Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Tough Girl!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Ashley Mitchell and I am so excited to write this post for LDS Adoption Connection! It is such an honor and they are so amazing.

I was asked to share a little bit about myself. I am 31 years old, I am married to my Amazing Grace, I have an amazing, beautiful daughter, Tyler Ann who is now 13 months…I don’t know what we did before our baby girl!

I am a member of the LDS church and serve faithfully in the Young Women’s Program. I have an incredible family that I love dearly, I love to read, I love to scrapbook and create art, I love to spend time outdoors camping and at the lake, I am a die-hard college football fan, I think snow is magical and..........

I am a birth mom.

At 26 I found myself pregnant and in an impossible situation. My life was changed forever. I had to make a decision and it was enough to break me. When I made the decision to place my baby for adoption I felt a great deal of peace come over me. I was so blessed to come in contact with the amazing adoptive family that took my son as their own! I have to say that in my opinion the adoptive families are the ones that deserve all the credit and praise in the adoption process. The adoptive family makes it possible for the birth mom to get her life have another chance.

After my placement I spent many years lost and out of control. I never really had anyone tell me what to expect after I placed my baby, I never had anyone that I could talk with about the guilt, sadness and grief that I was feeling. I tried to keep myself together and act like everything was fine but it was almost impossible. I spent years away from the church, drinking, drugs and casual relationships trying to find anything that would fill the void that I was feeling. It took many mistakes and many break downs to finally snap out of it, or to make the "switch" as we like to call it.

After everything that I experienced I realized how important it is to have people around you that understand what you are going through and can help you and teach you from their own experiences. That is where the next chapter of my life took me. I am now a self proclaimed "Big Tough Girl" in the face of all adversity!

In 2010 I founded a non-profit organization called Blessings in a Basket. It was set up with the birth mothers in mind. They have a great need for love, support, healing and connecting and so through gift baskets, life coaching, a community of other birth moms, support groups, retreats and so much more we are bringing that to them. My number one priority is to be there for the birth moms, night and day, offering any amount of information and support that I can.

BIB is set up now to reach not just the birth moms but the birth fathers, the parents of the birth parents, adoption agencies and adoptive families…there are so many ways that people can donate to Blessings in a Basket through all of our different events, baskets, advertising etc. If anyone has any questions about the organization or about how they can reach out and help, they can visit our newly launched website

My son just turned 5 years old in April, 2011…it has been 5 years. I have spent much of that time in darkness and now a year in the light. Giving my son for adoption was the best choice for me and everyone involved. It was in no way the easiest choice and came with the most “side-effects”..but I found a way to get through them. I know that I was watched over and protected, I know that I had more of a story to tell, I know that I had people waiting for me and that needed me. I have been able to reach so many women, amazing “Big Tough Girls” and I am the luckiest person on the planet.

It took a long time to get here but we always try to show where life goes after adoption…give the birth moms the tools they need, life coaching and direction to move forward and not backward, to succeed and not fail, to love and not grieve. We offer opportunities of employment for those interested and help with placement for those looking down another path.

I am not picketing the streets screaming pro-life, I am not a college graduate, I am not a business whiz, I am not well connected in society and I am not wealthy. I am just a girl who found herself pregnant and who placed her son for adoption…I am telling my story in hopes to help one girl at a time!

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