Our adoption story at Bella Rustica

Our Adoption Story - how patience and trust ultimately brought us love - via Funky Junk Interiors


It’s an exciting and busy season right now. With Bella Rustica (story here) only a short 2 weeks away, my FOLK Magazine Christmas writeup due this Saturday, and helping put together a family slideshow for Cindy’s Celebration of Life coming soon, my DIY plate is a little on the shy side. So I felt this was the perfect time to share something personal.

Let’s just say The Lettered Cottage helped to inspire this one. They posted on adoption and I joined in the comments. But then I had to tell more, which ties in beautifully with what’s next.

The reason Bella Rustica came to be is to help raise funds for Agape, which is an agency that offers support and placements for foster and adoptive families.  And one of the reasons I was chosen to be a part of the vintage show was because I’m an adoptive mom.

That’s right. My now 13 year old young man is my adopted son and I couldn’t be happier with the way it all came down.

I’ll be sharing more at Bella Rustica, however, here’s a good start.

Adoption was never on our minds when we first married. The plan was eventually to have a child of our own as it is with most families.

My then husband and I tried to have our own child for many years. We jumped through alot of hoops and tests and surgeries to make it happen. But it never did. We then climbed on board the adoption list.

The wait for a local newborn through our local ministry at that time was a 7 year wait. SEVEN. However, my own heart said newborn and since we had a choice, we chose the wait.

Life carried on, not all of it easy. I was growing so weary of being jealous of pregnant women and staring at other’s children wishing they were my own. And don’t even get me started when I saw a child cry. I wanted to save each and every one of them, full knowing I’d do it all perfectly. 🙂

Anywhoo, I slowly got over all that stuff and simply decided to accept life as it came and make the most out of my given situation. We traveled, I ran my own successful biz, we bought our dream home on acreage… life was pretty darn great! Except for that little empty space in my heart.

And then, one day out of the blue, the phone rang. It was the ring that changed our lives.

I’ll never forget it. The message was a birth mom had chosen us and she was due in 3 months!

I couldn’t think. We head out to Tim Horton’s over coffee, dreaming about all that we would do with our child to be! And so the shopping and decorating began. We started a full blown mural in a spare bedroom, purchased furniture, eyed up some newborn clothes… and then the phone rang again well before 3 months.

Birth mom W was in labour 3 weeks early. DOH!!

The house was torn apart, getting ready for the baby’s arrival. The mural was far from done. We hadn’t even finished picking up all the newborn necessities! Basically put, we required those 3 extra weeks but didn’t get them. But, it didn’t matter. It was finally time to drop the perfection thing  and learn to roll with the punches in grand style. At 2am, we head out for an hour’s drive to where my son’s birth mom was.

I called into work, told them I was gonna have a baby, (LOL) and I was up for the next 20 hours. I was the birth mom’s coach, offering her Popsicles, catering to whatever she desired even if just to chat, and rubbed her aching back. We were going to do this together.

The birth was amazing. I was asked if I wished to cut the umbilical cord but politely declined. I held onto ‘birthmom W” instead. I wanted to be a mom, not a doctor. 🙂

After the birth, it didn’t feel right to leave my baby. I requested to be admitted into the hospital just like any other mom . This was a first time an adoptive parent requested to say. Intrigued, they said yes! I got a room and learned how to feed an underweight newborn 1.5 ounces of formula every 2 hours. And yes, it was an absolute labour of love from minute 1.

I was there for 2 days when it was time to come home. And while it was amazing to have this gorgeous newborn son in my arms, my heart was abit troubled.

In BC, a birth mom has 30 days to change her mind. So every day I watched the calendar and gulped hard. You see, I had a choice. I could have left my son in the hospital for 30 days then claimed him after the approval went through, but I chose not to. If she changed her mind, so be it! I needed this baby to have the BEST possible chance right from the get go, regardless of what it could do to my heart.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I now know I held a small part of me back. I was falling in love with this sweetheart but was so frightened to get ‘a call.’ I cringed when the phone rang for an entire month.

And then on day 30, I woke up and burst into tears. The phone didn’t ring! He was ours!

