' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Second daughter brings joy to Catelynn, Tyler
Join Jane at the CUB retreat in October. For more, see sidebar.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Second daughter brings joy to Catelynn, Tyler

Happy mom Catelynn
"I actually get to feel happy about leaving the hospital," Tyler Baltierra tweeted as he prepared to take his new daughter, Novalee, and her mother, long time girl friend, Catelynn Lowell, home from the hospital last month according to E News. "Crying happy tears instead of sad ones feels amazing! I don't have to be heart broken this time."

Tyler, you didn't have to heart-broken when you left the hospital after Catelynn gave birth to your baby five years ago. Then Tyler and Catelynn handed their daughter, Carly, to adoptive parents Brandon and Teresa Davis, an affluent couple who lived in North Carolina, far from Catelynn and Tyler's home in rural Michigan, making visits difficult and costly. Surely there were willing parents not several states away.


Jane
Tyler and Catelynn were the only couple to give their infant up for adoption on MTV's first season of 16 and Pregnant. Their family situations at the time were to say the least challenging and they want better lives for themselves and their daughter.

When they relinquished their daughter, Catelynn said "I'm at peace with my decision." That peace was short-lived. As they prepared for Carly's second birthday, Catelynn told Dawn, their Bethany Christian Services counselor who arranged the adoption, in a segment of 16 and Pregnant, "I'm definitely more at peace than I was a year ago [on Carly's first birthday]." Tyler blurted out the hard truth, "Adoption is a constantly coping process. I don't know when you fully cope with it." Catelynn added: "I think it goes on for your whole life."

We certainly can attest to that: giving up a child is not a one-time act that is ever over. Giving up a child to adoption affects you adversely all of your life, as numerous studies have shown. Eventually one may learn to accept and live with the decision, and reunion can make a huge difference in coping with it, but as we have written here numerous times, reunion is no panacea. There is no going back. Nothing is ever "as if" a child has not been given up and become a chess piece in an "adoption plan."

Tyler and Catelynn, however, in the early stages of relinquishment, went on to become ambassadors for adoption. Catelynn and Tyler became paid spokespersons for Bethany Christian Services to promote the "adoption option" at high schools and universities. In subsequent episodes of 16 and Pregnant and in the media, they acknowledged their pain, even appearing on the cover of People, but still holding firm that they had made the right decision, that giving up Carly would ensure she would have the necessary "more" than they could give her.

Lorraine and I wrote several articles for FMF about their inconsolable grief and questioning whether their open adoption would remain open. Tyler did not take kindly to these articles, emailing FMF in 2012 to tell us that he and Catelynn did not give up Carly but made an adoption plan, parroting the sanitizing words of the adoption industry. He insisted he had researched adoption and knew all about it.

I wonder though, whether they feel the same satisfaction with adoption as they look into Novelee's eyes and think of Carly at the same age. Have they considered the obvious--if being raised by the Davis' is best for Carly, why isn't it best for Novalee? Have they considered how will they feel when Novalee asks why her sister lives so far away and when Carly asks why they "made an adoption plan" for her--but kept her sister. Their response that we were older, wiser, richer may ring hollow in Carly's ears.

Tyler and Catelynn don't need to be reminded that no amount of fame and fortune can heal can heal their pain. We hope that other young parents-to-be will read Tyler's words and take heed: Adoption loss will always be with you and your child; a second child cannot replace the lost child. The problems that lead you to consider adoption may seem insurmountable but often help to keep you baby is there if you seek it out. Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem

Catelynn and Tyler's memoir, Conquering Chaos, will be on sale soon. We hope, but don't hold our breath, that they acknowledge what the other teens on 16 and Pregnant and its successor Teen Mom knew: babies are precious, and should be kept close.--jane
________________________________________________________________________
E NewsTeen Mom's Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra Reveal their Baby Girl's Unique Name
Catelynn and Tyler's Fanpage

FROM FMF
Catelynn and Tyler still grieving over the loss of their daughter
Inconsolable grief
Tyler of 16 and Pregnant tells FMF Off!

