Thursday, April 28, 2011


Before I get started this week, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that helped me with my essay for Seventeen Magazine. I received a lot of help and I think the essay was written to the best of my abilities. I'll find out if I was selected as a Finalist or not around the end of May maybe beginning of June. I pretty much assume of I don't hear anything by mid-june I didn't win. Anyway, Thank You again. :)

I was up in the air about what to talk about this week. I figured I would talk about how to deal with people who don't support you because I'm spending the next 4 days with the one of the few people who still doesn't support my decisions, my dad. I decided to change that though, a discussion came up in my anthropology class that almost brought me to tears.

I'm taking physical anthropology this quarter. It fulfills my science requirement and it seemed easy. My teacher is a cool guy. His name in Kenya, He jokes all the time and sparks interesting conversations. Today we were talking about natural selection and other evolutionary processes that effect variation. One of the processes we talked about was survival of the fittest and the arguments against it. The first argument against it is altruism.

He told us that altruism is very rare and not common. When we do a nice or kind thing for another we also do something that benefits us. Of course every one in the class in the class is like "No way thats not true. We can think of multiple things that are altruistic." His response was "Ok, give me examples. In fact, If you can give me one example of altruism I'll give you 20 points extra credit." A lot of hands went up after that.

I sat in my seat in the back. I debated whether I should tell everyone that I gave Jude up for adoption. That was altruistic. Everyone keeps telling me that its the kindness thing I've ever done, that I'm amazing, and how blessed Katie and Greg must be to have found me. I made a personal sacrifice to do what's better for my son. I held back though, because in this class I find that I am rarely right. So I just listened to others first.

The first guy raises his hand. "I give blood often." Kenya says "You give blood so others can live. Do they give you juice afterwards?"
"Do you take the juice and drink it?"
"There you go. You got something out of it."

The next guy raises his hand. "I was a solider and would take bombs off of cars and buildings and make sure no one would get hurt."
"Hmmm. Did you get paid?"
"Yes, but I didn't do it for the money"
"But you did get paid. You took the money."
"I don't plan on using it."
"Doesn't matter. You still took it."

The last guy raises his hand. "A few years back I saved my friend's life. He was drowning and I jumped in and saved him."
"Wow, see I would never do that. Never, never. You know why?"
"I can't swim. So you saved your friend? You jumped in risking your own life to save your friends life. Did he remained your friend?"
"You know what they say 'A friend in need is a friend in deed'. When we do something for our friends we expect something back. Whether it be acknowledgement, return of affection, or even presents. We expect our feelings or whatever to be returned. Otherwise they wouldn't be our friends. Altruism is rare in our world. We confuse altruism with reciprocal altruism. We always do it for our own selfish reason."

The class kept the discussion going while Kenya got into how children treat their parents the worse out of all people in the world. I sat there with thoughts rolling around in my head. If no act of kindness is actually an act of kindness and that we do things for selfish reasons, what did that mean about the adoption? Was I selfish in giving him up? My intentions weren't to do the best thing for him, but to do the best things for me? I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. I hate crying in public so I fought real hard to keep them from coming. I can't stand the idea that the adoption was for MY benefit. If it were for my benefit then I would feel better about the whole thing. I wouldn't miss him or want pictures or want to see him. How could someone call me selfish?!

"What about adoption?" I turned to the boy that asked the question. He was on the other side of class a few rows ahead of me. I had hope.

Kenya looked over at him. "Adoption, taking a child that doesn't have your genetic material and raising them as their own. That is the closes thing to altruism, but not completely." I had more hope, but which side was the altruistic side, the birth parents, adoptive parents, or both? I had to know, even though I didn't want to know. So I asked him and he said the adoptive parents were the closes to altruism. I stood there for a few seconds. I couldn't say anything because if I did I would start crying, and I didn't want to do that in front of my teacher. So I gave him a half-assed smile and left.

At first it was all emotion. I couldn't believe that I was selfish. I didn't want to think I was selfish. Then I tried to look at the reason behind it. I guess in a logical sense I am selfish. I took stuff from Katie and Greg, Natty, and other people as gifts. I still take gifts from people. I have a life and I'm not tied down by motherhood.

