Adoption Trauma and Support

Author Archives: Kelly Jacobson

Adoption Trauma and Support

We may think that being adopted into a loving, secure Christian home would meet all the needs of any baby.  But many older adoptees confess that even though they had a wonderful childhood, they still struggle with feelings of abandonment, self-esteem, anxiety, anger and/or not feeling like the fully fit in with their family.
Even in the best of situations, adoption always begins with loss.  The loss of their biological mother at a minimum.  Open adoption certainly helps minimize this loss but for some adoptees, they may still find that they struggle with feelings of that loss, often mixed with love for their adoptive family.
At CPO, we have created an Adoptee Support Group for adopted people age 13 & up.  You do not have to have been adopted through CPO to attend.  This is a safe place for adoptees to share their feeling with other adoptees who may have or still are having the same struggles.
Our group meets every third Thursday of the month at CPO.  Our office is located in the Sagenet complex at 10207 E. 61st St Suite A, Tulsa, 74133.  The next meeting is on Oct. 21st at 7-9pm.  Christina Domer leads the group.  She is an adoptee and an adoptive mom.  She has been a part of CPO for over 10 years and has firsthand experience with most aspects of adoption.
If you are an adoptee and would like to attend, please RSVP by Sunday, Oct. 17th by calling the CPO office at 918-296-3377 or emailing Christina at christinamdomer@gmail.com.
If you are out of town, we may be able to connect virtually.  Please give us your contact information when you RSVP.


 


Adoption is Not for the Faint of Heart!

Cheryl Bauman has been helping women make adoptions plans for many many years.  In all that time, she has repeatedly reminded adoptive families that adoption is not for the faint of heart.  No story is more true to that than the story of The Faldie Family.  They were chosen by two other birth mothers prior to getting their baby girl.  Both of those birth mothers changed their mind (making an adoption plan is hard!).  During that time they took a foster placement with DHS.  At one point they had to give her back.  During all these trials, they kept the faith and now they can rejoice!  Please read Lindsey’s words below.  Fladie Family, you are an inspiration!

By Lindsey Fladie
In all my dreams I never could have imagined a family as beautiful as this. After three years of hoping to be chosen by an expecting mother at CPO we now await not one, but two adoption finalizations for our precious daughters. I’m so thankful God led us through those valleys. Without the wait, without each yes ending in a not yet, without each interrupted adoption, we wouldn’t have the family we do today. The whole time God knew we needed to experience fostering, to let go of our idea of what adoption looks like, and to fully learn to love others, specifically our daughter’s birthmom, in a way we had never known. Adoption changed our life by making us parents but even more so it changed our hearts.


Healing from Abortion

I have shared with most of you about the abortion I had when I was 19 but I haven’t shared as much about how God healed me, or actually is healing me.  If you are reading this and need healing from abortion, please reach out to me.  There is hope and forgiveness waiting for you.

After my abortion in 1983, I struggled with life.  I was not walking with the Lord even though I was a believer.  I was lost and confused.  About 4 years later, after a failed engagement, I hit bottom.  I felt beat up.  I felt hopeless.  At this time, God brought me a dear friend who invited me to attend a thriving singles group.  I finally surrendered surrounded by those who later became lifelong friends.  I came to the place where nothing mattered but Jesus.  I didn’t want to fight anymore.  I just wanted to live for Him.

Not long after that I met my husband.  He was the first Christian man I had ever dated!  When he proposed, I knew I had to tell him about my abortion.  I knew that this might be a deal breaker.  I knew he might say, “what kind of woman kills her baby?”.  I was terrified!  But I told him.  He showed only grace to me.  And then I realized that God would too.

We married and when we became pregnant, again I was terrified.  I didn’t deserve to have a healthy baby.  I knew I would somehow be punished for what I had done.   I was listening to Focus on the Family one day when they had a guest sharing about healing from abortion.  I was mesmerized!  I hadn’t really considered taking steps toward healing and seeking God’s forgiveness.  Actually, at that point I think I knew God forgave me but I needed to accept that forgiveness and forgive myself.  The radio guest shared practical steps toward healing such as, giving your baby a name, creating a memento, writing your child a letter, mourning your loss, and serving at a crisis pregnancy center. I began working these steps.

Healing came.

Forgiveness came later..

