A Birth Mother and Adoption Story: Katie

My journey starts back when I was 17 years old, a senior in high school.  I had a long term relationship that was not the healthiest.  One that I could never find myself escaping.  There were always threats made to me about ” If I left, this is what would happen”.  No need for details there. I came to the point that I realized that my life and happiness was more important then any threat so I removed myself from the relationship.  Then wouldn’t you know,  I found myself pregnant.
Telling my parents was one of the hardest things I have ever done but the support I ended up with from them was amazing.  They talked to me a lot about parenting and the responsibilities and also brought up adoption.  With the history of the relationship, adoption started to be something that became more and more of an option to me.  After working with an adoption agency I was able to pick wonderful parents to raise my child!birth

 My son was born January 16th, 1996.  Our adoption is semi-open.  For the first year of his life I received pictures every month and after that they were given to me when I requested.  I was even blessed with the opportunity of meeting him when he was 2!  Placing him for adoption was the best option for me and I have no regrets.  He has been blessed with such a wonderful life and I thank god for the people who have given him that!
18 years later I find myself in the adoption journey again!  My husband and I found out that having children biologically was not going to happen for us.  One would maybe have regrets from the past or find themselves sad because of this.  My immediate thought was ADOPTION! I had a feeling that told me that adoption must be a big part of my life.  Why else would god be giving us this opportunity, right?!?  We felt that years ago I had given the gift of life to someone in need and now it’s our turn to receive this same gift!
We started the process right away.  We were picked by a birth-mother in April of last year and our baby was due to arrive in October.  The process was amazing with constant contact with the birth mom and even getting the chance to meet her.  Things took a turn one week before she was due to have a baby girl and she changed her mind!  Of course, with my history,  I could never hold this against her.  It is ultimately her choice.  I wished her the best of luck and love and we moved on.  We then found out in January that we were picked again,  Birth mom being due in April.  We did have phone contact with her but kept a little distance this time around.  April 5th arrived and we got the phone call that our daughter was born!  This led into a LONG nine hour drive to see our daughter and kiss her beautiful face! 
My husband and I are now enjoying the lives of parenthood and are so in love with Olivia!
I hope my story may provide some inspiration to others out there, adoption is a blessing!

An Adoption Story: Bonnie and Jon

As an adoptive parent, I’m so crazy passionate about it. I just wanted to share a little of what I feel about my daughter’s birth mom.

Infertility is hard! Like really hard!

But, when we decided to move forward with adoption, I felt like the dark clouds had parted! We both did! I felt so incredibly grateful that we got this opportunity to adopt our family!!
We felt like that was God’s  plan all along! And now that we have Jade, we KNOW it was his plan all along!

After 5 1/2 years of fertility treatments, and adoption papers.. We got the call, we had a birth mom that chose us… I can’t explain that feeling… We sobbed… We got to meet her 9 days before she gave birth. Maybe the most amazing moments of our lives ever! She told the case worker she was nervous to meet us because she thought we wouldn’t like her! She had no idea that for the last two years we were specifically praying for her! For her life, health, and well being.  We didn’t know her yet, but we knew we loved her! And meeting her confirmed that! I couldn’t stop hugging her… She was so pretty, hysterically funny, and has deep dimples just like me.  While we were together she handed me some ultrasound pictures and looked me straight in the eyes, she told me that this was our little girl, and she knew that it was ours from the beginning. She invited us to be in the delivery room for her c-section, to watch our baby girl be born.

Nine days later, we were ushered into the delivery room to witness the birth of our baby girl.  The nurse had 3 hospital bands, one for our birth mom, one for me, and one for our baby.  I felt immensely honored to have the name of my birth mom around my wrist, we got to share a piece of heaven that was about to arrive. I held her hand as the doctor held up our new precious baby girl,  She was perfect!

Our adoption with Jade is what they call a “high risk adoption” which means that there is a possibility that there could be some hiccups in finalization down the road.
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Within one week we ran into those “hiccups” our birth mom was asked to endure some enormous hurdles over the next few months to ensure that Jade could stay with us. Without question, she stayed by our side. She testified at six different hearings in our behalf, and in the end, we were able to finalize, an be sealed to our baby girl.  I know how much she loves jade. I’m so excited to tell jade all about how amazing her birth mommy is! And how very much she loved her. Without her, out lives would be incomplete.
I love her! She is our real live angel! She is the strongest, most courageous person I know, and I will always be indebted to her for the gift she gave me. She made me a mama!

