Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guest Post: Lundyn Rae

A week or so ago, I was browing through the local FSA Facebook page for my area and saw a post by an up and coming musician, asking for bloggers who would like to feature her as a guest blogger and in return the readers of the blog would receive a free download of her new adoption themed song "A Better Plan." Well, I jumped on the opportunity to have her on LDS Adoption Connection because I wanted all of you to be able to hear her beautiful song and to support her in her efforts to advocate for adoption through music. So, without further ado, here's Lundyn:

 Consider Adoption: A Better Plan

The other day I was at the mall and stopped to let my daughter play in the children’s area for a while. I was surprised at the number of teen mothers I saw playing in there with their babies. I was proud of them for choosing to give that child life yet I was struck with sadness that they were missing out on things that were essential not only for their own growth but for the well- being of their child. This is true for any young woman of any age that finds herself pregnant and alone. I wondered why these girls chose to parent over adoption and wondered if there is really that much education about the benefits of adoption.
I just happened to pick up an old magazine that surfaced in a recent move and started reading an article on adoption and the healing that had come into all the lives of those involved, including the birthmother, through the adoption process. I wondered why isn’t this perspective more advocated in the media and then the lyrics of a song just started pouring into my mind, that out of the struggle there was indeed a better plan, not only for the baby, but for the young woman.
When my daughter was first placed in my arms I imagined a life of constant laughter, sweet kisses and hugs, dressing her up, having an instant friend that loved me unconditionally, fun play dates at the park, and cute pictures and crafts that covered my fridge. Everyone around me was so excited for my new life and all the joys it would bring. I was so excited for all of these moments. And I’ve had them and each memory is cherished and loved and I look forward to creating more of them. But what people seem to fail to mention was the sleepless nights, endless poopy diapers, what to do when the crying never seemed to stop, and as they grow older, still sleepless nights, new messes of toys, picky eaters, the constant demand of my attention, no privacy in the bathroom, and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to sit and enjoy a meal without having to get up 10 times to get one more thing demanded by a sweet 3 year old. Even as I write this I am having things placed on my head and being barraged with questions, and demanded that I come and get breakfast for her RIGHT now!

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being a mother, but there is no way I could do this without the help of her dad, one amazing husband. With his help in raising our vibrant and beautiful daughter I have still been able to get some me time, continue my education and pursue my music career. Without him I would not be able to function as the loving mother my daughter needs me to be. I would not be able to still be me! Every woman and mother deserves that. Every mother needs a break, a time to rejuvenate, and pursue their hobbies and passion that allows them to continue their own growth and development. It’s not selfish, it’s essential! I am a better wife and mother because I am able to take this time and despite the daily demands still feel like a sexy, vibrant, beautiful girl. Not only do I deserve this, but so does my daughter, in fact it is essential to her well-being. Her happiness is increased by the security of the home we offer, both of us being able to give her love and meet the demands of a growing child. Now I recognize that this is not always possible and I honor and respect those single parents out there. I honestly don’t know how they do it.
 I’m not about condemning or judging those who have chosen to parent or even those that chose abortion. For me it’s about creating the awareness of the positives of adoption for those currently still making the decision. Helping them to make an educated decision what is right for their life and their baby. My hope is that by listening to my song A Better Plan people will truly come to understand that adoption really is about love; A truly heroic act.  And that while the pain of giving up your child for adoption is heart wrenching and excruciating in the moment, there is great healing in the selfless act of giving your child to a loving couple that can give your baby more than you can at this given moment in your life. And though abortion may appear to solve the perceived immediate problem providing instant relief, it brings with it a burden you alone carry for the rest of your life.
Curtis J Young of the Family Research Council says, “Rarely does an unmarried pregnant woman stop to consider the tremendous cost and responsibility of choosing single motherhood. Successful child-rearing, while greatly rewarding, is also very demanding, even for two-parent families. It requires a great deal of time, self-sacrifice and financial expense.”  In her book For the Love of a Child, social worker Monica L. Blume points out, “Almost every birth mother I have ever seen who is choosing to single parent believes she will be one of the very few who beat the odds.”  Many of these unwed mothers count on the father remaining fully involved or on having their own father help raise the child. And many single mothers hope to eventually get married. Unfortunately, such hopes are not often realized. And many unwed mothers find that single parenthood is much more challenging than they expected. Studies have shown that single mothers have higher rates of illness, have less social involvement, and, if they are teenagers, are less likely to eventually marry than those who place their babies for adoption.”
Some may view placing a child for adoption as “abandoning” that child. But adoption is not abandoning your responsibility. It’s taking more responsibility. It is truly taking care of your own, because you’re saying, ‘I can’t give this child what he or she needs, but someone else can.’

To echo Curtis Young, “Adoption is not a breaking of trust but a keeping of faith, not an abdication of responsibility but an act of redemption, not the abandonment of a baby but an abandonment of self for a baby’s sake.” As I wrote in the song A Better Plan, ‘Sometimes love comes at a cost we don’t understand, and you have to trust someway, somehow, it’s part of a better plan. -Lundyn

Lundyn Rae is a country singer from Gilbert Arizona empowering lives to greatness through music.
Go to www.lundynrae.com and enter the code ADOPTION1 to get your free download of the song A Better Plan.

