This post, getting to know Sarah, is a brief overview of my life to date.
So thinking of what my first about me blog would be I figured we should start with “Who is Sarah?”
It’s super weird for me to talk about myself so bare with me as I try to paint a picture of just who I am so you can start getting to know Sarah.
For starters I am a 33 yr old single mother of two wonderful girls our journey has been far from easy, but my story doesn’t start there.
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Getting To Know Sarah - My First Five Years
I like anyone was born, but what makes my story so great is from the moment I took my first breathe my life was anything but ordinary, oh it was so far from that!
I was born Audrey Rose Richerson, to a single mother who 18 months later gave birth to my sister and 4 years later my twin brothers were born.
When I was eight months old, my mother married and my name was changed to Audrey Rose Whetsel.
I have very little memories of that time of course I was very young.
Some of the few things I do remember are:
Big Bird from Sesame Street was an absolute favorite of mine.
I had a giant ceramic Big Bird piggy bank in my room.
Also I had a giant stuffed Wile E. Coyote from The Roadrunner.
Watching Trolls on repeat was defiantly my favorite pass time, not the new age Trolls, however.
I am talking about the real deal Trolls that had cute little fat bellies with little gems or a little swirl as belly buttons, they had no clothes and pretty colored rainbow hair.
My room having trolls literally every where at one point.
Getting To Know Sarah - The Foster Home
About 8 months after my brothers where born I found myself in a foster home.
I was not the least bit pleased with the idea of losing everything I had ever known and being tossed into a place I didn't feel the least bit wanted.
Feeling stuck there, scared and I just wanted to leave I remember thinking of ways to run away!
I met a girl a little younger then me there she made life a little easier to bare in that awful place.
She became my best friend I was so grateful to have her because she understood me she also was a foster child.
Getting To Know Sarah - The Adoption
A short time later a couple that had gotten my brothers had taken both my sister and me in.
At first I wasn't pleased but it seemed like the closest place to a normal home that I would get so I accepted their proposal of the adoption.
I remember the day they asked like it was yesterday.
They explained that I would live with them and they would be my mom and dad.
They then told me I could pick my own name out.
My adoptive mother picked my name out special Sarah Suzzette Stults.
Which up until now I didn't really tell anyone my middle name, but it is very special.
My name came from my adoptive mother I was named after her.
On February 12, 1998 I was in the court room waiting for the judge to come in and perform the adoption of my sister, my two brothers and me.
God was it literally the scarcest thing in the world to me at that time in my life, but I remember the mother that was adopting me holding my hand through the whole thing.
I knew things would be ok they were always trying their best to make things comfortable in a very not comfortable time.
There I sat with a new name, a new life, and new parents.
Talk about the most empty feeling in the world, who the heck was I?
That's the question I have spent my whole life asking myself.
Getting To Know Sarah - Making Lemonade Out Of Sour Lemons
I remember being such an angry little child it was no ones fault, but never having answers of where you came from or being able to ask questions about the things you were told tends to fuel a fire that isn't easily put out.
I still haven't put together what God's plan is with everything that's lead to where I am now, Maybe, nothing at all, but maybe me sharing it is what I am supposed to do.
Through all the ups and downs I have found myself helping people, sharing my story somehow has made an impact on people along the way, and no my life by no means is a terrible one.
It has horrible moments that at times felt as though I wouldn't come out alive or even moments that were so breath taking that I didn't feel worthy of them.
I now have a wonderful relationship with my biological mother who well has been pushing me for years to entertain you guys reading this blog.
Well here I am hoping to inspire the world from my house to yours!
I am one of a kind, funny, dead honest, and I find it best to never sugar coat anything.
It is hard for me to feel sorry for anyone because through all the pain of my life I somehow managed too make something out of myself.
I just had to own the good with the bad and keep pushing forward because even when it seemed like it wasn't going to work out, somehow it has.
Regardless of how sorry I felt for myself in the bad times guess what I was still given another day to face the world.
So, making lemonade out of some pretty sour lemons seemed like the better alternative to staying in a negative mindset.
Getting To Know Sarah - Meeting My Biological Father
When I was 18 I made contact with my biological father through some family members of my adopted family.
He was living in Florida with a woman and their two children.
When I found this out my feelings were hurt.
I wondered how could he just leave me alone in this world where I was hurt and lost, and make another family.
