dirty rotten adoption scammer: the story of T.A.

in early july 2009 while driving to sacramento for my brother-in-law’s wedding, i get a call from a friend of mine from a previous ward. her name is tracy. she and her husband, dan, are hoping to adopt.

“lindsey, after years and years of waiting, we finally are in contact with a birth mom! what should i do?”

“oh tracy! i am so thrilled for you! i don’t know what you should do! just talk to her!”

she told me how a friend she worked with at the hospital (she is a NICU nurse) had a daughter that worked at a certain high school in northern utah. this daughter had started a friendship with one of her students. (we will call this student T.A.) T.A. confided in this teacher that she was pregnant and needed help. she told her teacher that she was in an abusive relationship with a boy named alex and didn’t know what to do.

like i would hope every teacher would do, this teacher encouraged T.A. to look at all her options, including adoption. this teacher told T.A. about tracy and dan and their hope to adopt and got them in touch with one another.

tracy is a super shy person. we talked about questions she could ask T.A. and things she could do to get to know this birth mother better. i tried to help her feel confident and told her to keep me informed.

i didn’t hear from tracy for a looong time. in fact, it wasn’t until mid november that i heard from her again. she told me a sad story about T.A. delivering a little girl at Orem Community Hospital at just 24 weeks on september 8th. naturally, tracy was super concerned seeing as she was a NICU nurse. tracy asked T.A. how much the baby weighed and didn’t get an answer back for several weeks at which time T.A. told tracy that the baby weighed 3.something pounds.

again, being a NICU nurse, tracy knew that something wasn’t adding up. she told me about how they had never met and how most of their communication was online. she told me how T.A. kept trying to make up her mind about whom to place her little girl with. one minute tracy thought they were going to be chosen, the next she didn’t know. that had been going on for months after the baby was born. i asked tracy if she had ever gotten to visit the baby in the hospital. every time tracy asked T.A. about it, the reply was, “i am not ready for that yet.”

tracy told me how T.A. was struggling with the decision to place. i told her that she could share my blog with her if she wanted. there were lots of links to birth mothers who were open about their experiences and maybe something would help her.

tracy agreed.

tracy told me how T.A. did send them a photo of her precious baby girl, named ava.

 


you can imagine how hard it must have been for tracy and dan. she is a beautiful baby.

as i listened to tracy, my heart started to race. i remember exactly where i was when, with a very heavy heart, i said, “tracy, are you sure she is real?” my mind flashed to our conversation five months earlier and how excited we had both been. i felt so bad, but felt like i had to say something. a little while later, i told sensei and muse that i was worried that i had hurt tracy’s feelings.

on december 21st, 2009, i shed a little tear as i read a message from tracy, “the birth mom has chosen another family.”

sometimes adoption is just hard.

* * *

fast forward with me to last friday. i headed to my computer to write my thoughts about the new year and my testimony of the Savior.

while editing before i posted, i got the strangest email in my facebook inbox. it was from a girl named T.A. (please note that when i talked to tracy, she never told me the name of the expectant mother she had been communicating with.)

T.A. asked me, “do you know of any totally awesome couples looking to adopt”

“i sure do.”

“are they going through LDSFS?”

yeah some of them. for example, one of my dearest friends, leisha and brian, are approved and hoping to adopt through LDSFS. (you can read their adoption blog here: http://joinourfamily.blogspot.com/)

or there are people like josh and i that are hoping to adopt again and just haven’t gotten our papers in yet. 

then there is a whole long list of couples that i know that are hoping to adopt on my blog. (on the left hand side under “hoping to adopt.” most of those links should be good. i haven’t gone through and cleaned them up in a few months.)

talk to me. are you looking for a couple to place with for you or a loved one? anything i can do to help?

let me know.

much love.”

“Thanks.
I am looking for me. I made the decision to place a while ago, but have been putting off finding a family for lots of reasons, but now I really need to choose cuz I don’t have much time left.
I’m not really sure what anyone can do to help. I’m stuck”

…and that’s how it all started.

we emailed all day and by the end of the day, it looked like she was thinking about placing her baby girl with us. she told us that she was due march 10th.

she and i had a lot of connections–i told her my dad used to be a jazz drummer and she and her ex named alex had also miraculously been drummers too. alex was even on a scholarship at the u of u (even though he was a huge cougar fan) and on the drumline up there.

i told her that josh had served in long beach and miraculously, that is where her whole family grew up.

she told us she had a large family with just one brother and five sisters. she told us how she was the baby of the family and 12 years younger than her next sibling.

while emailing, i was excited at the idea of having another baby. josh is not quite there yet. after all, we had only just sealed gavin 10 days earlier. but, i never got the feeling that this was our baby. in adoption, i have come to trust only one thing: the Spirit.

throughout the day, the Spirit had told me only one thing, “this girl needs help. help her.”

at the time, i thought that meant supporting her as she thought about whether or not adoption was the right thing for her and her baby.

i asked her if she had ever looked at any families before.

“I should’ve picked one a while ago, but I wasn’t finding “them” and I will not settle for her. When I had first decided that adoption was the right thing for my little girl, I wrote in my journal kind of to her that I wouldn’t settle for her, whether that meant changing my mind and marrying her dad or in the family that I placed her with. I wouldn’t do it!
I have been totally stressing over it, but I think I’m stressing more over a combination of everything else that is going on right now. With my family especially.”

since she alluded to it, i asked her what was going on with her family. her reply was lengthy, but full of drama and emotional sucker-iners.

