After seven miscarriages, a radio ad inspired Survivor's Chrissy Zaremba to adopt.

Warning: This post deals with miscarriages and may be triggering for some readers. 

For Survivor contestant Chrissy Zaremba, a single radio ad changed everything. 

The 42-year-old teacher was driving home with her husband, Toby, after suffering her seventh miscarriage when a message came over the car speakers. 

"I said to Toby, that's seven [miscarriages]... How many more of these can we pay for and mentally go through? How many more babies can I miscarry... And then an ad from 'Adoption Services Queensland' came on," Chrissy told Mamamia

"It said if you're interested in looking into adoption then be in Brisbane and enlist in a program... And I just looked at Toby and said 'that's it, we're done, we're going to go do that'."

Watch: Meet Chrissy on Australian Survivor Blood V Water. Post continues below.

Video via Channel 10.

After seven IVF cycles, Chrissy said it felt like 'fate'.

"All I wanted in my whole life (I was in childcare and then I became a teacher) was to be a mum, that's all I wanted to do, and these IVFs just kept saying no."

"I turned the radio off and we enlisted."

What followed was an "intensely detailed" process of adoption, involving psychological assessments, looking through medical backgrounds and waiting on a shortlist.


But for Chrissy, who's competing on Survivor with her brother-in-law an ex NRL plater Michael 'Croc' Crocker, the most challenging part of the adoption process was "putting your life in their hands". 

"We can't control anything, they choose the kids, they choose the best family. I think the biggest fear is just how long it's going to take because lots of people wait for years."

Then the phone call came. 

"They rang up and said 'Hi Chrissy, is Toby with you? Are you sitting down?'" she recalled. 

"When you get that phone call and it says adoption services, you know that phone call means something's happening." 

Chrissy said the day the couple were able to bring their first daughter home was simply "surreal".

"I remember driving into our house on the Sunshine Coast and we put her to bed, and we just sat at the crib and starred at her with my mum all night. We didn't even leave the room, we were just like, 'wait are they going to take her off us?' what if they gave us the wrong child'. The most stupid theories go into your head." 

"I just remember looking at her and she was so scared. And I was so scared."

15 years after hearing the radio ad, Chrissy is now the mum to three girls; 13-year-old Mia-Moana, 10-year-old Essie and seven-year-old Lulu. 

Image: Supplied. 


All three girls were adopted from different countries and make up what Chrissy refers to as her "rainbow family".

"They are all very, very different in personality, but then also in appearance. So I put a positive connotation on it by calling it rainbow because... I don't want [adoption] to be a scary word or an unknown word."

It's why Chrissy and Toby are very open and honest with their daughters about adoption. 

Every year, they celebrate the girls' arrival days and spare a thought for their birth parents on their birthday, Mother's Day and Father's Day. 

"We are really passionate about making sure that the girls never have secrets and no one knows anything more than them."


It was Chrissy's three daughters who inspired her to compete on Australian Survivor Blood V Water with her brother-in-law, Croc. 

"I said to them, 'uncle wants us to go on a TV show' and all three of them said just 'don't go on Survivor, you'd be so s**t'."

"They said you will be terrible, go on Big Brother or go on My Kitchen Rules... And then I thought right, I am definitely going to go on Survivor because if they think I can't do it and I've got three of my closest allies going against me, I'll prove it to them. And then I can prove it to Australia."

Despite their early reservations, Chrissy said her daughters are excited to watch her on the show. 

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Unlike her Survivor-partner Croc, who has always dreamt of competing on the show, Chrissy entered the competition with not a lot of Survivor knowledge. 

"The super fans are going to hate my guts because I probably should have respected it a bit more and researched more," she shared. 


But in her defence, her lack of research actually worked to her advantage. 

"I didn't know enough when I first started to be scared of the big names," she explained. 

"Everyone saw [past contestants] Andy, Mark, and Sandra, and they started freaking out. Some of them are like, 'Wow, oh she's going to be tough.' Whereas I was like, 'Oh, that's a nice coloured orange shirt,'" she joked. "I was oblivious." 

It also helped that Chrissy didn't know just how challenging the competition can be. 

"If I had seen some of the stuff that they did and some of the things in the past where people lost friendships and got sent out to rocks by themselves, I would have freaked out.

"So to this day I'm standing by it."

You can watch Chrissy on Australian Survivor when it continues tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 10. 

Feature Image: Channel 10/Supplied/Mamamia.