My name is Sterling, I'm 22-years-old, and I am the birthmother to the most gorgeous little boy in the world. I started this blog to share my experiences, thoughts, and help myself move forward after placing my sweet little boy. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I invite you to read my story (top of the left column). Feel free to comment with questions or requests. If you follow me, I'll follow you!

Monday, August 30, 2010


I used the word "tizzy" in another post, on another blog. (Yes, I have a few. But this is my favorite. Much dearer to my heart).

I looked up the definition (to make sure I was using the word correctly). Here is what good ol' Webster had to say -

tizzy [noun] a highly excited and distracted state of mind 

and then -
tizzy [noun] (slang) a nervous, excited, or distracted state. dither. 

Have I ever been in a tizzy? 

*giggle* yes! This is a PERFECT word to describe a very common state of mind. 
This is not to say that I'm always distracted or air-headed... but I get nervous and excited easily. 

I was in a tizzy today - thinking all afternoon about the last week of October. 
During the last two weeks of October, I will be doing my esthetics models (waxing, facials, etc.). I will be doing 4 models, one per day, and I can pick any 4 of those 8 days.
During the last week of October, or the 29th to be precise, there is no school. 
I can only miss up to 5 days of school per term. (15 lecture hours)
So... guess what I'm going to be doing that last week of October? (and only missing *4* days of school?)


{David and Amy} are WAY too good to me... 
So I'm in a tizzy. :-) 

Yes, I DID, in fact, photoshop the three of them onto the official vacation advertisement for the State of Florida. :-) (Not a very good job, but I found it highly entertaining).

Thursday, August 26, 2010

i am a birthmother.

Today has been interesting, to say the least. First, I got a nasty comment on one of my posts concerning placement. I won't post the whole comment here, but one part that stuck with me was, "you are insulting all women who lost children to adoption. how can you use the word birthmother so kindly? it is a gruesome, cruel term. you should be ashamed of what you did to your child."....

hm. O... K... (What do I say to that??)

So anyway, in case Dave and Amy saw it, I texted Amy and let her know that I LOVE the term birthmother (please call me a birthmother, it makes me feel stronger than I really am), and I do not feel that she is less than me at all. So then, as this was going on, I received a not on Facebook from a wonderful bloggess asking all involved in the adoption triad to comment on *THIS POST* . Well, if that wasn't just another thing to set all of this off! So of course, I commented. (I tried to be as nice as possible... because I really do understand that people have different experiences and preferences).

I  guess, in light of these two things, I need to address the reason that I chose to place my little angel. There are the obvious reasons, like financial stability, he needs a mom AND a dad, I'm too young (which, really, I'm not... let's be honest). But those were not the KEY reasons to place.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Mormon. In the LDS faith, there is a very strong emphasis on family. We believe in the family unit being eternal. It does not end at death. In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", it states that "The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally." Then, further on, it states that, "Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." (Read the whole thing if you're curious)

One of those sacred covenants I could not offer my little David was being sealed to me. Of course, if I had parented, I could have been married later and David could have been sealed to me and my husband then. But what of Ben? (David's birthfather). How could I ask him to give up his right/desire to be sealed to his son? Would I ever give that up? ... how could I deny my son an eternal family, because of my foolish mistakes? 

Meeting with my bishop, I was counseled to consider marriage. That fell through, so I was counseled to make a decision based on my baby, and to seek inspiration from the Lord. It is extremely difficult to swallow my pride, and ask for someone else's help... especially from God. But, I believe in a forgiving and loving God. He wouldn't ignore my request for help in knowing what to do for my baby. He loves David as much as any of His other children. He wanted what was best for David, too. 

When I met Dave and Amy, I received my answer. They are David's eternal family. His spirit was supposed to be with them, one way or another. I was blessed to give birth to him, and to be an instrument in God's hands. I was given, "beauty for ashes... the oil of joy for mourning" (Isaiah 61: 1-3). Although I did not always follow God's commandments previously, I knew that if I was going to do the right thing for my baby, I had to trust in Him. 

I did not place my baby because I couldn't afford to raise a child. I did not place my baby because his birthfather was dangerous. I did not place my baby because I didn't want to be a mother. I placed my baby because I could not give him the things that *I personally* knew he had to have. I couldn't bear the thought of dual-custody, or of him being raised by his Grandma until "mom finished college and got a good job". He needed a mom and a dad who will give him a good example of marriage. I want him to be raised to treat women well, and to believe in the sanctity of marriage. He has that now. He has everything. He has an eternal family. That is not cruel, not to him, and not to his family. I did not lose him to adoption... That is not how I see things. I know everyone is different, but this is MY life. MY blog. MY experiences.

