I have never felt more myself.
I personally believe that my Mama Heart was activated long ago, when the desire to be mama burned in my soul more than I knew possible. People always said to me that I couldn't possibly understand the love a mama feels for their child until I myself experience it; I understood where they were coming from. The love is deeper than any love one has experienced, yet. But I also felt that it was not fair for them to say that. My heart yearned and burned to be mama; I did every little thing in my power to grow into my potential self as I waited, as I longed, as I dreamed. I was nice to my body, praying that it would host a life. I was (not always, but worked towards being) nice to my heart, praying God would continue working in me and preparing me to love deeper than I had yet loved. The perpetual twinge my heart felt with the absence of the true title of "mother" felt itself like the deep love those other mamas spoke of.
And I believe that I did understand their love, before I held my own baby in my arms, making me mama. To you still waiting, dreaming, longing to be mama...when others minimize your longing and pain and exclaim that there is no way you could understand the love of a mother...hear it from me: I don't believe it. A mamas love is fierce, sacrificial, and beautiful. Your love is those things. The burning love that you're carrying in your heart was conceived by longing and desire to be Mama, and it is simply waiting to be birthed. You get it. You get the love.
Baby Blake Brenner, whom we lost too soon from the womb, activated my Mama Heart even more. But to society, I was still not a mama; I was still not capable of understanding the love of a mama.
Sage Isaac, baby boy, you have not only fully activated my Mama Heart, validating longings and dreams that have been deep-seated within my soul for so long, but you are the undeserved gift that I get to unleash and pour my heart into. You have made me Mama three times over. You were not the first born in my heart, nor were you in my womb, but you certainly were the first born to be placed into my arms. And boy do I love you. You were conceived in our hearts officially 9 months ago when we signed a contract with Susan VanSyckle through Christian Adoption Consultants to pursue you. The timing is more than I could have planned.
You have given me the title Mama, and for that I am forever grateful. I am grateful to your Tummy Mama, who loves you so intensely, so completely, so profoundly...that she made the extremely painful and sacrificial, selfless and courageous decision to place you in our arms. Making us Mama and Daddy to you, Sage. For her, we are so entirely thankful.
Exhausted, a giant loan with a fatty interest rate hanging on our backs, 21 weeks pregnant, giving myself painful shots twice a day for Tummy Baby, haven't been home in 12 days, living out of a suitcase, and throwing #NoSpendingJanuary out the window...I feel more myself than ever before. I have baby toes to kiss, little hands to wrap around my fingers, little lips to smooch, and a little body in my arms to pray over and soothe and speak words of love to. Watching my husband love Sage makes my heart swoon to the moon and back.
There is no way we would be holding this precious boy without the online, friends, and family community we have. People give "online communities" a bad rap, but never have I seen a more amazing group of people come together and fight for a family. Never have I made such deep connections so quickly. Never have I shed so many tears of thanks over people I do not yet know, except for social media. Never have I seen God act through people so miraculously, through social media. My goodness.
When we posted January 7th around 8 pm that we may have a son waiting for us, IF we could come up with this outrageous amount of money...the cash started pouring in and we are making it work...and to be honest I was so scared that He would not come through. I was so nervous and anxiety stricken that we would fly to Utah and meet this boy who was already wrapped around our hearts, and we would have to hand him back to the agency. We have one last payment to make to the agency and we are just about there, because of people like you, if not you. After that, any and all funds raised will go DIRECTLY to the loan we have taken out. It is a 5-year loan, but we are praying big prayers to pay it off within the next year and a half to two years. Lord, please. He has brought us this far, our faith has been strengthened and deepened, and I believe He can do that.
Many people have asked: do you get to take him home? Are you home? What is ICPC? What is happening?
Here is what is happening:
We will certainly be taking Baby Sage Isaac home with us. Praise. The. Lord.
Yes, I am still pregnant. Praise. The. Lord.
No, we are not home. We are in Utah, awaiting ICPC clearance. Yesterday was MLK Day so they did not work on it. Praying for a miracle to be home tonight.
ICPC = Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. The purpose of ICPC is to protect the child and the party states in the interstate placement of children so that the child is placed in a suitable environment; the receiving state (Oregon) approves us and laws and policies have been followed; the sending state approves us; the sending agency or individual guarantees the child legal and financial protection.
If you are still wanting to support us in this adoption, we will be fundraising through the adoption shirts as well as me putting my photography profit straight to the loan. The shirts have a few days left on their campaign sales, meaning when it is over, they will not be for sale (unless more than 3 people contact us letting us know they still want one!).
Here are various ways to support our adoption, helping us bring home baby Brenner:
Paypal: send a gift to firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie Brenner Photography: hire me!