Heather Crockett Oram was a teenager when she discovered that she wouldn’t be able to have kids in the traditional way. But as an adult she wouldn’t give up on the idea of a family, and so she explored her options. And eventually she received two phone calls – and together, they changed her life forever.
As a child, Crockett Oram’s life was the American ideal. “We grew up in a typical suburban family who went to church and never locked our doors,” she wrote for Love What Matters. But things weren’t quite so picture-perfect behind the facade.
Crockett Oram’s mother suffered a back injury, and she became addicted to narcotics as she dealt with the pain. Over time, she lost her job, and her marriage to Crockett Oram’s father fell apart. She even kicked a 17-year-old Crockett Oram out of her house.
Although Crockett Oram left her mother’s home, her younger sister, Ashlyn, stayed behind. And soon, 13-year-old Ashlyn tried heroin for the first time. And she too became an addict, like her mother before her.
Crockett Oram herself eventually studied to become a nurse – just as her mother had once been. But one day, while she was working in the emergency room, she received the call she had always dreaded. Her mom had died from her addiction on Christmas morning. And eighteen months later, her sister would suffer the same fate.
“I can honestly say that was the worst day of my life,” Crockett Oram wrote about her sister’s passing. And yet, just two days after Ashlyn died, Crockett Oram sat her exam to qualify as a nurse practitioner. She cried through the test, but she passed.
Her successful exam, it seems, foreshadowed how securely Crockett Oram would rebuild her life in the aftermath of such loss. In an Instagram post, she later described what her mother insisted on regarding marriage. Crockett Oram’s mother said how lucky her daughter would be to marry someone similar to her father.
“I used to think she was crazy for saying that. As I got older, I started to realize why. That’s when I met Jason,” Crockett Oram wrote. “I hate to admit that he is so much like my father. He opens my doors. He still takes me on dates. He cooks, cleans, and does laundry. He provides for our family.”
“My mom never got to meet Jason, unfortunately,” Crockett Oram continued. “But I bet she would be pretty proud of the man I somehow tricked into marrying me.” It turned out Jason was the right man – especially in dealing with a secret Crockett Oram feared telling him.
As Crockett Oram explained on Love What Matters, when she was six weeks old, doctors realized there was a problem. Indeed, they saw that the newborn girl’s “ovaries were not hooked up right.” And to remedy this issue, they decided to remove the reproductive organs.
Crockett Oram didn’t know this until she turned 13. “I found out I would never be able to have children,” she wrote. Soon, she dreaded having to “someday tell a prospective spouse that I would never be able to birth our children.”
But Jason’s reaction was the opposite of what Crockett Oram had always expected. Her husband-to-be – and father to two young boys already – assured Crockett Oram that it didn’t matter where their babies came from. “They would be our children,” she wrote.
So, the couple began the adoption process and were permitted to bring a new baby into the fold. However, they quickly decided to forego the traditional agency route, as it could cost them some $55,000. Instead, the couple, “marketed [themselves] online and through social media.”
The couple not only created a Facebook adoption page, but also an Instagram page that portrayed their day-to-day lives. Furthermore, they had a profile on adoption.com. But their first few cases of supposed interest turned out to be scams, Crockett Oram revealed.
Eventually, though, Crockett Oram and Jason received a particular message. And this one seemed more legitimate than the others. “A young woman emailed us telling us that her friend was pregnant and looking for a family,” Crockett Oram wrote.
Soon, the couple fielded a call from the pregnant woman, who lived in Missouri. Crockett Oram and Jason chatted with her for 90 minutes, which helped build the foundation of their relationship. They spent a number weeks talking and growing more excited about the possibility of adopting her unborn child.
However, there was something that held Jason back – the Missouri woman never provided proof of her pregnancy. “People can fake ultrasounds and blood tests online all the time,” Crockett Oram stated. Still, she said, she “was ready to commit because [she] trusted this woman.”
Jason, on the other hand, requested that he and Crockett Oram renew their adoption.com profile instead. They did so, and just one day later their inbox lit up again. They had received a new message from a second pregnant woman.
This time, though, things moved quickly. Two days after messaging Crockett Oram and Jason, this woman met them at a diner near their home. Now, they finally had visual proof that the woman on the other end of the line was, indeed, pregnant.
Crockett Oram and Jason not only saw ultrasound photos, but felt the baby boy kicking from inside the womb. At the end of their meal, the pregnant woman had made her decision. “She then asked us if we would adopt her baby and love him forever,” Crockett Oram wrote.