“I have 1 brother and 5 sisters. About a year after my brother came home from his mission he started going downhill really bad and now 3 his 6 kids have different moms. When I met Alex during the summer of 9th grade at drumline camp we started out as just friends because he was a senior. His family a little while later moved into our neighborhood. He was always at my house or I was at his. My family loved him. He was a “good” guy. He was the good son my parents never had and still to this day no matter what he does they still love him. He plays them all, but they don’t see it. I found out I was pregnant in July, but didn’t tell my family until October. I honestly was hoping they would never find out. That I could deal with everything while being at school and they would never find out. Boy was I wrong!! My mom knew the second she saw me when I came home to watch my nieces and nephews for Halloween. Anyway, when everyone found out I was pregnant they all told me that they would never push me into anything. That they weren’t even going to voice their opinions because they didn’t want me to change my decision because of their opinions.

At first Alex and I were engaged. In my head I was thinking “we can be a happy little family, everything will work out!” NOT! I told my family we were getting married and because they didn’t want me to feel like they weren’t supporting me said that it was a great idea. But the abuse from Alex at the time was getting worse and worse and when I saw the very first ultrasound of my little girl it kind of hit me! Up until that point, I was thinking what was best for me or what I wanted, but not at all what is best for her. I had a mom and a dad that are sealed, why should she have to miss out on that because we were stupid?! Umm..no. I didn’t want her to have to suffer. Or have her life controlled by him. So when I told my family that the wedding was off and that I was highly considerring adoption they all looked at me like what the crap?! This was probably the middle of November and the first time they had actually told me what they thought. Most of my family wants me to keep her. Which I totally get. Because I want to so bad. But not enough that I am going to jeopardize her life so that I can get what I want. They want Alex and me to raise her because she’s “ours”. Umm…no she’s not. They don’t want to lose a granddaughter or a niece. Which is totally weird to me because of 5 miracles that we have in our family because of adoption and how those 3 birthmoms and their families are part of our family too. We see the 3 of them a lot. So i don’t get why I am any different.

They wanted me to keep her so bad that for Christmas I got tons of baby clothes, furniture, baby name books because they were trying to change my mind. There is no way I will change my mind. She deserves so much more than I can give her on my own. But they don’t see that. They see it as me being my usual stubborn self and doing everything that they don’t want me to. I told my whole family the other day, that I am doing this with or without them, I would like their support but I’m not going to go against what I know is best for this little girl because they dont want to support me.

My one sister that has adopted kids is the only one that is being super supportive. And it’s only because she’s on the other side and knows how much of a miracle and blessing it all is. Everyone else is actually kind of mad at me for placing.

I cried and cried with each thing I opened that was baby related on Christmas morning. And then cried even more when I took most of it back. Them doing that, because I am retarded, started to think well maybe I can do it. I thought for maybe a split second that maybe I could be a single mom. Theres no doubt in my mind that I can be a good mom. But I can only give her half the equation. She deserves a mom and a dad. I could go on and on about how I feel about adoption and my love for my little girl. Many people have told me, “If you really loved her you wouldn’t give her away.” People are stupid. It is because I love her so much that I’m doing it.

Alex is really mad at me. But he said that when I found a family I really liked then he would at least read about them. Not that he would completely agree with me or whatever but he would at least give what I feel I need to do and then go from there. His mom is so supportive and his little sister is too. Everyone else hates me.”

i told her that if she was really interested in us, that i would update my adoption blog for her to share with the birth father. she told me she would like that.

i asked her to tell me her top 10 favorite things to do. she shared the following:

“gymnastics. i started when i was 6 and totally fell in love with it. before i started, when we’d watch the summer olympics i watch the stuff they would do and then go out in my front yard and teach myself the best i could.

i love to dance. i started doing ballet jazz and tap along with gymnastics when i was 7 and loved it just as much. when i was 8 i started doing Irish and that is probably one of my favorite forms of dance along with ballroom. my dad and i do ballroom together. He was on BYU’s ballroom dance team, folk dancers and program bureau. And also danced with Disney on Parade. So i guess I got his genes.

I also love to read! Even when I was really little I loved to read.

Play the piano and drums. The piano is kind of my way out. When I’m having a really hard day emotionally when people are being stupid, whatever it is I just sit down and play and can play for hours and it helps so much!

I love hanging out with my nieces and nephews. They’re some of my best friends…Right now especially. The oldest is 12 and we have such a great time together :) As I do with all of them. Right now, it’s been a little harder being around babies. Especially because placement for my newest niece was a week and a half ago. And then my sister in law is having her baby 2 weeks before me. oh well. But I love not really more…I don’t really know how to explain it. But I feel closer to Brooklyn than maybe my other nieces and nephews because the two of them will be so close to my little girl in age….

Sign Language! LOVE it! It was kind of my first language.

Helping people…I love to listen to whatever is going on peoples’ lives.
Hanging out with my friends…Even though I don’t have too many left at this point.

Scrapbooking and blogging. Right now I am making a scrapbook for my little girl that she can have when she’s older. It has pictures from when I was little. The things that I like to do. My family. and the same for Alex. And then it has letters that I have been writing to her. All of the ultrasounds. And I’m hoping to get letters from my family to her…we’ll see how well that goes. I never want her to feel like I didn’t love her or didn’t want her. I also want her know these things so she never has to wondered, “did she like to do some of the same things I do?”

SHOPPING! What girl doesn’t? But I am really obsessed…. :/

School. Even though I didn’t do so hot in school this semester, I love it! Have from the time I was little.”

friday evening i posted the following as my facebook status:

well, i am just have THE BEST day. thanks T.A. for pouring your heart out to me. i LOVE birth mothers. bless your HUGE hearts. xoxoxo

later that night,  T.A shared with us how she just needed to vent. we told her she could call us.

she called almost immediately.

we spoke for several hours. it was an interesting conversation. i compared it to when we were talking with nicole and joniece–joyous, emotional, sacred conversations full of love and the Spirit. talking to T.A. was none of those things.

i felt anxious.
i felt kind of used.
i remember passing a note to josh who was sitting right next to me saying, “it feels like she is lying a lot.”

she spoke about the unreal (literally, lol) things her family had done to sabotage her desire to place. she told us how her brother’s 4 year old had come up to her and said, “we have problems in our family …we don’t give babies away in our family.”

