That One Time I Interviewed a Birthmother

As of this week, I have been blogging for a year. That went SUPER fast! Last summer, I finally took my passion for real food and holistic health and started this project. Which was actually my original intent for this blog (to be a food and holistic health blogger). But, … sometimes life doesn’t go according to the plan. 🙂

So along the way (and before I knew anything about best blogging practices), I randomly threw in a couple of articles about our foster care journey. (You can read my first two foster parenting posts, about how we got started in this madness, and about our first placement, here.)

And in spite of my lack of a plan, there was serendipity in my decision to write about foster care and adoption. Because much to my surprise, my articles about foster care and adoption resonated. People read them. And shared them. And so, even though my blog’s name is not entirely fitting anymore, and may change in the near future, I’ve gravitated toward reaching a different population.

Because if you take even a casual browse on Facebook or Pinterest, you’ve seen that many people already blog about real food and holistic health. And they do it so well! Honestly, they’ve got that covered, and that I’m not sure I have much more to say that hasn’t already been said. But in the realm of foster care and adoption??? Well, … let’s just say there are a lot less people who love foster care than who love food. 🙂 So, I have life experience in a very narrow area that happens to be in dire need of advocacy. And combined with my passion for writing, this makes perfect sense. (Sometimes life takes u-turns!)

A "u-turn" sign, symbolic of the change of direction of this blog, Today in Mrs. Bean's Kitchen.

So my blog has become a way for me to share our story. And although I do have some pretty unusual stories to share (nature of the beast with foster care and adoption) …

Its Actually Not About Me

Our (the Bean family) story is just one account of foster care and adoption. There are other families like us out there. I don’t think we are particularly special in that regard. I do, however, know that most people are generally uniformed about the realities of the forgotten children and the adults who choose to care for them. And THAT is why I do what I do (with my blog).

In a year’s time, my blog has morphed into a vehicle to give voice to foster kids, foster parents, and also now, … birth parents. My hope and prayer is that my time and vulnerability with this blog will benefit and be a blessing to my readership. Whether:

  • you are a prospective foster and/or adoptive parent (I hope my blog is informative, helpful and that you discover some resources),
  • or if you already foster and/or adopt (I hope that my willingness to share will help you to find a sense of community and know that you are not alone in this journey), or
  • if neither of the above applies, I hope that something you read along the way will help you learn about the complexity of these issues and be inspired to support foster children and parents.

Soooooo … can please we get to the point … about the birthmother??

Yes, yes, … I hear that. 🙂 (And thank you for humoring my long-winded preface to the weighty issue at hand!)

Filtered image of a pregnant woman is in the background of this post title: "That One Time I Interviewed a Birthmother."

I have a strong, courageous, warrior birthmother in my life. I actually did not know she was a birthmother for quite a while. (Its not something that typically comes up in casual conversation, you know.) 🙂 But she disclosed that to me. And to say that I was stunned is an understatement. Wow. Wow. Where do you go with that?

For a while, I tucked the information about the birthmother in my back pocket. Because as comfy as I am discussing foster care and adoption issues openly … this felt different to me. And fairly uncomfortable. I mean, does anyone actually know what the social norms are for talking with a birthmother about her situation? Can I ask her questions? If I do, am I being insensitive? But if I don’t, am I being cold? And if I open my mouth … am I destined to stick my foot in it, and risk alienating her or causing her to relive her pain and loss? These are things that I don’t know. But I also knew I had a great learning opportunity ahead if I was willing to put myself out there. 

So I Pushed Through

I took one humongous step outside of my comfort zone. And you know what??

I’m so glad I did.

Because not only was she super responsive and open to my invitation to having a conversation. But our “interview” (which sounds a lot more formal than what it was) was a super meaningful conversation that I can’t stop thinking about. In fact, it brought up some things that I think would be beneficial for all foster and adoptive parents to know about.

The adoption symbol (a triangle representing the triad of birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptee) surrounds the web address for Today in Mrs. Bean's Kitchen blog.

So … Ummm … About That Interview??

Welp. I’m sorry to keep you on a cliffhanger, but this is going to take some time to unpeel the layers of. SO, … over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to be rolling out installments of my conversation with a birthmother. I hope you will hang with me, as you have been. Because this is good stuff. And since blog mentors tell me that I have about 2 seconds to capture your attention before you get distracted with another shiny object, I know that’s a stretch.

And that’s OK.

But I bet you’ll be back. And in the meantime , I’ll be right here, summarizing my thoughts about how we can work together to break down barriers and change culture. Making it more open and positive for future generations of foster and adopted kids, and the birth and adoptive parents who love them!

Want to skip ahead and read the rest?

You can read the whole interview here, in Part 2 and Part 3 of my series. Then, I conclude the series, in Part 4, with some thoughts on open adoption (a reality that the birthmother and I are each working to navigate with grace).

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