One of the things I didn’t plan for was Maryann, Bryce’s precious birth mom. We met with her right before we went up to the hospital to see Bryce for the first time. I remember she was wearing a long purple dress and looked so beautiful. She started sharing her story with us and all of the things she wanted for her son. I was in complete awe as she shared her journey from Cameroon, Africa to the states to pursue her education. She had drive and determination like no one I had ever met before or have met since. I was a blubbering mess and she was completely composed and confident in her decision. I fell in love with her that day and decided that she must be involved in Bryce’s life as much as possible.
Six years later and we are like family.. actually, we ARE family! She is such an intricate and important part of our family and I am so thankful that we have the privilege of having her in our lives. Adopting Bryce not only grew our family with another son, but an entire family of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and Aunts and Uncles. Relatives from the hills of Kentucky, crazy Cajuns from the south, and some amazing African’s with culture and experiences and wisdom to teach him things I never could. One simple decision to say yes to God all those years ago has blessed my life more than I will ever be able to put into words.
It’s not all unicorns and cupcakes. Adoption can be a roller coaster of emotions. Right after bringing Bryce home I struggled with bonding. He was a strong little man with a fierce eyebrow that had a tendency of bringing out all of my insecurities. I would rock him and sing to him and he would just wrestle and fight me. For months I cried in silence because I didn’t think that anyone would understand. I didn’t know of anyone who had adopted and all of my friends and family were just so happy for us that I felt the need to make adoption ‘look good’. Eventually we found some wonderful adoptive families that made such a big difference. I finally had someone who understood what I was thinking with practical advice on what to do and how to give it to God.
We decided before adoption that we must be committed to being willing to learn and listen and grow in order to do what is best for Bryce. I’ve heard a lot of people say that love is all you need, and while it’s a great big part of it and your actions should always be driven by love, it is not enough. There are experiences and lessons I cannot teach Bryce because I’ve never been a black man before. Right now we are trying to teach him how to love his curly hair and beautiful dark brown skin, but in a few years it will be something totally different. Surrounding our family with diversity and wisdom is one of my biggest goals. I am constantly looking for ways to highlight and celebrate the differences and similarities in the world around us. With that being said, I welcome any advice, books, articles, conversations, whatever as we navigate the road ahead. It really does take a village.
I can’t put into words what adoption means to me. Bryce has brought so much joy and laughter and life and love to our family! Watching these crazy brothers love each other absolutely melts my heart. Don’t get me wrong, they still fight and argue and fart on each other, but they also take care of each other and will always have each other’s backs. I am absolutely honored to be queen bee of this wild crew!
Thanks so much for following our adoption journey over the past few days. Your love and support and advice and kind words have been so encouraging! ♥️ If you have ever felt God leading you to grow your family through adoption, I ask you to pray, pray, pray and obey!
Follow her on Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/SeedsMountains and Instagram: @seeds_and_mountains