* Dad’s Cerebral Hemorrhage
* My brain bleed
* Ectopic preganancy and Miscarriage
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Near bankruptcy
* Loss of employment and completely depleted resources
* Death of my brother-in-law
But none of these trials even come close to our adoption experience. Without a doubt, that was the most excruciating, heart-breaking pain I’ve ever felt. Consequently, the end result created the most exhilarating and deepest joy I’ve ever tasted.
Without a medical explanation, Brad and I were unable to conceive on our time-frame. Trevor was born after a year and half of marriage, so we just assumed I’d be like my mother and fill our home with back-to-back children. After months turned into years, we began fertility treatment. Our heart-wrenching miscarriage of twins preceded the birth of our 2nd child when Trevor was 5. Brooke and Trevor filled our home with love and laughter, but we knew there were more children to come. We lived on the island of Guam at the time, and about the time Brooke turned 4, I remembered reading in the paper several weeks earlier about the need for foster homes. When I picked up the packet in the Guam Social Services office, the receptionist asked if I wanted an adoption packet as well. Of course I did! I asked about adoption and she told me that because of the culture, they hadn’t actually had an adoption outside of extended family in over 12 years, so I should not get my hopes up. Too late. We filled out the paper work, completed the necessary police clearances and home visits, then counted the days as we waited. Finally, on our 11-year wedding anniversary, we got the call. There was a 5-week old infant boy who needed a home. AND, he was adoptable. Brooke and I drove immediately to the office where Bryan was waiting in his battered car seat, head tilted up and to the side as he was apparently used to having a bottle propped to eat. We filled out the paper work, made a quick stop for formula and diapers, then headed home to enjoy the greatest gift in the world. Surprising Trevor at the bus stop after school, then playing with Bryan till Brad came home made for a very full day. Our little treasure had never been bathed and had long curly hair that desperately needed cutting. He sure did clean up well! Bryan came to us without anything – including a name. So we held a family council to name him. Thankfully, it was not a democratic situation or he could have ended up being named “Tofu”, “King Kong”, or “Benjamin Franklin”. Our social services caseworker was quick to warn us to not get too attached. Even though he was adoptable, parental rights were not yet terminated and it was their job to try to place him somewhere within the extended family. But we knew. The bonding was immediate, and we couldn’t give up Bryan any easier than we could give up each other.