Birth Mothers Amplified Episode 20: Question & Answer with Emma + Muthoni

In this episode of Birth Mothers Amplified, Emma and Muthoni take us through a question and answer session. Previously, they created an Instagram post asking viewers what types of questions they had that they’d like answered. They were very anxious to get started answering, but before that could happen, Emma took some time to make a couple of announcements. One of these announcements was that podcasts will now air every two weeks instead of weekly and will come back in May due to both hosts getting married and attending to other things in their lives. Some other changes include more panels in the episodes featuring non-birth mothers. Some of these people will present on resources for birth mothers while others who are looking to adopt will share their stories. There will even be people who do not know much about adoption to help everyone who watches the podcast to obtain a different perspective regarding the bigger picture that adoption is

Questions and Answers from Emma and Muthoni

To begin the questions and answers on Birth Mothers Amplified, Muthoni and Emma expressed some of their likes and dislikes to allow their listeners to get to know them better on a more personal level. These were the things they covered 

Q. What are Emma’s favorite music, drink, and hobbies?

Emma says she loves all types of music including “Mr. Brightside” (her favorite song), Chance the Rapper, and Coldplay. Beer is her favorite drink but she loves French 75 as well. When it came to answering what her favorite hobbies are, the only thing she could come up with was talking. This is what makes her such a great podcast host!

Q. What are Muthoni’s favorite music, drink, and hobbies?

When Muthoni answered this question, she answered beginning with her hobbies, which include dancing to Latin music and pop (honestly, she’ll dance to anything that has a beat). Her favorite drink is water, but Tequila is a close second. She loves watching Netflix as her hobby but loves some shows on HBO-Max such as His Dark Materials.

Q.  Can Emma and Muthoni tell the audience about their wedding plans?

 Muthoni wanted to get married during November of 2020. At first, she was going to get married in October 2020 but due to the pandemic she and her fiance were unable to do that. They went to Florida where they were married on the beach with some friends being there as witnesses. They stayed in an AirB&B and had a fantastic time but wanted to have a get-together where those who did not attend the wedding on the beach could join in which took place in March 2021. 

Emma currently has plans to get married in April but is not certain how things would pan out due to Covid-19. She did say that her fiance has been fantastic throughout the planning and all of the unknowns. 

Q. How has the placement of your baby for adoption affected your grief?

Emma– This was a hard one for Emma to answer. It took her a minute to come up with the answer. Emma started therapy from the beginning so she felt that she faced it more head-on. She was forced to deal with it. During that time, she would not talk about it but keep it to herself but now she is more open about it and how it has affected her all around. She lives knowing it was not a bad thing that she placed her baby and takes the grief as it comes, knowing that it is okay to have good and bad days.

Muthoni- It took Muthoni two years to come to terms with her grief. She bagan therapy after she placed her baby and she thinks that this greatly contributed to her healing process. At first, she did not believe that she had the right to feel any negative feelings at all because she had made this choice. She did her best to stay positive, and not feel any anger or sadness which she found out through therapy that this was not a good way to cope. Since beginning therapy, she has come to terms with the fact that she is okay to have negative days. She wants everyone, birth mothers alike to know that it is okay not to be okay.

Q. How do you as a birth mother cope with the negative aspects when it comes to your adoption?

Emma- Talking about the issues she is having helps Emma, especially when it comes to the overwhelming emotions she faces. She talks through her issues with people she is close to, not necessarily other birth moms.. She minimizes these feelings instead of facing them but has learned that it is okay to have these negative emotions and that it is vital that she feels them.  

Muthoni- For her, it helps to speak with those who have been where she has. There are a couple of birth moms that she can text or call whenever a thought comes up that she cannot deal with alone. Being able to have a support system for those like-minded women helps her when she needs it. 

Q. Dating after placement. How was it? When did you know that dating was okay? How long after dating did you explain your journey as a birth mother to the guy you were with?

Emmae recapped that she and the birth father of her daughter split up about six months after they had placed her daughter for adoption. She met her fiance a year after placing her baby. She mainly kept her experience to herself at first. A few weeks after she met her fiance she told him to prevent him from leaving, later on, should they have feelings for each other. She had dated a couple of other men but because there did not seem to be any chemistry between them, Emma did not tell them about her daughter or her adoption journey. Just like Muthoni’s fiance, Emma’s fiance handled it better than she thought he would. She reiterated to other birth moms who might be listening that only they will know when they are ready to date.

