interracial adoptive family white baby boy


When my son was born, I decided that I needed to step away from the photography business that required for me to be physically away to shoot. And when I was home, or when we were traveling, I was still physically “away” from him because I was always on my laptop to edit photos… and he’d have to play by himself. I just couldn’t keep doing that anymore and miss out on his growing years. I mean, I waited 15 years to have these moments and I didn’t want to be too busy to experience them.

So, I retired my 10-year photography business at the end of 2017 (nine months after I became a mom).

In the few years since, I focused on growing another business that allowed me to be at home with Oliver and work whenever I wanted to; I became a stay-at-home mom. Although things were moving along, I was feeling like I was slowly losing a part of myself… but, I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. I just felt lost, very lost.

I announced to the entire world that I was “retired” and my Yelp account was reported as closed, but I was still secretly shooting weddings and portraits here and there. Those times are when I felt alive. I tried to deny it, but I realized that I just missed being a photographer and I wanted to return to the world that I loved so much.

But, there was a problem. How do I come back from retirement? Is it ethical?!

I remember when Michael Jordan (Jay-Z too!) announced his retirement from the NBA. It didn’t make any sense because basketball was Michael Jordan, that’s what we loved seeing him do and he did it so well! Basketball wasn’t the same without him, but we all moved along without him. Then he came back. Huh? I thought he retired. That was confusing. (I’m not comparing myself to the greatest basketball of all time though! It’s his retirement and return that I kinda relate to.)

That’s how I feel about the idea of me returning to photography. Is it confusing? Has everyone already moved along without me in those few years since my “retirement”? What if my time has already passed? Does it really make much sense for me to return now, or ever?

I suppose there’s really no right or wrong answer, it’s just a feeling that I have deep down that I’m ready to start my photography business over again. Okay, maybe not start all over but more refine and showcase only the kind of art that makes me proud to create. The kind of art that will attract the right clients who want to work with me.

I’m going to end this post here so it’s not a longer novel than it already is. Basically, I’m saying that I’m back in business! Thanks for welcoming me home. ❤️

first birthday adopted boy

To the Boy Who Made Me a Mother: You have given me life.


Today, you turned a whole year: ONE. Three hundred and sixty-five days old. Every one of those days you’ve made your Tatay and me the most happiest people in the whole wide world. We’ve never known a love like yours could exist, that it could be real and designed specifically for us. What’s in my heart is always in a form of writing; your Tatay always wear it on his sleeves. We couldn’t be more opposite when it comes to expressing our feelings. Now what’s in our hearts is a tangible, breathing thing in you… Wherever you go, you take our hearts with you.

It’s been a whole year of overflowing happy tears. It’s been a whole year of diaper changes and baby formula (lots of ’em!). It’s been a whole year of traveling as a family. It’s been a whole year of watching you grow so fast— too fast for us(!). It’s been a whole year of learning about each other and from one another. It’s been a whole year of hugs and kisses that we will never get enough of. It’s been a whole year of finally experiencing a love like this, everything we’ve ever dreamed of and more.

For nearly 15 years, I’ve dreamt of you but I could never see you… what your face look like in my mind’s eye. I never could make out the color of your skin, the shape of your face, or the brightness of your smile. Because for nearly 15 years, I waited for you to be born with a combination of our DNA so maybe you’d have my skin tone and cheekbones, have your Tatay’s infectious smile and warm eyes. When you finally arrived, you didn’t have anything at all that resembled either one of us and we couldn’t be more excited about that. Everything about you is now etched in my heart… I know the shape of your beautiful face, the color of your delicate skin and blue eyes, and the brightness of your infectiously warm smile. No more dreaming about what you may look like because I see you every single day. Thank you for making me a Mama and for allowing me to dream with you by my side every single night.

Breithlá Sona! to the boy who made me a MOM. I love you more than anything in this whole wide world.

bunn salarzon - meeting baby oliver

To My Son’s Birth Mother: You have no idea what you’ve done.


The moment you decided that you would carry the unborn baby until full term despite how scared you must’ve felt, you couldn’t have known how much you’d change the world of two complete strangers whom you didn’t know even existed. How much you’d fill our hearts that were struggling to hold on to faith; nearly 15 years of waiting and disappointments that our prayers went unanswered were almost unbearable. (Those years were 5,372 in days; each day was harder than the previous.)