TO READ
Waiting to Forget: A Motherhood Lost and Found
by Margaret Moorman

Moorman was sixteen when she became pregnant and gave up her child. She became pregnant again at 41, and found she was afraid to be away from her baby daughter. In this moving book, she traces her complicated feelings as she begins to search for her son and to reconcile her past with her new life. This is a beautiful book to read no matter where you are in your adoption journey.

"This is required reading for those who believe that adoption is the easy alternative." --Ellen Goodman in her syndicated column. 

41 comments :

  1. " Their response that we were older, wiser, richer may likely ring hollow in Carly's ears."

    Not necessarily. Many adoptees find that they have kept siblings and are able to understand that their parents' circumstances were very different from when they were born. They may not like it, they may feel gypped, but most adoptees seem to make peace with it. Although, I have always thought that those who found kept full blood siblings would have the hardest time accepting their relinquishments.

    Yes, Carly will have a hard row to hoe in life. I always thought it was unfair that Carly was made the poster child for 'open adoption' without her knowledge or consent. Her situation is especially complex because she is being raised with a sibling, a boy with whom she has no genetic ties, but who, for all intents and purposes, is her brother. While, at the same time, she may end up having little or no relationship with her own full sister as she grows up. Full siblings being raised apart sucks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to add to my comment that because Catelynn and Tyler are so public about their overwhelming love for this new child, I think it could end up making Carly feel like sh*t. Imo, Catelynn and Tyler seem to have very little understanding of how all of this will end up affecting Carly. They only seem to be able to see things from their own pov.

      My initial comment was coming from the perspective of an adult adoptee from the BSE, and thinking about the experiences of other adoptees of my generation.

      Delete
    2. Amen Robin. When Tyler said before that he had read up on adoption and that we were full of beans with our commentary, all I thought was--What did you read? About how adoption plans turn into "gifts" for infertile couples? He couldn't have read anything about how adoptees feel about being part of an "adoption plan" which is a sugar-coated way of saying: given up. Carly faces a tough road.

      Delete
  2. Why anyone cares about these trashy, ignorant exhibitionists or watches their stupid show is beyond me. Don't we have more important topics to discuss?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catelynn and Tyler represent a large number of young people today, torn between keeping their babies, or making "adoption plans" for them. They became shills for adoption. As representative of so many, they are certainly worth writing about. Because they came to fame through reality TV their impact is greatly enhanced. Our hope is that some teen like Catelynn will stumble upon writings like this when considering giving up a child.

      Delete
    2. Trashy? Wow, and from a mother of loss...
      Every child deserves his mother. Their given-away daughter will always wonder why her mother gave her up to strangers, and be heartsick. Most adoptees I know would take a "trashy" biomom over a classy adoptomom ANYDAY.

      Delete
    3. 1. They are the most famous, and thus image determining, examples of modern parents having lost a child to adoption.
      2. They may be more exhibitionist than most, but their ignorance and willing blindness is seen in much more cases of child abandonment for adoption. Really, their ignorance can be, if used well, be an important tool to educate.
      3. They are triggering for people hurt by adoption, and thus communication about them is to be expected here, just allowing mothers to release some pressure.

      Delete
    4. Your comment makes me think that you are missing the point. 16 and Pregnant and its spinoff, Teen Mom, are very popular shows for MTV. If they weren't, they wouldn't have lasted for so many seasons. These hit shows are very much a part of popular culture and, as such, they do influence teen girls' attitudes. Furthermore, Catelynn and Tyler are two of the most well-liked and admired people to ever star on the series. They are looked up to by many people of their generation (and older) for their selfless, brave and heroic decision to give Carly up for adoption so that she would have a 'better' life.

      I think it behooves those of us who know the devastating effects of adoption to not just dismiss these shows and deny their real power to influence, even if many think of them as just silly and trashy light tv fare.

