Beginning in November I was asking, or begging everyone possible to sign a petition. Now, most people tend to not bother signing petitions because they think it's useless, a waste of time. So it was hard getting signatures, very hard. Even with close family and friends, getting people to sign it was difficult. This petition was to show Alabama legislators how important birth certificates for babies born still really is. And though it was slow going often, weeks and then a couple months passed, and by the opening of the Alabama state senate 2011 session, we'd reached our goal for signatures. We where so very thrilled, I personally couldn't stop smiling. I thanked everyone I knew of who'd signed, sometimes over and over. Especially the people who wouldn't benefit, who'd never lost a child. The people who signed it, and then shared it over and over. Who kept asking others to sign it, for weeks and weeks. And I still can't thank them enough.
But who do all the families, past, present and future of babies born still in Alabama have to thank for their child receiving a birth certificate? An inspiring woman named Cynthia Tomczak, a stay at home mom of five children. The second youngest of these children is a very special little girl named Faith. It is because of Faith really that now Alabama babies will receive birth certificates, she is the one who inspired her mother and who's memory pushed her.
Now I have good news to share. SB429 has passed with a vote of 101 Yeas and 0 Nays! Effective January 2012 any baby born still in 2007 or later can recieve a birth certificate. A real, legal birth certificate for babies born still in Alabama. This is a victory who's magititude I don't even have words for. Now no other woman in Alabama will have to wonder why her baby, her beloved and wanted child, isn't honored with a birth certificate.
The proper title is Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth, and one day Ember will have one. My beautiful daughter is going to have a birth certificate, and I can't wait to hold this proof of her brief life in my hands. It doesn't bring her back, but it honors her and that is my aim now. I am so very sorry that babies born in 2006 and earlier will not receive theirs at the same time. I do not understand why they will not truly. It was difficult pushing it back as far as 2007, every year back was a victory itself as some states do not go back beyond when the bill was passed, or goes into effective. It has something to do with the records kept for these babies, and I know that isn't consolation to the mothers and fathers of these babies. All I can say is change has come, and though their children didn't receive the birth certificates at birth as they should have, no longer will babies in Alabama be ignored in this way. I know people aren't going to just let this go, and maybe we can go on to win yet more victories by making it possible for earlier babies to receive birth certificates. They deserve them just as much as my daughter born in 2010 does.
One day ALL babies born EVERYWHERE will receive a legal birth certificate. We just have to keep pushing on.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this change come true with their support but most of all Thank you Cynthia, and Faith <3