Early in the morning of April 8th, one of my dear friends had the following dream as captured by these excerpts from her e-mail to me,
The Anticipation and Work of Angels
“I had a dream this morning, right before I awoke, about your baby being born. It was a huge production in my mind, with music and angelic dancing. It was as if the whole dream was a painting in action. There were beautiful angels (the angels weren’t just women and they weren’t all dressed in white, just light colors, and whimsical looking) surrounding both you and the birth mother in the hospital and outside.
Everyone was in a bit of a hurry, as though to make sure they were all helping and doing their job just right. It was as though each individual was very intentional in their duty and at the same time celebrating the birth of this little angel baby. You could see it in their faces and feel it. I felt like it was a huge event that all in the dream had anticipated and they shined with the spirit of rejoicing that this was truly taking place. Each seemed honored to be apart of this baby’s birth.
Surrounded by supporting angels, you held the placenta in your arms. Not disturbing at all, this was painted beautifully, symbolically as the organ that gives all life and nourishment to a newborn baby. You carried this symbol of life and as you moved, you almost flew, as though your feet didn’t touch the ground and a group of angels surrounded and supported you. You seemed very focused, and happy as you beautifully, delivered it to a new location.
You holding the placenta was the most detailed “image” of the dream. It was powerful! You were glowing, so happy and focused on your part. It represented life and that although we don’t physically deliver some of our children, because of our choices we still give them “life.” We deliver them from a life that wasn’t ever meant to be theirs. We deliver them into the life God intended for them to have. It was all very symbolic, and picturesque.
Everyone was singing lovely music of worship and celebration. During the dream I knew instrumental music was playing but I didn’t physically hear it. It was some type of classical music. When I woke up I felt like shouting with joy.” Then she adds this footnote, “I felt of your baby’s goodness and the power and actions that had to take place in order to get her here.”
What my dear friend didn’t know, was that at the time of her dream, I was seated next to the birth mother in the hospital as she transitioned into the last stages of labor, having been induced three weeks prior to her due date. Moments later, Brielle Emily Larson, was born to this earth and passed into my arms. I can only assume that the heavens did open and that what was given in dream to my friend was actually happening in reality. Brielle’s birth is a miracle that must be testified of and shared and never forgotten. The following is a collection of the sacred moments that guided and accompanied her arrival.
“The Time is Now, Offer To Adopt”
Sunday, October 25th 2015, I was awakened from a deep sleep, by an unmistakable spiritual intensity, as these words were given as a command in my mind, “The time is now, offer to adopt.” In this moment of divine exhilaration, I was given a remembrance of a spiritual commitment I had made as a single woman, at 23 years old, to one day “help a mother in crisis”. After receiving a second confirmation in the temple the following day (that experience shared further below), Brigham and I posted to MamaKarmel.com the following blog post on October 28th. We had no hints at what may lay ahead for our family.
Faith in Action – Posting to Help Any Woman in Crisis
The original post, October 28, 2015:
If you are considering abortion, please consider allowing Brigham and me the privilege of loving and raising your baby.
We will love you and your baby for eternity, and do all in our power to help, now and always.
Here’s our story of why we are offering to adopt your baby if you are considering abortion…
It’s simple, really, God told us to.
I hope that you will ask Him what you should do and I trust that he’ll speak to you also. I know he hears and answers prayers and loves you deeply.
When I was 23 years old, I was listening to a radio talk show on abortion and I remember feeling deeply moved to the point of tears. I was devastated at the idea of abortion. I wanted to reach out and help, to do something that would help these potential mothers to feel helped, loved and supported. I wanted to help them feel God’s love for them and for their unborn baby.
I wanted to shout from the rooftops that we must stop abortion and that these women needed real help, support and love with better options to choose from! In that moment of deep emotion, the spirit very clearly spoke to my mind,
“If you want to stop abortion and counsel a mother to have her baby, you need to be willing to raise that baby if she is unable or unwilling.”
Being unmarried at the time, I was struck by the instruction. I remember considering it deeply as that was a real game changer for me. It was one thing to just mentally tell others what they should do and another thing entirely to offer myself as a helper and part of a solution. As I mulled over the idea, I quickly resolved that I would be willing to raise that baby, absolutely I would! No doubt about it. And then I put that idea on the “shelf of life” and moved along in my simple, young single life.
Fifteen years of marriage and 7 children later, I knew that Brigham and I were done having children. The last pregnancy was not only very difficult for me, but it was difficult for the entire family, grandmas and church family. Certainly our family was complete. We have 7 children! That is quite a quiverful of blessings.
