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I always let time get the best of me.. I get too busy or I think what I have to say doesn’t matter. I feel that no matter what I say or do no one will truly see the real me or the real feelings. I feel that way more then ever today. I can’t get across my feelings without feeling so upset, that I push away the people who matter most. I have to stop myself and wonder am I so upset because what they are saying is true or because they don’t know the real me…

It is a constant battle every time. It doesn’t matter what the battle is about, but it’s always there. It has been for years. When I look at myself I see a successful woman trying to make the best of the time I have here. I see myself as someone not afraid to take risks or stand up for what I believe in. I am starting to think that being that way is not okay.. I am starting to think that being this way alienates me and puts me on the battle field with ones who are close. I don’t know how to be myself around the people who have known me my whole life. I feel like I don’t belong and I don’t know why. Is it me? Am I the issue?

How do I become a person that they can be proud of? What do I need to do? I am not perfect, far from it. I make mistakes all the time, but I try to learn from them and be better. What if I am not being better? What if I am just going in a circle of decisions that really don’t better me.

I thought moving to California would solve everything. I thought it would bring me peace to be close to my son and in a new environment. I thought this was where I belonged. I am starting to see that all I am doing is running. I am running from myself and my past. I am learning that being in California does not really mean I am close to my son. It means I am a 4 hour drive, that I can’t make. I knew that coming out here, but I think in my mind I thought it would be bring me peace to be closer. All it has done is create frustration that I am so close, yet so far away. I can’t just jump in my car and see him, and I knew that before I moved out here. But that doesn’t make it an easier.

At the end of the day it all steams back from the day I made the decision to go the route I did, adoption. That day my fate was set. I fear I will spend the rest of my life chasing a feeling or a place that doesn’t exists. I see people everyday having major life moments, having babies, getting engaged, buying homes and I feel lost. I feel like those things are not attainable for me. I feel as if I gave up the right to want those things and to let those things happen. I think I run because in my mind I have too. I am supposed to be out living my life, and I am, but at what costs. How do I stop chasing a place and a feeling that doesn’t exist and never will. I will never be the person I was before that day, and I am okay with that. How do I find the peace of mind in finding home, because right now I don’t know where that is or how to find it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Coast Ready

There was never a doubt in my mind that I would end up closer to my son, after he was born at least. I remember back when I was searching for his forever family and I wanted them to be as far away as possible. I wanted an open adoption but I didn’t think I could bear being so close to him. As my belly grew bigger and the movements became stronger, my feelings towards this idea started to change. There was one problem, I had already feel in love with a family and they were across the country. I knew this woman had to be his mom. I couldn’t change that and I did not want too. So, my mind was made up, I would find a way back to him.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You gave up that right, and I know that, whole heartily I know. It’s not about crossing a line and showing up every day, or every weekend. That’s not what I long for. Would I love that? Of course. Is that fair to his mom? No. I would never want to cross a boundary. I put myself in her shoes all the time and think “if I were her how would I feel about this”. What I really long for is closeness. I long for knowing that if we agree on a visit I can jump in my car and go. If I long for a memory, I can jump in my car and go back to some of the places that I hold memories with him. It is one thing to have them in your mind, the memories are always in my mind, but to be there and smell the air and take myself back.. There are no words to describe that longing I have. 

My life journey brought me to the East Coast last October, even further away. It was something I needed to do for my growth and to really discover who I am and who I want to be. I would never take back my choice to come to Virginia, as my life has been changed for the better because of it. My family out here has inspired me to be the best version of myself, to help others, to work hard and never give up. I can’t put enough value on the way they have changed my outlooks. My Aunt B puts everyone first, is always doing anything she can for her children and works her a$$ off to provide for them. She is one of the toughest women I know. My Uncle T.. There aren’t great enough words to describe him. Always the voice of truth, even when I didn’t want to hear it!! They welcomed me into their family and changed me for the better.  I have made friends and met a great man, who have been so supportive. This time would not have made sense without them. 

BUT all chapters must transition into the next chapter, and of course the people involved in this chapter will carry to the next. 