I mourned not seeing what kind of person my child might have become.  I mourned the grandchildren I might have had.  Maybe I will always mourn.  But I know I am forgiven.

I’ve often wondered if I had known about a place like Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, might things have been different?  CPO was founded the same year I had my abortion.  I wonder…

But I know I will be reunited with my child in heaven.  And hopefully someone reading this story will find hope and healing.  I am now the mother of seven healthy beautiful children.  Not only did God forgive me, He blessed me more than I could have imagined.

Kelly Jacobson


Welcome baby Mason!

    

One of the most fun things we do here at CPO are showers!  Every new mama who attends group regularly gets a baby shower or a personal shower.  This week we celebrated Elisabeth and her baby Mason.  Mason was born on June 23rd, 2021.  He weighed 7lbs and 10 ozs and was 20.5 inches long.  Elisabeth has been attending group at CPO since March 9th, 2021!  I asked her to share a little about what CPO has meant to her.  She said,

“I Love CPO.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified.  I started attending the parenting group when I was about 25 weeks pregnant and they have been nothing but helpful and supportive throughout my difficult Journey.  My son is now 2 months old and I see this being a great support system for so many years to come.”

We celebrate Mason and his brave mama, Elisabeth.


The served, serving others!

We’ve seen this happen over an over.  A woman comes to CPO in crisis and gets help from CPO.  Then years later, she returns to serve others.  Below is an interview with one such gal.  We love you Hannah!

An Interview with Hannah Albright
By Christina Domer

When did you first join the CPO family?
I first came to the parenting support group at age 19 when I found out I was pregnant.

How long have you served at CPO?
I have co-led the parenting group for 2.5 years!

In what capacity do you serve?
-Leading the parenting group with Tracie
-Helping match mentors and mentees

WHY do you serve?
In the last 10 years, God has shown so much provision over my life. A few years ago, I heard Him saying that I was supposed to return to the place that supported me through such a hard, unpredictable, unplanned time of my life. I am a member of Christian Chapel and one Sunday  morning our pastor was talking about CPO needing some volunteers and immediately the Lord told me to serve.

How has serving blessed you?
When God called me to co-lead the parenting group, my husband and I were in the midst of the storm of unexplained infertility. I felt a stab in my heart thinking that nothing could be more torturous than spending time around mothers and babies when I was so deeply longing for a baby myself. We struggled for 1.5 years to get pregnant, and once again, in God’s faithful provision, we got pregnant 6 months after I started at CPO. When you obey, God shows His goodness. So, in short, serving has blessed me because it’s taught me that the Lord honors obedience, even when it’s hard and we don’t see the outcome or the reasoning.


At Work with CPO

Meet Sarah.  She has worked in the CPO office since last spring.  She is a senior at Oral Roberts University majoring in Social Work and plans to attend law school in the spring.  Sadly, her fall schedule won’t allow her to work for CPO.  So we are in the process of hiring someone to replace her (if you know someone, see the job details below).  She will be greatly missed but has promised to volunteer when she can.  I asked her to write a little about her experience working for CPO.  Here is what she had to say.
____________________________________

Working at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach was such a blessing. Not only was I able to work in a place that I believed in, but I was also surrounded by amazing staff and interacted with women who needed some extra support. I have always been taught about the importance of empowerment and working at CPO gave me the opportunity to empower women currently experiencing crisis pregnancies. I was able to learn about adoptions and connect with other nonprofits. This agency touches the lives of the most vulnerable and most debated population. Unplanned pregnancies are a sensitive topic and serving this people group can be tricky. But CPO has several services that don’t just help women physically, but also emotionally. Being the first point of contact when a woman suspected a possible pregnancy, allowed me to see the complicated experiences these women go through. I was able to listen and talk with these women at a time where their whole world starts to shift. I have learned so much and I will continue working alongside this agency, just in different capacities. I am so thankful for this organization and I pray that God will continue working his hand through this agency.
____________________________________

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach is hiring a part time client care coordinator.  The hours will be 2pm-6pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  This is a perfect job for a student as there will be time to study and do homework.  The responsibilities include answering the phone, greeting clients, administering pregnancy tests, some filing and data entry and assisting the volunteer coordinator.  Starting pay is $12/hr.  Crisis Pregnancy Outreach is a ministry founded by Christian Chapel Church to help women facing a crisis pregnancy.  This job is best suited for a woman with a heart for ministry.  We are located at 10207 E. 61st St. Suite A, Tulsa, OK 74133.  To apply email kelly@cpotulsa.org.


