Mott, ND, family shows how no two adoption journeys are the same
The call came at 8 p.m. Loren and Cameo Frieze’s son was about to be born 300 miles away. “We drove like crazy and got there just in time for the birth,” Cameo remembers.
Surrounded by members of his birth family, they met their newborn son, Pierson, in the delivery room.
Days later they would make the 5-hour drive back to Mott, ND, as a family of three.
Loren and Cameo are high school sweethearts who had been married 13 years when Pierson was born. Unable to have children biologically, they decided to go through the adoption process with The Village Family Service Center and Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.
It was a hard sell for Loren at first, but looking back, he’s thankful they made the journey. “I couldn’t see it any other way,” Loren says.
Now the Friezes are a family of four. Aiden joined their family in 2012, four years after Pierson. While Loren and Cameo were more prepared and knowledgeable about adoption the second time around, that experience was much different than their first.
It took longer for a birth family to choose them, which both describe as disheartening. And while they have an open relationship with Pierson’s birth family, getting together a couple times a year, it’s not the same with Aiden’s birth mother. “She was going through stuff,” Cameo says. “She was alone. She left the hospital without saying goodbye.”
Cameo says the adoption social workers have helped her understand the birth family’s side and their emotions, as well as deal with their own feelings. “They bring a nice balance of objective views for me,” Cameo says. “They have good insight and are experienced.”
She’s hopeful one day they can have a connection with Aiden’s birth mother, like they do with Pierson’s. “We have opened the door. Whenever they are ready, we are open to meeting with them or hearing from them,” Cameo says.
When the boys, now 10 and 6, ask questions about their birth families, Loren and Cameo answer them the best they can. They also try to educate others about what adoption is – emotional, intimidating, rewarding, and wonderful – and what it’s not.
“People who are negative toward the birth families, they don’t understand. They’re naïve,” Cameo says. “These people have other options and they chose adoption. It is wonderful and selfless.”
“It’s all out of love,” she adds. “The whole process. Whether it’s on the adoption side or the birth family’s side, it’s all out of love.”