Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's About Love

One of my very best friends suggested I make a blog post about this and I have been wanting to do it really bad ever since. I just haven’t quite known how to word all of it. But here we go!! Adoption. That is today’s topic. It’s a topic that is very close to my heart and I absolutely LOVE all things adoption!

I was raised LDS my whole life but always went kind of back and forth with it. I was either a total "Molly Mormon" or I was rebelling against everything I had ever been taught. Luckily, when I was younger, my mom kept me in check under fairly strict rules. UN-luckily, those rules fell off pretty much the second I graduated. I had been bursting at the seams to rebel, so that’s exactly what I did.
I started dating a guy around the beginning of 2012. We dated for about 4 months and it’d be accurate to say we were FAR from careful. We weren’t trying to get pregnant but I guess that’s what happens when you aren’t taking any precautions. What kills me most about this is, I very specifically remember driving in the car one day talking, and I said the words: “I don’t think it would be a big deal if I got pregnant.” I can’t help but shake my head as I watch my fingers type those words. I cannot believe words that stupid, ever left my mouth. But I really did believe those words when I said them. It makes me want to just slap that Shirley. And I say “that Shirley” because, looking back, it’s literally a completely different person. Same body, different person.
Me and “this guy” had never fought before. We always had fun together and we had so much in common! For some reason, something kicked in. I literally couldn’t stand him. It came out of nowhere and I had no clue why! I knew at the time, I know now, and I will always admit “this guy” never did a thing wrong (at this point). Nothing. He acted exactly as he always had. Exactly as the guy I had liked so much the previous 4 months. So I had no idea what was going on.
We got in a massive fight one night because I was just treating him like complete and total crap. He literally didn’t do a thing wrong but I couldn’t stand his pure existence. We broke up that night and I couldn’t have been more relieved. I just HAD to get as far away from him as I possibly could.
The next day was a Saturday. Saturday June 30th 2012. Thinking about how I acted the night before had me suspicious. I didn’t really know what was going on. I called one of my friends that morning and had her bring me a pregnancy test. Positive. I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t upset or scared or excited or happy or anything really. I don’t think it seemed real at that point.
My mom and I had been planning on going to Burger’s Lake and having a mom daughter day. Something we did frequently. My mom and I have always been closer than close. Best friends for sure. I had always told her everything. But I didn’t tell her what had just happened. I needed time for it to sink in myself before I could tell anyone. We had a great mom-daughter day but I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that there was something growing inside of me.
I called “this guy” and told him the news. He didn’t really have a response but it definitely helped things for both of us because we now had an understanding of why I had been acting like such a witch. After me and my mom got home from the lake, “this guy” picked me up and we went to the store and got a box of 3 pregnancy tests. They all came out positive. After that we went to a pool party and did the same crap we had always done. Hanging around a bunch of dumb, drunk kids. Why? I don’t know, because we were stupid and immature and had no idea what was going on.
It wasn’t until that night that I really had some time to myself to think. That’s when it really hit me. I was pregnant. There wasn’t something growing inside of me. There was someone growing inside of me. A person. This is when all of the things I was taught in church all my life started coming to mind. I didn’t know why. The past 2 years I had questioned if there was even a God at all. Why was I all of a sudden telling myself that this little person inside of me was a child of God? I had no clue why I felt that way but without a doubt in my mind I knew it was true. This wasn’t a joke. Yesterday I was just a dumb 20 year old fighting with my boyfriend. Today I was a 20 year old that was now responsible for a child of God. And that scared me.
I was in no way shape or form anywhere close to being ready to raise one of my Heavenly Father’s children. Abortion was never an option so that left parenting and adoption. (I’m going to steal some words I heard from an adoption video) “This wasn’t a choice between right and wrong. It was a choice between good, better and best.” And that’s how I felt. I knew if the sperm donor (previously known as “this guy”) and I parented, the baby would probably be just fine. It would be very difficult to raise a baby with the morals, principles and beliefs I had, but people did it all the time. However, adoption would give the baby the chance to be in a family with a mother and a father who were financially, emotionally and spiritually prepared to have and love a child of God. From that moment on, adoption was the answer.