Summer Happenings

By Kelly Jacobson

I thought Id fill you all in on some of the things that have been going on at CPO this summer.  We’ve had a number of walk-ins.  I love to show women around our new place.  They are always so impressed.  One expectant mom said she felt loved just by stepping in the door!  We are reaching more women!

In an effort to get the word to all women facing a crisis pregnancy in the Tulsa area, we have hired a consulting firm to help us identify where our target client is and how to reach them.  They spent a day interviewing me and other leaders and learning all about CPO.  They were so impressed with what we have to offer women and on fire to help us reach them.  I cant wait to receive their finding and suggestions!

We hosted a 3 day workshop for families waiting to adopt in June.  This workshop educates families on CPO and our mission, ignites a spirit of ministry in waiting families and educates them on many aspects of open adoptions.  It was a fantastic success.  Thanks to all the speakers who volunteered their time and to Kate Wicar for planning and leading it!

We have had many inquiries recently about support for adults and teen adoptees.  So on August 19th we are excited to be  launching a new adoptee support group.  It will lead by Christina Domer.  She is an adoptee, and adoptive mom and a long time CPO volunteer.

One of the things I love about my job is watching women struggle and overcome.  Sometimes over and over.  I hurt for them when they fall.  I want so much for them to find healing and hope.  Many times women will disappear and come back to support group over and over.  We’ve seen a few of those gals this summer.  Its so awesome that they know we will not judge them but will meet them where they are and help them move forward, as long as it takes.

Please enjoy the following poem written by CPO birth mother, Heather.  I was so impressed when I read it!

Heather

Just Wait,
Don’t Sell Birthright For Stew

Please just wait,
don’t trade your birthright for stew.
I know you want to feel loved.
I know you’re lonely
but just wait,
that’s not what you are looking for
just wait,  don’t fast food relationships

For those who wait on the Lord
God he will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31)
just wait.
You think you get weaker but you’re actually getting stronger
God makes you stronger while you wait.
I know you’ve been waiting.
Ask The Holy Spirit, he gives you power and strength ! (Genesis 25)


Letter from a grateful Birth Mother

Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my personal story.   My name is Dorothy Smart and I am a CPO birth mother.  I came to Tulsa 4 months pregnant, broken, scared and had just graduated a 7 month stay at a rehabilitation center.  I needed help for myself and my unborn child.  CPO lovingly took me into their care.  I will forever be grateful.

I found CPO through an adoption agency in Tallahassee FL, who assisted me in placing my first child in an open adoption.   Within two weeks of hearing of CPO, I found myself flying into Tulsa, a place I knew nothing about.  I was met right away by Delores White, former housemother of the CPO transitional home, and a few other pregnant women.  Every one of them was so friendly to me and guided me all the way to my new home.  I successfully graduated from my CPO program in about 22 months.

My time spent in the CPO ministry was life altering.  So much good came out of my time there.  While under the care of CPO, I was cared for in so many ways.  Our transitional home was a beautiful showcase home so we did our best at all times to keep it very clean because at any given time we would have to house a pregnant woman in a crises situation.

I came to CPO hungry and lost, CPO filled me with constant love, structure, and discipline.   I was never in need of anything.  I received help with everything from clothing, food, toiletries, dental and medical care, professional counseling, and mentors. This was all given to me for free.  CPO assisted me with every legal aspect concerning the process of making my open adoption finalized.  This was no easy task because my baby was going to Florida, yet CPO handled it so smoothly.  Even throughout my 19-hour labor and delivery, CPO never left my side. Thank you to Delores White, my 2 doulas, and many CPO family members that stopped in to encourage me.  I was treated like a queen during my stay at the hospital.   CPO graciously housed my adopted family from Florida so they also could be with me every step of the way through my labor and delivery and thank you Kobi Redman for housing, feeding, and entertaining us for the two-week clearance time it took for my adoption to be processed.

