Heart to Heart with Anna

Heart Warrior Choosing Adoption

March 03, 2020 Owen Brenna Isaacson Season 15 Episode 9
Heart to Heart with Anna
Heart Warrior Choosing Adoption
Chapters
Heart to Heart with Anna
Heart Warrior Choosing Adoption
Mar 03, 2020 Season 15 Episode 9
Owen Brenna Isaacson

Owen Brenna Isaacson was born with a complex congenital heart defect who has had multiple open-heart surgeries, pacemakers implanted, cardioversions and ablations. Despite the medical challenges she has faced, she has been able to lead a fairly normal life. After marrying the love of her life, she and her husband George have decided to start preparing for the growth of their family.

In this episode, Brenna shares with Anna how she and George came to decide on adoption as the method for them to grow their family. Brenna openly shares with Anna what it was like growing up with a heart defect and her conversations with her doctors and her loved ones regarding pregnancy, surrogacy, and adoption. Tune in to hear how Brenna feels about all of these options and what advice she has for others contemplating the same journey she and George are currently on.

Other Heart to Heart with Anna episode you might enjoy:

The Miracles of Adopting a Child with a Congenital Heart Defect:  https://www.buzzsprout.com/62761/398971-the-miracles-of-adoption


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Show Notes Transcript

Owen Brenna Isaacson was born with a complex congenital heart defect who has had multiple open-heart surgeries, pacemakers implanted, cardioversions and ablations. Despite the medical challenges she has faced, she has been able to lead a fairly normal life. After marrying the love of her life, she and her husband George have decided to start preparing for the growth of their family.

In this episode, Brenna shares with Anna how she and George came to decide on adoption as the method for them to grow their family. Brenna openly shares with Anna what it was like growing up with a heart defect and her conversations with her doctors and her loved ones regarding pregnancy, surrogacy, and adoption. Tune in to hear how Brenna feels about all of these options and what advice she has for others contemplating the same journey she and George are currently on.

Other Heart to Heart with Anna episode you might enjoy:

The Miracles of Adopting a Child with a Congenital Heart Defect:  https://www.buzzsprout.com/62761/398971-the-miracles-of-adoption


Please take a moment to follow us on your preferred social media platforms:

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If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page  (https://www.patreon.com/HeartToHeart)

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/HearttoHeart)

Brenna Isaacson:   0:00
I think the best way to get started once you decided to go down the adoption process is just to start.

Opening Music:   0:00
Jazzy music from Home. Tonight. Forever. by the Baby Blue Sound Collective available at Amazon here: https://tinyurl.com/rqgjvhm

Anna Jaworski:   0:04
Welcome to "Heart to Heart With Anna," I am Anna Jaworski and the host of your program. Today's show is 'Heart Warrior Choosing Adoption' and our Guest is Owen Brenna Isaacson. We'll start today's program by learning a little bit more about Brenda in Segment One. In the second segment, we're going to talk to her about her decision to adopt. And in the final segment, we'll get some advice from Brenna for other Heart Warriors who are thinking of going with the adoption route themselves.  

Anna Jaworski:   0:36
Brenna Isaacson is an adult, living with and thriving with a congenital heart defect. She has a single ventricle heart and was born with tricuspid atresia amongst other defects. She had her initial Fontan at 18 months of age and a revision at 23 years old. Living with a pacemaker, she is relatively healthy and not prepared to risk her health by getting pregnant. After marrying an amazing man, she realized she wanted to start a family. From the beginning, they felt that adoption was a perfect choice for them especially after extensively talking with Brennan's doctors about the risk pregnancy would be to her health. So welcome to "Heart to Heart with Anna," Brenna.

Brenna Isaacson:   1:16
Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here.

Anna Jaworski:   1:19
I'm happy to have you. And I'm so excited I finally have you on the program. I know you wrote to me several months ago wanting to be on the show, so it's good that we're finally getting a chance to talk about this really, really important topic.

Brenna Isaacson:   1:32
Yes, thank you. I'm very excited.

Anna Jaworski:   1:35
You told me in your bio that you were born a tricuspid atresia and some other defects. So can you tell me a little bit more about what you were born with and when you were born?

