A Mothers Journey, A Sisters Gift: Update! 5/18/07


Preston and Tammy Mensinks road to parenthood is about as difficult as they come. In 1997, their 5-day-old son
Brandon died from a heart malfunction and in 2001, their 9-month-old daughter Katie passed away from a digestive
disorder. “It wasn’t fair, it definitely wasn’t fair. We had decided right then and there, no more, we’re not going
to do this again.”

But as Preston and Tammy were mourning the loss of their children, Tammy’s younger sister Tricia was facing a
problem of a very different kind. At the time, Tricia was in college and living at home when she found out she was
pregnant and her boyfriend wanted no part of it. “I thought, ‘that’s it, I have to be a single mom and barely making
enough to pay for my own expenses.’ Here’s my sister and all they want is a healthy baby and here’s me, I have a
healthy baby and I can’t care for him the way he deserved. It just hit me. So I called her that night.”

Tricia asked Tammy and Preston to adopt her baby. “It wasn’t that I pitied them, it was, this is what’s best for me
and for this baby. I really wanted him to have a mom and a dad, and I couldn’t give that to him.”

And on July 1st, 2002, Travis Austin, a ‘healthy’ baby boy was welcomed with open arms. “I think Travis was meant
to be her’s and maybe he just couldn’t come that way.”

And the blessings kept coming for Preston and Tammy. In 2004, little Jacob joined the family and Dalton, Preston’s
son from his first marriage moved in as well.

Today, life is very different for the Mensinks and for Tricia. For starters, Travis is about to hit a big
milestone in his life. “Well Travis is getting ready for kindergarten. He’s pretty excited about that.”

Little brother Jacob is quite the little chatter box. “Jacob is getting bigger and talking alot.”

And big brother Dalton keeps his plate very full. “He’s in everything. Football, basketball and now track.”

But the biggest change belongs to Tricia. Last summer she and her husband Matt welcomed their own bundle of
joy. Little Wyatt has fast become the center of their world. “It’s almost like you don’t remember what it was like
not to have him around. He completly consumes your life, but in a good way.”

For Tricia, she is finally the mother she always wanted to be, but new she wasn’t ready for with Travis. “What
I’ve learned is, I made the right decision with Travis. Because I’m ready at this point in my life to make all the

Lessons can be learned by the tragedies and joys this family has been through. “Whoever births you, carries you
during pregnancy is such a little tiny piece of motherhood. It’s the person who puts in the work.” “I couldn’t have
loved him more if I’d given birth to him.”

“I feel like everything is the way it should be.”