for them

Gilroy Family Photographer | JLK Glitter Shoot-82

I am a life jack of all trades.

I can talk to people going through struggles with their teens… I was pretty much your worst nightmare.. no seriously.. bad enough I worry about if all the bad we have encountered I brought on myself .. on us -but thats a whole different post-

I can speak about infertility and losses. Adoption success and scams. Food allergies and celiac disease.. And just plain ole motherhood. Now I have added in pediatric cancer and founder of a non-profit because of my worst nightmare come true – that is so much worse than I feared-

child loss.

I look at those words and it hits me.. all of these things I have experienced in my life.. They are all are because of her.. My Jennifer. The one that was so worth the broken road we traveled to parenthood.. The child that made feel like I could successfully raise 4 kids.

Now left to try to do it without her.


And again because of her another fairly unique talking point has been added to my tool belt.

Embryo adoption. (the story is being featured on today and tomorrow here is part 1)


After our last IVF cycle we had 4 embryos left. We knew that all of the miscarriages I had were because of my body.. that every baby was normal and for some reason my body was rejecting them. All 5 of them. After the last loss we chose to pursue adoption. We couldn’t in good conscience keep putting these babies in me when we knew they didn’t have a chance and once we started to get into the adoption path we just knew it was the one for us.



Jennifer was so right, so perfectly created for us .. and I hope us for her. She made me a mom. She taught me how to be a good one. And since losing her she has continued to teach me. How every 12th .. the date that marks another month since I held her last I do something good for my surviving 3.. I do it because of her.  Because I remember how  she hurt.. and suffered. She makes me a better mom .. to them.

I say sorry and thank you to her for that.. a lot.. 13301413225_8210980d9e_o

Those 4 remaining em-babies (I know cheesy right) sat in frozen perpetuity .. until I was at the end of my pregnancy with the child that would become Baby Charlotte. .. until one day a random posting in a traditional adoption forum lead me to 10 couples.. and finally one husband and wife looking to adopt embryos.

After a few discussions with them I told Tony about it over dinner. That I had found what I thought was the couple.

At the same time Jennifer was starting to ask deeper questions about not growing in my tummy.. about being adopted. It had been a open adoption but her birth parents made the decision not to keep it up. .. I had contact with her birth grandma and sister and she was able to talk with them ..Still I feared a pain was going to be soon to follow. A hurt and wonder that I couldn’t fix for her.

If it hadn’t been for her.. and for her beginning stages of wondering we wouldn’t have made this choice at that point in time.

We really felt like it would be good for Jennifer.  A way for her to witness all the different ways families can be built..with the one thing that truly matters.


I loved being her mommy.. watching her grow for those 6 years, 3 months and 15 days.

Jennifer, Nicholas and Jonathan 2012


We had always planned on placing our embryos for adoption, but weren’t in any rush to do it. She unknowingly propelled us on this path to find the right family.  We were about to have our 4th baby and we were complete. That baby ended up being another girl.. a sister just like Jennifer wanted.. . What a perfect family we were with our bookend daughters. I remember thinking what a gift we gave both of them.. giving them each other.

Last thanksgiving.
Last thanksgiving. Sisters


Soon after Charlotte’s birth the em-babies were making their trek across a few state lines to their intended parents. 2 were put in and resulted in a miscarriage. Then another cycle.. and to make the story just a bit more twisted she had one from a previous donor so they transferred one from us and one from them and got pregnant with a single baby..  none of us knew from which batch it originated.

I was thinking about it a lot.. how we would tell people. How big a deal I was going make to let people know what an incredible option this is.. This was just a few weeks before Jennifer’s birthday.

 Her 6th birthday. The day we found out she would likely not make it to 7.


October 28th 2013

Her last birthday.

Shaving her cousins head with her little brother at her party.
Shaving her cousins head with her little brother at her party.

Obviously the thought of another genetic child of ours being out there became the last thing on our minds…

July this baby girl was born. We didn’t know if she was genetically connected to us or not..though I was guessing she was based on the photos.

I was mad that it didn’t matter more. So angry that it was just another thing .. It should have been a big deal in our lives… But it wasn’t.

because our daughter is dead.

Testing was done and it confirmed what we already thought. This little girl.. a blessing of epic proportions was .. well is… genetically ours. We never even told Jennifer about it.  But this little girls mother and I talk.. both thinking that maybe my Jennifer has known since February 12th.. somehow met this little baby before anybody else had the honor.

