Why I Support Saving our Sisters

This is an art piece I created as part of the Door to the Soul project at Shade Post in Fort Lauderdale.  Lets just say I learned an awful lot about the biological processes and effects on the body and MIND during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post partum in the process of blaming myself and taking responsibility for my actions.

Please consider giving Saving Our Sisters a like on Facebook.  You never know when you might have the opportunity to help.

 

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Misc. Feelings – I Am Only Human

One of the hardest things I’ve faced in producing this show is my own feelings.  Feelings of fear, of judgment, of inadequacy, of being misunderstood……of being misunderstood, of being VERY misunderstood.Side a

This show is not about anger, hate, divide, bullying, who is right, who is wrong.  It is NOT an anti adoption show.  It IS an educational show, it IS a supportive show, it IS a show to help mothers who WANT TO raise their own flesh and blood babies be able too by putting some money in the hands of the organization Saving Our Sisters that helps mothers with the temporary life challenges they are facing while being pregnant.

Something I have noticed time and time again in discussion with friends, people I associate with through the arts world, people I talk to in random locations is that it feels like society thinks the proverbial birthmother is some type of whore, prostitute, drug addict, person who lives on the streets, in short, in someway less than the rest of us.  It is exceptionally painful to hear sometimes, they  think I am the exception , not the rule.

In connecting with other mothers who after giving birth to their own child and previously having considered adoption and now NOT wanting to go through with it I have learned alot, I have felt not so alone.  I have found others who are pretty much ordinary average american women like me being denied perhaps their most primal biological instinctual urge, to mother thier own flesh and blood child they recently gave birth too. Women who for whatever personal reason were struggling, scared and did nothing wrong but sign a contract, a legal and binding document that says their baby can be given to other people to raise, people who pay high fees to an agencies and/or attorneys to obtain that contract.

Mothers who are grieving a monumental loss are faced with trying to fight for their child back which is pretty hard to do in some states in this country, Florida is one of them. Its even harder to do in a society which judges, condemns and makes assumptions about mothers for considering adoption in the first place. A society that thinks we must all be pieces of shit and treats us as such.  A society that demands we now prove ourselves as capable of mothering ( why don’t other pregnant woman have to prove they are worthy of mothering?) as if somehow signing that paper makes all our primal instincts and the basic fact that we are here, alive on this planet and have made it this far,  null and void.  I can attest, signing a paper does not in fact make any of the biological processes associated with pregnancy, labor, delievry, child birth and motherhood stop.

It doesn’t. Not one bit.  I think about things sometimes, fairly deeply.  Things like it would still be pretty easy to judge, ridicule, berate, and make me appear less worthy.   Right now I’m not employed at an outside job earning a regular paycheck, I’m working on my goal of starting a business, and organizing the benefit show I Am Only Human to support Saving our Sisters.  I can do this because one of my sons is covering household expenses until I get through this show. Its a FAMILY choice. It is a tremendous blessing, I wouldn’t have gotten through any of this without my 2 oldest sons.  Yes, I was a teenage mother and now they are in their 20’s and we all live together. So you know what…. I guess I did ok.  I’m prone to beat myself up but I’ve learned that when I start to…….I look at my resume and realize that in spite of dealing with an unspeakable level of grief I’ve accomplished an awful lot in the past few years.  That I feel good about.

I think “would I be here in this position if I had never considered adoption?”  Probably not. Grief takes a long time, processing things, learning things, takes a long time, learning how to adapt and overcome a body that is desperately seeking to complete the task of motherhood its programmed to do is hard and takes time, I don’t feel like the feeling will ever go away.  Learning to cope with it and accept it as part of my daily life has been pretty rough, as has wondering if my son feels the same way and can’t express it to anyone.

I’m not ashamed of where I am. I am grateful to every person who has helped me a long the way. Those who have let me cry, those who have opened their homes to me to stay with them when I really just couldn’t be alone, those who have given me the strength and support to make it through, sometimes only to the next day like it was in the first 2 years.  Do you know…..I cried every time I saw or heard a baby for almost 2 years? Even at my job?  Finally that has subsided, but still my heart stirs.  I’m grateful to all my artist friends and acquaintances who have encouraged me to stay the course and do the benefit show I Am Only Human which took place on May 14th.

I hope that the time and effort helps raise  funds for Saving Our Sisters and educates the public that mothers of adopted children and people who are adopted have feelings and are in fact human beings too.  Human beings who deserve every opportunity to stay together as a family and if they can’t, not be denied their entire identity.

 

 

 

Book Burning

Ok, so maybe I didn’t exactly burn the whole book but in the interest of spring cleaning,

and preparing to take an artist summer sabatical working in another area of the country I invested some time tearing out the pages and burning the edges of various spiritual, religious and science texts including Sri Isponisad, The Bhagavad Gita, The Wisdom of No Escape, The Science of Mind, the Bible and a text book on the Universe laying them to create a jig saw puzzle effect for a new series of pieces. This piece is called:

Actions Speak Louder than Words here’s a short video of the creation process:

27 inches x 27 inches on board

$140.00

Shipping in USA Included

$40 dollars of the sale of this piece will be donated to Saving Our Sisters, a grassroots organization which helps support expectant mothers through emotionally and financially challenging pregnancies.

To inquire about purchasing this piece please email mswenderful@gmail.com with Actions Speak Louder than Words in the subject.

Thank you.

You can read my professional bio and cv here

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Molting Into Night

Molting Into Night

16 x 20 on Plexiglass

$99

USA Shipping Included.

