Reunification & Redemption {Bridget's Story as a Birthmom}

I "met" Bridget just a few short months back through social media and our mutual friend, Ashley Mitchell.  And let me tell you, she is one of the strongest women I know.  Not only is she kicking butt and taking names in several competitive races, but she recently connected with her daughter after 37 years of being apart.  Bridget placed her daughter for adoption around the same time that I was born.  I look up to and admire her not only as a woman, but as a mother and birthmother.  In talking to my own mom about the culture of those times, I can't understand it but can empathize even more.  Pregnancy, even in a marriage, wasn't discussed.  So you sure didn't talk about adoption.  Everything was closed.  It was a world filled with secrets.  Many women my mother's age, like Bridget, placed children for adoption and there were no options for an open adoption at that time.  Literally thousands of women will likely never reconnect with their biological children - either by choice or because of the generation in which the adoption occurred.  Bridget's story has a happy ending though as she just reunited with her biological daughter this past year.  Please join me in welcoming her to Our Not So Engineered Life today and be sure to read her full story below.  She is an amazing woman and I'm so blessed to have her as a dear friend.  

My story starts in 1977 in a little rural town in Northern N.Y. State. At 17 I found self pregnant and alone. You see my boyfriend was military and he dropped me when I was about 6 months pregnant.  Last I ever heard from him was when I was 8 months along. His words to me were "you and the baby could die in labor...I don't care."

I came from a very dysfunctional family. My father was an alcoholic.  And my mother spent the last two months of my pregnancy in a mental hospital. My dad was bound and determined I was not keeping the baby.  So he had two months to work on me with the help of my caseworker. My mom came home two days before I had her. I left her at the hospital. But I wanted her so bad.

Finally my father gave in, and I went and got her. The first words out of my father's mouth when I walked through the door with her were " you have two weeks to get out of my house". It was in the dead if the winter and I had no place to go. For two days and two nights I listened to my parents scream and fight. I was called all kinds of horrible names. And my mom threatened suicide.  So after two days I knew I could not raise a baby in that house and I had no where to go.  I knew I was defeated, so against my heart I let her go.

Left without options, I signed the papers and placed my baby girl for adoption, knowing that I would never see or know anything about her.You see open adoption was never heard of in 1978. There were no choices. No hope. Just years of hurt - until I found her in October 7, 2013.

Becky from Help Us Adopt came into my life in 2010.  Fast forward three more years to October 2013 when Becky told my story to a friend. Little did I know her friend was a search angel! We spoke on the phone and a week later, I was standing in a parking lot hugging my daughter. She was only 50 minutes away from me the entire time! 

Bridget now has a growing relationship with her daughter and is a huge support for other birthmoms.  

What a better way to celebrate love in February than to feature some women we love and admire so much... Birth Moms! We had the privilege of spotlighting some truly amazing women whose stories have truly had an impact on our lives in great ways!

For the Love of My Birthmom {Cassie's Story}

We have such a great line up of beautiful stories and words of love by and for birthmoms this month.  Today we are sharing words written by one adoptive mom, Cassie, for their birthmom.   Like Cassie, we also work very hard to remove the labels and judgments of these women who did not "give up" their babies.  Please join us in welcoming Cassie to Our Not So Engineered Life today.  Thank you for sharing your heart and for joining us in celebrating these amazing women.

I'm sure she wasn't expecting to be pregnant at 16, carrying a child inside her while she was a child herself. And after she birthed him and was told of his diagnosis- cystic fibrosis- who can blame her for feeling her world was falling apart? She returned to the same chaotic lifestyle and 2 days after becoming a legal adult, and 4 days after her first son turned a year old, my little boy came into this world, perfectly healthy.

People have have a lot of opinions about this girl who "gave away" her baby and their rudeness and judgmental attitudes are thinly veiled through questions. Why did she do it? How could she do it? Is she on drugs? What about the father? Doesn't she know how this happens? And with each passing question, disbelieving shake of the head and snarky comment I feel my pulse quickening and my heart beating faster. I try to breathe deep, remembering they are truly asking because they are ignorant of who and what she is to me. They cannot, even for a moment, fathom what would cause her to forsake her responsibility of motherhood. 

But do you know what I see? I see a broken and scared little girl whose childhood wasn't a Disney Channel original, but rather a two-hour Lifetime Original movie.  I see a young girl who wanted more for her life than government assistance and no high school diploma. I see a mother who looked at her life and circumstances with her first child and made a conscious decision that she could not raise another child by herself and still accomplish all the things she wanted for her children and herself.

Because of this we are FIERCELY protective of her and refuse to allow people to assume of her motives or tarnish the beauty of the gift she gave us.  In order to keep the conversation open about adoption and all the glories and pitfalls it entails we take deep breaths when we want to scream and try to help others see the beauty that has risen from the ashes. We point towards our fireball of energy and ask them to see the child she made an adoption plan for when an abortion could have been scheduled. We encourage them to think about all the things they would sacrifice for their children's well being and ask them to contemplate the situation she was in. A place where she believed it best that another lady would forever be called Mom by the child she carried, loved and protected for almost a year. We stand in the center of adoption unknowns teaching others so they will look at her and see her for what she, and all the other birthmoms really are: courageous, loving, self-sacrificing, and selfless. 

What a better way to celebrate love in February than to feature some women we love and admire so much... Birth Moms! We had the privilege of spotlighting some truly amazing women whose stories have truly had an impact on our lives in great ways!