she told us how no one in her family was supportive–even her sister (an adoptive mom) who was really close to the birth mothers of little ones, was only supportive behind the backs of her parents. even that sister wouldn’t stick up for her.

i told her that i didn’t get that at all. now i know why.

she told us how her mom had invited alex, the birth father, to the family gathering the night before (she also told us it was 2 nights before later on in the conversation) and how her mom had said to alex, “oh! look at you play with all those nieces and nephews. you are going to be a great dad.”

her mom who was apparently in the relief society presidency with the birth father’s mom. also, her dad was apparently the bishop. both were totally NOT supportive of the adoption plan.

she told us that alex had placed a child for adoption before when he was 16 (he is now 22) and then served a mission afterwards. (odd, knowing church policy.) she told us that the baby lived in hawaii and was named linsey. (with that spelling.) she told us how she found out. how his brother handed her a picture of a 6 year old and on the back it said, “i am so glad to have a birth father like you in my life.” to be honest, it sounded like she was making the story up while she was telling it to me. i started answering emails while i was talking to her on the phone …which was something that i would have never been able to do were i talking to nicole or joniece for the first time. each of their conversations were totally invigorating and full of life.

after getting off the phone i was annoyed. annoyance is not one of the fruits of the Spirit and i considered not talking to her again. i don’t like to be around people that 1) annoy me 2) make me feel anxious 3) make me wonder if i am being lied to.

however, josh and i discussed that there was a slight possibility that this was really a single, pregnant teenager who had no support and needed help. we were willing to put our emotions, annoyances and possibly even the chance of getting scammed out there just in case this was really an expectant mom who needed support. that’s how strongly we believe in adoption.

the next morning, josh and i both felt the Spirit again confirm, “this girl needs help. help her.” the Spirit was strong.

i texted with T.A. on and off throughout the day on saturday.

randomly, she texted and told me that alex was now on board with the adoption plan and that they had talked for a long time after we had gotten off the phone the night before.

i asked her if she showed him our adoption blog. she said she had and that he took one look at it and said, “i have seen all i need to see to know what i need to know.”

we didn’t know what in the world that meant …and neither did our friends who were over at r house for sensei’s birthday party. in fact, after i read it out loud, there was this off silence and then someone said, “well, it seems positive.” lol. who knows?

the general consensus was to just shrug our shoulders.

after that, we thought we had better invite both alex and T.A. to dinner and the sooner the better.

“how about this week?” i offered. (remember this was saturday night.)

immediately, “that isn’t going to work for alex. he is leaving on monday to sell security systems or something in florida.”

“what time?”

“6:30 am.”

“okay, well let’s meet tomorrow, sunday, on temple square and find a nice quiet place to chat. i know all the best places having served there.”

“i will text him and ask him.”

a few minutes pass.

“he said, ‘i would like to meet them, but i am not ready yet.’ but me on the other hand, i would love to.”

“okay, monday it is.”

we set to go out to dinner on monday night (monday the 11th–just a few days ago) at cafe rio (apparently the place that she had been craving all during her pregnancy). she said she would be cleaning out her apartment in orem (she claimed she went to UVU) and would be riding the bus up from orem. we arranged to pick her up at the sandy bus station and take her to dinner. afterward, we would take her to her home in northern utah.

all this happened on saturday.

saturday night we got our first message (through facebook) from the birth father.

“u want a baby girl in ur family?”

“we would be honored to welcome a sweet baby girl into our family,” i replied.

“ours?”

“if that’s what you and T.A. decide is best for you and your baby girl, we would be honored to be part of your family in that way.”

“im not sure how she feels but i wont sign the papers unless its for her 2 b in ur family”

during this conversation, josh and i looked at each other like, “what?” and “whoa!” lol. although still skeptical, we thought, “well, at least there isn’t any birth father drama.” we have had r share of that, as you know.

we encouraged alex and T.A. to get on the same page.

“i think we already are on the same page. first thing we’ve agreed on in a while. i want my relationship with this child 2 b different than the one i have with linsey. im sure T.A. has told u. if not, then i will. my daughter was placed for adoption 6 yrs ago. i usually only c her once a year, but i havent seen her in 3 until today. i want to b a part of this babies life. i am the 2nd oldest in my family. im a drummer. im 22. im originally from KY. i am on the U of U drumline. i dunno wut u want 2 know. i am studying music ed for the time bein.”

josh and i discussed the difference in writing styles. they are totally different. it’s one of the things that kept us going. josh even said to me, “i don’t think she is smart enough to fake it.” again, we shrugged. it seemed like there were always more and more questions being left unanswered than any real answers.

we started talking to alex about T.A.’s bright red hair.

“yeah. but i think she hates her hair more than most girls. she straightens it a lot and before she got a chi it used 2 take her 3 hours to straighten. she hated it. im considering high school. but that could change.”

i thought to myself, “what kind of dude knows the brand name of a flat iron? that’s weird …and so girlie of him to know.”

so i said, “LOL! i love that you know flat iron brands! i need T.A. to give me lessons on how to wield the flat iron. i am really bad. i have stick straight hair though and try to use it to make curls …anyway, this convo got all girlie!”

he replied, “i dated T.A. for a long time…and shes a major girlie girl so i got used to it. and when chis came out she really wanted one so i got to hear all about it..lol”

weird …but explainable, i guess.

he told us he was 6’3″ and that he was leaving in a few days to go to florida to sell security systems. i wondered how that worked considering he was on a full-ride drumline scholarship at the U.

