Episode 47

47: Alycea – “A Birthmother’s Path to Wholeness”

Alycea was a teenager at 17 living on her own when she discovered she was pregnant. Though her independence and struggle in everyday life, she realized that she could not care for herself and her child,

Alycea had an older sister to teach her life skills at 17 when most only start at age 21.

She knew the realities of bank accounts, paying bills, working a job and surviving in life.

Alycea has traveled the path as many birth mothers of riding the ‘roller coaster ‘ of emotions in building a relationship with her daughter.


BMRT - Alycea NEW

D. Yvonne: [:

of birth moms, real talk podcast platform where birth mothers get to share their

stories and journey that all the things that made them a mom and all that they

went through. I'm so happy to have this. My guest today, Alicia, Alicia, you

want to share your journey beginning where you choose to stop.

Alycea: Well, I thank you so much for having me and thank you for having a

place where we get to use our voice and share our stories. This is fantastic and


D. Yvonne: out there. Great, great.

Alycea: Uh, let's see. So when I was 17, I learned I was. And at that point in

time, I was already on my own. I was going to college as a PSCO student.

Um, had an apartment and was already not quite making it on my own was

trying really hard, but I was under no illusions that adding a baby to that


D. Yvonne: At 17 go back. You're already on. I was, I was,

Alycea: and being on my own at that point was a really good decision for me.

That was the healthiest place for me to be. Okay. But I couldn't add additional

stress to it when I was barely scraping. Okay. And in some ways that was a

benefit to me where I know a lot of other women can struggle with. Maybe I

could have done it. Maybe we would have been okay. And it was very clear to


We were not going to be okay. I was barely okay. On my own. So it was maybe

a little bit easier for me to know. We wouldn't make it, which definitely changed

how many options you have to work with.

D. Yvonne: Right. Right. So how was it, first of all, you were already on your

own is 17. So let me, as far as how you get to be at that independence of that

particular [:

Alycea: Um, not, well, none of it goes to the easy way, but, uh, my sister had

invited me to live with her for a couple of. Which really was a huge help, right.

When I needed a great place to go. She and her husband, and I mean, they were

young, they were 21. Uh, they let me move in with them and. Got me doing, she

helped me get, get a new job, helped me set up a bank account, help me figure

out how can I finish high school somewhere?

How can I get into college early? She really helped me get on my feet and

taught me a lot of those life skills that a lot of kids are learning at age 20 24, 26.

And I got a crash course in it.

D. Yvonne: Wow. Which sort of prepared you for. This new situation did it,

id it, it did two things. It [:

by, but it also showed me how very much, I didn't know a lot of kids when

they're 18.

They're fairly certainly know what all, you know, that's a, that's a pretty

common, uh, 18 to 21, you know? And by being thrust into the deep end of

things, I was keenly aware of how under-prepared I was and how much I did not

know which again was kind of helpful in the decision-making process.

D. Yvonne: Um, now I heard you say at 17, you realized that you were


So leading up to that, uh, how did you get pregnant?

Alycea: I will. Head-over-heels in love with a boy. Um, he was 24. He, uh,

ended up moving in with my sister and her husband and me and their kid into

working. Didn't have a car. [:

Was was just my brother-in-law was thrilled that a guy three years older than he

was living on his couch.


D. Yvonne: yeah, I know that was sarcastic,

Alycea: but I was, I was head over heels. I, I saw none of these as red flags. I

just thought it was wonderful that he could see how mature I was. Right.

D. Yvonne: So a lot of rose colored glasses, or did you have.

Alycea: Rose-colored glasses, all red flags just look like flags. Yup. And, uh,

he, uh, I was thrilled that. That he could see how mature I was for my age and a

lot of textbook 1 0 1. Gosh, we can, we can guess a lot about your past based on

those decisions you're making

D. Yvonne: at that point. Right. Right. So when you found out you were

pregnant, so what was the situation with him then?

a: Um, we had already. Okay. [:

was pregnant, we had broken up maybe two weeks earlier. I called him, uh, we

got together. I told him in person and his response was okay. Uh, I will pay for

an abortion if you want one, or we could get married if you want to, when you

turn 18. But I sure as heck, I'm not going to pay for, for child support.