I knew I needed to go to church and talk to my bishop so, the next morning, Sunday July 1st 2012, I had a wonderful friend come and pick me up for church. We didn’t go to our home ward though. We went to the singles ward, which I had never been to before. Hearing the testimonies of kids my age really helped me feel the spirit. I don’t remember any of the testimonies I heard that day except one. And not even one. One tiny part of one testimony. The person said “….Heavenly Father could literally turn a light on and off….” (sounds weird out of context but it made sense with what they were saying) and I just remember catching myself nodding and thinking “yeah, that’s true.” I was so taken aback. I think I probably jumped a little when I realized what my brain was thinking. My body instinctively believed these words. From then on, I knew this was where I belonged. I knew it was where I had always belonged.
After church, we went to the bishop’s house for “break the fast” which is just a big potluck the singles ward has every fast Sunday. It was a lot of fun. I met lots of new people and had fun just chit chatting. After I was all done eating and chit chatting, I went and found the bishop and asked if I could talk to him.
We went up into his office and I began to talk. This was our first meeting so we didn’t know each other at all. I started with the background of my life and ended with telling him I was pregnant. For some reason when those words left my lips, tears just flowed and flowed. I hadn’t been emotional about it until that point so I was kind of surprised that I was getting emotional about it then.
He told me there was a girl who sat in that exact same chair about 5 years ago and told him that exact same story. We’ll call her my angel woman. He seemed anxious to get me and my angel woman in contact. He gave me her number and we texted and arranged to go to lunch. I actually met her I believe the next Sunday. We had texted but hadn’t met face to face so neither of us knew what the other looked like. Bishop saw us in the hall at church and introduced us. She immediately linked her arm in mine and started dragging me down the hall. I felt so accepted, un-judged and LOVED by this girl that I barely even knew. We instantly had a lot in common and I could tell that she was going to be someone who meant a lot to me. And I couldn’t have been more correct.
The next day (or so) me and my angel woman met for lunch at Wing Stop. YUM! She shared with me her adoption story. All about her sweet baby boy, his amazing family, her butt head sperm donor, how she came to make the decision she made about placing and how she overcame the emotions that come with that kind of loss. At this point I had already been set on adoption since the Saturday night 2 weeks before, but her story was so wonderful to hear and such a beautiful testimony of adoption.
Until hearing her story, I didn’t know much about open adoption. I thought it was weird and defeated the whole purpose in adoption. Her story made me realize the “point” of adoption doesn’t have to be to give your child new parents and get out of the picture. Sometimes it means giving your child new parents and becoming (in a way) a piece of their new family. From then on I wanted an adoption just like my angel woman’s. She also told me about the church’s website for adoption and told me I could go on there and look at hopeful adoptive parents’ profiles.
For some reason I felt very strongly that I shouldn’t look at profiles. It bugged me because I felt that Heavenly Father had told me adoption was the answer and I didn’t see how else I was supposed to find parents. But, I followed the promptings and didn’t look at a single profile.
I honestly don’t even remember the first time I told the sperm donor about adoption. I knew him and his parents would be against it so I kind of laid it on him as lightly as I could. First, I just presented him with the 3 options: abortion, adoption and parenting. I told him abortion was out of the question so that left adoption and parenting. I told him I was just looking into all the options but would probably parent (even though I knew that’s not what I really wanted). Then I told him I was considering adoption and wanted him to learn a little more about it (which he never did). Then I told him I really wanted to do adoption but wouldn’t do that if he didn’t want to (even though I knew that was far from true). Finally at some point, it came out that I was doing adoption and he could fight it if he wanted but that’s what I was going for. This took place over probably 3 or 4 months.
