moments where he slept peacefully and I listened to him breath or held him and felt his heart beat on mine. For 10 months he felt my heart beat, it was a consistent rhythm that helped him fall asleep, helped him through whatever he was feeling, a comfort for him, and now his heartbeat was doing the same for me. His heartbeat alone is what keeps me alive, it is not mine, it is his. I live for him and I live for those moments where no one else matters but him and I.

            I spent that first night watching and helping with his nightly routine. Feeding, baths, massage, dressing and then sleep. I watched in awe as he so peacefully went through these motions. I watched in awe, as he so perfectly, simply, existed. I watched in awe as he stared at his mom, Kim, with every move she made. He watched her, observed her and I knew in those moments that she has given him so much love and care, and that I would never need to worry about his wellbeing and love. If I had ever had a doubt, although I didn’t, it would have been gone in that moment. I found myself wishing that he would look at me that way. I hoped that I could make him see me as someone who would always love him and always be there. I wanted to make him laugh like she did, and I knew that by the end of my short visit, I would.

            After it was time for Jesse to go to bed, Kim drove me to my hotel. At first, I was so angry with her for thinking it was the best idea for me to stay in a hotel, but I quickly learned it was everything I needed. Although, I wanted to spend every second with my son, I needed those moments alone to debrief and be with my thoughts. My mind was over powered with thoughts of gratitude and relief. I felt gratitude for the life he was living. I was so happy that he was being so loved and taken care of so well. I felt relief with that same thought. Relief that I knew I had picked the right person and the right path. Along with gratitude and relief, I felt sorrow and jealousy. He was so perfect, everything I knew he would be, and I found myself thinking, “Why did I do this”. When I allow myself to think this, it is a downward spiral. Sometimes I can bounce out of it, and sometimes it causes me to spend days in a depressed state. In this moment, it followed with, “Why couldn’t I be more like Kim and ready for this”. I was overwhelmed with jealousy of her. I sat on the floor in my hotel room crying, alone. It was a feeling and setting I was so used to, from these past few months.

            To my surprise, this was one of those times where I was able to bounce out of it. I pulled myself together and said the phrase I have said to myself thousands of times, “You did the right thing. You are following your dreams and Jesse is living the life he deserves with a woman who will put him first and love him unconditionally”. After repeating it out loud a couple of times, I felt myself going back to those feelings of gratitude and relief. I felt myself feeling thankful again, being taken over with positive energy. I like to think that in those moments, Jesse, Kim and my soul are uniting at that exact moment to provide comfort in those moments I need it most. I feel asleep that night, very anxious to wake up and spend the day getting to know my son.

            That next morning, I found myself wide-awake at 6 am. I wanted to get my day started as soon as possible, so I did not miss a second with Jesse. I went outside to embrace the air and embrace the day I was about to have. I waited till around 8:30 to text Kim because she had told me the day before that is when the day for them usually officially starts, if she is lucky to get the few extra hours of sleep after the 5:30 am feeding. I started my walk to Kim and Jesse’s home. I decided in my head that I would spend every moment of that day looking and talking to Jesse, and learning everything I can about him from Him and Kim.

            Finally, I arrived at their home and instantly Kim gave Jesse to me to hold him. This moment was one of those where I felt complete. I embraced him and held him so close, touching his face and taking in his scent. He looked at me with his beautiful, calming eyes, and in that moment I knew I would start every day reliving that moment in my mind.

            I spent that day doing everything from feeding to rolling around on the rug to making faces back and forth and laughing with each other. I pushed him in his stroller, taking him to all my favorite places. Studied him as he moved and smiled. Most of all I took in everything. I didn’t just exist that day, for the first time in a long time; I lived that day. I lived every second and embraced every second as if it would be my last. I laughed louder then I had laughed in months. I smiled brighter then I ever have. He was so beautiful.

I kept thinking all day in awe that I created him. He was part of me. Jesse would make a face and I knew that I had made that exact face before! I thought about how I have always went through life with a smile on my face, and I passed that to him! He will grow up and gain traits from his mom and the people around him but he will always be part me. I feel his soul every day, and we will always be connected, whether I am there to see every face or hear every noise, he feels me and I feel him.

As it came time for me to leave that night, I didn’t feel sad. I didn’t instantly hit that deep dark depression I was preparing for. Before my arrival I thought I would leave feeling worse then I had before, but I did not. I cried but they were tears of gratitude and love. I felt so happy. I felt so honored to be his mother and to be in his life. I felt so grateful to be able to bond and connect with Jesse in ways that are not possible over Skype. This visit justified what Kim has told me from the beginning, I will always be welcome in my son’s life. Adoption is messy. It is complicated. It causes pain and anxiety. People lie, but Kim and I created a situation, in my opinion, which made all the hardship that comes with it be in the shadow of all the good we created. Our adoption was full of love, life and openness, and I live every day to its’ highest potential, knowing that Jesse will always know me, and I will always know him.

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