Out of great pain, an even greater passion was born!
During our 7 year journey to become parents, we had the unfortunate experience of coming very close to adopting a baby boy after bonding with him, feeding him and loving him for two days. Unfortunately, we did not leave the hospital with that precious baby boy due to Social Service intervention beyond our control and beyond the control of the BirthMom who desperately wanted us to care for her baby boy. The pain was so great in my darkest moment and yet, I felt the strongest connection I’ve ever felt with this BirthMom. For it was in that very moment, my indescribable pain turned into an even greater passion for his BirthMom. My focus shifted from my great pain and loss to hers. She was also leaving without a baby, but her story was one of going back into the same environment with no support and no family to love her through her time of grief and loss. She would still experience all of the physical changes and emotions of having a baby and yet somehow go right back to working and taking care of the 5-year-old she had at home, while alone and with no other options to make better choices for her life and that of her son.
In that dark moment, in a hotel room in Oklahoma City, flat on my face through the tears, it all came together like a movie being played out in my mind. My previous work and relationships with Dave Ramsey (Financial principals), John C. Maxwell (Leadership principals), Florence Littauer (Personality Profile training) and my knowledge of the Strengths Finders testing was ALL FOR BIRTHMOMS! THAT was my defining moment! I could choose to wallow in the greatest pain of my life OR choose to walk into an even greater passion that was birthed inside of me! I was simply to be a conduit to bring these amazing life skills and opportunities to BirthMoms to make better choices; to provide them with the option to choose a different path. Why was I given these opportunities in my life? Why was I working with these leaders in their areas of expertise? Why was I provided with an amazing foundation, loving parents and life skills to pursue my sweet spot in this short time I have on earth? WHY? I believe it was so that Three Strands would be birthed in order to see BirthMoms served, loved and honored for choosing life and making the brave, selfless choice of providing the best for their child when they were in a place in life that they could not.
We serve BirthMoms as they realize their value in the Three Strand cord of BirthMom | Child | Adoptive Mom. Without two very brave amazing women who are the BirthMoms of my two boys, I would not be given the incredible gift of being a Mom today! We will turn the light shone us, the Adoptive Moms, to the real heroine in the Three Strand cord – the BirthMom!
Prior to founding Three Strands, I was Vice President of Conexus Group, a company my husband and I ran for 8 years and worked for Dave Ramsey and John C. Maxwell.
I had not planned on placing my son for adoption. I could not imagine leaving the hospital without MY baby! I already had a 2 year old son and could not imagine telling him I “gave away” his brother. But my reality was that I was in a very physically and emotionally abusive relationship. I realized I could not bring another precious baby into this life I was living.
When I was about 5 weeks away from giving birth, I met with Sarah Jensen, the director of Adoption Center of San Diego. She listened to my story, and my fears. She told me about open adoption. I had never even heard of it. I realized in speaking and crying with her, that it was time for me to start making positive choices in my life! It was the hardest and most gut wrenching decision I have ever made, but the best decision I could have made for everyone involved.
My Grandma wrote a quote on a notecard for me during that time in my life: “A life can only be truly changed when courage becomes more important than convenience”. Placing Liam did take great courage! That decision gave me the strength I needed to leave the abusive relationship, to realize I needed to be the best mom I could be for my 2 year old, Brian. That decision started me on a path of making selfless choices instead of selfish ones!
I now am married with 3 sons. I have helped launch a nonprofit to serve BirthMoms called Three Strands. I am so thankful that I now have the opportunity to share my story of hope and redemption with other BirthMoms. I want to help them realize that they are heroes. They do not need to live in shame! I am so thankful for all God has done, and is continuing to do in my life!
Prior to launching Three Strands, I devoted my time to caring for my family. I also spent some time caring for young children as a preschool teacher.
Director - Three Strands Memphis
The darkest moments in my life began when I started to struggle in my own skin, a conflict of beliefs. All I was taught as right, quickly became a shadowed gray when I chose to be calloused in my dating relationships. This cost me dearly as I found myself alone, some several hundred miles away from home at university, single and pregnant.
