November Adoption Photo Challenge

For the Month of November (National adoption Month) We participated in a little photo challenge over on our Insta-gram. Each day was assigned a word or topic, and you then posted a picture to go along with it. I really enjoyed this photo challenge and so I thought I would share it with you all…

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Day 1. How I relate to Adoption. Hi! I am Haley and I am a birth mom to a 7 year old little girl.

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Day 2. Bravery. This is what bravery looks like to me. This was our first annual Birth Mom Meet Up here in SLC Utah. A group of amazing birth parents all coming together to support each other.

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Day 3. My Family. I have two gorgeous little girls. After placement I married and had these two little red heads, I have since divorced and am figuring out my way as a single mom. Birth Mom to 1 and Mama to 2!

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Day 4. The hardest Decision. Putting the tip of my pen onto this paper and signing my name. Relinquishing all parental rights to my daughter. I knew it was right, but it didnt make it any easier.

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Day 5. Best Memory. Feeling her wiggle around in my belly. I knew my time with her was short and I tried to enjoy every little movement and kick I could.

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Day 6. My view. This morning I am looking at our adoption Facebook page in complete disbelief that we just hit 2,400 fans. I think I like this view quite a bit ;)

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Day 7. Childhood. I was 15 when I had my sweet little babe. I have always felt like a big piece of my childhood was lost. In this picture all of my friends came to visit me in the hospital, they are all in our school colors because it was spirit week, I missed it all. After placement I did not go back to school, instead I did home study packets, graduated right away, and started working full time.

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Day 8. Love. The love I have for this little girl is unimaginable. I have not seen her in 7 years, but I love her just as much today as I did in this moment.

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Day 9. Openness. Today I am sharing my story at an adoption conference herein Utah. Opening up this piece of me is never easy, but it always does seem to help me heal in some way. Writing out my bullet points that I want to cover and letting my heart do the rest.

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Day 10. The easiest decision. The hardest decision suddenly became the easiest decision when I had the peace of knowing what an amazing family she was going to be a part of. I knew without a doubt that this was her home, where she was meant to be.

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Day 11. First Adoption Memory. My mom is a birth mom, awesome, right? She placed my half brother when I was 10. My first adoption memory is her explaining that she was growing a baby in her tummy for a family who could not have a baby. It was never confusing, it didn’t cause life long issues, I went to the hospital and held my baby brother with nothing but excitement for him to be with his new family. I am so beyond proud of my mom for the amazing journey she has been on, highs and lows. I would not have made it through my placement without her by my side.

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Day 12. Birthday. Every year on January 27th at 7:37 PM, I pull this box out. That is the exact time my beautiful little girl entered this world. I open this box and go through all of the amazing things inside, things that are so precious to me, things that I only have the strength to look at once a year on that special day. When its time to close the box, I always say a little birthday prayer for her, a prayer to know that someone hundreds of miles away loves her to the stars and back.

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Day 13. Worst Memory. My worst memory is how difficult my pregnancy was. I was extremely sick and went into labor at only 24 weeks. I was put on strict bed rest and had weekly stress tests to make sure she was still okay. I was under 100 pounds when I delivered and it took my body several years to finally feel like it had fully recovered from those few months of what felt like I was honestly dying.

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Day 14. Turning point. My turning point was February 27th, 2012. The day I took a huge leap of faith and started my Facebook page. I thought no one would care about my story or what I had to say. Never let your fears hold you back! You only miss the chances you never take.

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Day 15. Birth Family. I will always be her birth mom and my girls will always be her birth sisters. I cannot wait until the day when I see all 9 of my girls together!

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Day 16. Family through adoption. I wish I had a picture of them all together as a family, but I only receive individual pictures of her. But, I created a family…that’s a pretty powerful feeling. I created a family that would not be without my decision to place.

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Day 17. Lessons learned. It’s almost been 8 years since I placed this little girl into another woman’s arms. That pain has not gone away, it is still so real and apart of my life, but so is the joy. I can look at this little girls beaming face and know, without a doubt, that I made the right choice.

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Day 18. Friends. The list of life long friends I have made throughout my adoption journey is endless. I had no idea that opening my heart up to the adoption world would allow so many inspiring people into my life. You all know who you are!

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Day 19. The best sound. This little girl had a tough time getting here. I was finally induced 6 weeks early because she was showing signs of stress with no fetal movement. After she was born they realized that the placenta had torn away and she was not getting any nutrition. The sound of her cry when they laid her on my chest was the most beautiful sound. After going into labor at 24 weeks my goal was to just get her here safely, and when I hear that sound, I knew I had done my job.

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Day 20. Something Little. My sweet little “L”s ankle band from her hospital stay. I am so grateful to have such small and tender reminders of my short time with her.

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Day 21. Sacrifice. I will never be the one to wipe her nose, kiss her toes, or tuck her in at night. The sacrifice was great, but this was never about me, it was about her.

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Day 22. Joy. Joy is having these two call me mom. Best title in the whole world…birth mom comes in for a close second though ;)

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Day 23. Something Big. This is the house I lived in when my life forever changed. Something happened that night, in that front room, that I was planning on saving for marriage. He left that night and I was so sick to my stomach. I could not believe how quickly that dream just went down the drain. Little did I know what was happening to my body and the changes I was about to go through.

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Day 24. Moment of Courage. When my story was posted on the huffington post. I knew it was a large audience and I expected the negative comments, but it didn’t make them hurt any less.

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Day 25. Life before adoption. I was just a regular teenage girl. In all honors, on dance company, with a great group of friends. I never imagined that placing a child would be in my future.

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Day 26. Parenthood means….

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Day 27. My happy place. Yes, I did pick my bed as my happy place. If you didn’t notice in my “Giving Thanks” blog post, its right up there with my family ;) I love my bed, a lot. As a working single mom, sometimes it takes all I have to just make it to my bed by the end of the day.

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Day 28. Thankful. I am so thankful for an awesome thanksgiving with my huge family.

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Day 29. Family Tradition. We have always put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving, ever since I was a kid. Love these moments with my family.

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Day 30. Hope for the future. My hope for the future is that I will someday see this beautiful little girl again. I cannot wait. And that’s it people! The last day of this challenge! I cant believe I made it all the way through!

This photo challenge brought up a lot of emotion, but it was also so healing. I loved having the opportunity to my adoption story into pictures. I hope you enjoyed it!

Haley

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