Bravelove is a movement dedicated to changing the perception of adoption and aims to increase (domestic infant) adoption. BraveLove’s mission is to change the perception of adoption through honest, informative, and hopeful communication that conveys the heroism and bravery a birth mother displays when she places her child with a loving family for adoption.Here is more information about them and videos you can find on their website.
Watch these short videos of real birth mothers and professionals answering the frequently asked questions about adoption:
An Adoptive Mom’s Story
In 2007, Chris and I were ready to start a family. We thought it would happen so easily and all of our friends and family around us were having babies. Month after month we started to become discouraged but were still hopeful that it would happen. Two years later after trying we went to a fertility doctor hoping to find an answer on why we were having trouble conceiving. After running many tests the doctor diagnosed us as having “unexplained infertility”. This meant that the doctors could not find a cause for us not being able to become pregnant. It was very frustrating and maddening to not have an explanation. We were tired of being told to, “Just relax and it will happen when it’s supposed to.” Every month it got harder to hear about pregnancy announcements. I was very happy for my friends and family growing their families, however, I was also confused and sad on why we were having such a difficult time. I pleaded with God to bless us and asked him to take the desire away if it was not meant to be.
In 2010 we decided to move forward with fertility treatments. After many months of no results, we decided to do a round of IVF and it ended in a negative pregnancy. The hormones I had to take during the process made me very emotional, and the idea of doing IVF again seemed daunting. We were devastated and decided to take some time off and just focus on us again.
In the spring of 2011 we decided to try a more natural approach and went to a fertility acupuncturist. A month later we found out that I was pregnant. I remember it so clearly while I was at the grocery store that day. I had a feeling prior to taking the pregnancy test that it was going to be positive this time. We were in complete shock that I was able to get pregnant naturally without doing fertility treatments. I sadly miscarried a few weeks later. I really thought that all would go well because we had waited so long. I felt like God owed us this after all that we had been through. It was during this time that I really started growing in my faith, trusting, and leaning on him. One scripture that stuck and helped me get through was: Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
God was the only one who could give me peace and help heal my heart through this storm. One day I was praying and asked God if we would ever become parents, and I felt a small voice say, “Yes, be patient.” A song that comes to mind during our journey is the song, “While I’m waiting” by John Waller. It would come on KSBJ always at a time that I needed it.
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
In the Spring of 2013 there were several families around us who had adopted and happen to come into our lives and share some insight on their journey. They also gave us encouraging words which helped me have hope that one day we still might become parents. I felt like I was hearing adoption all around me from a lot of different people and sources but hadn’t thought about pursuing it.
During that time Chris and I talked about possibly doing another round of IVF. However, I had a dreadful feeling about going through the process again. I prayed for God to guide our hearts on his will and decided IVF was not an option for us. Adoption might be…. That day I called a friend who had recommended a lady who could give us a wealth of knowledge about adoption. She had helped my friend find an agency and ended up adopting a baby boy. I decided to discuss it with Chris to see how he felt about it. At that moment we realized that adoption was another way to grow our family without all the hormones and tests.
One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
The desire became very strong and it just felt right. I told Chris even if we happened to get pregnant, I wanted to move forward with adoption.
One month later we met with the adoption lady and she was very passionate and knowledgeable about adoption. Once we made the decision to move forward, she matched us with an agency that was a great fit for us. After we met and talked with Andrea we knew it was the right choice for us. A couple months later we completed the lengthy application, home study, and profile book. The average wait time for the agency was six to eighteen months. Andrea immediately helped us feel at ease and was there every step of the way during the adoption process. I remember telling Chris on a trip to New York during November, that it would probably take a year before we heard anything. It was in God’s hands and we decided to let it go and enjoy our time together.
The interesting part to this story is that on December 6th, I had a vivid dream we were chosen by a birth mom who had brown hair, brown eyes, and was only eight weeks pregnant. In my dream I was surprised that she picked us due to the fact that she was so early in her pregnancy. We were sitting at a large rectangular table with lots of friends and family and she decided to pick us to parent her child. When I woke up I was very sad that it was just a dream because it felt so real. On December 10, 2013, four days after the dream, we got the call from Andrea that a birth mother named Rachel had chosen us. Our lives would be forever changed. We were shocked at how quickly we were picked since it had been only six weeks after completing all of the paperwork. Andrea told us that Rachel took several profile books home to look over for several days. For some amazing reason we stood out to her and the rest of her family. Similar to my dream, she had brown hair, brown eyes, and was only 11 weeks pregnant. Andra said that Rachel wanted a couple to be there for support during the rest of her pregnancy, and that is why she picked us early on.