So. Um, to which I thought, gosh, marry me now. What a romantic proposal,


D. Yvonne: did you really for, right. You clue me in here Leisha now, what is

real? What is not?

Alycea: It was, it was, it realized that I, um, and I don't really known that this

was not, um, this was not going to be a supportive environment and, and I I'm

saying some pretty harsh things about him and he's not a bad guy, but he was.

any sort of stable position [:

is now, I don't know. Um, but he, he wasn't a bad guy, but definitely was not

somebody I could count on to say, all right, let's go build a family and a life

together. So I knew whatever I did next. I was doing it on my own. And, uh, I

did, I went to a free pregnancy clinic and.

They had all sorts of shame and agenda and everything. They wanted to throw

on me, which I'm going. Ooh. And then I went to. A pro-choice clinic where I

got the same. I got a whole bunch of shame on you for even considering

bringing this kid into the world and agenda and everything they wanted to throw

on me.

And it really burned all of my opinions on anybody who claims that they

support women when they are facing a pregnancy that they are not sure about.


D. Yvonne: that's all true. That's all truth. You're speaking. When you say it for

the guilt and all the words. [:

because I think about what you just positioned.

Is it your 17 year old, you'd been pretty much independent now you're in this

situation and making the decision. And did you feel listened to at all?

Alycea: So you feel horrible only by my sister at that point, she was the only

person in my family who I had told, and she was whatever, whatever you need,

you tell me what decision you're going to make.

Okay. From anybody who was supposedly in this role as a professional or in

some capacity to represent me. Absolutely not. No. They knew exactly what

they thought I ought to do and were very blunt in telling me, so

D. Yvonne: and so receiving all of that, how were you processing all of this and

how did you move forward?

Alycea: I'm very stubborn and I don't really like to be told what to do. So I

ple were worth my trust. And [:

online. I started poking around online saying, what, what do other birth moms

think? What do adoptees think? I tried to find any voices I could out there. And

this was in:

So yeah, there, there were some forums, but definitely not the groups full of

advice that you would find today. Right? So I was on different forums and

mostly. The feedback. I asked very specific questions. Like I knew that a lot of

adoptees had a lot of heartbreak and I knew some of the, some of the words like

the, the primal wound and things like that.

So I had asked, you know, if your birth parent could do it differently, what

should they do? And the feedback I almost always got was they should have.

They should not place me. And I asked birth parents, if you could do it

differently, what would you do? And that was largely their feedback too. I

wouldn't do it.

And, but knowing how many [:

to try to sift through those and tell myself, okay, there's got to be a skewed

sample here. Right? That I am specifically going to forums to ask the people

who are also on those forums and the people on the forums are the ones who

most likely did not find peace in their own story.

That the ones who are hanging out here at 2:00 AM with me are also.

Heartbroken or searching or something, didn't go. Right. So I tried to tell

myself, there's gotta be other people out here who have had some sort of

successful experience in are at peace. And that is why they are not here

responding. I don't know how true that is, but that that's a good run for my


D. Yvonne: That's a good restaurant. As, as you say, is that your audience that

you're talking to will not only skew, but will tell you four is what direction that

they went on, where they are, right. So, what was your next step?

hat? I tried to sort through [:

who was willing to give me advice other than don't do it.

I tried to put together as much information as I could, and I learned really

quickly that adoption agents. Not the people that represent me, even though they

say they are, but the crisis pregnancy, people are not the ones representing me

that there is nobody representing me. And so when I could find somebody

online who gave me good advice, I just started compiling it and started to write

myself a okay, here's how I'm going to do it.

I'm going to find a family. I know that if they say it's going to be open, that

that's not legally binding. So I need to find a family that is also equally

dedicated to an open adoption. I know that agents don't necessarily like that

setup. So I need to find an agent who's willing to work with me. I really tried to

build a plan.