Hoping to Adopt: Kate and Landon

Dear Birth Mom,

I’ve thought about this letter for what feels like forever. This whole thing: adoption, a baby, you, are on my mind often and words can’t really express how deep and intricate my feelings are, but I’m going to try. I can’t imagine being where you are, this choice you’re making is heavy and real. I hope and pray that you’ll find calm and comfort, I know that even when you do, this will still be really hard.Kate and Landon

I have wanted to be a mother my whole life, really. The heartache I’ve felt losing pregnancies and trying again and again have a tight grip on my heart. But, the hope and surety I’ve felt as we’ve pursed adoption has helped heal my heart. I know there is a special spirit that is meant to be in our home. I know that we’re going to meet that spirit through adoption and that is a wonderful, beautiful, miraculous thing! And that will all happen because of you.

I hope you found me, us, for a specific reason. I know a lot of people will read this but I hope you find it. You, a beautiful, selfless person who knows we are the right ones and we can figure all of this out together. I hope you find us soon.

Sending all my love,

-Kate

“whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same.”

International Adoption: The Zaruba Family

So much has happened in a year. Last September my husband and I boarded a plan to Uganda, Africa. We had no idea how HUGE our lives were about to change…I had been dreaming of being a mom since I was about ten years old. I knew I was born to do this mom thing. So, as soon as my husband and I got married in 2011 we immediately began trying to get pregnant. Right before this I had donated eggs to a couple that were unable to conceive. This consisted of six months of hormone shots and ultrasounds and being poked and prodded. People would ask why I was doing that, I would always telling them that having kids and a family was the most important thing to me and I couldn’t imagine not being able to have kids so I wanted to do this for them. Much to my surprise when immediately after the egg retrieval was complete and we began trying, we would soon find out that we were now that couple that was unable to get pregnant. I was heartbroken, I remember so many nights sitting on the bathroom floor crying.

zarubaAfter about a year and half of trying to get pregnant, one night Tyler and I watched the documentary Invisible Children which tells a story of vulnerable kids in Africa. Soon after I felt my heart stirring, I felt very strongly God trying to articulate to me in a way he had never done. I felt him calling us to Africa, and not just Africa, but Uganda specifically. I told my husband I thought we should give trying to get pregnant a break and go to Uganda. Needless to say he thought I had LOST MY MIND! But he could see my heart needed this and I felt so guided and so for sure this was what we were suppose to do so. On July 31, 2013 we boarded our flight for Uganda. We spent 3 1/2 life changing, vulnerable, humbling, amazing weeks working in an orphanage.

We saw him early on, he was small and scrawny, he had a horrible fungus covering his head and had the filthiest clothes on, but he was ours. We NEVER imagine going there to meet a child. We had briefly spoke of adoption before we went and my husband quickly shut it down saying he absolutely wanted biological children and didn’t want to adopt. But our boy Kamoga changed us. He changed my husband. I think honestly my husband just never believed he could have so much love and protection over a child that wasn’t biologically ours. We had asked the “mama” of the orphanage about adopting him before we even left. That’s how sure we were, she blew us off and seemed very uninterested. When I say he is in an orphanage  I use that term lightly. He was taken in by a woman who just takes care of a bunch of kids, he has no paperwork, no birth certificate, no history, no file…he had nothing. I was a complicated situation to say the least.  I remember riding in the matatu on our hour drive to the orphanage the last day with my headphones on, looking out the window just bawling my eyes out the entire way there. zaruba2We spent the last day with our boy, when it was our time all the kids were eating and I just gave him a quick kiss, told him I loved him and that was it. I was heartbroken. My husband and I came home changed. We 100% wanted to adopt now. We were heartbroken over Kamoga so we knew we wouldn’t adopt from Africa because we wanted him. We considered all options but international seemed like the best fit for us. My husbands family is Czech and as it turned out a new Czech Republic program had just opened. So we applied and got started. We have just now had all of our dossier paperwork translated into Czech and sent to the city of Brno, Czech Republic which is where we will be matched with a child. Because it is a new program and we are VERY flexible on our child age, sex and minor disabilities we are expected to get matched quickly and possibly even travel this summer!  Still, we just couldn’t shake Kamoga, I spent SO many nights just crying to my husband about how hard it was, how I worried if he was safe and I wanted to be there with him. After talking a lot about it we decided to fight for him. We truly feel like we are his caretakers and nothing will keep us from him. So for the last 4 months we are been in constant contact with his orphanage and him and after MONTHS of building a relationship of trust with the “mama” she has finally agreed to let us move Kamoga to another orphanage so we can start an official adoption. Now this might not sound like a big deal, but it is a mountain moved, friends. The Mama sending a message saying “We are the best thing that has ever happened to Kamoga and she couldn’t stop us” was one of the best days for me ever. My heart melted and I felt like I could breath for the first time since we left him. So this is where we are now, we are just waiting on our call from the Czech Republic that we have a child and in the next couple of weeks we are hoping Kamoga will be moved to his new temporary home in hopes that’s where we will soon be getting him from to bring him to his forever home in Texas! Our story is not ordinary, we will be celebrating American holidays, Ugandan holidays and Czech holidays, there will be years of our children’s lives that we missed out on, but we get the rest of their lives and we can’t imagine life any other way now…

