Brad, Taggart, Emily, Lucas and Carter Marsh (Photo courtesy of Emily Marsh)
PROVO, Utah (KTVU) - A birth mom in Utah along with her son Taggart's family are sharing their open adoption story in hopes of inspiring others.
Hannah Mongie, 21, of Provo made the difficult decision to put her son Taggart up for adoption when he was born in March of 2016.
Mongie was 18 years old when she learned she was pregnant. Two days after she heard her unborn baby's heartbeat, the baby's father, who she was dating, unexpectedly died of natural causes in his sleep. Mongie decided her son would have a better life if she put him up for adoption. She wanted him to have both a mom and a dad.
After Mongie gave birth to Taggart she spent two precious days with him before he met his family. Hours before she signed off on the adoption, she recorded a video for 'Tagg' so he always know his birth mom loved him and why she decided to put him up for adoption.
The nine minute video shows a pink little baby, nestled in a blanket, as Mongie soothes and talks to him. At the beginning of the video she states that Taggart is 100 percent hers in that moment and says between tears, "Gosh your so cute you're making this hard."
Mongie explains to Taggart that it was a difficult decision but one day she woke up and knew he was supposed to be with someone else so she went to search for families. "I made this decision purely out of love because I knew I couldn't give you what I knew you needed which is a mommy and a daddy. And I hope your daddy is watching over us right now. I bet he's with me right now. Cause this is the hardest part and he wouldn't leave me alone during this.”
Mongie explains that she found Taggart’s parents, Brad and Emily Marsh. ”And I fell in love with them and they were beyond anything I could have asked for and I have really, really high standards for anyone who is going to raise my child so I met them and I fell in love with them and within about two weeks I told them I wanted them to adopt you."
She goes on to explain that Emily is the best person she knows and they had already become best friends. She added that she even helped set up Taggart’s nursery at the Marsh’s home.
Mongie told Taggart that during her entire pregnancy she was anxiously awaiting his birth so she could spend two days alone with him. In the message to Taggart she said, "Right now, is the last hour of those two days before I send you off to Brad and Emily and then you're going to be their little boy. And I just want you to know that I really love you so much. More than I've ever loved any other human in the whole world." She also assured Taggart of how excited his father Kaden was for his birth and that he loved him so much as well.
She ended the video message by saying, “I just wanted to let you know that I love you and I made this decision completely out of love and if I didn't love you I wouldn't be in the position at all and you wouldn't have this awesome family - I'm going to give you all the kisses I can before I sign you away to Brad and Emily. I love you Taggart Kaden Marsh. My little boy. My son. I love you so much, love your mommy Hannah."
Now, Taggart, who goes by 'Tagg,' is a year and a half old. Mongie lives just a 10 minute drive from the Marsh’s home and remains close to Tagg and his family.
Mongie tells KTVU she sees him at least once a month – but often several times a month. He even comes to her family’s parties and she goes to his, and she has babysat for Tagg and his brothers.
“Rather than ‘giving him up’ or ‘away,’ I just adopted his entire family into mine. Including his extended family. We just grew, and everyone loves each other as if we’ve always been family. His mom Emily is still one of my best friends in the whole world. She honestly is everything I want to be as a person and a mother. I am so grateful that Tagg led me to her and their family. They are a blessing alone. And with Tagg, they are everything I need,” said Mongie.
The Marsh’s have two other adopted boys. Emily tells KTVU she has been married to Brad for seven years. As soon as the couple learned they couldn't have kids, and fertility treatments were not an option, they immediately turned to adoption.
Their first son Carter was born in March of 2014. Taggart also has a younger brother named Lucas who was born on December 7th and was released from the NICU to go home to the Marsh household Sunday.
It was very important to Emily and Brad for their sons to have open adoptions.
“Having our boys' birth mothers so involved in their lives means they will never have to wonder if their birth moms loved them, they will never have to feel abandoned - they will always know their birth mothers places them out of selfless love and sacrifice - wanting to give their babies more than they felt they could offer at that time in their lives. They are all wonderful mothers and will always be our boys’ first mothers,” said Emily.
She added that they have a photo of their sons’ birth mothers in each of their rooms so they will always know their story and how important their birth mothers are to their family.