“i am going 2 b taking my classes online this semester. i was planning on doin that before i decided 2 go 2 florida so that when things got fixed with T.A. that i could be there 2 support her without having 2 worry about going 2 school or nething”

that seemed really strange to me especially since his facebook page (which i might add was brand new and only had 3 friends after i added him) stated that he would be graduating this year (although he was only 22 and served a 2-year mission). to graduate, he would be taking 300 and 400 level classes, i am sure it is possible, but it was just another thing that raised my eyebrow–my left eyebrow to be exact.

on monday, alex told me (via facebook message) that “there was something wrong with the plane that was supposed 2 go from denver to florida so i am stuck here til around 2 or so theyre saying.” he asked if there was anything i wanted to know about him. apparently, he wanted me to entertain him during his delay.

i asked a bunch of questions and asked him to send us some pictures of himself–pictures from his phone. he said he deleted them all (i almost asked him to take a picture of himself in the denver airport, but didn’t for some reason). randomly, his sister emailed a whole bunch to me almost instantaneously.

i was a little confused by this seeing as she lives with her dad who is apparently in wyoming. i know he could have called her and asked her to email them over, but T.A. had just texted me and said that alex’s sister (alyssa) was going to get on her computer and mail some of them over but she had just talked to alex and it looked like alyssa was going to send over mostly the same ones.

the sizes and the names of the pictures were really odd. they all looked like they had been just copied and pasted from the internet. nothing was full size.

i asked him to describe what was going on in the pictures because the names on them were a little confusing. i sent them to josh and said something along the lines of, “you are 6’4″ …this kid looks nothing like he is one inch shorter than you.”

he sent a description back of each of the pictures. so very, very interesting knowing what i know now.

one thing that was really confusing to me was that two nights before i had asked him if he had ever traveled outside of the united states. he told me, “i have gone 2 germany twice. prague, paris, and ireland. T.A.’s dads brother and his family live in germany and have for more than 10 years i think. and T.A. and i took her there for her 16th birthday.” however, several of the photos he sent to us were of him in china and talking to his friends about china. who would forget that? incidentally, he didn’t mention in this list where he served his mission. apparently he served in Belo Horizonte South, but had never been to brazil. it wasn’t consistent. it wasn’t adding up.

sure, maybe he just forgot to mention it, but do you see a pattern? there were always too many questions in my mind.

suddenly, i got a text from T.A. that said, “alex wants me to tell you that he just got on the plane.”

and that was the end of the conversation.

i made T.A. a courage necklace with hot pink howlite to give to her at dinner that night.

Howlite is a calming stone. It is an aid to insomnia, especially when caused by an overactive mind. Formulates ambitions and aids in achieving them. Howlite strengthens memory and stimulates desire for knowledge. It teaches patience and helps to eliminate rage, pain and stress. Calms communication, facilitates awareness and encourages emotional expression.

read more here.

who would have thought that the calming, strengthening memory, desire for knowledge, patience and the elimination of rage, pain and stress were things that i would really need, not T.A.?

sensei watched my boys and josh and i went to the bus station.

this cute, short girl with bright red hair got off the bus. she had a hearing aid in her left ear. she did not look 7 months pregnant. in fact, although she was not a super skinny girl by any means, she barely looked 3 months pregnant. she tried to hide it with a large woolen coat.

my suspicions were at an all-time high.

although she was on the phone with someone, i gave her a hug and walked her over to our car.

we went to cafe rio and ordered. conversation was easy. she started out with somewhat of an attitude, but we wore her down. ;) T.A. is a really funny girl. we laughed about how her parents would not let her drink soda or eat ice cream as a kid. we talked about her family’s obsession with sour cream. we laughed and laughed. (mr. r looked especially dashing that night too, i might add.)

i tried to ask her about the baby as much as possible, but she didn’t want to talk about her. she had already told us that she was really small because she had a very hard time gaining weight and had been hospitalized 3 times because of it …but that nothing was wrong with the baby. she said she had just had an appointment that morning and although she was in trouble for being so small, the baby was 100% fine and she didn’t have to go on bed rest.

she told us about how she was born prematurely at just 24 weeks and only weighed 2 pounds. she told us how her brother could hold her in the palm of his hand. she said that all of the people in her family were born prematurely–that’s how she tried to explain why she was so small.

although i did not think she was pregnant, we had a great time with her. she is a fun girl. and funny. i could see us being friends.

i gave her the courage necklace i made for her and she faked a tear. i smiled.

toward the end of our meal, i turn to josh and say, “this poor girl was deprived of ice cream at a very young age. we need to make up for lost time; let’s take her to cold stone.” we laughed and continued on our date.

we had a great time at cold stone too. she ordered cotton candy ice cream with gummy bears.

we chatted and laughed some more and took her to her home in northern utah. (yes, her home. i have her address.) at one point she asked josh and i, “so, did you guys notice anything different about me?”

i wanted to say, “that you don’t look pregnant at all.”

but instead josh and i were both like, “…ummm.”

she made a point to draw attention to her hearing aid that i noticed when we first saw her. it wasn’t a big deal to me. lots of people have hearing aids. cool. yay for technology! you will see why it is very interesting that she pointed that out in the next few posts.

we made plans to possibly meet her again on friday and she closed the car door and walked in her house.

josh and i look at each other, “well… i don’t know,” we both said.

it’s sad that after meeting her there were more questions than answers STILL.

T.A. had spoken with joniece. joniece had poured her heart out to her …because joniece is a latin lover (LOL!). she has a huge heart. joniece called after dinner to see how things went after reading T.A.’s facebook status that said, “absolutely loves josh and linds! holy crap!!!” (btw, you have to earn the right to call me linds.) we hadn’t told joniece of our suspicions that she was a faker until that night. she asked me why i sounded so down. i explained to her that i was deep in thought about whether or not she was pregnant. joniece literally yells into the phone, “whaaat? you don’t thinks she’s pregnant??? holy cow!”

that night, alex emailed us.

“hi. we gotta talk. but u gotta promise not 2 bring T.A. into this”

i yell down to josh to come up in the office and roll my eyes. it all felt too fake.

we instant messaged through gmail. i am going to share it with you in it’s entirety so you can see the kind of drama that was trying to be stirred up. too much drama. too much drama to be real. too much drama to be a real dude.