I know everything above probably makes me sound like a terrible person and a lot of you think I should’ve just been honest with him. And you’re probably right. That would’ve been the most Christ-like thing to do, I guess. But to be honest, I didn’t give 2 craps about him and his naive opinions on how we could just be a happy family. He expected us to just have a baby and live happily ever after. And I’m not trying to be self-righteous or talk him down or anything like that. I just feel like I was being realistic about the matter. I knew we wouldn’t end up together. I KNEW that would never work out. The only thing I was concerned with was getting myself back in the gospel and doing everything in my power to follow Heavenly Father’s plan for this baby.
When I was about 6 months pregnant (IT’S A GIRL!!) my angel woman invited me to go with her to Utah to meet her adoptive family, her little boy and to just see first-hand how an open adoption can be. I was already dead set on open adoption but this trip made me just fall in love. It was not only her and her little boy, but also his other 2 adopted siblings and their birth moms! I could go on and on and on with stories but I will just tell two specific stories that really touched my heart.
The first: at one point, my angel woman was sitting in the kitchen and her little boy (who was 5 at the time) was sitting in her lap. He put his hand gently on her cheek and said “tell me about when I was in your tummy.” She proceeded to tell him how he would always kick her insides and how he made her the size of a house. He thought that was all pretty funny. The second: on Sunday, we were sitting in sacrament and her little boy was again in her lap. Anytime she sat down  he was running up to sit in her lap. As the sacrament was being passed, my angel woman said to her little boy “tell me some things you’re thankful for”. He just kind of stared at her like most 5 year olds would probably do if asked that question. So she started helping him by saying some things that he might be thankful for. Finally she said “are you thankful for your mommy and daddy? They love you more than anything in the whole world!” and he turns and looks at her with the most shocked look I’ve ever seen a 5 year old give in my life and says “Even YOU?!?!” She responded by saying “yes, even me sometimes.”
These two stories made me realize a lot of things and grew my testimony of adoption. The first story taught me that it was possible for a young child to understand that he was in one woman’s tummy and then turn around and call another woman mom. Not only that but also be able to differentiate between the two and LOVE BOTH. The second story made me realize that he really did comprehend just how much his birth mom loved him. For him to question that she might love him more that his own parents is a pretty big thing for a 5 year old. I also saw the other side of it though. She responded with “yes, even me sometimes.” Now, I don’t know if this is how she really felt when she said that, but I could only imagine how much it would hurt to tell your baby that someone loves them more than you do. However, I fully agree with her response to that question. Even though she might’ve not felt it was true (or she might have) it’s important for him to know how much his parents love him and for him to not compare their love for him to anything.
While in Utah, my angel woman’s adoptive family invited another family (the Williams’) over to their house to come and “Boo” people with us. “Booing” is when you make Halloween cookies and ding dong ditch someone’s house and leave the cookies on the doorstep along with the “Boo” poem telling them to pass on the “Boo”. It’s just a fun Halloween activity that lots of Utah people seem to do. So we did that and then hung out with them for the rest of the night.
They seemed like a really awesome family. There was the mom, Jenny, who was very, very pretty and really quiet, the dad, Steve, who was a total chatterbox and the daughter Ashley, who was about 13 and also really pretty and really quiet. They shared with us the loss of their son sweet son Nate who had a genetic mental and physical disability. He had passed away shortly after receiving an emergency surgery less than a year before. They also shared the adoption journey they were on. They had been trying to adopt for about 2 years at that point with no luck.
It was so amazing to have all the perspectives of adoption all in one home. We had 3 birth moms who had already placed. One that lived very close to her daughter, one that lived fairly close to her son, and my angel woman that lived out of state. And then there was of course the adopted kiddos and their new mommy and daddy. Then there was me that was pregnant and planning on placing and a hopeful adoptive family! As you can imagine, it was a very emotional night once the stories started flowing. At one point, we ended up going around the room and all the birth moms and myself, told our stories and it was just amazing. Such a wonderful spirit in the room that night.
I thought that once I met my family or saw their profile or however it was gonna work, I would feel some burning feeling. And I really didn’t feel that with the Williams’. They were an awesome family no doubt about it, but I just didn’t get that feeling.  They were trying to adopt though so at that point I just thought, hey, you never know! There’s definitely no reason to not consider them as a possibility!