Muthoni placed her baby in 2016, and in December of that same year she went on Bumble. She became bored with it and deleted the app but in March 2017 she went back on and met her husband. She was upfront about her adoption journey on their first date. He did not react the way that she expected but took it well. She believed that she started dating before she was ready but if she had not, she would not have met her husband. Muthoni’s husband told her on their first date that he had a son before she explained to him about her daughter. By taking that action first, it made it easier for her to explain her adoption story.

Q. Are there any fears you have now regarding becoming a parent in the future? Do you want to become a parent? 

Emma is comforted knowing that many birth moms became pregnant after placing and everything has gone well. She is not looking at it with fear but finds herself becoming excited at the prospect, although there is a part of her that is apprehensive about connecting with her new baby. She wants to have a lot of children; a large family.

Muthoni is petrified of being a parent even though she and her husband have discussed the issue. It is difficult for her because none of the birth moms that she has spoken with have had the same experiences so she has no idea what to expect. She is afraid of becoming pregnant again and what kind of emotions and feelings might come up. She wants to have kids too but not during the pandemic if she can help it. 

Q. What do you think your relationships with your daughters will be when they are 24?

Emma would like to have a connection with her daughter and hopefully be invited to intimate gatherings such as her wedding. She hopes to meet her daughter’s future family when she gets older. 

Muthoni hopes that her daughter wants to be close as she gets older. Because hers was an open adoption, she is leaving the choice up to her daughter. She wants her daughter and any other kids she has to have a connection with her. 

Q. What would you like adoptees to know when it comes to their adoption and those involved in it?

Emma learned that adoptees are looking for information on some level. She once met with an adult adoptee who found out she was a birth mom and they sat and talked. Emma answered many questions for him. When he found his birth parents and let Emma know that he had, she came to the realization, not as an adoptee but as a birth mother, that just like anyone else, people want to know that they are wanted and loved. 

Muthoni has gotten to meet adult adoptees and wants them to know that they matter; that their voice matters. That how they feel and how they choose to deal with the information surrounding their adoptions is important. 

Emma ended the podcast by reminding viewers that sending in questions on subjects they want to cover would be extremely helpful. 

This was an interesting podcast to listen to. There were things that I did not know about either host before the question and answers came in and I liked that the listeners not only wanted to know about both Emma and Muthoni as birth mothers but as human beings as well. I think that simple subjects such as favorite drinks and hobbies helped their audience get to know them on a personal level. I think that these easier questions made it less daunting for them to talk about the harder ones.

It was so fun to hear about their different wedding plans. It was awesome that Muthoni planned a big party for everyone who was not able to be at their beach wedding in Florida, for March. I thought it great that they took into account other people’s feelings about being invited to a wedding. Emma, on the other hand, had plans to get married in April 2021 at the time of this taping. This means that she is married right now, and probably as happy as a family and her husband are.

I loved how Emma seemed to answer her questions on the fly. She came up with the answers as the questions were asked. Muthoni seemed more ready to answer the questions as they were asked. I felt like I got to know them each a little better. Their reason for placing their babies for adoption and their dating experience after placing their babies. I liked how raw they were and when it came to making the decisions to tell their fiances about their adoption journeys and how understanding the men were. It warmed my heart to know that there are men out there who don’t seem phased about being with a woman who was a birth mom before they met. 

My favorite part of this episode was the last question regarding what they wanted to tell adoptees about adoption. The fact that Emma was able to speak to an adoptee who was in his 60s and discuss what it was like being a birthmother, to find out not many months later that he had found his birth mother was touching. I like the fact that he let her know that when, in reality, he did not have up. I also like that Muthoni wants adoptees to know that they deserve to be heard; that they deserve to have a voice; that they matter to their birth mothers and fathers and that they were wanted regardless of what they grew up thinking.

This was a great way to end this week’s episode. Any adoptee who listens to the podcast will be aware that these birth mothers care very much about how they feel.