Brenna Isaacson:   1:46
So I was born in 1984 and I actually called my mom to ask her about my defect. We don't really have the best understanding of it, to be quite honest, just because when I was about two months old, I did have a Gortex shunt placed. And then, while I grew, it did not. So I turned blue. And then I had about four months of being blue baby and my parents got stopped in the grocery store. "Your daughter is cold. Put a coat on her." Of course, nobody understood really. So then I have the Fontan at 18 months old and just like a lot of people maybe have heard -- they didn't know. Maybe I was cured. We don't know. So basically just went on with my life. I had a very normal childhood. A little cautious, No contact sports. Definitely anytime I met a new doctor, the first words out of my mouth where I've had open-heart surgery. And so we just lead a very normal, somewhat cautious life. And to be honest, I didn't really know much about my condition or anybody else who might have had it. I hadn't met anybody else until my twenties. 

Anna Jaworski:   2:47
Oh, wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   2:48
And when I went off to college, yeah, when I went off to college, my doctor printed me out a list of 11 different defects that I was born with

Anna Jaworski:   2:55
*gasp*

Brenna Isaacson:   2:55
I just carried it around with me and took it to doctors as needed. But by then I think of her all computerized, and it was easy for people to just share information about me without me really needing to know too much. To be honest, I was blissfully unaware.

Anna Jaworski:   3:10
Wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   3:10
And then yeah, and so that was kind of my childhood.

Anna Jaworski:   3:15
But that's great. So it sounds like you had a relatively normal childhood after you had your open-heart surgery, which you probably don't even remember because you were just a baby.

Brenna Isaacson:   3:24
Yes. I don't remember anything about it. I actually have a scar across my chest. I don't have the typical vertical zipper. I have a horizontal zipper. And so even then, I didn't really have to talk about it much because it was hidden.

Anna Jaworski:   3:37
Sure,

Brenna Isaacson:   3:38
I would wear a shirt and no one would know; no one would be the wiser. I'd actually proudly tell people about my surgery if they asked about me. It was kind of a little trivia fact about me. Not really like the main header or anything. Yeah,

Anna Jaworski:   3:51
Yeah. How interesting. Okay, so you had your first Fontan when you were 18 months of age, right? And you led a normal life after your Fontan.

Brenna Isaacson:   4:05
Yeah, and quite honestly, up until I was about 202 -- when 22 hit, I started having arrhythmia and I went to the hospital in Boston for an ablation, and one of the doctors was surprised I didn't have a pacemaker. He's like, "You're 22. How do you not have a pacemaker already?" And I, like I wanted... I sent him out of there. I was like, "What are you talking about- a pacemaker?" (I) never even heard this word in relation to anyone under the age of 70. There's no way...

Anna Jaworski:   4:31
 Wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   4:32
And I was confused. He wanted to put a pacemaker in me that weekend, and I talked him out of it, which eventually I would have it. But I had one ablation and I had a cardioversion with Dr Wu. You interviewed Dr. Wu.

Anna Jaworski:   4:43
Oh, yes! I love Dr. Wu! 

Brenna Isaacson:   4:46
Me, too -- actually, probably my all-time favorite cardiologist I've had.

Anna Jaworski:   4:49
He's so good. And he really listens.

Brenna Isaacson:   4:54
He does. Actually, I was in for one of my first cardioversion ever. And I was in Boston. My whole family was in Los Angeles, and he held my hand while I went in. And it was just a very nice moment that I could just trust him and feel a lot less alone.

Anna Jaworski:   5:09
Oh, my gosh! That makes such a big difference in your recovery period. That's wonderful.

Brenna Isaacson:   5:16
So it was nice. I've actually written him a little Thank-You before.

Anna Jaworski:   5:20
Yeah, that's awesome. Well, that makes a huge difference. You've had some great doctors who have worked with you. That's wonderful.  

Brenna Isaacson:   5:27
Yes. Yeah. Definitely

Anna Jaworski:   5:29
So you said you had a Fontan revision at 23. Did you go from having an intracardiac Fontan to an extracardiac Fontan? Because you're... And I hope you don't mind me saying this... You're an old Fontaner, just like my son.

