I was just an average baby in all ways but, the day I was placed in my adoptive mother’s arms, by my birth mother, I was the world’s most amazing boy! At three days old, my life changed directions in a way I could not comprehend in my infancy. My parents raised me in a modest home, with good, upright core values and a firm belief in God. They were of humble means but, always gave me opportunities to play sports, attend social events, boy scouts and join clubs and gave me all the love in the world.
I never really asked much about my birth parents as a kid, though my mom would ask me every year on my birthday, if I wanted to know more. I didn’t feel the need and I always walked with my head held high. I am adopted, I am wanted and prayed for. My mom says I used to ask other children, if they were wanted or chosen, on the playground at school. A couple mothers in the neighborhood called her with a few concerns about my very honest round of questioning as my playmates tried to figure out what I meant. I have always liked to stir things up a bit, that’s just my nature!
When I was 8 years old, I remember my mom getting a call one March afternoon day, just a few days before her birthday. She seemed visibly shaken but, a huge smile and tears started to stream down her rouged cheeks. It felt like minutes later, we entered a hospital room and I watched a strange lady with another wide smile bring in this tiny bundle of dark black hair, wrapped in that blue and pink striped baby blanket. She chatted with my mom as we Held him. My dad was visibly nervous ,to me, that all the sudden, He was holding a baby again. The kind social worker lady looked at my mom’s tear filled face and said ” So, what do you think? Do you want to take him home?” She responded in pure shock
” You mean, TODAY?” The lady assured her- He was OUR baby! My parents were stunned and my mom says He was her early Birthday present that year!” I was so excited to have a brother and wished He would grow faster, every single day, so I could play ball with him and teach him all the tricks on Nintendo!
When I went off to college, I had a clear plan in my mind. Then, I saw this very pretty girl, in the student lounge, who seemed very confident and outspoken. She was on UNLV’s homecoming court and I thought she was probably a snob and not my type until, She talked directly to me. She asked a very pointed question that threw me off guard and our banter ended up in negative feelings towards each other. For weeks, as we would pass in the hall, I would get glares and yet, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. Over the following weeks, I wore her down and we ended up going on a date! That fun filled night on the Las Vegas strip, holding this girls hand in mine, changed my life again!
Months later, We took a long road trip to go meet her mother, a very serious step in our relationship. She seemed a little nervous about half way through the 8 hour trip and I could see she had something to say to me. I’m not sure if she was bored of staring at the lack luster scene of desert bushes and dirt or if she was annoyed by my asking her if she was okay but, she finally spilled what was on her mind.
” I don’t know why I haven’t told you this yet. Maybe I just forgot but, I will understand if you have a problem with it….” she sighed heavily then said ” A doctor told me, when I was 16 that I have endometriosis and It’s unlikely that I will be able to have kids naturally so, I plan on adopting!” she said matter-of-factly. I didn’t hesitate and responded with delight as I had left out that detail about myself ” Well, Good because I am Adopted!” Seven months later I married my sweet fiance , Corrine, in beautiful San Diego, CA!
Fast forward 4 years and 4.5 months later, we felt prompted to start the foster care process but, after much prayer were led to go straight into the private adoption arena. We had no expectations but, hoped for the best. We started with all the mounds of paperwork about a week after meeting our case worker and days later He called Corrine and asked a series of questions that ended with one question being ” Do you think you can get your entire file, documents and a profile book to me in 3 days? We have an expectant parent who has searched over 100 profiles and we think you guys would be a great match for her!” Now that weekend is a story within itself but, we made it happen and 12 days later we got THE CALL to meet her and the expectant father. She had chosen us! The meeting was surreal and full of emotions and tears on both sides. The birth father, Kyle, signed his papers that day and we were so close to becoming parents for the very first time. He told us how his family has sacrificed so much for his Autistic and deaf sister. His family had moved to a new state, got new jobs, a new home and changed their life so that she could go to the very best school for her needs. He said ” I thought about this little girl and what I have done for my sister’s well being. Why wouldn’t I sacrifice everything, even my happiness to give her the best chance at a wonderful life?” He spoke volumes to our heart that day!
