Friday, February 4, 2011

Owning Life's Experiences

One of my favorite quotes was first given to me by my high school French teacher. One day she walked into class and said, "I have a life lesson to teach you guys today. No French. Just this." The fact was our class was failing. Failing at what she had intended us to do from the very beginning. See, this teacher had a rule, NO a law, that you were to maintain once you stepped through her classroom door. The law was this: To be the BEST that YOU can be. Try harder then you've ever tried before. Challenge yourself. Let genius over power your mind and influence those around you.

See, my high school French teacher had years of experience to witness first hand the way students suppress their abilities and talents so the people around them are comfortable. Sound familiar? We all do it. And to be honest, I didn't realize how much we claim to be less than we are until I related the lesson to my own life. After all, anything out of the norm may be threatening and attract attention, and we wouldn't want that now would we?


Here's the part where I give you the quote:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are POWERFUL beyond measure, it is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't help the world. There's nothing enlightening about shrinking down so someone won't fell insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in ALL of us. and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

I'll never forget the day my French teacher taught us that lesson, one of the most important lessons I'd ever learn. After reading that quote for the first time, I thought to myself, "Why do I pretend to be less when I know what I'm capable of?"

Well I can tell you I no longer engage in that state of mind. From that day forward I was all about owning what I do, who I am, and what I've been through. Which brings me to today's topic: Owning what I went through when I placed my child for adoption, and moving forward with the strength to know I can accomplish anything.

After placement, I didn't have the confidence to talk to someone over the phone, let alone face to face. It was HARD! I had just experienced something surreal and my confidence was at its lowest point. Why? Because I didn't know who I was, I assumed the world looked down on me with little expectations for my future, and not to mention I was stretched out and blubbery, but that's besides the point. It took my a long time to realize that I had done something GREAT. And to own that. To not let people think less of me because I had had a baby. I wanted the world to know what I was capable of. One day, a few weeks after placement, I was cleaning out my room. It was then that I came across the piece of card stock paper my teacher had given me with the quote printed down the front. I read it over and over and over again. I couldn't believe it. What was I hiding from? And why? Why should I care if someone disagreed with my decision?


Well the fact is this: I wasn't hiding just hiding from the world. I was hiding from me. I didn't feel like I was capable of anything anymore. I was broken. I had to go back to high school and remember what my teacher said. "Be the best the YOU can be." There I was, someone who could relate with millions of other people, thinking I had nothing to offer. I knew then what I could offer at that moment, to a number of people: EMPATHY. i started with that and moved up from there.

If you love someone unconditionally, and with your whole heart, than you will do what is best for them, not you...I have never learned a harder lesson that giving my child up for adoption and I probably never will. If I walk through the rest of my life exuding awkwardness whenever adoption is brought up, then people are going to think I'm insecure with my decision. I don't want that to happen. i want to OWN what I did, and be open to anything anyone has to say. I know I made the right choice and I want to use that decision to influence the lives of others.

If I believe I did something great then I'll be proud of my decision, for me and for Sophie. And I DO believe that, with all my heart, or I wouldn't be where I am today. I am ready to face the world now, after all these months, using my experiences as the basis for my individuality.

Till next time:)


  1. Amen! I am learning that although others' may have negative adoption experiences, I am proud of mine and I am not going to hide it or be ashamed of it. I do feel empathy and comiserate with other birthparents who have had rougher experiences than I have, but owning my decision and standing strong in it is how I want the world to see me as well. Keep the faith!

  2. Good for you and all that you have allowed your heart and mind to be open to along this process. You did do something GREAT, and I believe the rest of your life will reflect that. Your daughter has LIFE because of you. And not just life, but life abundantly that you gave her through the parents you chose to raise her. I admire your strength in openly blogging about the most intimate part of your life. Your story will leave a mark on anyone who reads it, I know it has left a deep impression upon me.