Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Early Father's Day Celebration

O.k. so tomorrow is actually Father's Day. But, Jacob has some testing he has to get done on Monday. Lucky for him (dripping sarcasm) those tests have to be done fasting for 24 hours.

For Father's Day I wanted to make Jacob a special dinner of his choosing, and a cake. Since he can't eat anything tomorrow, we opted to celebrate Father's Day a day early.

I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He selected Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Veggies. (Just because he wants to make BBQ Beef sandwiches for dinner on Monday with the leftover roast. lol) I also asked him what kind of cake he wanted. He said Chocolate, and anything as long as it was football themed.

Jacob wanted to go to the pool today, so he took Tammy while I stayed home and attempted a cake. I wanted to do a field with the Seattle Seahawks logo on it. (they're his favorite team). But I hated the way the logo came out. So instead I took the leftover cake batter, baked it and made a football. Sure, a pitiful football, but a football.

When they got back from the pool Jacob took a very long nap while Tammy made him a card for Father's Day. The only thing I helped her with was that she wanted the diamond pattern to be white and when she used the white ink it looked green. So I suggested embossing it with white embossing powder. The rest was all her. It turned out so great! Jacob loved it!

We ate dinner and watched a movie (Jacob chose Armageddon) and then had cake. It was a great day!

This is the card Tammy made
My attempt at a cake. I haven't made one in so long, and I really need to work on my piping, but it's not too bad I guess.

Happy Father's Day Honey!

A Teenage Mother

I was asked a question the other day that even though I have been asked it before, I never really thought much of it until now. I was asked, since I was a teenage mom, and now I am hoping to adopt, why didn't I place my daughter for adoption. Before now it was a question I just brushed off. But now, I feel it's important to answer. And the answer is, it's the choice I felt was best for my daughter and I.

Let me back up, when I was 16 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Tamara (or Tammy as we call her) has been my life and my light ever since. At the time I was inactive in church. I didn't know anything about adoption other then what you saw in the movies where a mother would place her baby and then she would never see her baby again. I had no clue that open adoption even existed. I just knew I didn't want to place my baby girl for adoption and then never have any contact with her. So I chose to keep her. It is a decision I have never regretted. Could I have placed her for adoption? That is also question I get asked often. Quite honestly, it's not a question I feel I can answer in a yes or no kind of way. Looking back on it, I'm not sure I was strong enough. Looking back on it, I can't imagine my life without her. Having her, keeping her, raising her, shaped my life in a way I could never have imagined. Tammy's dad Nick left when I was 2 and a half months pregnant. I went through my pregnancy feeling very much alone. I had a few friends who stuck by me, but most of them beleived my ex when he said that the baby wasn't his. There were a few friends who knew she was, because they knew me, and knew I was telling the truth. It was a hard time. And that's putting it mildly. I did have 1 sweet, wonderful friend who helped me. She in fact is Nick's sister-in-law. Married to Nick's oldest brother. Caroline helped me, supported me, and was just there for me. She even missed almost an entire season of ER just so she could take me to Lamaze classes. Caroline also was a teen mom, having given birth to her daughter at 16. So I had support of someone else who had lived what I was I was about to be living.

I didn't think I would ever be a mom so young. I'm not sure anyone does. But I was. Now, 14 years later, I have never once regretted my decision to raise Tammy. Nick entered Tammy's life when she was 2. It was really hard to see him when I would take Tammy for visits. It wasn't until just a couple of years ago that we got passed the hurt and started to be friends. We tollerated each other before that, but never really were friends. But we are now and parenting Tammy is so much easier that way. Was it easy being a teenmom? Not on your life. It was exceptionally hard. It was hard for me, it was hard for my family to see me struggle financially, emotionally, physically. I had to quit school (although I did go back a few years later) in order to pay the bills that I now found myself face with. I would often times go weeks with almost no sleep, just trying to do this on my own. Would I go back and change it? No, I'm glad I struggled the way I did, it made me stronger.

