SuperMama CEO Adopts TWO Babies | MomCave LIVE
Jen: Hi, people of Facebook. We’re live on Facebook. We’re getting Instagram going and we have a really fun guest today. You get to hear a story of adopting not one but two babies during the pandemic! It’s been a while since I’ve done MomCave LIVE in the morning. Um, there, there we are. Okay. So we are on Instagram and Facebook with Bonnie Bruderer from Binge Networks. Hey Bonnie.
Bonnie Bruderer: Hi. Hey guys.
Not One, But TWO Babies
Jen: Thanks for being up and awake and showered and makeup and everything at this point.
Bonnie Bruderer: Oh my God. I have been up for like 17 hours already, I have two babies.
Jen: And that’s exactly what I want to talk to you…. why I was so fascinated. And later Bonnie and I are going to make a big announcement later about MomCave.
Jen: And we’re going to talk about Bonnie’s business, but the most fascinating thing to me is not about business. It’s about when I heard that Bonnie had adopted two babies, newborn babies, since the pandemic and she’s running a business and she’s here talking to us. So you’re the super mama and we want to hear all about it.
Bonnie Bruderer: It was a very arduous, horrible, and very long process. Yeah. In total it took about eight years. Um, Obviously, that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. We can do a full show on that, but yes, a very, very long time. I have a whole other blog called disruptedmomma.com on that whole topic, so.
Bonnie Bruderer on MomCave LIVE
I want to know about Disrupted Mama. Um, yeah. Okay. And so. You, uh, nobody was prepared for the pandemic to hit. Right. Um, it surprised us all, but let’s just go back to like the day. Before we knew the crap was going to hit the fan as I call it at that point. Did you know you were adopting? Did you know it was going to happen?
Jen: Wow. That’s awesome. I did not know about that. So we’re going to have that in the comments. You never told me.
Jen: So yeah. Tell me. Start from the beginning. I know that adoption can take a long time and be really tricky. I have lots of friends who’ve gone through it, my best friend and my best cousin are adopted. Was it a long process?
Bonnie Bruderer: Yes, I’m getting chills because it’s so exciting to think about that. So, here I was in Georgia. I was living in Atlanta, Georgia. Um, I’d had a horrible road up to adoption, so I was cautious or let’s call it traumatized about what was going to happen. And I was waiting for my daughter, who I was going to adopt to be born in St. Petersburg, Florida.
So as I’m watching CNN with the rest of the world and then talking to my family, who’s in California and they’re already on lockdowns. I’m realizing there’s something about to happen. And I need to get myself to the next state over because if I can’t get to Florida, I can’t get my baby.
Bonnie Bruderer: So I pack up the car with the dog and book the Hilton in St. Petersburg. And that was my home for the next nine days. I’m awaiting Olive and true to my daughter’s little sassy personality, she gave us two false alarms. So once we were in the hospital for 42 hours with the birth mom and no baby, and they let us go home.
First of Two Babies
Bonnie Bruderer: The next time– seven hours. No baby. You guys can imagine. And then the third time I’d already moved into an Airbnb because the whole pandemic was really shaping up to be something. And I didn’t want to be in a hotel. So I booked an Airbnb here in St. Petersburg and along came baby Olive on March 22nd. And the lockdowns happened, I think the 22nd as well.
Bonnie Bruderer: So by the time we left the hospital, I was with my little baby girl, I took her to the Airbnb and we weren’t allowed to leave the state.
Jen: Oh my goodness. That’s what happened? What amazing timing. Um, we’re just getting some comments of good morning from E.J. She watches all of our MomCave LIVES. She’s awesome. And Don, is saying, “Hi Bonnie” over on Instagram. That story gave me chills as well because having a new baby come into your family, come into your daily life is so disruptive, exciting, and wonderful, but also terrifying. And then you are also like seeing that the world is shutting down and what’s going to happen. Um, so how long did you stay in Florida before you were able to go back home?
Bonnie Bruderer: Oh, uh, I can look out the window and see my Airbnb. I’m still here literally right across the street. It’s called the Yellow Submarine. That’s where I stayed for four months. And so I had a car seat, a pacifier, a bottle, and a boppy to put her in. And that was it because I was planning on being here a week and thankfully, a friend was stranded too and had to come to our Airbnb.
