Welcome to M2M’s Adoption Month Series & Motherhood Monday

It’s finally here! Happy November and welcome to an exciting month-long series here at M2M on ADOPTION! Each week throughout the National Adoption Month of November, I’ll be sharing real stories from real adoptive mothers, adoptees, birth moms and adoption organizations. I hope you’ll come back each week and read them.

Adoption is super close to my heart, most specifically for the cause of the birth mother. I love to champion for birth moms because I feel their pain. I am one. When I was a twenty year-old college sophomore, I made some really poor decisions that led to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy with no way or will to support a child. But instead of seeking help, I chose to ignore all the signs, not think about my problems and hide my pregnancy from everyone around me except my best friend. She continued to encourage me to do the right thing, but with the stress of school and other family problems swirling around me, I just couldn’t think past my own selfishness. It wasn’t until I was just weeks away from my due date that I forced myself to realize and prepare for the inevitable. I confided in another friend at school who could help me take care of myself, make plans and eventually take me to the hospital in time to deliver a tiny, but precious baby boy. It was only by the grace of God that he was healthy, that I found him a loving family to adopt him and that I was able to keep my secret until years later when I was finally ready to work through it, and find healing. I wrote a memoir about that time in my life, not only to help me though the healing process, but to hopefully help other birth moms through their own healing as well.

Each corner of the adoption triad has it’s bumps and bruises. It’s never how it looks on TV or what the adoption literature and profiles want to make it appear like. It is not even close to being all roses and sunshine. Like life, adoption on all fronts is hard, it’s emotional and it’s messy. From the outside, it may just look like ordinary parenthood, but there are a whole slough of even more things to work through. There is loss, nature vs. nurture, abandonment issues and sometimes a lot of therapy. But there is a beautiful side to adoption as well, an important, necessary  and redeeming side. There are so many babies and children in this world, in this country, that need parents. They need loving, stable homes with safe grown-ups who will love them through the tantrums, through the issues, through the mess. And there are parents without children. Women who want to be mothers, but cannot without help or those amazing families that feel called to take the needy in. Adoption is a beautiful bridge between these two heartbreaking places and it deserves to be celebrated. I hope this month you’ll grab a cup of something warm, a snuggly blanket and some tissues and join me each week in hearing these brave families’ stories of heartache, hope and healing.

Do you have an adoption story to share?  I would love to hear it and possibly even feature it here! Please contact me at wynter@madetomother.com

adoption-month2

And now for the monthly Motherhood Monday Link Up! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

MMLinkUp
<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mmlinkupbutton.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Grab the Link Up button!

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

LINK UP GUIDELINES

  • Please post family-friendly topics/websites. Bonus points if they have to do with mothering!
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above or a sweet shout-out would be awesome, too!

Advertisements

The History of National Adoption Month and Motherhood Monday LinkUp

Did you know that November was chosen as National Adoption Month by a Presidential Proclamation? It’s true! Government-recognized adoption awareness first began in the United States in 1974 when former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis declared an “adoption week” in his state, and in 1995 former President Bill Clinton proclaimed November the National Adoption Awareness month.

In the nineteen years since, Adoption Month has blossomed under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services, offering government-sponsored activities and celebrations each November to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. With the partnership of thousands of community organizations all over the world, Adoption Month now represents a multitude of programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the thousands of children waiting for permanent families.

This year’s National Adoption Month theme is about the importance of sibling connections for the 102,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families. To get involved with the programs, events and activities happening nationwide next month or for more information about the history of National Adoption Month, please visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam.

And don’t forget to come back here next month and read some of the AMAZING adoption stories that I will be sharing each week as part of the special M2M Adoption Month series! If you still want to submit your own adoption story for this series, please email it to me at wynterkaiser@gmail.com by 11/2/14!

Adoption-Month

 

And now for the monthly Motherhood Monday Link Up! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

MMLinkUp
<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mmlinkupbutton.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Grab the Link Up button!

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

LINK UP GUIDELINES

  • Please post family-friendly topics/websites. Bonus points if they have to do with mothering!
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above or a sweet shout-out would be awesome, too!

Made to Mother Project Update AND A Motherhood Monday Link Up

I have been so blessed by all the women I have “met” these past few months, the stories that have poured in and all the people who continue to visit this site, week after week to read these amazing and heroic stories of motherhood. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the women who have opened up themselves and shared their stories here, and thank you to everyone else, as well, for your faithful readership, comments, likes and social media shares. I had no idea back in December when I started this blog just how successful it would become and God continues to amaze me each week as more stories come in.

