Dear Moms of Adopted Children

First, a quick note: I wrote this piece after reading an essay written by Lea Grover in the Huffiington Post, titled “Dear Less-Than-Perfect Mom.” The post by Lea was wonderful, and it made me think about us moms who found our sweet babies through adoption, and how we face unique challenges. I hope you enjoy it, whether you are the parent of an adopted child or not. Happy early Mother’s Day, everyone.


Dear Mom of an Adopted Child,

I met you in adoption education class. I met you at the agency. I met you at my son’s school. I met you online. I met you on purpose. I met you by accident.

It doesn’t matter. The thing is, I knew you right away. I recognize the fierce determination. The grit. The fight. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. You are the kind of woman who Makes.Things.Happen. After all, you made this happen, this family you have.

Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. Maybe you ignored them.

Maybe you planned for it for years. Maybe an opportunity dropped into your lap. Maybe you depleted your life-savings for it. Maybe it was not your first choice. But maybe it was.

Regardless, I know you. And I see how you hold on so tight. Sometimes too tight. Because that’s what we do, isn’t it?

I know about all those books you read back then. The ones everyone reads about sleep patterns and cloth versus disposable, yes, but the extra ones, too. About dealing with attachment disorders, breast milk banks, babies born addicted to alcohol, cocaine, meth. About cognitive delays, language deficiencies. About counseling support services, tax and insurance issues, open adoption pros and cons, legal rights.

I know about the fingerprinting, the background checks, the credit reports, the interviews, the references. I know about the classes, so many classes. I know the frustration of the never-ending paperwork. The hours of going over finances, of having garage sales and bake sales and whatever-it-takes sales to raise money to afford it all.

I know how you never lost sight of what you wanted.

I know about the match call, the soaring of everything inside you to cloud-height, even higher. And then the tucking of that away because, well, these things fall through, you know.

Maybe you told your mother, a few close friends. Maybe you shouted it to the world. Maybe you allowed yourself to decorate a baby’s room, buy a car seat. Maybe you bought a soft blanket, just that one blanket, and held it to your cheek every night.

I know about your home visits. I know about your knuckles, cracked and bleeding, from cleaning every square inch of your home the night before. I know about you burning the coffee cake and trying to fix your mascara before the social worker rang the doorbell.

And I know about the followup visits, when you hadn’t slept in three weeks because the baby had colic. I know how you wanted so badly to show that you had it all together, even though you were back to working more-than-full-time, maybe without maternity leave, without the family and casseroles and welcome-home balloons and plants.

And I’ve seen you in foreign countries, strange lands, staying in dirty hotels, taking weeks away from work, struggling to understand what’s being promised and what’s not. Struggling to offer your love to a little one who is unsettled and afraid. Waiting, wishing, greeting, loving, flying, nesting, coming home.

I’ve seen you down the street at the hospital when a baby was born, trying to figure out where you belong in the scene that’s emerging. I’ve seen your face as you hear a nurse whisper to the birthmother that she doesn’t have to go through with this. I’ve seen you trying so hard to give this birthmother all of your respect and patience and compassion in those moments—while you bite your lip and close your eyes, not knowing if she will change her mind, if this has all been a dream coming to an abrupt end in a sterile environment. Not knowing if this is your time. Not knowing so much.

I’ve seen you look down into a newborn infant’s eyes, wondering if he’s really yours, wondering if you can quiet your mind and good sense long enough to give yourself over completely.

And then, to have the child in your arms, at home, that first night. His little fingers curled around yours. His warm heart beating against yours.

I know that bliss. The perfect, guarded, hopeful bliss.

I also know about you on adoption day. The nerves that morning, the judge, the formality, the relief, the joy. The letting out of a breath maybe you didn’t even know you were holding for months. Months.

I’ve seen you meet your child’s birthparents and grandparents weeks or years down the road. I’ve seen you share your child with strangers who have his nose, his smile … people who love him because he’s one of them. I’ve seen you hold him in the evenings after those visits, when he’s shaken and confused and really just wants a stuffed animal and to rest his head on your shoulder.

I’ve seen you worry when your child brings home a family tree project from school. Or a request to bring in photos of him and his dad, so that the class can compare traits that are passed down, like blue eyes or square chins. I know you worry, because you can protect your child from a lot of things — but you can’t protect him from being different in a world so intent on celebrating sameness.

I’ve seen you at the doctor’s office, filling out medical histories, leaving blanks, question marks, hoping the little blanks don’t turn into big problems later on.

I’ve seen you answer all of the tough questions, the questions that have to do with why, and love, and how much, and where, and who, and how come, mama? How come?

I’ve seen you wonder how you’ll react the first time you hear the dreaded, “You’re not my real mom.” And I’ve seen you smile softly in the face of that question, remaining calm and loving, until you lock yourself in the bathroom and muffle your soft cries with the sound of the shower.

I’ve seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being it is the other way around.

But most of all, I want you to know that I’ve seen you look into your child’s eyes. And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there, you see something that’s just as powerful: A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter, and who, if torn from you, would be like losing yourself.

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552 thoughts on “Dear Moms of Adopted Children

      • LovethisI just want to share that we adopted 5 tern boys between May 2010 and. Dec. 2012. So many cannot imagine that we could love themto the depths that we do. But we do, yes we do

      • Thank you for this wonderful post, I undergo the same experience as I am an adoptive mother, my son is now 8 months old.

      • This hits the highs and lows of adopting. We went through it all, it was an 8 year struggle for us. We were blessed when birthmom chose us and didn’t change her mind. OUR daughter, she will always be birth mom’s daughter also, is 4 years old and knows she’s adopted and not only knows her birth family, but has a relationship with them as well. You ate absolutely right, people tell us, all the time, that our girl is so lucky….but it IS the other way around. We, the adoptive parents, are the lucky ones.

      • Thank you. I stumbled upon this yesterday and have since read it multiple times. Thank you for capturing everything so perfectly and beautifully. My husband and I are adoptive parents to an amazing baby boy. So much of this applies to adoptive fathers too. I shared this with him and said to just substitute the word ‘dad’ and it would fit us perfectly.

      • Wow… I love this! As a single mom of an absolutely incredible 17yr old daughter from China, I have been struggling with the idea of her leaving for college in a year. I don’t know where the time has gone. And I don’t know how I am going to adjust to having her ‘away’ from me. This touched me to my core. Thank you so much! Happy, happy Mother’s Day!

        • Thanks for reading and commenting, Judi. I can’t imagine the day my kiddo will leave for college. He’s our everything. So I can understand how you must be feeling. Hang in there and happy belated mother’s day to you, too!

      • Love what you wrote, I just happen to read it.
        Although we didn’t adopt when they were babies, (11 and 12), I still could relate to it.

        • Thank you for reading and happy belated mother’s day to you and all of those who have commented through the years. Still warms my heart.

    • Thank you for this beautiful piece of writing. I have 5 adopted children, and two by birth …….I soaked these words in like a sponge. Have passed on to many others via my FB page, as I would hate something as moving as this to be missed. Thank you Kathy.

    • This really touched me because years ago I was the social worker doing home visits for people wanting to adopt internationally. I often wonder what happened to the children who came from Russia, Hungary, Mexico and China to their new lives in Canada. Especially because they were settling into Quebec, known for its ethnocentricity and fear of the English language.

      • One of those little Russian babies is the light of my life. He was 18 mths when I brought him home to America(Phoenix, AZ) and he is now an awesome 10 year old, smart, funny, sweet young boy. So thankful to be his Forever Mom.

    • wow! this story took me back to so many memories, some so very painful; like 5 lost pregnancies , 3 emergency ectopic surgeries,3 IVF’s,several embro transfers, 3 failed private adoptions , 2 almost saragets and a non acceptable home study from the home of the guardian angel.It was a hard 8 years and she will soon be 16 and I can still fill up with tears when I am watching her from a distance or up close.She looks nothing like me but she is my world.She has had her struggles too; with a reading disability and her adoptive parents divorcing but she has persevered and has a lot of joy in her life today.She plays on her school volleyball team and teaches horsebackriding lessons. She is beautiful,well liked and her dad just bought her a horse.She was given a academic recommendation for high school study and she plans to study sciences at Acadia and be a member of there Equestrian Team

    • I related to all of this article…I wish that biological parents of any child could understand…but they can’t…and that’s ok. This is on target. Thank you.

      • You wish that us bio parents could understand, but we wish that you adoptive parents could understand the pain we go through every single day knowing someone else is raising a child that we cannot hold or see or talk to. I am in a very open adoption and I chose to place my twins. I also have four of my own children and lost one child as well. I do know pain. And we are actually similar because we have fears as well. We have the responsibility of choosing parents for our children. Hoping that they are not lying to us that they will continue with the open adoption. We pray everyday that our child will not grow up wondering whether or not we love them because the adoptive mom chooses to close the adoption. We walk on egg shells too around the adoptive parents because one wrong word and the adoptive parents could rip our child from our lives. You walk on egg shells until you are able to adopt, we walk on egg shells for the rest of our lives after we place. We understand your pain because we too are living with out a child and potential adoptive parents are warned of the struggles and the process and the potential for a birth mom changing her mind. But we are not warned of the pain that we will suffer, emptiness, and the potential for an amom to close the adoption suddenly because she is afraid of her child loving their birth mom too much. I wish that amoms and birthmoms could just be open and honest with each other and that we could just work together to love and raise the child. Yes there are birthmoms that don’t care but their are also amoms that are selfish and don’t care too. We do understand but maybe you should try to understand our loss too.

      • Sara, I don’t think she meant the biological mom – I think she just meant moms who had their own children instead of adopting. I commend you for giving your children the most precious gift you could, and for making the hardest decision of your life because you knew it was the better option for them. I think about my daughter’s birth mother every day – and I am so thankful that she made the ultimate sacrifice that completed my family. I know it wasn’t an easy decision, I know she thinks about our precious daughter – and she knows how loved and wanted our baby girls was, and how thankful we are for what she did. I also have a “biological” son, and I think the poster above just meant that it is so different – my bond to him was immediate, he was my son, I don’t know when that bond came with my daughter – and the guilt initially that I was not bonding with her was an internal struggle. Looking back I know that my brain was just protecting my heart from the possibility of the birth mom coming back. But one day, it just happened – I can’t tell you when, I can’t tell you how – but over time that baby girl was mine, and now I love her fiercely and with all my heart. We struggle because her personality is so different from anything we have dealt with, and we have struggles – but I wouldn’t change any of it. We have explained to my daughter about her birth mother and that she is adopted from day one. Just yesterday a neighbor asked where she got her pretty looks from – and she answered the name of her birth mother. Thank you – thank you for the sacrifice you made.

        • Julie I understand what you are saying. It just seems to me that many adoptive moms don’t seem to understand the pain and struggle us natural mothers feel. I read through these comments over and over and each time it upsets me. How can an adoptive mom say that even though I know natural mothers live there kids just as much as I love my adoptive kid, but we hold them tighter rock them longer. Basically saying that us natural mothers don’t appreciate or cherish our children because it came easy for us to be a parent. I love each and everyone of my children. More than. I could ever put into words. And just because I got pregnant easy dosent mean I don’t appreciate each one. And just because I placed two of my children for adoption doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I get so sick every time someone tries to tell me that. And you are worried about the birth mom coming back? Why? If she signed papers she can’t take the child back ever. After two weeks of my children being born they were no longer mine legally so even if I wanted to change my mind it would have been too late. Do u ever think that maybe including the birth mom in the child’s life might actually do the child good. How can having more adults who love the child do harm to the child. I can’t stress enough to all adoptive parents do not exclude the birth mom from the child’s life out of fear or jealously. The adoptive child needs to know that the birth mom loves them or they will grow up thinking their own mother abandoned them. If the birth mom wants to be part of the child’s life they should be allowed to do so. As I said in my last comment. Us natural mothers that do have open adoptions have to fear for the rest of our child’s life that the adoptive mom will get mad and just be like nope this is my child so you can’t see them anymore. It’s wrong and hurtful when we have entrusted this person with our child’s life. Quit lying to the birth moms just to get their child and act like you are perfect and just be honest. Tell them your faults tell them whether or not you want them in the child’s life. If you tell them they can still see their child then keep your word.

      • Sara, This article was written for adoptive moms, not birth moms. There are many adoption sites that speak to the experiences of birth parents and adult adoptees, where you can meet kindred souls who understand your feelings on a personal level.

        Just as you do not want your pain and sacrifice minimized, we adoptive parents need a safe place to speak our truth about our experiences. Please do not try to measure our pain against yours, or insinuate that we are selfish or dishonest for not giving you priority in our lives. Birth parents, like adoptive parents, are unique individuals and every situation is different. But one thing never changes: OUR first priority will always be what we believe is best for our child. And sometimes that means making decisions based on new information. It is wrong to assume adoptive parents are lying from the start when the nature of the open relationship changes… but this is not the right time and place for that discussion. It is off topic.

        Thanks for listening.

      • We have an open arrangement with my son’s birthmomma and half sister. I will never know what it is really like for his birthmom…but I have found that even though I carry an empathy with me always, if I am too aware of what she lost then I hinder my ability to bond with my (our) son.

    • My daughter found this and sent me a precious note. I am an adoptive mother of four children born in South Korea. This was beautifully written…..I laughed…..I cried…..I smiled…..I understood……I had felt so many of the feelings…..thank you so much for your written word…..

    • This is so beautifully written it made me cry. Unfortunately, I lost one of my adopted children to suicide at age 20. There is that pain too. It’s hard for it not to erase all the wonderful moments, moments that were never enough to last a lifetime. Hold you babies close and never give up.

      • Rosanne, thank you so much for reading and commenting, and for reminding us how precious life is. I’m so very sorry for your loss and hope you can find some peace this mother’s day.