Brenna Isaacson:   5:44
Yes. I am. I'm proud, old Fontaner,

Anna Jaworski:   5:46
I know! That's awesome. So when you had it over 20 years ago, the only kind of Fontan they did was an intracardiac Fontan. But now there's so many different options. I'm curious if you know, if you went from having an intra- to an extra-

Brenna Isaacson:   6:00
and I have no idea. They said we need to do a Fontan revision. I said, "Okay." But it actually wasn't as cut and dried as that. But when I was 22 I started having my arrhythmia. And then I went back to Los Angeles after college in 2007 and I was feeling bad one day -- the Friday before Labor Day -- and I ended up needing an emergency pacemaker replacement. I was all ready to go out dancing that night.  

Anna Jaworski:   6:24
Oh,  

Brenna Isaacson:   6:25
I emailed Dr. Wu and his team. They said, "Go to the E R. Right now."

Anna Jaworski:   6:28
Oh, wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   6:29
I went to the ER. And they admitted me because my heart rate was in the high thirties.

Anna Jaworski:   6:35
Yikes,  

Brenna Isaacson:   6:35
Yeah, yeah,  

Anna Jaworski:   6:37
That's really scary.

Brenna Isaacson:   6:38
I wouldn't even let them take my dancing shoes off because I was still committed to going out that night.

Brenna Isaacson:   6:41
I was 23-year-old healthy woman living my best life, but eventually, they took them off. And they said, "We're going to do a pacemaker, and we'd also like to do a Fontan revision." And this was Labor Day 2007.

Anna Jaworski:   6:56
Wow!

Brenna Isaacson:   6:57
And this was a new team. This is UCLA team that we eventually grew to tolerate. But we were not happy with how everything was going because it was a very stressful time, right? I ended up in the ER.  I didn't know the people. They were talking about open-heart  surgery.  

Anna Jaworski:   7:12
Yeah,

Brenna Isaacson:   7:12
it was just a very scary time. My mother is one of my biggest advocates, and she's just like, "No, take a step back, we'll take the problems as they come." So my brother was actually getting married later that month. So we decided to do the Fontan in December of 2007 instead of rushing into it just then.

Anna Jaworski:   7:29
Wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   7:30
They were fine with it. They gave me some medication for my arrhythmia. I gained a lot of weight because I ate a lot of mac and cheese. I was a little depressed, perhaps, but this was my first time of actually having something that was affecting my life more than just -- not just an ablation or not just the cardioversion -- but those things that happened in Boston were much easier to handle. They kind of came and then they left, right? I felt better. And this was actually like a huge change to my life. So we put off the Fontan until December, and I ended up having the Fontan on December 11, 2007. And it was a hard recovery for me, and it was with a Maze procedure, as well. I don't know if that's common or not with the Fontan.

Anna Jaworski:   8:12
My son had that too, because of arrhythmias and while they were in there, it's just easier to go ahead and do an ablation directly on the heart, so my son also had that. Yeah. You sound so much like my son. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. It's amazing. Wow.

Brenna Isaacson:   8:30
Yeah. And so I had the Fontan revision with the Maze procedure and I had never heard of intra-, extracardiac until today. So I don't know about all that stuff, but I do know that it helped me immensely. The recovery was terrible, But by the end of 2008, I had one more ablation in 2008 and then, honestly, I think that's the last time I've been in the hospital since for something besides a pacemaker replacement or something related to fertility and all that stuff.

Anna Jaworski:   9:01
So 12 years?

Brenna Isaacson:   9:02
Yeah. 12 years since I've had any episodes. The pacemaker did wonders. I mean anytime I slipped into arrhythmia, they could just kind of pace me out of it And that's fantastic. That's cool.

Anna Jaworski:   9:15
Absolutely. Yeah. Wow. Okay, so you've kind of had a whirlwind of a medical education?

Brenna Isaacson:   9:25
Yeah. Yeah.

Anna Jaworski:   9:26
Since you were 23. So it's like you had a procedure that you don't even remember when you were a little kid and you went all these years without having anything in and boom, You really had your eyes opened quickly.  Yeah,

Brenna Isaacson:   9:41
Yeah. It was a rude awakening to this whole world. When then, after I was fixed for the second time, I guess as I started to think about it. I met other people, I joined Facebook groups. I met women in Los Angeles. We're actually part of a fun little CHD fashion show that they did for TV.