*to clarify “brandon” is the birth father. apparently he went by his middle name “alex.”

10:10 PM

me: is this the kind of talking you had in mind? lol!

10:11 PM

Brandon: my mins are up for the rest of the month to nonspecified ppl so i cant. after meeting her 2nite does she seem completely on board like she says she is?

10:12 PM

me: yeah. she seemed great. we didn’t talk a ton about adoption or placing.

why? what’s up?

Brandon: in her texts shes not seemin like shes totally into it nemore

like maybe her fam is gettin in the way

10:13 PM

and she wants 2 keep her

me: well, she seemed great tonight, but we didn’t talk a ton about adoption. we just told lots of stories and laughed.

;)

Brandon: thats good at least

im just worried i guess that shell change her mind and then ill b stuck bein a dad

10:14 PM

bc i dont know that shes the kind of persont hat would choose 2 keep her but actually stick around

10:16 PM

me: well, ultimately it is her choice to make and we will just have to pray that she makes the right choice. ;)

Brandon: u think the right choice is adoption then?

me: as a rule i usually do. but, we are really passionate about adoption at the r house. ;)

10:17 PM

Brandon: as a rule?

me: that just means “generally speaking”

Brandon: bt y?

but

10:18 PM

me: are you asking why we love adoption?

Brandon: i get y u love it. T.A. as told me.

if she didnt choose 2 place would u still support her?

10:19 PM

me: sure. it’s her choice.

we are in no position in her life to really be unsupportive.

she is a great girl. super fun. we might not throw a baby shower for her, but we will love her no matter what we chooses. ;)

10:20 PM

*she, not we.

Brandon: i dont know that i will b abe 2 if she changes her mind

10:21 PM

she would fall apart if she knew that

me: yeah…i totally get that. it affects you WAY more than it affects us.

well, we will do what we have been doing to encourage her to place.

10:22 PM

that said, it has to be her choice. we are encouraging her because she has asked us to encourage her in a way.

Brandon: i know that she wants 2 but to be totally honest i dont think shes strong enough 2 place

if shes already falling apart now. she wont make it to march and still place

10:23 PM

me: one thing we have learned in our experiences is you can be surprised what people can do …especially when it comes to their babies.

it is BY FAR the hardest thing i have ever seen any one do.

10:24 PM

i hope she surprises you. i think there is great power in her.

we think she is great. she has born powerful testimony of adoption to us.

10:25 PM

Brandon: i dont think she really loves the baby

me: also …we just want you to know that we want to be totally honest with both T.A. and you and if she asked us about you and this conversation, we want to tell her that you were concerned about her and the baby and how things went. we hope that’s okay.

10:26 PM

we aren’t into secret keeping. ;)

i think she loves the baby more than any of us know.

it takes a lot of love to even consider or entertain the idea of placing.

10:27 PM

we think she is scared (i know i would be terrified) and that may come off as “she doesn’t love the baby” but i mostdef thinks she does.

i think our conversations with her and your conversations with her have been different though.

10:31 PM

Brandon: i just don’t quite understand how she could tell me that she would marry me when she found out she was pregant

then tell me that we couldnt raise her

want 2 give her away

and still say she loves her

10:32 PM

she hasnt told me lately that she is considerring keepin her

but its the way things soud

me: i don’t know very much about your relationship with her, but i do know this …adoption is all about love.

10:33 PM

all i can say is that we love both you and her and we will keep both of you all in our prayers if that’s okay with you. ;)

Brandon: what do u know? obviously u know something?

10:34 PM

me: well, we know that you guys were together for like 4 years or something, right?

and we know that it’s been off and on …or at least we have gathered as much.

and then you told us the other day how you two met.

she said you guys were engaged at some point too.

10:35 PM

that’s really it as far as the details go. seems like you guys argued a lot.

but that’s just us making assumptions.

(like i said, we will be honest with you.)

10:36 PM

Brandon: thats all shes told u?

10:37 PM

me: lol. pretty much.

we mostly talk about her family.

{at this point in the conversation, alex changes his gchat status to “i am pissed…someone is going to pay.”}

and …i am not really sure if your status is directed at us or not.

Brandon: not in the least

10:38 PM

me: okay good, because if it was i wasn’t sure we would be able to continue with this conversation. lol.

are you ok?

Brandon: no

me: do you want to talk about it? or are we already talking about it?

10:40 PM

Brandon: i dont think T.A.’s baby is my baby

me: well, i don’t know very much about that.

actually, i don’t know anything about that. lol.

10:41 PM

sorry.

Brandon: she swears there is no one else

10:42 PM

and i wanna believe her but i dont want it to come back and bite me in the a$$. if she decided 2 keep the baby id want 2 help her but i dont 2 get stuck bein a single dad. especially if the kid isnt mine

me: that’s totally understandable, i guess.

10:43 PM

our hope is that since a precious, innocent, perfect little baby girl is involved that everyone will make the effort to be honest with everyone.

10:44 PM

Brandon: she isnt the kind of person that would lie bout something like that. she has admitted her mistakes and is tryin 2 get over them

10:45 PM

i want her 2 place.

with u guys especially

me: we do too!

that really means a lot.

we hope that she makes that choice. :)

10:46 PM

Brandon: 2 place in general or place with u?

10:47 PM

me: we would be overjoyed with y’all chose us to place your baby girl with, but either way, we will support you. both of you.

10:48 PM

Brandon: for realz?

me: you bet.

Brandon: i hate having a decisn like this bein left mainly up 2 some1 else. especialy some1 so unstable

10:49 PM

me: one thing we have learned as a sterile couple …is that it is hard to not be in control, huh? totally stinks.

we TOTALLY know what you mean.

