the first step is admitting…

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In 2013, I was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. 

Just months before my diagnosis, I applied for several jobs – all at once.

For about a day and a half, I had three jobs. THREE jobs. (I was hired at three different places, but didn’t work all three jobs in that day and half.) I was pretty excited!

Before I was able to work as much as I was hoping I would get to, I had to quit two of the jobs. 

I felt like I had the whole world on my shoulders, having been hired at so many different places.

I was newly pregnant with my son Isaac. ( I’m going to stop calling my babies by their blog nicknames. I just don’t think it matters anymore. :-p )

The job that I chose to try to keep was at a Subway. If offered the same job today, I would quickly run away.

Subway requires a massive amount of multi-tasking and an ability to process information at quick speeds. Neither of which am I capable of doing.

Any way, yada yada… in 2014, while pregnant with my daughter, Juliet, I had a data entry job at an insurance agency. Contracted position.

If I could give 2014-Stephanie some advice, I’d tell her… “don’t talk to your co-workers.” … “sit at lunch, alone.” … “just do your d-mn work.”… and … “emotionally prepare for Chloe’s adoption anniversary in October.”

So, it’s 2016… and I can very readily admit which jobs (and housing situations) I can handle and which ones I should run away from – faster than …whatever’s really-really fast.

I’d describe my current situation as OK. It’s not a long-term solution for homelessness and unemployment, but I’m OK. 

I think it’s been a little over a month since I’ve seen Daphne. I think my friends would agree that I’ve done the best I can do to be apart of her life. And that’s all I can really say, right now.

Question & Answer Session –

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Bona Fide Birth Mother’s Question & Answer Session. . .

I love you, Lady-Bug,

Precious-Picklette,

and Sweet-Sesame! ❤

Presently, what percentage would you put yourself for the adoption?

90%, – leaving 10% for parenting.

We all know that you changed your mind (on October 15th) and announced your choice to personally raise your son. What factors have you since considered that cause you to turn back to the adoption plan?

First of all, I moved out of the Steyer (friends of Mr and Mrs Zumba) household, desiring to be on neutral ground. Hurting the Steyers, in any way, was not my intention. I did know that my decision would cause a rift in the friendship(s), but I knew that I needed to be on (completely) neutral ground – in order to know (for a fact) that I was making the best decision for my son.

I’ll explain.

– – – – -The Steyers did their absolute best to remain objective and supportive. I appreciate them more than they may realize. This is the best way that I can explain why living in their house (while making this decision) was not a good idea (even while my stay there is and was very much appreciated):

Picture yourself needing to make a decision between two different colors. Your choices are brown or red. You’re sitting in a tan building, which has interior walls painted a beautiful mahogany (a shade of brown) color of paint. The tables are beige, as well as the chairs. The front door, though, is auburn (a reddish-brown) in color.

You can see that this building isn’t entirely influencing your decision between brown and red. You appreciate the front door’s color of paint. You sit in the shade-of-brown chairs, for months. You stare at the walls’ color, ruminating your (life-altering) decision between brown and red.

Then, there comes a day that you realize that the colors you’re surrounded by are probably (unintentionally) creating a comfort in your mind – for that one color. You’ve been talking to a few people (outside of that tan building) about your decision between brown and red. One of these people tries to explain that being in a shade-of-brown building, while making this decision, is not the best option available. This person realizes what a blessing this tan building has been to you, but wants you to consider the subconscious influence that the tan building and its shade-of-brown components may be having on this ever-important decision.

