For Brooke and Lauren, two Mothers living in different cities, Mother’s Day holds very special meaning. It’s a day to celebrate the joy of parenting two sisters, across many miles… but always close in heart.

Brooke adopted her daughter, Sora in September, 2007. It was the answer to her prayers.

I always dreamed of being a mother. It was my deepest desire. I wanted to pack school lunches and bandage scraped knees! Sora has exceeded all my expectations. She fills me up with love in a way that I couldn’t have imagined!

In December, 2007, the attorney who arranged Sora’s adoption called with news. The birth mother was pregnant again and because Brooke had the full sibling, she had the right of first refusal. Brooke had gone through a failed adoption ( months before Sora) and could not afford to adopt again. It broke her heart. When the attorney asked if Brooke would speak with the woman that he was potentially going to place the baby with, Brooke consented.

It was a hard call for me initially, because I really really wanted that baby. But just as life always works out the way it should…Lauren was meant to get her happy ending, just as I did”

The first time Brooke and Lauren spoke, it was as if they had known each other for years. They were both Jewish and shared similar upbringings. They both had gone through failed adoptions. Now, they would be raising siblings!

Brooke was a refreshing and reassuring voice, gracious and forthcoming. She helped me understand the girls’ birth mother, her demeanor, sincerity, her character and her level of decency.While I was nervous about the potential outcome up until the moment that the release documents were signed, were it not for Brooke, I am not sure I would have made it through the process at all.

When Eliana was born (November 2008), Brooke and Sora went to visit them. They saw each other again the following June, when Lauren and Eliana were vacationing. On Christmas day, 2009, they spent the day together and again in March.

Brooke became instant family to us upon Eliana’s arrival, as did Sora, and of course Bruce.* We look forward to spending time together. We talk as regularly as we can, sharing developmental milestones and marveling at the similarities and differences between the girls. Eliana is a miracle for me. She is healthy, happy, funny and beautiful. I look at her every day and am reminded how lucky I am..It’s like having a new lease on life. She is my everything.

This past year, Brooke battled breast cancer. Her family and friends rallied by her side.

The last 9 months have been incredibly difficult. Sora is my fight. She is what got me through my sickest days…the scariest days. Sora is the air in my lungs. My heartbeat. My life. I am so unbelievably grateful that Sora’s sister was adopted by someone as loving and OPEN as Lauren. This relationship is a gift that Lauren and I can leave for our daughters…. They will have each other always!

This story is dedicated in loving memory of my mother, Blanche Barnett Nevel and her beloved big brother, Paul Barnett…Brooke’s Grandfather.

* Bruce is Brooke’s loving partner.

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