Written by Heidi Brubaker, guest blogger
Married in 2005, my husband, Brandon, and I agreed we both wanted 3 children since we came from families with 3 kids each. We also agreed we wanted to wait awhile before having those children, so we could enjoy married life together! Five years later, we began trying to get pregnant. After about a year without success, we started seeing doctors, trying medication, blood work, etc. On February 14th, 2013, my doctor said I had a low ovarian reserve and should look into IVF and possibly egg donors. That was not the best Valentine’s Day, but Brandon was so loving, supportive and never once cast blame!
We did a consult for IVF, but after learning more about the process, the costs, and the odds, we did not feel that was the route for us. But we didn’t give up! I went on an extremely strict diet, one the dietitian claimed would help me conceive. I also found a new doctor for a second opinion. She diagnosed me with endometriosis and after more meds, blood work, sonograms, and test, she figured if we could clean up the endo I would have a great chance at getting pregnant. Good news! In June of 2014, I had a laparoscopy surgery where it was discovered my endo was stage 4! Well the rollercoaster of emotions were back, because now I was given great hopes of getting pregnant within the next year.
We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in the summer of 2010 and still, I was not pregnant. We were going on a great getaway to a tropical island near Tahiti called Mo’orea. Brandon and I decided when we returned home from this trip we would begin looking into adoption!
Neither of us had ever thought we would adopt, although we had been in a community of adoptive families and supported them through local organizations such as God’s Grace Adoption Ministry and Athletes for Adoption. One thing we both felt strongly about was our call to be parents! We just didn’t know how that would happen. We easily decided on private birth adoption since we wanted a newborn and didn’t want to miss a single moment of our child’s life! But we were not sure if we were really suppose to pursue the idea of adoption. One of our pastors, who had fos-adopted 2 kids, told us, “Just go forward and if it sputters and dies, then you know it wasn’t meant to be!” That was great advice to spur us on.
Now that we had our minds and hearts set on the adoption process, we dove in full force! We were referred to a consultant out of Florida, Nicole Witt, with The Adoption Consultancy, who made the process clearer, quicker, easier, and less expensive. We had been quite shocked that private birth adoptions in the US cost as much or more than international adoptions! We did NOT have the funds, but we didn’t let that stop us!
The answers to our questions as to whether or not this was meant to be started to be answered right away. Our first bill due was covered, to the penny, by our yearly tax return and a refund of doctor bills from my surgery!!!
We had friends who had bake sales and gave us all the profit. Our young 10-year-old friend made monster cookies and sold them, raising $1,000 just for our baby! My students (I was teaching 2nd grade, piano lessons and leading a puppet team at the time) participated in a Baby Bottle campaign and raised $1,300. It was so very humbling to accept their donations, but they wanted so badly for us to have a baby and it was more answer to prayers!
Our community is so supportive of adoptions, so our plan to have a dinner/auction was a huge success. Some friends catered the meal and we had silent auction, dessert auction and live auction. My dad was the auctioneer and we sold items like baby quilts, BBQ dinners, airplane rides, a weekend at a beach house, and more, all generously donated and then bought by friends. All in all we raised $19,000 in one night! Talk about being blown away!
We worked on our profile book, home study, agency applications and stacks of paperwork. We had decided not to adopt in our home state of CA because of the 30 days the BirthMom has to change her mind. Instead, Nicole helped us apply in “safe states” where the laws are in favor of the adoptive families. In these states, the BM signs her rights within 12-72 hours after birth. We ended up applying in 3 states at 6 different agencies. We became active in November 2015. The months of December through February seemed to go pretty quickly as we had lots of birth situations emailed to us. We presented to 3 during that time, but were not chosen. Obviously, I was anxious to hold my baby, but I knew if that child was ours, we would have been chosen. There was a real peace in “letting go and letting God!” March and April dragged on because we saw less situations and we started feeling like it was taking forever!
On Mother’s Day, we got an email from Nicole saying there was a BM from Texas who was moving to CA and was connected with a lawyer in southern CA. We talked to her case worker and learned that while the baby would be born in CA, and the BM would have the 30 days to change her mind, there was a law in place where the BM can sign a waiver to those 30 days and her rights would be revoked in 24 hours! That sounded just as good as the safe state laws, so the next day, on my birthday, we presented to her.
On Thursday morning, on my drive to school, I called the caseworker to see if there was any news and she said, “She picked you!!” I was shocked and excited! I called Brandon right away and we decided to keep it under wraps until we could tell our families. That was a hard thing to do! We also learned the BM was having her sonogram the following day to learn the gender. Brandon had the idea of doing a gender reveal for us to learn the sex, so we had the caseworker email my sister, who helped set it up! Brandon ordered pink and blue chalk powder, we went into our friend’s orchard and my sis placed the right color in the box with tannerite (highly explosive). When Brandon shot at the box a huge BLUE cloud of dust exploded! We were having a BOY!
The following Tuesday was an end of the year get together at the school where I taught. I was able to make the announcement that, although I wasn’t coming back next school year, it was because our baby boy would be born the same week school started! Everyone was in tears! Then we posted the pictures and video of our gender reveal to spread the word. Such a long awaited for, happy time!
At the end of July, our birth mother arrived here 3 weeks before the baby was born. It ended up working out perfectly because the doctor wanted her induced Monday morning, August 15th, 2016. When we got her to the hospital and she was all checked in and settled, she began labor on her own! In just 5 hours, our Bentley John was born!
His adoption was finalized on April 19th, 2017 and we have had the most fun being his parents! He has the best personality and now we KNOW this was exactly what God had in store for us all along.
Even as early as a month or two, we could tell he looked a lot like me. People still say “He has your eyes!” or “He’s got your nose.” and they have no idea he was adopted! It’s the coolest thing!
We give God all the glory for letting us be parents to Bentley!