You discover that there’s a white building that has an available room. You need that available room for the next 1 to 2 months. You’re appreciative of the tan building, but you know that the tan building’s construction workers and interior design team may feel hurt that you’ve decided to drive to the white building, after all they’ve done to make your tan-building stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible. You’re unsure of how to express what you’re feeling about the tan building, so you pack your decision-making supplies and leave… hoping everyone working on the tan building will eventually understand, as well as believe that you’re appreciative of the tan building’s friendly atmosphere and months of freely-given resources. – – – – –

After arriving at “the white building,” I felt a new comfort that allowed me easy access to my desire for “red” (parenting my son). The one hindrance to my choosing-to-parent-my-son was that I had nothing for him. No car seat, no clothing, no diapers, no baby seats (bouncer / baby-swing), nothing at all. I didn’t want to make this decision (of adoption) based on the feeling of having no other choice. There are plenty of resources for single mothers, if you look for them. I looked. And looked. I was given a lot of clothing. I was given free diapers. I was given hand-me-downs. I was given a free car seat (after attending a 1-hour car seat safety class.) Google car seat safety class, car seat distribution, and your state of residency. I had (and still have) everything that my son would need – if I chose to “keep” / raise & parent my son.

After approximately a week of being adamant that I am capable of raising my son (which, I am), I began returning to thoughts of the adoption plan. A friend suggested that I compile a Pros & Cons list for Parenting and for Adoption. Those lists truly opened my eyes. Then, on an online Asperger’s Syndrome group, a woman (another “Aspie”) said that I should ask myself these questions: Why do you want to keep him? And why do you think he should be adopted? (similar to the pros and cons lists, but the change of wording helped me continue in a serious inspection of my reasons, motives, and desires.)

I will post another blog post, sometime soon. My back hurts and I need a break. 37.2 weeks pregnant… I’m sure you understand.

Evaluations / Children’s Nicknames

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Ow, ow, ow! …to these Braxton Hicks contractions I’ve been having. I’ve actually been experiencing fewer of them, since increasing my water intake… but still, ow! – when they do happen.

Any way, let me tell you what I’m so excited to blog about! In 9 days, I will have my “neuropsychological evaluation!”

I also have a vocational evaluation in a little over 2 weeks. They’ll be testing my abilities, interests, and personality – discovering what type of job best suits me.

If I felt like making noise, I’d probably do my happy scream right now …but I’m kind of sleepy today.

Yesterday, I hit the 33-week mark of my pregnancy.

Somehow, that reminded me that I want to go through all of my blog’s posts and edit my children’s names. I’ve been reading other blogs and realized that moms seem to make up nicknames for their kids – just for their blogs. Good idea, peoples!

My 3 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Lady-Bug

My 1 year old daughter’s nickname will be… Precious-Picklette

My son’s nickname will be… Sweet-Sesame

( ( ( ( Nicknames are subject to change, in the event(s) of specific personality traits being revealed. ) ) ) ) – but I’ll keep the nickname changing to a minimum. I promise.

Disclaimer: (some) people, like me, who have Asperger’s syndrome rarely use pet names, so – honestly – coming up with my kids’ permanent (blog) nicknames will be a matter of observation… of what my kids’ loved ones say about them.

My Favorite Adoption Songs

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First, my two absolute favorites:

1) See You Again; sung by Carrie Underwood

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow.”

“You are my tomorrow.”

“Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know
I will see you again, oh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

2) Everything To Me; sung by Mark Shultz

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…you had dreams for me
And wanted the best for me
And you made the only choice you could that night

And you gave life to me
A brand new world to see
Like playing baseball in the yard with dad at night
Mom reading Goodnight Moon
And praying in my room
So if you worry if your choice was right
When you gave me up
Oh you gave everything to me.

“…you gave life to me
A chance to find my dreams
And the chance to fall in love.”

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

3) You’ll Be In My Heart; sung by Phil Collins

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here.

Don’t you cry
For one so small,
you seem so strong.

“This bond between us
Can’t be broken.”

“From this day on,
Now and forever more
Oh, you’ll be in my heart.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

4) I Loved Her First; sung by Heartland

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“…she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl.”

“But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me.”

“…it’s still hard to give her away.

“And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS THE SONG THAT I SANG TO / FOR LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), WHILE I WAS PREGNANT WITH HER:

5) You’re Gonna Be; sung by Reba McEntire

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be.