After the LDS General Conference of October 2015, I felt it necessary to start the website (mamakarmel.com) and blog, to share ideas and to “speak out” as counseled by Russell M. Nelson in his “Plea to My Sisters” address in the conference. The assignment came to me with an intensity, that drove me to get it done immediately!!! I spent all day Saturday, October 24th getting it ready so that I could go and blog information from various sessions of the World Congress of Families IX 2015 in SLC. I felt happy that night, going to bed, that I had made the deadline and I was ready to go for blogging from the conference.
Early Sunday morning, October 25th, the spirit literally awoke me, well before my alarm with the following message,
“The time is now. Offer to adopt on your website.”
In a flash of understanding that I am now so well rehearsed in and familiar with, the Lord laid out for me yet another assignment. He would have me rescue one of his children from abortion and one of his daughters from the grief of having to go through that experience. I understood instantly in that moment that this website/blog has a larger purpose than to share information from the World Congress of Families. The time has come for me to act upon the commitment I made back in 1999. I was to use this website to offer to help a woman struggling with the choice between abortion or adoption and hope that she chose our family.
I went to the temple the next morning to confirm the experience. Not only was it confirmed, but the Lord further expanded before me a vision of things to come in my life that would be made possible by this initial opportunity to help and love and serve. It would be critical for me to have this experience so that I would be able to help others more intimately in the future.
I was hesitant to share this with Brigham. So hesitant in fact, that I told him I couldn’t say it out loud. I told him that I had had an experience and that I sent it back to the Lord and told Him that He would have to send it to Brigham. The next day Brigham called me and said, “We are adopting aren’t’ we?” I just cried and finally got out the words, “How did you know?” He couldn’t explain it, he just said, “I don’t know, I just knew it. It just came to me and I was certain.”
I was so grateful that God had told him as well! I shouldn’t have been hesitant to tell Brigham, for when I shared my experiences with him they were just another confirmation of what he already knew. Brigham’s response was perfect, he said, “That sounds beautiful”. I am married to a giant of a man, a selfless husband and ideal father. It is especially admirable because we were about to offer to adopt any child, under any circumstances, and we didn’t know if that meant a disabled child that potentially would never leave home, as these are often the unwanted, high abortion rate children. Brigham was willing to adopt any child with any set of circumstances to help a mother in crisis to avoid abortion. So together, we moved ahead and sent out this post and shared our intent on Facebook.
I didn’t really even know anything about abortion or the Pro-life movement. Interestingly enough, 2 days later, on the 27th of October, I found myself in an afternoon of training from the world’s top leaders in the Pro-life movement at the World Congress of Families. All of a sudden, I felt more educated, more empowered, more devoted than ever to the cause of helping pregnant women with unplanned pregnancies to receive the loving help they need to explore other options.
So friends… here we are, the Larsons would be so happy to have an 8th baby. We offer ourselves, our family, our home, our resources and our love to help any woman who finds herself feeling unable to care for a baby. We can help you. Please don’t choose abortion. Please choose our family. We are riddled with imperfection but we pray hard every day to keep improving, and we have an abundance of love to share.
Let’s work together as daughters of God, you and I, to help your baby come into this world and experience life on earth, as a child of God. I am a devoted mother and will offer every opportunity possible to your little one to know love, joy, learning and play every day.
Then we Waited, Held our Breath and Held Onto Our Faith…
I have never been so glued to Facebook and to my e-mails as I was for those next few days! The volume of social sharing was unanticipated. We received nearly 100,000 views in a very short time. Questions also began to pour into my e-mail and Facebook feed. I posted the following response in another post, to clarify our intentions:
Questions Rolling In
Will you help a woman who is not considering abortion?
Of course! I guess you could say that she has considered it and decided that it is not an option. We are looking to lighten the distress and burden of any woman who finds herself in grief and stress at having discovered an unintended pregnancy. We can offer relief, love and resources to her and to her baby.
Will you adopt a non-white baby?
Yes, we will help and love anyone and be happy to raise any baby who needs a loving home and devoted parents. Brigham and I both speak Spanish and Brigham speaks French if that is helpful information to anyone.
Will you adopt a baby with a problem or disability?
Absolutely. EVERY life is of infinite worth to God and to us. We are not afraid of challenges and trust that if God has invited us to do this, that he will strengthen us to handle any possible situation. In fact, my experience has been that it is in the challenges and sacrifices and overcoming in life that make us strong and the blessings roll forth. We will love and serve any birth mom and baby in any situation.
Will you support the birth mother?
