Category Archives: Adoption

A Letter to My Daughter’s Mom

A Letter to My Daughter’s Mom
A Letter to My Daughter’s Mom

On Mother’s Day a year ago, I inquired about adopting an 11 year old child who lived across the country.  Today I write as her mother, to her first mother, who passed away when she was 6 years old.


“Home is where your mom is”, my sweet Mother’s Day Card



I never had the privilege of meeting you, O how I wish I had. I would ask you all sorts of questions. Like your favorite foods, holidays, and dreams you had.  What you were like as a kid, where you grew up and if you went to church.

I would ask you to tell me about how you felt when you first found out you were pregnant with my daughter.  I would ask you to tell me about the day your she was born, and how big your belly felt before she came out. I would want to know if you were scared to push, or just so excited to see her beautiful face. I would ask you to tell me more about the pregnancy and if there were certain foods you just had to eat when you were pregnant with her. I’d listen as you told me about when she first smiled at you, began to crawl, ate her first foods, and took her first baby steps. I’d ask you what her favorite position was to sleep in, and how she would respond when she saw you with her bottle.  Then I’d love to hear you tell me about her favorite lullaby you sang her, and her favorite shows to watch.

I’d ask you if she was adventurous and climb things not meant for climbing, or if she’d have you carry her all around. I’d listen to you as you told me about her favorite toy or blanket that she wanted to bring everywhere, and if there were foods she’d refuse to eat if you offered them.  I’d ask you if she rode a bike when she was little and if she loved to play outside. Then I would sit back and listen as you shared all about this precious girl, and I think you would love to tell me every sweet detail, because you’d be so proud. So amazed by this little life that came from your belly. So full of love and hope for her.

I don’t get to sit and talk to you about all this, because you are gone, and that makes us all so sad.  My daughter especially, she wishes you were still here. What I do get to do though, is welcome this sweet, special girl into my family, as my daughter.

And for that I am so thankful to you for all the love you two shared together. All the firsts. All the treasured moments.

This love has overflown into our family.  You should see how her siblings love and laugh with her. How much fun we have together.  How loving she is to her littlest brother when he needs help.  How much responsibility and maturity she has when she is around her little cousins helping out. How sweet and kind she is to her nona and papa, her grandma and grandpa, her aunts and uncles, her teachers, the friends at school and  church…..the list goes on and on.

I want to thank you for being the first mother to our sweet girl.  The love you first planted in her heart is overflowing into our lives, and we are rich in love.

We don’t get to hear these details about her from you, but we get to SEE them lived out…blossoming, growing, revealing themselves….as we get to be her forever family every day.

It is a joy and privilege to be a part of her journey.  She is a beautiful daughter, and we are so blessed to have shared that with you.

Our stories will forever be connected because of this precious child.

Thank you.

Your daughter’s Mom


I am…Pregnant

I am…Pregnant




: expectant

: the condition of a woman that is going to have a baby or babies

:  having possibilities of development or consequence 

:  rich in significance or implication


My emotions are fragile and brought to the surface in an instant

Our home feels incomplete, waiting for her arrival

Certain unexpected thoughts (smells) make me nauseated

When I lie my head on my pillow she is on my mind, and when I wake up my thoughts quickly run to her

I am consumed by her, everything in my pregnancy is about getting her here safely

I too dream of seeing her sweet sweet face, smelling her essence, touching her hair, feeling her skin…with longing so strong it weakens me

I worry that something might go wrong during my pregnancy, and that I won’t be able to protect her

I look into the eyes of my children, grinning, knowing the richer life they will have when she is here

Commercials, articles, children…anything can cause that immediate lump rise in my throat

I wonder what life will be like with her here, and if our arms can welcome her with all the love she needs and deserves

The most painful experience of my pregnancy is that my heart is outside my body, walking through life without me, instead of nestled safely in my womb.


{ Just as you do not know the path of the wind

and how bones are formed

 in the womb of the pregnant woman,

so you do not know the activity of God

who makes all things. Ecclesiastes}

Feeding an Adopted Baby Without Commercial Formula

Feeding an Adopted Baby Without Commercial Formula


homemade formula3

The quest to offer my children the chance for the best health possible has led me further down the road of natural health than I would have ever imagined.

Well actually, I never imagined being anywhere NEAR the road of natural health.

I am a RN. Not only that, I grew up in a world and culture where mainstream medicine was duly adhered to. No questions asked.

Having children and the subsequent millions of new decisions that lie before you….can really make you examine your understanding of important things.

After a process of grueling discussions, countless hours of reading and careful reconsideration my husband and I decided it was our role to take ownership of our children’s health.  We did. And we haven’t looked back.

