Jump to content

Recommended Posts

My thoughts and prayers are with all who knew Adrian....I am so sorry for your loss.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 537
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

My heart is so heavy as I type the words I dreaded to hear for so long... but our dear friend and beloved attorney Robert Estrada passed away today. Bob had represented Abrazo and its clients for mor

I have to say, Elizabeth’s first post regarding this situation made my heart ache and brought me to tears. Reading your post did the exact same thing. I do feel for the adoptive family seeing the

Tears this morning for a friend we knew too briefly. We remember Stacey as a woman full of life, energy and the burning desire to be a Mom. God Bless Mike and Gabi today, and all who mourn her loss.

Posted Images

“Don’t dream your life, live your dream.”

I found this quote, accompanied by a small red and yellow bird, on a small plaque attached to the large Live Oak tree that stands above Adrian’s gravesite. As I walked behind the tree on Friday, taking a moment to reflect on the scene around the grave, I came across this meaningful phrase. May it stand as a testament to the lives of two very special people – Lisa and Adrian – the parents together of three beautiful girls.

Adrian’s life ended tragically last week. And just at a time when his life was turning around, when he was making changes that would set him on a course of better times. He and Lisa had also reconnected in ways that reminded them both that they were each other’s “one true love”, even though the complexity of their shared history made being together a challenge. What also makes his death so tragic is that it seems to likely be the result of a lack of access to health insurance and adequate health care. As someone working in public health, I am reminded of why we so need to ensure that everyone in this country has the ability to get the care they need, when they need it.

Friday’s funeral and the day spent with Lisa and her grandmother was a day I will never forget. The Abrazo angels – Elizabeth, Angela, and Audra – were also there through it all – a reminder that Abrazo’s commitment to birthparents is always enduring, way past placement. For both Lisa and Adrian have so touched our lives. Since our first meeting with Lisa at Camp Abrazo when Tasia was 18 months, and Jenna was almost 3 years old, we have developed a deep and lasting connection with her. We have also seen an amazing transformation in her life – parenting a new child by herself, moving out on her own under difficult circumstances, holding down and excelling at her job, getting her GED, starting her certificate in community health at the local community college, and securing a place of her own.

Within the last year, she had also reconnected with Adrian, a man with whom she shared so much (the good and the bad) and with whom she had borne three beautiful girls. Their lives were frought with complexity, and yet their love endured. Adrian, too, was on a new course. Just a month ago, he reached out to Abrazo (based in part on Lisa’s encouragement to find out more about Jenna and Tasia) to know how the girls were doing. He has written to both our family and Jenna’s family several years ago, but had decided that he wanted to have contact again. He made such a special connection with Angela, and the other Abrazo chicks, that he was making plans to be at Camp Abrazo this summer. He was really ready to meet us.

Unfortunately that day will never come and we will never be together in person. But being at the funeral and hearing all of the stories about Adrian has given me a greater appreciation for who he was. Watching his mother and other family members grieve at his gravesite was almost more than any of us could take. It was very special to be there with Lisa who grieves so deeply now – her grandmother said to me at the gravesite that “a piece of Lisa’s heart is in that grave.” I shared very poignant moments with Lisa’s grandmother, who told funny and touching stories about Adrian. I also spoke with Adrian’s mother, although I am not sure if she made the connection given her state of grief. I am hopeful that in the days and years to come that they might be open to having a relationship with us and the girls.

Now I find myself seeking ways to keep all of the details of the last few days forever documented so that Tasia can know the stories. We told her of Adrian’s death on Thursday before I left for the airport. She took out a photo of Adrian, carrying it around the house talking about how her birthfather had died. We also looked at the “family tree” in the book Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born and she pointed to this person who is Adrian (we talk about Adrian whenever we read that book together). We find it harder to explain birthfathers to Tasia, especially since she had never met Adrian, but now we will find ways so that he can always be “real” to her.