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You can help the Zaruba family here.

An Adoption Story: The Ebersole Tribe

An adoption story with an adoptee birth mother, adoptee adoptive mother, and of course one beautiful adopted baby that will knock your socks off…

Ebersole Tribe… what is that? Your husband is an all-American boy, you are Asian adoptee… what makes you tribal? Let me explain. Before my husband and I were even married we knew we’d adopt. I grew up in a white family and never lacked any confidence in being Asian, chosen and loved. My parents adopted me first and then went on to have biological children.

When Danny and I were married, everyone started asking me if I had baby fever. I struggled with this question because I did, but it was different. I had “adoption fever”. I had some amazing friends who I watched walk through the process and desired that for our own family. I saw the way these kids were so much like me. How I identified with them in their belonging to a family even if they didn’t “match”. How they were dearly loved because they were their kids and the journey that brought them to be a part of the family was celebrated at all possible moments. We knew adoption wasn’t a consolation prize. Ebersole.Family.9Whenever Danny and I would talk about adoption, my sensitive husband would tear up saying “I am so glad I get to choose you, it’s only because so many other people chose you too.”

So we knew we were being called to adopt. Adoption to us at the time already meant so much. Having looked for my birth-mother in years past, I really desired to be able to have our baby’s birth mother be a part of our family. We knew domestic adoption was the best root for these desires and so we started the process.

Little did we know our story would unfold so quickly.Ebersole.Family.7

We jumped through all of the hoops of home studies, classes and applications within a span of eight months. We were officially activated in our domestic program three weeks before we were chosen by a birth-mother. This call changed our lives and healed my heart in so many places. Our birth mother – Mama T, as we call her – wrote her daughter a letter when she signed the papers to put her up for adoption. She wrote that she loved her and wanted her to love her adoptive family because Mama T herself was adopted too.

Mama T is the bravest person I know. Yes, you read it correctly: she’s adopted too. Her adoption story is not nearly as cheerful as mine but she is still proud, loved and knows God has big plans for her life. She is a young woman, who kept her pregnancy a secret from all her friends and most of her family. She opened her heart to us during the days before the baby’s birth as we took pregnancy photos of her, we got our nails done, laughed, ate good food and of course went shopping.

Mama T invited us to be in the room when little our baby came into the world, and I was able to be the first one to hold her. Mama T gave us the honor of naming our daughter Vera-lou! Later, Mama T also got to hold Vera-lou and take pictures with her that we will forever cherish. She has also now introduced us to Padre J, her boyfriend, Vera-lou’s birth father. We text message both of them often, sometimes FaceTime and send them little gifts when special holidays come around. They are what make us a tribe; they are a part of our family.

Yes, it seems a little crazy and a bit unnerving to some to have an open adoption but for us it was a clear way to thank and honor the birth-parents. These people are Vera-lou’s parents too, just in another way. Their love for her is as fierce as ours. They show it in the pain they feel as they are miles and miles away from her. It’s in the way they know that they made the right decision when things in their lives show it wouldn’t have been safe for her to have lived with them. We will forever be honoring Mama T and Padre J, that’s why they are forever a part of our tribe. For they will forever be loving Vera-lou. We have no idea who else will enter our tribe and under what ways but we will all be a part of the process.

Adoption has been an instant thing in terms of our tribe loving. But it’s a process to be an adoptee and an adoptive mother. I have this overwhelming pressure to represent adoption from all angles. This makes this topic one I love yet it hits all sides of my heart. I want to represent all sides of the story well but let me be honest in saying it is too beautifully complex for anyone to ever completely ‘figure it out’. I am one person fumbling my way through this life. I have had the privilege of seeing and experiencing the beauty and the tragedy of this redemptive thing called adoption.

To read the full version of our sort and to follow our fumbling journey please visit ebersoletribe.wordpress.com.

Photography: www.ebersolephotography.com