It wasn’t until the next night when I was saying my prayers when it happened. I got the feeling that I should pray about the Williams’. So I started what would soon be the most amazing, personal and life changing prayer of my entire life.
I started praying and asking if the Williams’ were the family for my baby girl. I felt an unbelievably strong “Do NOT ask this question!” It was unpleasant and honestly kind of made me mad! I continued asking anyways but after that I was just faced with the prompting to go downstairs and write in my journal. Sounds simple but it was actually quite a task. I was sharing a bed with my angel woman and following this prompting would mean rummaging through my stuff in the dark to get my journal while trying not to wake her and everyone else up. Not to mention I was in some people’s house that I barely knew and would’ve felt really awkward had one of them come downstairs and caught me down there in the dead middle of the night. (Not that they would’ve minded one single bit.) I tried ignoring the prompting and continued asking if the Williams’ were my baby girl’s family but no matter how many times I asked, the only answer I was getting was to go write in my journal.
Finally I decide to quit fighting it and I went downstairs and began writing. Words just flowed. I was literally having a conversation with my Heavenly Father. As I asked a question, I immediately received an answer as clear as day. They were my sweet angel’s new family. There wasn’t a question in my mind about it. I knew this answer was Heavenly Father’s plan. It felt so right and I knew it without a shadow of doubt. More than I have ever known anything in my entire life, I knew this was where my sweet angel belonged.
The next morning was church and my flight back home. I woke up and got ready but I didn’t tell anyone about what had happened the night before. We went to church and they had the biggest primary program I have ever seen in my entire life! Seriously, I had never been to a ward in Utah but it filled up the entire chapel and the overflow AND the gym!! The primary program took up the entire “stage” or “pulpit” or whatever it’s called up there AND all across the floor in front! It was massive! It was so sweet hearing these children and I felt the spirit, don’t get me wrong. But more than anything I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with joy that I had finally found the family for my sweet angel. I just cried the entire time.
We had to leave after sacrament for me to catch my flight back home. When we were back at the house getting my things together, I told my angel woman about what happened the night before and I showed her my journal entry I had written. Tears. Lots of tears. One of their other birth mom’s and the adoptive mom came back home. At that point I was unable to talk I was crying so much. So my angel woman just read them my entry.
At this point I started wondering how I was going to tell them I wanted them to be my sweet angel’s parents. I mean, it not every day that you just say “Oh hi, we’ve met once but do you want to parent my child?” I had NO idea how to ask that question. My angel woman’s, son’s, adoptive mom then told me that Jenny Williams had emailed her telling her how impressed she was with me. That’s when it hit me! I was going to email them my journal entry.
I finally emailed it once I got home and I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for a response. They had a joint email account and I remember Steve saw the email first. He was so excited and said he couldn’t wait for Jenny to see it. I was pretty anxious for Jenny to see it too. After that I don’t remember a whole lot, though I’m sure they were pretty excited! :P
For the next 4 months, we talked on the phone almost every day. And these weren’t just short conversations. They were usually an hour plus! As you can imagine, this built us a pretty solid relationship.
We went through lots of drama with the sperm donor. He never spoke to the Williams’ at all. He never tried getting to know them or tried learning more about adoption. I offered him to come with me to LDS family services ANY time he wanted to talk and learn more about what was going on. But he wasn’t interested. The only thing he wanted was to talk to JUST me. He would text me saying really mean things questioning if she was even his. He also seemed very hung up on the fact that I was dating someone else with his kid inside of me (assuming that we were sexually active). He thought that was disgusting but I never gave him any explanations on the fact that I was no longer doing ANY of those things. He wouldn’t have believed it anyways.