We just have to believe things work out like they should.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

 THIS IS A SONG I SUNG TO LADY-BUG (my eldest daughter), AFTER SHE WAS BORN:

6) Best Of Intentions; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

“Never could build you a castle
Even though you’re the queen of my heart
But I’ve had the best of intentions from the start.

Please tell me you will remember
No matter how much I do wrong
That I had the best of intentions all along.

“…I promised you things
I always thought we’d do
But my best-laid plans
Slipped right through my hands
To show my love for you.

“So here I am asking forgiveness
And praying that you’ll understand.

Though you deserve so much better
You won’t find devotion more true.

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

– – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – 

THIS IS A SONG THAT I SUNG, AFTER THE ADOPTION – – – AFTER A LONG TIME OF TRYING TO DENY HOW MUCH I WAS HURTING:

7) Anymore; sung by Travis Tritt

* Lyrics that mean the most to me: *

I can’t hold the hurt inside, keep the pain out of my eyes anymore
My tears no longer waiting, my resistance ain’t that strong
My mind keeps recreating a life with you alone.”

“‘Cause there’s no one else I swear that holds a candle anywhere next to you.

My Birth Plan – thoughts

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There have been times and there are still times that I have been and I still am a people pleaser.  I try to be one, any way.

I’ve given birth 2 other times. Lady-Bug (2010) and Precious-Picklette (2012), but neither of those times did I know that anyone would raise my child – except me.  So, my birth plan was simple.  “Hey, y’all. Get the baby out and remind me to breathe!” …basically.

Choosing who would be in the room for the deliveries wasn’t difficult. Choosing who would hold my baby, besides me, wasn’t something I thought about. I didn’t feel protective of who held my baby first (within basic reason), after me.

I have one friend who’s given birth and then placed her baby in an adoptive family… only one friend who knows (even close) what I’m feeling, right now. I’ve actually never met her in person! We were introduced by a person that we both know of. It’s difficult to not want her there for the delivery. Without her there, I think I would feel alone.

I have another friend who may be able to attend. She was there, at Precious-Picklette’s delivery. I think she understands that this delivery is very much different than Lady-Bug or Precious-Picklette’s. This friend is a mother, so she understands the basic emotions of childbirth, but not of adoption… not of knowing that you won’t see the baby you’re giving birth to (except in pictures) for more than a decade. Almost 2 decades!

In light of these inevitable emotions, I’m writing my birth plan and informing my doctor of my wishes. My doctor will know what I want. And before the delivery, the nurses will know what I want. Pretty much, they’ll know that I don’t know what I want!

No one is allowed to presume to know my wishes. I may have told one person one thing and then another person another thing. – because choosing how to handle the labor, delivery, and handling of my son (Sweet-Sesame)… well, those are very sensitive topics for me.

I may discuss options with the people who are invited to be in the delivery room, but the final decision (details of who, what, where) will be made last minute.

BWAP; Week 1: Who I Am

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I found this “52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose” list on another mom blog:

http://www.frommrstomama.com )  (Thank you! 🙂 )

Week 1: Who I Am

I find myself fidgeting as I try to begin this post. So, the basic question is: “Who Am I?”

Bona Fide Birth Mother. I was born and raised in south Texas, USA.

My Dad raised me. My grandparents (my Dad’s parents) helped.

My Mom didn’t raise me. She had visitation rights and for a while, my sister (who’s 18 months older than me) and I visited my Mom every Wednesday.

Me and my sister got along – sometimes. It was kind of “hit or miss.” The reason seemed to be that I am (and always have been) very outspoken of anything I deem a fact. My opinions, too, of course. I don’t think my blunt honesty ever had big fans (people who enjoyed it), in my younger years. Now, as adults, me and my sister are capable of getting along a little more, but not for long periods of time.

As a child, besides my honesty… I also had a temper. I’ve learned to control my temper, for the most part. I remember not, at all, being a nice sister, at times. When my sister tried to report my bad behavior to a parent, they didn’t always believe her. I’ve asked my sister about this, since becoming an adult. She says that she doesn’t remember any of it.