I stayed at the transitional home for an additional 17months after I placed my baby.   During my time there, I learned how to focus on myself and learned how to live a positive life especially in a Godly manner.  I was transformed from the inside out.  I was able to work a couple of part-time jobs and attend Tulsa Community College for a semester and a 1/2.  When my time came to an end at CPO, now 11 years ago, I flew to my new and current home of Charlotte NC to live with my aunt for a few months.  I was under her strict and disciplined guidance.   I was able to find my first job within a month.  I kept that job for about 4 1/2 years.   I fell in love with my now husband within a few months of moving to Charlotte….  Things went fast, we had two sons back-to-back right away.  As soon as my boys entered kindergarten, I went back to school where I am currently working on my master’s degree.

In my adoption story, we have always made God our focal point when communicating with each other.   Within our adoption triad we have much love and respect for everyone involved.   We are honored by each other.  I haven’t seen them in 4 years but that’s OK.  I feel as if a reunion could happen soon.  I love my birth daughters.   They are so loving and forgiving with me.  I am so proud of them.  Thank you for letting me share my story of open adoption with you.  We are a community of unity and love.


How CPO led me to Law School

How CPO led me to Law School By Isaac Jacobson, CPO Adoptee

I took the crumpled note shoved in my pocket with my sweaty palm and squished it into the crevices of the dusty stones that formed the Western Wall—the last wall still erect from the Holy Temple built in the Biblical period—located in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school on our graduation trip to the Holy Land where I stood before this site. Written on this paper I held was a prayer and a desperate wish that I would meet my biological mother for the very first time.

My birth mother is a Middle Eastern Muslim woman who gave birth to me outside of wedlock putting her in danger of an honor killing. Because of the life-and-death circumstances, my birth mother kept me a secret from the man in charge of restoring the family honor: her father. She fled from the Middle East to Oklahoma where I was born. She had a C-section to reduce signs of childbirth, placed me in the arms of my adoptive parents, and returned to her homeland. To this day, twenty-one years later, I have never met her.  My senior trip to Israel brought to the surface all of the emotions I have felt and experienced my entire life regarding my adoption. I have come to realize that the injustice that women in the Middle East face every waking moment was the primary reason I was separated from my birth family. I went to Israel seeking my birth mother or anyone I was related to. I was motivated with a desire stronger than anything I have ever wanted and with a burden that formed a hole in my heart for my biological family. I did not find her, nor did I find anyone related to me. However, what I did discover was ultimately greater. I discovered a fiery spirit to expose and mend the bleeding injustices not only in the Middle East but in the United States as well.

I returned from Israel with this passion and channeled it into my collegiate studies of International Relations at Oral Roberts University.  The calling to pursue a future in the legal field has become even more imminent
throughout the completion of my college tenure. While there are many fields suitable for mending injustices and progressing society, my passion calls for a profession far more than just “suitable”. I am more confident than ever that my desire for justice is now steering me to my next goal: law school. This is undeniably the route I must pursue in order to maximize my impact for underrepresented voices, like the voice of the Muslim woman who fled. I am certain that my ambition will direct me to a lifetime of goals to achieve and communities to assist. As I seek to begin this new endeavor, I envision the dusty stones that form the Western Wall. Like those steadfast stones of ancient commitment to a higher calling, I am determined to stand to this call.

(excerpts from Isaac’s application to law school.  He will start at The Oklahoma City University School of Law in August, 2021.  CPO is still saving lives!)


New Adoptee Support Group

We have some exciting news to announce!

Beginning in August we will offer an adoptee support group meeting!! We will meet the third Thursday of every month at the same time the adoptive family support group is meeting across the hall.

The last couple of years at the waiting family workshop we have had an adoptee panel and we realize that some of the struggles and joys that adoptees have experienced have been easier with support from others; including other adoptees.

Growing up adopted in the 80s and 90s I didn’t know anyone else adopted and looking back it’s something I longed for. To know someone like me. One of the great joys of open adoption is my kids not only see their birth families but also, through our involvement with CPO, have become friends with other adoptees. But as these adoptees hit 12, 13, 14+ (even in open adoptions!) we find them having some unique struggles that would be best addressed in a support group with other adoptees who have gone before them.
This group will be a safe place to ask questions of other adoptees, to express sadness and even anger associated with adoption. But mainly it will be a place to make friends with other adoptees.

We’d love to see you starting August 19th at 7pm. This support group is for any adoptee age 13 -113.

If you have questions please let us know.

Christina Domer
Assistant Director, adoptive mom and adoptee 💜