World Adoption DayIn celebration of the upcoming 1st ever World Adoption Day on November 9th, Doog News, as an Ambassador for this exciting event, has invited friends who are connected to adoption in a variety of different ways to submit writings about adoption. Between now and November 9th we're excited to post these stories to give some insight into what life is like when it involves adoption. We encourage you to follow along and read the various postings whether it's about a family who has adopted a child, to someone who was adopted, to the perspective of an adoption counsellor, and even a family who has decided to adopt and now waits and wonders if and when they'll be parents. In all of these stories there is one common factor: love. Please join us on this celebratory journey as we lead up to World Adoption Day.
To kick off our adoption awareness journey we’d like to start where any adoption starts, with a birth mom. Without a birth mom, adoption would not be possible. Writing a tribute about their birth moms we’d like to introduce you to the Bremners. They have an amazing and almost unbelievable story to tell and they are happily and gratefully an adoptive family. Enjoy!
How we became a Family…
A Tribute to Birth Moms.
“It’s not as easy as the brochure says”….you know, that brochure that outlines life: meeting someone – your life partner, falling in love, getting married, having kids, happy ever after…blah, blah, blah. So simple, right? Well, as it turned out, not so simple for us. This is our story.
Let’s skip over the boring stuff…we met when we were 19, married at 27 and then had plans to start a family a few years later. Our biological journey was one that challenged us. Not only was it hard to conceive, but when we seldom did, it only ended in disaster. So, fast forward 5 years, 4 miscarriages, multiple rounds of IVF, and a whole lot of heartbreak, our dreams finally came true.
May 10, 2009, after waiting 5 months on the local adoption registry, we got word that a birth mom, pregnant with her 4th child, wanted to meet us. Yikes! One of the most daunting and terrifying meetings ever – an interview to be a parent! We met our birth mom (angel #1 in our life) on May 15th, 2009. She was 9 months pregnant with a baby girl and was due in 3 days – WHAT?! Needless to say, the start of a whirlwind that followed from the moment we met this woman, we felt like she was part of our family. We chatted for 2 hours and it was just so easy. She was one of the kindest, sweetest, most courageous people that we would ever know, and the most amazing part, she wanted to give us the gift of being parents.
Our daughter, Camden, was born on May 26th, 2009 at 4:10 (and 37 secs!) am. In true, selfless fashion, our birth mom wanted us to be at the hospital so we got to hold our daughter only minutes after she was born. It was instant: the connection we felt to her, and our birth mom, was indescribable. From the second we lay eyes on Camden, she was the love of our life, and what we had been waiting for, for a really long time. The 10 or so hours we spent at the hospital only made us love and respect our birth mom even more. Here is this woman, who is not only giving us her child, but guiding us, and mentoring us, and coaching us through those first hours of being parents. She was the one supporting us as we fumbled our way through first feedings, first baths, first diaper changes. And the whole time she knew she was going to have to walk away from this precious baby girl she had carried for the past 9 months. The strength that this must have taken still overwhelms me today. I’m convinced that the courage that birth mom’s possess would rival that of 1000 warriors.
When our birth mom said goodbye and left the hospital, I swear a piece of my heart and soul went with her and is still with her today.
The first weeks and months flew by. We were in awe of our precious daughter. But these emotions were also mixed with some heartbreak for our birth mom, who had sacrificed so much for the good of this sweet baby girl.
As we continued to be amazed by Camden, we remained in email contact with our birth mom. In some small way we hoped this eased her pain just a bit, knowing that her baby girl was safe and overwhelmingly loved.
When Camden was about 18 months old we decided to embark on this crazy process all over again. It was important to us to give Camden a sibling, so we went back on the local registry. Over the next 12 months we were notified of some babies, but never one that we felt was a fit for our family. It was different this time, Camden was the priority, we were thinking of the 3 of us now. At this time, with a slowly encroaching feeling of hopelessness, we decided to concurrently register with an agency in South Carolina. We figured our baby would find us, whether here or there. There was a lot of guilt through this time. How dare we decline a baby that was offered to us, where is our baby? Will another baby ever come our way?
And then, one did. She was born locally, and all signs led to a good fit for our family. She came home with us in March of 2012, and Camden had a crash course in how to be a big sister!
On day 4 as we were adapting to being a family of 4, ironically, we also got a call from our agency in South Carolina notifying us that a baby boy had been born and the birthmother had selected us. We had not yet had time to notify SC that we had been placed with a new baby girl, so we had to graciously decline this baby boy. Although, I have to admit, for a brief second I did consider “Can we take both?” You can guess my husbands response!
Now for the unbelievable part….I promise I am not making this up.
90 minutes after getting that call from SC, our birth mom of our second baby girl revoked her consent. As you may know, British Columbia Law allows 30 days for a birth mom to change her mind. So…here we were, we had to say goodbye to this sweet baby girl…now what? GET ON THE PHONE TO SC!!!!! That baby boy was meant to be ours, but had he already been placed to another family? Luckily we received the reassuring news that he was absolutely ours, and was waiting for us to pick him up. I will never forget the SC social workers words “So when can you get here?”.
I can’t even tell you how the next 72 hours went because I don’t actually remember! It was a whirlwind of Baby Girl #2 going back into Ministry care, finding out our baby boy was discharged from the NICU and waiting for us, booking babysitters for our 2 year old, booking flights, hotels, paper work, packing….and then, 2 days later, there we were, thousands of miles away, starring into the eyes of our beautiful baby boy, Isaiah – all 6 pounds of him. He had no idea how right he was for us and how perfectly our lives had come together.
Isaiah was born 2 months prematurely, also the 4th baby to our 2nd birth mom (angel #2!). He was perfect. Every ounce of him. Meeting his birth mom the next day just confirmed, and brought back all of the emotions I had the first time round. The strength and experience in this young woman’s eyes astounded me. Here she was, fragile from her recent C-section, meeting us for the first time (us already having had her child in our arms) and she asked, so graciously, if we would mind if she held him?! Her commitment to us as Isaiah’s parents was so apparent from the second she met us. She called us his mom and dad immediately and had such a reassurance and calm about her that made all of this OK. I will never forget her talking into Isaiah’s tiny ear, and reassuring him that he was going to have a wonderful life. Here she was giving us her child and yet she was so thankful to us. I couldn’t quite figure this out in my head at the time. There is no way to say thank you to a woman who is giving you so much – a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew and cousin…the most precious gift to our whole family. How do you say thank you for that? The only thing we can think of is love them with everything you have and give these amazing children a life full of laughter, love and belonging, all the while knowing how much they are loved by their birth moms and what their birth moms gave up to give them the world.
So now, here we are…the luckiest family on the planet, with a happy and healthy 5 and 2 year old who are our world. To hear them use the words ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ towards us everyday means more than anyone will ever know. Their birth moms will always be in their heart, as we know we are in theirs, and our kids will always know our story of how we became a family.
On World Adoption Day 2014, our love and thoughts go out to all birth moms, everywhere. Know you are loved. Because of you and your indescribable courage, families are made and we can share the joy of being parents.
World Adoption Day is November 9th, 2014. To find out how you can join in the celebration visit WorldAdoptionDay.org and have a Doog News Day!
Doog News is proud to be an official Ambassador of World Adoption Day. Learn more about our adoption story here.