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I thought it would be kinda fun to reminiscence a bit about the very first time we ever posted on the forum - what was that post? what were we thinking when we posted it? were we nervous? what were we hoping for? how did we find the forum? etc etc etc?

I guess I'm feeling a bit nostalgic with all the new members and Orientation groups on the forum who are just getting their feet wet in this place called Abrazo's Forum - it's been a little over 4 years and 2000 posts for me when I very first posted here but I still remember well those early days and feeling like at last, I'd found where I was supposed to be!

So, I invite you all to go back and find your very first post and copy it here (I'll tell ya how I did mine in a bit but there's all sorts of ways to do it) and think back to that time (even it wasn't so long ago) and add some commentary, nothing much...just have a little fun thinking back on those early days (and maybe some new folks will feel as though they're not alone when they first find the forum and see that we have all been there, worried about that first post, worried if we're saying the right thing or asking the right questions (by the way, there really are no right or wrong questions - so ask away!) and let's help welcome all the new souls who find their way to Abrazo's Forum!

-Lisa

To find your first post:

1) Click on your user name

2) This will take you to the "Viewing Profile" screen - click on the drop down menu "Profile Options"

3) Select "Find Member's Posts"

4) Click the very last set of arrows (double arrows) that will take you to the last page of your posts (which are actually the first posts you did - the pages are arranged in reverse chronological order)

5) Find the very last post in the list (which is actually your very first post) and then click the number after "Post Preview" which appears at the bottom of your post (mine is #302)

6) This will take you to the thread that contains your very first post (although strangely, it doesn't take you to the exact post in the list :huh: ) Oh well, anyway - find your first post there and then click "Quote" at the end of your post (it will make it turn red and have a minus sign next to it)

7) Then, come back to this thread and click "Add Reply" and it should put your first post there in quotes - then, type away (after the quote part)

If all else fails, PM me and I'll help ya out with this.

-Lisa

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I'll start!

This is my first post, I remember it well - we had just finished our 2nd IVF cycle and learned we weren't pregnant and we had already discussed that if that one didn't work, we would grow our family through adoption. I had heard about Abrazo for 4 years from my mom - a friend of hers had a daughter and son-in-law who had adopted through Abrazo and had a really good experience - finally, I decided to contact this person that my mom had been bugging me to call for over 4 years! She shared her adoption experience with me, said glowing things about Abrazo and told me about their website and forum and I checked it out immediately. I think I spent a couple of days reading through the posts on here (which weren't so plentiful as they are now) and finally decided to take the plunge and ask the biggest questions I had at the time regarding adoption and our us adopting successfully - I was so concerned about how I would look to birthparents as I was overweight and also, I was concerned with how birthparents would feel about me as I too was a birthparent. I was very nervous about posting and worried that people wouldn't welcome me to the forum or would just ignore me and say nothing - I was worried that I'd offend someone with my questions - I worried a lot about my posts but almost immediately, I started getting responses and everyone was so kind and I felt so much better. I heard from Abrazo soon after my post (because by that time, I'd already sent in my initial inquiry) and we were invited to attend the August 2002 Orientation (to my surprise! I couldn't believe how quickly things were moving - in just a month's time, we went from finding out IVF wasn't the route to our becoming parents to making the commitment to adopt through Abrazo. Then, on December 6, 2002 - we received the call that changed our lives forever (and you can read all about that in our thread under "Joyous Journeys" called Lance & Lisa's Beautiful Daughter, Kayleigh (by the way, the Joyous Journeys thread is a wonderful place to check out too).

;)  I'm not sure if I'm posting mine correctly or not.  My topic falls in line w/Opus' topic as we're new to the adoption process & have lots of questions.  I've completed the pre-application & will be sending it off soon so hopefully, we'll hear something as soon as you did Opus.  I noticed there were some birthmothers who also read & respond to some of the posts here.  I have a couple of questions. #1 - I am about 60 pounds overweight.  I'm currently working with a personal trainer to develop a healthier lifestyle (I don't have any medical issues from my weight) & I'm sooo worried about the pictures.  Part of me is so ready to get started & part of me wants to wait until I look better to do this.  Thoughts???  Also - 13 1/2 yrs ago, I placed a baby girl for adoption (unfortunately, the agency I placed with only offered closed adoptions at that time - I was 17 & in 1989, it just didn't seem like open adoptions were as prevalent as they are now or maybe I just didn't know enough back then).  Anyway - I wonder how this will affect how a birthmother views me?