I lost contact with him until I was 26 when I found him again through a co-worker whom was my biological dads cousin.
He then lead me to my uncle who got me in contact with my biological dad.
I finally had another piece to my puzzle, listening to my biological dads stories have given me some insight on just who I am.
It's crazy to think that even though he didn't raise me I act just like him, I talk like him and heck I even look like him.
My step mom has a huge heart she would go to bat for me any day of the week no questions asked.
I am overjoyed to have another brother and sister.
I have a had a great relationship with all of them even though I don't see them often.
Getting To Know Sarah - Life In School
I went to school in Huntington, Indiana until my senior year of high school when I switched to Marion, Indiana
I've never been a huge fan of math, I actually have always completely despised it.
I remember spending hours at the kitchen table with my adoptive dad working on math.
No matter how many different ways to work out the stinking problem were presented I literally just didn't get it.
I remember crying completely just over whelmed with all of it which finally lead to me just not caring period about math.
Language art and history were always my favorite subjects.
I have always loved writing stories even as a young child.
I would write these crazy little stories about animals or just random things.
My essays were always a strength, unless that one weird topic that I had no idea about was picked.
In history I loved learning about the way things were and how they came to be in current times.
I took a Holocaust class in high school after learning some stuff in history class.
The Holocaust was so interesting to me because I guess I wished I would have been able to help the people.
I loved learning about the few people who hid them making it possible for them to live to see years to come in many cases.
My favorite movie then became The Pianist, the movie was so detailed and the storyline of the people in it was mind blowing to me.
When I was in school I didn't have many friend, a couple close friends, but I was more the outcast.
I didn't really fit in with one group of people so the few friends I had were from different cliques.
I still had my best friend from the foster home and God knows she helped me more then she'll probably ever know.
Lucky for me she wasn't far from my home, but sadly we really only got to hang out at the bus stop or at school.
I remember her getting sent away to a school in Knightstown.
Which made me die inside through the months she was there.
I held on for the phone calls from her every week to hear how she was doing.
Moving to Marion to live with my birth mom was hard because I had to leave my best friend and it had a lot of other challenges.
Luckily I made a couple new friends, so it made the time a little easier.
Getting To Know Sarah - My Greatest Lessons
At 18 I dropped out of high school and had plans to pursue my GED, I'm still working on that.
A few months later I met my oldest daughters dad.
This isn't one of the greatest chapters in my life.
This man started out the sweetest man I thought I had ever met in my life.
I was so wrong.
After taking his time to build me up as a person and making me feel special to him he made sure to cut me down to the size of a spec of dust.
He would belittle me, call me names, hit me, take food away from me, and force me to do things with him that I didn't want to do.
I was terrified when in 2008 I found out I was 5 months pregnant, I remember laying there in the hospital bed thinking, "what am I going to do to get away from this man?"
I laid there all night listening to this little tiny baby's heart beat thinking about what he or she looked like.
The next day I went in for my first ultrasound to find out that I was going to be having a baby girl.
My heart filled with love from that moment looking at her sweet little face and her little fingers.
I couldn't believe that of all things I was going to be a mother.
My life was so messed up how in the world did God see me fit to take care of this tiny little baby girl?
Getting To Know Sarah Then Along Comes A Baby
On December 31,2008 I brought the most amazing 5 pounds 15 ounces little girl into the world we sat there alone in the hospital room.
I remember whispering to her that no matter what happened I was always going to protect her.
After spending a week in the hospital we got to go home.
On the way out of the hospital my phone rang, I answered and to my surprise it was CPS.
They directed to bring my daughter to the office that there was allegations that she was starving and had been abused.
Completely in shock I replied to the person on the phone, "that's impossible we are just now walking out of the hospital with her."
I remember taking the long ride from Fort Wayne, Indiana back to Peru, Indiana thinking how is this possible.
Why God why would you bring this baby into the world just for all this to happen.
We arrived at the CPS office late in the evening to meet with the caseworker.
She looked my daughter over to find that she was unharmed but was under weight.
I explained to her that my daughter had been born 3 months premature and that the hospital didn't say anything about her weight as we left the hospital.
My battle with CPS didn't end there, as soon as one case got closed another one would open.
Over and over this happened.
Calls about physical abuse on the children, the kids having no food, no electricity, no water, and no heat.