  1. I read this after a friend told me it was “spot-on”. She was absolutely correct! Thanks for putting into words the life many of us feel and know.

  2. Oh my goodness. I am speechless… This is so perfect. Thank you for your talent. You captured our adoption perfect. The emotions, experiences, moments. It is beautiful and priceless. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for this. I’m an adopted child; one who knows all of her parents- biological and adopted, and foster care parents. This is beautifully written. I hope each of them will read this, too.

  4. You get it. Thank you for sharing your words!
    My saying is if you are going to be a bear…be a grizzly bear. I have never fought harder for anything in my life than I did on my initial journey to bring family to my husband and myself. I often say to my two children ” I was born for you, as you were born for me.”

  5. Thank you! and Yes, yes, many times yes….and now I will THANKFULLY go wipe my tears and smeared makeup…Happy Mother’s Day♥K.L.H.

  6. Wow – I’m just so honored that something in my words has touched folks. Thank you all for reading.

  7. This is one of the most eloquently written adoption posts I’ve read. You’ve so accurately described what adoptive parents feel, and illustrated how we all have different experiences but still understand each other’s experiences. This just touched my heart. Thank you!

  8. Wow, this is so beautiful. You were able to capture so many of the emotions involved in adoption and I really felt like you knew me and wrote this about my experience. Thank you so much for the beautiful words.

  9. I’m and adoptive Dad who lost the woman you describe in your letter in a car accident when our daughter was 4. She’s 9 now. My wife was everything you describe and more. Thanks.

    • Jonathan…I am so sorry for your loss. I am sure the way you honor your wife with your words is such a beautiful legacy for your daughter to cherish.

    • Jonathan – My heart goes out to you. I’m glad this could honor your wife somehow. Thinking of you and your daughter this mother’s day. Thank you for reading.

  10. Thank you so very much for this. Especially coming up on Birthmother’s and Mother’s Days this weekend. You truely do “get it” all….the joys, the struggles, the worries, the celebrations, the heartbreaks, the questions…everything. Everyone needs to be understood and validated…so thank you for doing that for me today!

  11. Thank you for writing what’s been on my heart for so long. You’re there, you’re in the midst of the thick of it all. We stand together as adoptive moms, united moms, loving moms. My kids say that they may have been born “on the outside of my tummy”, but i tell them that they were born in my heart. Thank you for sharing, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there!

  12. Thank you for this! It’s like you were with us our whole journey and put it into words. I found myself nodding my head as I red and shearing tears well into the first few lines. We became foster parents after 7 losses (and 1 more after becoming foster parents). We were placed with 6 mo old twins and after a roller coaster of a ride, adopted them a little over a year later. Not an easy journey but I would walk it a thousand times over to be blessed with the gift we have been given.

      • April’s mom here. Thank you for writing this. Although I, just the Grandma, I felt every heartache nd joy on their journey. We’re proud of our Grandchildren, and make no mistake …they ARE our Grandchildren in every way and have been since the first minute of foster care.

  13. My husband and I just made the adoption of our baby girl final one week ago. I have never read anything that describes the adoption process so well. Thank you.

  14. Adoption Day was just last month. After 4 failed adoptions. To say that this brought tears to my eyes and several “That’s so right!” is an understatement. Thank you for posting this.

    • Congratulations, Alyssa! So glad you had your day of pure joy after days of sorrow in the past. Thanks for sharing!

  15. As an adoptive mom ,long ago , loved this. Our son was born 31 yrs ago Monday & came home to us on Mothers’ Day – just 3 days old. I nursed him ! There is only on thing I would add after all these years. When Susie gets overtired she gets giddy like my sister but Johnny gets stubborn like Dad – etc & so I have an idea how to handle the situation. With an adopted child you do not have those reference points to help in the task of parenting. You may not be aware of the bent towards athletics or scholarship which may be totally opposite to the 2 of you & even miss the boat in guiding the child to where they would fit best in life . It is a challenge, but so are natural children. We have one of each ! Our adopted son is on his way home from his 5th deployment with the US Marines & we are proud to be sure. Thank you. Adoption was wonderful !

    • Dear Barbara, First, thank you for your words. Second, please thank your son for his service to our country. Third, I am an adoptive grandma……my daughter had a son and gave him up to a most loving family.

  16. How absolutely beautiful, and spot on!! You touched on so many emotions we go through, and expressed them exquisitely! I’ve always said, I’m sure biological mothers love their children just as much as we love our chosen children, but I honestly think we hold them just a bit tighter, rock them just a few minutes longer……..than if motherhood had come easily!

    • I agree, Kitty. The love a mother has for her child is so strong, and after waiting so long to be a mom, I cherish each moment!!!

  17. After 4 failed international adoptions, and waiting almost a year trying domestic- I have not read anything that more clearly described this grueling process, and why we do it. This is wonderful.

  18. Wow this is wonderful! I was adopted, and was lucky to have met my Birth Mom, sisters and brothers. Birth Father passed in 1978. My Adopted Mom was great with all of it, but my Dad was a little upset, with thoughts, of me not loving him anymore, that he would loose his little girl, etc. We all made it through those times with lots of tears and still one piece of the puzzle missing. Unfortunately we will never know exactly what happened, but my sister and I love each other and so much alike. She found me in 1992, we met and wow…speechless..:)
    All my parents are gone now, and I pray they are friends and have tea together! I am SPECIAL because I was CHOSEN!!!!

    Thanks for your time…special hugs to all those that are adopted and those that gave us up!

    Happy Mother’s Day to ALL.

  19. What a beautifully written adoption piece! I sat & read this with tears streaming down my face! You have captured exactly the thoughts, feelings and struggles of an adoptive parent. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Thank you for putting the emotions and feelings of adoption from the adoptive parent’s point of view. So beautiful and moving and almost exactly how I feel about my own experience in finding our son. Bless You.

  21. Thank you so much for putting into words all the feelings of the last 11 years!!! I am adopted, have one birth child, and I am blessed with 4 adopted children. Life is never what we think it will be when we are younger. It is harder than I ever imagined, but it is oh so much more blessed than I could have ever fathomed!!!! Blessings to you and yours!!! Shalom!!

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  24. Thank you for the reminders. After 10 years, some of the early memories have faded. This brought them back and reminded me.

  25. Wonderfully written. Brought tears to my eyes as I read it. I would recommend adoption to anyone who is wanting a baby, because it brought so much joy into my life when we adopted our baby girl from Korea 33 years ago. I can’t think of anything better than adopting if you can’t have children of your own.

  26. Thank you.

    After 10 years, some of the early memories fade; replaced by the ones that come with daily living as a family. The reminder is good. Even the memories of the tears and anxiousness, especially the joy.

    Thank you.

  27. Yes times a million. A friend who is a fellow adoptive mommy sent this to me. Everything you said-you hit the nail on the head. I have tears in my eyes. It brought it all back. The good. The bad. The ugly. Worth it? Yes. I love my son and we are so thankful for him.

  28. You HAVE met me! One of the best pieces on adoption I have ever read. Ever. And I have read (almost) all of them, I think.

    Except now I have to figure out how to deal with running mascara and red eyes at the office, so thanks for that!

  29. Tears in my eyes. I read this as my beautiful miracle child is pushing my buttons, fighting a nap for almost two hours, and your writing reminds me of what’s important. Love.

  30. Thank you. I read this from a link on Facebook while waiting for my girls to come out of school. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, how that wasn’t the right place to read it. ♥ How I got some funny looks as I smiled so big and wiped away the tears all at the same time.♥

  31. Thank you for putting our adoptive mama’s hearts into words… Not an easy thing to do and you nailed it – your words were such a blessing to me! ~sniffling~ <3

  32. I have been an adopted parent for 25 years now. Thank you for writing so much of what I have felt over the years. I won’t have traded a day of these years.

  33. Beautiful! Touched on many things that I thought were “only me!” My daughters are a different race than I am. People tell me all the time that I did such a wonderful thing adopting them (like I’m saving the world). My response is usually, “I just wanted to be a mom.” Thanks for sharing and capturing the essence of adoption!

  34. What a well written article. I think it hits what so many adoptive moms feel. Hopefully it will also show others that we did NOT choose the easy way to have a child as so many have said. Thank you for putting this so eloquently in words!

  35. Oh how I loved this! My 6 year old Miracle is sitting next to me asking why I’m crying. He asked is that the happy cry again? Yes, baby, it is. I tell him every day how lucky I am to have him. Thank you for your words!

  36. Wow. I am overwhelmed by everyone’s comments and have tears running down MY face. I am honored that you all read my work, that it touched you somehow, and that we all feel a little less alone right now. Much love and respect to you all. Thank you for reading. Thanks, thanks.

    • A friend shared this. I read it and shared it. At least 4 friends have shared it from me and others have been sharing. This article has been all over my fb page all day! You are touching so many hearts with this honest look at an adoptive mom’s heart.

      • Thank you, Jenn. I almost didn’t post this – was worried it wasn’t perfect. So glad I did now!

  37. Thank you for putting these feelings into such wonderful words. It is so well written and truly expresses a lot of the feeling that adoptive moms feel. I did not go through the hard adoption process like you outline, we adopted our son through family members. Which made the adoption process easier…but brings it’s own challenges when the birth parents are still part of our child’s life. Thankfully God called us into ministry and we are not living in the same city so they are not involved in our everyday life. I am always so thankful that we were blessed with this little boy almost 10 years ago and know that I am extremely overprotective of him. Thanks again for sharing.

  38. Very nice post, but seems to be all about adopting babies. Please don’t forget about moms who have adopted older children.

    • Thanks for mentioning this… If adoptive moms feel like “the only ones”, adoptive moms of non-babies feel it even more.

    • I agree! I was going to say that thus is nearly perfect, except for moms like me, who’ve adopted older children. I’m a mom of 4 adopted girls; my two littles we adopted first when they were 2 1/2 and almost 4 and then two older girls, one when she was 12 1/2 and four months later another that was 11 going on 12. 5 years have passed since I first became a mom through adoption. It’s been heartache after heartache, but its all been worth it! Thanks for writing such a spot on post!

  39. As an adoptive parent of 3 kids, I was anxious to read this. After I was done, I was struck by the idea you are trying to present yourself as a martyr. I am sorry you had such a hard time with the whole process, and hope it gets better, and those bitter memories of paperwork and such fade with time.

    You said this, “And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there…” That is one of the saddest things I have ever read, and I hope your children never see that statement. I look at my kids (in a transracial adoption) , and I see both myself and my wife in them. There is no doubt to anyone that they are our kids. In the way they act, think, their mannerisms, and even facial expressions.

    If someone made a distinction between your biological children and adopted children, you would have an issue with that. Yet, you you just did that in a blog post that the whole world can see. Again, I hope your children never see this….

    • Hi Josh, not trying to paint anyone as a martyr. Just attempting to put into words feelings and emotions adoptive parents can face. And of course I see myself in my child every day. But his eyes scientifically came from his birthparents’ DNA, not mine. That’s what I meant. I guess you might’ve missed the meaning of the last line.

      • Sorry if I missed your meaning, but DNA is not an accurate marker for determining if they “are yours” . As we know, all peoples DNA is basically the same.
        But even if you have a biological child, you look at them and say ” I see 50% of my self in you”? Of course not, so whats the difference here?
        Not trying to start an argument, and I will stop now. I was just incredibly offended, and feel that people need to understand how hurtful those words can be to an adopted child, who is already struggling to find their place in a new family. all

      • I am saving this for my kids to see… I think it is evidence of how much we wanted them, how much we went through on our journey to be parents and how blessed we feel with the end results. I have probably read this 20 times and it has touched me so very much. I will tell my daughter how I screamed that when I die, I am going to rise from the coffin one last time and scream because I am so mad that I didn’t get pregnant….that I would never get over that feeling and that anger. Yet, the first time I held her in my arms…I thanked God I never got pregnant. There is a huge range of emotions ….but, the end result is a blessing beyond an adoptive mom’s wildest dreams. thank you!

      • thank you Josh! I read through the blog as a birth-grandma! No one ever writes about the pain of the birth mother or family. And than to read that my grandchild would suffer after we would visit? I’m not sure if I want to cause my grandchild any pain!
        I’m confused … my daughter shouldn’t have chosen adoption? We shouldn’t keep in contact? It’s very hurtful and selfish! What my daughter wasn’t for sure!

      • There’s a difference between “I don’t see the shape, size, color of my eyes in my child’s eyes” (which is what it seems Kathy meant) and “I don’t see my personality in the spark in my child’s eyes” (which I’m sure Kathy does see).

      • Kathryn,
        Thanks for having the courage to write about your experience, the Joshes and other nit-pickers notwithstanding.

        I wrote about my adoptive experiences for a long time, until the PC “trolls” like these made it too difficult to continue. I pray you find the courage to continue… even if it means using your delete button more liberally!

        • Thank you so much for reading and commenting … I always take great comfort hearing from other adoptive moms. Keep writing!

    • Josh, I don’t know if you had a chance to read the DOZENS of responses to this post, but you are the only person who found fault with it. I’m loving and raising children by birth and adoption, and though I love them equally, some of the challenges and joys are different. It’s good to be authentic and recognize that. This post was real and beautiful in every way, not sad or hurtful in any way.

      • Thank you, Angela and Lanie. I certainly never wanted to hurt anyone with this post. And I’ve read it to my son, who smiled and told me he loved me. 🙂

      • As a first and adoptive mother, I read this blog with interest. I know both sides — the pain of not being allowed to raise your child for whatever reason, and the joys of adopting. Adoptive parents tend to forget, in my mind, that the creation of their family meant the destruction of another. The pain of losing a child to adoption is always present to the first mother. And we are mothers, not baby producers so that people can adopt.

        I love our adopted daughter completely, but am always aware that she is, and always has been, of a different genetic background. She is totally different from our sons. And my surrendered daughter is almost my clone in attitude. Genetics are important!

