Monday, January 7, 2013

My Path to Finding My Birthmother, One Adopted Child's Story

My Husband (Adam), Daughter (Abigail, 2), and Myself

I know this blog is called “CraftyMamaBeads”, but today I actually don’t have anything crafty at all to post… Today I want to share a story. It’s my story and it’s actually more of a journey!

I have always known I was adopted. My parents never tried to hide anything from me. I grew up knowing only a small few bits of information that they had known and when I was little I can actually remember a time when I thought that all kids were adopted. Ha ha.

I never felt the need to try to locate my birth mother and in reality couldn’t admit to myself that maybe I was more afraid to find things out or be rejected than anything else. I always had the support from my parents that even if I wanted to know they were ok with that and were curious about her as well…

So now we turn to today… This year I turned the big 3-0… and now that I’m married with a daughter of my own the curiosity had returned. It seemed that lately I had been meeting people who were so amazed that I was adopted, but very freely said they couldn’t adopt someone else’s baby. Some just didn’t know how they could love a baby that wasn’t their own. I had never really heard that before. But maybe it was just because before I was young and na├»ve? I had always known it took a special person to give a baby to a deserving family, but now I was learning it took a special family to want another person’s baby.

This fall I was on a warpath promoting adoption and finally standing up for something I believed in with my whole heart. I wanted to educate a person on what to say and what not to say to someone who was adopted… That sometimes the way you say things to someone can make them feel like less than what they are, which by no small means is anything less than a MIRACLE!

Ok, so let me get off my soapbox and put it away… ha, ha! So back to how this becomes my story… In December I learned that there was a law in Illinois (where I was born) passed that would allow adopted children to request their original birth certificate. I prayed on it for a few days and then wrote a check for $15 to the state of Illinois and just this past Saturday it arrived in the mail.

I opened it very carefully, not really knowing what this would do to my life and how it could change two families. There typed from long ago was the name of my “angel.” I called my parents and both of us went straight to Google and typed in her name… in about 15 minutes I knew more than I ever had all thanks to Facebook!

Due to privacy settings I would have to “friend” her before I could send a message. I thought oh man I sure hope she will even if she has no clue who I am, maybe my picture will spark something in her… turns out she accept my request! She was online at the time I saw and thanks to my iPhone, I was shopping in Target when it all happened. I was shaking and my husband was saying we could just go home and finish the shopping later… I couldn’t move. The store was busy because it was a Saturday and I just stood in the middle of a busy aisle just in shock. When I came to I quickly sent her an instant message… I asked if she knew who I was. She replied rather quickly that I was just someone who asked to be her friend on Facebook. The next thing that I typed was going to change our lives… My response was

“I was born December 9, 1982 at Lutheran General Hospital and I have been waiting my entire life to thank you.”

That one sentence changed my life. Unless you’re adopted you never would think anything of that line above… But for those of us that are this is a powerful sentence. At some point in time we all dream about saying that. I wish I could have seen her face when it popped up on her screen!

I wish I could tell you or even myself how my life has changed since that moment. I never knew I needed that. I never knew what knowing would do to my life, but more importantly my heart. My heart feels as if it could explode. And the feeling hasn’t left since that moment. The moment it finally got completed. There are no missing pieces from my puzzle any longer.

I don’t know what the future will hold now. I don’t know what will happen over time. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time. But the best part is I have my mom and dad to hold my hand every step of the way. They are such strong and caring people. They have always been there for me and were waiting to go through this step of life with me. We finally did it.

All of this happened in a matter of one weekend. And now Monday is here and it’s time to get back to normal life in our houses. I am cleaning the kitchen and my daughter is playing with the iPad, Adam (my hubby) is back at work after a weekend of laughing and crying together. But one thing has not changed and that is the feeling in my heart. I feel now my desire to speak out about being adopted is that much stronger. I did what I was so afraid to do… I risked the negatives and am so happy the positives out weighed my fears!

So no crafts today to show. No stories of quilting… just me being real today… So as always when I close a post…


Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New "Strength", New Prayer

This is a Prayer Flag. The concept was started through this site, The Prayer Flag Project. The idea is that you create this 5x8 inch flag that is then hung outdoors. As the flag slowly deteriorates it then releases your prayer into the world... Maybe not necessarily my cup of tea, but I do love the concept. You are creating it with a prayer included! I have created other flags, but as a friend said, "You can see the prayer in this flag..." (Big Thank You to Leslie!)

This flag in particular was made for a Craftster swap. My partner had the idea of the main word and the butterfly and the verses... 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17... I came up with how I displayed it and incorporated her desires into the flag. This time I wanted to try some new things and I truly wanted to incorporate a prayer into this flag. And this is the creation that came to me!

The writing was done with a permanent micron pen on just bits of scrap fabric. As I wrote them they were a great reminder to myself!
 The butterfly itself was a piece of thin handmade scrapbook paper I had found at Joann's... so maybe not actually handmade but that same look. If you look real close to the right you can see some of the fibers...

I actually just used felt tip markers I bought at the 99 Cent Store to color the butterfly! I used a charcoal instead of deep black and three shades of orange with a hint of deep yellow. The markers just bled so perfectly on the paper that my shading was almost professional! Ha, Ha. I will definitely be using this technique again!
 The word "Strength" was painted on a piece of vinyl and cut and sewn on very last! I used the same paper as the butterfly to create a sort of 3D cocoon for the butterfly and had already attached the "twig" so that there was really no way to display the word without hiding something... So a remnant purchase of vinyl from Joann's came in handy...

The fabric in front of the burlap was just scraps sewn together with no method... And then everything was sewn on top of that.
  The pom-pom fringe was an afterthought and luckily I didn't stitch the fabric at the edge so I could still sandwich the fringe between the burlap and the fabric.

The burlap was a craft all of its own! I bought almost an ivory/cream colored burlap and dyed it with coffee, tea, and distressed inks. It was then frayed and the edges burned with a lighter... just a note that I don't recommend doing that... Burlap is hard to blow out.... the embers can continue to burn. I did this over a sink with running water and barely singed the edges! But after it looks just perfect.

Of course my flag would not last too long outdoors with the paper and marker... but I put a prayer in every stitch! I hope my partner enjoys this flag.... and is blessed with the prayers that were placed into it!


Happy New Year!

I ended 2012 with a BANG! As you can see above I worked my little behind off trying to finish everything I "needed" to by Christmas Eve... Of course along the way I added in a few more projects, such as the Santa pillow and the Christmas Quilt... yes I made a quilt in about 48 hours and on Christmas Eve as we were driving to my parents house I finished the binding! 

That same day I loaded my sewing machine up into the car and dropped it off to be serviced (before they closed). 

I completed two more projects in that time as well. A baby quilt for a cousin's new child and a beaded necklace for my mom...

I looked back at everything that was completed... I realized it may have been the first year I didn't have anything left over to finish... well not technically...

As the New Year begins we sit and write down resolutions that never make it past the end of January and new projects begin... Life continues to change and I am praying that as life changes for us all we can hold on true to the things we believe in! This year I want to just love more! Love my "craft" more and maybe even take a step back for a little while from my machines and needles and just spend sometime with my family.
I find them like this a lot on the weekend when I walk in to check on them from being in my studio sewing... 
This year I may not post as many things as I would like to, or change the world of beading, sewing, quilting, or crocheting. But the little family in that picture might just love me more for doing less!

So my resolution isn't to post more, but maybe just enjoy them more! I don't know when exactly my next entry will come, but it will! I will just have to make sure my posts are that much better!

Happy New Year!