However, that being said, as hard as it was for me, I know it was so much harder on my girl. She was shuffled back and forth between her dad and I. Even though we tried to get along, it was rough on her. She often cried wondering why she didn't have my last name, why she couldn't live with both her dad and I. Wondering why we didn't have the money to buy her new toys. It broke my heart. I wanted more for her. It broke my heart I couldn't give her what she deserved. Now, 14 years later, I look back on it, and I do wonder if I made the right decision, but at the same time, I couldn't imagine life being any other way. As a teen mom though, I understand some of the feelings our birthmom may be having, though definately not all, no where near all the feelings she is having. But I do know what it's like to wonder, Wondering if she can provide for her little one. Wondering if she can give him or her everything they need and want. I've been there. I've wondered, I've prayed that it would all be good enough.

So could I have placed Tammy for adoption? Again, not a question I can answer. Because I have spent the last 14 years with her, I can say, no, I wouldn't have. If there was open adoption at the time could I have place her? I can't answer that either. However, I beleive it's because I have this history of being a teenage mom that open adoption is so important to me know. I just know that if I had made the decision to place Tammy for adoption I wouldn't have wanted to do so unless I knew she would be o.k. I can't even imagine the sacrifice that our future birth mom will make when she places her sweet baby in our arms to love and care for. How much strength it will take on her part, to trust us to love and care for her little one. I want her to know that we will love her baby so very much. We will love him or her, just the same as if he or she had been born from us. And I want her to know that her baby is being taken care of and loved. I want to be able to know who our baby's birth families are. For them to know who we are. Letters and pictures and contact in general will be so vital to all of us, not just us all as adoptive parents and birth parents, but to our baby as well. It will be important for him or her to know that it is because of love that such a sacrifice was made.

If you have any other questions that you don't feel I have answered, our would like more of an answer to, please, just ask. I'll be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

For Birth Parents

I realized the other day that I have never actually posted about why we are adopting. So the next few posts will be for Birth Parents to get to know more about us.

Dear Birth Families

Dear Birth Families,
We have been sitting here for days trying to figure out how to best tell you what is in our hearts. We want you to know how blessed we feel that you would consider us in this difficult decision. We can’t imagine how hard this is for you. We want you to know that we will do everything in our power to raise this baby to know who they truly are. We want them to grow up knowing, without a doubt how much you love them and we will do our best every day to help them to know that.

We are hoping for a semi-open or an open adoption, but we understand how hard this decision must be for you and we will respect you and support you if you feel you can't have contact with us and will wait until you are ready.

Just to tell you a little about us, we have been married since August 2001 and knowing that because of infertility having biological children probably would not be possible, we have always hoped to adopt. Adoption is a big part of our family. Jacob's grandfather was adopted as a child, and his cousin is adopting soon as well. Sharon's cousin is a birthmom to a beautiful little boy, she has Aunt's and Uncles who have adopted. Sharon also has a brother and sister who were adopted as infants. Adoption is very near and dear to our family and we feel it is a gift in our lives.

Jacob was raised in a loving LDS home with a mom and dad and 5 other siblings! He served a mission in the Arkansas Little Rock mission. He spent 6 years in the US Army and is now in the Army Reserves. He currently works at a salt plant and has enrolled as a Jr. at the University of Utah. He will start in Janurary and will finish his Bachelor's degree. He plans to be a college professor. Jacob enjoys running, bike riding, woodworking, yard work, and spending time with the family among other things.

Sharon was raised LDS as well. Her parents divorced when she was 13 and are each remarried. She has a good relationship with all her parents. Including full blooded siblings, step siblings and two adopted siblings, Sharon has 9 siblings in all! Sharon was a mom at a young age. She had her daughter Tammy when she was 16. As a teen mom she feels a very deep love for you as birth parents and how difficult this decision you are making is. Sharon loves to decorate cakes, do just about everything having to do with papercrafting and scrapbooking, she quilts, and does ceramics. Her favorite hobby though is photography.

Tammy is our daughter. Even though she was 6 when Jacob and Sharon got married, Jacob and Tammy have such a strong bond. We have even had people who have been shocked when they find out that Jacob and Tammy aren’t biologically related. Tammy is a typical 14 year old girl. She loves hanging out with her friends and listening to music. She is also interested in Drama and Choir. We are blessed to have a great relationship with Tammy’s dad Nick and we share joint custody of her with him.

