Welcome to The Adoptive Mom! I am so happy you are here!
Hi, I am Brenda Scott, founder of The Adoptive Mom and author of the #1 New Release book adoption: your questions answered.
With 15 years of adoption experience, 3 adopted children and going through the adoption process multiple times, I understand the desire to adopt, the fears of adopting, and all of the things that might be holding you back. And, mamas who have already adopted and who are going through the beautiful and often messy stages of adoptive parenting–I understand you, too. I created The Adoptive Mom as a safe space to share what I know about adoption, adoptive parenting and to encourage you in the journey.
I know you’re wondering:
- Am I qualified to adopt?
- How do I choose an agency?
- How much does adoption cost?
- Can I afford to adopt?
- How long will the process take?
- How does open adoption work?
- What is it like to be an adoptive parent?
- Where do I find photos of children who need families?
And if you’ve already adopted, you’re wondering:
- How do I parent a child who lived through trauma? Nothing I have tried is working! Help!
- What do I do to have peace in my home?
- Does anybody out there understand the kind of life I am living?
I hear you!
First, I want to say I hear you. Your questions matter to me, and I’ve been there, too. I am here to help you through this and answer your questions. Imagine me virtually holding your hand through the adoption process. That’s what I want this space to be for you.
Second, please know that I pray for you and cry for you. Every post I write here is truly full of my heart! Writing about adoption, hopeful adoptive families and families who have adopted makes me tear up and use up all the Puffs (Plus Lotion, please) tissues in the house. Adoption is such a beautiful and messy situation all at once. I’m crying right now, just thinking about it. Please pass me the Puffs!
Third, I recognize that there are ups and downs in the journey–both before and after adoption. Our life as adoptive parents hasn’t been rosy–but it is a ministry, and a good one. I want to be here for you before and after adoption. My goal is to see kids adopted and to see those families supported. I write here to that end.
So, here at The Adoptive Mom, that’s exactly what you will get: Support before, during and after adoption, prayer coverage, tears for you, and so much love poured into what I write for you.
If you’re interested in:
- Learning about the adoption process step-by-step
- Hearing about adoptable kids
- Support through the adoption process and afterwards from an adoptive mama who gets it
You’ve come to the right place!
Our Biological Babies
After two miscarriages, my husband Karry and I started the process of adopting a little boy from Kazakhstan. Then we found out we were pregnant, with Isaac, our now 18 year old who was once a 1 lb, 12 oz preemie. We stopped the adoption process when we learned we were having a baby.
Just one year after Isaac was born, Kaleb, our 17 year old, entered the world and our lives through a planned C-section and after months of bedrest.
Our First Adoption
When Kaleb was almost one year old and Isaac was just two, I got a life changing call from a friend:
“Want a baby?”
That started our journey to Noah, who is now 16! We adopted Noah through the foster care program, and sadly, it took fourteen long months to get him.
Our Second Adoption
When Isaac was five, Kaleb was four and Noah was three, we started the adoption process again and adopted our beautiful daughter Ruby, as a two week old infant from Atlanta, Georgia through domestic infant adoption.
Fostering but not adopting…
When our boys were nine, eight, seven and Ruby was three, we took in a foster sibling set for the purpose of adoption. We were clueless about foster-adoption at that time and truly believed they were moving in with us forever. After fourteen months of loving those kids, they went back to their biological mama, and later, moved into multiple foster homes and then finally, an adoptive home. The heartbreak of loving kids and losing them sits with me today and will always be a part of me.
After losing those kids we thought would stay forever, one of our kiddos spiraled and life got really hard. Sadly, when kids faced trauma (and the loss of a birthparent is trauma), new trauma (like losing siblings they love) can stir up the old trauma and behaviors (symptoms) can emerge. We lived through a whole lot of symptoms of trauma and sought help in every way we knew how: counselors, respite, intensives, neurological repatterning, the GAPS Diet, supplements, therapeutic horseback riding, and finally, neurofeedback. We tried it all and saw what worked and what didn’t.
Our Third Adoption
Five years after the giant loss, after things settled down a bit, we were ready to adopt again. We got training in adoption from Colombia and and also learned about adoption from Ethiopia. We were presented with a private adoption situation and pursued that until it was clearly not going to become reality. Then we got another life-changing phone call:
“Would you be willing to consider adopting a five-year-old?”
God directed yet another adoption for us! We were able to adopt our beautiful daughter, Briella, through second adoption. I share more about this type of adoption in chapter eight in my book.
Then we fostered again
When the boys were seventeen, sixteen, fifteen and the girls were eleven and nine, God called us to foster, again. It wouldn’t be as easy. Sometimes it would feel all too familiar and remind us of the pains of the past. This time, we would foster two little, sweet, adorable kids who had already been in foster care too long. Would we get attached? Absolutely! But would their case for-sure go to adoption? No–there is never a guarantee with foster care, as I warn in my book, in chapter four. We were stepping up to foster, no matter the outcome. God was clearly calling us, and we did it in faith, knowing we were putting our emotions on the line–setting ourselves up for the same kind of pain that we faced years before.