    • I am an adopted child and I do not take offense to anything written. It is simply a fact that physically we may not look like our parents. As a bio mom now I love the fact that my kid looks like me but only because I have never seen anyone else in my family who looked like me. That being said, I never doubted my parents love me. After all, I was chosen and fought for 🙂

    • Josh if anyone’s writings were offensive, it was yours. Her post was wonderful. I am an adopted daughter and I have adopted children. There was absolutely nothing about this post that was offensive or hurtful. It was beautiful and reality. Thank you again, Kathy, for such a beautiful description of the trials and challenges of adoption and of the many wonderful blessings of that same process!!

  40. So much of this applies to fostering parents too! I haven’t been able to adopt yet, but I’ve been through so much of this as a foster mom!

  41. Wow! That was so beautifully written! I became a mom after dealing with infertility from endometriosis, multiple surgeries and finally a hysterectomy at age 24. Coincidentally, 20 years ago today, I brought home my first adopted child and it was the day before Mother’s Day. He was 4-1/2 months old, was a preemie and had special needs. Just over 12 years ago, after a divorce I remarried and gained a wonderful stepson that was 18 months younger than my son. Then about 10 years ago we “matched” with a birthmother and adopted our now 9-1/2-year-old son as a “healthy newborn.” Three years ago, I became a surrogate “mom” to a beautiful 21-year-old young lady who lost her own mother in a car accident when she was just 11 months old. We didn’t formally adopt her, but love her just the same. I said I’d finally gotten my girl, but God wasn’t finished with our family yet! On March 15, last year, after going thru 8 weeks of classes to do foster care, we were placed with a precious 15-month-old baby girl. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride, but we hope to soon adopt her and her 6-year-old sister who currently is in another foster home. We frequently get compliments on our “grandbaby” and love hearing how she and our other kids “look so much” like one of us! We just smile and nod! So that now makes 3 boys and 3 girls. I’ve never given birth to a child and sometimes I feel like I missed out by not having the experience of pregnancy and delivery, but I can’t imagine loving any of my children more than I already do. My wonderful husband sent me this link and I cried as I read it sitting here next to him. He often tells me that he “forgets” that the adopted ones aren’t biologically ours and loves them just the same as his biological son. Thank you so much for putting into words what so many of us have experienced and feel. I pray that God richly blesses you.

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so touched by everyone’s personal triumphs and challenges.

  42. We adopted a 17 year old that we knew only 6 months. There were no photos. None. We have to imagine her growing up with many different families. We will never share one moment of her childhood but we love her just like our biological children. It seems all the adoption stories I read about are like what you have written about but there are other adoption stories too. Thanks for sharing yours.

  43. I didn’t even realize I was feeling emotional tonight until I finished reading this while bawling! Thank you for reminding me. It’s so easy to forget in the midst of living life after adoption.

  44. Thank you for your words. They brought tears to my eyes. So many of the experiences you wrote about, I experienced. My husband and I have two precious boys that were adopted in two very different ways. We were so blessed to have the opportunity to meet their birthmoms and have a relationship with them prior to the boys births. I think about them on a daily basis and they continue to be in our prayers. Their courageous decision blessed us with our family. Throughout all the ups and downs of adoption, I will be eternally grateful.

    • If you are eternally grateful then allow her to be a part of their life. You could know family history and be able to fill out that paperwork at the doctor if you would include the birthparents in their lives. I don’t understand how more people loving a child can harm them. If they know they are loved by all of those in this process they wont have issues growing up. They will know they were given with love and accepted with love. To all of you adoptive parents that struggled so much, remember that you have your family because another family was destroyed.

      • We have our families because other families were destroyed?! Wow, harsh. I’m thankful for every single adoptive family on here willing to take in kids who are not their own. Whether they are from other countries or the US, whether they are babies, kids or teens. Doesn’t matter… I’m thankful for them all. For the sake of the KIDS. Don’t blame ANY of these families for the destruction of your family. My kid’s birth parents were completely destroying them. I don’t even like to think of what would have happened to them had we not stepped in and opened our home to them. Your situation is your own, so please don’t jump on people’s posts here and drag them down. If you want to deal with it, tell the adoptive parents of your children all of this. Not these people.

        • I think your response was well stated. While I think we all appreciate the selflessness and bravery it takes to put your childs best interests above your own by placing them for adoption, in so many cases I was appalled by what so many these sweet unborn infants were being exposed to. Marinated in alcohol, toxic drugs, and dangerous lifestyle choices that had nothing to do with socioeconomic status. Then there are the families I know fighting for the welfare of their foster children-who the state has to wrestle from abusive, neglectful, often horrible for the child situations. Sometimes so much damage has been done by the time they are finally released, that both the children and the foster families are permanently scarred and will be dealing with lifelong repercussions. Obviously there are many cases of loving birthmoms who took care for their babies and bravely placed them-but I have to say I was so naive and thought most people were careful once they knew they were pregnant-for the good of the baby. Seeing the sheer volume of prenatal abuse has been shocking to me. I feel badly for the lady from the previous post-she has clearly been frightened into believing that she may loose contact despite an open adoption. I wonder if there was a formal written agreement. I do think the malice she was demonstrating to ALL adoptive families is misplaced and uncalled for.

        • I think your response was well stated. While I think we all appreciate the selflessness and bravery it takes to put your childs best interests above your own by placing them for adoption, in so many cases I was appalled by what so many of these sweet unborn infants were being exposed to. Marinated in alcohol, toxic drugs, and dangerous lifestyle choices that had nothing to do with socioeconomic status. Then there are the families I know fighting for the welfare of their foster children-who the state has to wrestle from abusive, neglectful, often horrible for the child situations. Sometimes so much damage has been done by the time they are finally released, that both the children and the foster families are permanently scarred and will be dealing with lifelong repercussions. Obviously there are many cases of loving birthmoms who took care for their babies and bravely placed them-but I have to say I was so naive and thought most people were careful once they knew they were pregnant-for the good of the baby. Seeing the sheer volume of prenatal abuse has been shocking to me, and I cannot believe that they are not prosecuted. I feel badly for the lady from the previous post-she has clearly been frightened into believing that she may loose contact despite an open adoption, which I would hope any ethical adoptive family would only block if there was significant cause. I wonder if there was a formal written agreement about expected behavior, frequency of contact, etc. I do think the malice she was demonstrating to ALL adoptive families is misplaced and uncalled for. Thanks so much again for your original post-it has clearly touched so many of us.

        • I don’t have a problem with the adoptive parents they are wonderful. I see my twins all the time and I am very much a part of their lives and so are the four children that I parent. I too am grateful to those adoptive parents that take in children and live children that are not their own. I also feel sympathy for those that could not have their own children. I couldn’t imagine not being able to have a child. With that said. The truth is that many adoptive parents will tell another woman that the birth mom will always be a part of the child’s life. You can have visits and pics and updates and whatever else u want. And then after the child turns one or two or even three, Sometimes even right after the child is brought home the adoptive parents so oh sorry not gonna see your child. We lied or you called the baby yours when really he’s ours so u cannot see him. Or oh you did something I don’t like or Tue child is becoming too attached and I feel threatened so u can’t see him anymore. And whether u want to believe it or not. This happens in about 70% of adoptions and the truth is it does destroy a mother when she loses her child and then the child is ripped out of her life by some over jealous adoptive mother. And even though my adoption is wonderful and full of positives I cry every single day for my twins. There is an emptiness that will never go away. U think it hurts not being able to get pregnant. Try carrying a baby foe nine months, giving birth, and then handing him over to complete strangers who are now in control and can say one minute u can see them and then the next minute saying never mind we dint want u to see anymore because he cried last time u left. Again if adoptive parents want to show their gratefulness to a birth mom then treat her like family cause to that child she is family and their will never be any thing u can do about it. And even if u keep the birth mom out of your child’s life when that child is 18 they will still go looking for her. They will also have a huge hole if u keep their natural mother away from them. So think about that child and do what’s best for them.

  45. I have two biological daughters and an adopted son & daughter and are also adopting another daughter. All were adopted through foster care. This was very powerful! I have said adoption may not be labor of the body, but it is definitely labor of the heart. I cried when our adopted daughter started Kindergarten, what if they asked for a baby picture?! She came to us at the age of 4. I don’t know when she took her first steps, what her first word was and what she looked like as a little baby.

  46. Thank you so much for verbalizing the heart of an adoptive mom! It’s always good to know others truly understand.

  47. Thank you!! This is the best description I’ve ever read of what it’s like to be an adoptive parent…loved every word!!

  48. Timely words, spoken so beautifully–full of truth. Thank you! As a fellow adoptive mama, these words touched my heart profoundly.

  49. Thank-you! I felt as though you were sitting at the kitchen table here with me, affirming and encouraging me.

  50. Beautiful, poignant, eloquent, spot on.I can relate to everything, we all can . what a sisterhood we share. I am proud to be a part of it!

  51. Wow…what a perfect post! Every feeling an adoptive mommy has! I got this from a friend and reposted and had friends repost from me! I’ve read it and re-read it numerous times today, everytime with tears in my eyes. I have 2 perfect miracles, and we are waiting for one more miracle to join our family. I was the one in the foreign country the first two times, and this next time I will be the one in the hospital room. Thank you, again.

  52. I was going to say I love this, but the more appropriate statement is I lived this… it was almost as if you walked in my shoes for all of those days and miles, and tears and smiles… you spoke to me.

  53. As I held my sleeping daughter(adopted from China) in my arms today, I actually said the words out loud…”I love her more than my own life”. Thank you for this incredibly affirming blog! It has been a rough road, but so completely worth it!!

  54. Add in the foster care process and you have my husband and I. (We’re just starting the process!)

    Thank you for knowing we’re here and not letting us be invisible.


    • I feel like she hit the foster care process…the classes, the homestudies, they are all part of the foster care process too, one of the many roads to becoming a parent. SO well said!
      Good luck on your journey!

  55. You reminded me of so many parts of the adoption journey – waiting for ‘the’ call, cleaning before the caseworker came, wanting to scream it to the world, forgetting that 3 of the 8 are actually adopted. I was sitting her crying by the time I was done reading. Thank you for refreshing my memory.

  56. Aaawww- that is me. My beautiful little girl was adopted from Guatemala and I have felt most all of those things. I will be her best friend one day becuase I was adopted at birth too. GREAT WRITING.

  57. What touching words, thank you! I have 4 children, 3 of them I was blessed to adopt. I could relate to almost everything you wrote about! 🙂 on a similar note, last year I wrote a children’s book to remind adopted children that they were so special and loved they grew in not just 1 place but 2 places (once inside birth mom’s belly and once inside the adoptive mom’s heart)! What you wrote would make a beautiful story as well 🙂 Thanks again for sharing!!

  58. Although not an adopting parent…I’m as close as one can get without being. I gained guardianship of my grandson when he was 8 months old. From birth he stayed with me almost every weekend. My son and his girlfriend were young 21 and 18…they were really not prepared for the responsibility that a child would bring. My grandson only sees his mother a couple of times a year. And, now that my son has moved to another state, he only sees him a few times a year now. Your letter above was beautiful and I can relate to much of what you’ve written. My grandson is my little heart. I never knew I would be going through parenting again at this age, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We have had a special bond since his birth…I believe his little soul knew where unconditional love for him was going to come from…Thank you for sharing your gift with words 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing your story! You give me hope that we can foster or adopt again, even when we’re older.

  59. Thank you for echoing everything thing I’ve felt and am afraid to experience. Our son touched our lives and still does in so many profound ways. I am truly grateful to read this even through these tears, I had to tell you THANK YOU!

  60. Thank you for such a beautifully written and true celebration of the love and work that adoptive mama’s face. It is refreshing to meet someone who truly gets it. Have a wonderful day!

  61. Thank you for capturing so much of what I experienced in my journey to my beautiful daughter. The last paragraph made me sob! I am blessed with a child that adores me as much as I adore her. I thank God every day for my gift from heaven. She understands that my tears right now are happy tears. I am saving this article. It’s a keeper:)

  62. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. We adopted a little girl from the foster care about system 3 years ago. It was a long sad difficult process. So this time we decided to start the process to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome from Russia about 2 years ago. We flew out to meet her in July. Then Russia shut down before we could get back for court. I have friends who just cannot understand why I am still fighting to adopt a child I only spent 3 days with. There is no way I could ever explain what I saw at that institution in the 3 days I was there. I can never giver up. Not ever. My little girl will spend the rest of her life living there if I don’t keep on fighting. There are days I feel like I don’t have anything left to give, that I don’t have any energy left to fight. But I have to keep going for her. We promised her we would be back. We promised her a mom and dad. Thank you for knowing me and understanding why this means so much to me when there are so many who just don’t get it.

    • Oh, wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story. So inspirational. Good luck, don’t give up!

    • Katrinia your words are forever etched in my heart and I will be praying for you and your little girl. Never,ever give up. I am the mom of two very precious children from Russia and I cannot imagine what it is like to go, meet them, hold them, kiss them goodbye with promises of returning and then not being able to return. How devastating. We adoptive moms of older, perhaps, internationally born children know the angst of having to deal with the foreign country’s laws and court system. I will never forget standing in a very empty, stark courtroom praying that we would not make any mistakes in our answers – not to mention the language barrier and not understanding a word that was spoken other than dah (yes) and nit (no). I don’t know what we would have done had we not been able to bring our children home with us. But I do know that God is always in control and his timing is perfect. Hold onto that belief. It will get you through.

  63. Oh. My. Gosh! THANK YOU for this post! You put into words my emotions so eloquently. We just finalized our daughter’s adoption Yesterday. Your comments about letting out the breath we didn’t even know we were holding is so true! I’m sharing this on Facebook, Pinterest, and my blog. I hope you don’t mind. Now to go dry the tears before I get my phone any more wet 😉 Thanks again for your words.