We both have very close knit families and love to see them as often as we can. The grandmas have all already called dibs on being the stand-by babysitters when we need one! Total on both sides of the family there are 27 nieces and nephews, all ranging in age from 15 years to newborn. So there are lots and lots of playmates for your little one. We also have a dog who is the best, most mild tempered dog you could ever meet. He is so good and patient with children.

As a family we enjoy going on walks and exploring new places. We love playing games, watching movies and just being together. To learn more about us, be sure to check out our blog at jacobandsharon.blogspot.com

Thank you again for considering us. We pray for you every night, for your peace and comfort, for your health, and your knowledge of the Lord’s love for you, and of our love for you. We can’t wait to meet you and for you to become part of our family.
With Love,
Jacob, Sharon & Tammy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Releif Society Service Auction

Yesterday was the service auction for the Releif Society at church. Everyone donated a service or item to be auctioned off. We had a quiz that we took to earn points. Then used those points to bid on the items we wanted.

I donated a recipe tin. For the recipes tin I brought mine to show as an example of what one would look like. I will make it in whatever colors the winning bidder wants me to and use the accessories she wants (whether flowers or what not). Here is mine that I brought as an example:

I also donated a photo session with a disk. I'm not a professional, and I don't charge when I do take photos for people, but I do enjoy taking pictures and it's something I'm getting to be not half bad at. Here are some I have taken, the first is for an old friends wedding, the next is my brother-in-law and his sweet new wife, then of course Tammy, and last my friends daughter.

I didn't think that either of my items would go for that much. I thought maybe 75 points for the tin, and 200 for the photo session. My tin went for 225 points and the photo session went for 400. I also had other people who asked me if I could do pictures for them as well as other who asked me to make tins for them or show them how to make them. I'm really excited. The more photos I can do for various people the more experience I will get. And I'm thrilled about the recipe tins too because I love doing those.

As for what I won, I got an absolutely adorable receiving blanket to put in the baby's room. No, we haven't been chosen, we are just still getting things together. We have all the basics, now we are just collecting the fun stuff. It's so cute, it's cream with yellow and brown bears and ducks. So cute! And the stitching on it is gorgeous! The back side is a pretty coordinating print.
It was a really fun night. I have always love Service Auctions. :)


We've been MIA for the last couple of weeks. Tammy flew in from Utah last Tuesday so we have been busy hanging out. Playing lots of games, watching lots of movies. And trying to talk Tammy into going places. We had to practically drag her to the store the other day. She has decided she doesn't want to go outside. She is afraid of seeing bugs, more specifically scorpions or tarantulas, if she goes outside. It's possible, although we've never seen either outside around our house, but we do live in New Mexico, so it kind of comes with the territory. Eventually we will succeed in getting her to leave the house so that we can actually do something fun. Until then, we have just been enjoying time at home.

Jacob has only a couple of months left before his leave starts and then we start packing to move back home to Utah. He has had lots of appointments in Ft. Bliss (ElPaso). But only a couple of more months and we will be done. He has already signed his paperwork for the Reserves and is slotted to start in Jan. I think.

We found a house that we love. The sellers got another offer within a day or two of getting our offer and so they had to decide which to take. We were surprised when they excepted our offer. We are thrilled! Next step is the home inspection and appraisals. Hopefully things will go well with those and we can close on time. Right now we are slotted to closed on the 17th of August which is a couple of weeks before we move back to Utah but that gives us time in case there are any delays with paperwork. If all goes well we should have a house to just back the moving truck up to and start unloading. *big grin*. It's a great house. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, family room, lots of storage (and I mean LOTS of storage). It does need some updating. The kitchen and bathrooms are out of date. But since we and all of our families know how to do renovations we are up for the challenge. The kitchen just needs new countertops and to have the cabinets redone (sanding, and painting). Other then that we paint the walls, switch out the sink (it's porcelain, we prefer stainless) and we're done. New kitchen for very little cost. It'll take about a week or so to get that done. It's on a corner lot so the back yard is a little small but the front yard and side yards are large. So we plan to have a play set to the side of the yard for our future little ones to play on. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Holy Cannoli! We won!!