And then once I had a very clear idea of how I wanted to structure an adoption,


look for a family who also wanted that

D. Yvonne: setup. Okay. Sounds like you are definitely looking for what

number one, what your rights were to abide by your wishes.

And putting those two together, because I believe that's something that a lot of

moms in the very beginning don't know what rights they have. Just, as you

mentioned for us choosing your own agent or your own person who would

represent you based on your wishes, not on what their wishes.

Alycea: And it should not be that hard to find your rights or especially when

you don't know the questions to ask.

You don't know how many rights you don't have, because it didn't occur to you

to ask these things. Right. And I think that's a huge flaw in how adoptions are

conducted that they say, well, you never asked, well, you don't know what you

don't. If we're representing [:

D. Yvonne: represent them.

st, as you mentioned, even in:

people learned over the decades that they could have compiled, as you say

answers without you having to ask them, right. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Okay. So

once you, you then went searching for a family who would abide by and one of

the same wishes as you had.

Right. So how did you do that? How did you.

Alycea: Well, so I did start with an agent, um, at, at a traditional agency and I

looked through their profile books. And at the time I knew a family personally,

who I would never add my child to their dysfunctional home. And I knew that

they were also trying to adopt, and I knew that on paper, I might have.

That they would look perfect. And that idea just terrified me. Like, how am I

ever going to be able to see through this? So describe

D. Yvonne: to me what you [:

well, but you knew them personally and you knew they would not. So what was

the disconnect?

Alycea: Well, I think it's because you can choose what you put in the profile

and it's, it's like writing a nice resume.

I can turn all of my flaws into positives when I read it on my resume. And you

can do the same thing. When you write a profile book and you in the little

snippets that you get to know a family, you might get to know all this

information, or you might not. And it just scared me so much. So I wanted to

shift my approach and try to find somebody that somebody knew I wanted

either somebody's family

D. Yvonne: or

Alycea: reference.

Yep. I recommendation from somebody I knew and trusted. I did not want to


D. Yvonne: a string. Okay. Okay. So that became you looking for references or

people to recommend people.

Alycea: And my [:

to her priest. She had a priest who she loved, who had been very supportive of


And at that point I had zero interest in talking to another religious leader who

had ideas about what I ought to do. And so, but to humor her, she was being

supportive of me. I had moved back in with her and I said, okay. Yeah, He was

probably the only person in a professional role who really did listen, who, uh,

he very sweetly asked my mother to leave the room right away and said, I don't

know if you're planning on adoption because you think you have to, or you

think it's the only right option.

But if you want to keep your baby. We'll figure it out. We'll get you some social

resources. We'll get you on some rent assistance. If you, if this is not what you

want to do, there are other options open to you. And I just am so thrilled that

somebody said that [:

to say to myself and to say out loud, it's not just.

It's it's skills, it's ability. It's I have seen some beautiful families and I don't

know how to create a family like that. And I have seen really amazing parents

and I don't know how to be a parent like that. And I have so much to learn and

there's no possible way I'm going to do it fast enough to serve this child.

Well that I, I, that it was not money alone. Then let's bring your mom back in

and let's, let's make a plan. Uh, so he had hooked me up with a family that I had

started talking to. I really liked them. They were a good fit. Um, but right as I

started talking to them, a cousin of mine came forward and said, they'd been

trying to conceive for many years, but it was probably not possible them.

And that was such a relief. [:

own family, who I knew personally, who I had known for years then, and I

know some family adoptions don't go well. Um, but ours went beautifully. So

when they came forward, I went, yes, yes, I am into this. This is the route I want

to chase. Okay.

D. Yvonne: So you felt at peace with

Alycea: that. I did. And I was skeptical the first time we talked, I, I told him, I

said, I have three basic rules that you have to be on board for before I even

consider you. I, the first one is she will not go into foster care. I know it's a

standard in the state that I was in. I was in Minnesota that for the first 14 days in

Minnesota, I had a 14 day window to change my mind.