Anna Jaworski:   0:00
 Neat!

Brenna Isaacson:   9:59
It was great. So I'm mentally women. And I just had no idea that this community existed or these people even existed. Camps existed. There is so much that totally

Anna Jaworski:   10:10
outside my purview. So it was a very interesting education where oh, wow, people live with this in different ways. Takes this hot industry. We're offering us a mechanical hot, and he said, now that I've had enough to give it to someone worthy, my father promised me a golden dressed twirling held my hand and asked me where I wanted to go. Whatever strive for conflict that we experienced in our long career together was always healed by humor. Heart to heart With Michael, please join us every Thursday at noon, Eastern as we talked with people from around the world who have experienced those most difficult moments. This'll content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The opinions expressed in the podcasts are not those of hearts unite the globe but of the hosts and guests, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to congenital heart disease or bereavement. You are listening to heart to heart with Anna. If you have a question or comment that you would like to dress down show, please send an email to Anna Dworsky at Anna at heart to heart with anna dot com. That's Anna at heart to heart with anna dot com Now back to heart to heart with Let's start this segment brought on by talking about your husband. When did you meet? And how long have you been married?

Brenna Isaacson:   11:34
Yes, So my husband and I met on match dot com in 2012 and on our date that we were supposed to have turned into four hours of walking around the park talking about everything on we got married in. Yeah, we're a cute couple way got married in 2016 so we've been married almost four years now.

Anna Jaworski:   11:56
Good. This is so neat. I'm hearing more and more people who are meeting thanks to the Internet.

Brenna Isaacson:   12:02
Yeah, it was great. I mean, I definitely dated from the Internet, but I was happy to find somebody to actually settle down with. And we could share our values and our lives together.

Anna Jaworski:   12:14
Good. So neat. Can you share with me why you and George felt adoption was the ideal path for you to grow your family?

Brenna Isaacson:   12:23
Definitely. Yeah. So I was actually cleared for pregnancy by my cardiologists. I am relatively healthy. I take 81 milligrams of aspirin every day, but otherwise pretty okay, knock on wood. And so the CHD group at UCSF, where I am now in San Francisco, has a special clinic where you can talk to both the cardiologists and the O B group at the same time about the process.

Anna Jaworski:   12:44
That's great. It just

Brenna Isaacson:   12:45
became very clear. Yeah, it was a very cool clinic. I just became very clear in that clinic that I have no idea what to expect, and we have no idea what to expect. Pregnancy is taxing for any female body, regardless of heart condition. And so adding the heart condition level. On top of that, we just didn't know and for me, I had never actually felt the need to be pregnant. It's a very cool and interesting process. You get to make life. But it was something that when I was younger, one of the doctor said, Well, before you get pregnant, you'll have to have another surgery. This was before my Fontan revision, and I immediately said, OK, I won't get pregnant, Fine, but not a problem,

Anna Jaworski:   13:27
Okay?

Brenna Isaacson:   13:28
And so for me, it just wasn't something that I felt I needed to do. And I understand that for some women, that's what they want and they want to go through that process, and that's fantastic for them. And I'm glad that for some of us we do have that choice now, as long as you stick to your doctor about it.

Anna Jaworski:   13:44
Just wondering if that was also the way George felt.

Brenna Isaacson:   13:48
Storage and I are very happy to be co parents. Neither of us want to be single parents, and so whatever that means for us, If that means that we can lower my risk of heart failure or death, we're going to do it. We want to be in it together.

Anna Jaworski:   14:03
You know what that's so pragmatic. Yeah. No, that brilliant. It's

Brenna Isaacson:   14:08
were pragmatic.

Anna Jaworski:   14:09
No, I just think that's brilliant. You're absolutely right. It makes sense that you want to co parent. Neither one of you wants to be a single parent. In this scenario, I admire the people who could do it. I have a fabulous husband, and I can't imagine going through parenting my two cents without my husband. I don't know how people do it. I mean, you do what you have to do, especially when it comes to being a parent. But to go into this with your eyes wide open, you already know that this could not could This will tax your body. And we're not exactly sure how badly pregnancy would text your body. Believe me, sweetie, just being a mom is going to tax. You know, I made your Yeah, try to keep up with in a little one, And you're not going to get all the sleep that you got before you had a child and yeah, right. Things change. Yeah.