I have also been so encouraged by the outpouring of interesting responses from the M2M Survey and thought maybe you might like an update on what those look like. Here are some of the answers and data I have received from the 100s of responses to the survey:

Breakdown of types of mothers taking the survey:

Biological Mother 87.50%
Adoptive Mother 12.50%
Foster Mother 12.50%
Step Mother 6.25%
Single Mother 12.50%
Babysitter/Nanny/Childcare/Teacher 25.00%

Other sub-categories of mothers who’ve taken the survey:

Mom of One 18.75%
Mom of Few (2-4) 68.75%
Mom of Many 18.75%
Mom of Babies 43.75%
Adoptee Mom 6.25%
Stay at Home Mom 68.75%
Working Mom 50.00%
Homeschooling Mom 25.00%
Religious Mom 75.00%

Where moms get their advice from:

Friends 87.50%
Mother 81.25%
Sister 43.75%
Grandmother 6.25%
Mentor 31.25%

If you would still like to add your voice, please take the M2M Survey here!

I have loved reading the diverse stories that have poured in, but there are so many I would still love to hear from out there…some of which include:

  1. international and multicultural moms
  2. mommies with 5 or more children (aka, moms of many!)
  3. women who have been surrogates
  4. teenage/young adult nannies or babysitters
  5. stepmothers
  6. full-time working moms (preferably outside of the home)
  7. mothers with diverse religious backgrounds

If you or someone you know would be interested in sharing their story and answering a couple questions about how you mother in the above ways or any other kind of mom story you’d like to share, please email me at wynterkaiser@gmail.com THANKS!

And now for the Link Up!

Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

MMLinkUp
<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mmlinkupbutton.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Grab the Link Up button!

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

LINK UP GUIDELINES

  • Please post family-friendly topics/websites. Bonus points if they have to do with mothering!
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above or a sweet shout-out would be awesome, too!


 

Unplanned Motherhood: Stories of Teen Moms and Motherhood Monday LinkUP #4

I’ve got an exciting series planned for you this week! One of my mom friends teaches a parenting class at an alternative High School Program called “Create” in the little town where I live. Create is a place where students who aren’t able to keep up with the normal classroom routine can finish up their credits with additional support. It’s also a perfect place for teen mothers because of the on-site child care provided.

Outside of class, my friend began to meet and mentor some of the young woman through YoungLives. YoungLives is a fabulous organization aiming to meet teen mothers on their turf, while trying to show them God’s unconditional love and grace through mentoring and monthly activities. For more information about YoungLives or how you can get involved with the program, please visit their website here.

After teaching a class in Parenting Basics, my friend decided that the world needed to hear what these girls have to say and she thought that M2M was the perfect place to do it! When she sent me four different girls’ accounts, I was completely blown away by the passion, heartache and struggle that emanates throughout their stories. In spite of the crudeness in their typing, broken English and their evident youth depicted by their simple and sometimes explicit vocabulary, their tender, young hearts and their love for their children and  families shines through to weave a beautiful picture of the essence of motherhood, no matter their age.

In order to capture and show you the purity of their stories and the integrity of who they are as teenage mothers, I have done very little, if any, editing, including their use of profanity, so please be warned, some of their stories, in addition to being choppy, are raw, unadulterated and may not be suitable for all readers. Despite this, I hope you will take a journey with me this week into the hearts and lives of these four very young mothers, witness their struggles and trials, and get just a tiny glimpse at the pure and powerful love of a mother, in the simplest and almost child-like form.

I hope you enjoy and are moved by them as much as I have been as I post a new one, each day this week, starting tomorrow.

Teenage-Mom

~~~~~

And now for the Link Up! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

Made to Mother
<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mmlinkupbutton.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Grab the Link Up button!

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

Link Up Guidelines

  • Please post family-friendly topics/websites. Bonus points if they have to do with mothering!
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above or a sweet shout-out would be awesome, too!

 

A Little M2M Guest Post Action AND A Motherhood Monday LinkUp

Other than motherhood in general, my all-time favorite cause is for birthmothers. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like and I am passionate about championing birth moms all over the world as often and shamelessly as I can! As such, I have the joy and pleasure to network with, speak at and write for a lot of really great birth mother and adoption organizations. Some of my favorites are BraveLove, Called to Love and most recently, America Adopts. I love to take whatever opportunity I can to encourage, support and defend the cause of birth moms as all parties in the adoption triad move toward emotional and spiritual healing and closure. If you are interested in speaking with me further about adoption and birth mothers, please feel free to contact me at wynterkaiser@gmail.com!

Just last week I had the opportunity to do a guest blog post for America Adopts and I chose to speak on the misconceptions of birth mothers in our culture. Here is what I wrote:

As a birth mom I have my own story and it is unique. I think that sometimes it is easy to romanticize the ideal adoption scenario; a young girl gets pregnant and loves the baby so much that she decides to give it a better home and life than she can offer. But there is much more to my story than that typical, idealized notion. And, frankly, I think if all birth moms were really being honest with you, they would say the same thing.

I grew up in a stiflingly Christian home, church and private school. As a child and teenager I talked the talk, but deep down inside, I desired to break free and live how the rest of the world lived. So, as soon as I turned eighteen, I rebelled; and thinking I was invincible, I got involved in drinking, drugs and fooling around with boys. Eventually, my poor choices caught up with me. I was suspended from school after my freshman year in college and became pregnant shortly thereafter….

{Click here to continue reading over at America Adopts!}