      Delete
    5. No person should be referred to as trash or trashy...their adoption journey does matter, particularly due to how they were misguided by Dawn (their "adoption counsellor") and Tyler's mother who pushed for adoption from the get go. Catelyn's parents, although struggling with substance abuse issues, had the clarity of thought to want to keep their own grandchild. Valerie

      Delete
    6. Shaking my head here...How many of you first moms were called "trashy" because you had sex before marriage? How many adoptee are secretly called trash because of their mothers situation...How could you call them trashy..when in effect you are calling there child trashy. And therein lies the stigma of the adopted child no matter how much people scream it aint so! Even in this day and age it is not about how carly will feel that she was tossed from the family and her new sib was not. Wonder why adoptees are angry? Wonder why their "not ready to meet you? Because THEY are the ones that have to deal with being the most vulnerable in the whole "triad" thing but have the most responsibility in healing the families of both adoptive and bio.

      Delete
    7. Maryanne what is it that is hurting you so bad? For you to lash out this way at Catelynn and Tyler doesn't make any sense to me. What is it exactly that is upsetting you?

      Delete
  3. I just wanted to know if any first mothers had a hard time bonding with there kept children?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, no problems bonding at all. Just the opposite. I loved my kept babies from the minute they were born, and kept them with me at all times because I greatly feared losing them to SIDS or other illness. Somewhere in the back of my mind was the feeling that I did not deserve my other kids and they would be taken from me.I had natural childbirth, as much as allowed at the time with the kids I raised as I had such a horrible drugged forceps delivery when my first child was born. My husband was with me for the last two, and just outside the room and came right in and got me lunch when my first kept son was born

      .They were all breastfed for at least two years and slept in the same room as me , and were never left with anyone except my parents or aunt. I was way overprotective when they were babies and toddlers, but now they are all extremely independent guys so I guess it didn't hurt. Mike is the same despite his shitty upbringing, strong genes I guess!

      Delete
    2. Absolutely not. I hold tight to my child, knowing what i lost with his brother. No one will ever come between that.

      Delete
  4. I feel bad for Carly that she will get to read her entire story online, with all the commentary that that entails. I want to know what it was like for my first mother, but I don't think I want to know it all at once, and certainly not before we've built more of a relationship, and even then, only what she wants to tell me about her experience.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder if any adoptees have trouble bonding with their babies. I know how it affect me - permanent infertility until I was 47 then one sad miscarriage..... after I was in reunion and thought it was going well. I am curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had tremendous trouble bonding with my newborn babies. I had never had any desire to be pregnant. I had no support at all during pregnancy and birth....my a-mother did not get involved until the newborn stage was over. She had never handled a newborn. I suffered terrible post-partum depression with my first baby, such that it was a miracle I ever had a second baby.

      I did not enjoy babyhood. I was not one to cuddle. I never look at baby photos of my children and long for those days. At the time, all I wanted was for them to grow into children. That was when I started to enjoy them. I had a very hard time bonding with them as babies.

      Delete
    2. I had/have an amazing bond with all 3 of my children. I think at the time it was partly a) because they were the only people on the planet I KNEW I was biologically related to, and b) while not being completely aware of the trauma adoption caused me, I did know enough to make the conscious decision not to inflict any of those issues (abandonment, rejection etc) onto my children. I wanted, and needed to be the mum I didn't have.

      Delete
    3. I bonded extremly well with all my babies..they were my only bio connection that I knew of at the time and the fear of losing ANY of them is pervasive and scary. Something I never admiiteed....I had more then two because I was afraid I may lose one of them..Wonder where that came from? And oh...all I did was be born.

      Delete
  6. Maryanne: I envy you and how you bonded with your babies. I knew I never could enjoy a baby before my first child was born. I had no desire to nurse. No baby ever slept in my room, nor I in their's. I had a very hard time with the first 18 months. Once they morphed into little people, I enjoyed them
    Enormously.

    I have no desire for grandchildren. Both my girls say they want careers and, maybe, children way in the future. But it wouldn't bother me at all if they never had children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always loved babies. I babysat three kids while their parents worked when I was going to college nights. I still hear from their mom and met them all again at their dad's memorial service. I had lots of dolls as a kid and loved them. Ironic I ended up giving up my firstborn, but there were lots of complications. My self-esteem was utterly destroyed. I think it was only having another kid with the opportunity to do it right that saved my life, because after the surrender I did not care if I lived or died. Unlike some birth moms who could not bear to be around babies after the surrender, I was drawn to them.