And usually they go into foster care during that time. And I said, I don't want

her in foster care. If, if I can trust you for 18 years, you can trust me for 14


something you're going to spring on her when she turns. And I want to be


I want to know her. I want her to know me. I want us to have an open

relationship. She knows my role. I don't want a fake title. I want to be a part of

her growing up and have her have as many answers as she wants her whole life.

Go back, talk to your wife, consider this. And if you're on board for all these

things, then let's talk about it.

D. Yvonne: I love the fact that you were very. And what you wanted. And also

the point of what you said to the priests is not about money, because if you

think about it suddenly, if, if, if a young girl at any age is pregnant, then if

suddenly a windfall comes, then everything's okay. No, no, it is that whole

were very, a distinct enough [:

know all the things, because obviously you had previously thought about what

would have been the issues of being in that 14 days, foster care, even the state

statute or not them, no one, not knowing about you and knowing your role and

your thing.

I say, thinking I had. I think we see now situations when adoptees had not been

told that they adopted and they don't know. And suddenly they find out and

that's where the true rollercoaster, the trauma and all of that is happening. So

again, I say good head on you always you're good head. Good thoughts.

Good thoughts. Good thoughts. Okay. So once they came back and said they

agreed to everything.

Alycea: Yup. And they, and they basically said they didn't want it in. That's

exactly how they would want to do things. Okay. And then we started talking

about everything. Yeah. All the different ways that they might consider

the nitty gritty questions I [:

And I was very blunt about it, that I'm not going to be polite. I'm going to be

nosy, but I feel it as my job as. The carrier of this kid at that time, I wasn't

comfortable using model.

D. Yvonne: I was going to ask you that when you said Carrie, you versus mom,

you weren't comfortable. Why, why, why do you think you weren't


Alycea: Partly it was the messaging at that time, right? Everybody's saying, try

not to consider yourself a mom or it'll make it harder. Well, I learned later that's

total BS. It. Is that what you were

D. Yvonne: told? Really? Oh, right there. Oh, wow. Okay. Yep.

Alycea: Okay. And I've and partly I was trying to set up my own walls to see if

I could protect my heart a little bit.

Totally did not work. Absolutely not

D. Yvonne: all that. Most of those things, I think we heard at that particular

time, it's like you not move forward, you know, just you'll get another life and

you forget all about, they just lied. That's all they did. That was never.

lycea: Yup. And there, there [:

case where people.

Close their eyes and pretend like they didn't do that sort of damage to the young

girls that they loved. But no. So I was trying and, um, but I felt like it was my

job to protect her and find her the very best family. So I asked everything I ever

wanted to know and they were so, um, willing to answer the questions and.

They didn't get bristly about it. They didn't start thinking, this is none of your

business. They reacted like, yes, this is exactly your business. And you should

be asking these things and that kind of interaction meant they were the right

family for me.

but I did barely knew his wife and it was her that I needed to build a good

tionship with. And that went [:

D. Yvonne: you know, all those things you just said before, they wouldn't have

it any other way. That's the adoptive family? Well, like for the Facebook live we

did today, we had the triangle line, so it was adoptees birth moms and adoptive.

And what came out there that these were saying is that they wanted that

transparency. And one even said they wished they had adoptive parents. Talk to

them about their past and their, their, their birth family and all of that. Whereas

so many times it's kept secret. And when you keep something from someone

they wonder and they'll make up their own things versus getting the.

Alycea: And we don't keep secrets about things we're proud of, right. Secrets

about things we're ashamed of. Right. We want to teach kids that adoption is

nothing to be ashamed of. Then you don't get to keep it a secret.

D. Yvonne: Exactly. It's not the hush hush. You willingly talk about it. Yup.


daughter, your daughter was born.

So moving. So how, how did it work out at, from the time she was born? One

that you've been in a life and it's just how's that working.

