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Meet the Mays Family

The Mays Family, Missouri

"My children are my LIFE!"

“I had no intention of adopting,” reports Stacy Mays, who is now the proud mother of six adopted children, ages 8 to 17. She offers a simple explanation for how she moved from “no” to “yes” – “All of them were in my home as foster children. When it was determined that reunification with their birth families was not an option, I became their mom.”

With such a wide range in ages, the Mays household is always a hub of diverse activity. Favorite shared family undertakings include swimming, playing outdoors, and participating in community events.

Each youngster has unique strengths and interests. Intelligent and curious Stephanie, age 17, loves to read and to learn interesting facts. Fifteen-year-old David immerses himself into all kinds of sports, and is often found watching or playing basketball with his friends. Jazmine, age 14, thrives on social interactions, and is especially nurturing around younger children. Ten-year-old DeShaun enjoys watching baseball and football, and playing competitive baseball. Cody, age 9, has a fascination with “all things loud and fast” - BMX, motorcycles, and race cars. Mya, age 8, loves all animals - especially horses and penguins.

Stacy’s adoptions have included a sibling group, children of different race or ethnicity, and children with disabilities. Over the years, this mom has become knowledgeable about various developmental delays, and other challenges. Stacy relentlessly advocates for appropriate treatments and interventions. Post adoption services the family has used include mental health therapy, behavioral Intervention, residential facilities, and daycare services. Stacy observes, “Therapists have played a LARGE part of our family's safety and success.”

Stacy is thankful that these services have been made available and paid for through the Adoption Assistance program. Her request to policy makers would be to assure the continuity of financial supports for families adopting foster children.

The Mays family includes not just the six youngsters at home, but also three young adult children. They are: Tyler, Stacy’s birth son, and Emily and Jake, who view Stacy as a mom figure. Each of them lives independently, is responsibly employed, and maintains a strong connection to the household. Stacy makes sure her adopted children stay in touch with their original relatives. “My kids' birth families have contact with us and all of our family members know them.”

The Mays family’s greatest strengths are their involvement in the community, their love of having fun together, and the encouragement and support they provide for each other. Reflecting upon her adoption journey, Stacy writes, “My children are my LIFE! While others wonder how I do it, I wonder how lonely and bored I would be without them.”