Brenna Isaacson:   15:07
I mean, that was one of the things that came up in the conversation with that. My heart pressures are a high level for Fontan, but within range, and for a normal person they're very high. But for a Fontan, they're within range. However, with pregnancy, my heart pressure's would definitely go up. They

Anna Jaworski:   15:26
could

Brenna Isaacson:   15:26
pretty much say that,

Anna Jaworski:   15:28
Sure,

Brenna Isaacson:   15:28
and would they come back down? We don't know. Or would I be on a new drug for the rest of my life to maintain those pressures on DSO? That was just one thing that may not have affected me too much. But then the pressures meant that maybe my liver would get affected faster or sooner than it is currently getting effective. And there's just things that I live with that I know eventually might happen. Liver disease already have some sort of fibrosis happening. Perhaps it will happen. What? Ah, quicker rate with pregnancy. So to me, if I can hold off heart failure or liver disease or even death by 10 years, that means 10 more years with my kid. I mean, 10 more years with my husband, and that just means that maybe I'll be able to see my kid graduate, high school or college, or maybe even one day get married. And those are things that I want to be there for and even on a more immediate scale. It only happens during pregnancy. And I end up in the I C u for three weeks. I'm missing three weeks of my child life. The first lady for their life. Just things like that. Where the last time I could be in the hospital and the more time I could spend with my family is what I want. Yeah, however, that family comes to be

Anna Jaworski:   16:40
it sounds to me like you and George have given this a lot of thought.

Brenna Isaacson:   16:46
We have.

Anna Jaworski:   16:48
Yeah,

Brenna Isaacson:   16:49
thought and a lot of talk as you. We talk a lot about this.

Anna Jaworski:   16:52
No, I think that's great.

Brenna Isaacson:   16:54
Yeah. Thank you.

Anna Jaworski:   16:56
I mean, not all young people do this. Not all young people really gives such careful consideration to their future. I think that this is a sign of how mature you and your husband are you. Viva! Consider this, of course, of my next question is, have you ever considered surrogacy? And if you have, why you have chosen not to go that route?

Brenna Isaacson:   17:18
Yes, and we did consider surrogacy. So we had committed to doing one round with surrogacy and it didn't work. It turns out that woman with chronic illness sometimes create fewer eggs. And I've never been tested for fertility issues because I didn't really think about that. Sure. So I don't even know if I have issues or not. During the process, I just knew that I wasn't gonna be putting my body through it again the hormones and then had to be a Lovenox for blood thinners. And so it was just a lot of extra. I knew I didn't want to do again. The retrieval is actually two days after my 35th birthday, and I spent my birthday throwing up due to a massive migraine because of all of the extra hormones that were surging through my body.

Anna Jaworski:   17:59
I

Brenna Isaacson:   17:59
get hormonal migraines, and I know that. And this was terrible. So we just decided it wasn't worth trying again. But also, even if surrogacy had worked, we had always planned to adopt our second kid.

Anna Jaworski:   18:13
Really?

Brenna Isaacson:   18:14
That was the same lately, looked at pregnancy. Even if we did pregnancy once, we had gone to the clinic and we're checking it out and all that, but I'm only doing it once. Adoption is gonna be our second kid.

Anna Jaworski:   18:25
Wow. We're so excited

Brenna Isaacson:   18:27
to just jump to that. We're We're just jumping right straight to the adoption.

Anna Jaworski:   18:32
Okay, so I didn't know that with the surrogacy you had to take all those extra drugs.

Brenna Isaacson:   18:39
Yeah. So in order to do the egg retrieval, you have to basically go through the IVF round. And that might be different if you're 21 just have a bunch of a bunch of eggs and young and all that, I don't know, but for us, it was to create extra egg. Was that because get out as many as possible in one round? It would basically idea drugs, all the hormones, plus the added anti coagulant of Lovenox to make sure that I didn't have any cloths during the process.

Anna Jaworski:   19:06
Wow, that's amazing. I had no idea it was so involved. I'm impressed that you went through it once, considering how complicated that sounds.