10:50 PM

Brandon: i hate her sometimes bc of it

me: that’s so hard. we will keep you in our prayers …and i happen to be one of heavenly father’s favorites. ;)

10:51 PM

Brandon: which i think is fair bc she has been able 2 hate me for the past y

r

lol

well im not.

me: just remember, the lord chastens whom he loves. lol. that’s what i tell myself when life seems like it is in the toilet!

10:53 PM

i am so glad that we were able to chat tonight. it seems you made it to FL safely. we are glad that you feel that you can be honest with us and it was seriously our pleasure to listen to you.

we would love to chat like this often.

10:54 PM

i think we are going to head to bed now. (our toddlers get up early!) we will pray extra hard for you tonight. i think your support of T.A. and her adoption can be really powerful. way to go! keep it up. we will too. ;)

Brandon: thx

10:55 PM

me: no worries.

and i feel badly for whomever is going to pay. (hence your status. lol.)

have a good night!

Brandon: its T.A.

a

u 2

i check my email one more time before getting off the computer and i see the following email from my friend way back at the beginning of this post. my friend, tracy.

“I tried to call you this weekend, but the phone number I have is bad. I haven’t told you the rest of our story yet, but it sounds like you may already know. I noticed you posted on facebook about talking with T.A. Last week I got an email from T.A. (our birthmom) that said she was having a really hard time, so I referred her to your blogspot and told her about the birthparent section and that maybe she could connect with someone that is going through what she is. Just a couple of days later you post that on facebook. The likelihood of it being the same T.A. is HUGE. So I’m way curious to know what you know (but I obviously don’t want you to defy any confidances). She told us on December 21 that she chose another family. It was the first time she made any spiritual reference whatsoever in all our conversations. She said she had felt she was meant to help her friend find a family for her (friend’s) baby because that’s how she found the parents for her little girl. I’m guessing that’s why she had such a hard time deciding on adoption while she was considering us. Anyway, give me a call or an email.”

i instantly sent tracy pictures of the T.A and the birth father we were communicating with to confirm we were talking about the same person.

knowing tracy’s story (baby born on september 8th) and comparing it to ours (baby due on march 10th), i knew the jig was up.

T.A. had to be a fake.
we were being scammed.

i couldn’t wait to talk to tracy in the morning to find out 100% for sure.

part 2 tomorrow.
i am exhausted!

*i have not mentioned details about the birth mother for specific reasons. however, if you think that T.A. has scammed you as well, please email me and i will send you the photos, names and details that i have gathered. there are at least 5 families that i know of and have contact with including my own. come and join the party.

**all names have been changed.

Comments

  1. Carrie says

    By the time this story is complete, I will nominate you for a pulitzer! At least our scammer kept putting off reasons to meet although she did contact us from the hospital asking why we weren't there to pick up the twins. When we asked which hospital, we then called admitting and asked for her and of course no one was there by that name. So I ended up calling her a liar, told her to get some help and to have a good life. Then I deleted all the pictures she sent, including the ultrasound pics!But there were red flags all the way, so not really surprised- Yay for the Spirit of discernment as well!

  2. Cassie says

    wow… she does need help, and just reading about it has me exhausted! You guys are troopers. Can't wait to hear the rest!

  3. michiganbliss says

    Oh dear. As if the road to adoption isn't hard enough. Unbelievable. Can't wait for part two.

  4. Johnson-n-Johnson says

    Poor girl! She must have had something awful happen to make her have been so deceitful, and mean-spirited. I am sorry for you and the other families that have been scammed. How unfortunate.

  5. Tara says

    been WAITING to read this. can't wait to read part 2.
    while i feel bad for her, at the same time, she HAS to know that what she is doing is wrong. i feel so bad for all the people who she has scammed…bless their broken hearts.

  6. Helen says

    This happened to us after Christmas. Her name was Sarah Beth in Cedar City. It was awful. I'm sorry you went through it too.

  7. kaitlynsays says

    I'm curious…why do people do this? Is something off psychologically? Is it for money? Just to be cruel? All of the above?

    Whatever the reason, it is really sad. Adoption is already a difficult and stressful road. What a scary situation for prospective parents.

    Thanks Lindsey for spreading awareness. :) Just another amazing thing you do for adoption advocation!

  8. Kait says

    Is it just me or does that baby picture look like it's a picture of a doll?

    I'm so sorry you guys got sucked in by a scammer. I can't wait to read the rest of the story!

  9. Mandy @ The Party of 3 says

    WOW…My heart is in such a bummed place right now to think that these people are out there. However I must admit I laughed at the you have to earn the right to call me linds! LOVE IT!

  10. Bryan and Jessica says

    I am so sorry you had to go through this. So grateful for the gospel and the knowledge that we have to know right from wrong. I can't wait for part two!!!

  11. Ashley says

    sick, Sick, SICK.

    I'm so glad you caught her, it breaks my heart that she got your friend so badly and it makes me want to kick something that she used your girl like that. And you guys.

    We got scammed. I gotta tell you, listening to the Spirit was the best thing we ever did. Otherwise we'd have been screwed.

    Ugh. I feel the need to shower now.

  12. Bekah: says

    I am ANNOYED! And so sick to my stomach. Really? Good for you for putting this all on here for her to see. Hopefully it puts an end to it now!

  13. Trisha says

    Ummm, wow! We are getting ready to start the adoption process, and stories like this freak me out a little. You're a trooper for talking w/ them that much. I'm thankful for the Spirit that can guide us.

  14. Jill Elizabeth says

    Holy cow! This is already worthy of a Lifetime movie. I can't wait to read the end!

    I hope this young lady gets the help she needs. Because she clearly needs some serious help.

  15. Erin, Danny, & Carson says

    2 things are for sure: Nobody puts baby in the corner and nobody scams the R house:). I am so sorry this happened to you and others. I am glad you found the truth and followed the spirit so that others will not have to suffer the same.