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  65. Thank you for writing this. We adopted our son 26 years ago and I can still remember the call to tell me he was born, I was at work and my coworkers were as excited as I was. Getting up to check on him every few minutes that first night. Now my son is married and has a sweet little boy of his own.

  66. Love it. As a mother of an adopted boy reading this brought tears to my eyes because I felt every single emotion you talked about

  67. As the birthmother of a child who was adopted by a wonderful family, I found this an extremely beautiful, and emotional, read.

    • Addie, thank you so much for reading. I wondered how a birthmother would respond, how MY son’s birthmother will feel when reading it. Thank you for commenting, and for the brave, giving, loving soul you must be.

  68. Thank you so much for covering the WIDE range of emotion and trials we adoptive moms face. It was so great to be reminded of these things now as we’re struggling with our 9 year old wanting desparately to meet her birthmom. As you know, every situation is complicated and there is no manual. Thank you for helping me rediscover my resolve:)

  69. I am adopted. I also have two children that were adopted domestically through open adoption. The part of your story that resonated with me was the description of standing in the hospital not knowing my place.

    It was such a bittersweet moment to hear my baby’s first mom and her social worker talking. This brave, young, birth weary woman leaned over the bassinet. She looked at the tiny baby girl and said, “You have counseling, right? I will need counseling.” To which the social work said, “Yes, for however long you need it. For life, in fact.”

    At that moment I wanted to adopt the birthmom, too! My heart ached for her loss and conversely feared for my own. It was the most fragile moment.

    It’s funny how birthmoms and adoptive moms are both fighters, allies really, in a battle to give a child the best life they both dream of.

    • This is soooo true! Allies, that’s exactly what we are, birth mothers and adoptive mothers. There are so many that try to put us on different sides, but in reality we are on the same side with the same purpose – to give the best life we can to a baby. Thank you for saying this. It’s exactly how I feel.

    • I’m tearing up again. Thank you so much for sharing this! We pray for our son’s birth mom each day. She is amazing and after visiting with her for just a few hours, we formed such a bond. She is forever in our hearts and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and her amazing love.
      Thank you for your post. Mothers day is an emotional one for me, and reading all the great comments is therapeutic. Thank you!

  70. Thank you for putting such priceless feelings into words. My precious son is now a wonderful 26 year old man. I relived each part of the process through your thoughts,and cried at the end. We are a great group of souls bound together by this experience called adoption, and we are blessed!

  71. You nailed it. Five times I have been blessed by adoption, each one different, each one heart wrenching. Somehow you touched on every single one of them!

  72. Thank you so much…I too am an Adoptive mama waiting still for my two to come home…this just touched my heart…I had a good cry, much needed apparently…haha, thank you…

  73. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much for this. I, and many other adoptive mothers are sharing this on facebook, and it’s spreadying quickly. <3

  74. I have no other words to say except… thank you! Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing!

  75. Thank you for putting in words some indescribable things. I adopted a 7-year-old, so no new baby smell, but there is a love that is larger than anything I could ever imagine. And an urge to protect him like nothing else I have experienced in my life. Happy Mother’s Day!

  76. Your letter is absolutely correct and you did a great job capturing and explaining all of the feelings that we all have/had during our journey. Thank you and I wish everyone a very happy mother’s day.

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  78. Thank you so much for this beautiful article. You’ve made me cry right here at work. 🙂 I’m a mom of two internationally adopted girls–one of whom we had to work extra hard to finally be united with. It’s so hard to describe to people the deep deep love you can have for a baby/child even if technically you did not give birth. It’s hard to describe crying each day you are apart due to a million circumstances beyond your control until the day you finally hold that child in your arms. You explain everything perfectly. Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all Moms and Moms to be!

  79. Thank you so much for this! I cried my eyes out while reading it. My son will be 2 at the end of next month and he is the best part of my life. I am so happy that we have him. His adoption was a three year wait. We (my husband, son, and I) are currently a waiting family and have been since January. We adopted our son domestically and are waiting for another domestic infant adoption. Thank you for putting into words what the whole process is like. 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

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  81. Pingback: A Letter To Adoptive Mamas | ESL Marriage

  82. What about the women that gave up those infants at birth so that they could have these loving homes? What about them? Not all of them are drug addicts and alcoholics. Some of them wanted that child so much. Loved that child so much. So fiercely. The choice to place a child for adoption is the hardest one a mother can ever make. It is choice made from love. It is the choice to give away her very heart so that her son or daughter can have a future she cannot give him/her, and that pain never goes away.

    • Hey, Suzanne. The way I took this post, when it mentioned drug and alcohol exposure wasn’t that APs believe all birth parents exposed the children they placed to those elements, but that APs had to be prepared for anything because the care the child got in utero was completely out of our hands. I’d bet most adoptive parents who have commented love and respect the birth parents of their children, as I know I certainly do… but it doesn’t take away the fact that being a parent through adoption isn’t easy, just as being a birth parent isn’t easy. We each have our own struggles, so thank you Kathy for bringing the adoptive parent side of this to light so perfectly and so beautifully. I wouldn’t trade my son for a single thing in the entire world, but the journey wasn’t easy and still isn’t sometimes. It doesn’t mean I’d have it any other way, but it does feel good to know others have walked the same path.

    • Suzanne, I want to start by giving you a hug, because my heart is full thinking about my loving birthmother and the other strong birthmothers in my family who have made that sacrifice you talk about.
      I don’t believe that the drug/alcohol reference was a slight to birthparents or a generalization about them. If you notice, she covers each of many many adoptive scenarios as if they are the only one. Because when you are in that situation, it IS the only one. That situation applies to two of my siblings, but not myself, my other brother, my daughter, my mother or aunts. But, when dealing with my brother and sister who were heavily damaged by drugs and alcohol, it is ENORMOUS.
      Peace and love,
      (adoptee, daughter of adoptee, and adoptive mother)

  83. We are blessed to be attending the birth of our baby boy this coming Monday when the Birth Mother has a scheduled inducement…this letter perfectly describes where we have been, where we are now and where I am sure we are heading…thank you for providing the comfort of understanding today…

  84. I just met my daughter’s adopted 2yo girl a couple weeks ago. She was wonderful and all are doing well. This brought tears to my eyes, at work no less. Thank you.

  85. Thank you! As an adopted mom of a sibling group of four, I thank you for capturing the heart of every adopted mom. Happy Mother’s Day!

  86. Holy WOW. You have totally nailed it and I bow down to you and your magical words that describe for people who haven’t adopted just exactly what our special club is all about. Thank you.

  87. Thank you for these beautifull words! As an mother from an adopted daughter so nice to read. Greetings from the Netherlands.

  88. Kathy, from an adoptive mom to a special needs child from China (in the process)… Thank you!! Your words are so eloquent and touching. So much of this is familiar to me, even so early in our process. I am thankful to have found your blog. Keep it up, sister! 🙂

  89. I was in the privileged position to place many babies and toddlers for adoption in the care of their new moms and dads who flew from another continent to adopt them. Many nights at home – after an emotional day when we had to match an abandoned baby with a family or counselled a heartbroken biological mom, or placed a precious child in the arms of waiting parents, or witness the finalization of an adoption – I could let go of my emotions and cry tears of joy and also of sorrow. I am so blessed that after I have left the agency, many of the families and birthmoms still keep in contact with me. I am the “granny” and substitute “mom” of many and I am truly blessed because of that. And more so that I could witness that God’s Psalm 139-plan for their lives became a reality.

  90. Ok, this brought on the big, ugly cry! I loved it and felt that you captured so many thoughts and feelings that adoptive parents go through that nobody else will ever know about unless they join this great world of adoptive parents. Love, love, love it! I would love to share this on my blog as a guest post. Please let me know if that’s ok.

  91. Thank you for this truly aspiring writing. It has brought back many memories of the five years of waiting, endless paperwork, and so many appointments. Dreams do come true as our daughter was placed in our arms in 2010 in China! We have a new amazing extended family that shared our special day with us and continue to share the love for all of our girls that we brought home!

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  94. As someone in the process of waiting, this has shown up twice in the past two days. The first time I saw it, I was too emotional to read more than half of it. So this time I scrolled to where I had left off. I definitely finished with tears in my eyes! Thank you for your writing. It was truly beautiful.

  95. Thanks so much for the tears I just cried…as a biological mom of 2girls ages 17 & 13…. We have adopted 2 full brothers in 2008, followed by another little boy in 2012 that we got on Mothers day 2010 and in 2012 on Mothers day we got a 3 months little girl that we are in the process of adopting, but thats not all, only 3 months later we got a baby girl straight from the hospital that is the half sibling to the two older boy that we are now in the process of adopting. So as of today we are blessed to have a 17 yr old daughter, 13yr old daughter, 8yr old son, 6yr old son, 3yr old son and fostering/adopting 15 month and 10 month old girls! We have had shirts made up that says “Adoption Rocks” “Children are a gift from God no matter how you receive them”. The children that have been adopted have shirts that say “Adoption Rocks” “I was born in my mommies <3 " Foster care is a very hard thing to go through with lots of ups and down and heartbreaks but I would not change a thing! Mothers day is so special to me…I love being a mommy!!! Thanks so much for this post as I would love to pass it along to all of my friends. HAPPY MOMMY DAY TO ALL!!!

  96. I am both a mom through adoption (of 4) and an adoption facilitator. I lived through each one of your words as I read them both personally and professionally. I don’t think I have ever read any thing as simple and yet complex at the same time. Thank you form the bottom of my heart!

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  98. I have read this at least 10 times today. In the 4 1/2 years of being a mom, this is the first thing I’ve ever read that “gets it”. Really, really gets it. How many birth stories do we all know? We know the narratives of each and every friend, sister, cousin. How many hours, induced, natural, at home in the family bed, under a full moon. And we listen because it doesn’t hurt anymore the way it did before. But the nuances of adoption, of our labor, those we don’t share because our words are too small for their realties. Am I bonded enough? Will she change her mind? How together DO I look after the first 4 weeks? Because she could change her mind. Because.she.could.change.her. mind. I had fever dreams in the minutes between the colic that cloaked shadows were trying to pry the door open, squeeze in through the cracks of the windows. In this society, for as much as we talk about it, we are clueless as to what it really means, beyond Oliver Twist mythologies. These children are ours and they’re not. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for capturing the messy, gorgeous spirit of adoption.

  99. This couldn’t have been more perfect for me today, on my daughter’s 3rd birthday. Three years ago her and her birthmother made me a mom. Thank you.

  100. Thank you for writing this, it describes EXACTLY what I have experienced. This is truly beautiful, thank you.

  101. I am the proud Nana (grandmother) of two beautiful girls my daughter adopted from Russia 5 1/2 years ago. She is the awesome single Mum who went through what you described. I cried as I read your words, I thank you and I thank her for bringing these wonderful children into my life.

  102. This is probably the best piece I have ever read on the subject. It completely describes my situation. Thank you – from the bottom of my heart – for writing this.

  103. We are currently going through the adoption process and have been waiting about a year. I am so eager for the day when I get to look into that baby’s sweet eyes! Thank you for sharing this!

  104. This is the perfect description. I feel like you’ve had my experience, then realized how grateful I am that while we may be a minority, we’re not alone. I love the line that you can’t protect them from being different in a world that celebrates sameness. We just had our first cousin comment about not really being in our family. I needed this. Thanks.

  105. ♥ Even though our boys were 11 to 14 when God gave them to us I can still identify with this. ….love them to pieces….advocate for them continuosly for things like being put in the correct grade (not dumb just don’t know English), demand the extra help they need to understand assignments, tell them they are worth their weight in gold even though they don’t get asked to the Snowball dance (yea says the momma in me) and work to build godly men in a very few short years…our oldest will be a senior next fall. so yep, I can identify, in different ways but definetly can identify.

  106. I always kept my eyes out for families that adopted. Sometimes it’s obvious- other times it’s just in the clues-extra squeezes, more attention and general sense of joy in the adoptive parent’s faces. After 2 failed adoptions our world became complete when we were connected with our amazing birth mother. Two and a half years ago she made us parents with so much generosity of heart, mind and spirit. We see her heart in his smile every day. We love adoptive families. Thanks for giving all of us cozy, warm feelings.

  107. Your essay is touching. Being a birth child’s grandparent though, I don’t think that particular paragraph was especially kind.

  108. Wow, it was asif you knew our exact story and our feelings! We have adopted 2 boys, now 11 and 12. Both are true gifts from God! We were just able to spend time with one of our birthmoms this past weekend. She now has a new little baby that she is parenting. We feel so blessed to have this unique extended family. We are so blessed. My sister has also adopted seven children. Adoption has been the best for our families. Thanks for your wise and compassionate words!

  109. Thank you for seeing us, for understanding what we have been through. This is beautiful and wonderful!!! There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for understanding what it is truly like to adopt a child. Thank you for putting this into words better than I could have ever done!!!

  110. AWESOME! I LOVE this!

    PS- to those of you that don’t share the perspective of the author, get over yourself. You need not agree or even like it- but move on.

  111. The only words I can think to write right now are Thank You. For having the courage to write what so many fear. For wanting to love on us adoptive moms when we wonder if we’re going crazy for feeling all those things you wrote. For reminding me of all the bitter and sweet in bringing home our boys. And also for (maybe not meaning to) reminding me of the deep love we feel for our boys birth mamas this weekend. Saturday is Birthmother’s Day! Send her some love. She deserves it. Sorry if this comment doesn’t make sense. My mind/heart are going a little crazy after reading this post!

  112. Thank you for a thoughtful and well-written piece.
    adoptee, daughter of adoptee, and newly-minted adoptive mother

  113. Absolutely spot on! I relived my kids’ adoption while reading this. Brought back so many memories.. it is as if you were there! THANK YOU for writing this.

