Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Mother's Letter

I wrote this letter to my little girl about six weeks ago, before our adoption was final. Now that it has all be finalized, I want to share it because I know I'm not the only woman who has lived through unthinkable life experiences. I am not the only mom who has survived trials she never dreamed she could survive. I'm not the only person to go through a process like this one that can evoke every maternal emotion in the book, both postive and negative. So, here is my letter to my little girl...

In a few weeks it will be final. On December 21, 2010, a judge will finally say that you are officially our daughter. We’ve prayed and waited (sometimes not at all patiently!) for 2 ½ years for this day. You’re only 3½ now, but someday we’ll tell you about the past 2½ years.

We’ll tell you how much every home visit, every intrusive interview, every background check, every home inspection, every piece of paperwork, every conference call and every 4,000 mile round trip was worth this day. It’s all worth the opportunity to look into your little eyes, to tuck you into bed at night, to know that you are safe and nourished, cared for and loved.

We’ll talk to you about your parents and their struggles. We’ll tell you how much they love you. How they wanted so much to raise you themselves. But when they realized that was impossible, they did what was best for you. We pray that you will know them one day. We pray that they will be healthy: spiritually, mentally and physically. That they will be able to tell you themselves how much they love you. We pray that they will be free from the addictions that are such evil and controlling taskmasters.

We’ll tell you about every agonizing trip we made out West. How I cried every time we left you. We’ll tell you about every court hearing and every frustrating delay. We’ll tell you about the wonderful foster family you had, and how you stole their hearts. I hope you get to meet them again someday. And I’ll tell you how I sobbed tears of relief and joy when we finally got to pick you up and bring you home for good on August 14, 2009.

Someday we’ll tell you more about your namesake… your Auntie. Oh, she would have loved you so much. She would have been so tickled to have a niece to bear her name. She loved your first daddy so much. He was her big brother, and despite his problems, she looked up to and admired him. And he loved her. That’s why he named you after her. He remembers her bright and bubbly personality. He envied her carefree spirit. Even though you are very much your own person, you bear, not only her name, but many of her features and characteristics. We’ll explain to you why we changed the spelling of your first name and your middle name so that you would never feel like your job was to replace her—that you don’t have to be any more like her than you already are. You are a separate person, created by God to fulfill your own purpose and no one else’s.

Someday I’ll tell you about the spiritual battle I’ve fought for the past 2 ½ years. About when God had every right to strike me dead for my accusations against Him, but He didn’t. I’ll share with you how I wailed at God when it felt like He didn’t care. I’ll tell you about the time I said that I was tired of God being in control because “He wasn’t doing a very good job.” I’ll tell you about the times I accused Him of being brutal and cruel—how I felt that He had allowed me to be kicked when I was down. I’ll describe how I felt when I believed He had given me more pain than my mother’s heart could bear. I’ll tell you how I felt when my “year of new beginnings” ended without any apparent new beginnings, but feeling more like the same old broken record being played over and over again.

And then I’ll tell you about the spiritual lessons I learned during that time. I’ll tell you how I learned to trust God—to really trust God. I’ll tell you about the months that the only prayer I could utter was, “I trust You, Lord, I trust You.” I often said that prayer with fists and teeth clenched, fighting with all my might against the doubts, the fears and the anger that I felt. I’ll tell you about God’s unfailing love, patience, grace and forgiveness. I’ll share with you how He cared for me during that time. How I felt Him weeping right along with me because He was so familiar with my pain. He knew exactly what I was feeling, and yet He was willing to allow it because He knew the end result would be me becoming just a little more like Him. That is God’s will for all of us—that we each become just a little more like Him. And as painful as it can be, He’s willing to go to any length, to allow however much brokenness as it takes to purify, shape and mold us into His image.

So while we’re thankful for the end of the waiting for your adoption to be final, we realize that this is just the beginning—finally, our new beginning! Even though we’ve been together for well over a year, we have many more years together, many more spiritual battles, many more smiles and joys, hurts and tears. We will go through it all, trusting steadily in God, hoping unswervingly, and loving extravagantly, until one day when God looks into each of our faces He’ll see nothing… but His own reflection.

Daddy and I love you and we are honored to have the privilege of having you in our lives.


  1. Oh Cindy....you have once again spoken right to my heart.....Once again you have found me in a dark place and once again your words have hit me so hard and now I feel a weight lifted off me. I thank God for you and truly am blessed to know you and to read your words. I feel they are only for me even though I know they are not. I tell myself they are just to me. Thank you for your gift of writing and truth. God Bless

  2. Kelly, if these words feel like they are just for you, then they are! Is it possible for words to be just for you AND just for me or somebody else? In God's economy, ABSOLUTELY! Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know--sometimes I wonder if what I'm posting is just good therapy for me. It's good to know that God can make it into something that can encourage someone else! There's nothing like being a mom that can drive you to your knees before God. Nothing has made me realize my absolute dependence on Him more than being a mom has. Keep trusting Him (even if your fists and teeth are clenched!) Love you!

  3. As usual, you are so articulate and amazing with your words. Your letter is, in writing, what I've witnessed over the past 3 years. It's painful, gut-wrenching...and beautiful. Love you.


I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!