Bonnie Bruderer: We have three rooms, so I had a little bit of help. But I stayed there for four months and partially like, initially it was because of necessity. I wasn’t able to leave the state. There is something called ICPC, which is interstate adoptions and of course, everything was shut down. So they couldn’t clear that.
Making Florida Home
Bonnie Bruderer: But once I could, I lived in a high rise in Georgia and I wasn’t going to take a newborn, you know, and hit the road. If we all can remember how scary the virus was in the beginning. So, um, I just kept renting and talk to the owners and they’d shut down Airbnb. So they were happy to have a renter. We went offline and one thing led to another and I saw this house being built that we’re in right now across the street.
Bonnie Bruderer: And I ended up buying it. I just thought, “My daughter wants to live here.” She, you know, she did a strong entry, and so we ended up buying the house across the street. It was a brand new build. As soon as it was finished, we moved in. And, um, that was, yeah, that’s been our story. I knew nobody except for my one friend and then one thing led to another and we started to meet all of these other mamas and it’s been a really great experience.
Jen: Um, the, the finding of the new mom friends, I found it was a struggle at first, but once you do, then you have somebody to bounce your ideas off of, and somebody that understands what you’re going through. That’s great. And it’s, I mean, it’s like almost fortuitous that you see this house being built.
Bonnie Bruderer: Yeah. I mean, the funny thing was, is we had nothing to do cause it is a pandemic. So at night we would put the baby in the car seat and just drive around and look at houses for sale for fun, you know, just like, what else are you going to do? And just pull it up on Zillow and do the little tour. And then my friends would say, “You really should buy a house here. It’s a great opportunity.”
Oh no, no, no, no. The second I can leave, I’m going home. And then at night we would pull the chairs out onto the front porch and have some wine and look at this house. And we would just comment like Muppets, like, you know, the two guys in the Muppets comment on the build across the street were like, “Oh, they did the yard today.” “Oh, they’ve tilled the soil…” You know, cause again, nothing else to do during the lockdown. And so, yeah, it’s really crazy that I live here because I commented, I did the commentary on the whole build…
The Best-Laid Plans
Jen: I feel like I’ve children also help teach us that life never goes the way that we plan and whatever you do plan, it‘s probably not what was meant to be, or as good as what ends up being.
Um, you know, I know my, when my life is certainly nothing like I planned and I was a big planner, so I’ve learned not to plan. Yeah, we have someone on Instagram who had a comment. “You literally changed your life through the gift of a baby through the bad look at the good you were given. What a story!”
Bonnie Bruderer: Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s very true. I mean, I am very spiritual and I know if anyone reads Disrupted Momma, you’ll be shocked when I had to go through to get to my baby. But looking back, I’m glad that things happened the way they happened and that it took eight more years than I had planned because the pieces did fall into place.
Bonnie Bruderer: You know, I never would have had a home before or been in a position, even just the pandemic shutting down. You know, we had offices in New York, Miami. Shutting that all down and immediately going remote, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and it all needed to be that way. And there’s more to the story that you’ll hear in a second.
Parenting Isn’t Easy
Jen: Totally, totally. Um, yeah, the waiting eight years for a baby, I know about must’ve been excruciating, but I, I sometimes get criticized for saying this. I think if you have to struggle in some way or wait or yearn in some way before you become a parent in a way that’s really good for you because it was for me, because if you, um, if, if, if it was easy to get the baby when you have the baby and for the rest of the child’s life, parenting is so not easy.
Jen: And there are so many times that, that I just am so frustrated and like, what is happening? I’m failing. What am I doing? And then I think back of like, if I could talk to that self who yearned and had heartbreak and loss and everything before I got to this baby, I dunno, it gives me perspective.
Bonnie Bruderer: So happy you said that. You know, it’s funny, we just went through a period. I’m sure every mom on here can relate. Uh, we had norovirus that led straight into COVID that went into an ear infection. And so we were, oh, prior to that, my daughter had fallen and fractured her orbital skull. So we were self-quarantining for two weeks for that so she didn’t get sicknesses then we went straight into that.
