Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Adoption is....... (Part 1)

After running across a few situations in the adoption world lately, I wanted to talk about honesty, grief, what adoption is, what adoption isn't, and how all three members of the triad can work together to make adoption a little less painful. This might take more than one article/post.  A little backstory on me. I am 24 years old, and placed my son when I was 21. Yes, I fit some of the "stereotypes". I was a young, single mom, already had a kid, etc. I have a pretty solid relationship with the adoptive family, which is awesome. Not everyone has that. I don't have too many regrets about my adoption story. Not everyone has that. So let's talk. And let's be real. And let's be honest.

*Please note that all of what I talk about is focused on Domestic Infant Adoption (DIA), and not foster care. I have very little experience in that realm.

Honesty in Adoption

     Sadly, honesty is not always present in adoption. The history of adoption is a very checkered one. There is a VERY dark side to adoption that we have to understand in order to appreciate how adoption is now.


There is an era in adoption that has been named the Baby Scoop Era. This was a time when women were shipped off to unwed mothers homes, sent to a relatives home farther away, etc. I would highly recommend reading "The Girl Who Went Away." in order to understand much of what happened. Some women were knocked out via drugs, some had no meds, some were restrained. Some were told that their children had died, others knew that the babies were alive, but never got the chance to see or hold their child. This was an era of closed adoptions. There have been so few families who have been able to reconnect, due to the fact that names were changed, and records were sealed.

There was a man who was adopted 25 years ago. When he was adopted, the attorney told the birth father he would need over $7K to fight the adoption. So he was pretty much forced to give up his rights. Because there was a name changed when the adoption papers were signed, the birth father was unable to find his son. The adoptee had not been told that he was adopted. He found a picture when he was 16, and started asking questions. To this day, he doesn't know if he would have been told if he hadn't found that picture. Luckily due to social media, he has been able to find one of his birth parents. But it has been a struggle.

There have been others. Other closed adoptions, where the adoptee has been able to reconnect with the birth parents... Some of them have been fantastic reconnections, where the birth families and adoptees have formed great relationships... Other adoptees have been left feeling like they were an inconvenience. Many are angry, hurt, or struggle with abandonment. Others are thankful for their adoptive families, and have tight bonds with them. It varies from person to person, but there is always a feeling of loss. Closed adoptions have caused so much pain for so many people. It is a VERY dark spot in adoption.


Things have changed, but they haven't changed as much as we would like them to. Our issues with honesty have changed to a bit of a different front. For the most part, we are looking at open adoptions instead of closed. Note, I said for the most part.

My open adoption story is pretty awesome. My son's parents have been pretty up front with me about things. Whether it has been health issues or health history, events that they have been a part of, etc. They have always been honest with me. Yes, I'm bragging on them because of how much I appreciate them. Honesty has been what has held us together. They were honest about their expectations in the open adoption that we agreed on. They were honest with me about his medical care. They were honest with me when it came to everything. My story isn't as bright as some.

There are many women I know who have placed. There are many who have been lied to and coerced. Yes, coercion still happens. Coercion from the birth family, coercion from friends, from pastors, from agency workers, from hospital workers, and from hopeful adoptive families. Dishonesty happens. Dishonesty happens when hopeful adoptive parents lie. When they claim that they want openness, and might even write out an agreement... But then they close the adoption. They move. They block the birth parent from email and phone calls. It happens, and it happens on a regular basis. This needs to change. To have healing, we MUST have honesty.

Though it is not as common these days, adoptive parents STILL lie to their children. While it might not be about the fact that they are adopted, they are often lied to about their beginnings. Some are told that their parents didn't want them. Some are told that the birth families are no good. Some are told that their birth parents aren't stable. Some are told that their birth families are druggies, alcoholics, etc. Yes, there are a few birth families that are not stable... but a child should never be told that they were not loved.

The most important part of honesty in adoption that we all leave out... Is honesty with ourselves, and our children. In order to look at adoption in any sort of light we have to be honest with ourselves. We cannot hide from ourselves, and we cannot hold the truth from our children. We have to be honest when we grieve. We have to be honest when we love.  We have to be honest when we are having a good day, and we have to be honest when we have bad days. Adoption needs to be founded on honesty.

I am going to wrap this one up, but I want to hear your stories! I want stories on honesty and/or grief. Is your story one of the hard ones? One of the dark ones? Is yours one of the brighter ones? Are you a birth parent? Are you an adoptee? Are you an adoptive parent? Send me your stories at, and let me know if I can share them to help with others. Thank you so much.

~Blessings and Love~

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Community... What It Is, and What It Isn't

Today has been an interesting day. It has been both beautiful and dreadfully hurtful at the same time.

I will start with the good.

