Our Journey of Adoption

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While scrolling through Facebook one evening, I saw a college friend of mine posted a need for adoptive families to make profile books and come forward to adopt babies in her community. I couldn’t quit thinking about it, it weighed on me heavy, the kind of feeling you get when you know you are supposed to do something big.

We had only been married a few years, and and the talk of having children together had been brought up by me many times, however, we had decided that we were “too old” to have a child together. Then enters the discussion about adoption. I shared with my husband the post from my friend and asked what he thought. My husband is so sweet and tender, and when I told him that there were babies that were being born without a family to care for them, he looked at me and said that we could be that family.

People chose adoption for many reasons, infertility, medical conditions, and the list goes on. Adoption for my family did not come from infertility or medical conditions. Many of my friends have dealt with the pain of infertility, some have chosen the route of adoption, some have not. Adoption for my family came out of the desire to be parents together and make a difference. My husband and I both had children from previous marriages, and loved being parents, and felt there was a child that needed a family. We have dear friends that had planted the thought of adoption deep in our hearts, as we watched then parent their two adopted children, they too had older children. We wanted to make a difference in the life of a child, we didn’t know what it looked like for us, but were willing to take the next step.

When we started this process, I was hopeful and scared. We quickly took the steps to make a home study complete, made a family profile book and sent it to my friend so she could share it with her clients. Our book was used many times to help an expectant mom chose life and know that their child was meant to be. Our book was used many times to direct people toward adoption, as an option for their child.  

When William and Michelle saw our book, they decided that their little guy needed to join our family. Both teenagers, and wanting to go to college and have careers they had decided that adoption was the right choice. Due in 6 months, we would walk through the next few months with them, talk, Facetime and share in this journey. We were so excited. We immediately called all our big kids together to tell them. They knew that we had felt God leading us to adopt, but we needed to share with them the news.  

Titus William’s arrival was to be October 2, and we were ready. We had borrowed everything we needed from our friends with little ones, bought other things we needed, attended parenting classes and we were just waiting for his arrival.

3 months before his due date, we received a call from my friend – 3:00 a.m. calls never carry good news. Michelle had been rushed to the hospital, after taking medication to abort her baby. Not being in her right mind, she self-aborted him and was laying in a pool of blood when the medics got to her. Upon arrival to the hospital, and a thorough examination, we got the news that crushed us. Titus was dead.

We grieved. We grieved a son we never knew but already loved. We grieved for Michelle and her loss. We grieved for months. We still grieve for him, and William and Michelle. We grew to love them throughout this process.

Later that month, we were contacted by a friend of a friend that had heard of our failed adoption story. They said they knew of someone who was to have a baby in September, would we be interested in our name being given to the birth mom as a possible adoptive family, and we said yes. Still numb, we really didn’t think much about it.

September 27, on our way out the door to grab some coffee and bagels, we get a call that a birth mom had just delivered a baby boy and did we want him. Just like that. We had never met the birth mom. We were home study ready and approved and had our adoption attorney on speed dial. We were ready and we were scared. The baby boy was born addicted and was going to go into the custody of social services unless an adoption plan was provided. We talked to birth mom and told her we would love her son as our own and prayed with her. Later that day we made arrangements to meet, and she asked us if we would raise her son, the one she had been calling, “Max”.

We met Kate and Max on September 29 and our entire lives changed. Kate greeted us with such love and confidence that she was doing the right thing for Max. Our beautiful, messy dysfunctional family grew that day, and adoption changed the course of our lives.

Max had to stay in the hospital a few days to deal with the effects of heroin and the withdrawals he was having. On October 2, we got to bring him home – the same day our Titus was due.  

The journey of adoption does not always go down the path that you think it will. For our family, Titus and his life prepared us for adopting Max. 

Adoption is hard. Adoption is messy. Adoption is scary. Adoption is emotional. Adoption is heartbreaking.  Adoption is life changing. Adoption is love.

Max is getting big and is now a big brother through adoption as well!
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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his sweet fiance, Lauren and Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+???? My husband and I are both ministers , he is a youth minister and I'm a children's minister and we get to work at the same church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language, I just finished binge watching The Crown and feel a bit fancy now. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand. I love being part of the team at Dayton Mom Collective.