The Stacy Chronicles

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Adoption From a Different Perspective, A Birthmom’s Love

Birth mom, Natural Mother, First Mother, Tummy Mommy, these are all names given to a mom who chooses life for her child.  Sometimes overlooked in the adoption process, but not rightfully so.  These women who are pregnant because of a number of circumstances, some beyond their control, have chosen to give their children a life they cannot provide for them at their time of birth.  These women sacrifice.  These women love their child unconditionally.  These women loose a part of their heart.  These women are heroes.

I understand that every situation is different and a lot of mom’s don’t decide to give their babies, they are taken from them or they desert them.  I am talking about a women who has chosen to give her baby up for adoption because she cannot, whether financially, emotionally, or physically, care for the child.

I have asked a tummy mommy to give her story, and happily she agreed.  I’m so grateful for this because as a future adoptive family I think it is needed for us to know a little about what the birth mother goes through.  This gives us more insight to adoption and helps us to see other sides of the life we have chosen.

     I love sharing my/our story.  I found out I was pregnant 3 days before my 20th birthday.  By then I was already 12 weeks along. I made an appointment at planned parent hood to get an abortion.  I had to drive 2 and a half hours to go to my consultation and it was then that they told me I would need 1,500 dollars if I wanted an abortion.  Apparently, after 9 weeks, you can no longer take the pill, and an in-clinic abortion is required.  I drove back home, and started pawning everything I could.  The day came for my appointment, and I just couldn’t make myself get out of bed.  To be honest, I was more embarrassed than anything. I felt like I let my family and myself down. I grew up with a single mom, and it was not easy.  I never saw her because she had to work all of the time, and I didn’t have a dad like all of my friends.  However, I decided that if she could do it then so could I.

 But, around 20 weeks I woke up covered in blood in the middle of the night.  I rushed myself to the hospital, and it turns out I just had a really bad UTI.  Thankfully nothing was wrong. I had to miss work that day unfortunately, and because I was absent they told me I was fired.  This is when I started thinking about adoption.

 I made a list of everything I needed in order to be successful. A degree and money were at the top; neither of which I had.  In the days that followed I met with an adoption agency, and told her everything I wanted in a family.  She wrote down all of the requirements that I insisted on my son’s parents having.  I basically made a profile of a family that I hoped to be like one day.  Within two weeks she sent me a profile of a couple who were on board with an open adoption.  I agreed to meet them.  We first met when I was around 22 or 23 weeks.  That night at dinner I brought a list of questions.  They answered all of them no matter how personal or difficult they were.  His mom, could also not have her own children, and that made me very sad. Needless to say, we all hit it off great, and I just knew, deep down, that they were the ones.  Before we even left I went up to them and told them I wanted them to be my son’s parents.  She just hugged me and started crying.

 From then on out, she traveled 4 hours every month to come to my Dr.’s appointments, and eventually it was once a week.  I will never forget her face the first time she heard his heart beat.  It was beautiful. And I had no doubts that she would be the best mom in the world.  We talked almost everyday, and she would send me care packages whenever she felt like it.  And we grew really close.  As it got closer and closer to the big day, we had to make a hospital plan, and a communication agreement.  My hospital plan basically stated that his mom would be in the room with me the entire time.  I wanted her to have that experience of being the first to see and hold her son.  She also got to cut his umbilical chord.  

Our communication agreement stated that we would see him 3 times before they move in April.  and we would get pictures every six months until he is 2 years old.  Then, once a year on his birthday.  Together we decided that an open adoption would be the best.  I want him to know who we are, and where he came from.  I did however, make it very clear, that if he were to ever become too overwhelmed or decide that he did not want to know me; that I would disappear no questions asked.  I just wanted/want what was best for him, even if it was going to be harder on me.