A few days ago, I interviewed with Connecting Memphis. A project similar to ones like Humans of New York, and other photography/interview projects that aim to bring communities closer together. The woman who runs it is SUPER sweet. She is an adoptive mom, and we had a long discussion about adoption. I have the link to the interview here. 

Well, it was posted today, and there was SO much outpouring of love. Not a single judgement or criticism. There were some honest questions, and they received honest answers. I was thankful that people chose to ask those questions. It made my day start out amazingly.

Well, then it went downhill. I have a very close and dear friend who has been there for me and has supported me through a lot, while she herself has been going through some EXTREMELY rough times. Well, long story short, things went very badly for her, very quickly, and a community that claims to be there for mothers in our area turned their backs on her. People who didn't even KNOW her in real life, and even those who claimed to be some of her best friends turned around and stabbed her in the back. The actions of people very nearly destroyed her. I am so thankful that they didn't. She has a long hard road ahead of her, and instead of having a huge group of other mamas to turn to, she has only the few of us who are lucky enough to know her in real life.

I got to spend a couple hours with her. This woman, who I have never seen break before, especially not in public, came extremely close to actually crying in public.

She has been through hell, and is working on coming back.

I saw two communities today.

I saw a community of strangers reach out with words of kindness, love, and affirmation. And with what happened to my friend, I saw some of her other true friends speak up and speak out against the unfairness that was going on.

I saw a community of women and mothers who turned their back on one of their own when she needed them the most.

Which community do we need more of? And in the same line of questioning... which one do we see more of?

We cannot change anything unless we decide that we need to be members of the first community, not the second. Being members of the second destroys people. Being members of the first builds them up.

From the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of community is as follows. "The condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common."

So we have the opportunity to decide which community we want to be a part of, and which community we want to help grow and expand... I know for me? I want to be a part of the first.

Which side of the fence will you choose in your life? Which community will you choose?

I leave this with you with Christ's love,


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

God's Love

WOW. I haven't posted in a while! Things have been CRAZY here in our little world. Time for an update! (And hopefully... more regular blogging!!!)

June and July were CRAZY months! Some ups, and a lot of downs, but slowly more ups have been added! I went through job loss, learned how to quilt and can, did a LOT of canning and piecework for the quilts, got a job at a fabric store (can you say dangerous!), got a settlement from a car wreck, and then have been doing ALL THE THINGS.

Work has been keeping me busy. I love working at a fabric and craft store!!! So many awesome people there :)

My crafting has been SUPER awesome fun! Lots of quilting, learning new patterns, attempting to sew clothing... Just having a grand old time :)

Canning was fun. Lots of berries and peaches. My house smelled amazing :)

I have been doing some fun things with Mini-Me here lately... She started taking taekwondo classes today, and had an AMAZING time :) She is such a bright and shiny little one :)  She also went bowling for the first time tonight!

Let's see... in other news... God is AMAZING.

He put people and circumstances in my life that drew me to the amazing home church I have now. I have a wonderful fellowship with a body of believers, and have built amazing friendships already. I have a job where I don't have to work Sundays. I have a job that allows me to wear my head covering and cape dresses. I have an amazing little girl. I have a job that actually allows me to be a mother, and I love it. Even though things have been a struggle this past few months, I think He was just telling me that I needed to draw closer to Him and remain closer to Him. That I needed to keep my faith. He has come through in so many ways, and I thank Him daily.

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait."

Psalm 18:2

Psalm 9:10

Proverbs 3:5-6

Psalms 146:5-6

Romans 8:28

Isaiah 40:31

James 1:2-4

Isaiah 26:3-4

2 Corinthians 9:8

These are some scriptures that have kept me facing toward  Him. I  hope that wherever you are in your journey, that these can help you.

I pray that God blesses you in all that you do.

In Peace and Love

~Tabitha and Mini-Me

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sewing Fun!!!!

This is just one of those random fun things... I decided I was going to make a purse for Mini-Me! Well, it actually turned out pretty well. The only thing I am going to be changing is I will be adding a big fun button to the purse strap end. I will be letting her pick what buttons she wants :) My mom is being AWESOME and is letting me borrow her machine.... If any of my friends are curious about a really neat machine, the Brother XR1355 is SUPER easy. It doesn't even require the foot pedal! (Surprisingly enough... I like this. No extra cords around my legs!)

Anyway, here is the first purse I have made. Hopefully more will be made soon!!!  Mini-Me loves it!

With Love,
~Tabitha + Mini-Me

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amish Friendship Bread: Part One!

Woohoo! I am working on something called Amish Friendship Bread! I'm going to be doing some experimenting with bread recipes and the starters!

All of my recipes come from the Friendship Bread Kitchen. She has a HUGE collection of starter options and recipes to use your batter in!

I will be making four different starters and experimenting with them. Each one will have a starter in a plastic ziplock bag, as well as a one gallon glass jar. These are the four starters I will be doing.