 Isn't she awesome? Thanks for sharing your passion for adoption and music with all of us here at LDS Adoption Connection, Lundyn! Hope everyone will take a moment to go download the song and share it with other's around you in the adoption world! :) -Elise

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Adoption Good News

In my efforts to tidy up this blog, I went through and looked at all of the links for couples hoping to adopt and was so excited to see how many couples had experienced a placement already!!! YAY!!! So I moved them from hoping to adopt to have adopted. If I made a mistake and took you off and you would like to be re-added to either list, please email me and let me know. I did delete some of the blogs off the list where there had been no activity for a long time or their profile was no longer active. Make sure to update your blog frequently, it lets prospective birthparents know that you are still hoping to adopt.

So, in no particular order, here are the couples who have had good news to share over the past year:

Spencer and Whitney welcomed a baby boy, Mason!
Jake and Terri welcomed a baby boy, Alex!

Jeremy and Sheyann welcomed a baby girl Olivia!

Russ and Kylee welcomed a baby boy, Chase!

Derek and Laura welcomed a baby girl, Hailee!

Tom and Shian welcomed a baby girl, Anya!

Ryan and Amanda welcomed a baby girl, Abby!

Brett and Candace welcomed a baby boy, Jamison!

Josh and Andrea welcomed a baby girl, Katelyn!

(Look at all of those exclamation points, can you tell I'm excited for them?)

Check out our blog list of couples who have adopted to read more about each of these placements.

Congratulations to all of the families and please let me know if you would like to write a guest post, telling us all about the miracles that led you to your birthmom and baby.
Thanks! -Elise

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

Have you heard about Disney's new movie, The Odd Life Of Timothy Green? Well it comes out tomorrow and I don't know about you, but I plan to be one of the first ones to see it. Every time I watch the trailer, I get the chills and shed a tear or two. See, this movie is about a couple who are struggling with infertility and then suddenly one night, a miracle happens and they become parents! This looks like a great, adoption-friendly movie and I hope that you will have a chance to check it out. Make sure to watch the trailer for yourself! My favorite part of this trailer is when Timothy says "So, you all came from your mom's tummies? How was that?" :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Guest Post: Amber

So last year I attended the Southwest FSA conference and while I was there I met Amber and her hubby who were just starting out on their adoption journey. Amber wrote an awesome post this week on her personal blog. It was about the questions she is asked about their open adoption with their birthmom and I asked her if she would share it with the readers of this blog. Here is a brief intro:

"Hi my name is Amber, I am 27 years old and a new mommy through the miracle of adoption.My husband and I have been married for 8 years. I am an advocate for adoption! I love spending time with my husband and baby. I enjoy creating new things, blogging, and seeing a good movie. I am just an ordinary girl living an extraordinary life."

Here is the post:

Candace & Amber
When D turned 2 Months old we had a special visit from his birthmom. Oh goodness we were SO excited to have her at our house, and look forward to many more visits over the years. Like I have said before, I love this girl, she gave my son life <3 and she is everything to me. We had a fun time together like we always do :)

D loves his Birthmomma

I know open adoption is a foreign language to many, but things have changed-most private adoptions are open. It is for good reason - is better for all parties involved. Because of my "situation of becoming a mom through open adoption" I have had multiple people ask/say to me things like this:

1. Isn't it weird to still talk to your son's birthmom?

No, it is not. Why would it be? We became close and bonded during her pregnancy, and can you imagine the connection I have to this beautiful soul who gave birth to my son? She is our own angel. Not to mention one of the only people who loves my son as much as I do. It is a joy in my day to talk with her about her own life, and to share what we are doing as well. She is my sister and friend.

2. Isn't it hard for his birthmom to see him or see pictures of him that you post on fb, instagram?

I cannot speak for my son's birthmom and birthdad, but I feel that this is not "hard" for them, instead I think it is reassuring to them, to see him growing, being healthy, happy, and loved. I think it brings them comfort knowing what a joy, treasure, and blessing he is to us.

3. Aren't you worried she (birthmom) will try to "take him back"?

No, I am not worried. This is probably the most frustrating question.... I KNOW my son's birthmom - birthdad and I know their families, I know how they feel about my son's placement with us. I trust them FULLY. AND.....not to get technical, but there are legal steps taken to place our son in our home one being that parental rights are terminated in front of a judge. His birthparents knowingly did this to ensure our son's placement in our family. They want him to be with us!

4. Are you worried about his birthmom "bonding" with him?

No. I am not worried. Why on earth would I (having an 'OPEN' adoption) be so closed minded? My son's adoption is not a secret, to him or to anyone for that matter. Derrick will be taught to love his birthmom because she gave him life. She is a wonderful person, and Derrick will know who she is, and know that because she loves him, she placed him with our family.

5. She (birthmom) must have a rough life to give up her baby

Although there are some women that do have a 'rough life', please do not assume that ALL women who place their baby for adoption are in that catagory. Not only is it an assumption, it is hurtful and puts me on defense mode. I LOVE and ADORE and ADMIRE my son's birthmom. She is extremely mature for her age and honestly has it together more than a lot of people my own age. She knows what she wants to do with her life, she is smart, and she made a decision for her son's best interest - a selfless act that took a lot of careful thought, consideration, prayer, and courage. And please don't use the word "GIVE UP" when referring to adoption. It is so hurtful, my son was lovingly "placed" and his birthparents did not give up on him or give him up.

I hope I have been able to encourage positive thinking towards open adoption. I want to show that open adoption has brought happiness to our family. And to share some insight into this beautiful place I find myself in an OPEN and LOVING adoption. <3 <3 <3"

Isn't she awesome? What a great adoption advocate. I'm hoping she will be joining us as a guest blogger again in the future! Thanks Amber! To read more about Amber's family, check out their blog at throughlovewegrow.blogspot.com -Elise

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House