 Finally, the big day rolled around.  We were 3 weeks early, and I thought I just peed the bed one night.  My boyfriend, mom and myself rushed to the hospital, and I called his mom and dad.  They got there in about an hour and a half, when the drive usually takes 2 and half.  She was already crying from excitement, and I was happy to see them.  I was definitely really scared, because I did not know what to expect.  I was in active labor for 2 hours, when he decided to grace us with his presence.  His mom, and my mom held my legs and hands the whole time and encouraged me every second.  I was watching his mom’s face the whole time, and tears were just streaming down them.  I knew she had been waiting for him for so long.  

When he finally came out, the nurse handed him to me.  There was no crying or screaming on his end.  He was perfectly happy.  He has my eyes, and he just stared at me.  He seemed to be telling me ” Everything is going to be okay.”  At this point, I am already crying. I couldn’t believe I made something this beautiful.  He wasn’t even out of my arms, and I already missed him.

 In my state, the birth mom has 3 days to make her decision.  The first 2, I was in the hospital.   Between myself and his parents we would switch off on holding him.  The first night I didn’t even sleep, I just looked at him.   He never cried once.  The time came for us to go our separate ways.  They brought in his car seat, and I asked if it would be okay if I had a few moments alone with him to say goodbye.   I could tell in his mom’s eyes she was scared I was going to change my mind.  And to be honest, I almost did.   I held him one more time.  And told him how much I loved him, and that wherever he was, I would always be there; and that I was sorry I couldn’t be a better mom.  We all met outside, and they drove home as a family.  I drove home empty handed and with a broken heart.  The next day, we signed the adoption papers and everything was final.  

To make a long story short, my son will be 8 months old in 3 days. I have seen him every month since he was born, and have received pictures on every visit.  His mom and dad have gone above and beyond our communication agreement, and they will never know how grateful I am.  I love being able to see him grow.   Every visit, I give him a book and some letters I had (and still do) started writing him letters they day I decided on adoption.   I told him all of my reasons, and how I would pick the perfect parents, and I mostly told him how much I loved him.   I also gave him my great-great grandfathers pocket watch.   I had “And she loved a little boy very very much, even more than she loved herself” engraved on the back of it.   I also wrote his mom and dad a thank you note, and I made them promise to always tell him how much I love him.   My biggest fear is that he will hate me because he will think I never wanted him.   Sorry I let myself go on a rant.   But we are all very close, and they are the best parents anyone could ask for.   I am happy I found them.   I hope this helps some, and I wish you the best of luck =) 


Floating Shelves

I haven’t posted in a little while.  I have been working on the nursery, but there are just a few more things left for it to be 100% complete.  I’m almost finished with the picture gallery to the right of these shelves, but I’m missing an embroidery hoop.  Since I live 30 minutes from a Hobby Lobby, I have yet to venture that way for one embroidery hoop!  Here are some new pics of the nursery.

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First my little crocheted basket pods.  I love them.  They hang above the dresser/changing table.  They hold pacifiers, clippers, baby brush, q-tips, cotton balls, toys, and chalk (for the chalk board table).  I think they will be a super handy storage option for this room.  Here is the link to the pattern.  The raccoon pattern is from Jelly Bums.

I purchased my floating shelves at Lowes.  I think they are Allen + Roth.

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You can read all about Mr. Fox here.

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The unicorns and egg were mine when I was a little girl.  The sign behind the birdhouse was in my nursery too.  It says Train Up a Child in the Way He Should Go. Proverbs 22:6 

The birhouse was a trade.  I was selling my wares back in December, and the lady beside me made handmade birdhouses.  She was interested in my hats, so we made a trade! 🙂  Gotta love it.

Nursery Shelf 011This little guy was Jeff’s when he was a baby.  He’s seen 28 years of wear and tear…well, I don’t think he’s played with him for the last 15 or so. 🙂  Those books under him were mine as a kid.

Nursery Shelf 012 Nursery Shelf 013The music box, strawberry and poodle are all from yard sales.  I usually only pay .25 to $1 for the vintage toys I pick up.

Nursery Shelf 016Miss Raggedy Ann came from a thrift store…she is 100% homemade.  All I had to do is wash her and replace her elastic.

Nursery Shelf 015 Nursery Shelf 007 Nursery Shelf 017There are lots of pillows and poofs so the baby/ies can have plenty of places to read.

