Bryson's Adoption Story

We are so grateful that little Bryson has found his way into our family. Many of you have asked to hear the story, and although a bit complicated to share, I'll give it my best shot. I hope you'll be able to follow it:

We spent the majority of 2006 completing the stacks of paperwork necessary to adopt. After what seemed like an endless process, we became eligible to adopt on November 1, 2006. One week later, a birth mom from Mapleton, Utah picked us. We were more shocked than excited because it just happened so quickly.
Our case worker warned us that the adoption may fall through because the girl was kind of a "flake" and was only there because her mom forced her to be there, so we tried not to get our hopes up too high. In addition to that, there were a few things about the situation that didn't quite feel right. We knew that if her baby was meant to be in our family, it would work out-- if not, it wouldn't. Our profile was on hold (meaning that other birth moms couldn't access it) until the end of December, when we found out that the birth mom decided to get married and keep the baby. We were happy that things worked out in her life so she could keep the baby, but sad that we'd have to continue waiting/finding. That made us eligible again and so I immediately went to work to get our adoption profile online to broaden our chances of being found by other birth mothers.

Our adoption profile was published online on January 30th at It's About Love. On the very next day, we received an email from a girl that found our profile and wanted to get to know us better. She (Kimbralee) was due in 6 weeks. We immediately emailed her back and told her that we were very interested in getting to know her better. She replied and said that she was also looking at several other couples and would be making her decision by the end of the week. Unfortunately, we were headed out of the country on a trip to Cancun, Mexico that very week and didn’t know if we would be able to get an internet connection. We decided to take our laptop and crossed our fingers that we would be able to connect so that we could communicate with Kimbralee.

The first thing we did upon arriving was find out if we could connect to the internet. Use of the internet was available, but it was very expensive!!! Because it was so expensive, we only connected to it for 30 minutes every day. Fortunately, a very long email from Kimbralee always awaited us each time we connected and we would reply with very long emails in return answering all of the questions she had for us. She was an amazing 23 year old girl from a strong LDS family in Ohio (Mike and I both served our missions in Ohio, so we were especially excited about that). We loved answering her questions and loved getting to know her better that week. On February 5th, while still in Cancun, Kimbralee sent us the most beautiful email telling us that we were the parents she wanted for her son. I will never forget that moment. We were sitting on our bed in our hotel room with the laptop between us and were both reading the email silently to ourselves. When we got to the part where she told us she wanted us to be the parents of her baby, I looked at Mike (who never cries) and I saw tears streaming down his cheeks. I was also crying, sobbing actually, and we turned to each other and hugged for the longest time. There aren’t words adequate enough to describe the way we felt after reading her email to us. We felt so much happiness and love pouring down from Heaven. We felt humbled that Kimbralee chose us of all people to be the parents to her little boy. But more than anything, we felt an overwhelming amount of love for Kimbralee. We knew how much her heart was aching at the thought of giving her child away and it broke our hearts to know that our joy was at the expense of her pain, but we were also so deeply impressed by the courage she had to follow what she felt was right in her heart. Kimbralee, who a week previous to that day was a total stranger to us, was now our hero and we loved her so much!

Bryson was due on March 11th, but wasn't born until March 24th. He weighed 9 lbs, was 20 inches long, and had (and still has) a head full of long dark hair. We flew out to Cleveland, Ohio, bought a car and then drove to Columbus. We met Bryson for the first time the day he was born and met Kimbralee and her family and friends the following day. We fell in love with her and her family and had a really nice visit with them. The following day was placement and it went so smoothly. Kimbralee seemed so at peace when she handed Bryson to us and said goodbye. That day Bryson was discharged from the hospital to us and a day after that, Kimbralee signed the papers making him officially ours. We are so thankful for the love and selflessness Kimbralee showed in placing Bryson with us. Bryson will always know that she loved him so much! We spent a week in Ohio waiting for legal papers to clear to enable us to leave the state with Bryson. While we waited, we drove back up to Cleveland to visit the mission areas we served in and the historical sites there. When we were cleared to leave, we drove the incredibly long drive back home to Utah.

We can't even begin to list all of the little miracles that took place for us to find Bryson. We know that he was meant to be apart of our eternal family. Heavenly Father certainly knows how to help children find their way to the parents meant to be theirs.

We have a very open relationship with Kimbralee and correspond with her through email and mail frequently. We love sending her pictures and updating her on Bryson and hearing about everything going on in her life. She's become such a special part of our lives and we love her so much.

When Bryson is 6 months old, we will go to court to make him legally ours--as if he were actually born to us. After that point, we can finally have him blessed and sealed to us for eternity! We look forward to that day!
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