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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

do you see it?

I sure do. :-)

David Allen Harmon III, 7 months

Sterling Bo Winn, 1.5 years (ish)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Okay, I lied, I have to post one of my own. Dave and Amy sent pictures tonight. I had to share a couple. HE'S SO STINKIN' ADORABLE!!!

*hearts* and he has curly hair...!!!

posts to read

This week is going to be hectic and crazy, so instead of posting my own stuff, I'm going to post links to blog posts that I like, or that hit me hard.

Like this one from Andee. *hearts*
I hope and pray that I will be grateful for every little thing in my future. I'm grateful for adoption, and that it has given David the life he deserves, and has given me a second chance while still knowing my little boy is where he is supposed to be. I want to be grateful for icky pregnancy stuff. What's vomiting for 9 months, when you have a beautiful, perfect little spirit in your arms? (Although, I wasn't sick when I was pregnant with David, so I'm sort of banking on not being the sick-pregnant type...)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

this is what I do with my Wednesday afternoons...

Every Wednesday, since June 24, 2009, I have attended an expectant mother support group meeting at LDS Family Services in Layton. It's like an AA meeting for girls who're knocked up. ;-) (And you think I'm kidding...)

I have only missed five weeks since then - two weeks because I was completely convinced that I didn't need support, one week because I had my baby, one week because I thought I was too far past placement to be going anymore, and one week because I opted to go see my Paigey in the hospital instead. Yup, I can count them on one hand. That means that I have been to 61 support meetings. I would make a heck of a recovering alcoholic!

Honestly, there is something to be said for the support I found there. Each and every one of the girls who has come to more than one meeting (and even a few who have only come to one) has left an imprint on my heart. Valerie, who never looked like anything less than a model during her entire pregnancy, and has the amazing story of placing with her brother. Meghan, who is a fellow blogger, my inspiration for looking at families on the It's About Love! website and was my first impression of a strong birthmom in an open adoption. Paige, who has been a huge source of strength and support to me, and kept me laughing through my entire pregnancy. Audrey, one of my best friends, who is parenting and an amazingly strong woman who let me cry on her shoulder and let me hold her son when I was missing mine terribly. Chelsea, who epitomized "everything that can go wrong, will go wrong... but will still be perfect", and has been a huge support in helping me stay strong in the gospel. Darcie, who had her little girl ten days before me and dealt with more heartache during her pregnancy than most will ever have to know, and still came out on top. Katie, my sister from another mister, whose story makes me laugh, cry, and believe that the Lord's hand is at work in adoption. Erin, who has overcome incredible adversity to make a life for her daughter, and has taught me that it's possible to love myself. Jaynie, who found strength that runs deeper than any I've ever known and made a choice with a matter of days left, when the rest of us had months. Kelsey, whose sisters have been on the parenting and placing sides of adoption, who got herself out of an unhealthy relationship and living situation for the sake of her son. Jen, who lives her life in such a way that her son will be proud of her, and talks about the happy side of placement, a year and a half later, but doesn't sugar-coat that it will still hurt sometimes.

Each of these girls has made an impact on my life. There are so many more, and I plan on adding them to the list. Because of the strength these girls have given me, I've decided to pass that strength along, or at least as much as I can.

From group today,
"Mold what your life is like now"
I carry my heart on my sleeve, my life is a ladder and I'm progressing upward, but I know I haven't made it very far. I can see with an eternal perspective, but it still seems so far away most of the time.

"Mold what you want for your future, and what will contribute to that."
I want to keep progressing (ladder). Keep an eternal perspective (infinity symbol). Change the world (blue ball to world). Have a family (couple with baby). Remember that I'm important, too ("me"). Remember that this whole plan, this whole life, is much bigger than I am (moon and star).

The first thing we were asked to mold was how we felt when we initially found out we were pregnant. I shaped a moon and two stars. I remember being up in Evanston one night, not long after finding out I was pregnant, and looking up into the night sky. The stars are beautiful up there, and I remember feeling so incredibly small and insignificant. The thought ran through my mind of, "I don't matter in all of this. I have no place. I'm alone." 

Oh, but if I had only known then! I was not alone. Not once. The Lord had a hand in it the entire time. Sometimes I pushed Him away, only to fall to my knees begging for help, begging for an answer. My mom was there to give me the love that only a mother feels (and I didn't understand until I became one for a very brief time). Lynn was there to hold me when I cried, agree with me or make me see reason when I ranted, and give me those special father's blessings at 2... 3... 4 in the morning. My ward rallied around me. My bishop has been the most compassionate, understanding, and supportive man I've ever known. My family loved me through the thick and thin of it all. Dave and Amy started out as email buddies, giving me an idea of what adoptive couples were like... then became two of my favorite people in the world, and the most important people (besides David!) in all of this.

And my girls... oh my girls. All of you have brought me to where I am. I'm not sure how many of you read this, but I want you to know how much I love you. You have saved me. The strength I found, I found in you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

you are NEVER alone

I told someone tonight via Stalkerbook chat (Facebook) the reasons that I keep my blog open to the world, and why I put everything out there.