I eventually told him I would only talk to him about the adoption or other things that were relevant to my pregnancy. Anything else he said or asked, I would just resend my text, word for word, explaining that I was no longer going to talk to him about things that weren’t directly relevant to the baby. He tried saying that my personal life was relevant because his kid was inside of me. But I didn’t buy that and still refused to talk to him about my personal life. It was hard at times to ignore things that he would say that would just tick me off. And a lot of times I would just want to text him back and cuss him out telling him that all of his assumptions were completely wrong. But SOMEHOW I managed to keep all of that inside. And anyone that knows me, knows it takes some SERIOUS self-control for me to keep my mouth shut! But I did. I feel that he was more concerned with my personal life than the baby because eventually, after receiving that repetitive text telling him my personal business was not his business about a zillion times, he stopped texting me all together.
The Williams’ were able to come down for a few visits and we had lots of fun! In February, one of my very best friends (the one I mentioned at the very beginning), threw me a “mama shower” which was kind of in the place of a baby shower. Instead of baby things, my friends just got me things that I might need in the hospital (ex. candy, movies, games, PJ pants etc.). It was a BLAST! My baby girl’s new mommy, sister and grandma were able to come down for the mama shower and it was so fun having them in town and having them meet all my friends!
Finally it was time to have my little girl. My doctor allowed me to be induced so that Jenny and Steve could be there for the birth. On February 27th 2013 at 5am I got induced, I got my water broken at 9am and got my ever so lovely epidural at 11am. I had my mom, Nick (my then boyfriend) and Jenny and Steve there with me. My mom and Jenny stayed in the room for the pushing while the guys waited outside and at 1:11pm miss Reese Elizabeth Williams was born.

The Williams' decided to make her middle name Elizabeth after my middle name. I don't think I ever expressed to them how much that really meant to me. It's so nice to know that she will always have a piece of me no matter what. I know that she has my DNA and will always have lots of pieces of me regardless. But this piece was different because they CHOSE to give her that piece. And that really meant a lot to me and to a lot of other people that are close to me as well.
Jenny got to cut the cord which I loved because for me it was very symbolic. This baby had been dependent on me up until this point. But Jenny cut that cord so that she was now able to be dependent on her instead of me. My mom stayed by my side but Jenny went over and watched baby Reese get cleaned up, weighed, etc. I remember looking at my mom and saying “Jenny is gonna be such a great mommy”. I cried as I said it, but not sad tears. I had known my entire pregnancy that I wasn't going to be her mommy. And I had known the previous 4 months that Jenny was going to be her mommy. But at this point, seeing Jenny and Reese together for the first time, I knew it was right more than I ever thought I could. I’m wiping away tears as I type that because Jenny is so much more than just a great mommy. She’s the perfect mommy. Not A perfect mommy. No one is a perfect mommy. But she is THE perfect mommy. Meaning the perfect mommy for my baby girl. I couldn't have possibly imagined a better mama for my sweet angel.
As soon as Reese was out of me, all I was concerned with was getting Steve in the room to meet his little girl. I remember asking multiple times (probably annoying my nurses and doctor) if I could put my legs down so he could come in. But I was numb from my epidural and didn’t realize I was being stitched/cleaned up. Finally Steve and Nick and a few other visitors came in the room. We just took lots of pictures and passed baby girl around for everyone to hold.
Most if not all adoption stories I’ve heard, the 2 day hospital stay is a very emotional and sad time that the birth mom’s want to spend with just them and their baby. It wasn’t this way for me at all. I wanted the Williams’, my mom and Nick with me at all times. And I wanted visitors to come and go as much as they could. The hospital stay was amazing. Best 2 days of my life. I wish all the time that I could just relive those 2 days. We really just hung out talking, playing games and seeing visitors. But mostly we were oogling over the new center of all of our worlds: baby Reese.
The sperm donor being part Native American and claiming that he had a lawyer and was stopping the adoption, classified it as a high risk adoption. By law, he had 30 days after her birth to stop the adoption. If he did nothing in those 30 days, his parental rights would be terminated. Because of this, I chose to wait the 30 days to sign away MY parental rights. If I signed mine away before his were terminated and then he fought the adoption, he would be able to have full custody and I wouldn’t even have visitation rights. Because of all this, poor Jenny had to stay in Texas with Reese until our parental rights were terminated because if she took her out of state it would technically be “kidnap” according to the law even with consent.