      Sadly I have no grandkids yet but am still hopeful. My youngest and his wife say they want kids. I recently visited my brother and his family in AZ and got to meet my grreat-nephew, my older niece's son, which was a treat. He is the first in that generation in my family, my brother's grandson. He is 14 months old and so cute. I still love babies and kid stuff. I realize I am lucky.

      I do not have any grandkids yet, unlike most of my friends, but am eager and hopeful

      Delete
  7. Okay, call me old-fashioned... but after all this time as a couple, why haven't Tyler and Catelynn gotten married?!? Did I miss something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We criticized them enough about their babies, thought we'd leave the marriage question alone. I do wonder if the state allows putting Tyler's name on the birth certificate. I'd hazard a guess of yes.

      Delete
    2. In most states, I think if he's present when the BC info is filled out and gives his consent yest. In FL, I know in the past they wouldn't let an unmarried woman name a father if he wasn't present to confirm

      Delete
  8. I read this when it happened and wondered if you would write about it.

    It makes me so very sad for them. At the same time, I'm so very happy for them. It hits close to my heart, their situation, for several reasons. My heart hurts for their first child and wonders... like I do for my daughter. I wonder how it will feel someday. And I shudder at the potential for so much pain.

    At the same time, I do try very hard to understand Catelynn and Tyler's situation as I would have been them if I had gotten pregnant as a teen. There is no way my parents would have supported me, and I would have indeed believed I was making the best choice for my child. It's such a huge decision when you are young- you trust that you are being told the right thing by those in charge. I hope their daughter understands that someday, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'It's such a huge decision when you are young - you trust that you are being told the right thing by those in charge'.

      You got that absolutely right, TIffany.

      As always, I appreciate your sensitivity to the subtleties of such a complex situation.

      Delete
  9. Catelynn and Tyler have been used by the adoption industry. From the very beginning.

    No other message apart from the one supporting adoption is ever permitted to get through to them - spectral social worker Dawn is always there, gatekeeping the information flow; perpetually rearranging the conceptual furniture by mangling adoption phrases so that it sounds like a sane idea.

    Catelynn and Tyler grew up in chaotic insecure families with parents who had addiction issues.
    They were largely uneducated, wholly inexperienced in life, and had no financial support to rely on (unlike, say, Maci or Chelsea).
    They were perfect adoption industry fodder.

    They still are - to the point where they can stand on stage, perpetuating the whole adoption myth while the reality behind their words tears up their very insides.
    My social worker tried to get me to do the same - to persuade other pregnant girls to choose adoption - I have no idea why I didn't but it wasn't strength, it would've been some fluke.

    I dread to think how Catelynn and Tyler are going to feel when the penny fully drops.
    Many of us here know what that feels like.
    But to know you persuaded others to follow you and your child into this torment...

    '16 & Pregnant' and 'Teen Mom' are easy programmes to sniff at. But both show clearly that those young parents who do well tend to have supportive parents themselves, who have a enough time and resources to help out.
    Catelynn and Tyler didn't have that.

    I do understand their feeling of not wanting Carly to experience anything like what they had experienced as children - that thinking was also in the mix of my decision to have my son adopted.

    I certainly would never ever call, or consider, these two young people as trash - ugh, what a dehumanising thing to say about another human being.
    But they are so mistaken in perpetuating the dreadful, heartbreaking practice of adoption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not picking on Catelyn and Tyler, but consider all so called "reality shows" exploitive trash and the people who participate exhibitionists at best. These shows only exist because they are much cheaper than hiring union scale actors. They are not really unscripted, just let the cameras run. The producers have an agenda and manipulate the participants for the most shock and thrill value. They appeal to the lowest common denominator of voyeurism. They neither educate nor enlighten. Yes, they are trashy. I cannot imagine anyone of any intelligence no matter how young being influenced about their own real-life choices by any reality show.

