Our Adoption Story: The Brannan Family



Hello there moms! Jonathan Brannan here. I’m honored to contribute to the amazing community that is Gulf Coast Mom. To be honest, my wife is an avid follower, and she said I should check it out… and I always do what my wife says (insert ‘yeah right’ smiley face).

Jonathan Brannon and familyNeedless to say, I’m now hooked. The resources here are outstanding and the community created by this site has turned into an invaluable support network. To that, I say kudos! There’s enough craziness in the world right now to make any support we can get worth hanging onto.

So, YES, I am a dad, and YES I do understand this is a resource site for moms. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from being outnumbered in my own home, it’s that…. (men, skip a couple of sentences down) *whispers* women are smarter than men, and a lot better at a lot of things *end whisper*… so anyway sports, fishing, man stuff, blah, blah, blah.. Ok, did we all survive that revelation? Good, moving on.

Basically, I’m hoping to just be a leech here. I know I’m going to get more out of this community than you will from me, but I’m excited to share my journey along the way. It feels so good to be writing again. After spending five years rushing to meet deadlines EVERY. SINGLE. DAY as a reporter, I never thought I’d miss the writing part of the job. But, strangely enough, I do.


Now that I’ve blabbered on for a bit, let me tell you a little about my family and me. First let me say that there is someone we try our best to emulate and put first in our family. That man is Jesus Christ. And it’s a good thing that He’s in charge, because without His help, I would be an even bigger mess than I am right now. I am, as previously stated, outnumbered in my own castle. Our ranking is as follows: I serve as my wife’s number one annoyer, and we both answer to our ruler, offspring. My wife’s name is Alyssa, and offspring occasionally goes by Eden Kai.

Brannon family at the beachAlyssa is both the brains and beauty of the operation. She’s an electrical engineer by degree, and a Bulldog at heart, in the best sense of the word. She’s been working as an engineer at Chevron for seven years. Alyssa and I started dating during our senior year of high school in Petal, so we barely made it into the high school sweetheart category. We’ve been married for eight years and I pride myself on knowing exactly how to push her to the brink of absolute insanity… because I’ve pushed her past that brink more times than I’m comfortable to admit.

Eden is 6, and is loving her first couple of months of first grade. She’s as brilliant as her mom, but her ability to produce drama is legendary and it sometimes feels like I’m looking into a terrifying fun house mirror. I’m equal parts proud, mesmerized, shook, and completely mortified that we’ve created such a little beast.

My wife and offspring are cat people. I’m not. So, we compromised… and have three cats (insert ‘everything’s fine’ smiley face).

Oh, and to update you on what I’m doing now for a job since I left the lights and glamour of TV; I’m the Director of Development for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Fun stuff!


Now, we’ve decided to add another youngin’ to this crazy mix, and we’re going a route that Alyssa and I have talked about since we got married: ADOPTION. We had talked about this as an option even before Eden was born, and then when Alyssa’s pregnancy ended in an emergency C-section and landed her in heart failure after too much fluid was left on her heart, we decided to look into it further. We felt like that whole situation was a pretty clear answer to our prayers. So, we started our process for domestic adoption.

I’ll save some of the details of the process for a future post, but to update you on where we are now: After a year of home studies and other mind-bending processes (here’s to Alyssa for being the brains yet again) we started an 18-month contract with our adoption agency this past summer. The ONLY stipulation we specified is that we want to keep our birth order. So, in other words, we would like our adopted child to be younger than Eden so that she’s still the oldest. There’s a lot of psychological reasoning that goes into that decision, but other than that one stipulation, we don’t have any other preferences.

We have been presented more than a dozen cases from Arizona, Florida, California, and more. We’ve presented to all of the moms except one. The good thing about the adoption process is if you didn’t have the gift of patience before, you will be forced to develop it… or go mad.

But, GOOD NEWS, we have been MATCHED!!! It’s almost as exciting as finding out your spouse is pregnant, so we learned that adoption agencies call this ‘paper pregnant’ (just a little inside balseball there for ya, free of charge…).

The mom who selected us is in Florida and is due on April 17, and we’re beyond excited. We’ve had one phone call with the mom. She is very grateful and sweet and we’ll keep you up to date with that process.

Eden LOVES the idea of being a big sister and she talks non-stop about “her” baby. She’s going to be such a great big sister and it’s because she seriously has the most empathetic and caring person I’ve ever met as her mother.

This journey is a test of our family’s faith, endurance, and patience, but we love a challenge. I’m excited to try to keep this blog updated as best I can, and my real hope is that maybe this will serve as a roadmap or support for anyone looking into the wonderful gift that is adoption.

I’m always just a click away if you ever need support or if you have any suggestions for me through all of this.


Our adoption fundraiser where you get to decide what happens to my beard.