Thursday, December 1, 2011


This years Thanksgiving was awesome! It was a Hakes family reunion and so that is what we did first! (I am still awaiting our BIG family picture that we took so I can post it) We were very excited when Uncle Cody showed up from Pennsylvania. We didn't think he was coming! So so so glad to see their whole sweet family. We ate lunch and then did minute to win it games and they were so fun! After that party we moved on to the Stapley one. That was also very fun...we didn't play any games but we did a lot of teasing and had a lot of laughs. GOOOD day with good good people we love!

Here is Tatum with Jaba the Hut.....or Laikyn. She is so kissable.

I am thankful for this little girl.
Ha ha!!! I got ROMAN MAN to smile.....yay me:)

Here is what Tatum came down the stairs wearing on her lips. I was like ummmmmm. Let's wipe that off before we go to the next party;) Is it just me or does Toby look HUGE in this picture!?!

I made the sweet potatoes.....they were yum.

Thankful for a cute grandparents

My brothers

I am thankful for Stapley men even though they don't clean up!

Thankful for my family.
(we missed you Allie and Matt!)

Tatum made this for Swayze.....she is into making books for people.
She even sounded out frum!! We had the best Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chronicals of an only child.

Oh Tatum Tatum Tatum. Where do I start! This sweet girl has been the only child for 6 whole years. She is used to being catered to, loved on, and payed attention to 24/7. It has been SO hard not to spoil her highness, but I think we have done a pretty good job of telling her no sometimes ;) She still wants to be picked up and snuggled at night(still okay by me!) and loves her blanket. I am trying to prepare her for big sister hood. About a month ago we were on our way to gymnastics and here is the conversation that we had:

Me: Tatum, I have a great dream. Do you want to know what it is?
Tatum: Yeah mommy.
Me: It's you sitting next to me on the couch. We have a blanket and I am holding our new baby and we are both trying to make it laugh. Our new baby is so happy because it has a big sister like you!
Tatum: Oh. Thats so nice mom. You want to know what I dream about?
Me: Oh! What do you dream about Tatum.
Tatum: I dream of having my own horse.
Me: LOL.

It was funny. It was my feeble attempt to get her excited about having a new baby around. I know that she is excited to be a big sister but for some reason I don't think that she can fathom the thought because she has been alone for so long. I don't think she really "gets" it. I have been talking about adopting a lot lately and she now asks me just about everyday when she gets into the car after school if I have our baby yet.( we are getting there....ya know closer to her "getting" it) I reply.....I wish sweetheart! Hopefully someday soon. She is going to be the funnest older sister ever. I CAN'T WAIT!
I dream.......DREAM of the day that Shane and I get to introduce Tatum to her new baby brother or sister. It is something that I have dreamed about for years.....that first meeting. That precious moment that I am not going to be able to hold back the tears for. I love (although for awhile it was a bit painful to see) seeing on TV other children's faces light up when they are introduced to their siblings for the first time. I have been imagining of what Tatum's face will look like when she meets our precious baby. I feel so incredibly hopeful that the wait won't be too long now. But like I always is to enjoying this until we have another sweet lil one.......cause after that it will be double the fun!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

FSA carnival

I also updated our adoption blog on how conference went. If you want to read it go to the right and click on Home Sweet Adoption, The night before conference FSA puts on a family fun time carnival! Here is tiger Tatum at the carnival. It was really fun to see everyone there! We brought Tatum's friend Grace with us and they had a blast. There was this amazing face painter. My friend Angie stumbled upon her. This face painter placed her child 40 years ago and has always wanted to get involved in doing service. She painted the faces of all of our little friends at the carnival. She was so good that I was very tempted to become a zebra for the night.

These two are hilariously cute together. Grace's face is painted like a peacock.

One of the booths there was throw a wet sponge at someone's face. I volunteered my fun husband. He was such a good sport as the girls tossed that thing in his face. Pretty funny to watch. These pictures aren't the greatest because I took them on Shane's phone.

She just had to. It being Halloween recently, she got these teeth and wanted to look like a real tiger before I had daddy go upstairs and wash all the paint off her face. She is an animal girl like her mama. I love it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

FSA regional conference.

I posted this to our adoption blog but for some reason you are unable to pull it up from our family blog so for certain purposes I am going to post it right here!

This weekend is the Families Supporting Adoption regional conference. November is National Adoption month and I will be co-teaching a 1 hour class and will be a panelist to tell my story as an adoptee. Do I dare say how nervous I am? I am. So. Very. This subject that I am to talk about is so very near and dear to my heart. It makes me cry, it makes me laugh, it makes me have anxiety. It is beautiful. Here is a little bit of what I am going to say, while I am not going to bring this paper with me, I think that it was imperative to write it so that I would be prepared. I didn't want to read from a paper when I told my story, I wanted to have the Spirit lead and guide me on what to say. I wrote it because I wanted to document it plus it really made me think when I wrote it. Here it goes!