And, so, I am a birthmother. Amy is his mother, his mommy. She is not his "second" mom, his unnatural mom, his a-mom, or his nonbirthmom. Never will I let ANYONE convince me otherwise. Birthmother is empowering to me. It helps me find the strength I need to continue each day. I am not ashamed of what I did FOR David. Birthmother is not a shameful word in my world.

Birth is the science. Mother is the emotion. Birthmother is... love. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

adoption triad, supporters, and others unite - for Paigey

*Update* (12:30 am)
It's not as bad as they initially thought, and Paige's thumb (which they believed was shattered) will be able to heal. Her leg and arm will be fine, and incredibly there is no brain damage. It will be a long recovery, but as of right now it's not believed there is any internal damage.

*how it happened* they were traveling 85 mph in Provo Canyon, and as they were passing a car, the bike hit head-on into another car. The driver of the motorcycle hit the windshield, and Paige hit the cement barrier. Please pray for her friend (and his family) too, as he was flown to the U of U.

I think I may be the only person who calls her Paigey and not Paiger.

Paige is one of those girls that you meet, fall in love with instantly, and will never forget.

She is, also, a birthmom. (which makes her even more incredible).

August 24, 2010 at 3:30 pm, Paige was involved in a very serious motorcycle accident in/near Provo canyon. She was on the back of the motorcycle, neither of them were wearing helmets. Her left arm and leg were broken, and she has been in surgery all evening. I'm still waiting for updates (from her daughter's parents, who are some of my favorite people EVER) but will post as I know more.

Paige placed her beautiful daughter, Andi, with her forever family in October 2009. I met her three months prior to that, and she quickly became my best friend and an incredible strength for me. After pushing through one of the most difficult single-and-pregnant situations I've ever seen, she came out on top. With only weeks left until she was due, she drew all the strength she had and decided to give her little girl a family - with a mom and a dad. When she met Andi's parents, there seemed to be a new glow about her. Even though she ached and mourned, never once did she utter an unkind word. She loves her little girl so much, and has been striving to live a life her little girl can be proud of. She sacrificed her whole heart to give her little girl the world - including pulling herself out of an unhealthy and dangerous relationship. After her placement, she continued to be a support to the rest of us girls in our group. She cried with us, laughed with us, and helped prepare me for placement and post-placement - including taking me out to dinner and a movie a few days after I placed, and sitting with me for hours to talk about what to expect at the blessing and sealing. Paige is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever met, and she is so loved.

Paige with Andi when she was sealed to Kim and Shane. Such a beautiful day!

I know she can pull through this. She's strong, young, and healthy. Please pray for her, and for her family. The power of prayer is incredible, and it can produce miracles.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hold your breath, and make a wish

First, let me start off by saying that I hate humidity. The thing I got the most angry over while I was in Florida? My hair. (Pathetic, I know...)

My mom and I got lost on our way to the hotel, so by the time we made it there it was two hours later than we had intended to arrive. Sweet Dave met my mom and me in the hotel lobby, and walked us to our room (just down the hall from theirs, cha-ching!) then apologized for little David and Amy being asleep. :-) as it was almost 3 am, I really understood.


Wednesday morning, after three hours of sleep, my eyes flew open and stared at my phone, vibrating and flashing next to me with the wake-up message of "Meet Your Baby!". In one short hour, my mom and I were going to meet Dave, Amy, and my dear little David for breakfast. I was a nervous wreck.

Dave met me in the hall and ushered me in to their hotel room, and suddenly there he was!
My Angel.
The moment was everything I had hoped for and more. I felt like I was spinning, I watched Amy pick up little David (oh, how he has grown!), and immediately handed him to me. As awkward as it felt to have a small child in my arms, it also felt so incredibly good!!! Like a little piece of me was missing until that moment. He looked at me with his huge brown eyes and grinned, squealed, and stole away my heart again. My heart melted, and the months of aching vanished in an instant.
He is such a happy, loved, and beautiful little boy.

Dave and Amy invited me to the court finalization. Though it was not intended as a spiritual experience, it was a very sacred event. Tears were shed, and I felt very blessed to be there with them. Their attorney told them that not only had she never seen family there to support an adoption finalization, they had never had a birthmother present for finalization.
{I felt quite special}

We (and by we I mean Amy) put together a luncheon for the families. We gathered at the LDS church house located across the street from the Orlando temple. After Dave, Amy, and sweet David left early for the temple, I sang with Dave's younger brother, Keith, and a family friend named James. Soon, Julie (Amy's mom) joined in and held her arm around me as hymns about families and the atonement made me tear up.

