When I was 6 weeks old, I went to have an ultrasound for tummy issues, and they noticed my ovaries were not hooked up right. The doctor at the time felt it would be best to remove them completely. When I was 13 years old, I found out I would never be able to have children. It was then that I started researching adoption.
As I grew older, my biggest fear was to have to someday tell a prospective spouse that I would never be able to birth our children. Then I met Jason. He was a single dad to two wonderful little boys, and we fell head over heels.
Before we got engaged, I told him the biggest secret of my life — one that only a handful of people knew about me. I sobbed as I told him. He then grabbed my face and told me it didn’t matter how our children came to us. They would be OUR children. Last June, we were approved to adopt.
After a lot of research, we decided we didn’t want to go through an agency. There were too many shady ones out there, and they cost close to $55,000 when all is said and done. So we set out to do it on our own.
We “marketed” ourselves online and through social media. We made a Facebook adoption page and paid for targeted ads. We had an Instagram page with pictures of our life and we also put our profile on adoption.com. We were contacted by a handful of women, and most turned out to be scams. Then, we got a message on Facebook. A young woman emailed us telling us that her friend was pregnant and looking for a family.
On Sept. 1, we got a phone call from this woman in Missouri, and we talked for an hour and a half. Over the next month, we built our relationship and became increasingly excited. However, she never got us official proof of pregnancy. People can fake ultrasounds and blood tests online all the time. I was ready to commit because I trusted this woman, but my husband wanted to renew our Adoption.com profile one more time. We renewed it on Oct. 1, and on Oct. 2, we got a message from another expectant mother.
She had been watching our profile and wanted to meet us. Two days later, we met in a little diner 20 minutes from our house. Just when we thought she had stood us up, in walked a very pregnant girl and her mom. We hugged, and she showed us the ultrasounds of a little baby boy.
He then started kicking, and she had me feel her belly. Towards the end of breakfast, she asked us how we felt. She then asked us if we would adopt her baby and love him forever. Jason and I sobbed. In the middle of a diner. In complete shock.
Three weeks later, we stood there and watched as our son Andy was born. I was the first to hold him and kiss his tiny hands. That was Oct. 30, 2017.
As we took Andy home and adjusted to being new parents, I had continued to talk to the first expectant mom we had matched with. She had still never given us proof. She had also told us congratulations and that she found another family for her baby. I was happy for her, and we maintained occasional contact over the next couple of months.
In January 2018, I received a phone call from this same woman. She told me she had just told the other family she did not feel good about them adopting her baby. She then told me that she knew this baby was supposed to be ours. I stood there holding my 3-month-old baby boy, and she sent me pictures of an ultrasound of the baby boy growing in her stomach. I was speechless. But I also knew. Deep down, I knew.
Over the next two weeks, my husband and I prayed a lot about adding another newborn to our family only months apart. The same resounding answer came again and again. Six weeks after that phone call, we flew out with Andy to Missouri and met a woman and her three children the night before she was being induced. We all instantly connected.
The next day, we stood at her bedside and watched as our son, Ellis, was born. Jason even got to cut the cord. I was first to hold him and again kiss his tiny hands.
Never did we imagine having two newborn babies only four months apart. Adoption is an amazing thing. Because of a woman’s greatest sacrifice and selfless decision, I became a mom to two of the most perfect baby boys I could have ever asked for.
We have open adoptions with both of our boys’ birth parents. We talk and send pictures and recently met up with Andy’s birth parents at a nearby park.
Four months after Ellis was born, we had a strong feeling to reach out to his birth mom and she had mentioned they were in a rough spot. Jason and I decided to then fly her oldest child out to visit us for 10 days so he could spend some time with Ellis.
Sean had never been on a plane or been that far away from his home. We instantly fell in love with this sweet boy. Ten days eventually turned into all summer.
At the end of summer, he asked if he could watch his new friends try out for football. Before we knew it, he was talking to the coaches and asked if he could try out. Sean made the top football team for eighth grade in his first year ever playing an organized sport.
He called his mom and asked her if he could stay. She said whatever would make him happy. Sean has now been living with us for six months, and his football team made it all the way to playoffs.
Never did we imagine one year ago that we would be adding three more children under 9 months (especially all boys) to the two that we already had. I have not given birth to any of the five boys we have at home right now. But I am their mom.
We have since finalized both Andy and Ellis’ adoptions. They are officially Orams. We share custody with our oldest two boys and their mom. And we don’t have a timeline as to how long Sean will end up staying.
Family does not have to be made from blood. It can come in many shapes and sizes. Love is all that matters. So here we are — a current family of seven. We love each other deeply. And go on a lot of adventures together. It is not always easy. There have been many ups and downs and everything in between. But we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
This story was submitted and originally published on Love What Matters by Heather Crockett Oram of Utah and reprinted on Simplemost with permission.
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