  16. Erin, Danny, & Carson says

    2 things are for sure: Nobody puts baby in the corner and nobody scams the R house:). I am so sorry this happened to you and others. I am glad you found the truth and followed the spirit so that others will not have to suffer the same.

  17. Leslie says

    I too want to know why people do this. What's in it for them?? It seems like a lot of work. So sad. I hope you get another baby!! A real one though. ;)

  18. angela says

    Oh. My. GOODNESS. (I agree with the poster above, my jaw is on the floor.) Your account is horrifying and hilarious at the same time. Bravo to the R house sense of humor (you should market it, the world needs more). :>

    Mostly I am just sorry you had to waste your valuable time on this. Although, as the more charitable folks above say, this girl clearly needs help, and maybe you did in fact help her?

    Anxiously awaiting Part II.

  19. Britney says

    so sorry y'all had to go through this, Lindsey… people can be awful, and there's just no excuse for this!

    Also just wanted to mention/remind that pregnant women considering adoption are not birthmoms… they are expectant moms considering adoption. (and non-pregnant women scamming adoptive couples are DEFINITELY not birthmoms!)

    Hope you are able to avoid people like this in the future!

  20. Kim says

    This is one of those stories that make me SO GRATEFUL we adopted through the county. At least we always knew what we were dealing with (good or bad).

    So sorry that you had to go through this, but thank God you knew what to look for!

  21. Dustin, Darci, Britton, & Benjamin says

    It makes me sick! I can't wait to hear part two. Having two wonderful birthmothers of my own, the beginning sounds so much like what a real contact is like! What a hurtful deceit!

  22. Dustin, Darci, Britton, & Benjamin says

    It makes me sick! I can't wait to hear part two. Having two wonderful birthmothers of my own, the beginning sounds so much like what a real contact is like! What a hurtful deceit!

  23. mrs. r says

    britney: i know exactly what you are saying. when i am formally writing, i try to be very careful about this.

    this piece was for me …as a way for me to heal.

    that said, with my readership, hopeful adoptive parents also consider themselves expectant parents and it gets very confusing.

    i can't tell if you were offended or not. i hope the latter. it was not my intention to offend you in the least.

  24. Super B says

    I just stayed up til 12:30 to read this story. HOLY CRAP. I don't want to sound like a potty mouth, but oh my goodness. This story is outrageous. And infuriating.
    Waiting for part 2.
    wow.

  25. Janae says

    WOWSERS! Can't WAIT for part 2. You did a great job documenting this. Great job for posting this and warning others about what could happen and how to be careful.

  26. Anonymous says

    This may have been a way for you to heal, however you gave this individual exactly what they were possibly looking for, your time, attention and the attention from all investing there time.

    Maybe a post about recognizing "scanners" would be more beneficial. Just a thought.

    Britney, love your comment about expectant mothers

  27. mrs. r says

    anonymous, that's right! i played her need for attention like a fiddle and interviewed her for an hour and a half. it was an incredible opportunity.

    i am no saint and have never claimed to be. if this is hard for you to read, you will not enjoy part 2.

    just a thought. ;)

  28. Ang and Morty says

    Lindsey, I enjoy your posts and look forward to part to. We are just beginning the process (again) after moving out of state, to open up a new profile w/LDSFS. I appreciate reading about the potential scammers out there, as it definitely helps me be more on my guard as well. I'm sorry you've had to go through this.

  29. Tamra says

    Trisha and Kim. this is, to be sure, a worst case scenario and if you read this blog often you know the benefits out way the risk. please don't let the few selfish, sick people who exploit adoption taint you view of it. when it's real, it's sacred, and miraculously compensates for all the agonies along the way. has for me anyway. let's never take counsel from our fears. Mrs and Mr R were in the Lord's care.
    props for gettin the word out Lindsey! i love how you look out for and support the adoption family!

  30. Jill says

    Holy cow!! this girl is a piece of work! Definitely needs help and am glad that you and Josh can at least help her with it. You are wonder woman! Looking forward to part 2.

  31. Lara says

    My heart broke for you when I saw your posts on Twitter. Grrrrr. But I'm glad you're dishing the details. It's something we all (couples hoping to adopt) need to be aware of and prepared for and I love hearing your testimony through it all.

  32. Ca.ll.y says

    We got scammed once and it sucks. I'm sorry Linds. (Haha, just kidding LindsAY.) Hope it doesn't hurt for too long.

  33. Lechelle says

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. Even though you felt it wasn't right, it still must have been so emotionally draining.

    All those couples who had their hearts broken!

    I hope TA gets help ad turns her life around. With the atonement, anything is possible. God loves her too but she is accountable for all the pain she is causing. I hope this is a jump start for her into a new life.

    So sad.

  34. Sally says

    Isn't it so interesting how she gave all the PC answers for choosing adoption in the first place? Even using the correct verbage like "placing" instead of "giving up."

    I can't wait to read about the confrontation. Were you able to get into her head at all and figure out why? And will she stop or just keep doing this? Can't wait!!

  35. Brian and April says

    We were scammed a year ago. It doesn't sound like the same girl but I know that our scammer went on to scam another couple from LDSFS right after. Unfortunately for her the blogged that she "created" for us, she didn't change the address when she changed it to be created about the other couple. Luckily I was able to contact the other couple and let them know. Worst conversation ever by the way. So I have another LDSFS scammer to watch out for.

  36. Wes and Dani says

    CRAZY!!! WHO DOES THAT?! I cannot believe this story….who knew that anyone could be so cruel? I can't wait for part two so I can fully appreciate the horrid-ness of this girl!

  37. Wes and Dani says

    PS: I know from EXPERIENCE that a 24-week baby is NOT 3lbs. If she's gonna scam people, she should get her facts straight. ;)

  38. Anonymous says

    I know that there are truly people like TA out there, but can someone please tell me why they do this? What do they gain from it?

