How can I not care about her, she is the mother of my child…

Woman wearing warm knitted sweater is drinking cup of hot tea or

Today is my son’s mother’s birthday – it is not mine – it’s his birth-mom’s birthday. The woman who changed our life forever, who made me a mom and trusted my husband and me with parenting her baby – our son. It not only changed our life it also changed hers. I can only imagine what she goes through on Luca’s birthday or on her own – like today.

I once read about a birth-mom who sat in a Café every year on her child’s birthday wondering how she is and who she had become and most importantly, if she was safe? It was a closed adoption many years ago. Questions, which she never got answered for the rest of her life. I am glad we live an open adoption with our birth-mom. We won’t be able to take away her pain, but we are able to help her not wondering how Luca is and who he had become – and that he is not only safe physically, but also safe in our hearts.

It took a while until our paths crossed. About 25 times during our adoption process we made it to the last 5 adoptive parents – but never got finally picked…I remember how we started to question our photo book. We were concerned it wasn’t appealing, engaging or connecting. It was a stressful cycle for us to be in. Two long years later we finally got chosen and we met our birth-mom for the first time. Our counselor asked her why she chose us and she said: “I looked at your photo book and I immediately felt connected. It is so thoughtfully made and I got totally lost in your story. I read it from the first to the last word…I didn’t even look at the 4 other couples anymore – I just knew it was You.” I remember sitting across from her and feeling showered in golden rain. It all made totally sense to me all of the sudden; of course no one else picked our book, it was meant for her and only for her – because she is the mother of our son.

There are moments where it isn’t easy to know we share our child, where I wish I was his only mom and I was the one who carried him under my heart. I always listen to those feelings and I let them be. I don’t get angry towards them or wish they weren’t there, because they are and they will pass and calm much faster when I acknowledge them. They don’t get in my way embracing the truth of our story. When we baptized Luca we read the following verse: “Birth parents are planting the seeds and adoptive parents are the ones who help the wonderful blossom to grow and rise.”

I am sure many feelings will come along within the next years, feelings that aren’t projectable. I looked in my son’s eyes this morning, he was sitting next to us at the breakfast table all babbling, laughing, squeaking…happy – the usual sunshine he is. It brought tears to my eyes looking in his young and adorable face knowing that one day he will get to know his story or better put, he will realize his story and it will inevitably hurt him. No matter how happy he is with us his family, however his life started out differently and he will never know how it would have been and that will give food for thought. He will have the choice to choose the perspective on how to look at it and therefore not getting lost in “What if…” Nevertheless there will be pain I/we won’t be able to take away. Knowing IFS* gives me the comfort that we will support each other the best we can and we need to accept what is. There is nothing wrong about being sad, it is even the opposite, allowing yourself to be sad will help the feeling to relax because it is heard and seen.

What’s important, no matter whether it is an adoption, an egg donor or a surrogacy, these are all experiences and processes, which bring along a lot of feelings after the baby is born and on many levels and to many people. In our case, the birth parents, the adoptive parents, the child, the siblings, the extended families….We need to stay true to ourselves and allow any feeling to be and especially live the truth of our story and not try to be someone we are not for our own good.

I recently watched “Lion”, a heartbreaking and yet wonderful movie about a child that got lost in India when he was 5 years old and due to the circumstances got adopted by a couple in Australia. I wasn’t sure, if I was capable of watching it. I was afraid of sobbing through the whole movie. Well I kind a did, but it was such a beautiful story, a true story and it showed the tender feelings of adoption parents as well, which I always missed in movies. Most of the times they were pictured as rich and careless couples who just buy children. I never felt that their pain and what they had been through was portrait. In Lion on the other hand they absolutely did. My favorite line was when the adoptive mom says to her son who is about to visit his birth-mom after 25 years: “I hope she will be there to have the chance to see you again!” If you are a mom you know what another mom feels especially when you share the same son – how can we not care.

Therefore this post is dedicated to our birth-mom. I don’t know her well, but what I do know is that I will love her for ever – Happy Birthday Molly*!

*name changed out of private reasons
  • * IFS (Internal Family System) a very successful model. It raises your own strength by dealing with painful feelings and managing your internal system in order to get through any difficult time. I am an IFS practitioner, if you need help with your fertility issues or your adoption journey contact me. I know how stressful this time is. I am here for you!

“ARE YOU HAPPY”? How is it possible to be happy when life hits us?

concept for effort, determination, escape, flight, escape, womanHow often do we hear and read about the magic sentence ARE YOU HAPPY? We all want to answer with a straight YES of course – but how difficult is this, if we go through difficult times, whether it is at work, in a relationship, illness, whatever life has in store for us or as in our case going through infertility…

In some life situations we are in control and have the power to change something, if we are unhappy, but sometimes we are not. We are helpless and powerless about the outcome and that is the most exhausting situation to be in.