Both Crockett Oram and Jason broke down in tears “in the middle of a diner in complete shock.” Within three weeks, on October 30, 2017, their lives were forever changed – their son, Andy, was born. In fact, Crockett Oram was the first to hold the newborn.
Crockett Oram and Jason then went home to adjust to life with a newborn. But in the midst of that busy time, Crockett Oram continued speaking to the first pregnant woman from Missouri. And this woman revealed that she had found another family to adopt her child.
So, the phone call Crockett Oram received in January of 2018 came as a complete shock. The Missouri mom-to-be was on the line. And she admitted that “she did not feel good” about the family she had chosen to adopt her unborn child.
Then, the pregnant woman dropped another bombshell. “She then told me that she knew this baby was supposed to be ours,” Crockett Oram wrote. At that point, the woman finally sent over ultrasound photos of the unborn child, another boy.
Although Crockett Oram described herself as “speechless” in that moment, she was secretly resolute. “Deep down I knew,” she wrote. To be sure, she said that she and Jason “prayed a lot about adding another newborn to our family only months apart.”
Like Crockett Oram, Jason came to the same conclusion. So before they knew it – six weeks after they received the surprise phone call – the couple trekked to Missouri to witness the birth of their newest son, Ellis. And Jason even clipped the umbilical cord.
Of course, Crockett Oram said the whole experience was beyond her expectations. “Never did we imagine having two newborn babies only four months apart,” Crockett Oram wrote. But she relished the opportunity – and could only thank the women who made it all possible.
“Because of a woman’s greatest sacrifice and selfless decision, I became a mom to two of the most perfect baby boys I could have ever asked for,” Crockett Oram gushed. As such, Crockett Oram, Jason and the birth parents maintain an open adoption. This means that they can see the boys grow up, too.
Surprisingly, though, that wasn’t the end of Crockett Oram and Jason’s parenthood journey. Four months into their tenure as parents of two newborns, they sensed that they should touch base with Ellis’ mom. Then, according to Crockett Oram, they found out she was “in a rough spot.”
So, Crockett Oram and her husband paid for an airplane ticket to allow the woman’s eldest son, Sean, to visit. In fact, it was planned that he would stay at their place for ten days. The trip would give him the chance to get to know his baby brother, Ellis.
“Sean had never been on a plane or been that far away from his home,” Crockett Oram wrote. His short trip was not to be, though. Instead, Sean stuck around with Crockett Oram and her brood for the rest of the summer.
But as that summer concluded, Sean’s time with Crockett Oram and her family was coming to an end. But he had made some friends over the summer. So he asked Crockett Oram if he could watch as they tried out for the football team.
But Sean didn’t stay in the stands for long. Instead, “he was talking to the coaches and asked if he could try out,” Crockett Oram recalled. “Sean made the top football team for eighth grade in his first year ever playing an organized sport.”
Of course, Sean had to ask his mother if he could stick around with Crockett Oram, Jason, and their kids. “She said whatever would make him happy,” Crockett Oram wrote. This meant she and her husband had added three kids to their family in less than nine months.
The fact that none of the boys were Crockett Oram’s biological children made no difference to her. “I am their mom,” she wrote. And, for both Andy and Ellis, that was official – she and Jason had wrapped up their sons’ adoptions.
As for Sean, Crockett Oram wrote that they “[didn’t] have a timeline as to how long [he] will end up staying.” According to an Instagram post, though, Crockett Oram recalled Sean telling his new football friends, “I came to visit my family in Utah and decided to stay.”
No matter what happens, one thing is certain for Crockett Oram and her boys. “Family does not have to be made from blood,” she wrote on Love What Matters. “It can come in many shapes and sizes. Love is all that matters. So, here we are, a current family of seven.”
Of course, not every moment was as perfect as it may seem. “We love each other deeply,” Crockett Oram wrote. “And go on a lot of adventures together. [But] it is not always easy.”
“There have been many ups and downs and everything in between,” Crockett Oram continued, via Love What Matters. She later took to her Instagram to elaborate. “Life can change in the blink of an eye. It never goes the way you expect it to. But you change and adapt and do the best you can,” she wrote.
Although Crockett Oram’s story started with hardship, she, her husband and her five children have changed it for the better. “This is all I have ever wanted,” she posted to Instagram. “And I wouldn’t change a single thing.”