This guest post is by Gina Crotts, founder and president of Birth Mother Baskets.
I have been public speaking for some time now, but somehow this room always feels different.
I stand taller, but also allow my walls to be broken down more than usual. Their tear-filled eyes meet mine and I know without doubt my words could be their words. We have all felt grief, pain, loss and have made a life-changing decision.
Our outward appearance would give you no hint that we had anything particular in common. However, our hearts are tied together. We are all here to find peace, friendship, worth, courage and hope.
We are all birthmoms.
When I first started Birth Mother Baskets, this was my main goal, to let other birthmoms know they are not alone. We have successfully been delivering gift baskets for 13 years and I am thrilled to now offer our Birthmom Retreats.
When you are faced with an unplanned pregnancy and have chosen adoption, you discover many people who question your decision.
In many cases, you have friends and family who judge you or cast you out. Your whole world can be turned upside down.
You lose a part of yourself, as in, nothing feels the same as it did before. This can affect your self esteem, your self worth and your confidence. Having others around you question your decision during and after placement can really bring you down.
Knowing your worth, knowing you deserve to be happy and knowing you are loved can help you deal with the criticism. When I teach about self worth at our Birthmom Retreats I always include a list of things that can destroy your worth and a list of things that can help women realize their worth.
As a birthmom, you are constantly defending your decision to place.
I quickly realized the more confident I was in my decision, the less those around me questioned my decision.
But finding the confidence was not easy. I personally have found myself in very dark times, however, what pulled me from that darkness is realizing I am worthy.
I am worthy of love.
I am worthy of happiness and I am worthy just because I am here.
My self worth is not tied to anything tangible and no one can take it from me. That realization has helped me stand tall as an adoption advocate.
Having been in the adoption industry for 13 years, I feel the one thing that is truly missing in most of our adoption agencies is post-placement support for birthmoms.
The grieving process was like nothing I had been prepared for and having someone who had been in my shoes before, could have eliminated a lot of questions and heartache that I experienced.
The programs that we provide at Birth Mother Baskets offers not only the Birthmom Retreats, but a Birth Mom Friend to help guide you in what to expect during and after placement.
What our Birthmom Retreats include:
- We rent out a house, so the birthmoms can be in close proximity
- We teach classes on grieving, selfworth and healing
- We enjoy each other’s company, group-led discussions and new friendships
Our retreats take place in the state of highest demand and equivalent sponsorship. We offer our retreat at a very discounted price for our birthmoms to ensure they are able to attend. Their stay, food and activities are all provided by our retreat sponsors.
This is a great way for adoptive couples, adoption agencies, adoption attorneys or others to support their birthmoms. We offer advertising, on our website, for our Birthmom Retreat Sponsors.
Our upcoming Birth Mom Retreats are July, 2014 in Utah and September, 2014 in San Diego, CA. Our Utah Birth Mom Retreat is full, but registration for our San Diego Retreat is now open. You can register on our website or on our Facebook page at that time.
Gina Crotts is the Founder and President of Birth Mother Baskets, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that delivers gift baskets to birth mothers who have recently placed their babies for adoption, along with providing post placement support. Gina and the Birth Mother Baskets have been featured on Channel KSL5 News, Channel ABC4 “Good Things Utah”, Utah Valley Magazine as an “Angel Among Us”, Desert News, Daily Herald, Adoption.com, and America Adopts.