Category Archives: Adopting Baby Oliver


You know, I just love documenting people and now I have an extra special reason to do it daily… When I finally became a mom, after waiting 15 years for this title, I get to be my son Oliver’s personal director.


My first documentary “gig” actually started with Romie’s mom whom lived with us for nearly a decade and struggled with Dementia. I kept a photo journal on Instagram called The Lola Diaries. After she had passed on, we became parents to a beautiful little baby boy whom we named Oliver. Now, this account is of our new life after infertility and adoption. Follow us on Instagram at Cup of Bun!


I’ve photographed families for 14 years, now I am a mom after 15 years of infertility. God had a plan for me all along, but it wasn’t until March 7, 2017, that I realized what He had designed for my future. Through open adoption my husband and I finally became parents. It was the one dream we both dreamt of for over 15 years and never thought it would come true for us… We were wrong. Oliver Tate Salarzon found us on that fateful day. We are his and he is ours, forever. → Read More

We’ve been so blessed by Oliver that our adoption story was secretly submitted then chosen by a local baker Sugar Geek Show as part of their regular appearances on the Food Network’s show Ridiculous Cakes. How awesome was that?! It was such a surreal experience and one that we will never forget. Have you seen our episode with the 3-foot-tall-larger-than-life Irish bear cake designed by Liz Marek?! It was just incredible! Oh, and the cake was so yummy! We didn’t even want to cut into it.

(Header images by ANIKO Photography; shot on location at Opal 28 for Oliver’s first birthday party.)

Liz Marek - filming bear cake in Pretty Ponies episode

Let Me Tell You What Really Happened During Filming

I cried a lot… everything seemed fine; Romie and I were beyond excited to have been chosen to get to appear on a huge network television show, like the Food Network Ridiculous Cakes, although I wasn’t sure what we had done to deserve it.

We arrived for pre-event filming at Sugar Geek Show with butterflies in our stomachs because we didn’t know what to expect as we’ve never filmed for a TV show before. We sat down at the table with Liz Marek, the amazingly talented baker and very successful owner of Sugar Geek Show, as the producer prepped us for everything… Then the cameras started rolling.

Liz asked questions about what kind of cake we’d like to have for Oliver’s first birthday party, what were meaningful items and colors to include, etc., and I answered— because Romie didn’t want to talk!? I felt like I did well, no stuttering or making up words like how I usually would do when I get really nervous. Yeah, it was going well. Then she asked me about Oliver and our story… that is when I started to cry and couldn’t stop.

I recounted all the years that we had prayed to have a child of our own then Oliver arrived when we least expected, after the loss of Romie’s mom whom we adoringly refer to as Lola in reference to the online journal that I kept of her via Instagram called The Lola Diaries. To realize that being on the show and all the blessings that have come forth since were all because of Lola (and our many angels in Heaven who have watched over us as we prayed and cried for 15 years). How did we get so lucky?!

The final footage that aired did not include a second of my tears, or any parts about our adoption journey. It wasn’t about us, per se. Which wasn’t a total surprise since the show was about the ridiculously amazing cake that Liz created just for Oliver. But, what I wouldn’t give to see footage of all those raw moments because I’m the one who is usually behind the camera capturing the emotions of others. Sadly, it also omitted the emotional moment when Liz surprised Romie with a special song that played on the bear’s suitcase to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine” which was his mom’s most favorite nursery rhyme that she sang to all her grandchildren and their children.

You can watch the episode titled “Pretty Ponies” that includes two other cake stories along with our three-foot tall bear cake that appears towards the end. Unfortunately, you will need to sign in with your TV provider that has Food Network access.

Fun Fact: My sister, owner of White Elephant Asian Fusion food cart, and I have both made an appearance on the Food Network, but on different shows.

(Images by ANIKO Photography)

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. ❤️