Yes, we would open our home to her if needed, provide as many resources as possible to help her maintain privacy, confidentiality and safety.
Will you cover medical costs?
Yes of course.
Why are you doing this when you already have 7 children. Don’t you think you should let the couples with no children and infertility struggles have the chance to adopt rather than you with so many?
Our intent in reaching out to help a birth mother and baby, is certainly not meant to harm another couple. We do not intend to join any adoption agency lists or to “compete” with a profile against other couples. Rather, we feel directly commanded by God to consecrate our lives to another human being who may be in need of our help. (read our story HERE). So in faith and obedience, we are just putting this out to the world, trusting that if God commanded it, he will provide the connection and bring the right mother and baby into our lives. I know that there are MANY women who are not considering adoption right now, rather, they are planning on abortion. I am hopeful that our words will help many consider having the courage to endure the 9 months of pregnancy to then let another couple like us or many others in the world who would be willing to raise the baby for the rest of eternity. Let’s encourage more mothers to give birth and build a bridge to another mother rather than choosing abortion. Our intent is to help.
Two Birth Moms Reach Out
Along with all of those post views and questions, came an outpouring of comments, families also wanting to offer to help in any situation, other families desperate for a baby, a host of critics and TWO birth moms in crisis.
I found myself at dinner with Brigham one night, aching over the decision of what to do now… Brigham and I sat in discussion and evaluation. These two wonderful and brave birth moms contacted us 12 hours apart from one another. They share the same story and are both close to us geographically. They were the same age, in pure crisis and praying for help. Neither had told anyone yet, that they were pregnant. They were both due at the same time the end of April 2016. They were both students who were considering abortion until our story found them through social media. Both felt that God had answered their prayers and that our family was brought into their lives to save them and their babies from the despair and crisis they are experiencing.
The first birth mom emailed me,
“I was feeling that Heavenly Father was reaching out to you for my help, I prayed what to do and he answered my prayers with you!”
From the second birth mom,
“Hello, I stumbled upon this blog via facebook on accident. It was in my timeline and I think that God wanted you to submit this blog for me. Recently I ended up in the hospital to find out that I am pregnant with fraternal twins. I am single and I don’t make very much money, I live with my best friends and having a baby right now isn’t the best thing for me and I didn’t want to have to suffer through the horror of picking out “the right birth family” because it would be too much stress on me. I was considering abortion, until I read your blog.”
Interestingly… no other birth moms have ever contacted me since. Just these two…
THREE BABIES??????? Due at the same time? REALLY??? What were we to do? Is this what God intended for us when he said, “The time is now, offer to adopt”? Or was I supposed to choose between these two birth moms and help the other find another family (even though this is the very thing that one was asking to be spared from). As Brigham and I talked it over at dinner, we felt like there was only one option… we needed to be willing to help BOTH mothers and ALL THREE BABIES. We would seek spiritual confirmation to know if we were to raise them as “spiritual triplets”.
Yet how could that be within the bounds of sanity? We were not planning to have another child, let alone three more babies. Abby texted me as we were out to dinner and said, “I’ll wake up really early mom and take care of the kids so that you can go to the temple and figure this out.” She is my wise little girl. And so I did just that.
That next morning I arose at 5am and went to the Provo temple to inquire of God. I asked:
“Is it thy will that we should adopt these “spiritual triplets” born to two women, coming to our family at the same time?” This seems like a crazy thing to suggest and yet I have no other acceptable solution coming to my mind. I find it impossible to “choose” between the two women and their children. Please guide my thinking and confirm if it is correct to offer to adopt all three or if we should offer to support one mother over the other. We are willing to do anything that thou commandest, but we need some clear direction here!!!”
I hadn’t considered the temple schedule and found that the only thing open at this early hour was the baptistry. So I went down and asked if I could do confirmations. After changing, I had no wait and went right into a confirmation chair. As they switched temple workers, my thoughts were directed to this question, posed by the mother of the twins, “Do you have thoughts on names or would you want me to name the babies?” Just as I was thinking that I had no thought on this, as I thought I was done naming children, I hadn’t yet had time to consider any names. I wondered, “What would I name a baby?” In that moment, the temple worker identified the woman for whom I was being confirmed, as “Adelaide” and the spirit reminded me that I had loved the name Adelaide, an ancestor in our family tree, and had hoped to name a daughter after this ancestor of mine. It was very spiritually impactful to me and I heard not another thing from that confirmation session, as I pondered and wondered if one of these babies would be the Adelaide I had hoped for.