On December 22nd we had the pleasure of meeting Rachel and her adorable five year old son. We immediately felt a connection and were at ease. She was gracious and offered to let’s come to any of her doctor’s appointments. I wanted to be a support and share the journey with her.
January 3, 2014 was the first appointment I was able to attend. She let me come in the room and hear the baby’s heartbeat. We both started tearing up. I also was blessed to see our baby for the first time in an ultrasound. It was an amazing day filled with so many emotions.
Several weeks later I had one other big dream that the baby was a boy! I can still see it so clearly. We were in the hospital and there were lots of friends and family in the room, and I was carrying around a little boy. Interesting enough the next visit we went to was in February to find out the gender. Rachel was a little nervous and felt like it was going to be a girl. She said it was going to be hard either way, but if it was a girl, it was going to be even more difficult because she already has a son.. I told her about my dream and had an intuitive feeling it was going to be a boy. My dream stood correct and our little boy would make his debut at the end of June! We were all elated and relieved!
Each month I would take a trip for Rachel’s doctor’s visits. Our relationship grew over time and we developed a strong bond. We would go to lunch or meet at Starbucks. It was a wonderful time to learn about her and listen to why she was deciding to place. I was able to witness to her by sharing my journey and faith in Jesus Christ. God’s plans and ways are definitely better than ours I could see it through this experience.
She made it very special during the journey. For example, we had decided to name him Colin and on Mother’s day she sent a picture to the agency that said,, “Happy Mother’s Day Jill! Love, baby Colin!” It was very thoughtful and compassionate of her to think of us. The whole time I wanted to be a support for Rachel, and she ended being an amazing support for us too. Adoption has a whirlwind of emotions and we have so much gratitude to have had each other through the process.
During our journey there were many God winks that showed us we were on the right track. If I would ever start to doubt during the six month waiting period, God would show us that we were headed in the right direction. For instance, I was looking into who would watch Colin when I went back to work. We were referred to a caregiver who was highly recommended. She only had one spot open and was watching two other little boys. One of them was named Colin and the other boy was named the same as the Rachel’s son. I took it as a sign. There were many other little God winks along the way. I felt like for the first time he was saying “Yes, this is my will” and I can see his footprints guiding us.
In May the birthmother’s mom was so gracious and asked if she could throw a shower and luncheon in honor of Rachel and me. She wanted our families to get together and meet before he was born. I was so honored of her request and that we could come together and get to know each other before Colin’s arrival.
The beginning of June was the big event. Her family was so sweet and made it very memorable for Rachel and me. There were gifts for Colin and Rachel, games to play, and great food. His room was “owl” themed and Rachel made a painting with an owl on it. It said, “Owl always love you”. I think it gave them peace meeting us and knowing he would be raised in a loving, caring, and Christian home. We had the same beliefs and they asked us questions on how we were going to raise him. They could see how excited my relatives were to have Colin become a part of our family. They were so supportive of the adoption and were going to be there for Rachel the whole way. Interesting enough the shower was at a restaurant and our families came together and sat at a big rectangular table. It was little like my dream I had back in December.
On June 24th, 2013 Colin Layne was born. We were blessed to be there when he made his way into the world. Chris got to cut the cord. Minutes after his delivery, he was placed into my arms and it was love at first sight. It was very surreal, and we couldn’t believe he was ours. Through all the years of struggling to have a baby we now see how God had a plan and his plan is perfect! A scripture that comes to mind is:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Our road to parenthood with both Colin and Alex has changed me. Alex has a story too and we can definitely see God’s hand in it and how he orchestrated it all.
I never felt as close to God as I did through our journey and it has strengthened my faith for when our next trial may come in this life. He is ever so faithful and his plans are so much better than mine.
At age eight, my mom told me I was adopted and it wasn’t long before I started asking questions. Adoptions are done so differently today than in the years I grew up. Basic information is now shared, but my questions went unanswered. I was always told the records were sealed and I would never find out anything. This was untrue, of course, as I discovered in 2006. With my husbands’ help on the computer, I found my siblings, aunts and uncles, and many cousins, nieces and nephews too!
Unfortunately, my birth mom died in 1978 and I was told my birth father was also deceased. My questions are still unanswered for the most part, but I take comfort knowing my life would have taken a very different turn had my mom not made the decision she made 67 years ago.
God bless you all and may the decisions you make today bring you peace always.
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