Oh... and how can I forget how their families treated us! I wasn't "just the birthmom".
I was special, and cried together with their mothers. I feel very close to these wonderful, amazing women who are (legally and spiritually) the grandmothers of my son. And they welcomed me and my mom into their families with open arms. Even though I haven't always lived a good life, Dave and Amy (and their families) see me for who I am right now. I'm so grateful.

I was the only adult who did not go inside the temple... which felt odd, but okay at the same time. I got to hang out with Dave's youngest two brothers, Cameron and Jared. They are very cute boys, and it was fun to watch them get frustrated with having to whisper in the temple (which is why we ended up outside on the grass).

After a very short time, Dave and Amy's families found me in the waiting room again. I knew it was over, I knew it had been done. A twinge of jealousy bit at me, but then...

Dave, Amy, and David walked out of the temple. They were all wearing their temple whites, and I could see the joy on their faces. They are now eternal. They hugged me, and in my mind I kept thinking, "this is why. This is why!" The beauty of those first moments as an eternal family will be burned into my heart forever.

Over the next couple of days, we went to SeaWorld (so fun!!!), spent hours playing card games with Dave's family, and I even got a few hours alone with Dave and Amy. We talked about everything, and I couldn't believe how much love I felt for them. I thought I loved them when I placed with them... but oh, had I only known I could care about people so much!

And the crazy thing is... they love me, too. They want to have a close relationship with me. They want their son (I've known he is theirs for almost a year now...) to know who I am, and be able to ask me questions.

Our last day together, Sunday, was David's blessing. His father blessed him, and I'm almost certain there was not a dry eye in the congregation. He blessed him with health... with happiness... with joy... with siblings (Amy was thrilled with the plural)... with the desire to serve missions... and (what I thought was so amazing) a desire to do genealogy.What a sweet and wonderful blessing!

During our last few hours together, we took hundreds of pictures. We laughed, cried, and talked about seeing each other again. I kissed on sweet little David, held him, and cherished every moment with him. My heart felt like it would burst every time he smiled up at me, or grabbed onto my hair and tried to eat it. Although I knew the void in my heart would be present again very soon, it was so good to feel it healed over for a time. I felt so light, and so free. Anyone who says a birthmother doesn't love her child enough has no idea what it's like. The only reason he is where he is supposed to be, and why he is so happy, is because I loved him enough to seek the Lord's will. And now, he has double the love.

I couldn't believe how perfect the week was. Did my heart ache? Yes. So very much. As I got to know little David's sweet personality, I thought to myself, "I could have had this." Did I close my eyes a few times and wish I could go back and make another decision? Yes. Would I take him away from Dave and Amy? Never. I will always ache for him... I will always miss his sweet little presence. But then, I see this -->

and I think "I will have this." 

My life is blessed. I still cry almost every night. It's not always rainbows and butterflies. My whole situation has not been perfect... but it is now perfect in its imperfection. 

Thank you, Paige W., Chelsea K., and Meghan R. for helping me prepare emotionally for this trip. You are my angels!

Dave and Amy - you are the most amazing parents I've ever met. Thank you doesn't seem adequate for the blessing you've been in my life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First the pictures

I get a little teary-eyed every time I think about blogging. So first, I'll share the pictures. Then I'll tell about my week. As you'll be able to tell, it was the most incredible week of my life. I am so incredibly blessed to have the relationship with Dave and Amy that I do. I will be eternally grateful to them for inviting me to participate in their most special moments.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

leavin' on a jetplane...

After about 3 wrong exits on our way to the airport (you know, the airport we’ve been to hundreds of times.. love you mom!) we made it to our gate.

When we checked in, and asked at the gate if there was any way we could sit together (we being my mom and me). 30 minutes later, we were called to the gate and got seats together. Score!

I stood in line… walked onto the plane… sat down… pushed my computer bag under the chair in front of me… sent my last few texts… then it hit me.

I’m on my way.


Where did the time go?

Four hours… this will be the longest four hours of my life.

Yes, it IS the longest four hours. It’s been just over three, and I’m about to uhm… I don’t know. Laugh? Cry? I’m feeling claustrophobic. I need to jump up and scream.

On the moving-map, there are eight inches between Salt Lake City, Utah and Orlando, Florida. Our little airplane moves across the screen at the pace of about two inches per hour. As it moves, the line connecting the two cities turns from green to yellow.

Every bit of yellow makes me think too much. I’m so close, yet it feels like I’m soooooo far away!

Inch one – finish my scheduled blog post… stare out the window at the last bit of the Rocky Mountains… browse through the satellite television stations… take pictures of me and my mom.