Alycea: So we got to see each other about two or three times every year. We

would see her around mother's day, which is close to her birthday. And then

again, around Christmas. And if there was a family wedding or something, then

we'd see each other then too.

And every visit was. Wonderful and horrible. It was days of anxiety leading up

to it. Just heartbreak. The issue didn't even know who I am. Will I even

recognize her? I want to show up with a gift for her birthday, but I don't know

what to get her because I don't know her that well. And I know how fast kids

change and maybe she doesn't like this anymore.

anxiety to go. Then I would [:

would love the visit and then I'd get in the car and I would cry the whole way

home. Just be a mess for days afterwards. And this was every visit for 18 years

that did not change.

D. Yvonne: Yeah. So I rollercoaster the emotions, the emotions love there.

And, and that's a long with you having that open adoption, like.

Alycea: Right. This is the best case scenario.

D. Yvonne: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and it comes up with, with moms and

them deciding, and I emphasize the fact of you have a right. You have a

decision and whatever it can work best for you and your child. Those are the


With that. So have you been able to, or she's she's 18 now, so she knows her

th her, the different visits [:

how did she really know about who you were and all of that?

Alycea: So her parents have been straightforward with her from the start, uh,

and when she was about for her aunt was pregnant and she asked her.

Who are you going to give your baby to? Wow. Because in her world, that's

how families were made. Right. That her default mindset was her story. So she

knew it and she had to learn that that wasn't the default.

D. Yvonne: Okay.

Alycea: Okay. Okay. So she's always known, she's always known about me.

Um, she has a little sister from China and, uh, she always knew about her story


I cannot know who the birth parents were because of the legal system at the

time. And so she's always had the full picture and her parents were very

straightforward with her. Okay. Um, now she's almost 21. Okay. But what I

learned when she was about [:

connection and being able to answer.

She, and I were still uncomfortable around each other. There was a, there was a

draw to want to have a closer relationship, but I didn't quite know where all of

my boundaries were. And I always tried to be really, really careful around her

mom and trying not to overstep. And she, I don't know if she could pick up on

my hesitation.

And interpreted that, but I clearly wanted to be there, but I was also a little

pulled back from her, but she was also wanting more but equally uncomfortable.

So when she was about 18, we started having some conversations, just her and I

on the ball's in your court kid. Uh, it's been in your parent's court up to now, but

now it's yours.

So what do you want, do you. If you don't want to see me, that's okay. If you

don't want to talk to me, that's okay. If you want more, that's what I want.


D. Yvonne: do you think it was her loyalty to her family?

Alycea: I think that was a big part of it. She absolutely, her parents are

wonderful and she absolutely does not want to hurt them.

Right. And, and yes. I mean, the, the amount of openness that her mom held for

me hurt. It hurt her mom and I could see it and I appreciate that she was willing

to do it anyway. She was willing to sacrifice some of her own comfort for the

sake of her kid, which is something that her mom and I had a lot in common.


D. Yvonne: I was going to say that you to birth mom, she's at adoptive mom,

but. Your kid, your child, your daughter, and you do what's necessary for the

sake of her forgetting everything else I'm going through. And, and I, I go back

to had conversations with other moms and saying you does, I want, I don't want


And grief. They're brutal. Others go through site costs. We wanted to, but we,

because we knew we needed to give that and it's not like the placement was not

loving. It was real life. It was a real love there. Real love. You will, you will do

anything, anything for your child with that. So how is it now? So when you say,

where is the board that ball's in your court now, her being an adult and so forth.

So is she easing up a little or you feeling more comfortable around each

Alycea: other? Yes. So the last few years we've definitely shifted, uh, the ability

to have. Our own relationship outside of her parents, I think made it easier for

us to connect with without harm being done, right. Or with less harm being

done, because it does hurt to see that close up.

each other all the time. We [:

a regular schedule phone call for a while to open the door and kind of get

started. We wrote letters.