I just realized this is likely the first example of  a common thread in our lives now read here and here..

i have known the them would always change..

but this is just another example.

 we did this for them… because of you.

from all of us..

thank you baby girl.



…Until there is a cure…

24 Responses to “for them”

  1. Your love for life and Heavenly Father’s love for you is unstoppable. I cry with and for you. My adopted daughter, Michele, is now 29 and she has given me 3 beautiful grandchildren: Nicholas 10, Allison 9, and Julianna 2. I can’t imagine my life without them and without her. I praise you for all that you are and all that you do. Jennifer holds a special place in my thoughts and prayers and I truly miss her for you…until there is a cure

  2. I found the mom’s blog by accident while doing some research on the internet; this was a couple of months after JLK’s diagnosis. It made me smile because I knew how much helping others become parents means to you. I wondered back then if Jennifer knew about what you were doing. You are an expert in some of the hardest things a mother could experience -the hardest, really -losing a child. There is a plan, Lib. It just amazes me how huge of a part you must be to this plan, that you have had to endure so much, to really know how to help others in their quest to become parents, love their children, and fight for them.
    I will not let you add any more regrets or guilt to what you’re feeling -so I will tell you to snap out of thinking that your mistakes as teenager are the reason you have gone through all this. You have to know that those nightmarish years were only there to make you the fighter and the loving and caring mother that you are. Don’t add any more regrets to your life. You would never want that for any of your children.

  3. Libby and I have had multiple conversations about her extra lovies traveling to another home. That’s when I realized truly how amazing this friend is. There is so much depth to Libby, it is hard to know it all; yet, the deeper I go, the more I learn about her, me, and life. The thing that really blew me away and taught me so many lessons with one action was her and Tony’s decision to give the gift of life/little people/babies/a family to another deserving couple. In her words: I love them- our unborn babies so much- I want to give them a chance at life. And I know my body can’t do that. She knew the sacrifice a mother made to give her the gift of motherhood (she has always viewed motherhood as a gift-something I sometimes forget) and she chose to walk the walk… As you may have guessed by now, Libby is a good talker (those of you who have had the honor to listen to her speak or know her as a friend, will agree) HOWEVER Libby (and Tony) walk the walk. She puts her money where her mouth is. Libby doesn’t choose easy. She ALWAYS chooses what is best for her children. Despite her wants, she meets their needs. Libby, it was no coincidence that Jennifer become officially yours the same date your em-baby became theirs. You are an incredible mother, in so many ways, to so many types of babies! Jennifer was placed in the best arms. Thank you for being an example of integrity, genuineness, and love.

  4. Libby, I think you are an amazing person & mother to give this huge gift to another family. I’m sure Jennifer met the baby long before you, don’t have any regrets! xxx

  5. I read this blog first thing this morning as I always do, and then I saw the story of your em-baby’s adoption on Libby, if I could be an iota of the amazing person you (and Tony) are, I would count myself so blessed. I hope your family hears my prayers every day. And hears me when I speak her name.

  6. I swear, Libby, you are such an incredible woman. So selfless and caring. Thank you to you and Jennifer, for teaching me so many valuable lessons. When you feel like writing (and sharing) about it, I would love to hear how Jennifer got her name. Sending love.

  7. Libby, you amaze me everyday. What a gift it is for me to say that I “know” you. I really look up to you as a mother and a human being. Thank you, and thank you to Jennifer.

  8. You amaze me over and over. I feel so honored and appreciative that you continue to share your story. So many of my everyday decisions are made based on what you and Jennifer are teaching me and for that I am forever grateful.

  9. You’ve given more life than you will ever know. I have always said I’m not sure I would have my daughter without meeting you on the board. I didn’t know anyone else dealing with infertility or miscarriage. I didn’t know what the next step was. But mostly I did not know how to emotionally cope. And here was this woman on a wedding board teaching me how, without really knowing what she was doing. I would have given up without your words, your actions and support. Knowing there was someone who understood that black hole and also had the balls to tell me not to hang out there made all the difference in the world.

  10. I was just on my lunch break and went to to catch up on my daily gossip, and was so excited to see your faces in the corner, under the top story! Congrats!

  11. Your story continues to amaze me! You are such an inspiring person and have touched the lives of so many, in SO many ways. Jennifer is always in our hearts!!

  12. Libby and Tony god bless you and your beautiful family. You are both amazing. I read the blog today and cried pretty much the whole day I will pray for your beautiful family everyday. Don’t you ever forget that you will forever be Jennifer parents. You will forever have a guardian angel. God bless your beautiful family always.

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