$20 of each purchase is donated to Saving our Sisters and organization that helps expectant mothers avoid a permanent adoption choice over temporary life challenges.

Email mswenderful@gmail.com for purchasing information.

Read Artist Bio Here

Molting into Night

Secrets of Fall

Secrets of Fall

16 x 20 on Plexiglass

$99

USA Shipping Included.

$20 of each purchase is donated to Saving our Sisters and organization that helps expectant mothers avoid a permanent adoption choice over temporary life challenges.

Email mswenderful@gmail.com for purchasing information.

Read Artist Bio Here

 

 

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Its in Our Heads and In Our Hearts

They say it is in our heads and it is, but it is also in our hearts.  I’ve struggled so very much to let go over the last 4 years and its hard to put into words how it feel like I physically can’t, but this link helps explain it, at least it does to me.  A part of all my children always remains with in me.

I’ve never cared one bit, about material things,  I like dancing, reading, writing, creating art, spending time with people I care about, this is my entertainment, a great side effect is its mostly free, can take place right at home, out and about, alone or with others.

Electronics, gadgets, televisions, the latest phone, app, video games, or any other outside entertainment devices don’t interest me much. Sure I enjoy a video, movie,  internet or outside entertainment now and then but I could, and often do, go without them quite easily. I do enjoy electronics as tools to assist my own creativity.

I tried to get away from it all  in 2013, that trip turned out to be much more intense, full of challenges, and obstacles, trying to help myself and also others, this one at last, in gratitude and love, is just for me.

Getting in touch with me again, my own visions for my future, to stop being so hard on myself for feeling like I really, really messed up, for feeling like I can’t be there for everybody in the way they want or expect me to be,  especially my children, I want the very best for them always, and to forgive myself for not being all I’d like to be right now, I’m still pretty darn ok with me.  Its been a long hard few years, I know I am getting there, actually making really good progress and I am excited to have options.  Yellow Green Farmers Market or an individual gallery?  Where will the next stage of my artist career end up? The time to decide is coming soon,  I’m looking forward to it and feeling blessed for the time to decide at exactly the right time. 

 A break from trying to figure how to make everyone but me happy,  to tune back into my dreams for myself, for my family and eventually, hopefully to help mothers in need.   Just because I’m not there right now doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was sometimes, it will all come together eventually.  We don’t start college with our dream job secured for graduation day, its really not that different with other things we hope to accomplish in life. 

Away from the noise, the daily grind, televisions, sirens, peoples opinions, differences, perspectives, wants, needs, demands, social occasions, commitments, deadlines, obligations, the general hustle and bustle of the city. I am doing what I  needed to do for myself,  even though I’ve done this a couple a other times in my life, take a chance on getting to see my kids, and them to see me, and get on with living my life  with the best possible attitude, until the next opportunity arises, which sounds like its coming this summer.  

Wow, I needed this little break. I feel like a new person.

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Women Not Machines

Women Not a Machines is part of the series “Putting the Pieces Together”.  I find it challenging to discuss issues that women face and have feelings and or concerns about without being labeled a feminist.  Why does it seem at times that we must always try to shove people into boxes and put labels on them?  Isn’t compassionate human being good enough?

Women Not Machines was inspired through my  own independent research via internet and in face to face discussions with people about general perceptions of adoption. Sometimes it seems those perceptions are all over the place…..and many incorrect.  I find it encouraging that people seem shocked that mothers can sign away their rights mere hours after giving birth (hope for the human race yet?) .   I also find it encouraging that some people are quite surprised that in some states there is no grace period, signatures are irrevocable and permanent the moment they are executed under any condition. Consents can be executed from hospital beds, in parking lots and over the telephone. The laws on the books seem pretty darn old, pretty inhumane and perhaps, in need of an update.

I also find that when I share my personal experience, people sometimes want to believe I am the exception, I am one of the few nice ones who surrendered and subsequently lost their baby unecessarily, who did not feel they made a clear, conscious choice.  I find it somewhat disappointing that some of society has a view of mothers who place their babies for adoption as homeless, drug addicts, incapable, or unworthy of, straight up don’t want to even try being a mother, already have enough children therefore have “one to spare” or worse yet that it was Gods plan for them.

That one, Gods Plan,  always make me just want to shake me head and say…..Did it ever occur to you that whatever it is that you believe God is judging the woman for and forcing her to surrender her baby for (according to the Gods plan perspective) is actually a set beliefs you are trying to force on her?  Ever considered the possiblity that God put you in the expectant mothers path not to discourage her but to encourage and help her and her baby along the way?  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but giving a new mother time to choose and not be rushed seems like a good idea to me.  I figure if it is Gods Plan she will make the choice God wants her to make whether rushed in mere hours (potentially causing shock and trauma)  or given time to begin to heal, process her own feelings and thought, and begin to recover from childbirth, say 6 weeks after birth, the time a mother is released from Post Partum care (time to feel things out, heal, ask questions, get answers, go through the biological process and make informed choices) Right?

Here’s some interesting information on the  Endocrine system and hormonal shifts that may also help those who have never been through pregnancy, labor, childbirth and post partum understand the process better.

“After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone, which are released by the endocrine system, significantly lower. During pregnancy, the body produces these hormones in abundance. It takes around three days for hormonal levels to return to their pre-pregnancy state. The body experiences a shock with the sudden change in hormones, impacting the mother’s mood, body functions, digestion, and ability to sleep” ….Read More of Article Here…. 

Women Not Machines
Women Not Machines 2014