Brenna Isaacson:   19:15
Yeah, Yeah, it was a bit,

Anna Jaworski:   19:18
but it sounds to me like it has solidified your decision to adopt. Yes. Yes, it has. We're just so excited about the adoption process tonight forever by the Baby Blue Sound collective. I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patient's many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired by. Our new album will be available on iTunes. Amazon dot com. Spotify I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with congenital heart defects. Enjoy the music home tonight forever. Hi, my name is Jaime Al Croft, and I just published my new book, The Tin Man Diaries. It's an amazing story of my sudden change of heart as I went through a heart liver transplant. I can think of no better way to read The Tin Man diaries than to cuddle up in your favorite hearts. Unite the Globe sweatshirt and your favorite hot beverage, of course, in your hearts Unite Blow mug, both of which are available. They hug podcast, network, online store or visit hearts. Unite theglobe dot Tthe heart to heart with Anna is a presentation of hearts Unite the Globe and is part of the hug Podcast Network Hearts Unite The Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resource is to the congenital heart defect community to uplift and power and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resource, is pretending to the C H T community. Please visit our website at www congenital heart defects dot com for information about CHD, the hospitals that treat Children with CHD summer camps for CHD survivors and much, much more. I'm sure a lot of people have been giving you advice now that you're married and you've decided to grow your family. So what is the best piece of advice that anyone has given you so far?

Brenna Isaacson:   21:33
Yeah, we get lots of advice. I think the best piece of advice is to always have snacks for you or your

Anna Jaworski:   21:38
husband.

Brenna Isaacson:   21:40
You know, Hanger happens for us. Actually, I think my best advice comes from just watching my parents. They have a very strong relationship. My mother was actually not somebody who wanted to have kids growing up. And then she met my father and decided this was somebody with whom she would take that step. So yeah, I think that when I was always looking for a partner, I always thought like that as a partner, somebody that made it worth it made the process even maybe easier or just more interesting or more fun. And so the advice that I took away from that is really that this is a partnership with healing and compromises and ideas and a lot of talking. So adoption is a very complex process. And it comes from a place of loss for everybody involved. Parent, the child, the child we're not having. And so you're gonna have a lot of feelings. A lot of ideas are gonna come up. A lot of thoughts are gonna come up. And the best thing is just the communication aspect of it. Being honest with myself and with my partner has just been really helpful and necessary. I chose George. He chose me. We choose to do this together. And so let's do it at the team and go forth and conquer parenthood,

Anna Jaworski:   22:58
huh? I love that I too believe that communication is essential. You have to be open with each other. And I really feel to have a successful marriage. You must be a good communicator with your spouse. My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate 34 years of marriage this year. Oh, thank you. It iss. I'm really proud of us because it's not easy. And I feel yeah, more in love with my husband today than the day that I married him. And I really didn't think that was going to be possible.

Brenna Isaacson:   23:33
Oh, well, that

Anna Jaworski:   23:35
Yeah,

Brenna Isaacson:   23:36
that's fantastic.

Anna Jaworski:   23:37
I feel very lucky that I found such an amazing man to marry. Yes, I'm sure that there are other adults with congenital heart defects who would love to adopt, but they have no idea how to get started. So what do you think is the best way to get started?

Brenna Isaacson:   23:52
Well, besides having that conversation with your partner, your significant other whatever that might be in just kind of laying it all on the table with each other, I think the best way to get started once you decided to go down the adoption process is just a start is so overwhelming. The process is overwhelming, the feeling's overwhelming. And you can go down a rabbit hole on Google. You can do a lot of searching. You can read some great stories of terrible stories and everything in between. I think that for us just showing up to an adoption agency in procession that they had that was free in procession. Just showing up and hearing about the process and understanding sees and different options and different ideas was great. It really helped us get the fire started and helped us get going. We went to a couple other info sessions. There's only really think two agencies in San Francisco they're the main ones. And so we went to both the intercession and learned a lot and then talked a lot with each other and then just jumped right in. There are a lot of ways to go about it, whether that's an agency or no agency or using a lawyer or whatever it might be. But just trying to get as much information as possible from direct from sources, not just Google search is really helpful.