      Delete
  10. Posted by Valerie:
    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/teen-mom-tyler-baltierra-bashes-critics-adoption-birth-nova-reign-201541


    ReplyDelete
  11. If you are interested in the above, do read the comments. They are all supportive and laudatory about their giving up Carly. I couldn't find any that didn't agree with how great it was they gave up Carly. I wonder if Catelynn and Carly will always feel: Great ! She was adopted! How lucky for both of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was also the case when Catelynn, Tyler and Carly's story aired originally. There were many articles about them and how wonderful it was that they chose adoption for Carly. Since the whole adoption lovefest was making me sick to my stomach and my head spin, I was overjoyed when I discovered FMF and found there were some sane people on this planet who didn't think adoption was all butterflies and roses.

      I don't like it, but I can understand why they gave Carly up. I will always be curious to know if they break through the fog someday and feel angry that they didn't have the support they needed to keep Carly, instead of continuously praising the option of adoption. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned.

      As an aside, I think people consider the concept of the shows trashy rather than the individuals who are showcased in them. It is really tragic, though, that what enabled Catelynn and Tyler to keep Nova is the fame and money they received from giving Carly up for adoption. I think this fact will be a hard pill for Carly to swallow.

      Delete
    2. '...They are all supportive and laudatory about their giving up Carly. I couldn't find any that didn't agree with how great it was they gave up Carly....'

      Lorraine, I just don't think that any message questioning the adoption industry party line (adoption = best, problem-free, freely-chosen, etc etc) is getting through. I think such messages are very quickly deleted. Remember, Catelynn and Tyler have unfortunately become a cash cow for the adoption industry. There's no way that awkward questions and painful realities are going to be allowed to spoil that.

      Delete
  12. I can't watch reality shows. I know of this couple only because I've seen them on magazine covers as I stand in the supermarket checkout line. I feel badly for the daughter who was relinquished because the whole thing happened so publicly, and in the future she will be able to read comments from perfect strangers about the beginning of her life. People will comment about her parents and the daughter they kept. Once on the Internet, these things are there forever, for all the world to see. Adoption is hard enough. Who would do such a thing on the world stage? It turns me off completely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. " Who would do such a thing on the world stage? It turns me off completely."

      I agree with you, JE. Another thing that occurred to me is, if Carly has a hard time with being adopted, if she feels damaged by it, she will have a hell of a time getting any support for her real feelings when the whole world keeps telling her how lucky she was to have been given up for adoption. That poor child. I feel for her.

      Delete
    2. Another thing about Carly...She will be judged on how she reacts to her biofamily and her adoptive family. She will not be allowed to be or feel what she wants. Total mind f#*k for an innocent person.

      Delete
  13. Has anybody here tried to post a comment at the Tyler and Catelynn site? Where everybody else is saying, How dare they criticize you? You did the right thing, etc?

    Posted by Valerie:
    http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/teen-mom-tyler-baltierra-bashes-critics-adoption-birth-nova-reign-201541

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried to comment. My comment never showed up. I guess it's another "happy adoptees only" comment thread.

      Delete
  14. Wouldn't it be cool if some day Catelynn and Tyler do a 180 and realize that we were right all along? They would be such powerful advocates for our side. It could still happen, you know. I never give up hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be cool. I wonder, however, if they will be afforded the same amount of media space as they are now, while they spout the rot about adoption being a good thing.
      My fingers are crossed anyway. Maybe they can do good, with all their public exposure, after all. I hope so. They will need to do something, once that penny drops.

      Delete
  15. Interesting story, although I am not a fan of this show. I have several friends who were adopted, and there was always some guilt inside them because they don't know who their biological parents are.

    ReplyDelete

We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish or not. Anonymous comments from the same individual are more likely to be NOT POSTED. Select the NAME/URL selection, add a name. You do not need a URL. Fine to use a nom de plume.

COMMENTS AT POSTS OVER 30 DAYS OLD LESS LIKELY TO BE PUBLISHED.

We aim to be timely but we do have other lives.

For those coming here from Networked Blogs on Facebook, if it does not allow you to make a comment, click the "x" on the gray "Networked Blogs" tool bar to exit out of that frame and it should then let you comment.

We are unlikely to post comments that consist of nothing more than a link and the admonition to go there.