It's because I wish I had known, a year ago, that I was not alone. The feelings I had, the thoughts that ran through my mind, and the absolute desperation... are all so normal.

I don't keep this blog for praise. For pity. For tears. For attention. I keep it here, for all of you, so that you know that you are NEVER alone. Whoever you are, wherever you are... we love you. (We being birthmothers).

Be strong. Seek others out. There is nothing more valuable in such a difficult trial than a support group that will rally around you.

As my blogging sista, Desha, says, 'adoption luvs'!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Breath Of Heaven - Amy Grant

*Disclaimer* I am, in no way, comparing myself to Mary. I do not believe my out-of-wedlock pregnancy was in any way sanctioned of God. I only know that He helped me through once I *finally* swallowed my pride and begged for forgiveness and help.

I post this video because not only do I bawl every time I hear it, I believe it is the closest to the silent prayers uttered in those dark, lonesome, moments every birthmother feels.

For me, it was the second night in the hospital.

"Breath of Heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me, breath of Heaven. Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness. Pour over me your holiness, for you are holy."

"Do you wonder, as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am... for the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong. Help me be... help me..." (i remember this plea all too well...)

Oh, how the Lord held me together. The night before placement, I truly thought the emotional grief would kill me.

Today marks an important date. One year ago, I wrote the following in my journal.

September 13, 2009 - "I'm afraid to say it out loud, because that makes it real. I can write whatever I want to, because I can either rip up this paper later or burn it or whatever. So here it is. I know that this baby is not mine. Whether or not Ben wants me anymore. I give up on that. I can't keep hoping for something that I already know isn't going to happen. I don't even know if it's a boy or a girl, but I know one thing. It's the only thing I've known for myself since this whole thing began. Call it too much adoption propaganda, but I can't stop thinking this. I need to find this baby's family. This time I'm not good enough by myself."

One year ago today, I accepted (though I only admitted it in my journal until a month later) that I was not going to raise the sweet angel I had been sent. I think that may have been the first night I actually prayed for comfort and help and forgiveness, instead of begging the Lord to make Ben marry me. Or somewhere around there. I wish I had journaled about that.

"I am waiting in a silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear. In a world as cold as stone, must I walk this path alone? Be with me now. Be with me now..."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

i was hoping i would (never) see you again...

Last night was one of those nights.
Heart-wrenching, painful. Like a huge, angry wave crashing down around me.
I closed my eyes and started counting, and praying.  Begging for release.
I was holding little David's blanket tightly to my chest. I felt so incredibly fragile.
The sobbing I had held in for so long finally made its way out. I hate the sound I make when I cry that hard.
For the first time in quite a while... my arms felt so incredibly empty. With nothing to cradle and protect... except my own breaking heart.
And, just as it's been for the past 7 months... Lynn wasn't here to hold me and give me a blessing. 

I had fallen asleep hours earlier, no problem. When I dreamed, that's where it began. I was back in the hospital, holding my sweet little David in my arms, nursing him. I was singing to him, and he looked at me with those beautiful dark eyes. I bent to kiss his cheek, and I started falling. I reached out to hold him, to keep him from falling, too, but he wasn't going down with me. Hands were holding him. Hands I didn't recognize. I cried out, I screamed, I didn't know where he was going. I couldn't make a sound, though. And I woke up, panicked. I had my arms wrapped around my body pillow, one hand clutching little David's blanket. The outfit of his that I kept wasn't in the blanket, and in my panic I started crying and reaching under all of my blankets to find it. When I did, I took great care to wrap them up together, and I clutched them to my chest, burrowing myself into my pillows and crying.
Why now? Why so long without feeling this? Why do I feel so forsaken suddenly? He's happy, he's loved, he's warm, he's with his parents, why am I hurting so much?

... because even though he's happy, I'm still going to grieve. It's not fair, it will never be fair. This isn't balanced. The joy does not equal the sorrow. They're not even on the same scales. They coexist, but they do not "fix" each other.
I do not wish him back in my arms. The choice I made was the right one for David. When it feels good, I'm on top of the world. But when it hurts... oh. Words cannot describe.

All day, I've been having hospital flashbacks. Mostly warm memories, like him being placed in my arms for the first time. At moments, I've felt like I'm going to shatter into a million pieces. I keep going with the knowledge that I will sleep tonight, hopefully with happy dreams or sleep uninterrupted, and wake tomorrow to a new day. A new beginning. I have survived thus far. I will survive, but oh. To never feel empty like this again, to never feel like a part of me is missing. I'm not his mommy any longer... he may not have that bond with me anymore, but that doesn't mean that I won't continue to ache for him for the rest of my life. I don't want him to ache for me, though. I don't want him to miss me, or feel like part of him is missing. I never want him to hurt.

Oh emptiness. I was hoping I would (never) see you again.

just moments after birth. My heart was so full, and I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.
just moments after he was sealed to Dave and Amy. My heart was so full, and I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.
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