**update**  Nothing at all has changed as far as our status with DHR.  Our last homestudy was on the 19th of December.  No calls or contact has been made on the part of the state.  We feel when they need us and the time is right, then we will know.  Please pray for patience and understanding on our part.  We appreciate all the support, kind words, and prayers from you all!


Have We Lost Our Minds?

Well, maybe just a little.  Or maybe it’s a quarter life crisis.  I don’t know.  We bought an older motorcycle.  Just for fun.  I finally got all my gear in today.  If your gonna be stupid, you better be smart while doing it.  Just Kidding.

I thought I’d be scared.  I though my heart would be pumping like crazy.  I was wrong.  Apparently I’m an adrenaline junkie and riding a motorcycle isn’t quite enough to scare me.  Don’t get me wrong it is super fun, but some reason I was quite calm and collected.  I’m pretty glad for that because I want riding to be calming and serene, not stressful.

I don’t drive.  I don’t have my license.  Yet…

I think I could actually take a nap back there.  Jeff says it’s because I trust him.  I agree.

Jeff has always wanted a bike.  We finally found a great deal and bought one.  She needs some cosmetic work, but Jeff’s already done a lot of tuning up and stuff to her (I’m not down with the ‘boy/car/motorcycle lingo’) .  I’m not sure she has a name yet.

Scariest part:  going around curves!

Best part:  closing your eyes and feeling like your flying, oh and they part where you get to snuggle behind your man.

Worse part:  it’s very cold to ride right now.

Other pluses:  it will save us a lot on gas (60mpg), I get to wear a really awesome leather jacket (don’t worry it has protection built in),  it’s really fun, it’s something we can both do and spend time together, road trips will be even more awesome, we have some amazing views around here!

new year-motorcycle 017 new year-motorcycle 015 new year-motorcycle 004 Motorcycle 013 Motorcycle 005 Motorcycle 003 Motorcycle 002

Please ignore the chipmunk cheeks and the blurry pictures.


Foster/Adopt Timeline

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We have always leaned on one another for support, but now more than ever.  Here is a quick rundown of our story and where we are at right now in our lives.  Jeff and I have been married for 8 years, 1 month, and 11 days.  We are more in love today than we have ever been.  Though our family has faced many trials and pain we are glued together.  We have found that if you put God first in your marriage and your lives, you can overcome anything.

I’ve know of a lot of couples calling it quits after facing infertility.  They say that hardships can tear your marriage apart or make you stronger.  We’ve decided that we will let it make us stronger.

We started trying to conceive 5 years ago this coming April.  We have lost one child (I was about 8 weeks along. I might share this story one day with you).  We tried for a biological child for one year before I decided to go see my OB/GYN.  I had been charting my cycle for 6 months and he said it appeared I had been ovulating.  We were sent to Montgomery to a fertility specialist named Dr. Allemand.  He works with the ART program.  Jeff and I both underwent numerous tests and procedures, some very painful and expensive.  If you are in the same boat and are curious about our specific struggles please feel free to email me.  I’d love to help or just be there to listen.

We have done 3 IUI’s.  All three were medicated.  The last one I had injected a large amount of hormones into me.  I had grown around 10 – 15 fully matured eggs.  My ovaries were so fully I couldn’t get out of bed.  I was in so much pain, but I knew “this is gonna be it.”  “It’s going to work this time.”  Well, it didn’t.  I’m pretty sure there is a link between fertility drugs and getting cancer later in life.  Whatever the case, I know extended use with drugs of any kind have risks.  I didn’t feel like it was healthy anymore and neither did Jeff.  We were tired of putting our bodies and minds through so much.  Our hearts were aching.  The pain every single month of knowing you did every thing you could to conceive and you still fell short.  It was hurting us.

March 2012.  I met a friend at a lectureship in Memphis that had saw my facebook status.  “Moving on to adoption, please post any happy stories or experiences with us.” ((something to that effect))  She informs me of a program in China that she heard about that helps Christian families adopt for half the cost of a normal Chinese adoption.  When we get home they email us the contact information of the director.