My hope is that Jude will never think that I did this for selfish reasons. I may not be altruistic, but I'm not selfish. If I were selfish, Katie and Greg wouldn't have a baby right now. I did not give up Jude for selfish reasons. I know I know that, but I'm worried about what other people think. I know I shouldn't be, but I am. I'm especially worried about what Katie, Greg, and eventually Jude think of me.

I don't want them to think that I'm selfish.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Playlist: Where I Stood by Missy Higgins

I'm pretty sure this is another love song, but the chorus and some of the lines ring true to me. Ultimately I see it as me choosing to leave, so that Jude can have a mom that will make him happier than I ever could. It is called "Where I Stood" by Missy Higgins.

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none
There were sounds in my head
A little voice is whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found my self listening

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more then I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you aren't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won't be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me then any one I've ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself
And so I say to you, this is what I have to do.

'Cause I don't know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
She who dares to stand where I stood.

Updates: The Mixed Bag

In an open adoption, the main thing that makes up the open part is updates. A picture and a letter of how the child is doing is what an update entails. They come at intervals if you set it up that way or when ever the adoptive parents give it to you or if you ask for one.

I didn't set up intervals that are backed legally. I just told Katie and Greg to send them every so often. In the beginning I asked for every threw weeks, because babies change so quickly. It didn't work out that way though, life got too busy for both of us. Now, I figured every few months and they lessen over time.

Normally I love updates. I get new pictures, I hear about how he's doing and get to brag to my friends, and all my questions I've been thinking about get answered. I received his six month update this week. I got a couple new pictures. I learned what he's doing right now in development, his temperament, what he looks like and weights, and even likes and dislikes. He has likes and dislikes. I plan to brag about him later to my friends. I don't really feel like it now. All of my questions were answered; I know that he can roll over, he is eating baby food now, his hair is blonde and his eyes still blue like I wished all pregnancy they would be, and he's still a very happy boy. Its everything I asked for and everything I wanted. I was so happy.

Yet I found my self falling to the floor and bawling my eyes out. It was very dramatic. I don't know why. It might have been because I had a bad nights sleep the night before. It could have been because I was already in a terrible mood because of yet another fight with Victor. It could have been because I hadn't heard from them in 2 months and now all of a sudden a sign of life. What ever the reason was, I found my self in tears on my bedroom floor.

All the thoughts that I had when I first gave him up came flooding back. I'm not proud of these thoughts or the feelings I had. They usually consisted of three things: How much I missed him, How much I wanted him back, and How much my life was not worth living. 

Let me make this clear, I am an all bark no bite kind of person. I only talk big, I don't act big. I spent a good portion of my first two months of postpartum begging Victor to let me ask for him back knowing full well that even if he said yes, I wouldn't do it. Jude was happier there and I could never disappoint Katie and Greg like that. No one deserves to have happiness given to them and taken away just as quickly. I would also never commit suicide. Not to say I haven't tried, because I have. The thought has crossed my mind multiple times, more so after I gave up Jude, but I could never do it. Death scares me too much. I've read horror stories of women who gave up their children for an open adoption and once the adoption was final the adoptive parents close the open part of the adoption, and the birth mother commits suicide shortly afterwards. When I hear these stories I think two things: 1). I seriously hope the child of said adoption family grows up to hate his mom and dad. These people are, in my opinion, the worst kind of people imaginable and they piss me off to no end. 2). The birth mothers did an sad and bad thing, but I can understand it. There were days when I felt my life wasn't worth living with out Jude. They were all in the beginning though.

Here I am, six months later, going like two hundred steps backwards, feeling like I was the day I left the hospital. Updates are supposed to make me happy! I get confirmation that he's happy, healthy, developing at the right pace, and growing up! I get pictures! I LOVE pictures!

So do I feel like I'm loosing him all over again?

Updates are a good thing. I would go absolutely crazy if I had no idea where he was, what he was doing, and not knowing what he looks like. I've cried opening the other updates as well, this just so happens to be a special case (trust me, this is does not happen everyday). Like most things though, you need to take the good with the bad. They make me miss him even more and if its been a while, my patience is really tested waiting for a new one. For me the good always weighs out the bad. 