See this stroller? It was prepurchased but I refused to use it until day 30 to celebrate in grand style. We ripped open the package that very day of this picture taken, and head out down our long quiet country road for our first official walk as parents for certain. 

Upon our return, the phone started ringing off the hook. Well wishers, crying in relief… it was a very emotional day. It was like winning 20 million lotteries. Or something!

Check out my shoes. I was in such a rush I didn’t even put them on right. 🙂

And today, my lil’ bub is now 13 years old. He’s as tall as I am and his voice changed over summer. I look at him every day with just a smile on my face, wondering who swapped that baby for this young man. But that must mean something was done right. He’s growing, he’s stronger, and he’s my son!

There are many ways and options to adopt. We chose a local ministry for budget reasons. But I honestly felt I didn’t require it any other way. It just felt right, even with that horrendously long wait.

The adoption process can be intense, however you ARE with full support. They really do teach you how to prepare for most anything, from a birth mom changing her mind right down to health issues down the road. Because just like having your own child, there are no guarantees. And even less when you really don’t know the health of the birth mom other than what you’ve been told.

I honestly can’t imagine having my son any other way. It was meant to be and right for me and worth every minute of waiting.

So how did it go raising my son? Did he end up liking all the things his birth mom did? Did he develop any of my own traits? Did we stay in close contact with her?

And what about the birth mom’s side of things? How did she deal with her decision?  How did it  work out to have open communication with her?

Bella Rustica Vintage Barn Marketplace, Sept 28-30 2012, Tennessee

http://www.bellarustica.org/

Well, I have something to say about all that too. Which I’ll be sharing at Bella Rustica. So I guess you’d better just come. 🙂

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  1. What a blessing! Tears of joy outpoured while I read your beautiful story, your life. Congratulations! You certainly have been blessed. I follow your awesome blog, but one never knows the struggles another goes through. We all carry struggles in our lives. I am so happy you all have a happy ending.

  2. What a lovely story as I have a warm spot
    in my heart for adoptive parents. So many
    children need homes and the ones blessed
    with parents like you all need a big hug!
    Happy Fall
    Sandy

  3. It’s hard to imagine bloggers having ‘real lives’ because we see people from a screen but stories like this is a touching reminder that we are all real. We all struggle and deal with our issues. Thank you for sharing your sweet story and may God always bless you and your family.

    Regina

  4. Wow, this was so heart warming to read. I look forward to reading more of yours and your son’s story. Love those photos of you.

    Thank you for sharing ~ FlowerLady Lorraine

  5. Such a lovely story. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. A great story on this day of 9/11 for the USA. I hope you have a splendid trip and meet lots and lots of bloggers/friends. It is such a pleasure to watch you make your place in this awesome world. And, that fine fine son….what a blessing. God Bless.

  6. I have followed your blog for many months because I liked your creative projects and ideas. I am an adoptive mom of a sweet little two year old and your story mirrors mine. I can’t wait to read more!

  7. Donna, I would like to say thank you so very much for sharing your story with us! And to say thank you for having the love and compassion to open up your heart! Your son may not be the son of your blood but he is DEFINITELY the son of your heart….. which is the greatest gift of ALL!!!

  8. Love the story! We signed up with a local attorney who handles adoptions and we were told to “advertise” for a child. Every time our separate phone number rang I jumped. However, little did I expect less than 6 months later that we would receive a call from said attorney saying a baby girl was born and did we want to be considered to adopt her. After she presented resumes from 4 or 5 couples, the birth mom chose us! That was on Wednesday … we picked her up on Monday! Talk about a scramble! I should write my story down someday while I can still remember the details.

    • Hey Dana! How cool!! The tentative times I’ll be speaking are:

      Friday 1pm and 4pm

      Sat 11am and 4pm

      Sunday 3:30

      However I’ll be there for the entire 3 days just moseying around the grounds, meeting kind folks just like yourself! Can’t wait!! 🙂

  9. Aw – what a great story. We are adoptive parents also – although our daughter was 7 years old when she came to live with us. She’s 31 now and is my heart. I had a 15 year old son from my first marriage and my hubby had two daughters, 15 and 17 from his first marriage. More people ought to try it – there are so many children out there waiting for a forever family!