Thanks!

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Lisa,

You are the queen of great ideas girl! Love it! It took a while for me to find my first post.....I actually was astonished at how many PAGES of posting I have done...WOW!!! Here it is!

"My husband and I will be attending the upcoming orientation in September. I have noticed a few comments about the profiles and not much time in getting those done. Should I go ahead and get ours done before hand?? Just want everything to be taken care of without me going into a state of panic when we get home! I know we won't have long to return the packet....10 days, right? Also, any advice from those who are pros at this???"

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Hi,

My name is Jean. I am a 42 year old divorced professional woman. I have been through ten years of trying to conceive and unsuccessful infertility treatments. My ex-husband and I made an adoption plan with two birthmothers that did not culminate in a successful placement (with another agency). A myriad of things lead me to become a single woman, but in all that time, the one thing that never wavered is my desire to parent. After much soul searching, prayer, and discussion with family and friends, I have decided to follow my dream of becoming a mom. I have submitted my inquiry, application, and preference for orientation weekend to Abrazo. I am gathering photographs and mentally planning my Dear Birthmother Profile. Yes, I am a miracle seeker and a believer that dreams do come true. I was wondering if there are any other singles who are working to build their families through adoption. I welcome any responses. (single or not)

May God Bless you in your search,

Jean

And there you have it. That was my first post. I remember being nervous that adoptive couples might resent me and see me as undeserving competition. Just shows you how little I understood about the "family" bond between PIW. The thing that strikes me about this post is its very close proximity to Nathan's birthdate (9-9-02). Here I was posting about my dreams and plans to become a mom and M. was close to delivery of a son she loved but could not raise. A coincidence? I don't think so. And now as I watch him playing across the room from me with a fresh Mommy haircut and snuggles to boot, I think nothing here is left to chance. Perhaps M. and I are never to meet, but I feel such gratitude and love toward her for the choices she made and the beautiful little boy she nurtured and carried until he was able to survive outside of her body. Then the loving social workers of Abrazo took over and placed him in the capable and prayful hands/home of Gloria and Hugo. I'll never forget Gloria telling me that she and Hugo prayed over Nathan and asked God to guide him to the home that HE had selected. Nathan was to go to Dallas as the son of a physician, but for some unknown reason, he did not. Gloria and Hugo were uneasy when they learned that the baby boy they'd nurtured and loved was going to a single caucasian woman. She continued on and told me that as soon as she saw me, she knew that I was Nathan's mom. I still get goose bumps when I think of that. We are so insignificant, but when we listen to God, we have such a powerful impact on those we come into contact with. I believe that my son was destined to be mine. I believe that God is caring for M. and giving her comfort. And that He is watching over my little one and me. Shaking his head, sometimes as He observes Nathan pretending to be a puppy dog or kitty cat, chuckling as he gives me a run for my money, and sighing a loving all knowing sigh as I cradle Nathan in my arms and tell him I the love that I feel for him. You're right Lisa, it's really cool to look back and recall the thoughts and feelings at the time of the post. Thanks for the great look back into history, the history of the making of the Henry family, that is!! :lol:

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We left Texas ready to get the nursery started, but of course we still have not started! I guess we will be one of those people who wait to the last minute.

Chris and I are totally enjoying these months before all of the excitement happens! It's kinda like the calm before the storm. We are reading books off of the parents-in-waiting list,but we are also reading other books that we know we won't have time for later!         ;)

Wow, it did work Lisa!

I just realized I wrote this post just six days before we talked to Monica and Ronnie for the first time and just seven days before we were matched with them. At the time I didn't think we would ever be parents.

I remember at the time wondering if I was doing this whole forum thing correctly. I was very nervous about posting. Now four years and lots of post later, I am so thankful that I made that huge step into forum-land. :D

Great topic.

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I think that my post topic covers everything, lol :rolleyes:

I have been reading this forum for some time now & have decided it is time to open the door & take those first timid steps, lol.

Anyways, we live in Virginia, are in our mid 30's (yikes...did I really admit that :blink: ?!), have endured primary IF, our 5 yr old DD came to us through the wonderful journey of adoption & I work more than part-time but not full time as a nurse, DH works as a production worker (icky swing shift). We have tossed around when to start the next adoption, who to use, do we really want another child & the answers are YES the time is NOW, we like what we've read about Abrazo & we want another child !!! :D:D

Virginia has such wacko adoption laws that it is best for us to work w/ an out-of-state agency. We learned so much during the adoption of our DD. We had a real roller coaster ride adoption, first a reclaim (different child), then DD's placement followed by being contested by the birthfather. Anyways that is a long story, and it happened in the past....we are moving forward & have FAITH that this next adoption will move smoothly & will come at the right time.