My transition begins in three weeks. Three weeks and I will be moving to San Jose, CA. I can barley believe it’s true. California has always been a dream of mine, from when I was little but especially after Jesse was born. I am so thankful to have received an offer from my company, memoryBlue, a few months back and now the oppurunity to be apart of the opening crew in their new location in CA. There are no words to describe my gratitude. I have always been under the belief that everything happens for a reason and we are exactly where we are supposed to be. I couldn’t feel more strongly about that today. This phrase does not happen without hard work, dedication and sometimes sacrifice but I believe with a combination of the three, we accomplish our true place in the universe. A little faith never hurt either. 

What does this mean for my open adoption? Honestly, it does not change much. Kim and I have previously spoke about the difference if I moved closer. We have a very open agreement as it is, something I am very thankful for. I’ll still be able to visit between 2-3 times every year. It is my hope that over the years it will evolve to more, given if Jesse wants to see me more and Kim is comfortable with it. For now, it means that when this visits come up, I can do it. I don’t have to worry about outrageous flights, uber rides and so on. It means a five hour drive. There were times this year when money was so tight, soooo tight, it meant sacrificing a trip. I don’t ever want to do that again, I can’t. I can’t let time pass and not be there. It is heart breaking. I already miss so much, and the thought of going so long again without seeing him.. I can’t even bare. 

This move may not change my arrangement but it changes my feelings. It provides comfort for me to be closer. It means I am living out my dreams, following my heart and being the woman my son will be proud of. It means I have the strength and ambition I had always known I had but forgot for a little bit along the way. 

What else magnificent does this move mean? I get to go on this journey with my best friend, my soul sister and my puzzle piece, Brittney. There is no one in the world I would rather experience this with. We’ve always told each other we were going to move mountains and change the world and now we get to do that together! 

You never know what tomorrow is going to bring. There is never certainty in anything. This is why I always take chances. I always follow my heart. When my mind is set, I don’t compromise it. I do whatever I can to achieve that. 

I made a promise to my son in the last few moments I had alone with him after he was born and before I headed to the airport back home. With uncontrollably tears and a gaze into his eyes I did not think could ever be broken, I promised him I would be back. I promised him I would love him unconditionally and always be his mother. I promised I would do everything I could to make sure he knew me and knew where he came from. I promised I would be strong. I promised him I would never take advantage of my ability to graduate college on track and create a life where I could some day provide for his possible birth-siblings. I promised to always love him and to always make that known to him. I also promised I would never come in between his relationship and bond with his mom, Kim. I promised I would always respect her and always love and cherish her. I promised him he would be number 1 and my biggest source of strength and pride. I will do everything in my power to keep every single promise I made him. There is no greater bond then the love of a mother and her child, a bond I will never put second and will never compromise. 

I couldn’t be more excited or proud to start this next chapter with strength, dignity and uncontrollable dedication. 

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone thru to achieve that beauty…

It seems as if I let time pass again. Time away from my blog. I have thought about it every day. I have thought every day that I should share this moment, share this thought, share this feeling with you, but I did not. I did not let you in. I did not share my happiness, my depression, my successes, my anything. But here I am, again, back to write the words I cannot say, and the feelings I do not show.
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Life is a constant revolving door, and wouldn’t you know, those scare the hell out of me. I do not know if they have always scared me, but I know they scare me now. I have come encounter with them a lot recently, and every time I hold my breath, close my eyes and push as fast as I can, just waiting for it to be over. I don’t know if this actually means something, or if it is just BS I am making up in my head, but in my head it is everything. To me it is my life, a revolving door that never stops. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, I am simply saying it can be scary. I find myself wondering sometimes “is the bad part over?”.

There are good days, GREAT days, bad days, and terrible days. Those days I can deal with, it’s the days where I feel like I am stuck in the in-between and I feel nothing. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel happy. I feel numb. I feel numb to it all. It’s as if I finally stepped out of the revolving door and it isn’t what I thought it would be. I pause. I take a pause with life, with my emotions and with my actions. It’s moments like this that I am having tonight where I step out of the revolving door that I thought was so scary, because it was never ending, and I am stuck feeling numb. Sometimes I like those moments best. The moments where I forget that my life is my life and I can be normal for just a moment. Some people spend their whole lives trying to find those moments, and some people can’t stand those moments. I am somewhere in between. I do not want to live a life without my son, whether he is with me or not. Life is better with him, that I am sure of. But I can’t help but wonder sometimes what my life would be like had things been different. If I would have never been pregnant, would I still be where I am today? I wonder if my life would be as fulfilled and at the same time as sad. If I would have decided against adoption, where would I be today? I wonder if my son and I would be happy and content. I wonder all the time where we would be living and what we would be doing in that exact moment. I wonder if he would still laugh and smile the way he does. I like to think that he would, because the truth is he is me. He is apart of me. He always will be. I smile and I laugh, no matter what obstacles are in front of me. It is what makes me, me. That is something we will always have together, our constant love for smiling and for bringing happiness upon those around us.

