Category archives: Adoption story

Questions for My Birth Mom (And What To Do With Our Hard Things)

There are a hundred things I want to tell you these days. But, it’s hard for me to get my fanny over here to this quiet place to scribble it down for you. Because I figure out what I want to tell you when I’m driving down the highway, or when I’m taking a shower, or mopping the floor or standing in the check-out line. And how do I save it up and tell it to you later? Sometimes words have a way of flying away. Or they’re just not at all sufficient. Some things I want to tell you aren’t words at all. They are feelings. They are colors. They are memories full of meaning. They are deep, deep things that are hard for me to reach up and take hold of and pin them down. But, I’ll try it anyways. Because it’s worth it. Because you’re over there, doing your life. You’re running to the store. [...]

Why We Need Never Despair (And the Tale of Two Mommas)

When I was born, I had a different momma. And I don't know the circumstances of her life, exactly, when she first conceived me and then carried me around in her tummy before I was birthed out and into her arms. I just know that she was broken. Painfully so. But, still, she gave me life and she kept giving me life as she held me close and let me nurse, my eyes blinking awake in that hospital room, adjusting to all the light. I remember her well. The last time I saw her, I was five, and I can still vividly recall her giving me the white birthday cake with the blue roses made out of icing. She had her problems and her addictions, but when she was sober, she was gentle and loving and kind. When she wasn't sober, she was angry and cried a lot so I sat on the floor and cried, too. I re[...]

When Mercy Wins

He asks me, with his big blue eyes and those long eye-lashes, while he’s laying there on his pillow, about my first mommy and daddy. “You know, your bad mom and dad?” And I don’t like to call them bad, because they did some stupid things and some wrong things, but I just don’t believe they ever intentionally meant to hurt me. I have all this compassion for them, so I try to explain that they just didn’t take care of me very well.“Oh,” he says quietly, “they just left you alone.” I cry a little and try not to let him see. Because years have passed and now that I have a little boy and a little girl, I can see how a mama or a daddy has to be pretty messed up, and pretty darn wrecked-up to ever leave their babes alone. “But why did they not take very good care of you, Mama?” Now, I’ve got all [...]

No Small Thing

I don’t know the circumstances, exactly, of my parent’s lives when I first entered this world and into their existence. I just know that they were painfully broken people. And though I was only a little thing the last time I saw them, I remember them quite well. The way my mama was gentle and easy-going when she was sober. I always wanted to sleep next to her, on the occasional night that she was home. I craved her close so when she rolled over, I’d protest and beg her to turn herself back around because I felt more secure like that, her face right next to mine. I remember my daddy and the way he carried me, sort of perched up there on his arm, all awkward-like, the way daddies carry children. I’d keep slipping and he’d keep boosting, but I didn’t mind because I felt safe up close, my l[...]

Something I Wanted to Show You

I wanted to show you something. This morning, my birth sister sent me a couple of scanned pictures. Pictures I'd never seen of me and David and our birth dad--his name was Timothy, but his friends called him Tony. We're sitting on his lap--the other groovy fellow is his brother. I have very few pictures of us when we were little so this is the coolest thing! I love all the sunshine in David's hair. And look at how long Tony's hair is! And the amazing thing is, he looks soo much like the Daddy God gave me, you know, the one who adopted us! It's just crazy.There's so many things I wanted to ask him. Like, what did he want to be when he was little? And I wanted to hear his story. But, he's gone now and last night I cried. I hardly knew him and it feels strange to say, but I'll miss him. And l[...]

Brokenness Aside

I can't help but remember him--my birth dad. The last I saw him, I was four or five. He was kind and gentle. Now, he was a mess, yes, but I could tell he loved me and my little brother, best he could for the state he was in. Drugs and alcohol were his master, he their slave.  But, when he was sober and sound, he was tender and attentive. I remember the time we danced, me and him. He had bowed and I had courtsied and he laughed because he'd never taught me that. How to courtsey. Somehow, my little girl heart just knew. And he taught me how to use that record player and I sat up on the chest of drawers and played records for hours. And I remember the way he carried me on his arm and in those moments, I never felt more safe.But, he left, and he kept leaving. He was running. Running from [...]

When I Look Down and See a Little Bit of Me

I've got this little girl and she's an awful lot like me. Now, I'm not about to call her Maggie Jr. I wouldn't do that to her. But, I have called her "Silly Goose," just like my mama called me.  For one thing, she laughs when it’s totally inappropriate. And it’s not just this little giggle, but this loud guffaw and she’s so unashamed to release all her joy, right out of the bottom of her belly. And she’s got this wild streak. Like, when I tell her for the umpteenth time not to crawl on the back of the couch and she does it anyway and then turns to see if I’m looking and there’s that gleam in her eye.  Then, off she runs, covering her tail and screaming like a school-kid being chased on the playground. I don’t know how to get her to see that I really do MEAN it! She's only two an[...]

While They're Sleeping

Sometimes it takes these quiet moments of them falling fast asleep before it occurs to me, and I have to catch my breath, just how head-over-heels madly in love I am with them. These children of mine--God's little masterpieces. Growing so big already and I've only had them for a little while. When I was three and a half, I don't know where I was. At times I was with relatives and sometimes living with complete strangers because my mom would walk into a house and drop me off. Often I was in and out of foster homes, always at the mercy of whatever grown-ups my birth parents or the social workers left me with. So, I gaze at him and marvel how I ever got to grow up and have him at all. When Gideon was just a baby, I remember how I couldn't stop staring at him. Couldn't believe how beautiful he[...]


When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn't know  how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.I mean, they tried. They hung on to us for several years, but things kept slipping and they kept falling and failing and they mustered up what strength they could, but they just couldn't make it work and they couldn't make it right. And so the policemen came over and over again, and took us away and my mama cried in the back of that police car, hands cuffed and she told me that she loved me. And I knew in my little heart, as I looked up at her, tears streaming and mascara running, I knew that she really did love me. She just couldn't ma[...]

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