Maybe it gets easier over time. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tangent: Essay Help!

I need help with this essay. Seventeen Magazine is doing a contest that I am going to enter. The topic is about what makes you amazing. I decided to write about the my choice to put my baby up for adoption. I need people's opinion on what they think of my essay and be honest. If the grammar is bad, something is spelled wrong, or if its just a bad essay. The restrictions are it has to be less than a 1000 characters including spaces. The essay right now is 993 characters with spaces. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! I really want to win or at least be in the top 4. Thank You and Enjoy my essay!

Last year I was a typical 19-year-old college student, until I found I was pregnant. I was young and still learning how to be an adult. I knew I would not be able to keep the baby. I had none of the necessities to take care of a baby and myself. My baby deserved the world and I couldn’t give it to him.
I am amazing because I decided to take the hard road and face challenges most young girls have never faced before. I continued with the pregnancy and gave my son up for adoption. It took me a while to find the perfect parents for my baby, but I did. We got a lawyer and set up an open adoption plan.
Our baby boy was born in October 2010. I get regular updates, pictures, and visitations. His parents give him more love and happiness then I could have ever hoped for. Giving him up was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I love him and miss him immensely, but I know he is in the right place. Being strong, brave, and selfless enough to do the right thing for my son is what makes me amazing.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Support: The Birthfather

I thought this week I would talk about the birthfather this week since I am royally pissed off at Jude's birthfather at this moment in time. The argument is not adoption related, so I wont go into detail about it. This argument we had has led me to rethinking our entire "relationship" and think back to everything we went threw together, including the pregnancy and adoption.

Birth fathers can be a really good support system. There the other half of the whole you grow while your pregnant. They can be there for you when other's can't and help with the decision making.

I think talking about birth dad's and their roles in this whole process because I find a lot of women have a very skewed idea about it. Now, every man, woman, and relationship is different so don't take what I say as fact. I've noticed (through TV shows [like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant], books, internet pages, other blogs and my own experience) that women who become pregnant in a situation that is less than the social norm have either very high expectations or very low expectations of how the birthfather will be involved from that point on. I find that the one's who had high expectations for their guy were highly disappointed in the end. For example, take most of the dads on MTV'S 16 and pregnant. I think that most of those "men" are complete immature losers and I have never met anyone who has disagreed with me. Yet, all of those girls expect the guys to marry them, move in with them, or at least be a huge help during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. Most of those girls found themselves disappointed in the end. The girls with low expectations usually have reasons to have low expectations. The guys they got pregnant might be abusive, were a one night stand, or realize the person is a loser before they got pregnant. There expectations are usually met, but some are pleasantly surprised.

What is often forgotten is that when guys find out that their going to fathers, it changes them. It affects them. They are now the creator of a human being and are responsible for that human's well being for the rest of his life. IT IS A SCARY THOUGHT. The difference between men and women though, is how long that thought stays with them. Women are reminded everyday for 9 months of this thought. When we get huge, throw up, feel an internal kick, and eventually go into possibly many hours of labor those are all reminders. We create, take care of, are responsible for, and bring to life a human being. Men however, don't feel any of that. How can they? They don't need to carry a baby for nine months and then give birth. Men aren't naturally reminded that their responsible for a new person. For that reason and many others, some men choose to leave and not be involved. Others though, rise to the occasion. It all just depends on what kind of guy he is.

I'm not saying that if he is a loser don't be mad at him for being a loser. BE MAD! Cry, bitch, insult him, do what ever you want within legal limits. All I'm saying is that when it comes to people, especially the birth father, don't expect . . . well don't expect anything. Having high or low expectations in an adoption is only going to make things harder. The adoption was a day by day thing with me, no matter what and who I was dealing with. One day I would be happy with my decision, the next I would cry over it; Some days I hated being pregnant, others I would love being pregnant. With Victor, Jude's biological father, it was the same way.

Let me tell you about Victor first, because he's not what you would call normal. Victor is average height, average weight, blue eyes, dark blonde/light brown hair, pale skin, looks like the average joe. Victor though has a kind of Autism known as Aspergers. Nothing is really wrong with him mentally, in fact its the opposite, he is incredibly smart. He would probably legally be considered a genius if he took the I.Q. test. What his Aspergers does effect is his social skills, not to a drastic level, but enough for it to be noticeable. He doesn't respond to social norms, empathy is a hard concept to grasp, and he uses reason before emotion. These are not bad things, but they do make things harder and more interesting.