So we’d been home for like five weeks and it’s rough, you know, when you’re being, you’re sick yourself, you’re being puked on. And I just remember thinking, like, when I thought I’d hit my max of thinking, I just took a breath and I was like, oh my God. Remember the pain of how badly I wanted these children before I had them.
And it just put me in a place of, yeah. This will pass. We’ll be back at the park soon, but that pain of desiring, wanting yearning for our child is so awful that this is okay. You know this is fine.
Jen: Exactly. It helped a lot. And so then Olive got… is it a sister?
Bonnie Bruderer: Olive has a brother, brother.
Jen: Yes. Also during the pandemic, we’re basically still in the pandemic, but, um, within a short amount of time is my point. And, um, Can you share anything about how Olive’s brother came into the picture?
Bonnie Bruderer: So this is baby Phoenix.
Jen: Sweet, cute.
Bonnie Bruderer: So we move into the house, I think a week or two goes by and I get a call from the adoption agency and we had just that week finalized with the judge, all of Olive’s adoption.
You know, the final adoption piece. So the agency calls it’s a Friday afternoon. I remember because my friend, we were out running errands and I get the call. And you’re always when you’re adopting, you’re always on pins and needles because things always go wrong. Things always fall through. There are always scams all this. Oh, you know what happened? No, no, no, no.
But the agency was not calling because of Olive. They’re like, “We actually have something else we need to run by you.” Okay. And long story short, they said, “Her birth mother may be reaching out to you. She is pregnant and she wants you to have the baby.”
Bonnie Bruderer: And I’m like trying to I’m in the turn lane. I’m like, “I think I’m going to pull over.”
Jen: I’m going to run into something.
Bonnie Bruderer: mind you. I’m a new mom, 11 weeks in by myself. It literally may have been 11 weeks. I bought a house I’m living in a different state. I’m trying to manage my company, work remote, you know, with my baby on my chest as I’m doing all my calls.
Bonnie Bruderer: So I said, “Wow, you know, this is a lot of information. Can I have the weekend to think about it?” And they’re like, “Absolutely. You take your time, but get back to us right away.”
Jen: But what do you think, you know, they’re always like pushing an idea, take your time, but what do you think you’re going to say?
Bonnie Bruderer: You know, and I’m like, uh, I’m not sure. I said initially, like, I’m excited about this call, but like I needed to process all of this. So go home, talk it over with my friend. It was a long story short. It was the hardest decision I ever made because I’d gone through so much to get to a baby. And here, this was falling in my plate, on my plate, and I was never, ever going to try again, based on what I had gone through. But the fact that they would have been siblings. It was just a lot of kismet.
And then I had an extra room in my house. I was like, that’s weird. We bought an extra bedroom, you know, a four-bedroom house. Um, so I thought long and hard and had to go forward, you know? I’m never a “shy away from hard”person. So I was like, okay, I can I’ll figure it out. I figured her out.
Bonnie Bruderer: She, fortunately, was a very easy baby. He was not, he rode in, on like a wild bull and kept riding for four months and just screaming and crying. But, you know, I did it. I’m so grateful. They’re turning one and two years old… two weeks apart. Um, gosh, during his birth, he was, he had some troubles breathing early on and so they put him in the NICU and I literally had to leave the NICU to come home to do her waffle birthday party and you know, her one-year birthday and then go back and then he came home the next day! He came back when she was one year and one day, you know, I introduced, oh, “Hey, one more present for you.”
Two Cute and Sweet Babies – What About As Tweens?
Jen: When she’s like 10 or 11, she’s not going to think it’s as much of a present she’s going to when: start fighting. Yeah. It’s funny because you know, any mom that has two, it breaks your heart all over it. Cause you’re like giving them the best gift in the world. But also it’s like every attention you take away from one, it’s just like guilt.
Bonnie Bruderer: And, and I just of, now that I look at him, he was one and I’m like, oh my God but they’re so cute and sweet together. And it’s really fast. Yeah, it’s been a crazy journey, crazy…
Jen: My children are five years apart. They’re there, it’s a big gap, which I didn’t intend. I did not feel ready to have second child for a long time because just having the first was so such a… no matter how prepared I thought I was. I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t feel good at it. And I wish they were closer together in some ways, but in other ways, having them farther apart, like in the beginning, he was a caregiver for his little sister.