Are there any families from Virginia on this forum?

We are in the process of filling out the initial inquiry paperwork & plan to proceed from there.

Blessings~ Amy in Va

WOW!!

That is a wild post....as I go back to read it, I get all teary.

Tonight Shayla & Tim are playing Battlefield, such a grown up game & Hayden our 14 1/2 month old is battling a fever & continues to be a wild boy.

Anyhow, it was almost 2 years, when Tim I began our talking of a second child followed by finding Abrazo.

Now close to 1500 post later, I am still here!!

Thanks for the forum Abrazo & the opportunity to 'voice' our concerns & love.

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We are in the same boat. We received our application on Monday. It is quite overwhelming!! We are very excited to get started but we are just not sure of where to start. Best wishes to you!

The above post was my first post and it was to Elaine. I remember lurking for awhile but I never posted. It is amazing looking back and reliving everything that has happend over the past year and half. When I typed this post I had no idea that in a month time, I was going to meet nine of the most amazing couples to share in the journey to parenthood. I was very scared that a birthmother would not be interested in us since we already had to children and the fact that they were biological. I was so new to the process I had no idea what to do.

Now I here I am alittle wiser in some aspects but still lost in others with the whole open adoption. I had this picture perfect idea of what it was going to be like but unfortunantly at this moment is not where we wished it would be. We are still very hopeful and believe open adoption is a wonderful thing!!!

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Hi guys!

I would like to introduce myself and ask if I may join your board? My dh and I are just starting the adoption process with Abrazo! In fact, I mailed my inquiry today! We were referred to Abrazo by our friends, Brooke and Claudia Duncan, formerly of Memphis! After reading over this site we never looked at another agency! We are very excited and have already started on our homestudy! Oh, we live in Collierville and this adoption will be our first child! I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you!

Donna English IPB ImageIPB Image

That was my first post! June 2nd of this year! WOW, it seems like forever ago! We had just found out a couple of weeks before that our IVF ICSI was not successful and we were so ready to move on. Thanks for doing this Lisa, what a great idea! I swear it feel like a lifetime ago.....but only 5 months!

Edited by TheEnglishes
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Thinking back...

Can anyone remember how long they lurked before they were brave enough to write their first post?

Can you remember how you felt after your first post?

Can you remember your first impression of the forum, certain you would never get addicted?

Can you remember your first impression of open adoption via this forum?

Could you ever imagine you would have forum friends that understand... those you have never met face to face?

:)

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The following was my first, posted January 25, 2001. We were matched, and Joshua was born about three weeks later.

How do you respond to the endless questions about your birthmother both before and after placement? It amazes me what people will ask. Some are simply curious...others just plain nosey. Examples are: Does she have other children? Do they have the same father? How old is she? Why is she giving her child up? I want to protect her privacy as well as our adopted son's privacy, but I don't want to be rude. How have others handled this situation?

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Hello. My name is Elaine. I live in the Nashville, Tennessee area. I just joined the forum on January 1, 2005. Although I am new to this site...I can already tell how friendly you all are. Just like a family should be! I have enjoyed reading the different questions and answers posted. They are very informative (and some are also very entertaining)! :lol:

My husband and I have finished filling out our "inquiry". Now I have to rummage through our pictures and find one where we both have our eyes open! As soon as I have our photo in hand I will be mailing off our inquiry.

A special thanks to Melissa (my cousin-in-law)!!! She has spent a lot of her time answering questions I have. Melissa, thank you a million times over!!! You are wonderful!

Elaine

Wow...so much has changed in 19 months!

There is a certain kind of safety in dreaming without actually doing. That is where I was prior to January 2005. For years Mickey and I had known we were going to adopt. Many hours had been spent talking about the kind of parents we were going to be, what kind of family we hoped to have, how we wanted to educate our children, etc.

In January 2005 I actually submitted our Inquiry and joined the forum. Not being very swift at computers I was a bit hesitant to jump in. I dipped my toes in the water and soon was hooked.

I found the forum to be a wealth of knowledge and comfort.