But, My Health
Five months after they entered our home, we learned that a year earlier, my cardiologist had seen a potentially worrisome heart condition. Nobody told me. In fact, my primary care doctor had signed off on our medical paperwork for fostering without mentioning it. This news was scary to me, because my maternal grandmother died at 42 years old and my uncle at 41, both because of cardiac events. I was 41 when I got the news that I had a heart condition and had to have more testing done over the next few weeks. We learned that eventually, I will likely need heart surgery. A specialist told me I shouldn’t be lifting more than 25 pounds, and the sweet little kids were heavier than that. I was carrying them up and down the stairs multiple times every day, and I couldn’t anymore. That broke my heart…
We took a trip to the Redwoods and I prayed and wrote out as much Scripture as I had memorized (pages!) in a moment without a Bible or cell signal for my Bible app. I cried hard, on the long drive back home–so hard that it ached. It felt like if I said out loud what I knew God was showing me, I was going to break or die or explode or something awful…These beautiful children that we were raising were not ours. They were not going to stay with us much longer. We had to say goodbye. Oh, the tears!
Just before I turned 42, and almost six months after the sweet foster kiddos entered our home, we brought them back to their old foster family, our friends, whom we love. We know God led it–we know the kids were supposed to go back to the foster family they had lived with for so long, before us. And it was still heart-breaking for us. I miss them. There is a cost that comes with pouring so much into children who are not our own. I would argue, the cost is well worth the opportunity!
Our Focus Had to Change
We knew we couldn’t provide long-term care for those two children because I will eventually need an open heart surgery. I needed to start focusing on my health. While we love those kids and certainly enjoyed having them in our home, they also took a lot of time and energy. When a mama takes in kids who have lived through trauma, her self-care often goes out the window. There just isn’t time. The “squeaky wheels” in the house get the grease, and sometimes those “squeaky wheels” are loud, and have a lot of appointments, and then mama’s only self care ends up being a much-needed daily nap–if she can get it. I didn’t have time to make doctor appointments or research or advocate for my own health and effectively parent those sweet children. And as much as I want to be with Jesus and live in Heaven, I don’t want to leave my family early because I neglected to care for my own health and get the medical care I needed.
My book, and my mission!
I had been working on my book before the little foster kids came into our care. THIS–the realization that my life is fragile, and that I cannot possibly adopt all the children of the world made me want to spread the news about waiting children to the masses. I published my book January 26, 2020. I would love to receive emails that 100,000 children are getting forever families because of my book. Too big of a goal? I don’t think so!
There’s more to my life than adoption and waiting children, of course…
I love Jesus and I don’t hide that in my writing. Also, I am a proud homeschooling mom and I have five amazing kids. I have been married to my husband Karry for twenty-one years. We are partners in this adoption journey as well as other adventures.
For example, we recently moved from Oregon City, Oregon (just south of Portland), in a motorhome, in the winter, all the way across the country to central Virginia. We’re a little crazy like that!
We are road-trippers and took a 32 day trip across the country in August of 2018. As a homeschool mom, I planned the trip around history and literature. We saw many old houses and school buildings–my favorite kind of vacationing!
We especially enjoyed all of the Little House on the Prairie stops, and particularly, Almanzo’s childhood farm in Malone, New York (right after listening to Farmer Boy!).
I have liked Emily Dickinson since I was a teenager and have been to her home as well as Louisa May Alcott’s home twice.
As much as I love old school houses and historic decor, lately I have been decorating in white and gray. I adore making my home a beautiful and comfortable place to live and do hospitality.
We were farmers
We used to be farmers. For four years, we owned 30 acres in Molalla, Oregon. For six months of that time, Karry quit his job and we sold pastured chicken, pork, beef, duck, goose, turkey and eggs at farmer’s markets. Our farm wasn’t successful, Karry had to go back to work, and we realized that God was calling us to focus on the children He had given us–not farming. We sold our farm and have lived in neighborhoods ever since. Our time on the farm gave us a huge appreciation for farmers and all that they do. We are big farmer’s market supporters!
I make spreadsheets for nearly every subject in my life. Books and libraries are some of my favorite things. I don’t love laundry, but I appreciate that my washing machine plays music when it is finished.
We are a theater family. When we lived in Oregon, we participated in several Christian Youth Theater musicals. Karry would run the sound board and I helped with some kind of crafty thing to support the show, like props or souvenirs. All of our kids can act, sing and dance, but some like it more than others.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher and an author. I am proud to say that I am living out both of those dreams! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Culture, Literature and the Arts from The University of Washington, Bothell and I am also a Certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant through the Nutrition Therapy Association.
So, that’s me!