Only ten short days later, a baby girl was born to one of the bravest young women I had met in my life, up to that point. Five days later, Corrine and I walked into the placement room at the agency and were greeted by many birth relatives, who showered us with love, hugs and gifts. They had dressed her in the prettiest white dress and bonnet I had ever seen and I saw the world’s most amazing baby girl that day . My heart sank and I didn’t want to ask her birth mother to hold her as I knew this was a very incredible thing she was doing. The birth mother, Kara, asked her father to give the baby a father’s blessing prayer and He asked me to join him. As we held our hands together, Kara’s father, Phil, said many special words and a couple that Stung my soul so deeply that I could not hold back the avalanche of tears and gasping sobs. He said ” Though we have only known you for a short time, our love for you and your family will be forever.” I instantly thought of my own Birth mother and the gigantic sacrifice she had made for me, 27 years earlier. She loved me more than I ever realized until that pivotal moment. The ugly crying was unstoppable and my wife finally saw what she has rarely seen again.
Over the next year Corrine got pregnant and was able to bear a sweet little girl who became a sister to our oldest in 2007! Brielle, our adopted daughter and Aria, our biological daughter, were both blonde-haired, blue eyed bundles of squeals and ruffles! They were made for each other at only 18 months apart. We were elated and in love with our adventurous little girls.
Almost three years and 3 miscarriages later, we met with another expectant parent, who we knew was not meant to place with us. Corrine helped her see all her options and know that she could choose to parent if that was her desire, which it was. It was a small sting but, the right thing to do.
Five months later in 2010, we moved to Colorado and started our adoption training and home study process that very weekend! It took 4 months to get approved and after 5 months of waiting we decided to venture into the world of Foster parenting. The day of our CPR certification, Corrine called the Foster worker and told her we would be switching within the week but, that very night, she received and email from an expectant mom, Jessica, who wanted to know more about our family and our open relationship with our daughter’s birth family too.
Eight short weeks later on a rainy, May night, Gavin entered the world, full of bright red hair and a determined little spirit. A few short days after, we prepared for the wave of emotions that placement had been with Brielle. Jessica’s entire family filled the tiny hospital room and Corrine tried to stay so strong but,I welled up all throughout the day as to avoid another impassioned episode. It wasn’t until Corrine loaded this tiny, Irish bundle into his car seat, that she completely Lost It! I watched her sob and gasp, as she sat on the hospital hall floor holding our precious son, while Jessica watched on. She told me that she felt unworthy of such a precious spirit but, I reassured her she was not. I also saw in her, bits of my mom that day, as I recalled the day my brother left the hospital in my own mothers arms, when I was 8 years old and her sobs of mixed emotions.
We miscarried a couple more times and were later successful at having a son in 2013, a brother for Gavin, who we named Slade. They are 21 months apart and great wrestling buddies now. My Life is forever changed and constantly changes in ways I cannot always describe in words. Our Family is not yet complete and we feel that someone is missing still and yet, we know this new child and birth family will also bring changes that will strengthen us and bond us to an incredible group of people, her birth parents and their families, if it’s God’s will and their choice.
Our children’s birth families are our FAMILY in every way. We vacation together on the beach, in the mountains, at our homes and anywhere and every time we can. We adopted entire families when we adopted our children and they adopted us! Our sons birth father, Dustin, is like another brother and so is his brother Josh. We value our relationships with one another and although, it isn’t possible for me to have relationships with my birth family, I know they love me and I love my birth mother for choosing life for me. Adoption is the most sacred and emotional exchanges of Trust for Trust and Love for love. It made me who I am today, a son, a brother, a father, a business owner, a husband, an adoptee. I am forever grateful for all who chose to be a part of this unique and treasured life- changing process and May God bless those who read my story and decide to look into what Adoption and Open adoption can be.
– Brandon C.