As early as I can remember, my parents have told me that I was adopted. The story is super cute and my dad still gets a little choked up when he tells the story about the day that they placed me in their arms and how they just KNEW that I was their baby. They would tell me, Shelley, you are SO special. They said it over and over again. These words were important to me growing up. You are special. I knew that I was special and being adopted has been one of the biggest blessings in my life!

I was born on January 14th 1982 in Phoenix Arizona. I was placed in my wonderful parents arms at the Mesa LDS family services office on January 22nd, 8 days after my birth. Even though I do not remember it, I know that it was one of the best days of my little life.

With closed adoptions 30 years ago there was such limited information. All that my parents receive after placement was a small three to four paragraph piece of paper. It is basically family and medical history, which was very vague. It has some facts of where the family originated. Still the facts are broad. I have read it thousands of times in hopes to pull something more out of it.

If I could have my wish, I would liked to have known these things:

About my birthmother:

What is her name?

What does she look like? Do I look like her?

How old was she when she had me?

What does she like to do?

Can she sing or play a musical instrument?

What type of personality traits did I inherit from her?

Where does she live?

What is all the medical history in her family?

Is she happy?

Did she have more children?

If she has a family do they know about me?

What did she do with her life?

Is she doing the things that Heavenly Father would have her do?

Did she ever see me?

I was born by C- section and so a lot of times back then they would put the mother under for this procedure. I have no idea if my birthmother ever even saw or held me before she let me go. I would really love to know that!

With my birthfather I didn’t have quite so many questions but I did always wonder where he went and ended up.

What was he like?

Is he happy?

Is he doing the things that Heavenly Father would want him to be doing?

Some of you would ask why do you want to know these things? My answer to that would be that it definitely differs from person to person. Having a few friends, a couple of cousins and my own mother having been adopted I know that I am not alone on some of the questions that I have had. Growing up, when people would find out that I was adopted, there was always a really positive reaction and then they would ask a whole bunch of questions that I was NOT prepared to answer. I didn’t know any of the answers and there is so many questions that a person can take when they just don’t know. I want to make a note before I go any further that it is different for everyone and these are my own personal feelings. I am sure that I made my mom’s head spin at all of the million questions that I spit at her. I would always ask her if she was hiding something from me and often would snoop in their stuff to find a document or letter of some sort. The truth is that the letters or hidden documents that I had hoped to find had never even existed. It was hard and me being a very curious girl to begin with wasn’t making it any easier. Here is the way that I coped with not knowing the things that I wondered and the things that people would ask me: I used to make things up. I used a toy bunny that I told everyone she gave to me. I even went as far as telling everyone that my birthmother was Whitney Houston! For those of you who don’t know her, she is very black and an amazing singer. I used to think I could sing exactly like her when I was 5 & 6. I remember telling my mom very seriously that I thought that she truly was my birth mother and then proceeded to sing “ Oh I wanna dance with somebody.” You know....just to prove it. To this day my family won’t let me live it down. If she comes up on TV or is on a poster somewhere my siblings laugh and say “Hey Shelley! It’s your birth mom!” It’s pretty funny now.

Now while I have a lot of questions about my origin and birth parents, I do need to add that there is one very important question that I can answer without fail. I found this answer through personal revelation. Why? Why they did it. Well everyone I KNOW why. It is because they loved me. They wanted something more for their precious daughter of Heavenly Father that they chose to place me with two wonderful parents that were able to provide me with so much. I am very sure that I was meant to go to the family that I went to and I had the most amazing childhood ever! By doing what they did, my birthparents provided me with a stable, spiritually sustaining home with a mother and a father, where I was able to thrive upon my parent’s wonderful testimonies. They taught me about the Savior and what it meant to be a good example and serve other people. They were able to give me four siblings shortly after I came to the family. They took me to the temple when I was one to be sealed to them for all of Eternity by my very own grandfather, who was a temple sealer. My birthparents gave me the gift of being raised in a home where I learned that we are all God’s children.

I am a mother of one precious little girl. She is six years old and her name is Tatum. My husband and I feel so blessed to have her and know that Heavenly Father sent her to us so that we can teach her how to live her life in a way that emulates the Savior. It is a humbling experience and I feel such a responsibility to do it right. I feel that the knowledge and testimony that I have of the gospel is a direct blessing that came from my birth parent’s decision to place me in the home that they did. They were not ready for the challenges of parenthood and knew that it was important for me to go to my family. I commend, respect and love them so much for that.

