Friday, May 8, 2009

My 15 Minutes

Recently I was interviewed by an Associated Press reporter from New York for an article about Birthmother’s Day. Apparently she had been given my name and contact information from several others in the adoption community as a good resource for her article.  Originally I thought he article was just going to contain a quote or two from me about Birthmother’s Day but during our interview she began asking questions about my personal adoption situation. Although the main focus of the article is still Birthmother’s Day and does include two other birthmothers. They also decided that they’d like a photograph of me, Charlie, and Angee (Charlie’s adoptive Mom) to run with the article so they sent an Associated Press photographer here for a mini “photo shoot.” He got some great shots and I got some really good ones afterwards.  The article “hit news stands” last week and it’s in a lot of different newspapers and publications all over the United States including some big ones like The LA Times, The Boston Globe, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. I’ve actually lost track of how many different publications it has been in at this point and I know it will still be running through the weekend. It’s been overwhelming!  One funny thing – they misspelled Lani’s (my BFF and co-founder of BirthMom Buds) last name. They spelled it Dowling when it’s actually Downing so that part has been funny as I keep referring to Lani Dowling as her new alias. 

I’ve done interviews in the past and have been misquoted so I was kind of nervous about this one, especially since it was going to be all over the US. But I’ve been pleased with this article for the most part! 

Here’s the portion of the article about me, Lani, and BirthMom Buds…. The journey of "coming out" as a birthmother is a painful one, she said, but the Internet has done wonders to ease the way for both adoptees and bbirthmothers looking to access documents or just meet others for support. Nicole "Coley" Strickland of Boiling Springs, S.C., found fellow birthmother Lani Dowling in Atlanta, Ga., that way after blindly searching for support soon after giving birth to a boy in 2001 and placing him with a couple she met at the restaurant where she was a waitress. Two years later, Strickland and Dowling founded, which has 900 registered users around the country. The two send out care packages to new birthmothers, pair up buddies living close to each other and host regular chats for birthmoms online. They also coordinate Birth Mother's Day events every year. While details for this year's events are still firming up, gatherings are planned in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Nashville and areas of Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Ohio, among other states. For birthmoms who don't live near one of the gatherings or don't feel comfortable in a group setting, Strickland, 32, suggests they make Mother's Day a little easier by writing something about _ or for _ their relinquished children, lighting a candle, planting a tree or donating a book to a library in their honor. "It really does give us a time to bond with other birthmoms," said Strickland, who has regular visits with her now 7-year-old as part of an open adoption. "We feel a lot of the same things at the same time. We need to be there for each other." And last but not least, here's a few of the photos I took after the AP photo shoot.....

Noah and Charlie
Me, Noah, and Charlie
Charlie, Noah, and Natalie (Charlie's sister via adoption)
Group Shot - Charlie, Noah, Natalie, Jason, and Me (I took this one with my camera on the tripod using the timer and the kids thought me running to jump in the picture was hilarious!)


  1. I know I told you before, but I absolutely LOVE the picture of Charlie reading to Noah and then the one of you reading with both of them. It gives me goosebumps. haha

  2. Thanks Dez! I love the pic of them reading as well. It's my new fave pic of them together!!

  3. Very cool Nicole... I had a similar thought when I was interviews for visually disabled judo, for the local paper... Thinking, a photo, and a paragraph on the back page of the sports section... Nooooooo... They ran it FRONT PAGE, and the article was about 3/4 page news print! WOW!

    It's nice to see people like your self open with the information to share with others, I'm sure the article will touch thousands of peoples lives! Props to the photog, he did a good job! :-)