Anna Jaworski:   25:07
Yeah, yeah, I imagine going online could be really overwhelming, although I understand that there are some adoption Facebook groups and that there's a lot of support out there.

Brenna Isaacson:   25:18
Yes, yes, and that is another thing. I mean, if you're listening, I want to talk to me. I'm happy to discuss, but I do know obviously I'm very open about the whole process. As I'm going through it. I do think that Facebook groups that are specific to this would be very helpful, especially if you're in an area that might not have an agency or in professions. However, just making sure the conversations that you are having are specific and more, I guess, from people who have been through it right, not just the open search bar.

Anna Jaworski:   25:52
Okay, Yeah, that makes sense. So what keeps you going and keeps you optimistic about your choice to adopt?

Brenna Isaacson:   26:00
I am so excited to meet our child. I know that everyone is excited to meet their child, whether you have it in your belly or you're adopting or you're doing surrogacy, whatever it may be. If you decided to come a parent, you're excited to meet that child that you are going to have. And I know my husband and I would make an adorable biological child. We both have amazing hair. That kid would have good hair

Anna Jaworski:   26:23
way

Brenna Isaacson:   26:26
also know that our child is going to be amazing. Anyway, we feel very confident in our parenting skills. I mean, we haven't done it yet, but we feel very confident that we're going to do the best we can with our child for our child. However they come to us and we're just excited to have them in our lives. Every morning we sing to our dog. So even if that silly genetics is not coming through to them, they're still gonna be bathed in silliness and love and excitement for life. And so we feel that we can nurture that love and excitement with, um

Anna Jaworski:   27:09
I love that. That's so sweet. I'm sorry. No, I love that. I think that's so sweet. And I'm kind of curious. Are you insisting that your child be an infant or you open to adopting an older child?

Brenna Isaacson:   27:26
We are looking agencies that work with birth mothers before they give birth. So we are expecting our first to be an infant. I would like to go through the stages of parenthood from the beginning so that I understand all of them as they come. And I know you can never be fully prepared for parenthood. I get that. I think I would like to kind of just maybe follow the road. Matt Moore versus having all of that in a five year old in my house and not knowing I don't even know what five year olds can dio Can they read? Can they write? I don't know what these things are. We're happy to educate ourselves, no matter what the challenge is with our child and reach out for help as needed. However, I think for us we just want to start with an instant. And then as we grow and understand parenthood and childhood home, we will consider our options. For our second. We have looked into Foster to adopt. Unfortunately, we do have a pit bull mix. She's adorable and does have her own instagram. But San Francisco does not allow foster parents to have pit bulls at home, which is unfortunate

Anna Jaworski:   28:29
s

Brenna Isaacson:   28:30
o we Yeah,

Anna Jaworski:   28:31
it seems

Brenna Isaacson:   28:31
like an archaic ideology of people. But we understand that it still happens. And so we have looked into Foster to adoptive. Maybe someday that will be our plan. But for now we are looking at an event. Hopefully.

Anna Jaworski:   28:44
Well, I wish you the best of luck. It sounds to me like you and George in your pit bull for baby. A lot of love to give to somebody. I think you're gonna be a wonderful family.

Brenna Isaacson:   28:56
I'll see you alive. Thank you.

Anna Jaworski:   28:59
Help you come back on the show when you get the baby and tell us all about it, because I think this is gonna be quite a journey.

Brenna Isaacson:   29:07
I would love that. I'm happy to share all of it.

Anna Jaworski:   29:10
Great. Well, thank you so much for coming on the program today and talked to me about this really important topic. Brenna,

Brenna Isaacson:   29:17
thank you for having me. I have a degree Time.

Anna Jaworski:   29:19
Oh, me too. It has been so much fun. So that does conclude this episode of heart to heart with Anna. Thanks for listening today. Please come back next week on Tuesday at noon Eastern time. And until that, you can always visit us at hearts. Unite the globe dot org's. Remember, my friends, you are not alone. Thank you again for joining us this week. We hope you have been inspired on empowered to become an advocate for the congenital heart defects community Heart to heart. With Anna, with your hose down, Jaworski can be heard every Tuesday at 12. Noon eastern time.