~~~~~

And now for the Link Up! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

Made to Mother
<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mmlinkupbutton.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Grab the Link Up button!

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

Link Up Guidelines

  • Please post family-friendly topics/websites. Bonus points if they have to do with mothering!
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above or a sweet shout-out would be awesome, too!

M2M is participating in the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

If you are visiting from the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Moms, welcome! Please take your time and peruse some of the amazing, inspiring and encouraging stories of REAL moms that I post here on Made to Mother. They will make you laugh, cry and feel united with a spirit of motherhood camaraderie!

A Little About Me
I am a wife to Jonathan, my husband of nearly nine years and stay-at-home mommy to our three young children, Chloe, Adaya and Liam. I am also a birth mom to a teenage boy out there somewhere. You can read more about that here, and for ALL the messy details, you can order a copy of the book I wrote about it here.

02-20-2013 03;26;36PM3

I love to write, it is like free (okay, cheap) therapy for me. I also love to read. And talk with my girlfriends. That is why I began Made to Mother; it kinda combines all three! I am passionate about helping other women share their stories so they can experience the freedom of putting their pasts, no matter how messy, on paper and then watching it become an encouragement to others.
You can find out more about my M2M Project here and I hope in addition to reading some of the other heart-warming stories I’ve posted, you will consider letting me share your story, too!

Here are just a few of my absolute favorite stories posted here:

M2m-logo-no-website

Moms’ Night Out – Motherhood Monday Movie Review and Link Up!

I got the chance last week to see a special screening of the upcoming movie, Mom’s Night Out. I convinced my sweet hubbie to come along, and despite him being one of only three or four men in a packed theater full of giggling and shrieking women, he laughed right along with us. That is how true this movie reflects motherhood and all of our mama-isms.

mno_fbcover1

Movie Background
Allyson (played by the adorable Sarah Drew) is a stay-at-home mom of three little ones with a husband that travels often for his job. As a way of reminding herself that she is still a productive member of adult society, she blogs as a “mommy blogger,” with three followers. Yesterday she had four. She is also a clean freak, germ-a-phobe with “nerve endings in the carpet.”

As the movie begins we see Allyson unable to sleep and frantically cleaning her home at 4 a.m. on Mother’s Day. It’s spotless when she finally falls into bed, but when she gets up a few hours later all hell has broken loose. The kids have DESTROYED the house to make her breakfast and through her OCD eyes, she sees them covered in salmonella. Meanwhile, her husband, Sean (Sean Astin), calls from the airport and while she is trying to get the kids ready for church, she finds her daughter drawing pictures on the wall and nearly loses it. Or, as she calls it, has a “moment.”
Several scenes (and “moments”) later, she arrives at church, disheveled and with mascara smeared all over her eyelids (from her daughter’s insistence on playing make-over). She sees and silently judges the beautiful, together moms (“I bet she has a nanny”) and brushes past the seemingly perfectly composed pastor’s wife, Sondra (Patricia Heaton), who well-meaningly consoles her “just give it five years.”

Allyson drops her kids off at Sunday school with the teacher, her best friend, Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and heads to the bathroom to clean herself up. But the “no touch” automatic paper towel dispenser will not come out, no matter how hysterically she gestures and dances in front of it.
Somehow she manages to squeeze into a packed pew and, sure enough, moments later gets paged to return to the nursery because of her son’s latest antic. When the day is over and Sean returns home late from his business trip, he sees the disaster that is their house and follows the trail of chocolate wrappers to find Allyson hiding in their closet, stress-paralyzed and unable to take her eyes off a live, internet feed of an Eagle’s nest.

