I do, however, want to start out by introducing myself and my family. My name is Stacey, married to Jason and we live in Arkansas. We got married in September 2009, after dating for 11 months. We have a little girl named Hannah and another baby girl, Olivia, on the way this fall! Our family is growing and I couldn't be more excited! (Keep reading to see the full story on how our family came to be!)
I am currently in my last week of work and will be full-time, stay at home mommy to our precious girls! I have been working for a crisis pregnancy center in our area and LOVE this ministry! It is hard to walk away right now but I know my ministry is first to my family and with it growing, I need more time (and energy!) to pour into my husband and my girls. I'm excited and nervous about this new stage of life but I know it is where God is calling me at this time. :)
I've sat down to write this a hundred times but now, more than ever, the timing seems incredibly perfect. Why now though? Because Jason and I are expecting our first child....yes, "we" have Hannah but I actually had Hannah before Jason and I even started dating. And with only 3 months (yikes!) left of this pregnancy, I don't want to forget where "we" came from.
I was date raped in late January 2008. I didn't tell a soul. I was so scared, sad, ashamed, embarrassed, angry....you name it, I felt it. That was when I got pregnant with Hannah....but wouldn't know that for another 7-8 months. I know, I know. You are probably thinking "how in the heck can you not know you are pregnant??" Lots of ways. When you experience such a trauma, your body honestly plays mind games. (There is a lot of research out there on this topic but I won't bore you with the scientific stuff. :))Everything, except a few extra pounds here and there, seemed normal. I was traveling overseas quite a bit during my pregnancy so I attributed my weight gain to that...until I went to my doctor for just a regular checkup. That "checkup" would change the rest of my life.
What happened over the course of the next 6-8 weeks is a whirlwind and I honestly don't know if I even remember it all. I was looking into adoption because remember how I didn't tell anyone about being raped? Well, I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant right away either. How would people believe this whole story if I hadn't said anything for 8 months?!? Yeah, Satan has a way of sneaking in lots of lies when we aren't on our guard....and my guard was definitely down! Through lots of different decisions during this time and seriously seeing the hand of God through this situation, I decided to be a single mommy to precious Hannah. It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life at the time but has also been the most rewarding. I have NO idea what life would be like without this sassy little girl!
Jason was a huge blessing through it all. He stepped up to the plate and immediately accepted me AND Hannah. God's hand was so evident in our entire relationship because it definitely was not easy. I was processing an entire year of my life that I hadn't shared with anyone and suddenly my life was an open book for everyone...because a lot of questions ensue when a baby appears out of nowhere. I was also learning how to be a mommy and trying to lead somewhat of a "normal" life.
Jason and I dated for 8 months before getting engaged and were only engaged for 3 months. We started out life as a family of 3 and though it has not been the easiest road, I wouldn't trade it for anything! God is faithful and has been with us every step of this journey.
Take a look at these two....would you ever know Hannah wasn't biologically Jason's??? Seriously, they look SO much alike! We've had many strangers comment on how much she looks like her Daddy. Jason and I always just smile and nod. God is neat like that. :)
I know one day we will tell Hannah her story and that brings a little anxiety but we will also be able to share with her God's goodness and faithfulness through the entire situation. What Satan intended for evil, God has used for His glory beyond anything we could have ever expected. Now for Little Sister to arrive and join in on this chaos....