Slowly my trust in everyone was lost.
Getting To Know Sarah - Trying To Get Help To Leave My Abusive Ex
I had asked for help to leave my ex but no one wanted to help they just seemed to want to involve CPS, which just made his abuse worse and allowed him to gain more control over me as I slowly cut ties to everyone who wanted to make false accusations.
In 2009 CPS finally recognized there was something going on but they couldn't prove it because I was so scared to talk about anything that he was doing as I had been taught that I had no one.
I allowed my daughter to go stay with my biological mom because I was trying to figure out away to get out.
I knew there she would be safe when I was ready to run.
My mom hadn't gotten much time to bond with my daughter because at the time of her birth and months after we weren't in contact, so I figured what a great time for them to get to spend together.
A few hours after I dropped my daughter off my phone rang it was my mom she was completely hysterical said that CPS had been by checking in on Trinity.
She had no idea who had called or why CPS had found Trinity find and well taken care of and left.
That night my sister who I hadn't spoken to in months showed up at my moms house looking for Trinity in the middle of the night.
Getting To Know Sarah And The Plan To Escape
The next day I had made the trip to Marion to meet with my mom and CPS to discuss my plan to get out.
I had explained to them that Trinity was staying with my mom well I figured out how to get away from her dad.
I had decided to stay with my mom and leave my ex until I realized that CPS had made him aware of the situation.
He called me threating that if I didn't meet him outside and leave with him that no one in the house would live to see the next day.
I was completely freaked out by all of this so once again he gained control over me and I left with him.
This was a huge mistake which finally lead to me losing my oldest daughter.
When I made my break for finally getting away from my ex a new caseworker had taken the case, she knew there wasn't something right.
I emailed a lady that was doing both my visits and my counseling letting her know it wasn't safe for me to talk.
I couldn't get much else typed out and only hoped she would take the message and help me.
Someone Finally Came At The Right Time
Ryan left and I remember the knock on my door.
The caseworker and my counselor sat waiting outside the house for the moment they could get to me and help me.
I didn't take much because we had to move quick so he didn't come back and catch me trying to leave.
They took me to a domestic violence shelter to keep me safe from him.
I finally thought I was free from him that I would finally never have too see him again, oh how wrong I was.
On my way to Walgreens one day to buy my daughter something special, I heard a loud car.
This was a trigger for me because he had a loud car, I looked up and I couldn't believe my eyes it was him.
I thought to myself how is this possible?
He followed me the rest of the way to the store and he approached me telling me I was never going to get my daughter back without him.
His threats began to scare me.
I wasn't to talk to anyone about any of this or I would pay.
A few days later he had the hold on me again.
I Went Back But I Didn't Give Up
I didn't give up everything I learned in the shelter helped me at this point I kept trying to find away out.
Knowing that he knew where that shelter was put others in danger and I didn't want that for them.
Finally, in December of 2012 my aunt got me out of his grip.
I worked hard to get my little girl back went through counseling and got on my feet.
The hardest thing I did was look him in the eyes in a court room and testify against him.
At that moment I realized I was a strong woman who made it through something that could have killed me.
I survived and I was so proud of myself for finally standing up for not just myself but my daughter.
Yes, he still finds ways to message me and run his mouth but I just block him and move on.
Getting To Know Sarah And Baby Number 2
In 2015 I gave birth to my 2nd daughter.
I found myself staring into space wondering how in the world was I going to be a single mother of 2.
Somehow, I have managed to because that was the only choice I had.
I'm Finally Free
I have now met a wonderful man who is devoted to me in everyway possible.
He loves me on my good days and loves me even harder on my bad ones.
We have 3 children between the two of us.
We found a common ground because like me, he was raising his child on his own.
I am working to pursue my dream to help others who have a similar journey to mine.
I have a huge heart and helping people is a huge passion of mine.
My children are my whole world.
I wake up everyday to remember that no matter what, the joys of motherhood are my greatest happiness.
Even though my kids drive me absolutely insane somedays they are my greatest accomplishments.
We found out that both girls are autistic, but they seem to manage pretty well.
The girls have grown into fine young children who both have pretty good shoulders on their heads.
They do not let anything get in their way they will stop at nothing to find answers to their questions.
After all the struggles I have made it through and have finally found out who I am.
I'm finally free to be who I was meant to be and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.