Adoption Awareness Month – Natalie Brenner
Motherhood comes in so many beautiful forms. I’ve had the joy that comes with having multiple moms and mother figures in my life: my mom, my stepmom, my cheerleading coach, all of my friends’ moms that fed me for years.
When I found out that November was National Adoption Awareness Month, I knew I wanted to showcase an adoptive mom. I have always had such an admiration for families who grow through foster care and adoption. The selflessness, sacrifice and patience is something that I find so inspiring.
A few days before I decided to show the beautiful love of an adoptive mother, I watched this video on a friend’s Facebook page. Tears. Everywhere. It was so beautiful, heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time.
Natalie Brenner is the best-selling author of This Undeserved Life. She is also a writer, speaker, mom, and photographer.
Originally from the two-stoplight town of Harrisburg, Oregon, Brenner gave up driving tractors and moved to Corvallis where she met her now-husband. Together, they helped to plant a church, built a youth ministry out of scratch, and fundraised their entire income. After this short season, their career paths shifted entirely as did their home, and they moved to Portland, Oregon. She now writes and photographs for a living, raising two one year olds, and spurs others on to chase their dreams. Her heart beats for justice and Jesus, creating spaces for every fractured soul. Natalie is addicted to honesty and believes honesty is at the core of a full life.
Natalie’s growing blog, NatalieBrennerWrites.com, has been visited by more than sixty thousand people since January 2017. Her work has been featured in Adoption.com as the top writer, Pregnant Chicken, Adopting.org, Shelley Skuster Writes, Today SHOW, Parents, and more. Natalie has been a featured guest on several podcasting shows including National Public Radio’s OPB, Honestly Adoption, Blossoming Mommy and Baby, and The Birth Hour. She is a lover of life and breather of grace and hopes to always love bigger than before.
*Side note: This mama was in front of us when we got Christmas photos done last year, and her sons are adorable. Small world!*
In order to fully show the beauty of her story, I’m sharing a blog post from her site, Natalie Brenner Writes.
I Knew I Loved You Before I Knew You
“I just have to ask… do you love Sage as much as you love Ira? I mean, I know you say that you do…but I’m just so curious if it’s true.”
We sat on my living room floor when she asked me this. With a world of confidence and pride in my chest I was able to nod and beam and let her know that I absolutely love Sage as much as I love Ira.
I love them each as though I birthed them both…but I also love them as though I adopted them both. To me, it is the same unending mama love.
Our infant adoption journey infiltrated every piece of our attention. Sure, we still worked and focused on what was at hand, but our adoption journey infused every part of our lives and thoughts.
I was constantly day dreaming, praying, wondering, and breaking.
I had no idea if we would be adopting a boy, a girl, twins or triplets or a singleton. I didn’t know if we would become an interracial/transracial/multicultural family. We were licensed to be placed with a baby up to nine months old, so we were unsure if we would be meeting our future child at a hospital or somewhere else.
All we knew was that we loved our future child, whoever he or she would be, and giving birth to him had nothing to do with it.
Selling our possessions, quitting our current job with unhealthy people, moving across the valley, taking out a loan, fundraising like mad, and filling out about thirteen pounds of paperwork… it felt so trivial and small compared to the cost of becoming a family for a baby.
And then 2015 passed into 2016 and through a series of miracles we landed in a hospital room meeting you and your mom. The mom who carried you, who loves you selflessly, whose blood courses through your veins. She sat on that bed holding you, her tears falling onto your perfect self as she fed you one last time.
The room’s air was thick as molasses as I walked to the bed, wading through immense joy and grief, all in one tragically, beautiful moment.
And then she placed you in my arms and I about melted all over the floor.
There is something sacred about her choosing us to be yours, something I don’t take for granted.