Mickey has since then often joked that if there were a 12-step program for forum addicts, then I would need to attend every meeting! :P So true...

It seems I have lived two lives that shared one body. The first was life without children. In January 2005 Mickey and I lived in a different part of the state. My main priority was helping my students. Our set of friends was unique to that time in our life...mostly other people that didn't have children either. I slept in every weekend that I wanted to...had money to go shopping when I wanted to...went to the late show if we wanted to... We had total freedom and the quietness was deafening.

My second life has been since January 2005. I joined the Abrazo family. The love of my life was placed in my arms April 11, 2005. In May of that same year I quit teaching to stay home with our daughter. By July we had sold our house and were moving "home" to be closer to my family. Now I never get to sleep in...some months grocery money is tight close to payday...I have gone to one movie in 19 months...we have much responsibility and our home is full of life.

I appreciate both my first life and the life I now lead. I wouldn't change a thing...

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Our very first post:

Well we are back from Orientation and exhausted. We were both a little nervous not knowing what to expect in a room full of strangers. After this weekend these strangers have become hopefully lifetime friendships. Not knowing what to expect we were very touched by the warmth and the sincerity of the group and the Abrozo Family.

Sharing all of our stories and knowing there were other couples feeling what we felt was such a comfort. We both feel Abrozo is the end of a long journey of disappointments and finally our dream to become parents can be a dream come true.

Talk to you all soon

Wow how far we have become..... This post seems like such a long time ago and being a parent was only a dream and in only 5 months our little boy is in our lives,

The forum has been a wonderful source of information and has also helped me(us) during this process. There are wonderful people that have been brought to Abrazo weather new or a long time member. Those who are new, don't be shy as this forum is definatley part of the experience and a good one. The people we met in orientation have become our family and we will have them in our lives and our childrens live for a lifetime.

Abrazo is the best and I invite anyone who joins Abrazo it is a life changing experience that is well worth it.

Good luck to you all and bless you.

Linda

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Thinking back...

Can anyone remember how long they lurked before they were brave enough to write their first post?

Can you remember how you felt after your first post?

Can you remember your first impression of the forum, certain you would never get addicted?

Can you remember your first impression of open adoption via this forum?

Could you ever imagine you would have forum friends that understand... those you have never met face to face?

:)

I joined the forum right after orientation in May of 2002, but did not post until that August.

I was really nervous. I wasn't sure if I posted right.

My first impression of the forum was this really large place full of people way smarter than me when it came to adoption.

At the beginnig I would get on the forum once every few months or so, boy have things changed. :rolleyes:

I was in amazement of open adoption when I first got to the forum. Like I said before, I first visited the forum the day after orientation, so I was on an "orientation high".

Some of my closest friends are my friends from the forum. I have been lucky to meet some of them and others I only know through the forum. It still amazes me that there are so many others just like me out there. :)

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Here is my first post. It has been over 5 1/2 years for me. I am one of the first on here I think. I was called by Elizabeth one day and asked to check out the "New Forum". And that they needed more birthparents to post. I wasn't really nervous. Just relieved to finally be telling my story to other people. I have come so far since then. I just wish my posts were more truthful back then but I was afraid of offending anybody and afraid my husband at the time would somehow see them. Anyway here it is.

