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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Next Chapter

I have been thinking about this post for a couple of days...many tears have been shed and many more will come.  I have so much to share with you all so please hang in here with me...it is going to be a long one!!  hee hee!
I had surgery yesterday.  Not just any surgery, but a surgery that changes my role as a mother.  A surgery that will keep me from having any more children...by my choice.  I want to let any adoptive mother know that I love you all so much and this decision was not made lightly.  I wrote a post called ANY DAY NOW that talked about the guilt that I was feeling about complaining about my pregnancy pain and how I know that so many adoptive mothers would kill to take my place...
I also know that there will be adoptive mothers who will be sad that I made the choice to have this surgery...to not have any more babies...and I want you to know that the guilt that I feel is very real and I want you to know that I understand that you would possibly be feeling this way...and I hope you can understand where I am coming from, understand my sadness of this decision but the great faith in following through with it....and the bright hope for the future...the next chapter!!

I always thought that I would have 3 kids.  That was my "magic baby" number.  I have felt this way for a very very long time.  I don't know why but I held on to that number throughout my adult life.  I also had these plans of being married young....to the one man that I would spend eternity with and that we would have those kids close together and everything would be perfect!  HA....

Well, I made many choices and went on many different paths that changed my life and my plans on SO MANY levels!  I have been spending a great deal of time reflecting back these past few days and my surgery drew closer...shaking my head...some things are so much worse that I planned and some things are SO MUCH BETTER!  I am 32, I am married to my 3rd husband {I promise this one is the ONE}, I placed a son for adoption in 2006, I have dealt with cervical cancer, alcohol abuse and drug use, I have two babies of my own....we are broke but happy.....and I have GREAT FAITH. 

I have GREAT FAITH in myself. 

I never thought I would be able to say that about myself.  In 2011 I spent a great deal of time doing my own soul work.  I painted and journaled and reached out to a group of "Brave Girls" that have become my shoulder and best friends...I was patient and gentle with myself.  And I discovered SO many amazing things about myself.  I learned that I don't have to let people into my life that are not gentle and kind with me and my soul.  I don't have to be co-dependant and please EVERYONE...the love of my husband IS ENOUGH and I can lean on him and that he CAN BE my best friend and I can TRUST him and I do LOVE him and need him.  I learned that motherhood is very HARD....and it pushes my to my limits every single day...I learned that I HAVE LIMITS!  I learned that I can't do everything....and I learned that I am going to fail...and that is was OK if I failed....I learned that I am a BIG TOUGH GIRL and BRAVE and STRONG and that "I can do hard things".  I learned that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me...I learned to PRAY..I learned that I need to pray...I learned that I LOVE to pray. 

2 years ago, 5 years ago even 10 years ago I could have NEVER said these things about myself. 

I would have never been able to make the "hard" decisions that were the VERY BEST for me...I would have let so many other voices infuence me...make my decisions for me...and NOW I know that I can make these decisions and that I TRUST myself to be able to really listen to my truth teller and do what is right for ME, my FAMILY, MY SOUL! 

So..here were are, one day post-op...not able to cry just now...to many tears have been shed...but having great FAITH that I made the right decision for ME, my FAMILY, MY SOUL! 

My husband and I have spent many hours talking through this decision..making those pro and con lists...knowing what the outcome was going to be but trying to feel like we made the best educated decision that we could. 

Ok...back to wanting three children.  My husband held me as I cried the night before surgery...I was so sad about the thought of not having a third baby...I just knew that I was supposed to have three...and in a way that only my husband knows how, he whispered to me..."Ashley, you have three babies!...I know that they are not in the package that you had planned but you HAVE 3 babies"

He was right.....I hate that he was right...but I did have my three babies...and they came at such different times in my life, different packages, different issues with each of them...but there were three.

My son Derek, who is so blessed to have two moms that LOVE him.  A birth mom that was willing to bring him life and placed him in a family that is offering more to him than I could have during that time in my life. 

My daughter Tyler, who came after discovering that I had cervical cancer...horrible timing and high risk.  We never thought she would make it and then...when she got here, during a difficult and scary delivery she has truly been the light of our life! 

My son Oliver, so new, so precious.  A total surprise while we were trying to decide if physically I could even get through another pregnancy...I wasn't ready, I was angry and bitter, I was so sick...but he is here and I am so blessed that he is here.  He is a very special child and has big things in store for him.

So here we are.  Those are my children...that is my family!

I made the decision to have my tubes tied.  I had my tubes tied yesterday.  I made the decision to start the next chapter in my life.  The next phase of parenting, a new exciting phase with my husband...reconnecting with him and developing a love that is even stronger than before. 

A new chapter is starting!

I am sad and scared and excited and hopeful...I am excited to get healthy....to change my whole lifestyle...the way I live, the way I love...I am excited to have the energy to take care of my amazing and beautiful children...I am excited to focus on BIB, this organization that I LOVE so much...I am excited to continue to grow in faith, hope and charity...

To the adoptive mothers....I want you to know how much I love you all.  It is because of amazing selfless people like you that allow birth moms to start that next chapter in their life...you allows us some freedom and a chance to start over.  I hope you all know that my heart breaks for the emptiness that you feel and I want you to know that I am totally committed to help you all in any way that I can.

I have been given the incredible opportunity to have THREE children.  I am so blessed.....and even though I am sad and feeling a little empty, I am ready to run into my new future!!! 


  1. Beautiful Ashley, written from deep within your heart. I love how you shared your intermost triumphs. Any Birth Mom or AMOM reading this would be touched. I could so relate with how I have grown in my own LIFE to a place that I now LOVE. Thanks for sharing. Hope you recover ASAP. Big Hugs, Lucy Franklin

  2. I LOVE this!!!! You are truly an amazing woman! I am so blessed to have you in my life! You give me strength when I need it! I am always here for you! Love you so much!

  3. Very well put! Your words are beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing!


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