Will he like me? Will he let me hold him? Will Dave and Amy still like me when I’m not carrying their baby? Will my hair be out of control in the humidity? Am I really okay with all of this?
(Don’t worry, Dave and Amy… I know these are silly thoughts.  )

Inch two – sip my ginger-ale… munch on my complimentary cookies… snack on my fruit and cheese plate (that I paid an my mom paid an outlandish amount for)… think about writing another blog post… start watching “America’s Got Talent”.

I probably shouldn’t have cut my hair. What am I going to do with my down time? Am I going to be a basket case on my trip back? What if I smell funny? Oh crap, I’m probably going to be in a swimsuit. …Will he remember me? (Of course he won’t, I know this.)

Inch three – Watch out the window while Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama pass below the plane… make a bathroom trip with my mom… eat another cookie… watch the most amazing ten-year-old on “America’s Got Talent”… Start worrying about getting Dave and Amy’s gift finished in time.

Just breathe… he’s a happy baby… he has everything in the world he could possibly need. He’s not the same infant I remember. Of course Dave and Amy still like me, they invited me down to Florida and offered to pay! Six days is plenty of time for little David to warm up to me. I can’t wait to get off this plane and pee…

Inch Four – Begin our descent into Orlando. Clean up the trash around me. Start blogging again. Remind myself that the gospel is not just about temporal happiness, it is about eternal happiness. I’m on the right road.

This ache is nothing compared to what it was in February. I’m on the right road. I’m so blessed to be able to go be with Dave and Amy and David! I have a good life, I have angels watching over me, and I am flying in to Orlando to witness a very special, sacred, and exciting week!

Right now, we are about ten minutes away from landing. I’m watching “The Nanny”, and I’m so excited I could burst. (And actually, my ears feel like they’re about to – OUCH!)

This will be one of the best weeks of my life. I will be near some of the most important people in my life. I will be able to see a family become eternal – ETERNAL! It’s mind-blowing. And I’m so incredibly blessed to have my mom with me, and that she will be in the temple to see Dave and Amy sealed to little David.

I can’t wipe this grin off my face. (At least, I’m seeing it in my mind. I’m probably staring at my screen and trying really hard to read what I’m typing…)

“ Be Still “ (and thank you so much to Janice for giving me a bona fide ‘r house couture’ necklace with my mantra stamped on it!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the other side of sorrow

Sometimes I wonder if people not involved in the adoption triad will ever understand/believe that it's not all ache and pain and grieving. There is another side of sorrow.

Joyful, loving, grateful... a few simple words to describe the heart of a birthmother. Amidst the sorrow that is felt in placing a tiny, perfect little baby into the arms of another family, there is also so much joy. Joy that that baby will have a perfect family. Joy that he or she will be in a two-parent home, will not live financially strained, and will not ever wonder if he or she was loved. The intense love one feels for their child can only be felt by another parent. How blessed my little David is, because he has his birthmother's love (which really feels like it will burst out of my chest), his birthfather's love, and the love of his wonderful mom and dad. Most also agree that besides the love a birthmother has for a child, there is also an incredible amount of love felt toward the family of her child. The parents are not chosen as a "last resort" or out of desperation. They are carefully considered, prayed about, and so deeply trusted. Birthmothers are so incredibly grateful to the families they choose, because without them there would not be the peace that comes with placing.

I went to see "Jane" today. Again, because of privacy issues, I will not divulge too much information. Seeing her and spending time with her and her little one helped heal my heart today. I don't know that I've ever felt more love in a room than when I visit my beautiful girls. I didn't intend to drop in on Jane, but she invited me so I jumped at the chance. I wrapped her sweet little boy in the softest blanket ever, I burped him, and held him in my arms. I watched as Jane mothered him, loved on him, and whispered to him. The decision to place is not an easy one, but spending time with a child before placement helps realize that it is the right thing to do. Jane and I have something very special in common - she is breastfeeding her little boy while she is in the hospital. She will experience that incredible bond that is unlike any other. Although many say it is "unnecessary" or "pointless", I believe that it helped me know that placing was the right thing to do. I could provide for him in only the most basic of ways, and only while I was in the hospital. How would I breastfeed after I was out of the hospital? When I went back to work? I loved him so much at the end of those two days, that I couldn't bear to NOT give him the world. My heart completely belonged to him. Jane and I have talked, and she feels the same. She knows he will be loved and given an incredible home... but she wants to give him everything she possibly can right now.

I leave for Florida on Tuesday. Fear is mixed with excitement. Apprehension is mixed with joy. I've been anticipating mixed emotions for weeks now, and I think I will be alright. Feel free to send me messages of encouragement!

me with "Jane's" little boy 
{will he ever know what a blessing he is? for "Jane"? for his parents?}

While I am gone, I have a scheduled post to go up about the adoption conference.
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