  10. What an awesome story. My husband and I too have an adopted story. You see, we have two adopted children that are now grown. We also have two biological children. I love them all the same and can’t imagine my life without any of them.

  11. Beautiful. I’m an adoptive mom twice over – and our journey includes two kids lost in the process and two kids ours forever. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing your journey – it will surely be used to inspire and encourage another set of adoptive parents in the making.

  12. Thank you for sharing such a personal beautiful story! I became a stepmom six years ago, and in many ways…feel that it was also an adoption. I learned to be a mom for the first time in my life and what it means to care for a child…as if they were your own. Lovely, inspiring story!!

  13. Thank you SO much for sharing this story, Donna! I loved hearing it and seeing the photos of your son. Absolutely inspirational!!! I was really hoping we’d get to go to Bella Rustica, but now that we’re scrambling to find a house, I don’t think we’ll be able to. 🙁
    DETERMINED to connect with you in person in 2013!!! 😀

  14. Donna,
    What a fabulous story – your son is a lucky kid to have such an amazing, loving mom! You opened yourself up knowing you could be hurt and I’m sure it’s the best thing you ever did.

    Happy b-day to your son!
    Kelly

  15. Oh it’s so wonderful to hear about this and so glad you shared. I was adopted at birth. I don’t “feel” adopted. I am my parents child just as my biological sister is and feel no differently then she does. My mom always told me she carried me in her heart for 9 months instead of her belly. I am a huge fan of adoption and love hearing about it. By the way, when I was adopted many years ago in Texas, the “lady that had me” (which is how I refer to her since “mom/mother” is the lady who raised me) had 6 months to change her mind. I just can’t imagine what my mom went through for 6 months.
    Congratulations to you and your son!

  16. Donna, my mother couldn’t have said it better. This was beautiful. I was adopted at the age of 3, and I have counted my blessings all of my life, because God picked the perfect parents for my biological sister and me. I can see He also picked the perfect parents for your son. I’ve never met my biological parents, because I know who my real parents are. After all, they raised me. laurie

  17. Donna, What a wonderful story and part of your life that you have shared with all of us. I was adopted when I was six months old. My parents also adopted my biological brother, and sister at the same time. Can you just imagine going from zero kids to three kids in the span of one day?? What wonderful parents they are, and I thank God for giving me to them everyday. I have never had to wonder if I was really wanted by my parents, the answer is always very clear. Congratulations to you and Cody. Linda S. in NE

  18. This has been sitting here since this morning. I still don’t know what to say. I think you are tremendous. Sharing your patience and also the truth. Not wanting to be disappointed. Waiting to use your stroller until you knew for certain that he was yours. I can’t even imagine having to wait for my children, then wonder if they would truly be mine. I cried…a ton. Thank you sooooo much for sharing.

  19. Such a beautiful story, Donna. Your son is so lucky to know how much you love him, knowing you chose him to have as your son. I’m sorry I won’t make Bella Rustica (since it’s so far away) so I’ll just keep hoping you will post the rest of your story here afterwards.
    Debbie 🙂

  20. Donna, I can’t wait to meet you! I live in Alabama & thought that it would never,ever happen (even though I have been following you for sometime & feel like I know you…I just had never planned on travailing to Canada)God works in mysterious way eh? I also am an adoptive mom 😉 Look forward to meeting you!

  21. I am doing my very best to get to meet you at Bella…. My friend, Dianne, will be there. She lives in Nashville. I live in AZ but own a condo in FL. We are trying to get our ‘StUfF together to get to FL by way of Nashville so I can be there to meet you… Bless you…CeCe

  22. Thanks for sharing your story. I often read stories of parents who just adopted, but the ones I want to read are about people who adopted a while ago, truly telling the ups and downs along the road… so I’ll be waiting for the next post! Local adoption is unfortunately forbidden to single women in my country, so things will be more complicated for me when I’m ready.
    Magali
    PS: You made me shed my first tear of the day over my morning tea!