When we left the hospital, Reese got in the car with her new mommy and daddy and we all drove to family friend’s house of mine and my mom’s. This was where Jenny would be staying for the next 2 weeks. I remember feeling a little sad when Reese got in their car and wasn’t with me anymore. But I soaked it up. I knew that was how it would be from then on.
When we got to their house, I laid down on the couch with Reese and took the best nap of my entire life. Partially because I was exhausted, but mostly because it was a nap with my angel.
Finally it was time for me and my mom to go home. I remember going home and laying in my bed feeling so alone. It wasn’t the overwhelming feeling a lot of birth mom’s describe though. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely not a feeling I liked. There were definitely some tears but I wasn’t bawling crying or anything. My mom got me a baby blanket at the mama shower for me to use with Reese while she was in the hospital and then for me to keep after she was gone. This blanket definitely dried lots of tears over the next few months. I remember lying in bed that day hugging that blanket and I specifically searched for a spot of spit up that I knew was there and held that spot close. To a lot of people that probably sounds disgusting but for me, at that point it didn’t matter what it was, as long as it was a piece of her I wanted it.
It was really nice having Jenny and Reese only 10 minutes away from my house for the first 2 weeks. I got to see them and hang out with them quite a few times. It was a little bit awkward for me and I’m sure for Jenny as well (though she never said that).  There were times I wanted to go over there but I wasn’t sure if I was welcome. We had a great relationship but we never discussed openness. For me, I didn’t know how to talk about that. It’s not like it was something either of us had experienced before so how were we REALLY supposed to know just how open we wanted? That’s how I felt at least. I think at the beginning stages of the adoption I was a lot more reserved or closed off than I am now. I wanted nothing more than to be with them 24/7 but at the same time I needed time to disconnect and get used to not being with her all the time.
I remember thinking more than once that it would be perfectly legal and acceptable for me to march over to where Jenny and Reese were staying, take Reese and cancel on the whole thing. I didn’t think this because I actually wanted to do it though. I think that given the situation, I was gonna think about that no matter what. It was honestly something that disgusted me to think about. Any time that thought would come to my mind, I would block it out as quickly as possible because it just felt so wrong in so many ways.
 It was very annoying being so at war with myself but it got easier because after the first 2 weeks, Jenny and Reese went to Houston to stay with some of their family. The reason this made it easier for me was because I was no longer at war with wanting but not wanting to go see them. Before I had to actually make the choice to not go over there. Whereas once they were in Houston, I was no longer able to just go over there. Nick and I were able to make a trip down to see them while they were there though. And Steve and Ashley were also able to fly down during that time as well! We had lots of fun hanging out with them and Nick and I had lots of fun on our road trip down there and back.
My mom and I had planned a trip to Utah to go to general conference in April that year. Since Jenny was having to wait to be cleared by our lawyers to go home, my mom and I actually arrived there before her and Reese did! But thankfully Heavenly Father was watching over them and they were able to fly in that same night just a few hours after we arrived. We had lots of fun hanging out with them and going to general conference.
Finally it was time to say goodbye. This goodbye was the most difficult for me because all the other goodbye kisses came with a knowledge of when I would see my sweet angel again. This goodbye didn’t come with that comfort. It wasn’t too bad though. No one could probably even tell to be honest. At least I think I did a good job at hiding it!
Most girls go through a period after placement of feeling alone, sad, depressed, and just about every other emotion you could possibly think of all at the same time. I honestly never got this way. Don’t get me wrong, I missed her all the time and just wanted to be with her 24/7, but for me, it was ALWAYS a happy thing and nothing else. I know it’s a happy thing for other girls as well but I don’t believe I felt the strong emotions that a lot of them explain to have felt. The main emotion I felt was guilt for not feeling the emotions I heard I was supposed to feel. I heard I would go back and forth with wanting to do adoption and then not wanting to do it. For me, after that very first Saturday night, I always knew I wanted to place her for adoption. I also heard that I would be unbelievably sad and alone after placement. I did feel that very briefly, but not to the extent I had heard I would. I felt like maybe I didn’t love her as much as I was supposed to or something. That feeling didn’t last very long though.