I met Victor in 7th grade during science class. He was a new student and had walked in like he has been here as long as the rest of us had. The moment I saw him, I was done for. It was another month or two before I actually had a conversation with him. From that moment on we were inseparable. We dated on and off for 7 years, but in January 2010 ended it for good. He no longer loved me romantically, but didn't want to loose me as a friend. I was devastated and heart-broken. One month later, almost exactly I found out I was pregnant. Victor and I laugh about this little bit of irony now.

At first I had low expectations of Victor. I knew him pretty well and every bit of me said he was going to not be involved. He was busy all the time with school, homework, doing his grandmother's and parents bidding, working, and his friends. The fact that he had time for me while we were dating was nothing short of a miracle. Not only that but he hates kids, especially babies. Even pregnant women make him very nervous and the idea of me being pregnant would be ten times worse for him. All signs told me to not tell him and keep him out of the loop, but I couldn't. It wasn't fair to him and who was to make this choice for him? So after I hid the positive pregnancy test I went over to Victor's house and told him.

I was right about one thing, he freaked out all right, but it was worse than I imagined. He spent the first 10-20 minutes using every swear word imaginable in every room in the house. After he calmed down, I told him what I think needed to be decided first; his involvement. I would have to go to the doctor first to have the test confirmed, but I needed to know, no matter what the out come would be, if he was going to be there or not. Before I wanted him to make his decision, I told him what exactly what I wanted and expected out of his involvement. I didn't want some half-assed involvement with him. If he was going to be involved, then he was going to be INVOLVED. He would have to go to doctors appointments with me, any other appointments with me, and make decisions with me. It would have to be a full commitment to me, but we didn't have to get back together, get married, or anything along those lines. We talked everything out, he told me how he was feeling, I told him how I was feeling, and we even cracked a joke or two.

We talked and thought about this for about an hour or two. He went back and forth between being involved and not being involved, whether he could actually help in anyway or not, and if can actually commit to it all or not. I told him he didn't need to decide now, but he did need to decide soon. I went back to Monterey the next day. A few days later I went to the doctors, got a positive test result, and called Victor to tell him the news. That weekend, Victor came to visit me. Every time he visited me, we would sleep in the parking lot in front of my building in the back of his Suburu. We talked about his final decision. I reminded him  what being involved entailed and what the next steps would be if he chose to be involved. He told me that he wanted to do the right thing, and for him the right thing was staying with me and helping me with the pregnancy.

I couldn't have been more happier. He promised he would do the best he could, and he kept his promise. He went with me to as many doctors appointments as he could. He would visit me and make time to see me when I was home. He went to every adoption related appointment with me and kept me entertained. Sometimes he was more than happy to do something pregnancy related with me and other times making him do something pregnancy related with me was like pulling teeth. No matter what though, he was always there for me. The day I went to the hospital, he was there in the room with me. He visited everyday and spent the night one night. Even though he doesn't like babies, he would hold Jude for me with out complaining.

He wasn't perfect though, there were times where he would do something that annoyed me, he would have to miss an appointment because of school or an event, or because he wasn't spending enough time with me. The biggest disappointment was when he left right after the papers were signed the last day we had with Jude, the last day in the hospital. He didn't think it was a big deal, so he left and went to school. It still makes me sad to this day.

After everything though, he's still there for me. He listens when I cry, he offers to come with me on visitations (even though he doesn't really want to see Jude), and he gives me his opinion. The thing that I always seem to forget is that Victor's life changed too. Even though he's not as involved as I am or feels the same way about Jude and the adoption, he is still effected by the pregnancy and adoption. He never really says anything about his feelings, but the few times he does, you can see the pain on his face.

No matter how pissed off I do get at him, I will always be grateful for Victor being there when I needed him. I hope other birth moms that were lucky enough to have support from their partners are grateful to them as well. Birth dads do not need to be there if they don't want to be. If they are there then they deserve some credit.