  114. Thank you for the beautiful post. When my daughter was 18 she got a tattoo (where you can’t see it) that says: Not of my blood … but of my heart! She knew I wouldn’t be mad at her, even though I strongly discourage tattoos. Your post says it all!

  115. This was so well written. In our family, my husband’s Mother was placed for adoption. I have given birth to two children; then one girl, 15 yrs. old, and one woman, 40 yrs. old, gave birth and let us adopt their children as well. Our oldest son and his wife have a son together and then adopted a baby girl. So, for three generations we have had adoption in our lives. So, thank you for taking time to write this it means a lot to have someone understand the roller coaster ride adopting is.

  116. Thank you. Tears started flowing about line 2 while my oldest son is upstairs wasting water in the shower, my baby daughter sucks air out of a juice box emptied hours ago by my son next to me, and my beautiful wonderful amazing youngest son awaits my arrival in China to bring him home. These are MY babies all born from another woman’s womb. God bless these amazing ladies and thank you God for my rockin’ great kids!

  117. This is great…..we have felt a lot of these things going thru this process. Meeting our attorney tomorrow for the first time. Adoption papers to be filed. Thank you for writing this.

  118. Wow!! I love this blog and can relate to all the emotions. I am so BLESSED with my boy and cannot express my LOVE, APPRECIATION and GRATITUDE to the birth mom for giving us this handsome boy. THANK YOU GOD as well.

  119. You have perfectly captured our experience. Thank you! I just had to go crawl into bed with each of my little love muffins for a minute after reading this. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  120. I really enjoyed reading this. I felt like you really covered all the diversity of experience there is in adoption and adoptive families.

  121. I will be sharing on Facebook. I have so many amazing friends who have adopted or are in the process of doing so simply because God laid it on their hearts. This is so beautifully written. Thank you!

  122. A beautiful piece that captures so many of the universal experiences with adoption. My husband, Richard Reiss wrote a memoir about our experience: Desperate Love: A Father’s Memoir. You can get it on Amazon. Our experience has been extremely challenging and also too common. I would be curious to know what you think.

  123. How beautiful, well written and right on. My adoption story is quite miraculous, I was a nurse working in L&D when a woman came in and wanted to give her baby up but hadn’t made any arrangement. I was the nurse (who she had agreed to give her baby to) who was telling her she didn’t have to go through with this, and I understood if she couldn’t (not wanting her to ever come back and say that I pressured her). So yes, my opportunity was “dropped in my lap”, and it is so hard to explain to someone how, yes, I loved this little peanut from the minute she was born, but it took so much longer to bond with her (than with my IVF son) because you are sooooo afraid that someone is going to take her away….but oh, when the bonding did happen, it was incredible. I always wondered if I could love a child (adopted) as much as I loved my son, but just like your last line says, in her I see “A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter, and who, if torn from you, would be like losing yourself.” I can’t imagine my life without our little miracle! Thanks for putting into words so well the feelings of those of us in the special club of adoptive mommas!

  124. Tears are streaming down my face as I read this. You have captured perfectly how my heart has felt at various times over this 6 year journey we have been on, still no adoption date but any day baby #4 will be added to our midst and we will begin again the long journey of foster parents hoping to adopt…Thank you for encouraging my heart!

  125. Very touched by your moving words! Thank you for sharing this beautiful work! It brought tears to my eyes and hope to my heart that one day I will be an adoptive Mom. 🙂

  126. This was beautifully written—everything I have felt as an adoptive mother–thank you for writing this–it will stay in my heart!

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  128. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts and words. I read every comment above and echo every word. Simply…I am the Mother of Hannah – 30 and Grant -27. Adoption has been a part of my life for 43 years. My husband is an attorney and we own Family Adoption Services in Birmingham, Alabama. We work adoptive couples and birth mothers. We have the best “job” in the world. It is a roller coaster of emotions. It is the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. I would not change a second of what we do. We have a web site…a Facebook page and I have just started a blog. I would love to talk with you sometime. &
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Hi Susan, Thanks for reading, and sure, drop me a line at kathy [at] anytime!

  129. Thank you Kathy, you have captured so perfectly the unique challenges that we adoptive mom’s face! I found myself filled with pride and tearful while reading this piece as I recognized so much of myself, a mom of 2 adopted children, in it.
    I hope you don’t mind, but I have reblogged it, with full credit to you, over on my own site.

  130. Hello, everyone! I wanted to apologize for not getting all of the wonderful comments left yesterday afternoon and evening posted until this morning, and also apologize for any problems accessing this post yesterday. Neither I nor my blog was used to this much traffic. 🙂 I continue to be overwhelmed and honored for everyone’s outpouring of emotion and all of the sharing of this post. Thank you all so much for reading, and I’m just so glad we’ve all “found” each other! And please, to anyone who has been hurt by some part of the post, please know that was never my intention. Much love to all. Thank you again for reminding me why I write.

  131. Without wishing to sound negative – us adoptive dads are in there too, we also struggle, strive and survive the process – often without the support networks that exist for the mums out there – spare a thought for us !!
    Father to 4, 2 bio 2 adopted (1 domestic, 1 International)

  132. I cannot even begin to tell you how this touched every single thread of my life-but it did. Thank you so so much for saying it so elequently for me. I think I have gone thru all of these experiences, and I didn’t realize EVERY adoptive mom & dad share these so often. I am going to print this off and give to my now grown 2 God-Given Children for Mother’s Day from me. THANK you so much for sharing our silent battles.

  133. This is so beautiful! I saw myself so many times as I read. Thank you for capturing the feelings so accurately!!!

  134. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. Our adoption case worker found this post, and posted the link to it for all her adoptive families to read. What a blessing this letter was for me to read today. Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!

  135. This was absolutely beautiful. Tears were flowing. I passed this onto my husband. Tears were flowing. With your permission, can I read this in my church on Sunday, giving you the credit? My pastor asked if I would bring some type of adoption awareness on Mother’s Day. I thought this to be perfect! LMK! Thank you!

  136. Hi Kathy,

    I know I already commented but since then I have noticed how many comments you are receiving and was hoping your readers and you might be able to help me out. I am headed to DC next week to speak with Senator Boxer about the adoption ban. There are many other families in the same position as me who are doing the same thing. We are taking letters with us to hand deliver to the Senators. The letters ask that they urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to make this a priority to get these precious children home. I have included the link to the letter here. I would love it if everyone over 18 who is a US citizen would take 2 minutes to sign it. The addresses will only be seen by the families delivering the letters and the Senators. If anyone would be willing to put the link on their blogs or FB pages that would be such a blessing to us. We will be printing the letters off on Sunday morning. Thank you 🙂

  137. It is almost 18 years since I first held my baby in China but your beautiful words made me feel as if I was living it all over again. Once I can finally wipe all my tears away, I will say Thank You for speaking for all of us in the Sisterhood….

  138. Overwhelmed! This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you so much for taking the time to put your thoughts and feelings down in such a beautiful post!

  139. Thanks so much for this beautifully written piece! Love the part where it said “maybe you did”(choose adoption as your first choice). I’ve always been bothered that people automatically assume this was my plan B. So thankful for the gift of adoption!

  140. Thank you for writing this. So perfect. I teared up many times as I read this feeling such depths of recognition that so often is not found in my parenting circles.

  141. You don’t even know me and you wrote this about ME…and yet also about so many other women. Thank you so much. You have blessed me today.

  142. All I can say is, Wow, from an hoping and praying, future adoptive foster dad. Thank you from me and my children’s mom.

  143. Kathy! Loved this article of Dear Moms of Adopted Children. I wanted more! You really touched my heart and left me yearning for more…

  144. Thank you for this. I am adopted (domestically) and I am adopting internationally now. 2 kids from the DRC. And my heart is so fragile. Everything changes almost every day. Our hearts are on what seems to be an endless roller coaster with long, slow, steep inclines, loops, sharp drops and that moment where you wonder what the heck you are doing, realizing you can’t (and don’t really want to) turn back now. This spoke to my heart this Mother’s Day weekend as I thought about what my adoptive mom has gone through and what I am going to encounter along the way. Thank you doesn’t even come close to saying enough. God bless you!

  145. Thank you for the essay, I have been dreading Mother’s day since it has been a difficult time for me. My adopted daughter is 17 and we have been having some hard times for the past 2.5 or 3 years now. I don’t feel like a good mom for like the less than perfect mom.

  146. You beautifully captured our experience with adoption. Our little girl will be 1 on Mother’s Day 🙂 So worth it ALL!

  147. Thank you for taking time to capture the journey of an Adoptive Mom. OMG! I cried the entire time I was reading it…my husband just kept asking what was wrong? I have a beautiful son…he is four and we were blessed with him when he was 2 months. What a journey this has been! Happy Mother’s Day to every Adoptive Mom.

  148. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I sat down at the computer this evening…but this was it! Thank you for those beautiful words.

  149. I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I sat down at the computer this evening…but this was it! Thank you for those beautiful words.

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  151. Thank you for this beautiful piece. I am the grandmother of a beautiful little girl born in Ethiopia. I traveled 3 1/2 years ago with my daughter, a single mom, to bring our little girl home. This piece is so true to our experience and the future we look forward to sharing with our precious little one who recently turned 5 yrs old.

  152. What a wonderful piece of work. My son is a 3rd generation adoption (my dad, myself and now my 18 months old son) and he is also a relative adoption. I don’t ever remember saying those 5 horrible words to my mom or even my dad. I would never have dreamed of it. I dread the day they come from my son. Thank you for such a compassionate writing of what it means to be an adoptive mother.

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  154. I haven’t stopped thinking of your words since I read them day before yesterday. You’ve clearly touched a lot of hearts. Thank you for creating something so recognizable, so authentic. Happy Mothers Day to one and all.

    • Hi there – why don’t you email and we can talk about agents and such? kathy {at} kathylynnharris [dot] com – thanks!

  155. Wow! It took me forever to read all the comments and get to this part where I can respond!!! You have obviously touched so many of us ( it was eye opening how many of “us” are out there). Beautifully said, ridiculously accurate and incredibly touching. I have two adopted boys, hoping to go for a third baby…and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything! I shared and shared and shared and shared this post with many on FB. This is what all the “I was just wondering……” people need to know ! Thank you..Cheers! Happy Mothers Day mommies!!!

  156. Thank you so much, everyone – your comments have touched me so deeply. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

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  160. I’m a French adoptive Mum since the beginning of this year , of two twin-girls aged 4, born in Thailand.
    I was very touched by your text, the feelings, doubts, fears you describe during the wait, but also the determination. And the perfect bliss you describe since being a Mum… I especially love the last sentence!!
    Thanks a lot for being so accurate and so touching. It is just a beautifull text, and I still think of it several days after discovering it ….
    I shared it on my FB, but I will also share it on my blog.
    Thanks a lot again,

  161. I finally feel i’ve gone full circle on all the above issues, Thank God.
    I’ve even been asked by a friend who recently found out my children were adopted,”What do they call you?” WTF. My sweet daughter sent me this post my children are 26-23.

    • I’ve also been asked (in front of my daughter, no less) how much she cost and if she understands English after spending the last 9 years of her life in the US. All you can do is laugh.

  162. I love your writing & how you touched on so many of the seemingly simple, yet hugely significant experiences that adoptive parents are challenged with. I am an adoptee & we have adopted 5 kids of our own. Can’t wait to read more of your writing!!!! theresa

  163. As a birthmother I want to thank you. This is an amazing perspective. I know the child I placed in his mommy’s arms at 2 days old is happy and healthy. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect adoptive family. They’re truly wonderful people. Sometimes I forget the struggle for them is at least as difficult as it was for me. They’re the ones that have to answer all of the why questionn an hope the answers they give are sufficient. Amazing post. Thank you.

  164. This was a wonderful and poignant description of so many of the experiences I had on my adoption journey. And the only part I disagree with is that last part, for were she ripped from me, I would lose far, far more than myself. Words fail me here, but it would be a loss more profound than anything I can imagine.

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  166. So wonderfully written! I have read and re-read this so many times and I cry every time! Shared with friends and family members… a great way for them to really see what we go through.

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  168. Thank you for this. I, like many of your readers, got teary reading it. Our daughter, whom we adopted 21 years ago, sent it to me. I’d like to (virtually) hold this piece up to those who said to me (no kidding!), “You had a baby the easy way.” I’d like to say, “Read this. Then maybe you’ll understand how ‘easy’ it was.” It wasn’t easy for me as a young woman unable to conceive and nearly sacrificing a marriage over the stress; it wasn’t easy for us as new parents having to explain to those who asked that this child is “our own”; it wasn’t easy for our daughter, who is of a different race and has all of her life gotten all kinds of crazy questions; it wasn’t easy for our wonderful, much-loved birth mother who, at 17, entrusted us (strangers to her) with her first-born. Nothing about it was easy. But it worked, through the sheer force of love. And this child, now an adult, has brought us together with a whole other family with whom we are connected in a beautiful, bittersweet kind of way that not many others will ever experience or understand. Thank you for your kind and senstive ode to adoptive mothers of all kinds.

  169. Wow. I love this! You are so right…I especially know how it is to cringe when I hear how lucky my children are…I feel that they are my luck. Thank you!!!!!

  170. I’m a birthmom and loved reading this post. I could relate to the nurse in the hospital saying we didn’t have to do this. But she wasn’t talking to me. I had no doubts that placing our child in a two parent home was the best for him. She was talking to the Father of that child. And to be honest, I was angry at the nurse. She didn’t know my boyfriend at all and didn’t know that our son would be much better off with someone else for parents than either of us at that point in our lives.

