Shane and I met in October of 2000. Fell in love and have been together ever since! We got married July 23, 2004. We knew we wanted to start a family shortly after getting married but quickly knew something wasn't right. I made an appointment with my OB-GYN who over the next several months ran tests and tried a few things but ultimately ended in surgery in December 2005. It was at my 2 week followup appointment after surgery that my doctor sat with me to explain that it was medically impossible for me to be able to conceive on my own. It was devastating to say the least. I wanted nothing more than to be a mother.
Our story starts in 2012 when a very strong desire grew in my heart for another child.
While we have always been open to life, my husband, Greg, was scared to attempt another pregnancy due to complications during my second pregnancy. His concern was either losing the child or losing me during delivery. My heart was open to adoption, but Greg wasn’t ready.
He wasn’t sure how adoption would feel and had few experiences with those who had gone through it or who were adopted. I strongly felt that someone was missing from our family, we were not complete. I would often talk to my friend Renee about how I felt there was a missing piece of our puzzle and we united in prayer for this intention, asking God for direction.
Enough time has passed I think, that I’m ready to share this. Yet the memories of the experience are as real today as they were when I had them. I’ve sat down to write this Story a hundred times, too, thinking it my duty to somehow show the World that miracles happen everyday. Particularly when major events in the world have led people to question whether there is hope and goodness. I’ve wanted to shout “YES! You have no idea how beautiful people are because I’ve seen it and experienced it with my own soul!” But these Stories don’t make media headlines day after day after day, and even if they did, the news couldn’t do it justice in a 60 second bit. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to do it justice in the hours its going to take me to write this.
This is not a normal Blog post. You won’t see but a couple of images. You’ll understand why in a minute. But it started with an inquiry for Photography Services that I did not know would change my life (and I’m not exaggerating). It was from a Mother who was contacting me on behalf of both her and the Birth Mother about photographing the arrival of their Baby Girl. So let’s be clear. This is an Adoption. This is an Open Adoption. The Birth Mother, Lydia and the Adoptive Mother were partnering together on this endeavor. Let that soak in y’all. If that hasn’t hit you in the gut yet..hopefully it will when you read the rest of this Blog, and then go back and read it again.
At BraveLove, we're dedicated to erasing the stigmas of adoption, and a big part of that involves sharing stories that honor birth mothers. Adoption impacts people forever. That's why we love to stay connected with those who have shared their stories with BraveLove over the years, like Paola.
Paola and her husband have been involved with BraveLove since nearly the beginning. They've attended BraveLove events and expressed interest in adopting one day. Fast forward a few years and their family has grown through adoption! So we're catching up and learning what Paola's life looks like these days.
How would you describe yourself today?
Small but mighty. My mom used to tell me that and it stuck with me.
When we started talking about adoption I immediately knew I wanted it to be International. What I didn’t realize at the time was how selfish my motives were in making that decision. You see, I was scared to “share” a child with another woman, and I was not interested in being part of such a messy situation.
God graciously changed my heart and showed me the beauty that is domestic adoption. He laid it heavily on my heart and I am so glad that He did… A passion for Birth Mom ministry was born in me, yet I had no idea just what God was doing. We prayed for our future Birth Mom with our two children and for each situation that we saw along the way.
The story of adoption is born out of love. In honor of Valentine's Day we're sharing an adoption love story shared from the perspective of both an adoptive mom and birth mom. Meet Kimberly, an adoptive mom and find out how she and her husband's lives have been forever changed through the love of a birth mother...
On October 24th of last year, God wouldn't let me sleep. In the middle of the night, I was wide awake and literally compelled to go into our empty nursery and pray.
That night, I sat in our third bedroom and prayed over our adoption. I prayed for our child and the birth family, and the story that God was writing. I stayed in that room for over 3 hours and filled 11 pages in my journal. This never happened again, and I didn't think much of it until nine months later.
When researching adoption before we officially started the process, I fell in love with the idea of having an open adoption. I would spend hours reading and watching personal stories of what other family’s lives looked like with an open adoption.
While watching videos on YouTube about open adoption, I came across this one video that really caught my attention and illustrated to me what open adoption is about. It showed a birthmother handing over her newborn baby boy to his adoptive parents...
How did you and your husband come to the decision to adopt?
Both Shawn and I knew that we wanted to grow our family thru adoption. It was something that we quickly connected on. We also knew that we wanted to have a little girl someday and her name would be Olivia. Somehow we’ve always been pretty much in sync when it comes to the important things. We feel so blessed that God had that same plan for us and for our family.
How did you feel when you first met your child's birth mom?
Wow! Meeting Ali was one of the most exciting and nerve-racking days of our lives. Mad thoughts and nervous energy were top contender emotions! We received “the call” from our caseworker Deasree on January 16th, 2013 with the amazing news that a birth mom named Ali wanted to meet us! It was such an adrenaline rush. Both Shawn and I were at work when Deasree got a hold of us. Needless to say, we couldn’t concentrate the remainder of that day. We were slated to meet Ali the following Monday, January 21st, 2013. Her sister Claire would be with her during our meeting. Even more nerve-racking. Would they both like us?