I would like to start by saying this is a story about Sophia.
I love my sister very much and this story isn’t about mistakes and it’s not meant to cause pain.
This isn’t Grace’s story, though I pray one day I get to write about her triumph.
This is Sophia’s story.
This Is Us
Formally known around here as So So. She will be 4 years old this July, and has officially been adopted by her Grandmother (aka: Mema) as of August 2018. She is Spunky, Sassy, Laughs easy, and is very tiny! But that will all make sense when you hear her story.
A little about me:
Sophia is my niece! I have a 2 year old daughter as well, named Holly, and these 2 cousins are being raised like sisters! We all live in a duplex style home together and I have the honor of watching So So full time while Mema is at work. It works for everyone this way because Mema didn’t have to suddenly quit her job at 50 years old, and I am blessed to get to stay at home and raise my daughter!
These two girls are exact opposites in every way… From size and strength, the way they play, their eating habits, their interests, anything you think of, they do it different from each other… making their relationship quite a challenge (just like sisters!)
A little about Mema:
Mema is MY mama. Her name is Stacey. She is a mama of 4 of her own kiddos and has been an empty nester for about 7 years. I am the 3rd child out of the 4 kids Mema has had. Mema just turned 53 and also has 5 grand babies including little miss So So and Holly. Her youngest child is the biological mother of Sophia.
After Mema got her empty nest, she discovered a passion she didn’t really know she had, working in the funeral home business, helping grieving families all over Deschutes county.
The story can't be told without:
Auntie Heather & Uncle Derek:
Heather is Sophia's biological father's sister. Her and her family lived about 20 minutes from us when we first got Sophia. Heather Is married and has 3 boys of her own! The boys ages range from 10-15 and Heather is very busy chasing those three around for all their sports! You can say she's a stay at home mama while her husband Derek is fishing in Alaska, but lets be honest... with three sporty boys, she is never home!
Tom is Mema's husband. They have been married for 10 years. None of this could have been possible without Tom's hard work because as many of you may know, adoption is very expensive. Tom has two grown son's of his own as well, and both live semi close to be fun uncles for So So!
Nicole is a Godsend... She came to us through a co-worker of Mema's and she was the best thing we could have ever asked for with Sophia. She was THE backbone. Nicole watched Sophia every summer while Mema was at work and Heather was busy with her boys doing sports and traveling for games. Nicole was still in early high school, so she spent her summers with So So. She did't put up with nothin'! She pushed Sophia in the best way to become the strong little girl she is today.
Dylan is Hollys dad. We actually found out we were pregnant with Holly the same week we got Sophia (overwhelming week)! Dylan has been a trooper stepping in on this big roll while taking on his own kiddo at the same time. Also, So So has always been so smitten with Uncle Dyl since she was a baby. Lol!
And of course So So's parents
Grace & Tony:
The story can’t be told without a little back story on these two, but we won’t go into it too much. Grace, my little sister, is 25 now, and to be honest, I have no idea how old Tony is. I do know that he is much older than Grace and has two other kids he doesn’t have contact with or help take care of.
To put it gently, Grace and Tony are very sick… They are both caught up in the terrible world of drugs that has consumed every piece of who they are/were. Both of them were doing and selling a variety of intravenous drugs prior to having Sophia and are currently still living that life today.
This is just the beginning:
Thanks for reading this start to a very long story! It really can’t be told smoothly without knowing a little bit about all of us. I plan to break this up into a 6 part series to be posted once a week for the next 6 weeks, keeping them short-ish and not too overwhelming to read!
Our hope in sharing this story is that maybe we can be of help to anyone out there who is facing this tragic, beautiful, life-altering experience and shed some light and knowledge on the process, as well as encouragement. If thats you, most importantly we want you to know you are not alone. This topic is not spoken about enough, though it is so common in our day and age. We want to be a light to all of you facing this obstacle and an outlet for questions and support for one another.
A word from Mama:
The old phrase, “It takes a village” is the absolute truth in our case. We would have never been able to accomplish what we have without all these people. We became a true family with a common goal and a mission. We did not even know Heather and Derek. Heather and I met once, and that was when Sophia was born. I think Tom and Derek met in Alaska fishing and at best just knew of each other in that industry. And my little Nicole was put in our lives through her Mother, one of my most adored coworkers. It is an honor to know all of them and this planet would not be the same without them. I LOVE them and am indebted to them for life. Key players in place…Let the story begin…
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can.
If you are in need of more support or have questions you would prefer to keep private, you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mema will be available for any questions and support needed.