“Cierra Nicole Smith. They call her Stacy.” Those were the words on the back of a newborn photo; a baby girl that looked similar to me. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I do remember I was young enough to think every baby picture I saw was me. “Mama who is this,” I asked as I took the picture to my mother. See, I needed answers. I wanted to know why she had this picture, along with a few others of a caucasian lady holding the same baby. My name wasn’t Cierra OR Stacy, so I wanted to know who she was. I probably wasn’t supposed to be going through the box I found it in, but nonetheless I here I was asking questions. “That is your sister, Stacy” she answered with a solemn look on her face. She didn’t go into too much detail then, but she would later tell me that she had another little girl after me. Her and my father were on their last leg apparently when she got pregnant. They were young, still in college, and he felt that it wasn’t wise to raise another child together. Both sets of grandparents were already helping in my rearing, so I guess he felt it was just too much. Against the very nature of who I know my mother is, she allowed him to talk her into giving my sister up for adoption so she could have a chance at a better life. After the adoption, they went their separate ways.
My mother had two more boys after that, the oldest being about five years younger than me. Although I love my little brothers, I’d spend my youth wondering what it would be like having a little sister. I would daydream about the fights we’d have over our barbies, clothes, and whatever else it is that sisters fought about. I had plenty of girl cousins that I was close with, but it just wasn’t the same. My father went on to also have other children, including two girls. I love them too, but we are so far apart in age that it was hard to really connect with them.
I resented my parents for a while, although I kept it to myself. My mother is a very sensitive, and caring person with a huge heart. That decision destroyed her, and I know it contributed to her struggles throughout the years to come. I’m a mother, and I can’t even imagine giving my child away and walking away unaffected. February 2nd would roll around every year, and either her mood would completely change, or she’d just disappear. I resented the fact that she left me alone to deal with everything I had to deal with alone, and would often wish she would send me away too. I resented my father because I felt like he left us, forced her to give up her child, just so he could move on. My father remained in my life and was never absent; I didn’t get why he made the decision he did. I didn’t care they he and my mother split, I just didn’t understand the reasoning behind giving away Stacy. We never talked about it really until I was an adult. I may not agree or completely understand, but he was open and honest about his choices and I can respect that.
When I became an adult, I tried to search for Stacy. I let my mother and father know and to my surprise, my father lent his help. I contacted adoption agencies and joined online adoptions forums to no avail. I accessed search databases, contacted almost every Stacy born on her birth date on Facebook and Myspace; nothing. After a while, I just prayed to God. I told him that I wanted to at least meet her before I died, and if it was in his will I asked him to make it happen. I still browsed the forums for a while, but for the most part I just let it go.
October 25th, 2011. I was working at Wichita State and was set to go to a one day conference, but my car was acting up so I stayed at the office. It was just a normal day like any other day, however it was quiet because only two of us were there. I think I came back from lunch and sat down, when my co-worker Niki came in and informed me I had a call. She said it was from a strange number, and they had called before. She didn’t know who it was (good look on the screen Nik, the feds be watching me lol), and asked if I wanted to take it. I said “sure why not” and she sent the call through. I answered the phone, and on the other end the girl said softly, “Yes is this Kenya?” I was like “Yes this is she,” all paranoid. Then she said “Is your mom named Patience?” “Yes it is,” I replied. By then I was maaaaaad scared. Anyone that knows my mom knows she isn’t a killer, but they know not to push her. On everything I love I thought my mom might have went upside someone’s head, or something may have happened to her. Plus she was my ride to work that day! So I’m thinking all of this, and the girl replies, “This is Stacy……”
I already knew. I already knew who it was, and I couldn’t believe it. Like, really God? ARE YOU SERIOUS, it was really her! We cried, and talked for a bit. I asked her how she found me, but I won’t go into that I will let her tell her story. We made plans for her to call me later after I got off when my mom picked me up from work. I get off work, mom picks me up and we go and get my son. I let Stacy know I was leaving so she could call. I asked my mom if anyone tried to call her, and she suspiciously said “No, why!?” That very moment, the phone rings. My mother answers, disguising her voice being silly as usual. I don’t know what my sister said, but my mother while driving just stops in the middle of the road. I said “AYE ‘cuz you gon’ kill us, pull over so I can drive and you can talk!” I didn’t really say that exactly, but that’s how I like to play that scene out in my mind lol. We pulled over and switched, and I just looked at her and smiled. Finally, my mother can begin healing. We ALL can begin healing. Regardless of what happened next, I knew this would be a healing moment for everyone involved.
It has been an emotional ride since then. We didn’t want to pressure Stacy into building a relationship with us, as it was totally up to her. Luckily, she was completely open to getting to know us. She and I met first; I met her at her friend’s house in Oklahoma City (shout out to Ryan for letting me flat iron my hair at the crib, you saved my life). She later met my mother and father, then the rest of the family. She had the necessary hard conversations, and it really just bought things full circle for us all. There is still progress to be made, but that process is in God’s hand. My mother and I even met her family, and they were so welcoming and nice to us. They are now our family as well.
It is this, and so many other situations that solidify who God is to and for me. No one, and I mean no one can tell me he isn’t real, and that he doesn’t have his hand on my life. These kinds of stories usually do not end like this. I talk to my sister in some form almost every day. We laugh together, cry together, and are growing as women together. I’ve been blessed with great female friends and family who are like sisters to me, however I finally got the sister I was always looking for. And here we are, on this journey to living life and living it abundantly, and sharing our life stories with you all. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, why God found it fit to answer this HUGE prayer in our lives. All I know is I’m glad he did. I guess we just had to trust him, so he could show up, show out, so we could KNOW without a doubt that he is God.
“You don’t know my story, all the things that I’ve been through. You can’t feel my pain, what I had to go through to get here. You’ll never understand my praise, don’t try to figure it out…….Because my worship, my worship is for real.”