  171. Wow! Thank you for writing these beautiful, powerful words! It brought me to tears. I think because you were able to put into words what I’ve felt and experienced, but haven’t really had conversations about. Even with other adoptive moms – because we are too busy raising our kids now! I had the feeling of being “known” and understood. That you so much for the recognition of our unique path(s)!

  172. Ah yes. So beautiful and raw and ugly frustrating all at once. I’m still holding my breath. Matched with siblings, waiting, waiting and wondering. Is it real? Are they real? But they are, they’ve been in my heart longer than it takes to birth a child. And oh those unwanted questions and advice. So agonizing but so worth it. What a great post! Thank you.

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  174. As a Birth Mother, I want to say that we need more blogs like these. This is so raw, so BEAUTIFUL!
    I have come across -so- many Birth Mom websites, blogs, or “support” pages (looking for healing) but many of them are filled with misery, pain or hate aimed at agencies or adoptive families. For years, reading these (misguided) writings had me feeling mixed or confused emotions. Or, they left me wanting to”blame” someone else for the “emptiness” we endure after adoption. When in reality -I made- the choice and decision to finalize the adoption.
    I actually found this “letter” YOU wrote on another’s WordPress blog, thinking it was theirs. I must give credit where it is due. I would love to share your post on a BirthMom/ pregnancy site I am building.

      • I would love if everyone could share this for me. I am in the fight of my life right now for my daughter. I am sure you can all relate to how I must feel knowing she will grow up without a mom or dad because of this ban. My heart is broken thinking of her living out her life in a mental institution instead of home with us. We feel like this letter is our last hope.

        Natasha is a 7-year-old little girl with Down syndrome that Steve and Katrina were trying to adopt from Russia when the ban on adoptions was signed. There are approximately 300 children who met their prospective families that are now stuck in Russia because of the ban. You CAN help by calling your Senators and Congressman asking them to sign the letter that Senator Landrieu (pronounced Landrew) has sent them. This letter ask that President Obama address the adoption ban with President Putin at the June Summit Meeting in hopes of getting these children home. See who has signed by clicking the link that includes the phone numbers to these offices. Please SHARE with everyone you know. We have until Friday morning, March 24th to get this letter signed.
        Congressmen List
        Senator List

  175. My fb post when I shared your article…Nothing like a morning cry. It’s all true, all of this! And reading it feels so private. It’s all of the things that adoptive moms are so afraid to even say. I went back and forth about sharing this because it would be sharing a few of those very closed up feelings. But, for the benefit of my other adoptive family friends, I’m sharing. And for the benefit of my friends who are adopted, know that your mom LOVES you so much that she did all of this. After being through biological pregnancies, fostering and adopting I cringe when people have told me, “oh, you’re doing it the easy way.” when we adopted Ana. And yes, I heard that one many times. I’ve been blessed with many varieties of parenting and know that until you have experienced each, you just can’t judge another. Some people are blessed with children through pregnancy, some through adoption, some through fostering, some through being an aunt, some through work or community choices. Bless ALL of those mothers!

  176. Another blog that I read posted this today and I just wanted to thank you for writing it. As someone who is considering adoption (but hasn’t made up her mind yet) this piece shows that all my worries and doubts can still be a part of my life with an adopted child and that everything will be okay. I don’t have to be worry-free to be a good mom.

    • Gail, thanks so much for your note, and for reading. Good luck on your journey to the right decision for you. Adoption comes with unique challenges, but it also comes with unique joys, too. If you have any specific questions about an open domestic adoption, I’d be more than happy to chat by email. And if you’re considering a different type of adoption, I’m sure many of the people who have posted here would be glad to help, too. Best wishes!

  177. I just reread your letter tonight, after a friend left my house. She is also an adoptive mom and I wanted to forward this to her. It was just as powerful the second time I read it! Thank you for putting into words something that is sometimes so hard to describe. Our sweet miracle is asleep in his crib while his big brother (bio, 10 years old) is at his under the lights baseball game. They have an amazing relationship and Jack loves his baby brother more than anything in the world!! We waited a long time for Brendan to come home to us, and as Jack said once, “he was worth the wait!”

    We are truly fortunate to have a wonderful open adoption with his birthmom, who is a teenager. There are so many aspects to adoption, and your letter seemed to cover them all.

    Thank you again! And I look forward to reading your book!!


  178. thank you for writing this. it has really touched me and i find myself returning to your site often to read this. it is beautiful and I just love thinking of myself as a woman who makes. things. happen. it is true, but i never thought of it that way before, and i find a certain strength from thinking that now.

  179. Thank you so much for writing this.

    My mother was adopted. She went to live with my grandparents at 14, and they brought her into their family as if she had been there all along. The adoption was not finalized because of fear of retaliation from her biological parents. It wasn’t finalized until my mom made a brave decision right after my sister and I were born — to proceed with adult adoption in order to give us grandparents in every sense of the word. Finally, after all those years, my beautiful, wonderful mom had parents of her own, and I had grandparents. As the child of an adopted child, I, too, innocently asked all of those tough family tree questions, and struggled to understand how someone could treat my mother so badly that she would feel the need to leave them forever — so much so that she would wake up with PTSD symptoms at night. But, I delighted in knowing that not only had my grandparents chosen my mom, she had chosen them for herself, and for my sister and me. I don’t know my mom’s biological relatives, and frankly, I don’t care to. I know who my family is, and I praise God they are in my life.

    As in your story, I used to look into my grandmother’s eyes, looking for some sort of reflection, and unconditional love is all I’ve ever seen.

    My mother died in 2011 at the age of 50 from cancer. I was 21 and my sister 18. All we have left are our grandparents and aunts and uncles on Mom’s side. This story touched home, because I am *so* thankful my grandparents *and* my mom chose adoption, because without that wonderful gift, we would have nothing.

    • Wow, your story brought tears to me again, weeks after I wrote this blog post. Thanks so much for sharing your story, and for reading.

  180. This speaks to so many–myself included having adopted an infant from China. However, I’ve also adopted a teenager from China and she just returned from a week with family by herself. I’ve been highly criticized by my family for the way that we are parenting (i.e. limiting her “normal” teen experiences like facebook, driving, internet on her phone) because we feel she’s not ready. I was thinking of that as I read this…because I think there’s a piece that isn’t understood by many. When a teenager has only been home for 2 years and she’s constantly breaking trust and is developmentally & emotionally 5 yrs younger, we have to parent differently. Its like walking on a tightrope. Its tricky. Maybe we’re being overprotective, maybe we’re being just being wise. Time will tell.

    • Kris, you bring up an excellent point. Thanks for sharing your story. And you’re right. So much of being an adoptive parent is about finding our way in the dark, isn’t it? And only time will tell… Hang in there!

  181. Thank you! There are no words for the deep frustration, hurt and joy that is found through adoption but you have found them! We lost two of our foster sons and finally through a respite care visit we were blessed with two of the most amazing children. I laughed at the night before cleaning of the home study and cried because I am so lucky to have them. Thank you so much for words I couldn’t find myself!

    • I just cried for you, too. We are so lucky to have these kiddos!!! Thank you for reading and sharing your story, too.

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  184. In November 2012, we became foster parents for the first time. We brought a baby boy home from the hospital and had 4 days notice to get everything. In May, we got a call about his 9-year-old half brother. Talk about scary! To go from no kids, to a newborn, to a 9-year-old!? But in September, we will start the adoption process with both of these two boys. I can’t imagine life without them! This blog sums up everything I am constantly feeling SO PERFECTLY! People are always saying, “Oh, these boys are so lucky to have you! So blessed to have y’all as parents!” But no way. We are the blessed ones. They have changed our world upside down. And it’s worth every trial that we have had to go through to get to where we are now. 😀 Thanks SO MUCH for this post!

    • Wow – another wonderful story. Good luck with the adoption process, and thanks for sharing your story and for reading!

  185. Pingback: Dear Moms of Adopted Children | Suddenly a Mom

  186. Hi, This is a piece that comes from my heart like as if I had written it myself and is signed to myself. It’s so ironic that your name and adoption story is so very close to mine. I don’t know what more to say at this time, but your story is well after my own heart.
    Kathy Lynn (Harris) Bartosik

  187. We received a call yesterday that we were chosen by a birthmother to adopt her baby who is due in the spring. This will be our second child and our first one came to us through adoption in 2011. We are back to all the nervous excitement and anticipation… Our son will be a great big brother and we are grateful for this new adventure. 🙂

      • Thanks! We didn’t have advance notice on our son, just a phone call that said he was waiting to meet us at the hospital, so this is a new and different situation. I’m trying to remain cautiously optimistic about it all. 🙂

          • Hello again. 🙂

            Our family is growing. We are adopting another little boy who was born on Monday. We met him yesterday and spent the day with him and his birthmother. He will be coming home with us later this afternoon/evening.

            Our two and a half year old son, Ben, was over the moon to meet his little brother yesterday. He was already very protective of him and did not want the nurse to take him away for his bloodwork and hearing test. Ben also have the baby’s birth mother hugs and kisses and asked if she was in pain. Already he’s a great big brother. 🙂

            A new journey is just beginning…

          • What a wonderful story to add to all the others here. Congratulations!!

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  191. I know ALL about this stuff… got happy tears in my eyes from remember all this and going through it all… ah yes, and what an awesome match we got… our daughter was SO meant for us.

  192. So so beautifully written. You have a gift. As a mom by adoption, I feel stronger having read it. Thank you for having the courage to share this with the world.

    • “I feel stronger for having read it.” …. that’s the best kind of compliment, ever. Thanks so much! And thank you for reading.

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  194. I swear I posted this comment already but I’m not seeing it so I’m posting again… sorry if it’s a repeat!

    YES. All of this.. Yes. We have one child who was adopted internationally and one who was adopted through an open adoption in the US, so I can relate to all of this. You also nailed it with the “lucky” part. People always tell us how lucky our kids are that we “saved” them… We always tell them that they have it all wrong… that our kids are the ones who saved us.

    P.S. I just noticed the banner on your blog…. I am also a TX girl who as of 3 months ago is now living in the mountains of Colorado. <3

    • Thanks for reading and connecting! Would love to meet sometime in person or at least connect on Facebook maybe? Welcome to Colorado! Texas gals here gotta stick together or they’ll run us out. 🙂

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  196. As the adopted child, thank you!! I was adopted in the early 70’s and have the most wonderful family!! My sister, also adopted, adopted 2 of her own as well, then went on to get pregnant. My best friend, whom I saw this article through, has also 2 adopted and 2 biological children, and couldn’t be happier! I LOVE hearing stories about adoption and the joy and wonder it brings to lives and how it creates families!

  197. I am the birth mom…. I just wanted to thank you for the perspective of all of the adoptive parents out there. I placed my son Dylan 5 years ago with the wonderful Rhoade’s family. They went through almost all of these things that you talked about. It was hard for me in my situation because I didn’t know where I was going to be for the first five years of his life and my family tried to get me to not go through the adoption, but they only wanted to care for him for two years. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what was going to happen to my little boy or where he was going to be. You see I was being tried for a five year sentence because I protected myself from being raped in front of at the time barely one year old daughter. I had some friends that wanted to adopt and I knew my baby would be safe and kept in place just in case. Although yes I was ruled not guilty and that this precious little boy could be mine to cuddle, but now I couldn’t have it any other way seeing how his adoptive family loves him and coming over every so often to hear his mom reading him bedtime stories. There are some times that I would love to be there and cuddle him when he get a booboo and I still do, or to be there when he first walk or said his first word, or when we found out that he has Autism, but his family loves and I know he is taken care of and when it comes down to it that is all I ever wanted for my little boy. I LOVE YOU DYLAN! I ALWAYS WILL!

    • Thank you so much Sarah, for sharing your story. You sound like a very strong person, and Dylan will benefit from that his whole life.

    • Sarah, what a beautiful comment and a compelling story. Thank you for sharing your perspective with the rest of us. I’m an adoptive Mom and I am eternally grateful to my son’s birth-mother. I am as grateful to his birth-mother as I am to my own mother. As I would say to her, “Thank you from the core of our family. You made us a family.” That is a gravel road you’ve traveled. I send out a virtual hug to you and wish you peace and comfort. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Sarah. I am an adoptive mom and I have such love, admiration, and respect for my son’s birthmom. She sounds alot like you…and has so much love for him.

      I read this article for the first time in May 2013. I’ve since shared it with two other adoptive moms I know, and have subscribed to the comments as well. Each time I read comments posted by others, I feel such a connection and a sense of community–a mutual understanding among friends (something difficult to come by as most do not know the trials we have gone through to build our families). I can tell you truly how strong the bond of love is, and I would do anything for my son or for his birthmom. She is amazing and I love her so much!

  198. As an adopted child, I too appreciate your article.

    I’ve been lucky enough to ‘give back’ to the adoption agency I was adopted through by my mum and dad, and to hold coffee mornings to raise funds for the internationally recognised agency my birth mother placed me through. I’ve been lucky enough to meet my birth mother and father, so I got a closure about myself I didn’t know I needed before I met them.

    I’m blessed enough to know that my mum and dad would be my no 1 choice as parents like all of your children will feel about you, (if not now, then one day!). Despite knowing the heartache my lovely birth mother suffered as a result of decisions she was not really in charge of 40 + years ago, I’m lucky enough to know that my mum and dad were and are the best choice and fit for me.
    I’m able to tell all adopted mums and dads, that whilst there will be awkward days, and difficult times, it comes good in the end and it is all worth it as it is for all parents. Adopted kids, like any other, will eventually know that our parents were /are super heroes and suffered hugely for us. I know my dad still bristles when he talks of the social worker visits before I joined our family. He still vibrates with silent rage at the intrusiveness he doesn’t fully describe to me. I know though that he loves me and what he did for me he would do again, and the same is true of my Mum. I know what they, and you went through. It’s the same story really with different variations of the same theme.