1: Original Amish Friendship Bread Starter

2: Gluten Free Amish Friendship Bread Starter

3: Gluten + Casein Free Amish Friendship Bread Starter

4: Sugar Free Amish Friendship Bread Starter

I am asking my blog readers to participate in this little endeavor along with me! Please go to The Recipe Box and help choose some recipes for me! I will be setting up a little voting/survey type thing as soon as I figure out how to do it. I need two recipes for each starter. Please help me choose some. There are just so many!!! Leave your suggestions in the comments.

Have a great day!!!!!

With Love
~Tabitha + Mini-Me

Monday, July 6, 2015

I am so much more... And so are you :)

Last week I spoke with one of my lovely friends. She is one of my fellow birth mothers, and she was really having a bit of a rough week. She is only a few months post placement, and has been struggling with adoption consuming her life. I told her that I understand how all-consuming that BirthMother label can be. I challenged her to think about all of the things that make up who she is. Her hobbies, her interests, her background, her heritage... all of the little things that make her who she is. And she did an amazing job on her blog post. I told her that I would do the same... talk about all of the things that make me so much more than "Just" anything :)

I am not just a birthmom... I am also the mother to a precious little girl who is my entire world... every day she does something that makes me laugh or smile, even when I'm having the worst days.

I am not just a birthmom... I am a singer. I love music. I love to learn new songs, and love filling my heart with music.

I am not just a birthmom... I am an artsy craftsy chick. I like to sew, knit, and other random arts and crafts. I'm not particularly wonderful at any one of them, but I am fairly decent with many :)

I am not just a birthmom... I am a Christian. I love my Savior with all of my heart, and strive to walk in His footsteps every single day.

I am not just a birthmom... I am a proud truckers kid. My daddy has been a trucker my entire life, and has been a shining example to his children of what persistence and dedication look like. He has never given up on us, and has always done his best to provide for his family. My daddy taught me that no matter what, he will always love us, and is always there for us. He taught me that no matter what, never give up. Plus--How cool is it to have a dad who has traveled to every state in the continental US, hauled trucks for the circus, for monsters inc on ice, for cirque du soleil, and for ACDC!!!!!  Plus, there was that Christmas season where I got to ride in the truck with him, and we got stuck behind a Christmas parade... right behind Santa and we were in a big red truck!

I am not just a birthmom... I'm a daughter. I love my mom. She has always been there for me, and has always been ready with open arms and a hug. She taught me to be thrifty and crafty both... Even though sometimes those two are mutually exclusive.....

I am not just a birthmom... I'm a sister. I love my little brother. Ok. My younger brother. Kiddo isn't so little anymore.... Nope. He's a bike riding gamer that is completely idolized by Mini-Me! NO ONE is allowed to mess with my brother... except me of course :p

I am not just a birthmom... I'm a girl who is borderline obsessed with faeries. I love faeries. I collect them. I refuse to listen to anyone who tries to convince me that they do not exist! I do believe in magic! I do!

I am not just a birthmom... I'm a girl who loves being up a tree whenever she can be. I absolutely LOVE being up a tree. There is something so peaceful about it.... and Mini-Me is following in my footsteps... slowly but surely.

So I am not JUST a birthmom... I am so much more. And for all of you who get stuck in the "just a..." spot? Whether it has to do with work, parenting, being a birth mother, etc....  You are so much more than "JUST" anything. I love you all :)


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Who I Am (AKA Introduction)

Welcome to my blog, and thank you for following my journey. I will be posting about what has brought me to this point in the upcoming weeks. For now though, I will tell you a little bit about my little family.

I am Tabitha, I'm 24, a Christian, a PROUD truckers kid, a preacher's grandkid, a single mom, and a birthmom. I have two precious children. Mini-Me is 4 and 1/2, and little E just turned 3.  Mini-Me is the child I am raising (and she is quite the handful), and little E is the child I placed for adoption.

I decided to start this blog because there is so much that I want to be able to share with others, and I am finally ready to step out of my bubble, and let the world know who I am and what I stand for.

I am a Christian. I am raising my child the best way I know how. I am teaching her the difference between right and wrong. I am teaching her what the Bible says about how we should live our lives. What I will also teach her is that parents make mistakes. Everything I teach her, I am now striving to live. I have not always lived as I should, but I am making my way forward from those mistakes. I don't want her to see a perfect woman, because I am not perfect. What I want her to see is a mother who is not afraid to repent and ask for forgiveness when she inevitably fails. What I want her to see is a mother who tries, even if she falls short. What I want her to see is that she has a Father in heaven who she can always rely on.

I will teach her to love, to be kind to all she meets, and to hold her head high, as she is a precious daughter of God.

What I will NOT teach her is hatred and judgement towards others who are different from her, or who live a different lifestyle.

Welcome to our journey, welcome to our life.

We love you.

Tabitha + Mini-Me