Okay. And so she was willing to play ball for a while. So. And basic letters,

letters that said things that she would already know if she had grown up in my

home. Um, those are the things I liked in school. This is how I like to spend my

weekends. This is how often we cook versus go out. It's nothing big and bigger,


Just the little things that you would feel like you knew if somebody was. In your

home. And I felt like if we knew that level of detail about each other, maybe

some of this awkwardness would go away.

D. Yvonne: I, I think something sometimes that, um, we in the adopted

adoption triad, forget with getting to know a person we are.

So we know them because we gave birth to them. We don't. And when you

mentioned [:

not your child, who's outside of that. How do you get to know them

conversations, phone calls, and letters or whatever. And I like what you were

saying, share with her, how you grew up, what was in your home because you're

sharing about yourself.

And, and I told him, believe that breaks barriers of and creates intimacy because

you get to know that person. And it's not just one time, but when you said

consistency of them reading, and I liked the fact you have letters, of course you

can always refer back to her. Oh, her favorite color is pink. And she did this

when she was in seventh grade and all of that.

That's wonderful.

Alycea: Yeah. And that, that idea that I think that's part of the disconnect is.

Feeling the emotion, the intimacy can be so strong, but without the information

and the context to back it up. And so it feels disjointed. You shouldn't feel that

strongly about someone you barely know.

D. Yvonne: Right, right, [:

But their feelings. They're there, their feelings are there and you can't deny

them. You know, I know I tell the story all the time, that, that day that my son

and I had talked before we met in person, but had daily met, it was like 45 years

just disappeared. And I had not seen him in 45 years, but in a hug itself is like

we were in sync with it.

And that was because we got that connection and those emotions were just that.

Just that deep. So we can't negate. And then you've probably people have

probably heard me say, this is at that birth bond birth bond that you had when

you, when your child was born, that never is broken. You may not be with your

child, but that birth bond will always be there.

That doesn't change. You will always be her mother. Yep. Yep. No matter what,

no matter what. And I say, no matter what, because there are situations and we

talked about today on Facebook, um, whether, um, sometimes the child wants to

amily or not, or the mom has [:

going through the trauma did not having open adoption has been closed on

whether they have the strength and able to go through their stuff and get their

help to meet their child.

is is not going to go away at:

49. This year. Okay. So this is life long and it's D different aspects, different

segments or whatever, because we have an adult relationship. So it's not like

he's under 18 and so forth and whatever. So we have an adult relationship.

So that's how we moving to really get to know one another. And that that's a

lifelong process.

Alycea: It is a lifelong process, definitely during this process, what are the

things I realized. Part of where her pain was coming from was she was getting

to know me now. Well, now I'm stable now I've had years and years of therapy.

I've been on the correct antidepressant for many years. I'm married. I have a

great job. I have a [:

say, you could have kept me and for me to go, I get why. Y that's what you see.

Yeah. And so I tried, um, I, I didn't necessarily want to do it, but I decided I

need to.

So with many, many bottles of wine, I sat down and I tried to write out her story

of when I was pregnant, who I was at 17. But I could not raise her at that time.

And I tried to write it out. I tried to put her there so that she could get to know

my 17 year old version of myself. And, but then I did that and I'm like, this is a

horrible, terrible story that I don't want to give her.

They wrote the next piece, which was, and then it broke my heart and, and I, it

I'm like, I can't leave the [:

here. So then I tried to write about the healing and how I patched it back

together. So I ended up putting a book together that she, she allowed me to

publish and I let her and her family decide whether or not this could, if they

were comfortable with this, all the public information.

But I, I really. That I, it was the only way I knew to introduce her to my 17 year

old self and hopefully take a bit of that pain away. Right.

D. Yvonne: So

Alycea: was it healing for her? It w it was, there was a lot in there that she had

no idea that. Right. Right. Because when, when I went to every. I might've been

in emotional mess inside, but that's not the face I show, I show

D. Yvonne: up best behavior.

Alycea: I know they can close this adoption at any point in time. So I don't

show anything. So all of that she ever saw of me was I was this person who was

so happy to have placed her and she never saw all that coordinate. And, and in


it couldn't, that couldn't have been further from the truth.

