Jayci is an example of pure selflessness.
Her faith and trust in God is what allowed her to make the hardest decision in her life.
Her courage and selflessness is a perfect example of true love. Love for her Savior, for Maddix, and for herself.
(picture of Jayci and her husband on their wedding day with Maddix)
I remember the first time he was placed on my chest. Our sweet little Maddix was finally here. His warm little body fit perfectly under my chin. I could feel his heart beat and I know he could feel mine, I think it soothed him. He didn’t cry very much and he opened his eyes a lot which isn’t always normal in the first few days. I remember thinking it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. He smelt SO good, newborns always do. I had heard how important skin to skin contact was but because I had an emergency C-section I wasn’t really thinking about any of that stuff. I think that initially contact means more for a mother than it does for the baby.
I asked my mom to call Lindsay (the adoptive mother) and tell her to come down. Some birth moms like that time to themselves but I wanted to share the joy with her. She came down for about an hour, we cried and took a lot of pictures. She told me later how much it meant to her. We both say that a lot, just how grateful we are for our relationship. I had a lot of friends ask me why I didn’t want my baby. What a confusing thought process for them.
After I found out I was pregnant and the birth father made it clear he didn’t want to be involved; I just decided to suck it up and do it alone. I had thought about adoption, even talked with a family but it just never felt right. I had been inactive in my religion for a few years and my relationship with the Savior and my Father in Heaven were strained. After a rough few months, I decided it was time to pray to help with my decision. I didn’t want adoption, I didn’t want to give my baby to another mother. I wanted to raise him so bad. If I didn’t want him, I had other options. If you notice my last few sentences all started with “I”. I was so concerned with what I wanted that I didn’t stop to think what Heavenly Father wanted, what Maddix wanted. More importantly what Maddix deserved. It wasn’t about me right now, it was about this baby. I was feeling confused, scared, angry, and lonely. Nobody understood and I didn’t know how to communicate how I was feeling. I felt like I was in a giant hole with no shovel. The walls were slippery and muddy and nobody could hear my screams for help.
Then I met Lindsay and Jeremiah. With two kids adopted and thinking their family was complete she was able to teach me and answer all my questions without ill intent. She helped my thoughts change from fear to hope. I was so afraid for Maddix’s future. I knew I could love him and feed him and bathe him and shower him with gifts but there were some things that no matter how hard I tried I knew I would never be able to give. Because I was his mother, I could never be his father. It didn’t matter that I was independent and strong willed or that I was a hard worker and came from a good family. I couldn’t give him priesthood blessings or baptize him. I couldn’t teach him how to tie a tie or pass the sacrament with him for the first time. Sure, it was possible I would find a wonderful man and eventually he could do these things, but is it worth the risk? I asked myself that on my hard days, is it worth the risk? With a clear knowledge of Heavenly Father’s plan, could I withhold these essential blessings and privileges from this sweet little boy? I couldn’t. I knew it would be so painful to say goodbye and love him from a distance but it was something that I needed to do. My family and the Smith family had undeniable spiritual experiences that allowed us all to know that this decision was the Lord’s will. You’d think that’d make it easier right? Wrong, in fact it sometimes made it harder when I would feel weak and unsure if I would follow through with the decision.
I prayed a lot my last few months I carried Maddix. I felt weak all the time, physically and emotionally. I did the recommended therapy and counseling. I loved my social worker, but nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for a situation like this. I dreaded the day I knew was coming but I was so excited for him to be here. I spent 4 wonderful days with him. I held him close and whispered my love to him every second I could. Sunday morning came too quickly, it was the day I would be released and he would go home with his family. I almost changed my mind. The pain and heartache was something I’ll never be able to put into words.
After a blessing and a lot of prayers, I asked for a few minutes with just me and Maddix. He laid on my bare chest one more time as my little boy. I said a prayer out loud and made him lots of promises. I promised him one day I would answer all his questions. I promised him one day he would understand. I promised him if need be I would always be a phone call or plane ride away. I promised him he would love his family and that they would love him back more than he would ever understand. My last promise was important. I promised him that I would get my butt back on track and be the best example I could be. I told him I was sorry that I allowed myself to be put in this position. I told him I was sorry that I wasn’t in a place to give him what he deserved. I asked Heavenly Father to keep a close eye on us both over the next few years. It’s hard for anyone to understand the heartache until you’ve experienced it. I carried this Child of God until birth, every pain, ache, and craving was a reminder that he was coming and that he was leaving me soon after. As I held him as mine one last time I sang him “I Am a Child of God” and kissed his soft head. I told him I would see him soon.
I handed my social worker my HEART. I remember leaving the room without him and feeling like I was going to throw up. A million doubts came to mind, but I curled up quietly in the wheelchair and headed to the car. The tears were insignificant and the words couldn’t be found. I finally made it to my bed. I wasn’t sure how I would go on. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and I just wanted to die. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. I got another blessing from my dad and somehow managed to fall asleep through the hysterics. I begged and pleaded with my Heavenly Father. I was so desperate for the pain to go away. It took everything in me the next week to open my eyes and survive another day. I would hold his picture and little stuffed animal that still smelled like him. I prayed every second I could. Again asking for the pain to be taken away.
I share the darkness with people so they understand the Light. Our Heavenly Father is so aware of our pain and sorrow. He hears our prayers and he loves us so much. I wanted and waited and waited for Him to step in and help me like everyone said he would.
Lindsay asked us to come visit a little over a week after they brought him home. I will always be grateful that she allows me to be a part of his life, she will never know what it means to me. When we showed up to the house, I was so scared. I wanted to see him and hold him and kiss him so bad but I knew it meant saying goodbye again. I picked Maddix up and almost immediately felt the love of my Heavenly Father. God trusted me with his child and it was now time I trusted in Him. I felt His arms around the both of us, a sort of spiritual hug. How can you not? This perfect tiny human was just in Heaven a week ago and now he is here. What an absolute miracle! When I looked into Maddix’s eyes I felt at peace. I knew that I had made the right decision for us. He was here and he had everything he needed. He had more than he needed.
It was now time for me to to heal and move forward. It didn’t happen overnight, not even in a few months. Heck, I still have hard days but I made it! It took me a good two years to finally realize that as much as God loves Maddix, He loves me too. I was important too. I am a child of God too. On His time He helped me feel confident in my decision, He helped me feel confident in myself, helped me love myself and understand my worth. He forgave me! He cleansed my soul and washed away my transgressions. I knew it would take time but I knew He would help continue to fill the void in my heart. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything. The Smith family and Maddix have helped me gain a stronger testimony and gave me something to look forward too. Families are forever!
There is nothing sweeter and nothing that brings me more joy than to see Maddix’s smile and hear his laugh. What a blessing it is for him to have so many people that love him and pray for him daily.
Our Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He may not always answer them in the way we want but they are always answered. We are his children and He loves each and every one of us, always. When we are at our ends on the darkest days and feel as though we can’t push forward anymore, He is there to carry us. He can help us turn the most devastating trials into the sweetest lessons that bring us blessings beyond measure. If only we could fully understand His love for us. When we only have 85%, He is there with the other 15%. Heavenly Father doesn’t just make up the difference in our lives, He is the difference.
To read Maddix’s story through his adopted Mother’s eyes read HERE.
If you are new to our blog you can read my story HERE.
Here is another fabulous foster to adopt story.
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