Monday, July 20, 2009

Why in the world is a blog about a birthmother's journey called "Amstel Life?" I vaguely explained my reasoning in my first blog post, but I'm not sure anyone really understood or read that far down. Plus, for my new followers, it might seem a bit confusing or even slightly immature that a blog about open adoption contains the name of a popular alcoholic beverage. However, I do have a good reason for naming my blog "Amstel Life." The title, "Amstel Life" is actually significant because it represents a major turning point in my life. The first year after I placed Deanna with her new family, I was emotionally distraught and severely depressed. A little more than a month after Deanna was born, I was forced to transition from a way-too-mature-for-my-age 18-year-old into a college student in a new state, hundreds of miles away from my family and friends and everything that I knew. Unbeknownst to my new friends and acquaintances at school, I was suffering from severe postpartum depression, and I had even gone so far as to stop eating. I started seeing my counselor halfway through my freshman year at Meredith College, and things started getting a little better. I finally started to enjoy some aspects of my life as a college student, and I began making friends at school. Granted, I was still hurting, but things were getting better. Finally, during my second semester at Meredith College, I was actually having fun. It was a strange feeling; I almost felt guilty for going out and having such great times with my friends. One memorable night when I was out at a college gathering with my friends, I managed to convince people that my name was "Amstel." I don't know what provoked me to make such a bold claim, but it was amusing to my friends, and it made me laugh. Yes, something actually made me smile. Eventually, my tale got so out-of-control that I had everyone believing that my name was Amstel because I was the product of my parent's wild honeymoon in Holland. Even some of my friends believed me. Of course, I eventually broke down and told the truth, but not before everyone got a few good laughs out of it. My friends started calling me Amstel after that night--not because I liked the beer (actually I had never even tried Amstel until this year)--but because it was the first time that I actually remember letting loose after the entire adoption ordeal. I was finally able to put aside my maturity and everything that I had been through and just enjoy being a normal 18-year-old. So what exactly is "Amstel Life?" It's my turning point. It's me, Amstel, and this is my crazy life. It's not pretty, and it's not perfect (although sometimes I try to pretend that it is). But it's my journey of healing and helping others to understand what open adoption has the potential to be--a viable option for those experiencing unplanned pregnancy. Amstel life is not my way of promoting alcohol (although I have grown to enjoy the taste of an ice-cold Amstel Light every now and then), but rather, it represents the point in my life that I honestly knew that I was going to be okay. And that's Amstel Life.


Pam said...

I wondered why you named your blog that! Thank you for sharing, and how wonderful your life had a turning point that set you free to be young Amy. No, life isn't perfect, but God is. And with Him it will all work to the good! Romans 8:28 I think you are extremely courageous!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I love it!! You are so honest and real...which is why I think I just keep coming back. :) I'm 19 and totally addicted to mom-blogs so I'm SOOO happy I found yours!! Way to make a difference and encourage so many others! And thanks also for posting this "post"...it was perfect timing as I just starting reading!

Omaha, NE

Natalie said...

Amstel, I love that you've embraced the nickname so publicly. Maybe now the guy at Finnegan's Wake will listen to me long enough to let you have the glass..."This is my friend Amstel!"

On another note, I didn't know how much you were suffering freshman year. I just thought you were that thin because you exercised so much, but now that I think of it...it would be inhuman to eat as many cookout milkshakes as you did after our "filing sessions" at the office and stay that skinny. Hope to see you soon!

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