So I'm so

D. Yvonne: glad. I'm so glad you brought that out because I think a lot of moms

will get that same thing because just as you say, did that situation of whatever

age negate burns is completely different to whatever age of their in connection

with her and for her knowing you. And she's been in connection with you for

over 18 years.

Think about, I also think about fours or children. Who have not had that

ongoing relationship, then they meet. Cause the first thing my son would say, I

didn't know about you. He wasn't told, he found out at 13. So it was like in his

mind, who was. Who is she as a person and, and he didn't have any answers to

that until we met in be union.

And it was him realizing when he's, yeard from me, the situation. And


understand before. How could he understand if he, if you don't know the story,

you don't know what the story is. And that's so important, as you just said to

someone, those three things you said at that had to happen is that she will

always know she's adopted, then nobody you're in her life and enforcement,

foster care.

Those were the three I remember and is so important and I've heard therapists

and just professionals or whatever when you did not. And that's what someone

adoptees was to them when you did not have transparency and their story is

their story, like their story, but you don't want to tell. It's like their story.

They don't have a right to, they do have a right to know. That's why I say

legacy, heritage and whatever, where they come from because there are new

book. Typically newborn, whatever I see less than a year old, typically I would

, adoptions, but they have a [:

history behind that, even though they're newborn, they stayed been around that

mom benign months growing.

That's how I put it. And that growth itself is from the seed. And from that

mother and those commonalities, I mean, you can't take it away from nature and

nurture. Nature and nurture. So if you had three things, you would tell moms,

birth moms and the process of healing, what you've done, what has worked and

where your mindset is because we already know only shoot that you were 17.

So you're a progressive and independent and mature, all that set aside what this

is some deep stuff emotionally. So talk more about how, how you've made it

through and how you're making it through. Cause this is an over,

Alycea: all right. So three things by first one would be, you don't become a

birth mom because one [:

Nobody came, nobody became a birth mom because. They got pregnant and

worked, expecting it, right. They got pregnant and worked expecting it, and they

didn't have the support or the money or the skills or the abilities or the

community. Some that most birth moms have multiple traumas stacked on

troubles and losing a kid to adoption is a great riddled experience enough on its


But when you have. Of trauma therapy is needed. Yes. Therapy is required. Go

to therapy. I just, just go. Yeah, there's my first one. And if you don't click with

your therapist, find somebody else. You don't have to like the first one go

D. Yvonne: interview five of them if you watch. So,

Alycea: yeah, so that's my first one. The second one would be the thing that

helped, that really helped for, to make us have the future that I wanted for.

Was that we held space [:

about her and no secrets. And the people my coworkers know about her. I've

had, I had a boss once who. That I was painfully emotionally immature, or I

would know better and would keep that a secret, um, which told me that was not

the right job for me.

Right. So there was definite negative impact in my willingness to always be

upfront about this, because this is taboo. We don't talk about these things, but

my willingness to do that and to take those consequences got me, the

consequence that I really wanted, which is now. Awesome relationship when

she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.

When people know when people meet her and I say, yep, I have a one-year-old

and a 21 year old that, yup. I get a lot of looks, but she's not a surprise to

anybody. And so she fits, it's not trying to shove her into a life. There's always

been room for her here. [:

how you heal.

So there's an interesting book called what got you here. Won't get you there.

And it's a business book, but if you think just about the title, what got you here,

won't get you there, right? The title, the, the skills that you developed to survive

tough times are not the skills you need to grow into peaceful times.

And they're not the skills you need to thrive when everything is happy. And if

you're. If you figure out how to survive when you're really young and you figure

out how to get through the really hard, painful things, when you're really young,

while everybody else is learning how to date, how to make friends, how to go to

job interviews, right?

You are on a different path of skill building. You're not behind. You're not

ahead. You're on a different path. And in that moment you feel. Right. Your

friend, your [:

starting to build lives and you are just barely scraping by, but that's because you

were concentrated in somewhere else.