  23. As a Birth Mother I can only hope my son has a Mother as wonderful as you, in my case the adoption was closed,I didn’t know there were other options at the time 🙁 so I haven’t seen my son in 27 years,I think about him every single day, praying he is happy and healthy.

  24. He is a precious gift. I loved reading about his birth, thank you for sharing with us. For those of us who can’t be at the event, will there be follow up posts? Please? I would love to read about it.
    Your sweet young man is blessed to have such a wonderful mom 🙂

  25. i love this!!! i visited haiti at the beg of august and fell in love with the children of the orphanage there. and as a result of that visit, i have 2 sets of friends who are in the process of adopting 3 children between them from that very orphanage!! and im getting married on saturday and as soon as my name is changed, my new hubby and i are going to start the adoption process!!!! the lord calls us to parent the parentless and we are answering that call. so many children need love and homes and we are so excited to start this new chapter in our lives. your story is a beautiful one and your son is lucky to have you!!!

  26. Donna, I am just blown away about this whole connection and how God is unraveling the thing right before our eyes! Sharing your adoption story is what makes you perfect for Bella Rustica, but it isn’t the reason we chose you; God chose you! I’m jumping up and down and counting the days ’til you arrive!

  27. Oh wow, Gina just sent me this amazing poem she has hanging in her house. This really touched me. Thanks Gina! Author unknown.

    Legacy Of An Adopted Child ~

    Once there were two women
    Who never knew each other.
    One you do not remember,
    The other you call mother.

    Two different lives
    Shaped to make yours one,
    One became your guiding star,
    The other became your sun.

    The first gave you life,
    And the second taught you to live it.
    And the first gave you a need for love,
    And the second was there to give it.

    One gave you a nationality.
    The other gave you a name.
    One gave you the seeds of talent,
    The other gave you aim.

    One gave you emotions,
    The other calmed your fears.
    One saw your first sweet smile,
    The other dried your tears.

    One gave you up,
    It was all that she could do.
    The other prayed for a child,
    And God led her straight to you.

    And now you ask me through your tears,
    The age old question through the years.
    Heredity or environment, Which are you a product of?
    Neither, my Darling, Neither,
    Just two different kinds of love.

  28. Love your story. I was adopted. I was in foster care and my parents came for a visit and decided to pick me. I was 10 months old. I couldn’t officially be adopted for over a year but my parents were able to take me home and I’ve heard the story from my mother’s point of view that she always worried they would come and take me away. So my birth certificate wasn’t officially stamped with my current name and parents until two years and almost two months after I was born. I currently don’t have any children but have always said I would adopt and give someone else what my parents gave me. Great story Donna. Thanks for sharing.

    Holly

  29. I have loved getting to know your generosity through blogtalk and I love hearing your adoption story. We adopted 3 siblings to go with our 2 bio kids. It’s been a journey through trials and blessings and heartache and triumph, but it’s our story. So glad your son is yours and he blesses you as you bless others. I just always advocate for foster and adopt parents to get educated about the possibilities of attachment disorder and other special needs. The more you know the more you can prepare, not only your heart but your mind. Thanks for sharing.
    [email protected]

  30. Thank you so much for sharing your story. In 1972 when we married we expected to have a houseful of children, but God gave us just one daughter. She was diagnosed with a debilitating disease at age 18, and when she married and finally was expecting, she had to spend 16 weeks on bedrest. The next two children came via adoption, from Kazahkstan and China. We have one homemade and two takeouts, and we are in love, love, love with our assembled family, as you clearly are with yours. Blessings to you and may your story continue to unfold full of joy and contentment.

  31. I got goosebumps reading this. I cannot imagine what you went through those 30 days. What a beautiful story… thank you so much for sharing. I’ve found that there is no greater joy than my children and the loving never stops… it just grows deeper every day. Look forward to seeing you at Bella Rustica!

  32. Love your story! I too am an adoptive mother of a 13 yo, a beautiful daughter. She entered our lives at 3 through foster care. And then 8 months later we brought home an infant son from the hospital with only a weeks notice. They are most definitely miracles from God.
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