My husband and I while we were on our fertility journey we were often concerned to turn into a bitter couple which cannot be around their friends anymore, because everybody had kids and it seemed to happen so naturally to them that it even caused a feeling of failure and shame in us…There were tons of feelings going on, strange ones…I sometimes thought I am losing myself. Year after year no changes, year after year more and more pregnancy announcements and year after year more and more “No” on our side. I felt our life was put on hold and only the others got to move on…

Something had to change; I did not want to live like that. Continue reading

When feelings from the past overwhelm us, how can we handle them and even turn them into a healing experience?

IMG_3253I was at a fertility yoga workshop last week and the teacher asked me to join this workshop in order to share my fertility story. I was happy to do this. What I did not think about or see coming was that I was sitting in the same room where I had been before for an exceptional painful session with my fertility coach. I could feel how pictures and feelings came back, it felt like a big wave of the past was trying to find its way through my body…I remembered, we were on our adoption journey and the birth mom who selected us went into labor. She called us in the morning when her contractions had started and told us, it’s time to meet at the hospital. Andy and I we were so excited we dropped everything and headed to the hospital. We had met our birth mom Jane* and her husband Jim* about 8 weeks before and we built a beautiful relationship over this time. We could absolutely imagine having an open adoption together and staying connected through life. When we arrived at the hospital we found Jane and Jim in tears. I immediately thought they might have had a change of heart, which means they decided to keep the baby and need to tell us this now. We were prepared for that moment…but we weren’t prepared for the moment that was about to come…Jane looked at us and spoke with a broken voice.. she could hardly speak…all I heard was…no heartbeat anymore…there is no heartbeat anymore…it kept echoing in my head…I became numb…I did not feel anything…all I did was starring at her tummy… and I could not believe that this little baby was dead…how..she hadn’t even been born yet…all monitors around us showed the heartbeat of the other babies in labor – only ours was just a still line…We staid the whole day with Jane and Jim in the hospital room…we had gotten so close over the 8 weeks…a little baby girl had connected us it was so hard to part at this point. It felt only natural to stay and talk, holding each other and crying together in order to understand the unbearable that just had happened. We sat together for 8 hours until Jane’s body was ready to deliver the baby. When Andy and I left in the late evening we carried home an empty car seat. It was the most brutal experience in our lives, expecting birth and dealing with death instead…the following night my whole body ached, it felt like I had lost the baby, too. Continue reading

Prince Harry before and after – what a life saver it had been for him opening up about his feelings…

Daisy Flower In The Desert

This week I read a very interesting interview about Prince Harry. He speaks about how he had shut down his feelings after his mom died when he was 12 years old. We all remember the scandalous headlines about him in his twenties and beyond. He opened up now in his latest interview about how lost he had been during this time and how he had never allowed himself to be sad about his mom’s death. He thought, being sad and thinking of her wouldn’t bring her back anyway.

As sad as it is…it is true, but still our body and mind need to grief in order to process our feelings. Emotions come with motions (as the word says e-motion) and they need their outlet. If they don’t have one they will keep boiling inside. We can live like that for a while, because we will have the perfect inner managers in line, who will distract us constantly, so we won’t even come near our sad feelings. Distracting with things such as work, parties, excessive sports, alcohol, drugs and so on. In extremis we will feel like a stranger to us.

Doesn’t Prince Harry’s former scandalous headlines start to make sense now…? Continue reading

Why is your Self the best therapist?

Today I want to write about IFS the Internal Family System Model that has helped me so much throughout our journey. It is about making a U-turn into our Internal System. It is called ‘Family’ because all our different parts/feelings are our internal family and create who we are. The model gives an insight into our feelings and acting. You get to know yourself on many different levels which helps to deal with any ups and downs in life. And not just that you also learn to understand other people’s actions better and you will interact with much more ease. Let me explain more…

Does the following sound familiar to you? “She is not herSelf anymore”…or “I don’t know what’s wrong, but that is not Me, I normally don’t act like this…”

When we are in ourSelf, we are balanced, confident and compassionate. You can tell when you meet someone who is balanced and genuinely happy for others. They act and speak from their heart. When we feel in contrast anger, jealousy or bitterness to just name a few, we let our parts speak. We tend to lash out and nothing is good enough. We become unbalanced and our Self/heart is taken over by our parts. It becomes even visible in our facial expressions and voice. We all know how people full of anger or bitterness appear. Underneath all this acting lays unprocessed pain. Our most precious vulnerable feelings/parts got locked away in order to avoid listening to what they need to say.

Let me give you an example from my journey. Continue reading

Introduction

cropped-bigstock-coffee-cup-on-wood-table-at-su-933889911.jpgDear Reader,

This blog is about my fertility and adoption journey. It was a period of 7 years and is was the hardest time I have been through in my life.

My fertility coach became my greatest support all along our journey and even beyond. Through her I learned about the healing method called IFS (Internal Family System), which I will write about in this blog, too. It was my life changer.

I will share with you my experiences and what has helped me along the way. I hope it will be helpful and supportive to you as well as to your family and friends, because unfortunately they often don’t know how to be the right support during this time.

You will find all different kind of topics throughout the blog, such as Family, Friends, IVF, Grieving, Collateral Beauty, Society, Confidence, Adoption, Feelings, IFS (Internal Family System) and I am sure many more along the way.

Enjoy reading and don’t forget you are not alone in this!