Hello! First of all I have to say this may get long so please bear with me.I placed two children. One a baby boy eight years ago this month and the other a baby girl seven years ago in June.And looking back I can honestly say I don't think I would do it again. I'm not saying I made a bad decision because at the time it was the best decision I could make for my babies.They are both with good families and are happy and that is all I can ask for. I do not feel that the issues I had to deal with and that I am still dealing with are any different than those who have placed recently and I don't believe they will be different for those who have yet to place. We all have the same fears and concerns. We all want to do whats best for our children. The ones that we have and the ones we have placed as well. Times may change but I don't believe the issues we all have to deal with will. As far as the pain of the adoption is concerned, for me anyway,it never goes away it's always there.It does get less and even a little easier to deal with but it never goes away. And it's not always at the times youd expect. Holidays are hard but it's the times I'm alone that hit me the hardest. Or something I see that reminds me of the adoption. Like a restuarant that the birthparents and I ate at or the hospital I gave birth in or even a show on T.V. about adoption.What I guess I'm trying to say is you never know when it's going to hit again. Like I said it does get better but it never goes away.As far as contact with the children there is none except the few pictures I get once a year.I wish that we had more contact. At least more pictures. I'm not quite sure why we don't have more contact. I don't want to pry or disturb their lives so I don't say anything. I don't even know my daughter's last name. I always wonder if they ask about me or not. I just hope their families at least tell them that I love them and only did what I thought was best for them at that time. As far as siblings go, my girls(nine and twelve) don't even know about their brother and sister. Nobody knows about them in fact except for me and my husband. One of these days I'm sure I will have to explain to them about it all. If anybody has any suggestions on how to do this it would be appreciated.To answer the question about a pregnancy or birth since the adoption experience, I am happy to say I am currently pregnant and expecting a baby in early October. This was definately harder to deal with than I thought. Not so much because I felt like I was replacing one baby for another. But I am worried about what the kids I placed will think.I worry that they will want to know how I could have another baby after I chose to place them for adoption.I wonder if they will ever understand.I wonder if my girls now will ever understand. But I am honestly getting over this quickly because I am just so happy and excited at getting another chance to be a mom again. But of course this pregnancy has been filled with complications already and that stirs up some frustrating emotions but I think I will be able to deal with those. My adoption experience tought me that I can be alot stronger than I thought I could. It also tought me I'm alot weaker than I thought. If that makes sense. I've learned you should never forget the look on the adoptive parents face when they see their new baby for the first time(if you get to see it at all). Because for me, sometimes it's the only thing that reassures me that I did the right thing. And I learned never forget the first time you saw your baby. I  regretfully took this for granted with my first two children and will never do it again. You don't realize how special it is unless they are gone. I don't think I would have wanted to know then what I know now. If I had known how hard it would be and how hard it continues to be I don't think I would have done it.I almost didn't do it with my daughter. Mostly out of selfishness and pain. If it wasn't for the support of my husband and Elizabeth (Love You Elizabeth!)I probably wouldn't have. And who knows where I'd be now.But that's a whole other story. Maybe I'll tell that some other time.How have I come to peace since the adoption's? Well I believe the peace is still coming. At least I have to believe that.I haven't had anybody to talk to. In fact this forum is the first time I have told anybody anything about this. But I belive this will help to bring me peace,to finally talk about it. At least I hope it will help. Well Thank Ya'll for listening. If their is anybody else out there who has had a hard time dealing with your plans even after several years please post your story here so I know I'm not  alone.

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum and I wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions. My name is Heidi Kristall and I am the proud single adoptive mom of Gabriel, now 3 yrs old. I have been working with an agency in California for the past 6 years, and I really love my social worker. They matched me with Gabe birthmother about 6 weeks before his birth and its been such a magical process. Two years ago, I completed the updated paperwork for a 2nd adoption and am still waiting. I was refered to Ambrazo by a facilitator on Utah because I am activily seeking a 2nd African American child and this is the agency that she told me send her referals. So I am interested in hearing from you all about your experiences, wait times expenses...you know the scoop. Thanks so much

Heidi

OMG...I have come a VERY LONG WAY in a VERY SHORT time. This post was dated 2/1/06. My son Parker was born 2/7/06 at 7pm. In LESS than 7 days...I became a MOM for the 2nd time. In the past 9 months, I have learned so much about open adoption ( thought I knew it all), raising a child, and made some amazing friends. I have cried with some of my new freinds as they became parents witnessed the courage of some spectacular birth familes and cried with others as things didn't go as planned. I have learned about patience and the value of good communication (again) I have know I have become a better woman, a better friend, and a better mother. Many blessings to all of you !

Edited by HeidiK
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Lisa, I'm so glad that you started this thread ... talk about a trip down memory lane! My first post was January 18, 2005, three days after orientation. Beth and Nathan started the thread for our orientation group. This was my first little tip toe into the pond that is the Forum ... not eactly stellar, but hey, we were newbies!!!

Thank you, Beth, for starting the thread for this auspicious group!

It was a wonderful weekend. Bob and I agree that the staff did an outstanding job putting everything together. It was a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant, but wonderful, none-the-less.

We feel like we made some life-long friends and can't wait to see how things progress for everyone!

Marjory and Bob

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Thanks for starting this thread. Yesterday, I went back and started reading my early posts and continued reading through my posts while Danny was in the hospital and as we learned about his diagnosis. Although it brought back some very sad, gut-wrenching memories, it also filled me with great joy to know that he is here with us today, thriving, laughing and so full of life.

This has been one wild ride!

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