    Thankyou to all adopted parents, and really, thank you does not even begin to cover it. Love to all. X

  199. Ugh! I’m a sobbing, blubbery mess after reading this! So true, and some of the questions haven’t come yet, but praying I have the right answers when they do.

  200. Pingback: What Adoption is Really Like | Just My Lucky Life

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  203. I read this story this morning, and I truly don’t think I’ve ever been so moved by an article on adoption. Sometimes people ask me what it was like to adopt. Honestly, there are no words to fully describe it, but the words you wrote come pretty close. I wept through reading it knowing so much of what you wrote are the words I never could find to utter myself. Thank you…from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to share this with others.

  204. As my children have aged into adulthood, all of the adoption stuff blurs into the background of everything else that goes into raising them. I happen to be a single parent and have adopted internationally and in the US. The title of your blog jumped out at me — it is a particular peeve of mine when the word “adopted” is used as an adjective. We don’t call other children by their means of joining the family (although it could be interesting and TMI descriptive). I consider it an action word, and certainly reflected that way in your piece. So that’s my little gripe, but you expressed yourself beautifully and tweaked at some memories that have been buried for 20+ years.

  205. Pingback: Dear Moms of Adopted Children | Kathy Lynn HarrisKathy Lynn Harris | Shelley Cadamy

  206. It took us 4 years to become adoptive parents. Our beautiful baby girl is now 19 months old and is going through her “throwing, biting, hitting” stage, which is made much more interesting by her teething. The last couple of days have been super rough, and as I try to keep my cool as she slams my glasses into my eye, for not the first time, I see your article. It made me cry. It took me back to that phone call that made us parents and to the courtroom where the judge made us a legal family.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Lisa. And hang in there. It only gets better and better and better. 🙂

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  208. We are in the later stages of being adoptive parents now. Our oldest who will be 19 this summer just met her birth family 2 weeks ago for the first time. It was not an open adoption but my daughter and her birth family both agreed on meeting. It has been an emotional roller coaster all over again but it has been a God thing from the beginning. I am so happy for her because she has wanted this for so long but there are a lot of other emotions thrown in that I can not put into words. With God all things are possible.

  209. My adopted special needs twin boys are now 24 and the emotional roller coaster continues. How do you respond to a young man with (mild) developmental delays (the result of neglect and abuse) who in the midst of trying to be independent says, “I wish I came from your womb because then I’d be a genius.” He cried and I cried.

  210. Wow. Very well written! My husband and I adopted 6 children nov 26 2013. All siblings, and its as if u was really there watching what we went thru and how hard it still can be. Thank you for writting this.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Amy. I cannot imagine adopting 6 children all at once! How amazing …

  211. I’ve read this before, Kathy, and it’s so wonderfully written! You really speak to all of us a-mamas at the core. Everything from the paperwork and fingerprinting to the checking of our emotions, and the tough questions. (I always cry at “how come, mama? How come?” You’d think I’d see it coming by now!) Thanks so much for writing!

  212. As I read this, my heart is so heavy, it took me the road that lead my husband & I to our daughter who is 4; the journey that takes you to any & all emotions known to man, but once you hold that child in your arms, knowing it was worth it all! Thank you for your beautiful words.

  213. Pingback: Dear Mom of an Adopted Child | Home At Last

  214. Thank you so much for writing this. I started crying before I even finished reading the first paragraph.
    As an adoptive mommy, it is so difficult to explain to people I feel. And it’s very hard for them to even comprehend any of it.
    It was like you were inside my head and my heart. and it was wonderfully refreshing to read you describe life as an adoptive mommy so perfectly.
    I am so grateful for my 2 beautiful sons, now 3 years old and 8 months, but the feelings you described never really go away. They fade after a while, for sure.
    We also had a just about 100% certain private adoption recently fail of a third child we never expected. It was heartbreaking and devastating. And although it did really work out for the best, it’s a painful wound that’s still quite new and raw.
    But the feelings of ‘differentness’ never really go away. I’ve written about adoption several times in my own blog, but this has inspired me to go a little deeper into it for an upcoming post.
    Thank you so much for writing this, and I’m grateful to my good friend, Andrea, for posting this for me.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Karen. And my heart aches for your latest experience. Hug those babies tight, and know that other adoptive moms out here get what you’re feeling.

  215. Absolutely beautiful. I am not through the whole adoption process as yet and haven’t met my little boy, but my heart already resonates with so much in this letter. Stunningly written!

  216. Thank you so much for this beautiful blog post! I have two adopted children and related so well to the moments that you described perfectly! It was wonderful!! God bless you!

  217. Truly beautiful and touching beyond words! As a labor and delivery nurse I can say that I have witnessed some of these moments but as a foster mom, soon to be adoptive mom to 5 (ages 18 months, 2, 2, 3 and 8) along with 2 amazing bio kids (ages 15 and 19) I have witnessed most of these moments. From child to child each moment is unique and everlasting in many different ways… some good, some not so good, but none the less they are cherished and all part of the journey we have been on! You brought me to tears… thank you for sharing! We all need a little more of this in our world… inspiring, heartfelt, honest words that so many of us can relate to! 🙂

  218. I just read this, crying the whole way through. Because it is absolute truth. And I have felt almost every single situation you just wrote about. Wow…Thank you for putting it into words.

  219. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day: an adoptive mom’s perspective | Our adoption blessing

  220. I can’t tell you how much reading this means to me. We’ve just newly adopted a 4 1/2 year old boy and it’s tough. I have been holding my breath for what seems like years.

    I needed to hear what you wrote and to know that I’m not the only one to feel like this. Thank you so much.

    Thank you so much.

  221. Kathy,

    I could feel everything that you wrote. Your writing is insightful and heart wrenching and almost everything I have been through and could relate to but could not put it in words as good as you.
    Thank you,

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  223. Pingback: Kathy Harris’ Letter to Mothers of an Adopted Child – Perfect – Stealing Nectar

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  225. Thank you! Your words deeply blessed this mama today as we are still waiting in Uganda. I have custody of both my girls but were not finished yet, still waiting. Thank you for the blessing of your sweet words.

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  227. Kathy Lynn,
    This was absolutely beautiful!! I have 6 children… 2 biological and 4 adopted through foster care. I adopted one as a teen and a sibling group a three, one of them with special needs. I’m also an advocate for recruiting foster and adoptive families in our area. I’ve read a “gazillion” articles about adopting and few of them move me to tears the way yours did. Thank you for being honest and sharing your heart. As parents, we understand the heartache and anticipation and excitement that comes with adopting and it brings us together in a way that only another adoptive parent can truly understand. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. The line about holding your breath until adoption day…. and family tree projects (or timeline projects at my kids’ school)…. or family medical histories…. you get it!!! Perfectly!!! Beautiful!!

    • Thank you so much, Lora! For reading and for the kind words. I’m so glad we’ve connected. And congratulations on your family!

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  229. well said!! We’ve seen both sides of adoption, as the parents of a nearly eleven-year-old Ukrainian child, who later placed her own first child for adoption. I know the joy of hugging her for the first time after all the months and mounds of paper and travel, and how it feels to hug her as she did the most courageous, generous, compassionate thing in the world – to sign papers and walk out of the hospital with empty arms, and a simutaneuosly full and empy heart.

  230. This is very sweet and gives me a perspective on what my child’s adoptive mom went through. I know it’s tough on both ends. You should do one from the birth mom’s perspective that would be great.

    • Thanks for reading, Danielle. I don’t think I could ever write a letter to all those birth moms out there. I can’t begin to put myself in their place. We are so thankful for our son’s birth mom. She has given us a gift unlike any other on earth. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  231. love!!! Can I share this on my blog??? We adopted through foster care and now on the journey to adopting an infant. I cried reading this!!! Absolutely my heart in words. Thank you!!!!

    • Hi Kristie, thank you for reading and for the kind words. And yes, feel free to share. Just credit Thank you!

  232. As an adoptive mother, it is rare to find an article that really shares a full picture of the heartache and joy. Thank you for your words. We received our boys at 6 weeks old as our Foster Sons. After two years of praying and watching them grow, we were able to adopt them and officially call them our sons. They are now 5 and while life is not easy, I will do anything for my boys.

    Here is a video I created about our journey to becoming a family.

  233. Thank you. Your words are exactly how I felt/feel. I am a mom of three beautiful boys through adoption. They are our world.

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  235. Thank you…My boy is 16 now and I remember all of this like it was yesterday!
    The best decision that I ever made.

  236. Found this while waiting in the parking lot for my daughter to finish ballet. Trying to keep my face down so the other moms parked near by don’t see my tears. I, of course, read it three times. Each time sobbing a little more. But totally appreciating that someone else completely understands me! Thank you for writing this! Amazing

  237. Thank you for this. Our adopted son is our whole world. The challenges you write about are real, many are unexpected and we find ourselves struggling to address. For example, a woman in a restaurant, right in front of our son, asked “so what’s the deal, are you his grandparents, or is he adopted”? I was in shock. But then there are also the cute moments like when my son looks into my eyes and says “mommy, why are your eyes blue and mine are brown”? I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story and for reading and commenting! Happy belated mother’s day!

  238. Wonderful post. I related to it and the ending moved me to tears. It didn’t really talk about adopting older kids through foster care, but maybe that wasn’t the intent.

  239. Wonderful!!! It made me ugly cry at work! Good thing I can shut the door to my office… 🙂

    (Mom of 2 amazing little girls via adoption)

  240. A coincidence or not? I read this letter on our way back from the court house. We are now half a step away from finalizing our son’s adoption.I would like to bring this out and save it. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us.

  241. Thank you for this! My husband and I just completed an adoption of our amazing little princess in April! Life as an adoptive parent is exactly how you explained it! This gave alot of my friends clarity on how and what I’ve been threw. Since none of them have been threw the process. It has enlightened them of me since it can be so hard to explain!

  242. My wonderful son sent me your “Moms of Adopted Children” from Huffington Post and found it so insightful and it brought me to tears as I reflected back on the days of our journey through adoptions with our three children. I was the Mom waiting at the airport, with my husband to meet our children for the very first time as their United Airline Airplane arrived from Hong Kong. Thank you for putting this into words.

  243. Many, many thanks to everyone for reading my work and for the kind words. I’m just so honored that something I wrote one evening, quickly, has some meaning and value beyond my own crazy head. Thank you!

  244. This made me cry today, again……I first cried when my perfect daughter received her graduate degree today. She came home to us straight from the hospital and made us the luckiest people we knew. Your words were the perfect way to end this beautiful day with our sweet, smart, perfect adopted daughter (with a Master’s degree!). Sitting in the audience with us was her perfect kind, smart perfect adopted brother. His master’s degree is coming at the end of the year. We thought we were the luckiest and most terrified people on the face of the planet the day we met her. It has been quite the ride, but no matter the heartache and terror that can come from adoption, every day since that first day we know that we are luckier and luckier to be the parents of these two, now grown wonderful children. Your letter described so much of the last 25 years of my life. Thank you for your letter.

  245. Dear Kathy,

    I just read your beautiful article today, a little later than Mothers’ Day, but everyday is Mother’s Day for me! Thank you for writing to all of us Moms who conceived in our hearts. You brought tears to my eyes. Not many people really know what we go through to become Moms, and how much we can be overlooked as the “real” thing. You are a very special person sharing your thoughts and heart to us. Thank you. I couldn’t have said it better!

  246. Not all adopted children are adopted as babies. My wife and I adopted a teenager and it doesn’t change anything. This post just seems to be very much focused on the “baby” part of things.

  247. An amazing story and it truly captured what was, what has been and I know for a fact, what will be some day. Our adopted son will be turning 5 soon (we’ve had him from birth) and what a blessing he has been. My husband even shed a few tears when I read it to him. I sat there saying to myself, “yes, I felt that and yes, that happened and, wow, I totally felt that way without anyone knowing about it.” Thank you for writing it, sharing it, and for giving my heart more of a voice then I realized and I had kept it silent.

  248. I love this! Beautifully written! I was adopted at 6 weeks old, I’m now 32… My mom always told me stories about the process of adoption and how nervous she was… She told me about rejection letters, heartbreaks, and sleepless nights.. When I read this I cried like a baby its been awhile since we talked about adoption… I sent this to her and let her know how much I love her and thanked her for everything she’s done and still does for me! Thank you for this!!!!

    • Heather, thank you so much for reading, saying kind words about my work, and sharing your story. I love to hear from adopted kids (even when they’re not kids anymore, like you!) Thanks again.

  249. From Spain, and right now waiting for THAT CALL, I want to thank you for this article. I never read anything better to describe exactly how I feel.
    My husband and I are crying right now, but we are happy too, because we know that our choice is right.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, it helps, because all of us have the same fears, and it is important to know that we can defeat them with love.
    Thanks, you have made us cry and smule at the same time

  250. I am a birth mom. I placed twins for adoption just over a year ago. The adoptive parents are wonderful and I understand their struggle. And this post is wonderful except for certain parts. I understand that some adopt children from other countries or from foster home and know little to nothing about the birth parents and they need to be prepared for everything. But for those that meet the birth parents, adopt their babies, and then walk away. How dare you say you are grateful to them. If you were grateful then you would keep the birth parents in your child’s life. And you would give them enough visits that the child wouldn’t have problems after visiting them. It could and should be like an extended family not just someone they see once or twice a year. The child would know from the start that they are loved all around and weren’t just carelessly given away by people that don’t care. I love my twins endlessly and I placed them so the twins and my parented children would not suffer. I gave up my happiness to save my family. I feel bad for those that cannot give birth to a child. but you have no idea how much pain we are in every single day and will be for the rest of our lives watching someone else raise our child. You think that people don’t acknowledge you as a true parent. Well we don’t get acknowledged as parents at all. We don’t get to celebrate mothers day. We don’t get to give baths and good night kisses. Why not try to understand our pain and let us help with your child. You don’t think that we don’t know that they are not our children any more. We signed papers too. We waited for the dreadful day we had to go in front of a judge and admit that we could not raise our children. The day at the hospital they you celebrated bringing your child home we were devasted and we mourned the loss of our child. We went into the hospital full of life and love and walked out a shattered mess with no one there to help us. We handed you are hearts. And we watch you crush them over an over again everytime you tell your child that you are their mother. Every time we see pictures of you loving your child our hearts break again and again. We love updates and pictures but what we would love more than anything is to spend time with our child. To be able to love our child without the fear of you closing the door in our face because we say or do something you don’t like or that you find threatening. What we would love more than anything is for you to tell your child that hey this is your mom too. This is your family too. I am sorry that it was a struggle for you but our struggle can not be fixed with the love of a child unless you allow it. You have the control, if you want to do best by your child and show your gratefulness then allow the birth mom to be a mom. Let her be their just as much as you are. When you were waiting, us birthmoms let you be in the delivery room, we let you come to appts, we let you share the only time we had with our child. Why cant you do the same. Invite us to doctor appts, and that first birthday, and Christmas dinner, and the first haircut. Allow the child to have more than just one family.