April 2012.  Lots of emails and phone calls.  We set up a meeting for June 17th.  We can’t wait.

May 2012.  I’ve been in contact with a foster mom in China who has a little girl that needs to be adopted.  We tell Ron (the man helping us adopt from China) about her.  He says it might work, but will be hard since she is in a government ran orphanage not a Christian one.  Also, we complete our third IUI with no success.

June 2012.  The government orphanage wants “bribe” money for Eliana.  It’s going to be too expensive and we have no guarantee that they will let us adopt after they receive the money.  We meet with Ron and his wife and decide we won’t be able to pursue adoption of Eliana.  They say we are number 3 on the list to be able to adopt out of one of their 6 orphanages, but we will have to be willing to accept a special needs child.  Also, It is going to be very difficult to adopt from China because we are under 30.  The law says you have to be 30.  We are 26 and almost 28.

July 2012.  We decide it will be best to go ahead and have a homestudy, and for future adoptions we decide we will adopt through the state.  We started our 10 week program with our county.  The classes are every Monday night for 3 hours.

August 2012.  Grateful for the classes, they pass the time.  We are really getting to know one another well and figure out how we developed a lot of traits because of our upbringing.  During our 5th class we ask the social worker about adopting a baby or younger child.  She informs us it is practically unheard of.  The youngest child in the system available for adoption is 8.  She tells us our best chance is to foster first then we will have the first option to adopt after the family.  Of course we say no, we aren’t ready for that.  By the next class we knew we were going to be foster parents. *note

September 2012.  We are finger printed.  We have completed our First Aid and CPR classes.  We have all of our paperwork turned in and finish the classes September 10th.  First homestudy was scheduled for the beginning of September.  Our case worker called the day of to tell us she couldn’t come.  We tried to reschedule for the following week.  It never worked out.  She acted like it wasn’t a rush.  Since we had some remodeling work to do on our house she said we could wait until we get that finished.

October 2012.  Working on the house.

November 2012.  Working on the house.  Enjoying the holidays.

December 2012.  We are ready!  Things aren’t perfect, but at least we have the paint and chemicals locked up.  We were told through a friend we would have to have references.  I asked the social worker and she was like, oh yeah, hmmm….maybe they didn’t get them.  So she sends me the forms and informs me that to foster we have to have so many filled out before we are approve….well, thanks for telling us!  We get them sent out and our first homestudy is scheduled for the 11th.  She takes 5 minutes to run through the house.  Looks like we just need to put up our fire alarm and take down our gas heater.  You can read that post here.  The final homestudy was on the 19th and again took 5 minutes.  (I’ve heard there are tons more steps and time involved if you adopt through a private agency)  During the last homestudy we found out that if we wanted to foster a baby we would need a crib.  Here is the post about that.  We enjoyed Christmas, but were really wishing we had babies in our arms to enjoy it with us.

January 2013.  It’s a new year!  Ron informs us that we are #1 on the list to adopt from China.  Yippee!  He says they haven’t had babies in months, but they are doing everything they can to find us one.  I have emailed our social worker a few times.  She says she’s busy.  I wait a few weeks, email a couple more times, no response.

February 2013.  The month of love is here and we still have no babies to love on.  I decide to call the supervisor (the one who has to sign off on our paperwork).  She informs me that there is nothing left for us to do.  It’s in their hands.  They are swamped.  She can’t tell me if it will be weeks or months.  Nothing.  Still waiting

*note: Our goal is to ADOPT.  We totally understand that there is a huge chance we won’t get to adopt all or most of the kids we foster.  Fostercare is set up as a “temporary” home for the kids until they can go back home to their parents.  Jeff and I want the children to be reunited with their parents if their parents will love and take care of them.  The ideal situation would be for a child to be with their birth parents.  Sometimes it’s not possible.  We don’t want to sabotage any chance for the children to go home.  We do know there are children whose parents cannot or will not change and get their lives in order so they can get their kids back.  We want to adopt these kids.

