Open Adoption: Brenley and Bryce's Story (Guest Post)

Today we'll have two guest posts about open adoption. This morning's post is the absolutely beautiful story of how our friends came to be the parents of their son. Bryce and Brenley are hoping to adopt again, so be sure to check out their information on the bottom of this post too! 

First off I am so excited that Lanette is letting me help out with her adoption media blitz and I am so
excited that they are hoping to adopt again. So fun and exciting! As part of that, Lanette has asked me to write about open adoption. I am so passionate about open adoption, so I am very excited to be sharing with you our story.

My name is Brenley. My husband, Bryce, and I are the parents of two beyond adorable kids. McCoy,
our funny, red headed five year old, and Oaklee, our spunky, sassy two and half year old. Both of our
kids were placed in our arms by their amazing, loving birth parents, through one of the greatest gifts,
adoption. We have very open adoptions with both of our kids’ birth families. And it has truly been such
a blessing to us and our children. Today I am going to share a bit about our open adoption with our son’s birth family.

After we had been married five and a half years and had gone through a year and a half of fertility
treatments, we were ready to start the process to build our family through adoption. As we were
going through the process to be approved, our caseworker had talked to us several times about open
adoption. We didn’t know much about it and because of some experiences with having shared our
love with a foster child previously, our hearts were not very open to it. When I think back to how I felt
about it then, I feel very ashamed with myself. I am ashamed that we didn’t do more research and just
assumed that it was a terrible thing to be a part of. I really hate assumptions, yet that is exactly what I
had done.

A couple of months after we were approved to adopt, we felt the impression to move out of our
home state of Oregon. And of all places, Heavenly Father made it very clear that we were to move to
Montana. We were in a new place, far away from friends and family so I spent a lot of time keeping up
a blog to stay connected with everyone. Through blogging I found a network of other couples hoping to adopt or who had adopted already. Reading their stories and feelings on open adoption is what changed my heart towards it. I remember talking to my husband a lot about what I had learned and shared with him a lot of the stories. He still didn’t seem to be completely on board with it, but seemed a lot less hesitant about it.

Three months after we moved to Montana we got a call from our caseworker sharing with us that
we had been chosen by a young lady (“Noel”) who lived just an hour away. She had found us on
itsaboutlove.org searching through all the couples living in Montana. At that moment we knew why
we were supposed to move to Montana. We called her a few days later and we made arrangements
to meet her in a couple of weeks. The moment that we met her we both knew instantly that she would
always be a part of our lives forever and that our love for her was endless. Right there we knew that
open adoption was something special and our hearts were changed.

McCoy and his birthmom "Noel"

After McCoy was born we ended up seeing Noel at least once a month. We felt so lucky to get to see
her so often and it really helped heal my aching heart for her loss. When McCoy was six months old we
moved back to Oregon. Noel was very excited for us to live near our family because that is what she
wanted for McCoy. When he was eight months old we had McCoy sealed to us, Noel and her parents
came to the Temple to share our beautiful day with us. Since then we have been able to see her a few times. Most recently we made a trip this past summer, to Montana to see Noel and her parents and
visit them at their home. It was the most amazing visit, and they welcomed us into their home with such
love for us and both of our kids. We even stayed the night at their house, it was so much fun roasting
marshmallows, playing croquet, watching Star Wars and eating popcorn. As we were pulling out of the
driveway of their house, McCoy said, “Mom, do you know why Noel is so awesome?...because she’s my birth mom!” That moment right there was the cherry on top of our open adoption sundae. She is the
most amazing friend and the dearest family member. She is talked about often and prayed for numerous
times a day.

We pray every day for both of our children’s birth families. And currently we are praying to add another little one to our family through adoption. We have an adoption blog where expectant families can get to know us better http://bryceandbrenley.blogspot.com/ and our agency online profile is https://
itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27229908/ourMessage.jsf .

Big thank you to Brenley for sharing some of her family's beautiful story with us! Be sure to also read this evening's post on Kent and Kayla's open adoption story. Also don't forget to comment and share your thoughts on this beautiful story! 

Don't forget to share this post on facebook to enter the giveaway of your choice an additional time. 
If you comment on this or any other Adoption Week Guest post you can also enter an additional time. Just be sure to *also* comment on the giveaway of your choice for each additional time you enter.

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