What a Great Story: From Infertility to Host Mom

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a single book with a few pages turned inward to look like a heart on Not So Mommy What a Great Story - Host Parents Blog

I love getting lost in a good book.  I’m particularly a fan of Debbie Macomber novels.  I love how her characters find joy and build families in different ways.

Wouldn’t this be a great DM storyline?  A couple can’t have kids.  But they go to a cooking class and meet a foreign exchange student and decide to become host parents.  And then, they go on all these adventures with their exchange daughter—to NYC and Chicago and Florida…..

But this isn’t just a story.  This is my life.

We knew our day-to-day family time with Bruna was limited, so we crammed as many spectacular events into six months as possible.  When she arrived, we went to Charlotte, NC to pick up my car and visited the Nascar Hall of Fame.  I knew this kid was special because as I took yet another photo of her and Dane, she leaned her head against his shoulder and smiled.  My heart melted….

Over the next months, we celebrated New Year’s in Asheville, took a family trip to the Coca-Cola factory in Atlanta, nearly froze to death on Valentine’s Day in DC (where Bruna saw her first snow ever!), went to Chicago over St. Patrick’s, Disney World over Spring Break, Oklahoma for my birthday, and New York City for Dane’s birthday!  Honestly, showing Bruna the US was a great excuse for us to travel to all the places we had always wanted to see, but had never taken the time to visit.  It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that often felt surreal.

It was at Disney World, however, where the reality of our relationship struck me.  It was the end of our first day at Magic Kingdom and we were watching the fireworks display over Cinderella’s Castle.  “When you wish upon a star” was playing and those words….  “When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires, will come to you, ….”  Tears began welling in my eyes as I realized that I had just spent the day at Disney World with my daughter.  A dream that I never thought would come true was happening right at that moment.  I put my arm around Bruna and cried happy tears as I watched the fireworks and listened to the song….

And I thanked God for answering my prayer.  Because He did answer it.  And in a BIG way.  I did not expect for my daughter to come to us at age 17 from Brazil, but she did.  And she is perfect.

God does answers prayers.  Sometimes it’s just packaged a bit differently than you expected….


To discover how Bruna came into our lives, read “The Cooking Class that Changed My Life.”

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