    • Hi Sara. Thank you for your insight from the birthmother’s point of view. I will say that I am truly grateful for our birthmom and love her like my own daughter! She was just 16 when she had “our” son. He is both of ours. We are fortunate that she lives close by and see her and her mom every couple of months. She stood up on the altar at his baptism, we went to her high school graduation. They come to all the birthdays. I invited her to come parent help at his little school (he is only 3). So I just wanted you to know that not all adoptive parents received this most wonderful gift and disappear. We pray for our birth family every night. She is Mema to our son. Birthmom Meghan just sounded too cold, so together we came up with this nickname. She just had another baby, and we gave her a greatest little sister tee shirt, among other things!

      I hope at some point your adoptive family will open up more to you, because it sounds like you would love more time. I know open adoption does scare a lot of families, but there are also a lot that embrace it. Best of luck to you.

      • Thank you y for your comment. Actually i have a great relationship with the adoptive family. My kids and i see the twins at least once a month and she texts me all the time. My comments are more to stand up for some of my friends that have been booted out of their child’s lives. And the part in this post about the child being upset after visits with the birth family I found offensive. Because I believe that if the birth family is allowed to be in the child’s life more then the child wouldn’t beset after visits. Plus there were a few comments about how grateful the adoptive parents are but yet those same adoptive parents do not let the birth mom to be a part of the child’s life on a regular basis. I am appreciative to u and to other adoptive parents that keep their word and allow the birth parents to have an active role in the child’s life. People such as yourself are amazing. I parent four of my own children that I had before the twins that I placed. And I couldn’t ever imagine telling my child hey u have another family that u can’t see. I know as parents we feel sometimes we are only doing what’s best for our children when we say well I don’t want u seeing this person or that person because we think they will only hurt you but in all reality shouldn’t we let our children decide for themselves if someone is bad. For instance my husband his father was in and out of his life and it hurt my husband badly. But his father wants to be a grandfather to our kids and my husband is very cautious about letting the kids have a relationship with their grandfather. But I believe and he has shown that he is a way better grandad than he was ever dad. So I told my husband he needs to let let he kids have a relationship with him and let the kids decide for themselves. I think it should be the same in adoptive situations. We all make mistakes and we all grow and learn. But should we be codemmend because of one or two mistakes. Obviously if u have a birth parent that is a drug addict and visits would put the child in actual harm then that’s different. Anyways thanks for your comment and enjoy that little one and thanks for allowing the birth mom to be there.

      • I would loved to know more about my twins family but we have very little information. How ever my other son knows his mom and grandma and grandpa and his uncle.and his sister. It’s a wonderful thing because he now knows where he comes from and gets to see people that look like him and has that connection. They are great family and love them like they are own family. We adopted from the foster care system.

        • Thank you for giving your sons family a chance to be a part of his life. As I said before I do understand that some adoptees are from foster care and other countries and so its difficult if not impossible to include the birth families. I’m strictly talking about adoptions of children who are placed with consent from the birth mom.

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  252. As a Dad I loved it. We adopted 3 boys several years ago from the state and we love them with all ourHeart. But I always say we are the lucky ones not them. And the struggles from the process to adopt to dealing with issues. my wife is great she is always fighting for my boys to get the right education. Make sure the get the best medical needs she is Rock for these boys

  253. No matter how many times I read this it makes me cry. Every. Time. It’s the most honest and accurate thing I have ever read about adoption. It’s my story. Thank you for writing it.

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  256. Thanks! But I Insist, Thank you!

    January ninth, nineteen hundred eighty
    Warily, I moved you on as a healthy, warm and cuddly baby.
    I vowed not to give birth ever again to another child
    As I knew I would be hurting to often thinking of you.

    Now on January ninth, two thousand five
    You will be celebrating twenty-five years of life.
    I have thought of you over and over again since your birth.
    Alone I wonder do you think of me as well?
    Fall Harvest grows somewhere to complete a grand feast.
    Soon after it’s cold, more holidays to celebrate.
    Have you enjoyed giving thanks the months of November?
    Do you look up to the East Star the months of December?

    Sunday, January Ninth, Two Thousand Five
    A beautiful day covered with bright sunshine….
    The night filled with stars and a silvery moonlight….
    Are your heart and soul the guides to the freedom of life?
    Spring has arrived although winter’s still present.
    Warm sunshine, flowers blooming and foliage are missing.
    A letter to you was sent by an angel, no reply has been received.
    Did you read the few words that I’ve held for so long?
    That ten years ago you were asking, Who is my birth family?

    Now as nature waits for the warmth of the sun to
    Bring out the glorious colors of pre-summer fun.
    I too wait and wonder will I hear from you before then?
    Or must I wait full circle for the seasons to change again and again
    and again and again until no end?

    I could not wait! I had to find out so I contacted your brother.
    He was so kind to send you my line, you just as well sent me mine.
    A great surprise it was indeed for me but mostly a shocker for thee:

    “This is just so much to handle just because I have always wondered and now all this information is right in front of me and it just blows my mind.
    I wonder every year on my birthday if you think of me and
    It seems that you think of me more than just on my birthday.
    That makes me feel feelings that I have never felt before.
    Thanks to you I have had a wonderful life and not days go by
    I wonder who you are and how you made such a hard decision.
    I think that I might need some time to gather all this information.
    If that is fine with you let me know and I will get back to you soon.
    Thanks for everything.”

    Okay, I’ll be here doing the same. I’ll be here when you’re ready.
    I am at ease now that I heard this from you and
    Not from those who think they know what is best for us.
    Thank you!

    August 16, 2005
    6:24 pm

    • I posted this poem I wrote about how I feel as a Birthmother, not to offend Adoptive Mothers. Also, I wanted to let Adoptive Mothers know that many Birthmothers live the rest of their lives with an emptiness that will never be filled. Many of us wanted a good life for our children with a Mother and Father, and maybe even siblings; a life that we were unable to provide.

  257. This was beautiful! After adopting our 12th child and feeling just as much tug and pull with each one, whether they arrived in our family as an infant or 7 years old, I can so relate! Thank you for putting it all into words. I haven’t had a chance to even TRY to write down my feelings! 😉 Thank you though!

  258. After almost 9 L o o o o o o o n g years adoption day for us has finally been set for March 11th! Thank you for writing this piece, it is always reassuring to know someone understands how I feel!

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  260. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writting this. As a mother of Foster children, adopted Foster Children and a private adoption child this spoke to me so deeply. I cried and cried. I had the immense feeling of “someone finally sees”. You were able to put into words years and years of my heart’s experiences. I wish I could give you a hug.

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  262. Beautifully written to comfort family’s that have adopted. I am and adoptee and what everyone in both parties involved in the process of adoption whether open or closed adoption need to realize is you all are taking care of a need of yours. Although an adoptee will be forever grateful for the unconditional love given by both parties. Please always remember that the adoptee did not get a choice in any of this. It’s hard with what each party goes through but in the end it is hardest on the adoptee. An adoptee of a closed adoption is denied their constitutional rights and denied their identity. A open adoption is a much better choice. Please do not ever keep from an adoptee that they are adopted. Should an adoptee want to locate a birthparent don’t be offended let them. The birth parent is a part of their being. The adoptee will always love the adopted parent who raised them as their true parent and the biological parent gave them traits and genes. Do not make adoptees feel like they should be grateful you decided to adopt them. It is extremely important you gather all health information on biological families and have contact with them if posiible. Let your adoptee decide down the rd if they want the connection if the biological parents even want one. Regardless your adopted child will need medical history throughout their life and it would be very helpful. A Adoptee should not feel like they were bought or treated differently. There should always be understanding around this topic and remember to not fill your needs for the adoption it should always be the needs for the adoptee. In the end we the adoptee are denied who we were made up of. All the unconditional love does not replace the fact that we may never know part of our identity. I personally have met one of my biological parents due always wanting to and for medical issues. I can truly say I’m lucky to have been able to do this coming from a closed adoption. I did all the research for years and eventually found her. I noticed for the first time in my life where my hands came from, my love for animals and nature. You feel a connection that is very different then from your parents the adopted family. It was very special meeting my half sister and that is for the first time I felt fully complete as a person. It will not be the same for every adoptee and not all adoptees will want to find the biological parent. But if it is possible to get a open adoption do it, get all health info and have contact with biological family it will really enhance your adoptee child’s life. You are providing truly unconditional love when you allow this and do all you can to let your adoptee know who they are. Remember this about the adoptees needs and rights. Loving them unconditionally is being open and providing all this information and a connection if the adoptee wants it. An Adoptee will be forever grateful for that kind of love. In the end the adoptee suffers the loss it should have had with the biological mother at birth and early stages of life that connection is lost. Look up Joe Soll from the Adoption Healing Network he helps Adoptees and really gives you an idea about what the adoptee goes through and has books, a online free chat and networking. In the end an adoptee is forever grateful for the bio family not aborting them and giving them life and forever grateful for the parents the adopted family that helped build and give unconditional love their whole life to make them into who they are. If you have your health you have it all!!! So make sure you all get that medical information for your adoptee and get that line of connection available with bio parents should your adoptee need it. God planned you in the stars to have each and every adoptee to do what is right and not fullfill just your needs but always to be the advocate for your Adoptee they will be forever grateful if you can be open hearted and open minded to this type of process. In the end a adoptee would have liked to have never been given up and adopted but we did not get the choice. That’s why it’s so important to have all this available for the adoptee. Having the chance to grow up in a loving environment with parents that love you unconditionally is a beautiful thing and the adopted parent which I call and think of as the parent will always be loved unconditional and because you were there for it all and helped shape who we are. So don’t stress and make a big deal of all you went through to get the adoptee but be grateful you have a child to raise and call yours. Even if you do end up sharing information on bio family or a connection that love and openness you provide will be felt and the adoptee will be forever grateful.

    • Dear Jenny,
      I appreciate what you are saying! I feel as an adoptive Mom, I would like to respond to a few comments. Especially for a causal reader or someone just exploring adoption without living it or studying it.

      “Please always remember that the adoptee did not get a choice in any of this.”
      “In the end a adoptee would have liked to have never been given up and adopted but we did not get the choice.” Well, actually most adoptive parents didn’t get the choice to birth this child biologically, or they would have. You’ll find we prayed that we could have birthed this child. It is by far the easiest road. But I fully believe it is God’s will to have infertile couples to help with those unplanned pregnancies. He has perfect plans. And adoption is one of those.

      “It’s hard with what each party goes through but in the end it is hardest on the adoptee.” No body can judge what is the hardest… like the saying goes: until you’ve walked in “my” shoes. I would never compare my hardship to my birthmother’s hardship or your hardship. We are all winners! and We have all been through difficult times.

      “It is extremely important you gather all health information on biological families”. 1000% agree

      “denied their identity” I understand what you mean, but hope you also understand that your identity is WAY more than biology. And being “denied” some things is appropriate for a child not mature enough to handle information. When mature enough… absolutely. But it could do more harm than good for a child to know he/she was a child of rape or incest or prostitution or from a birthmother with drug issues. Even from birthmothers that are clean living and are as perfect as you can get, that had an unplanned pregnancy and were smart and loving enough to choose adoption, explaining this at a nonmature age can open a flood gate of unneccessary problems. So I just want to add that full information can be saved for appropriate times. And most people that adopt have studied enough and are loving enough to do this at the appropriate time.

      One of the best pieces of advice I got early on from an expert is, don’t be the one to share your child’s story. Allow him/her to explain it to others when they are old enough and want to and feel the need to share what their age appropriate info is. Keep their adoption information for them to share, not you. I had plenty of adults question me about too much. I shared very limited, because my child was not of the age to know this, so they shouldn’t either.

      “So don’t stress and make a big deal of all you went through to get the adoptee but be grateful you have a child to raise and call yours”. I think you may be missing the point of this piece that was so beautifully written. There is plenty of stress… and it’s a huge deal… mostly known only by those that have shared this walk. The average person has no idea. This blog is a wonderful sharing and celebration of that effort!!! And we are sooooooo grateful to have a child to raise and call ours!

      So, I believe we are on the same team, different experiences influence our thoughts. Bottom line, if there is a kid out there that needs a home, I pray they get it. Adoption is a wonderful solution. I hope you agree.

      May God bless you always!

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  264. Wow! You nailed it! I’m so thankful to get to read this… through tears… and probably the best piece I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing my heart so well.

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’m so glad you found comfort in my post. Happy belated mother’s day!

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  266. I saved this from 2013 when my (adopted) children were 1 and 3. So many points hit even harder now. Love this as much today as I did almost 10 years ago.

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