At the age of 18, I attended Texas Bible Institute. It was a 9 month course. I stayed for 3 months. My black and white / rigid thinking came into play when it was insinuated that for me to prove my salvation, I would need to speak in tongues. Maybe this isn’t apart of the TBI doctrine, but someone on campus (at that time) seemed to believe that. I couldn’t stay, due to this unbiblical teaching. Never mind that I was rooming with 4 other girls in a 500 square foot room. All of it being added up, there’s no way I could have ever survived an entire 9 months there.

A lot happened between the age of 18 and 24, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post!

At the age of 24, I gave birth to my daughter, Lady-Bug. It took me close to 6 months before I felt a mother-daughter bond with her. That was probably half due to post-partum emotional issues and half due to Asperger’s Syndrome. That’s all I can figure out.

At the age of 27, I gave birth to my daughter, Precious-Picklette. Not much time passed (about 2 months) before I had a mental breakdown / emotional meltdown. Lady-Bug was adopted by the Z’s and Precious-Picklettes father took over raising Precious-Picklette.

Also at the age of 27, I became pregnant with my son (Sweet-Sesame) – whom I’m 32 weeks pregnant with, at the moment.

There’s a very quick snapshot of my “life’s story.” 

I like lasagna. Some days, I love it… but today, it sounds too heavy.

I like ranch dressing on (almost) anything.

My favorite color is lavender.

I’m 5’7″.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

…okay, ’til next time.

Me, at 22 years old.

Me, at 22 years old.

“The reasons for Lady-Bug’s adoption still stand…”

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Tomorrow, I’m at 32 weeks in pregnancy with my son – Sweet-Sesame.

I don’t talk about it, each time, with … hardly anyone. I have 3 or 4 friends that I talk to about it.  What’s ‘it?’  …’it’ is that birth mother desire that I naturally have to raise my son.

If you do your research, you’ll find that a birth mother will likely change her mind about the adoption many times – whether or not she follows through and allows the adoption to become final.

Recently, I tried to confide these feelings with a family member. That family member then told other family members that I was planning to keep and raise my son. Wow! I guess I have to decide that this comes from their lack of experience in adoption and birth mothers.

I have little previous experience (except Lady-Bug’s adoption, which took place a year ago), but I have some.

I remember, after signing the papers, feeling that Lady-Bug had been kidnapped. She hadn’t been kidnapped, but that was the overwhelming emotion / feeling that I had. I raised her for more than 2 years and all of sudden, she was gone! I felt SO much pain. More than I could bear.

My son hasn’t been born yet. I won’t have that 2 and a half years of building an emotional attachment with him. This adoption, I believe, will be different in so many ways. The emotions I feel. The duration of my extreme pain stemming from the loss of my child. Et cetera.

Will my son, Sweet-Sesame be adopted? Yes. He will be. By Lady-Bugs adoptive parents.

FIVE times now, I’ve changed my mind about the adoption. Five times, in the last thirty-two weeks. Each time, I’ve chosen to keep it between me and certain friends of mine. I need those friends, so badly. I need to feel supported and loved through all of my emotions. I know which people I can and can’t talk to about those emotions. I know which people are supportive of me, either decision I make.

But I hope those friends know that I’m sorry if they feel yo-yo’d. I’m not meaning to flip flop. I’m not wanting to change my mind so many times. I know what I want for my son! I know what’s right for him! I know that I would bring so much stress over his little life. I can’t do that to him.

One friend of mine says it really, really well:

“The reasons for Lady-Bug’s adoption still stand, so I can’t see how anything would be different for your son.”

Sweet-Sesame will be raised with my daughter, Lady-Bug.

My wavering may not ever really end, but my decision stands firm.

My feelings/emotions are temporary and fleeting. My love for my son -and my logic- are permanent and natural.

My son will be a Z. My son will have an older sister, whom he’ll be raised with, named Chloe. I love both of them. A lot.