adoption


Today is Charlie’s (my birthson) birthday! It’s hard to beleive that he is seven years old. It seems like only yesterday I was holding him as a tiny baby in the hospital preparing to let him go.

Over the seven years that I have been Charlie’s birthmother my life has changed drastically. I was given a second chance and I have sincerely tried to make the most of that second chance. I’ve tried to be the best Mom to Noah and an advocate for birthmothers. While I know placing Charlie for adoption was the best choice I could make at that time in my life, that doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t ache at times.

Birthdays are bittersweet. I usually get to spend time with Charlie and his family on his actual birthday. This is the first year we haven’t been able to do that. Charlie’s Mom’s best friend’s husband (that’s my mouth full!) died and the visitation was last night and funeral today so it just didn’t work out to get together today. A (Charlie’s Mom) wanted to try and get together tomorrow evening but I’m afraid that will mess up Noah’s routine too much and (I hope this come out the wrong way) he is my priority. She may try and re-arrange things so we could get together Sunday afternoon but I’m not getting my hopes up in case it doesn’t work out. If nothing else, I’ll see Charlie next weekend for his birthday party.

Happy Birthday Charlie!

(Photo taken on Charlie’s 6th birthday)

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Recently a blogger and adoptive Mom named Mrs. R featured this blog and BirthMom Buds on her blog which is called The R House. I noticed that I have gotten quite a few visitors from her blog since her post went live so if you found me via Mrs. R’s blog – welcome!

Somehow when I was blog jumping one day, I stumbled upon Mrs. R’s blog. She writes about adoption a lot! I noticed that she had a “for birthmothers” area in her blog roll but it did not mention BirthMom Buds. So I emailed her and asked her if she could post a link to BBuds in that section. She went a step further and said she wanted to devote a whole post to BBuds and asked me to send her some information about BBuds.

So if you have come here via Mrs. R’s blog then chances are you might have a personal connection to adoption. Perhaps you are looking for posts about adoption. In all honesty, I don’t write about it that much here! Why you may be asking – because I write about it here and here. I do however have a few posts related to adoption and you can find them here.

Charlie's Kindergarten GradMy birthson, Charlie, graduated from Kindergarten on Thursday. I was invited and it was a cute kindergarten graduation.  When he saw me, his Mom, his Dad, and his sister in the audience, he started waving wildly.

There are so many little things I see in Charlie that are things I did as a child.  For example, when the children were on stage and done singing, Charlie bowed. He was the only child (out of about 40-50) who bowed. When I told my Mom, she laughed and said it sounded like something I Charlie's candy bouquetwould have done at that age. Charlie also got the award for “music student of the year!” I am one proud birthmomma. 🙂

I wanted to get Charlie a little something for this occasion but was at a loss as to what to get him. I finally decided to try making him a candy bouquet. I had never made one of these before but thought how hard could it be, so I set to work and it turned out so cute. It was really fun to make and I really want to make more now! The best part is though – he Charlie and his candy bouquetloved it! When he said the blessing at lunch (we went to lunch afterwards) he thanked God for me and for the “great gift Coley gave me!” So special!

He cracks me up because he talks so much. In fact, I have nick named him “Mouth of the South jr.” because in Kindergarten my teacher nicknamed ME “Mouth of the South.” When asked what he wants to be when he grows up he lists a bunch of things – in fact, it was 11. I can’t remember all of them but a few of them (and this is the way he worded them) were “dinosaur digger, doctor, scientist, teacher, house seller, and car keeper.” I told him he was going to be in school forever to do all those things – he didn’t like that thought! ha!

So, in my last post I teased you with the promise of telling you about the cool thing that happened on our way to Pigeon Forge….

We weren’t too far away but had to make a stop. I went inside the gas station to pay. I was wearing my brand new BirthMom Buds t-shirt. (It is so comfy!) The cashier asked me what my shirt said. I said “BirthMom Buds.” She then asked what BirthMom Buds is so I briefly explained. She then told me about her best friend who is pregnant, making an adoption plan, looking for support, and getting pretty close to her due date. I ran back out to my car and got a BirthMom Buds pen which has all our information for her. (Note to self: Put more business cards in your lap top bag!) So, the cashier went on to tell me about how her friend is having a hard time explaining the adoption plan to her five your old. I just so happen to have one donated copy of Sam’s Sister (an awesome children’s book that explains adoption from the view point of a child who’s mother is placing her unborn baby for adoption) left. So the cashier gave the pen to her friend and I checked the toll free number a bit ago and she has already called!

The ride to TN and being here hasn’t been too fun. My Dad had major car troubles and then we were not able to go to Dollywood because of off and on rain. J and I were discussing if we had should have even come to TN but then we decided that yes, we were supposed to come here so that I could have met the cashier who’s friend needed support. God does put us in the right places at the right time.

In the last post, I shared with you how great I thought the decor was for the Birthmother’s Beach Bash. But of course, the weekend/day involved more than just the decor, even if it was great!

My niece Holly was nice enough to accompany me. Well, and drive me! Oh ya and be my assistant! Um, and I tacked bodyguard on to her list of duties just because it sounded cool! (hehe) (Thank you Holly!!!)

Fondue at TownOn Friday night, after we decorated the room for Saturday’s festivities, the people who were staying at the hotel plus Melanie all met up for dinner. It was fun. We went to a restaurant that was within walking distance from the hotel called Town. It was fancy schmancy and very yummy!!