As I journaled over the next several months, it became quite clear what the right choice for my child would be…Adoption. I imagined giving my child a life I could not at the time. I began reading the profiles of many adoptive families. All well suited, yet there was one that stood out from the rest. Many more thoughts swirled in my head…how can I give my child away to perfect strangers FOREVER? Never to see her again!
The time had come. My daughter was arriving early by one week, so I rushed to the hospital to hurry up and wait until delivery. Soon a beautiful baby girl was in my arms. Sweet relief, pause and an overwhelming sense of unknown fears settled in. She would only be mine for a short while, so I savored every minute. I did not want her to leave my side. My immediate family passed her around, then the extended family and my best friend came to have one last exchange with her.
This time was so bitter sweet. My hospital stay was coming to an end. I did NOT want to leave without her, but I knew it wasn’t about me anymore. The loneliest time in my life was just about to begin. One last kiss for my beautiful baby girl. Leaving with empty arms and an empty heart.
In those moments of loneliness it was difficult for me even to relate to those who wonderfully supported me. They were all very well-intentioned but had not walked in my shoes. If only I could talk to others who had. Three Strands gives a unique opportunity for a BirthMom to connect with those just like her. A gift from those who have walked a similar difficult path, a community through a closed FaceBook group, and local gatherings that solidify relationships with local community. I am honored to give back to these beautiful women and want to empower them to find their value in the three strand cord.
Presently, I am happily married with four other children. I have since re-united with my birth daughter and love having an extended family that far out reaches the norm. Her parents are absolutely my rock, and I am so proud that the Lord led me to them so many years ago. My life has come full circle and it is such a joy. I feel that my story is enriched with many layers and I could not write it any better than the Lord. We look forward to much more of what HE has in store for our future.
Director - Nashville Chapter
I was 17 years old and finishing up my senior year of High School when I found out I was pregnant and on a road I never imagined I’d be taking. I grew up in a Christian home and was active in my church, so when I found out I was pregnant it was a shock to a lot of people. I instantly felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter of shame. I grew up in a very small town, where everyone talks and knows your business, so that didn't make it any easier.
My parents were very supportive of any decision that I wanted to make. I knew in my heart that this was a life already growing inside of me and that I needed to make a responsible choice that not only affected me, the birthfather, our families and loved ones, but this child as well. The birthfather and I had just broken up the day before I found out I was pregnant. I didn't want him to marry me for the sake of the baby. I knew that if we got married, I would always wonder if he truly loved me or if he married me out of a sense of obligation.
It was the hardest decision of my life to choose to place my son for adoption. It really felt like a great loss. Yet, one day after a big rainstorm, I saw a full rainbow with a tiny 'baby' rainbow underneath it. It was a rainbow of God's promise. I will never forget it. It brought such peace about my decision and about the family I chose for my son. There was no greater joy in that moment to be able to tell this couple that they would be parents to a baby boy! After the adoption, I went on to college and the birthfather joined the Navy. We remained friends and even dated off and on, and eventually got married. Our birth son was even the ring bearer in our wedding.
After several years of marriage and two beautiful, smart, fun-loving little girls later, we were pregnant with another little boy. However, I contracted an infection, which caused my body to go into preterm labor. We had to say hello and good-bye in the same breath to our baby. This, as you can imagine, brought me at odds with God. Although I kept my faith and head held high, it rocked me to my core. It brought up all kinds of emotions of our first “loss”. However, not long after, we were pregnant again with our third little girl. It is called a “rainbow baby” when you have a child after a loss, representing the peace and beauty after the storm. She is most definitely our precious rainbow. We have sure had our share of storms, but God’s promise, and rainbow, always abounds.
Everyone’s story is different and has unique twists and turns. Mine has helped shape me to be the person I am today. I don’t live in my past, but I learn and grow from it, and draw from it to help others. I am excited to have a place where my passion calls and I am reminded of how I began learning about grace, forgiveness and hope.
Three Strands, Inc. is registered with the IRS as a 501(C)(3) corporation.