I think the main reason I never felt those emotions or felt like I lost something was because I never saw her as mine. Yes, she had my DNA and yes, she was inside of me. But she wasn’t mine to claim. She was and still is Heavenly Father’s daughter. And who am I to get in the way of His plan for His daughter?
I feel so blessed to have her and my wonderful Williams’ in my life. So blessed that Heavenly Father trusted silly little me to make sure that His child ended up with the family she was meant to be with. People always comment on how it’s such an amazing thing I did. And yeah, I mean I guess. I just followed the promptings my Heavenly Father gave. What I think is really amazing about this story is this sweet baby girl. She saved my life, not the other way around. Heavenly Father knew that nothing short of a baby would snap me out of my rebellious trance. She is exactly what I needed and she came at exactly the right time.
I am thankful every single day that I am able to be a part of her life. I am thankful to have her amazing family a part of my life now. I am thankful for the example they constantly set for me. I am thankful to now have them only 45 minutes from me. I am thankful for the love and compassion not only them, but also both sides of their extended family as well, have showed me. I am thankful for all the support I got during this process. I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that taught me how important family is. I am thankful to my angel woman for taking me under her wing and becoming my mentor. I am thankful to her for taking me to Utah with her and making all of this possible. I am thankful to her son’s adoptive mom for following the prompting she got to invite the Williams’ over that night. I am thankful for so many things. But more than anything, I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for always being there for me and blessing me with so many things. I am so undeserving and will be forever thankful for how much he continues to love and bless me.
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother…” –The Family: A Proclamation to the World
 First test
 The lovely #2, 3 and 4
 My angel woman
 My angel woman and her son
on our trip to Utah
 About 7 months
 The Williams' visit Texas!
 The Williams' visit Texas
Botanic Gardens
 Mama shower! (I'm on the front right and
Jenny and Ashley are on the top right)
 Me and Nick being silly
 5 days before I delivered
 Steve giving me a pep talk when we very
first got settled into the hospital room
 Steve distracting me from my contractions
once they started getting pretty bad
 Sorry for the blood but this was a big
moment for me! Jenny cutting the cord.
 Oh so angry!
 This moment was so unreal

We finally got Steve in the room!
Love my Wonderful Williams'!
 The wonderful friend that threw my mama shower
and suggested I write this post. She was such
an amazing support through everything! Love you girlie!
 The sweet new family
 I absolutely LOVED this hat! One of the
nurses made it and I was obsessed!
 Naps with grandma (my mom)
 Baby girl with MY baby blanket
from when I was first born!
 Having a bit of a moment before leaving
the hospital. I was so sad to go.
I wanted to just stay there forever!
 Kisses!! This was taken during the first 2
weeks when Jenny and Reese were only
about 10 minutes from my house
 We got to go back to the hospital and
see the most amazing nurse EVER!
Let me just tell you guys, this woman
was so supportive throughout my delivery.
She heard about the adoption plan when
I came in for my tour of the hospital and
came in on her day off specifically to help
deliver miss Reese. Words can't even describe
how much her support meant to me and my family.
 Trip to Houston!
 Houston Botanic Gardens - daddy lovin'
 Houston - naps with big sister Ashley
 Signing away my parental rights
 Trip to Utah - anxiously awaiting
Jenny and Reese's flight to land
 Welcome home Jenny and Reese!!
 Happy Birth Mother's day! Shirt says:
 Missin my girl - cuddling up to the blanket
my mom got for me at the mama shower
 Getting big!
 Pretty girl - blessing dress
 IHOP! (left to right:
Steve, Nick, my mom Sandy, me, Jenny, Reese,
Ashley, my dad Jerry and my step mom Kelly)
 Yeah, her parents are kind of awesome.
 Reese's big sister Ashley and big brother Nate <3
 Pretty girl and pretty mama!
Love my angel!