Jen: But now that they’re both school age, they fight a lot. Um, I tell them, like, you might, you might fight and be annoyed with each other right now, but when you are grown and you have a sibling, this is it’s, it is a gift to have somebody that close to you.
Bonnie Bruderer: It is, I mean, 51 weeks to the day it’s, it’s kind of crazy.
Hard and Also Fun
Bonnie Bruderer: And, you know, I never want to repeat the last year of my life. Cause it was just a lot harder than I imagined, but, it’s just so much fun. And like, I always try to visualize, you know, later in life, like having, having the Thanksgivings and the Christmases and then the grandkids and you know, all of it versus like holy ass, like this morning,
you’ve expressed 72 emotions and it’s only, you know, 7:30 in the morning. Like it’s, you know, try to focus less on that and more on like all these to get, to go through life together. But it was funny. Cause I was explaining to my one friend. I just don’t want her to be alone. Like when she has to put me in a home, I want her to go out for martinis with her brother after, you know, I just pictured them in life versus the pain, the sacrifices I was going to have to make and how painful it would be to have, you know, two and in one year.
Bonnie Bruderer: Um, cause I’m a single mom too. I don’t know if I said that piece, but I’m doing this all on my own. So it’s crazy. We’ve been so embraced with our family and our network and the school that they go to now, you know, it’s just been, it’s been a big blessing.
Jen: Yeah. Do you have any family nearby?
Bonnie Bruderer: My family is all in California, so they come out, which is great. I’ve had cousins come out. I have another one coming shortly, um, which is really nice. Then we’ve been back only once because of COVID, but it was a lovely trip, you know, eight full days of family. And we’re going back in June, so I’ll make it work.
Maternity Leave — Not
Jen: Yeah. And, um, so your, your, your business had been established. It wasn’t like you were starting the business with the babies. So did you have to take like, um, a sabbatical or some time away when the babies were really little?
Bonnie Bruderer: Initially that was always, of course, the plan, you know, I would take maternity leave, but when you look into my story, I had had a couple of false starts.
I had a baby that I was adopting that I had for two days, and then she was taken away and I had a couple of others, so each one of those times I had prepared my life in a way that I would have coverage this time. It just wasn’t feasible. And I thought, okay, I’ll just sort of work half mass. Um, but COVID hit and we’re in the streaming media industry.
Bonnie Bruderer: So. Like everything blew up at once. So I just did what I could, like, I literally strapped her into her little carrier and I would do my calls with her on my belly. She was a very quiet baby. So I could, you know, Zoom wasn’t really, we always use Zoom, but the rest of the world wasn’t using Zoom. So that was starting to come into play.
Bonnie Bruderer: And people were like, how are you? So, um, you know, I just made it work. I made it work. We have an incredible team, um, and Alison who you’ve talked to and Daniella, so they were able to, you know, fill in where I wasn’t able to, and it would just, we made it work.
Two Babies PLUS Being Your Own Boss
Bonnie Bruderer: I had to totally manage myself. I’m like, Got it, but it’s so much pressure. I’m like the worst spot, you know, when you have the worst boss like I’m the worst boss.
Bonnie Bruderer: Cause I’m putting all this pressure on, like, I should be doing this on like it’s Sunday. No… You should be watching Disney movies with your kids. That’s all you should be doing. And yeah. And it’s just so much pressure. Cause there’s always a million things to do with them.
Jen: Yeah, but between the children and the business and the business is like a child in that way of like, there are always things to do …. there’s growth and then that means more things to do. And then something goes wrong and everything changes.
Um, let’s explain to everybody a little bit about what your business is, um, for people who don’t really know at all about streaming media or, um, maybe they, they use it, but they don’t know what it is. Can you give a quick overview?
Bonnie Bruderer: Sure. So streaming is basically anything you’re watching on TV. Like if you watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney channel, all of that is streaming. And so what our company does is we work with shows like MomCave that are fantastic, but maybe don’t know how to get into that world. You know they’ve mastered Facebook and YouTube and instead, and all of those places, but we take them and then bring them, you sort of like up into the world of Smart TV.