Later that week, while at a church book club (an elusive dream of being able to read books as a mom of three, but going to the book club nonetheless because it makes her feel better) and texting with Izzy, sitting right next to her, Allyson realizes she needs a night out. They invite Sondra, because she looks like she is stressed too, having a teenage daughter and being unable to text legibly.
But when Saturday comes and it’s time to go out, Allyson has visions of the craziness that will ensue if she leaves her children with Sean. Despite this, she takes the minivan to pick up Izzy, who is in the midst of her own troubles in the bathroom, surrounded by five positive pregnancy sticks, to prove to herself that it really is true. Meanwhile Izzy’s husband, Marco (Robert Amaya), is freaking out about watching their twin boys alone. But off the girls go to pick up Sondra and head to their fancy Groupon restaurant for dinner.

girls night

What ensues next is a mom’s night out nightmare…and then some! Miscommunicated dinner reservations, unexpected hospital visits and a wild goose chase all over town that leads them to a stoner’s house, a tattoo parlor, a police chase and ends up at jail. And through this crazy weaving of every mom’s struggles and worst nightmares, there runs the sweet truth and tender moments that make us all say that although we have the hardest of jobs as a mom, it is also very important. We love our children and their quirks. And even their art scribbled on the wall is frame-worthy.

My Review
I seriously loved this movie. I loved how real it was. I loved how it reminded me that even with kids that sometimes make me feel like I am going figuratively insane, I am not alone on the battlefield of motherhood. And a reminder of this on a daily basis is soooo important for my mental stability!
I loved that everyone in the theater laughed at the things my husband and I laughed at…because what they were talking about or showing was all true! Things like comparing ourselves to Bruce Banner…we don’t WANT to turn into a mommy hulk. And sometimes we can’t help being the wild woman leaning out the minivan window to reality-check the “just married” couple in the car next to us, right?!

I resonated so much with Allyson. There are seriously moments every day in my life as a mom where it could be me in that movie. And even though on those days I would so much like to just throw my hands in the air and scream or eat a whole bag of chocolate and crumble onto my closet floor in a sobbing mess, sometimes it helps to just laugh at it. Which is why I also loved how Patricia Heaton prefaced the movie by saying, “You need to laugh at motherhood. Because if you don’t laugh, you will go CRAZY. And the kids will WIN!”
I, like Allyson, wanted to be a mommy when I grew up. This was my dream as a child. I am literally living my dream and yet I am still not happy. I’m stressed, exhausted, short-fused and most of the days, I feel like I am not enough. But, as Trace Adkins’s “Bones” character so poignantly asked Allyson, “not enough for who?” my answer would be the same as hers. I feel like I am not enough for my husband, for my kids, my mother or for God. And when it really boils down to it, I feel like I am not enough for myself. I spend so much time beating myself up for feeling inadequate, but no one else sees that except me. My children always want to give me hugs, tell me that I am pretty or draw beautiful pictures of our family. My husband daily thanks me for a job well done and weekly insists that I take some time out for myself. I may sometimes feel like I am not enough and that I am often a failure, but as this movie makes clear, we ARE enough, right where we’re at.

Moms’ Night Out takes this message of laughing at motherhood and “you are enough” further than just the comedic, mothers uniting in comradery of silly mommy-isms. It shares a message of hope and of love. And not just love from family, but of the Divine. This movie does a fantastic job of showing the love of Jesus to an often skipped-over and unreached group; stay-at-home-mothers. It is so easy for a mom who does not work outside of the home to sometimes feel that what they do is of little value with almost no reward. They need to hear that most of the reward is eternal and we have a heavenly Father, who can see past the temporary, even when we can’t. And that IS enough!

So look for Moms’ Night Out, coming to 1500 theaters nationwide on May 9, 2014. Check your local listings or Fandango.com and make it your very own, much-deserved mom’s night out! You can check out the movie trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Leb6Vnhbp1A and learn more about the movie and the people who produced it at: http://www.momsnightoutmovie.com/

~~~~~

And now for the Link Up! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

M2M-link-up-button

Grab the Link Up button!

<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/m2m-link-up-button.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

Link Up Guidelines

  • Please post topics/websites that has to do with mothering
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above would be awesome!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Motherhood Monday Link-Up & Blog Hop!

I’m gonna try something new here…a littly Linky Link Up. If it is popular, I will start out by doing it monthly and perhaps even work up to weekly! Please also visit M2M on Twitter @made2mother and like on Facebook.com/madetomother!

Grab the Link Up button!
Made to Mother

<div align="center"><a href="http://madetomother.com" title="Made to Mother"><img src="https://madetomother.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/m2m-link-up-button.jpg" alt="Made to Mother" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

The Made to Mother Project is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and inspiring women by sharing their stories of motherhood. I hope that this link-up will continue to grow our community of mothers. Please read the guidelines below for information on how to join!

Link Up Guidelines

  • Please post topics/websites that has to do with mothering
  • Be sure to link back to your blog post not your homepage.
  • Share the Linky love – visit a page or two linked up here and leave them a nice comment.
  • Oh, and a link back to Made to Mother using the button above would be awesome!

What’s your mama story? Link up your post below!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…