And it is okay to be on a totally different path than other people. Just don't stop.

Just recognize you still have more skills to learn. You're going to learn them at a

different time, right. In a different way, but keep going.

D. Yvonne: Absolutely. I like that. You know, and what I got out of the last

thing before.

You need to develop your own path and be willing to walk that path and not

bring a crowd with you, not bring a crowd with you because your focus, your

focus is my favorite word. Your focus on where you're going, because it's up to

you. It's up to you because no matter what happens to you, as you said, that you

set that path.

And as a matter of what happens to you, it's only what only thing that matters is

how you [:

path where you're going to go. But tell us more at the title of your book and how

people can get a hold of it.

Alycea: Sure. Um, it's called redefining family.

Oh, birth mother's path to wholeness, and you can find that book and everything

else. I've written. It's all at my web. Uh, it's at a K Snyder books. Okay. And,

uh, you can order it on Amazon and everywhere, but all the links will from my

website will get you there. Right. And I try to, uh, it's it's not a rainbows and

unicorns story.

It's also not an anti adoption story. It is the experience the way I experienced it.

And I tried to be very, very honest about all the highs and lows. Uh, in my

situation, we did have a happy ending. We had as good of a situation as you can

get, it has turned out well, and it was full of pain anyway, but hopefully


help somebody else.

So, absolutely.

D. Yvonne: It's a life story. And like you say, I'd like that, but the last phrase

you said it doesn't, you can ha there is going to be joy. That's doing joy in pain

in your life. And just because there's pain doesn't mean you're going to have joy

during your life. And they'll be like my sisters, you talking about, you've got a

good relationship now.

And you steadily building because again, lifelong, you know, don't get caught

up in, well, if I don't, this doesn't work out or the first time with a therapist. Or

even the first time in reunion or dealing with, or connecting to your child or the

child connecting to your mom doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

It doesn't mean it's going to work that first time. It's going to be that roller

coaster, that roller coaster will throw you off some days. Cause sometimes I'm

off the rails, all star rail completely. I got to pull myself back up to even get on

ter, but that's okay. That's [:

effort energy and the fortitude and perseverance and determination to do that.

And that's what it takes. So any last thoughts?

Alycea: Um, my, my last thought is I keep hearing birth moms talk about

shame. And if that is pulling you down, address that first, the shame will

sabotage everything else you're trying to do. Right. So dig in, find Bernay

brown or any other expert who deals in shame and start tackling there so that

you can ditch that and move forward.

D. Yvonne: Absolutely. Do your mirror work? I like to say, look yourself in the

mirror. Recognize. And love yourself. Write a love letter to full

Alycea: person. You have to be to break your own heart for the sake of your


D. Yvonne: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much. This has been awesome.

Wonderful. You've been listening to birth mom's real talk podcast.

My guests, Alicia, and say the name of your title again,

y, a birth mother's path to. [:

D. Yvonne: Very good, but a case minor to the end. Thank you so much for

tuning in, please. When you listen to this podcast, please leave comments. Give

us a review on apple. Cause that helps us to grow. I am so overcome with the,

we are in season two.

Um, this is probably I think episode probably 30, 32. We've got over 225,000

people were reached over 10,000. Downloads is growing and I'm like, It's

needed. People tell me that all the time, everybody listens adoptees, birth moms

and so forth. So keep it, keep it going. We have a birth moms, a real talk village,

which is that private.

Everyone doesn't want to do a podcast. Everyone has another one called public.

I understand that. But along with, we have a place for you too. So. Send any

requests or information you may want to info at birth moms, real talk.com. And

if you'd like to share your story, please go on our website, www birth talks, real

talk to submit your [:

Thank you so much. Thank

Alycea: you. I appreciate it.

D. Yvonne: See you next time.

About the Podcast

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Birth Moms Real Talk
Conversations with Mothers who relinquished children into adoption.

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D Yvonne Rivers