Bonnie Bruderer: So we get them on Amazon Fire. We get them on Roku. We get them on Apple TV so that they can reach these whole new audiences. And why that’s fun and important is that you know, all of you watching, if you’re watching on Instagram and Facebook, you already know about MomCave but in those instances, they have maybe 40 million subscribers in the instance of Roku that don’t. And so we put you in a new audience and they start to watch and discover and become a fan of MomCave.
Streaming MomCave TV on Binge Networks
Bonnie Bruderer: And so, yeah, so that’s what we do. And we do it for any creator, whether you have a food show, a travel show, a mom show, whatever the case may be. Um, those are our clients that we work with.
Jen: Yeah. So then I’m going to make that my little announcement. Yay. MomCave is now on over a hundred smart TV platforms through Binge Networks.
Jen: And, um, yeah, so we’ve left the computer and the phone screen and we are coming to the TV screen and it’s very exciting. Oh, we have an Amazon Fire app.
Jen: So MomCave started out as a YouTube channel with, um, me and two moms and a dad. And we had a couple of parenting humor web series that were going to film festivals and stuff, and people said, “Make it a channel!”
So I always, (I can’t talk. I’m tired) and envisioned what I imagined in my mind that MomCave would be a network of different shows for parents.
Hard Work and Happy Surprises
Jen: And. But then it, you know, like we were talking about before life never goes the way you plan. something, you took in general. It was, it was getting a lot of recognition in the industry of like professional people, but it was just kind of not growing as fast as I wanted. And then some little viral little video I made about single moms actually went viral on Facebook and that’s how we got most of our fans on Facebook because moms were more on Facebook than YouTube at the time.
And it just became more of an internet thing. So I’m very excited that now it’s an internet thing and a TV thing. And we have years and years of videos and we’re always making new videos.
Jen: So they are on Binge! I haven’t really made this big announcement, usually on MomCave. If something changes like we do blog posts and all, but I couldn’t really find out how to tell all of you people on the internet, what this is and how to access it. Um, so this is, uh, this is what we’re telling you!
Jen: And through the lens of this amazing mom… Becoming a mom during that pandemic makes me very happy that MomCave can be part of your company.
We can understand each other. So is Binge on all the social media places? Can people find that?
Bonnie Bruderer: Yeah. So we’re more heavy on a smart TV. Obviously, you can find us on Roku, Amazon, Apple TV, but we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, all under Binge Networks. So at Binge Networks and you can find great content there. If you want to watch all the MomCave shows, you can head there and watch.
Jen: Yeah, if you on your computer, just like you could go to Netflix, you can go to Binge Networks and watch on your computer. In addition to all these other places, or I’m very excited when, when I put the app on my iPhone and it felt very official!
Jen: There are all kinds of content on Binge… there’s business content and mindfulness and health. And I haven’t even explored it all yet. So a ton of great stuff. Bonnie, I feel like… First of all, I said, we’re going to talk for 15 minutes and it’s been 25. Your story is so fascinating that I would love it when you and I will have to talk when we’re not online at some point, I would love to hear more about your story and share it with everybody.
Jen: Because the idea, you know, we have a lot of single mom followers and we have a lot of people who are running their own business and trying to survive at all with kids. So. We would love to hear more. Thanks for talking to me today.
Bonnie Bruderer: Thank you for having me. Thanks to all mamas. I know you’re all busy. I know that for sure.
Jen: Thank you for tuning in. I’m sure a lot of you’re watching this in the carpool line as I do. Thank you so much and we’ll be in touch more. Everybody go check out Binge Networks and make sure to check out MomCave on Binge Networks and the Amazon Fire app and all the places.
Listen to Bonnie Bruderer on MomCave LIVE as a podcast:
- The Mother Load, Surviving Motherhood | with Meredith Ethington | MomCave Live - May 25, 2023
- The Hidden Costs of Home Repairs and How to Prepare for Them - May 22, 2023
- 10 Mocktail Recipes for Sober-Curious or Pregnant Moms - April 27, 2023