Agape is a Greek word for a particular type of love. Agape’ love is love that is based upon principle and is, by far, the noblest type of love. Agape’ love is unselfish and is more than just an emotional response.
I have been asked a dozen times what this project is and why I put this together. Well it’s simple. I LOVE adoption. My life changed 2 1/2 years ago. After multiple miscarriages, many failed fertility treatments and lots of tears, we were blessed with the most amazing little boy. From the time we received a phone call and the time we had a baby in our arms, it was a total of 2 1/2 weeks. The birth mom and my husband and I lived in different states and so a lot had to happen quickly. We were blessed to be there for the entire delivery. When the nurse placed that sweet baby boy in my arms in the hospital room, I knew that God had heard my prayers and been listening to the desires of my heart. My prayers weren’t answered the way I thought they were going to be, they were answered better than I could have ever imagined. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to hold a baby in my arms and not only did that dream come true, but I looked over at the amazing woman who had given him life and I knew our lives would never be the same. She needed me the way I needed her and I needed her the way she needed me. And, this sweet baby needed both of us. We had the same mission in mind. To give this little boy the best life that he could possibly have. If I had to describe what was felt at that moment by everyone it would be pure Christlike LOVE. Our journey together and separately has been amazing and I have realized that after our trials come the blessings. My sweet boy has been the biggest blessing anyone could ask for. He healed and completed me in a way that no one will understand.
Just a few weeks after our son was born I found out my good friend’s daughter was pregnant. They told me that if they had not witnessed how bad we ached and desired to be parents that they would have considered raising this child. But when they saw the picture of us holding our new baby and crying tears of joy, they knew they wanted their granddaughter to experience those same tears….and the journey of adoption began for me. It defines me.
A year ago I had a very strong impression during the middle of the night that I wanted to “give back” to those birth mom’s who have so selflessly given to women like myself who can’t have children. So I started working on a plan. This project was supposed to happen in late fall and was postponed. Honestly, it was the best thing that happened. Doors were opened, things fell into place and it became “healing’”to me as we witnessed two failed adoptions of our own in that time.
I would make notes every day of what I wanted to happen, and who I wanted to help me out with the project. I saw God’s hand in it all. I was told about an amazing videographer and called him up. We met and became instant friends! I would email/text and call frequently with new ideas and visions. I think he almost got a chuckle every time I called because when I dream…I dream big (wink). Kale Fitch is amazing and totally blew me away when I saw the video.
I wanted a video from the beginning. The reason I wanted a video is so that it could be used to show how much loves goes into adoption by all parties involved. I wanted to educate those who are considering and I wanted to touch lives by sharing something so sacred to me. I learned something a few months ago as I was attending an adoption class. There are and were so many emotions that I would go through by not being able to conceive a child. I would have anger, resentment, fear, sadness, hopelessness and peace. I realized that these woman who decide to place their child for adoption have those exact same emotions. We feel the same things, but for complete opposite reasons and when we find each other through the blessing of adoption…we become one and peace is filled in that place.
I am so grateful for my son’s amazing birth mom and for the selfless act that she performed by allowing us to adopt him and call ourselves a family.
So I posted on my blog and on FB that I was looking for some families who had adopted. It was fun to get so many emails and hear how all of their miracles took place. We got together on a Tuesday. When I woke up that morning it was pouring down rain. I was nervous , and as I was staring out the window I had the reminder that there is always sunshine after a storm. So many times in my life when the storm was coming down on us so hard and I wondered if I would ever see any ‘light’ in my quest to be a mom, I did see that light and the heavens were opened. Well, that is exactly what took place for us that Tuesday evening. Around 3pm the sun came out and we were all able to get together and enjoy a fun (very cold and windy ) evening together. I had everyone bring a poster board with their thoughts on adoption. They also brought a letter with all of their feelings, experiences and love for adoption that was laminated. We were able to video them with their signs, tie their letters to balloons and watch them be taken away in hopes that someone might find them and read some of our sweet thoughts and experiences. Huge thank you to Rhonda with Forever Bela for doing some stylizing that night and for her help! I handed her my camera many times through out the night and told her to take pictures..so thank you Rhonda. We then gathered for some yummy pork BBQ, beans, fruit and cake! It was a great evening!!
Two weeks later I met up with some amazing woman who had placed their children for adoption. I have to say that I instantly fell in love with these girls. When I sent out the email, my inbox became flooded with dozens and dozens of birth moms from all over the US and I LOVED hearing their stories. I was able to speak to many of them on the phone and will always call them a friend. My phone would ring at midnight with girls who just needed someone to talk to and I instantly learned more about everything that they do and continue to go through. On the 24th of April we had a fun day for these girls planned. We all met at The Sweetest Thingz Boutique. If you haven’t been there, you need to go. It is a salon and clothing store and everything about them is amazing. The girls got their hair done, make up done and the store clothed them in some of their attire. When the girls walked out they not only felt like a million bucks, they looked it!! It was fun to spend almost 4 hours with each other loving, learning and crying together. .From there we took off to Wheeler Farm and was able to have some amazing photographers get together to do a photoshoot of these amazing woman. Joie, one of the photographers, even traveled all the way from St. George to be here…I seriously meant it when I said the most amazing photographers ever!! We all laughed, joked, danced to music as we shot and had such a great time!!!These are the amazing woman who participated.After our pictures Ashley Mitchell from Blessings in a Basket came to speak to the girls about her experience of placing her child 6 years ago and her organization that offers support groups and amazing retreats for birth moms everywhere. After that we enjoyed some yummy Costa Vida, some more laughing and LOTS of hugs!! These girls are now my family!!!
Here is a sneak peek of some of the photos that were taken that evening!
These pictures were taken by the Marvelous…Marvell Smith with Vellvet Images.
Joie never ceases to amaze me with her talent. You need to go check out Joie Madison with Joie Madison Photography.
Shaun Anders is an amazing head shot photographer. Make sure to stop by and give Image by Shaun some love.
I knew that me trying to photograph and still run the entire project, (with my phone ringing non-stop trying to coordinate for the rest of the night) would be a difficult task. I didn’t get all the girls, but thought I would share a few that I did get. You can check out my page at Briana Marie Photos.The entire day was seriously amazing!!!
This has always been one of my favorite poems and will continue to be so..
Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears
One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.
I just want to give a HUGE thanks to so many people who made this possible. We had many donations, people willing to help and lots of ‘angels’ sent my way. Huge thank you again to Kale Fitch, Briana Shuman, The Sweetest Thingz Boutique, Marvell Smith, Joie Madison, Shaun Anders, Forever Bela, Blessings in a Basket, Spring Hill Suites, Crystal’s Cute Cakes, Joann Shields, Tara & Burke Bradshaw, Linda & Dennis Mott, Bart & Lori Haslem, Daniel & Nicole Ashby, Gaylene Halverson, Jennifer Parker, Karla & Alan Wheatley, Pat & Pryor Harrell and Bob & Norma Harrington!!! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help in making this dream a reality!!
So in short….dreams really do come true!