  39. Tamara ViAnn says

    I'm sorry you had to waste your time and energy on this person. Obviously if they could fool you they could fool anyone. She obviously has a need for some attention in her life. SAD

    Maybe you should make her a new necklace… one which says "liar or hypocrite" of course. It makes me sad that there are people so willing to hurt others.

  40. Valerie says

    I've also been scammed through Ask a Birth Mother…that's an adventure too! Just a big, deceitful cry for attention. Thanks for posting.

  41. Stephanie says

    Oh my word! I want to know how they (they being people like T.A.) think they can get away with it? Especially if you are family #5… waiting to read part 2.
    Sorry that this ugliness exists in the adoption world.

  42. gina @ TheTicklePinkThrift and BMB says

    unbelievable… gives a bad name to birth mothers like me who really understand how spiritual and scared placing can be. sad. Glad you caught it in time. I can't wait to read part 2 and ps… I'd use her REAL name to stop her from doing this to someone else. You're amazing and as always, it's sooo fun to read your blog!

  43. Anonymous says

    I feel so bad that Brit and Que went through this heck. She is cruel. My heart aches knowing their pain. She is mentally I'll. I hope you let her family know what she is doing so they can get her the help she needs.

  44. Talltiffany says

    OMG! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story. It completely pulls at the heart strings. So many questions. We adoptive parents are already quite vulneralbe, and situations like this seem to make things even more scary. I love how you can take something so difficult and turn it into a positive. ('join the party'…smile!) I admire your adoption advocacy. With this post you are opening the eyes of so many other adoptive couples, helping to protect them, and reminding us all to listen to the spirit, and that things don't always work out in the way you expect. You are AWESOME!

  45. Denalee says

    Regarding the 1st ANONYMOUS comment, who cares if it's giving her the attention she wants? Besides helping you to heal, Lindsey, the more info that gets out about this person, the fewer people will be hurt by her. I say: POST HER PICTURE AND EVERY TINY BIT OF INFO YOU HAVE ABOUT HER and post it everywhere you can think of, not just your incredible blog … adoption social networks, facebook, twitter, everywhere …. let's help save some wonderful hopeful adoptive family from being hurt by her.

    Looking forward to "the rest of the story". You're amazing Lindsey.

  46. Britney says

    Lindsey,

    I definitely wasn't offended… I've read enough of your blog to know you weren't meaning it in an offensive way. I wasn't trying to nit-pick, either, which is why I read all the comments ahead of mine to make sure I wasn't being redundant.

    That being said (and, again, I don't mean it as anything negative against you at ALL), I do believe it's a really important (seemingly small as it may be) distinction and, as this was written in a public forum and your blog is so great and read by so many hopefuls who are just starting out with the process and may not yet understand the difference between birthmom and expectant mom considering adoption, I felt it was important to mention.

    Again, I'm so very sorry you had to go through this… and so glad you caught it early! I very much appreciate how wonderfully you champion the cause of open adoption and hope the rest of your journey is much smoother!

  47. Hanna B says

    i feel so sad for that poor girl and whatever happened in her past to make her do something like this. I worked as a counselor at a ranch with a few teen girls this summer who had serious problems and would lie pathologically. It would make me sick sometimes. But this, this is just crazy. I am so sorry for you and whoever else had to deal with her scams. Way to follow the Spirit.

  48. Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal says

    This is so sad and completely ridiculous that adoptive couples have to watch out for people like this.

    PS: Someone said "I feel so bad that Brit and Que went through this heck."

    Are you talking about me and my husband Que? Cause we weren't scammed! Thank goodness. :)

  49. Krista Eger says

    Hey my friend posted the link to this blog in her facebook and I couldn't stop reading!!!! How could someone do that?? My biggest question is WHY???? What would someone get out of scamming someone?? It makes no sense. Itjust seems like an incredibly awful mean thing to do for no good reason.

  50. Britney says

    And, Marissa…

    I have a pretty great life, thank you very much, which includes being birthmother to a pretty amazing little boy.

    But calling a woman who MAY place a child for adoption does a disservice to both the woman (we all know how labels can affect us, especially when we are emotionally vulnerable and being labeled a birthmother for months when you aren't one could make a woman feel like she's not entitled to decide to parent… which she absolutely is) and the prospective adoptive parents (who may, in using the term, assume the woman will absolutely place… which is not a guarantee, because she is still her child's mother until she relinquishes).

    Oh, and is a pregnant woman a parenting parent? no? Then prospective adoptive parents are not adoptive parents (unless they've adopted before, of course… they haven't adopted, yet, and some who start the process never do!) And if pregnant women ARE parenting parents, then pregnant women considering adoption are parenting parents, further indicating they are not birthmothers.

    It's not about political correctness… it's about being honest and respecting women who are facing the most difficult decision of their lives and acting ethically toward them to avoid coercion and unnecessary pressure.

    If expectant mother considering adoption doesn't work for you, try prospective birthmother or something along those lines.

    (I'm sorry, Lindsey… I wouldn't have said anything else, but I don't appreciate being insulted for expressing concern about something I feel strongly about…)

  51. Noni says

    Lindsey, I just found your blog thru a friends blog. Although I am not looking to adopt, I have some very dear friends who are adoptive parents and are in the process of adopting. I remember the day they got a letter from a potential birth mom, who later became their birth mom, saying she had selected the. Honestly, I cried…it was so special and I was so happy for them! I CANNOT imagine the devasation they would have felt if it had been a scam!

    I am just so perplexed that there are people out there who do these types of things…and from reading the comments on this page, it doesn't appear to be uncommon.

    Again, although I am not looking to adopt, I appreciate that you shared this story. I was especially touched by your discussion of the spiritual promptings you received to pursue -Heavenly Father does work in mysterious ways…this was such an example of that to me.

    You are a strong woman. I wish you and your family all the best! I am adding you to my google reader!!!

    Noni