May he rest in peace, and know that all of those he leaves behind will always remember him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan, I'm so sorry for the loss of Adrian. Thank you for so eloquently telling us the events of the past day or so. I am praying for all of Adrian's children and loved ones, as well as those who are connected to Adrian through adoption.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a beautiful tribute to your child's first parents, Susan... but even more than what you've said, your actions on their behalf say the most about who they are and what they've meant to you. Thank you so much for coming all that way to be there for Lisa (and Adrian) and their families this past Friday. I am so very sorry for your loss, and for Lisa's and Adrian's, but most of all, for Tasia and Jenna, who will never have the joy of seeing them together. May God be with each of you in this time of great sorrow, and may Adrian rest in peace, knowingly how truly he is loved and respected and appreciated, for the inherently good man that he was.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan- you are a great gift to all those that you love. Well said friend

Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan-

My prayers are with you today. I'm sending you something in the mail this week. God Bless you!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Susan,

Sending prayers and hugs to your family for the loss of Adrian. You ARE such a wonderful and caring person who touch so many lives around you. I'm sure Lisa and Adrian's family seen and feel the love that you have for both Adrian and Lisa. You are a true inspiration to all of us and such an example of 'Open Adoption" and the love and appreciation for the first families. I feel blessed to call you my friend.

Hugs,

Tracey

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

The last few months have unfolded so beautifully since Adrian's passing, for with tragedy has come joy. Only a month after his death, his dear mother Christina reached out to us, and to Jenna's family. Her outstretched hand led us to talk with her over the phone and make plans to see each other at the end of July when we were in Texas for Camp Abrazo. We did indeed meet and Tasia got to know her birthgrandparents (Adrian's parents) and her sister Adriana. It was like love at first sight between Tasia and Adriana, and a few days later all three sisters (Adriana, Jenna and Tasia) (and birthdaughters of Lisa and Adrian) would be all together at the San Antonio zoo.

Today, a lovely photo of Adrian's gravestone arrived from Adrian's mother...a plaque engraved with all five of his children, including his three girls. We are so touched that she included Tasia and Jenna on his gravestone. How tragic that Adrian never had the chance to know Jenna and Tasia...may he rest in peace in the knowledge that they will ALL know each other, and the love and embrace of his parents.

I posted the photo of his gravestone in the Gallery.

Open adoption is pretty amazing...thank you God for blessing us with such a full and special extended Texas family!

Susan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Susan... the sight of that gravestone, with the names of Adrian's birthdaughters on it, literally took my breath away. I am so very thankful for the effort you and Bill have made to honor your adoption relationships, in good times and in bad, and to extend compassion, love and support to your children's birthfamilies in all the tides of life. That, to me, is what openness is all about and I am unspeakably touched at what beauty has been borne of such great sorrow, because of it. :wub:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing the photo, Susan. What a testament to the effort that you and Bill have put into building a relationship with Adrian's family. I never could quite find the words to post after Adrian's passing, but loved your tribute to both he and Lisa. It still makes me sad to think Adrian never got to meet Tasia and Jenna, but I also know from my communication with him over the years how much your letters and pictures meant to him. I'm also thrilled that because of your commitment, the girls will know their birthfamily and get to know Adrian from those that knew and loved him most.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Abrazo__Sweeneys.jpg

Abrazo is saddened to learn of the passing, today, of Stacey Sweeney, another of our mothers by adoption.

Wisconsites Mike and Stacey Sweeney attended Abrazo's "Dandy Dozen Storkjackers" orientation weekend of January, 2005, and joyfully took placement of a beautiful newborn baby girl just three months later, in April, 2005.

On December 15, 2006, we were stunned to receive word that Stacey, who was just 41, had been hospitalized for strep, then developed a staph infection, sepsis and had a heart attack. Our DDSJ members rallied to support Mike & Stacey then, and shortly afterwards, when Stacey lapsed into coma. She was moved to a convalescent center, but never regained consciousness.

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Stacey's husband Mike, their daughter Gabi, and her beloved birthmama Crystal (who had subsequently joined Abrazo's staff, serving as our receptionist for several years until electing to stay home with her own two children.)

Stacey was a beautiful mother and a loving wife and a loyal friend who will undoubtedly be greatly missed by those who never gave up hope that she might one day recover.

Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sweeneys lived in the Madison area. This story by Jackie Mitchard, from GLAMOUR magazine, includes a photo of Stacey and Gabriella and Jackie which I took of them, at the christening of Jackie's son Atticus (who is my godson)... it was the last time I saw Stacey: What Do You Owe a Friend?

Link to post
Share on other sites

What a sad story. I know that Crystal was devastated when this happened. I hope that all can find peace now knowing that she is in a better place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tears this morning for a friend we knew too briefly. We remember Stacey as a woman full of life, energy and the burning desire to be a Mom. God Bless Mike and Gabi today, and all who mourn her loss. This is a day of sadness. May she be at peace today with the Lord.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Stacey was a beautiful, vibrant woman who loved life, family and friends. I hope Mike and Gabi can somehow be comforted by the knowledge of so many that loved her, and love them. This truly breaks my heart.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...