I changed into my white temple dress and was escorted up to the Celestial Room. As I studied scripture there, I knew that one of the twins was a boy and should be named Daniel. I had been given the names for the twins even though the birth mom had not yet announced their gender. As I continued to pray, I again asked for confirmation to know if we should help both moms.
“Please help me to feel certain,” I pled.
As I looked up from my prayer, I saw again the chair with the symbol of the chain on the chair before me that had been a part of my confirmation the week before, that indeed I should offer to adopt. The week before, I had prayed asking for confirmation to know if we should offer to adopt at all and the symbol of the chair became to my eyes a logo for linking “Daughters of God” through adoption and the sealing power. This had been a symbol of a “Yes.. AND”, yes you need to offer to adopt, AND there is something larger coming. I took that to mean that I would be “Linking” multiple birth moms to many adoptive parents and that it was a symbol for “Linking Daughters of God”. Now I understood that those multiple birth moms were to be linked to me.
This time, though, as I laid my eyes upon the same symbol, it transformed in meaning to me from a D-O-G logo type symbol for “Linking Daughters of God” to two pregnant bellies facing me in the middle and that I was linking two “Daughters of God” to myself. This was the “Yes – AND” that God was telling me of the week before but I didn’t yet have enough of the pieces of the puzzle to understand. I felt that this moment was the solid confirmation that I had sought in knowing if offering to take all three was correct or if I was to choose between them. I knew that he was bringing the three of us together and that he wanted me to help ALL THREE babies.
Sadly, within days of committing to both mothers that we would happily receive and raise these children as our own, the mother of the twins fell down a staircase and went into labor. She delivered the twins shortly thereafter and they lived only 10 minutes. We had named them together the day before just moments before the mother fell down the stairs. We named them Adelaide and Daniel (it turns out that Daniel was the name of her father who had passed away in military service and she had always wanted to name a son after him). She found great comfort in knowing that they had been named before passing. I found great comfort in knowing that we had spared these babies from abortion. They had lived, obtained their bodies and were received to their great eternal glory. I found great comfort also knowing that their mother was spared the lifelong grief of having had an abortion. Certainly our loss was great at having lost these twins, but more bearable than having lost them to abortion.
So we carried on with the mom of the single pregnancy. We enjoyed a relatively calm and normal pregnancy with her. I attended all of the prenatal appointments and supporter her as best I knew how, having no experience with adoption.
(How I obtained the chair photo above) On February 29th, 2016, I attended the temple again and noticed that the chairs had been replaced in the Provo Temple. These chairs that had been an answer to prayer, a second confirmation and a third witness of God’s command for us to help these unborn babies, they were gone. I felt great sadness at their removal and as I inquired about them, discovered that all temple furniture is destroyed after being removed from the temple. That was a very sad thought to me. As I further inquired about them, a temple worker offered to try and get a photo for me. I was thrilled when this image arrived in my e-mail as he kindly sought them out and followed up with me. He said they had already been destroyed but that this inventory photo had been taken in a warehouse prior to their destruction. I treasure this photo as a symbolic reminder of God’s hand in bringing Brielle into this world and answering the prayers of mom’s in crisis.
What is her name?
As we waited for our baby girl to be born on April 26th, 2016. I prayed and asked God to tell me her name one day. I didn’t want to pour over lists or “come up with” a name. I just wanted to “know” what her name is. And so I asked,
“What is her name”?
And INSTANTLY, Brielle came to my mind. Along with her name came the following interpretation, also immediately. Brielle is a combination of our names, Brigham and Karmel. In a burst of understanding, the spirit told me that it would be important for her to have this name in the future as she may struggle with being the only adopted child after 7 biological children. It would be a comfort to her to know that even though she did not have our shared DNA, she had our shared name and that both of us were tied to her through our sealing and our eternal bond and her name was a reminder of that connection to us both, that though our sealing she is bound to us even more powerfully than by DNA. We are “Daughters of God” linked together by an eternal sealing.. I was so grateful to receive that name and interpretation instantly and I do hope she finds joy, love and comfort in feeling both of us tied to her through her name and through our sealing.
This post is written mostly for her, that she may never forget the power of God to answer prayer, bring information to her mind through revelation, speak to her through symbols, command her to do hard things and then provide the way. Most importantly, that as she obeys God’s commands and consecrates her life to Him, making any sacrifice, being completely obedient, holding nothing back and devoting her entire soul to His requests…. That he will shower upon her greater blessings than she could ever anticipate or have thought possible of her own seeking.
SHE is that very blessing to us, as we have tried our best to follow Him.
Welcome to our family, Brielle Emily Larson.
6 lbs 12 oz