I made the choice to place him for adoption, because in my heart it was the right thing to do. It is the right place for him. I have said it before, but I can’t help but bring it up again. For myself I will always regret my decision. I will always feel broken, like a piece of me is missing. I will always feel as if I drank the “coolaid” in the adoption world. I will always feel that I gave up. Was this the best decision for me? Hell no. I will spend many, many years going through that pain, I am not sure if it ever goes away, I have hope that it does. I have a vision that when my son is older we will have an unbreakable bond, like the one everyone tells me about, and the pain will slowly slip away. It will start to hurt less and less, because I’ll get to speak to him whenever he wants. I have a strong belief that he will want to speak to me too, and laugh with me and take silly pictures with me that I can hold onto during the periods between visitations. Was it the right decision for Jesse? Of course it was. He deserved more then I could offer him right now. He deserved a life of endless opportunities and happiness. I have always said that if love was enough, he would be with me. I may not get to see my son every day, hear his voice, watch him grow, watch him do the many firsts he has been doing, but I will always love him. I will always be apart of him and he will always be apart me. Nothing can ever change that. Nothing can ever change our connection with each other when we are near or far. That is one thing that will never go away or stop revolving.

Pain can be beautiful. It shapes us into the people we become. Pain made me strong, stronger then I ever was before. This experience has made me brave, and caused me to see the world through a different light. I have always been a positive and strong person, but I had never known true, god-awful, pain. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and we always end up where we are supposed to be, even if that somewhere is a scary revolving door…

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!

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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I finally said it out loud.

Last night after a few drinks with old friends, I finally admitted out loud how mad I was. There was one person in my life who really spoke out against me choosing adoption. She thought I should keep my son and raise him, even though it was not a path I wanted for myself or for my son. Everyone else simply said “no you can’t do this”. When I told my best friend the first thing she said was “get rid of it, you have goals”. This is what I was working with. I was and am a very intelligent, bright, outgoing and driven woman. I know that I have always said kids were not part of my plan, but come on. I heard these things repeatedly, by my friends and family who knew. At one point I had decided to keep the baby, my family who knew were so angry. They would make comments and say things that killed me. I couldn’t understand it, but then I started to believe it. I started to see that they were “right”. I didn’t want to be a mom and I was in no way shape or form ready for this life. My son deserved better, which everyone loved to remind me. Love wasn’t enough. 

I think once you hear something so many times, it becomes true in your head. You start to live that as your reality. I have felt not good enough my whole life and this was just another circumstance where I felt that. 

Every day I want my son back. Every single day. There are woman who are in horrible circumstances, they are living poverty, drug abusers, can’t raise the children they have, and many other worse off situations. Here I am an educated woman, and hardworking woman at that. I have always been able to do and achieve what I wanted. I come from a family who had the means to help me. I wouldn’t be where I am now, graduating school, lobbying a bill, and being a carefree 20 something, but I would have the most important piece of me. I know that my son is living a life I could never give him now, but I can’t help but be so mad at myself. Why did I do it? Why did I think I wasn’t enough? 

I wish there was a magic word or something that would help me out. I can’t help but think this depression will never end. It isn’t constant, but finally admitting out loud that I am mad felt so good. It felt good to finally be honest. I am angry, and I think I am aloud to feel that way. My son started crawling and I had no idea. I had no idea! He started pulling himself up on things to stand, and I had no idea. He went to the beach, my favorite place to be, and I had no idea. I wasn’t there to share those big moments, and I never will be. Of course, I can try and fly there every chance I get and when Kim will let me. But I will miss it all.

Kim is a great mother, and she deserves the love of a child. I feel honored to be able to give that to her, but what about me? What happens to me? What happens to our relationship if I want to know more? I don’t want to push her because I want to know my son, I don’t want to tell her I am angry. I would never break our bond, not only because I love her deeply, but because she holds the fate of my relationship with my son in her hands. 

Where do I go from here? How do I fix myself? How do I quit being angry and start feeling happy all the time again?