I'm so excited!! This morning I got an email from mrs. r at the r house and what do you know? We won the pass along card contest!! Sara is going to use her awesome skillz in photoshop to design pass along cards for us! YAY!! I can't use photoshop to save my life so I'm really excited about this. Thank you r house and thank you Sara!! :D

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pass Along Cards

As you know our family if hoping to adopt. We have our profile online at itsaboutlove.org (link to the right). We shared with all our friends and family how excited we are. And now we wait. I have been told about pass along cards and how great they are to get the word out. But with as creative as I am, or at least I like to think I am, I can't come up with anything for us, that fits us, you know what I mean?

When Jacob and I were approved my friend Carly told me about her cousin Issac and his wife Sara who had just adopted a beautiful baby girl. (Last month I posted a link to a video that Sara made in tribute to their baby's amazing Birthmom). Well Sara has been trying to find a way to help other couples hoping to adopt. the r house is having a giveaway for Sara's awesome pass along cards. I entered us to win. One of the ways we could enter was to blog about it. So, here I am blogging about it. If you or someone you know if hoping to expand their familiy through the wonderful gift of adoption, head on over to the r house and enter. :D
the r house button

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Tammy!!

14 years ago at 9:39 a.m. my life changed forever. 14 years ago at 9:39 a.m., I became a mommy to a beautiful baby girl. Tammy is the most wonderful, amazing, imaginative, creative, sensitive, greatest, daughter. I wanted to make today's post to include a picture a year since the year she was born, but my scanner wouldn't cooperate so I only have the pictures that were in my computer already from previous scans and uploads.

Ultrasound photo, I was 3 months along.

My beautiful baby girl on the day she was born. June 6th 1995.

First birthday at Aunt Caroline's house.
She wasn't used to having as much sugar as she did on her cupcake,
so she was a little glossy-eyed. ;)

On her 2nd birthday staring down the pinata'. She thought whacking it was fun!

1998 at Aunt Caroline's vow renewal ceremony. (It was a renaissance theme)

Tammy and Mommy. 2000

Tammy and Mommy 2001

Tammy 2005

(sorry we skipped several years, like I said, I had to go with what was in the computer already)

Tammy 2008

It's amazing to me how much she has changed.

Tammy @ White Sands National Monument 2009.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! We love you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not much going on

So I haven't had any reason to post lately so that is why I haven't. We are still looking for a house. We have had an offer in on one for almost a month now and still haven't heard anything. The sellers moved to Alaska and the bank is needing some info from them before they can proceed on making any decisions. So we wait.... In the meantime we have still been looking but haven't found anything. It's kind of discouraging, but I'm sure when the right house comes along we will get it. Whether it is this one that we already have the offer in on or not.

Jacob has been busy and spending a lot of time in ElPaso trying to get stuff wrapped up as far as Active Duty goes. We found out today he may be able to take leave as soon as August 23rd. So we could be moving back to Utah sooner then we thought. We'll see as the time comes closer though. He has already signed the paperwork/contract for the Reserves. They didn't have a spot for him in the National Guard. He would have had to loose rank (which means drop in pay) or he would have had to switch MOS's (his job, which would have meant at least 3 months of training as soon as we move back). But they did have a spot for him, with his MOS, and rank in the Reserves in Ogden Utah. So he took that spot and starts in November I think. It will mean driving an hour from where we will be living, but it would only be the 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year thing, so not too bad.

Other then that, not much happening. We are having some new friends over for dinner tomorrow night. They are in our ward/congregation at church and have just started the adoption process. So it will be so fun to be able to have another couple to go through this experience with. We are going to BBQ and play some games. I'll take pictures.

Saturday is a VERY special day. And I plan to have a nice long (read picture heavy) blog post to commemorate the occasion. Saturday, is Tammy's birthday! She will be 14! I can't beleive it!