The Sweetest Gift

Dear friend,

Not a day passes that I don’t think of the look on your face, as you prepared to place your 6 pound 9 ounce son in my arms, without knowing when you’d see him again. You did so knowing he would grow up calling me Mama.

It was three months ago, but it might as well have been this morning, that I excused myself to change him, as you sat on the hospital bed, one leg curled under you, to sign the necessary papers. I never told you why I had to leave the room. But I HAD to leave. The weight of your decision moved me more deeply than anything I’ve experienced. I wasn’t sure I could keep my composure. 

I can’t begin to fathom how it felt to you.

That’s the paradox that is adoption. On one side, it is beautiful and celebrated and the new baby is welcomed with open arms. On the other, there is a grief over the loss that extends to your entire family. The beautiful side of adoption rises from the ashes of something indescribably difficult. And in all of it, our hearts—yours and mine—were knit together by our love for a perfectly tiny baby boy with big eyes and long, skinny legs.

It is not lost on me that I am celebrating my first Mother’s Day today because of you. You are present in the celebration, if only in spirit. To say I am grateful for your choice sounds trite, because what I feel is deeper and stronger and harder to get my heart around. I don’t recall your exact words (though you probably do), but the last time you passed him to me, you told him that you were launching him out into a new life. The amount of trust it took for you to hand him to us and to allow us the privilege of being his parents, too, humbles me. It makes the gift of this sweet boy even heavier than it would have been, I think, were he our biological child. It underscores the fact that he belongs not to us, and not even really to you—he belongs to God. And just like you entrusted his care and upbringing to us, we all entrust his life and well-being to a holy and loving Heavenly Father. 

On this Mother’s Day, I say thank you for choosing life. Thank you for having faith that we will do our best to raise a son that honors God. Thank you for giving us the sweetest and most humbling gift.

We love you. 


This letter was written by adoptive mom Ashley from the blog Always Anchored. By training, she is an interior designer, but her day job (until May 2018) was that of a middle grades educator. She is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend.

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