6 Moms Who Rock
Extraordinary moms who have made selfless, inspiring contributions to their communities, families, and friends
Carmen Woody, Maineville, Ohio
Why she rocks: As a nurse in an infertility clinic, Carmen has seen plenty of couples struggle to conceive. But there was something different about Kristen and Scott Oyler. Despite their positive attitude and Carmen's constant cheerleading, the young couple -- both 28 -- decided to take a break after seven expensive and unsuccessful in vitro fertilization attempts. Then came the call last September. Already a mother to three daughters, Carmen tearfully told Kristen that she wanted to be their gestational carrier. It was something Carmen had wanted to do for a long time, and was just waiting for the right couple. Kristen was overwhelmed, and the couple happily accepted. Carmen is currently pregnant -- with twins, no less -- and the Oylers will meet their new babies in September. "Carmen and her family have made so many sacrifices to help us make our dream of having a family come true," says Kristen. "She is an amazing mom because she's helping me be a mom."
In Carmen's words: "I always thought [being a gestational carrier] would be the greatest thing I could do for someone. It just felt right to offer them this gift, and I haven't looked back since."
Carol Bauman, Norman, Oklahoma
Why she rocks: Carol came home from the honeymoon ready to start a family, but reality didn't cooperate. After two years of trying to conceive, Carol brought up the idea of adoption to her husband, Scott. In March 2005, the Bauman clan grew to include two children adopted from Guatemala: baby Mason and his 2-year-old brother, Parker. But the celebration was short-lived: Mason had become very sick and needed a bone marrow transplant. Carol spent 18 months in and out of the hospital with her youngest son, an endeavor that didn't deter her from adopting Lauren, Mason and Parker's older sister, in December 2007. Then came the craziest news of all: Carol was pregnant with twins. Henry and Susie Grace Bauman were born in June 2008. "Every day, I thank God for my wonderful wife," says Scott. "I would never have had the courage to take on adopting several kids from a faraway land without the strength and heart of Carol."
In Carol's words: "We sought out to start our family one child at a time. In just five short years, we are a family of seven. Although it's a challenge to balance life in general, I feel like every part of it is just one piece to the puzzle of why I'm here."