I cannot imagine how scared and alone you must’ve felt when you learned that you were unexpectantly pregnant. You had choices, and you chose to carry the baby to term at 37 weeks and he was born healthy at 7 pounds, 19¾ inches long, with blond hair and blue eyes. I still carry with me your only request to us was to let Baby know that you didn’t give him away… you gifted him to us because you wanted a different life for him that you didn’t know you could provide at the time. That your love for him is why you made the difficult choice to have us adopt him as our own. You will always be a part of him because you gave him life… You gave him a chance to grow up and become whoever he wants to be. You had choices and you chose to save his life. But, what you couldn’t possibly have known then is that you also saved our lives. You gave us the greatest gift we could ever have wished for and helped our hearts beat again.

I see you whenever I look at his alabaster skin, silky blond-sometimes-red hair, and slate-blue eyes. He’s growing so fast and reminds me that he will be tall just like you, which means we are getting shorter when we’re already short Asians. ;) I see you when he crawls or walks in to my arms and I embrace him for us both, always. I see you in his eyes when he gives the widest and biggest laughs that make his eyes disappear, just like you. He’s yours. He’s mine. We’re his mothers. We are forever bound together you and I, you are always in our thoughts and prayers. Thank You for allowing us the privilege to name him. When we chose his name, it actually came to us and we knew right then and there it was the most perfect name for him and for us to honor you.

Our son turns one in a few days… I’m running out of words to fully express everything I’ve felt this past year because there really are no words. Even as I write this post it doesn’t speak how my heart truly feels. How unbelievably humbled I feel to have received the gift of your heart in the form of this most beautiful child whom we call Oliver. When he’s sleepy, he reaches out for me and I cradle his little body next to my heart every night caressing his soft blond hair until he drifts off to sleep. Let my arms also be yours in knowing that he’s safe, healthy, and will never not know how much you love him like we do.

bunn salarzon - baby diary about fertility struggles

A Baby Diary… to keep my heart beating with faith of motherhood one day.

I’ve been praying for 15 long and lonely years.

(A new year to start fresh in 2018; but, first, I want to reflect back to exactly one year ago when hope seemed lost.)

January 2, 2017
Dear Baby: A friend suggested that I find a baby item and place it by my bed to remind us of the journey your dad and I are going through to bring you home. Instead, I chose to start this journal and write to you: Hello, Beautiful (Day).

Dear Baby: After your Lola went to Heaven in April 2016 we spent many weeks trying to restart and figure out what is our new normal… it’s just Dad, Koda, and me in this little condo now.

Dear Baby: It has been nearly 10 years since the last time we spoke with a doctor about why we haven’t been able to get pregnant… not even once. They told us that we’re fine and they cannot find anything wrong with us: Unknown Category. 😣 Then our lives put on hold when we turned our focus to your Lola who lived with dementia.

Dear Baby: This is your kuya Koda. 🐶

Dear Baby: Your dad and I are starting our research to see what will be best for us now. Adoption or fertility treatments cost money… which is why I won’t be retiring from my photo business soon.

Dear Baby: We can always make and replenish money… My fear? Time. Dad and I are not getting any younger; I am 40 and he will be 53 next month. The adoption agency told us that it can take up to 4-5 years to be placed with a baby/child. We’ve already waited 15 years of our lives for the stork. 💔

Dear Baby: This is your dad. You may never know a love greater than his.

January 21, 2017 (Last Diary Entry)
Dear Baby: I am your mom. This may have been the first time I’ve uttered those words in any way. But, I am lost… I don’t know how to find you. Where do I look? Who do I trust? I’m torn because your dad believes you are waiting for us at an adoption agency. But, which one? Our adoption research so far has shown that we will need to save not twice, but thrice more than what we thought we could possibly do on our own. I’m disheartened to think how much longer it will take for us to get to that point, it was already a reach for us to get one-third of the way here.

January 7, 2018
Dear Baby: You are 10 months old today. You are my living, breathing dream come true … My beautiful blessing from Lola and our many angels in Heaven. ❤️

Bunn Salarzon - best nine instagram 2016

I am still accepting bookings to help with our adoption journey.

Happy New Year!! May 2017 be the best year for you yet.

This new year started off a little stressful for me…
Previously, I had planned to retire from my photography business by March 1 because I felt it’s time for me to pursue something else, also the date will be exactly 10 years since I started the business. Of course, as we all know… life happens. Our second journey to start our own family (after a 10-year hiatus to help my husband take care of his mother living with dementia) through adoption or fertility treatments have become more overwhelming than we had thought so I am making 2017 the year we get to [finally] bring home a child or two, one way or another. Well, the legal way! haha!!! So if you are in need of a professional, experienced — and sweet! — photographer for your special event, wedding, family portraits, boudoir pics, etc., then please let me know. I’d love to work with you again. :)

P.S. I am available worldwide. My passport is always ready!