On August 11th of this year, my husband Shane and I entered the very same LDS family services building that I was placed in my parents arms 29 years and 10 months ago. I am so happy to announce that we are now embarking on our own adoption journey. My husband and I just got certified and our profile is up on the LDS family services website. We are currently looking for our baby and we could not be more excited! We look forward to welcoming a new baby into our home to love, to teach, and to guide throughout this life. So you see? The decision that my birth parents made so long ago continues to bless my life and those that I love. My very own special parents that raised me, those wonderful and amazing parents taught me how to be who I am today. I love them so much. I would have never had their great examples and guidance if my birth parents had not been so selfless.

I love my birth parents. It would be so great if I could someday get the answers to the questions that I have behind those two mystery people that I love. While it is not totally important to my happiness to know the things I want to about them, I feel that it would be a sort of healing experience and would put an end to all the wondering. I want to make sure that when we are placed with a beautiful child of our Heavenly Father, that they will never have any of the questions that I had growing up.

For those of you trying to adopt or if you plan on placing your child, try to have an open mind and remember my story when deciding if you will do an open or closed adoption. I hope that I have been able to tell my story and relay my feelings in an adequate way that can help support you in the decisions that you make with adoption. My hope for all children is that they will grow up healthy, happy, and strong. That they will have the kind of stability and wonderful home that I was placed in. It is my prayer that the children who are adopted will not grow up with unanswered questions about their birth parents and that they will come to know and embrace our Savior Jesus Christ. I love being adopted. It is a true gift and I leave these things that I have said with you and wish you well in all of your endeavors to come!

In a nutshell! These are some of the things that I will say at conference. I will probably elaborate much more. Who knows what will come out of my mouth. I feel that sometimes I can be a loose cannon without any filters. Wish me luck that I don't say something silly! Anything could come out of my mouth. I'll update with pictures later:)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween! Cruella DeVil. If she doesn't scare you no evil thing will! Man this girl was in character the whole time she was in costume. I swear. Maybe I should put her in acting classes.....she seems to shine in this area.

I. Love. Her.

Cruella checking herself out before our ward party and handsome Uncle Chase walking Tayters to the trunk or treat party. He is such a good uncle and we are so lucky that we have him. Tatum loves to watch movies with Uncle Chase. I have the best brothers!

Mommy's masterpiece! Never thought I would have so much fun doing her Halloween costumes.


Kindergarten parade day. She wouldn't wave at anyone.....look at anyone and stayed in character the whole time! She is trying hard not to crack a smile in the picture of my favorite things she does.

So I tried to have Toby be a dalmation puppy for Cruella De Vil. These are tights with cut holes in them to make them look like spots. He was fine breathing and everything but I just couldn't do it. He looked too uncomfortable! So we decided to take it off of him. Boy was he happy!

Getting ready to knock on Ma ma ma's door. In the next picture while we were waiting for my grandma to open the door she heard the neighbor's spooky sounds tape that was playing at his front door. She wasn't too sure about it and Aunt Megan and I were laughing while I was taking this shot. Classic.

Halloween would not be the same without my dear grandparents. Ma ma ma and Pa pa pa. I
think it is safe to say that these guys are the best people in the world. They are the perfect examples of how to live a happy life and they love their family so much. They are the best......ever.

Aunt Megan! Came all the way to see her in her costume. LOVE HER.

WHo is this?
Ha ha! You fooled us Grandma Hakes. This lady walked up and pretended to trick or treat. Nobody knew who she was until she took off her disguise!
Shane has such a cute grandma! Love her.

This one is CARAZAY! Mr. Titan wouldn't let me get a good picture of his costume so I had to force him to lay down. I got the picture a little bit later on in the night but man! Is is a tough nut. If he don't wanna.....snot going to happen. He is a funny kid. Greg and Brittany have their hands totally full.

Nama Pat. I tried to get a cute picture of her running into Nama's arms but my camera bites. It was no good. She does it just about every time she sees her so... next time!

Uncle Jake showed up when she was trick or treating to say hi and see her in her costume. I really am so blessed to have such awesome family that love my little girl so much. Uncle JXTC is so good with Tatum. She loves it when he plays his guitar just for her.

Tatum and Preslie. She is a baker! If you ask her what color her hair is she shouts RED!
She is a true red head spit fire girl. Next picture is her little sister kitty cat Laikyn with her favorite Auntie Shelley. You can't tell but her hair is bright red too. I have the cutest nieces! Really. Every single one of them are adorable.

Some of the crew from the Breinholt Halloween party. Not everyone but a good mix!

It's Morph man Danny Anderson! Happy to announce that he is going on a mission to Philly! Right where our very own Cody and Ashley live!
He reports December 7th. The first grandchild to go. I can't believe we will have a nephew out on a mission. This makes me feel kind of old! We love Danny boy.

Overall it was a good Halloween. I am glad that it is is kind of getting to be a big holiday over here. I am excited for this fun time of year. Lots of boutiques, crafting and having fun planning parties. Let the festivities begin!