While we will have some children we are blessed to be able to foster and only foster, we know that the short time we have them will be a blessing for them and us.  We can show them unconditional love, we can teach them about our Father in heaven, we can introduce them to new friends at church, we will meet all their physical and emotional needs, we will give them back to their birth parents.  That is the best we can do.  We know it will hurt.  We know deep down we will want to keep every. single. child.  We know we can’t.  We are okay with that.

We want to impact as many children as we can.  Hopefully one day, one or two or three of them will get to live with us. forever.

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Chalkboard Painted Kid’s Table and Chairs

nursery and dogs 006I scored this table and chairs at a yard sale a few years back for $5.  The lady was in her late 40’s and said it was hers when she was a kid.  I always new I wanted to do something funky and fun–shouldn’t kids furniture be fun?

DSC_0008This is what I did with the rocking chair from the same yard sale.  I didn’t want to go quite so crazy with the table and chairs, since this chair is also in the room.

I also wanted to try my hand at making chalk board paint.  I just mixed some powdered tile grout in with my white paint and a little water, then brushed it on the whole table.  I did kinda prime my table and chairs first with a satin white spray paint.  Also, I read that after your chalkboard paint  is completely dry you need to ‘cure it’ by rubbing chalk all over it and letting it sit for 24 hours.  I’m not sure if there is any truth to it, but our table seemed to like it…

Child's table and chairs 004At first I had the chairs painted white too.

jeff 020I thought they needed something else and boy am I glad I repainted them.  I used Valspar Outdoor Spray Paint…I believe it was called Peacock Blue.  I have no other reason to use the outdoor paint then the fact that I loved the color.  It can be used on wood and is durable…sounds just like what is needed in a toddler’s room!

Child's table and chairs 007Here is the quote I decided to write on the table.  It was very difficult for me to express what I wanted to say to our first child.  Do you say “Welcome Home”, “We’ve been waiting our whole lives for you”, “I hope you get to stay…forever”,  “I wish you knew how much we love you already”?  It’s so difficult.  So I got some inspiration from a favorite book: Child's table and chairs 009

As soon as I read it I knew it was just what I was wanting to say!

We love you ‘future babies’.

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Jeff Mangum Concert


Wow!  This was one of the best nights of our lives.  To hear Jeff Mangum live!!!!  For those of you who haven’t heard of him, he used to be in the band Neutral Milk Hotel back in the 90’s.  This set was just him on a chair playing all his best songs with only an acoustic.  His first song was O’ Comely.  My all time favorite.  I couldn’t believe he started with it.  Amazing isn’t strong enough of a word to cover it.  My Jeff introduced me to Neutral Milk back in the early 2000’s when we were dating.  From the beginning I got chills up my spine.

I’m not a music critic.  I wasn’t gifted with a way with words.  I’m not an eloquent writer by any means.  I cannot do him justice.

I have no pictures of the man, per his request.  You can see him performing live during an Occupy Wall Street protest if you are curious.

I just wanted to share some photos of the night.  Mostly so we can have a record for us that THIS REALLY HAPPENED!  Jeff and I agreed that this night will forever be in our mind and hearts, so it’s okay if we don’t have video or pictures of our most favorite musician in the world.  We will survive.

headbands jeff mangum 015Headed to Augusta, Georgia on a Monday night, sandwich in tow.

headbands jeff mangum 019 headbands jeff mangum 017The concert was held at Sacred Heart Cathedral

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headbands jeff mangum 020 headbands jeff mangum 023Sorry about the quality of the pics they were taken with a phone.

2013-01-28 18.34.34-2 2013-01-28 18.34.59-2 2013-01-28 18.35.37-2 2013-01-28 18.36.21-2 2013-01-28 18.36.38-2Inside the cathedral.  It was beautiful.

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Robert Schneider, friend and producer of Jeff Mangum.

2013-01-28 21.54.17The crowd leaving after the concert.  It was packed and we were at the very front!

“Engine” by Jeff Mangum.  For my ‘future babies’.