On Saturday morning, Holly at the registration tableHolly and I awoke bright and early. We checked out of our hotel room so we wouldn’t have to worry about it later and headed to the room we had decorated the night before and met Melanie. Holly worked the registration table while Melanie and I did last minute things and greeted everyone.

 

We alwaysGoodie bags start the morning off with introductions and door prizes! And of course a gift for the birthmom who has the youngest child (almost two months) and the birthmom who has the oldest child (20ish.) Oh ya, I can’t forget about the Goodie bags2goodie bags! Each birthmom receives a goodie bag when she arrives. This year’s bags were awesome! They were made by an adoptee in honor of her birthmother. (Thank you D!) They had some pretty cool stuff in them too! A message in a bottle, flip flop shaped soap, flip flop shaped gummies, a palm tree shaped chocolate, and more!

After intros and announcements, we went intoBreakout session breakout sessions. This was a new element I had added this year and was very excited about! I was also a tad nervous since we had never done them before but they went great and I think everyone really enjoyed them. They were told to choose one from Session 1 which was birthmother grief and an open discussion on the feelings surrounding closed adoption, search and reunion and then one from Session 2 which was Journaling and adoption in the Bible. All the breakout session leaders did a great job and it was exactly what i had envisioned.

Flip Flop CollageWe always do a craft. This year we embellished flip flops. We actually did this two years ago and everyone loved it so much and it was requested so we decide to do it again since there were only a few people who had been there that year that were in attendance this year. We used fabric or what I call “fluffy stuff” (that fluffy yarn) to make the flip flops cute and girly. It was fun and I really liked seeing all the different finished products.

After craft time, came lunch time. Lunch was a buffet of different types of sandwhiches, potato salad, pasta salad, etc. We ate lunch outdoors on the veranda since it was such a pretty day outside. It was nice and relaxing.

Balloon ReleaseSince we were outside, Melanie led the girls in a balloon release. Each girl had a slip of paper and wrote down a prayer for her birthchild and then tied it to the balloon. It was then sent up, up, and away!Coley Reading

After the balloon release, we headed back inside fo the “program” portion of the afternoon. I started it off by reading an inspirational selection from the book My Beautiful Broken Shell by Carol Adams. Next, we had several speakers: an adoptee in reunion, a birthmother in reunion, and adoption professional who shared how birthmothers helped her deal with her own loss in life. Then Candle Lightcame the slideshow that I make each year featuring our birthmothers and their children. (It will be online as soon as I can get it back on a cd and to my Dad’s to upload!) And we ended the day with our candlelight ceremony that is always my favorite part just because it is so touching. Each lady shares a prayer, hope, or wish for her child.Coley and the BBuds Shirt

Also, at the end of the program, Melanie presented me with a very sweet gift. She had a shirt made for me featuring the BirthMom Buds logo. I LOVE it! (Thank you Melanie!!!)

I’m always so touched at how appreciative and thankful these birthmoms are of this event. It makes all my hard work worthwhile. It was a really amazing day and I’m already looking forward to next year!

For another recap of this event, visit Leah’s blog.

the tableI had so much fun planning the decorations for this year’s event that I could write a whole post about the decor alone! I seriously could do beach bash each year and be happy!

On each table in the middle, I layed down blue tulle on a kind of frumpy way so that it sort of resemble water/waves. We then put sand on top of the tulle with a bright colored Closeup of Centerpiecesbeach pail in the middle. Each beach pail was filled with sand and then topped with seashells and a shovel. Around the beach pail on the table we scattered sea shells. Then there was 2 flip flop shaped tea light holders and 2 mini beach balls on each table also on the blue tulle. It was super cute!close up of place mats Leigh made
When I was planning the centerpieces, I was talking to my super creative friend, Leigh, and mentioned that I would love some paper placemats to put at each place setting. I had looked for these online but they had to be ordered in huge bulk orders – like at least 1,000! So Leigh came up with the idea of making placemats out of scrapbooking paper. Beach to GoShe found some cute beach/summer themed paper and went to work. So, at each place setting, sat a placemat and a “beach to go” bucket. (“Beach to go bucket” was a 2 inch white bucket that contained sand and about 3-4 seashells wrapped in different bright colors of tulle with a tag attached that said “The Beach to Go.” Each lady took these home as just another thing to remember the day by!)

On Ocean Viewthe front walls, was a “window scene” of dolphins and the ocean. It was cute and helped set the mood. It was also great for taking photos in front of!

I’ve scattered pics through out the post – what do you think? Super cute, eh? Hmmmmm, time to start thinking of next year’s theme and brainstorming for that!

More recap coming soon!

Each May, BirthMom Buds hosts a big event for birthmothers. This year will be our 4th year. They seem to be getting bigger and better as we go along. flip-flops1.jpg

Each year has a theme and this year’s theme is Birthmother’s Beach Bash! Just thinking of how we will decorate is FUN! Sand buckets and flip flops and shells and did I mention flip flops? Not real ones but flip flop candle holders! I LOVE flip flop decorations, picture frames, etc…

We make each lady a gift bag. Thinking of things to go in the gift bags has been challenging thus far! Especially when they need to  either be cheap items or donated items. Everyone always says, “Go to the dollar store.” And that’s a great idea until you have to buy 25-30!

I know it will all come together in time though. It always does. We have about a month left to prepare as the big day is May 10th! If you have any great ideas for beach decor or items for the goodie bags, leave me a comment.

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