It's Molly again.
I know, I know...you can't wait to hear from Kim.
Me too! But, we're going to make you wait just a bit for the really good writing!
On my family blog I got a heart-wrenching comment from a birth mother when I wrote about our desires to change the law. It's consumed my mind ever since I read it.
I quickly deleted the comment because I could tell that I had not really communicated well about what we were wanting to do with the law. When this birth mother read it, it was as if we were trying to do something for adoptive parents and something that might coerce birth parents.
In fact, there has been some misunderstanding from agencies as well as other birth mothers. So, I've had to slow down and explain what we are actually doing in only adding to the birth mothers options, not taking anything away from the current law.
I was blessed to have had several "discussions" with this birth mother through email and we were able to share our hearts, our fears, our hurts, and our struggles from both sides. What I wouldn't give to be able to actually meet this incredible woman and thank her for her bravery to speak up for birth mothers everywhere.
So, I thought since I have learned so much from this mother...and that several of you may have never been through adoption, maybe you could learn from her as well.
Every birth parent's situation is very different as to why they are choosing placement. And just like all of us, they process and deal with pain, grief, and loss differently. There is no way that one option is going to work for every birth parent. That is why we feel like giving the option to relinquish in the hospital (or at an agency) would be beneficial to some birth mothers, maybe not all, but some.
This mother, and other birthmothers we have spoken to, agreed that court is devastating and said she thinks there are birth mothers who do back out because of it. She said the only way she survived it was because of the support of the adoptive parents at that time. She knew it was in the interest of the child, and it was not about her at that moment.
This birth mother pointed out to me that there can be a lot of unspoken (and spoken) pressure on the birth parents by some agencies or attorneys. There are actually more agencies and attorneys out there than we would like to believe that see adoption as money and as a transaction. Her fear (and now mine) is that some might use this new law to coerce women into placing their baby, "sign now or it's too late" kind of thing. She has heard of situations in which adoptive parents were hovering until the birth mother signed.
In talking with some agencies, they have the same concern...that this law change might actually end up allowing more of these tragedies to occur. This my dear friends is why our state has hesitated to change the law. How do we protect both the birth parents from being pushed into something they are unsure about and at the same time protect adoptive families from losing children we'd been picked for? One thing that we have written in the law is that this relinquishment in the hospital can only be done by a licensed agency or DHS. There is no way an attorney can have this done in the hospital or any place other than Court. We feel this is the best way we can deal with this particular issue.
This task is bigger than I imagined. As much as I am wondering what God has in store for this "project" and if the law should actually be changed, my heart can't help but wonder if it's right to not change the law because of some bullies out there?
Please pray for clarity in this and at the same time pray for birth parents to be led to agencies and attorneys that will truly show them love, mercy and grace. Placing a child for adoption is more painful than we could ever imagine and it requires much counseling and support to survive it. Because of my faith I want nothing more for these girls than to be shown the love of Christ, but not all (even Christian) agencies take on that mission.
This picture is of Cooper and his birthmom before she had been to court. You guys, I can't tell you the emotions this picture holds. It captures so well the struggle of a mother loving and grieving her child because she is choosing something more for him, she's choosing him over herself. The best part is...she agrees the law needs to be changed and that it would make it easier on most birth mothers. Have I told you how amazing this woman is?
Please pray with me over this law. Please pray with me for our agencies and attorneys so that we can continue to use adoption to glorify God and make the best out of an unplanned pregnancy. Pray that those agencies and attorneys that are not being honest, fair, and respectful will be reported, closed down and penalized.
Part of me fears writing all of this because it might scare some of you off. My dream is that in sifting through all of this together that more families open their homes and hearts to adoption. Adoption is biblical. What this birth mother pointed out to me is that all too often it looks nothing like what God had planned for it to be. It seems too often we hear the horror stories and get our focus off. We put our walls up and harden our hearts instead of trying to understand the "other side" and serve each other. We let fear drive us instead of God.
My heart has been burdened once again to simply pray about this and I beg you to do the same!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We have had a lot of great feedback. So I want to give you a few "homework" assignments because people keep asking how they can help us.
First, we would like you to "edumucate" yourself on the current law. Click HERE to read what the current law is in Oklahoma with regard to relinquishment of parental rights. Just educate yourself, and please know this, we are NOT suggesting that we get rid of any portion of this law. We are proposing ADDING to it to give both birth mothers and adoptive families alternatives to the way it has "always" been done. So please, take time to read and understand.
Second, please take our new "button" on the upper right hand side of the blog and put it on your blog or website. If you have "install" questions on how to install it, email us and we will be glad to provide that info for you!
