e023 – #shareyourtruth – Love Over Fear – with Adrian C. Collins
Sticking with the theme of LOVE for February we are interviewing a special guest to share her powerful story with us. YGTMAMA is starting a series, every month one episode will be dedicated to #shareyourtruth and rather than focusing on a specific topic, one incredible mama will share her powerful story with us. We couldn't have asked for a better guest to kick it off then Adrian.
Adrian C. Collins is a fellow author, she writes about the real-life complexities of being both a birth mother and an adoptive mother. She has testified before the Colorado Senate committee on behalf of the Colorado Children First Act, been a guest on various podcasts, and featured on Today Show Parents and Today.com. She has been published in various publications including Today Show Parents, Grown and Flown, The Daily Signal, The Hill, CBN News, Christian Post, Her View From Home and BLUNTmoms, and is the adoption blog manager for Hope’s Promise, a faith-based adoption agency. Adrian studied journalism at Point Loma Nazarene at University in San Diego and is married to her high school sweetheart where they currently reside in Castle Rock, Colorado. Adrian completed her first memoir about hope and healing through the journey of adoption. She is a wife, a birth mom, an adoptive mom and mom of five children.
In this episode Adrian shares that her journey has taught her to make peace with difficult decisions, fight off fear, guilt, and shame and she encourages moms to do the same. Her story is powerful and she shares it so vulnerably in hopes to help other mamas on their path to acceptance.
Adrian’s core value arose from her powerful story. She starts in college. She, like so many of us, she tried to paint this version of perfection. She attended a religious school, was very involved in extracurricular activities until one day she found out she was pregnant. She was with her now-husband and high school sweetheart, but they didn’t know how to handle the pressures of this pregnancy. She hid it and felt intense shame. She was forced to make a heart-wrenching decision to put her baby girl up for adoption.
She had to wrestle with the fear, fear of judgment, fear of shame, fear of guilt and loss. She needed to make a decision based on love and give her baby girl the best life she could. Leaving the hospital without her baby girl was the hardest thing she had ever done, the grief and loss are indescribable. She did have hope that when the time was right she would be reunited with her baby girl but she felt unworthy of love and lived with massive shame. Striving for perfection and not allowing room for mistakes stops us from growing.
“I’m not called to be perfect, I’m called to be the best that I can be.”
She continues the story, Adrian marries her high school sweetheart and they go on to have happily have three sons. While her heart mourned her baby girl, she felt a responsibility to be the best mama she could be to her children and also give back where she knew her knowledge could help others. She began volunteering and advocating for mothers dealing with difficult decisions.
She opens up about one meeting she had, with a family friend. She was pregnant and shaky. The conversation was unexpected and the woman asked her to adopt her unexpected child. The transition was challenging from birth parents to adoptive parents and a lot of fears surfaced again pertaining to adequacy and capabilities. Adrian knew this was the right move for their family though and she loved that baby boy as her own.
“Love isn’t divided into tiny pieces, it is meant to expand and extend out to others.”
Adrian continues with the story. They bring home this sweet baby boy, brother to her three children. A couple of weeks later they received a phone call from her twelve-year-old daughter. Adrian hadn’t shared yet with her boys that she had given a child up for adoption. Nervously, she decided it was time and they were pumped about having an older sister. It was a big ah-ha moment for Adrian about simple acceptance. They do not need a perfect mother, it is our responsibility as moms to show them that we can work through our own fears. It is okay to be vulnerable with our children.
Her daughter showed up on the doorstep with her adoptive parents about three months later. Through her teen years, they developed a great relationship. Adrian had to learn to trust herself and let their love grow slowly over time. What Adrian didn’t realize during this time was that her daughter had a troubled childhood and that there were problems with her adoptive family. They felt betrayed and like the only option was to give her birth daughter the love and support she needed. They chose to re-adopt her.
The ladies discuss the acronym for FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real. We all have fears and struggle to overcome and persevere. As moms, we need to make peace with the difficult decisions. The what-ifs don’t change the narrative. We need to face our fears head on and be a model of strength for our children.
Adrian recommends choosing grace over guilt and shame. "We have to cling to hope during difficult times. There is growth after loss." There is hope after heartache and we need to accept that we are imperfect. The most important thing that she has learned is to give our stories a voice. Share our truths.
“We were meant for community, nobody is called to do motherhood alone.”
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