If you have been reading for a little bit, you know I have been trying to adopt my stepson Brenden for about a year now. It’s been a long and windy road full of legal jargon, sleepless nights, and some heart ache. Today I am so happy to share with you that our adoption story has a happy ending. As of today, I am “officially” Brenden’s mom! I can’t even put into words exactly how happy I am right now. (I know shocking, that I am lost for words)
OUR STORY BEGINS
I just wanted to share our story to give hopes to all the parents out there that are going through the adoption process; whether overseas, step-parent, or foster. To let you know all that sweat and tears you put into your own story is so worth the outcome for your family!
Our story started back in 2007. My husband, fondly known as Mr. Crunchy, and I began to date in March of 2007. I was divorced, with two little girls, 7 and 3 at the time. He was never married with full custody of his son Brenden, then age 5.
Mr. Crunchy was always extremely very careful with introducing his son to women he dated because even at the tender age of five Brenden had had a hard life. I will spare you the gory details, but at the age of 18 months my husband had full custody of his son because his birth mom was put in jail on charges of child abuse.
I knew that Mr. Crunchy was a single dad, and I respected him for taking time to protect his son, but I will admit I was anxious to meet this little boy that was so important to him. We fell in love hard and fast, and it wasn’t one month when we already knew we were going to get married and he introduced me to Brenden.
That day floats in my mind like it was yesterday. Brenden was this cute little red headed child with freckles brushed across his little nose. Wayne brought him by where I worked so we could get to know each other.
Shyly clinging to his father’s pant legs, I could see a head full of red hair and big brown eyes peeking out at me. He was absolutely the most wonderful little boy I had ever laid eyes on. He was shy, but flirty and not quite sure what to think of me. It was quite adorable.
It didn’t take Brenden very long to get used to me. It was only about a month after meeting me that I went from being “Ashley” to “mommy.” That boy touched my heart from the very beginning, and has always felt like one of my own.
NOT ALWAYS SUNSHINE AND ROSES
Don’t think this story was all sunshine and roses. There was a great learning process to become a mother to a boy, from having two girls, and being a mom to a child I didn’t give birth to. I loved Brenden from the very first day I met him, but it was a different type of love from my daughters. Not better, not worse, just different.
NEVER GIVE UP
Brenden and I have been growing our mother/son relationship ever since that day almost 6 years ago. Ever since that first ackward year, I have thought of him whole heartedly as my son. He feels as naturally a part of me as the two girls I did give birth to. I could never imagine my life without him.
For all those step-parents out there, being a parent is so much more than giving birth to a child, but step-parent adoption can be a scary process. Not only did we have the fear of his mother trying to prevent the adoption, we had the fear of the state we live in making us file in another state. (My son was born in one state, and his bio mom now lives in another state). The process was rather tedious, and required a lot of effort from our family to help get the court the information they needed.
I have shed a lot of tears through the process just pining for the courts to acknowledge what I have known in my heart for the last six years. He is my SON! I protect him just as fiercely as I protect my two biological children. There were many nights, why I didn’t understand why my love for him wasn’t enough for them to see I was his mom.
I guess through my incessant rambling, I am trying to say never give up. Adoption processes can be long and hard, but you know in your heart of hearts that it is meant to be. If that is the case, you also know it’s worth fighting for!
There were many times that I thought about giving up! We went to a hearing in February sure that this would be easy, and were turned away and told to find a way to serve his biological mother. (Even though she had rights terminated in another state). I cried, I was frustrated, and so close to throwing in the towel. Just remember when you feel like this, NEVER GIVE UP! You can get the information you need, and your child is worth every minute of it!
Well today, all of that hard work and tears paid off. Today our family is finally “officially” complete. Ever since falling in love with my husband, I have had the privelege to watch Brenden grow from that red-headed little boy into an amazing young man. After today, I know that I we never have to worry about if his sisters and I will continue to be able to see him grow into the wonderful person he is and is going to be. As of today, I am “officially” the mother to a wonderful son whom I love and adore with each passing day!