Third, become a "follower" of the blog. On the right hand side of the page, all you have to do is "sign in" and become a follower. We need to be able to show the legislature that we have a huge following of people supporting the change in the law. So "follow" and e-mail out our new fancy shmancy blog to everyone you know. They don't have to be adoptive families.
Fourth, join our cause on facebook. It is called, Promote Oklahoma Adoption. If you need us to request you join, just send a friend request to Molly Shockley and she will send you one right back.
Fifth, leave a comment. Even if it just says....Rock on with your socks on! If you don't have an account, click Anonymous....
All homework is do on Monday! Get to it kids, put your money (aka blogs) where your mouth is and show this new thing off....
Sunday, March 15, 2009
If only you could hear the excitement in my voice when I said that! I am way too excited about this stuff.
I am momma #2 to introduce myself! I am Molly Shockley, mother to 3, Owen, Cooper and Sadie through the miracle of adoption.
I have been touched by adoption throughout my life and a little over 4 years ago walked into the blessing of adoption myself with my best friend and hubby, Blake. I could talk your ear off (and to many of you I have) about how adoption has changed my life. I don't see the world the same way. I have a passion for this process and how it changes and touches so many people.
But just like any journey, adoption can bring much heartache. Some of this I have experienced first hand, and some I have watched dear friends go through.
Let me tell you a little about how this change in the current law would have helped in our situations. In our second adoption, the birth mother changed her mind a couple days before court. We had our son in our home for almost 2 weeks. I understand completely why she changed her mind. I think it's incredibly hard to make the decision to place a child for adoption. Heart-wrenching might explain that best. But, in her grief of losing him and the unimaginable pain it caused, she changed her mind. Let me tell you....when we got that call that she had changed her mind...we seriously considered running with our sweet son but decided that being fugitives might keep us from ever being able to adopt again!
I don't want to share our son's whole story just to protect him and his birth mother, who we love and admire dearly. So, I will just tell you the fabulous ending is that we HAVE HIM in our home. We only lost him for 2 days. It was the longest and hardest 2 days of our life. We would have done anything to have been able to have rights relinquished in the hospital.
With our 3rd adoption, Mommy G repeatedly asked me to pray for her and her court date. She was terrified of being in front of a judge and having to answer such difficult questions. I would be too. She had never stepped foot in a court room, much less by herself and then to be questioned about her heroic decision to place her child for adoption. I almost think it might deter some women just knowing they have to do this. I know Mommy G would have opted to sign papers in the hospital and not have to go through that anxiety.
I often get sad that people steer clear of adoption because of fear, the unknown and the vulnerability it involves. The bottom line is that our Savior never promised us a life without pain, a life that was easy or that we would always be in control. We do things everyday that have much worse statistics than adoption. For example, marriage. One in every two marriages fail and I rarely hear people say things like, "Well, I just couldn't stand the thought of divorce so I won't even open my heart to marriage." I hear that about adoption almost daily.
So, this blog is going to be used to ENCOURAGE adoption. We want to find ways to help others trust God in his plan for their family and do it with excitement instead of a heart of fear. We want to focus on God and seeking Him first and foremost rather than focusing on the statistics of what might happen. As Stephen Curtis Chapman brought to my attention last year...If 7% of Christians did something for adoption, orphans and foster care....there would be no such thing as a child without a family. Only 7% people! And that just means help, be it financially, adopting, serving or fostering...just 7%!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Well, originally I dreamed of a major blogfest GRAND OPENING of the blog. Then I decided....why not grow with us? To start off, my name is Becki. I am Mom #1 of the three Moms. We will each reveal ourselves and our stories. But if you would like to cheat, go here. If you cheat and read my story, you will see that my children are biological. I do not have any adopted children, but I do have some sweet pumpkins in my family that are, but that is their story. And I will let them tell you about it. But my life has been blessed too many times to count by adoption. My best friend from highschool placed a baby for adoption, a sibling has adopted, and at one point, my husband and I were in the process.
So why am I involved? Because I am an attorney/aunt/friend who has been touched and cursed by the adoption process in Oklahoma. And I am going to be darned if I can't change it. So I am going to try. And you my friends are going to help. I have written a law that I hope to get the support of an Oklahoma Legislator, and see if he will present the bill in November session. (at least I think that is when it is, I am learning) - Anyway - please post this blog on your blog, follow the blog and if you can, do the things we ask. We will be asking you to do things like write your legislator, e-mail the governor, talk to your agency for support, and post our posts on your blog to get the word out. I promise, it sounds hard, but we will make it easy for you, we will even provide the links for you to directly find your specific legislator. This needs to touch everyone in Oklahoma who cares about the adoption process.....pass it on...so like I said, CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME???? Please comment!
Oh yeah, sneak peek at the legislation? All I will say is that we are trying to get Oklahoma to do what EVERY surrounding state does.....relinquish in the hospital....come back for more!