We honestly grew into this process in such a natural way, one change after the other, all for the purpose of supporting and strengthening our children’s bodies to function the way they were so beautifully designed.

THEN, a curve-ball came when we adopted our son at 2 weeks old.

camden anthony



Continue reading what we did to feed our sweet boy

with the best nutrition possible!!



Our story shared on The Healthy Home Economist………read here.


comemrcial formula


homemade formula2





Be sure to read the rest of our amazing journey to nourish our adopted son with the best nutrition possible!
Read the story HERE, featured on the Healthy Home Economist.


We Love Camden’s Birthmom

We Love Camden’s Birthmom


On our court day- adoption finalized

On our court day- adoption finalized!

The idea of ‘open adoption’ makes some people shutter.  Immediately images of crazy lifetime movies and baby snatchers pop into their heads….and even the notion of a safe ‘open adoption’ seems unbelievable and risky.

Well….we weren’t quite that extreme, but when we began our adoption journey, we were a little hesitant about this whole ‘birth-mom’ thing. Mostly, we were just completely ignorant about the issue.  And like with so0o0o0o many other things, inclining yourself to understanding and knowledge changes everything.

So here we were a couple of months into our adoption process, having read about birth-parents and open adoption (particularly helpful was “Dear Birth-mother”), and we are seriously PRAYING that God will give us a special relationship with our future baby’s birth-family.  This had truly become way high up there on our list of desires we had for our adoption journey. God had grown this openness into a deep desire for this special relationship between us (adoptive parents), our child and his birth-family.

After many “ups and then downs’ during our process, we had become weary.  We were clinging to the belief that God’s plan for our adoption would come to reality, while inside we wondered if we were crazy.  Those moments were fleeting though, and God gave us a deep faith in His trustworthiness and His heart for the orphan.  Those thing would not be questioned.

We found out from our agency about Camden’s birth on a Friday and excitedly responded that we wanted to be considered by his birth-mother for placement.  After 12 babies that we had responded positively to, only to go to different families, we were very hesitant to get excited at this point.  Adoption is VERY hard emotionally, as it is IMPOSSIBLE to not start loving a child you know you might parent.  It is painstakingly difficult to separate yourself emotionally….but at this point…there was a little more distance between our hearts and their raw emotions, and this recent email we received about baby boy U.

3 days later on a Monday night, I got dressed in my scrubs and went into work for a typical night in the ER.  Luke shows up around 8:00 with a strangely neutral, but mysterious look on his face. I was certain Lucas or Tessa was injured and he didn’t want to explain it all in the lobby. So he asked if we could talk. I brought him into this little registration room and he has Lucas (then 4) hand me a paper that says “Happy Mothers Day!”.  Immediately my entire world swirled into chaos and I completely fell apart.  Tears and shaking and PURE JOY at the news that this baby boy was OURS!!!!!!! Not only that…..apparently God knew we would have done awful with the waiting for our birth-mom during pregnancy….we didn’t have to wait—-we could go pick him up the next afternoon!!!!!!  It was UNREAL.

Love-struck and tired

Love-struck and tired

The next weeks were almost exactly the same as bringing a biological infant home from the hospital (Camden was 2 weeks).  We were love-struck and EXHAUSTED. I immediately started nursing (which he latched perfectly the very first time, a post on that later) and everything else swung into motion with a family of a 4, 2.5 and newborn.  We were nutty….and God was faithful.

Cam the Man

Cam the Man

We were told that Camden’s birth-mom and her family felt it would be best for her to stay ‘out of the picture’ so she could heal and move on.  We prayed that her heart would change in time to the idea of a relationship with us.  Well, once again, it did.  We met with her that summer when Camden was just 6 months old.  It was awkward and no one knew exactly what to say, but it was clear that we were all thrilled at God’s masterful plan in orchestrating this beautiful story.  Over and over again she reminded us of her confidence in her decision, and the peace that this has brought in her life.  She was the most gentle, sweetest, trusting girl we could have asked for!  God has really been faithful to bring healing into her life after this life-altering hard decision she made for the love of our son.

Since then we have seen her one other time, right after Camden turned 1.  We regularly exchange emails and pictures, and we truly consider her a part of our family.  She has never once given us any reason to mistrust her, and we feel incredibly blessed to have the privilege of this relationship with her.

Research and anecdotal evidence from adoptive families reveals that children, adoptive parents and birth-parents fare better with adoption plans when there is openness.  Secrets don’t build hearts and lives, rather truth and grace do.

Reading to Daddy

Reading to Daddy

Meeting with Camden’s birth-mom has affirmed in such a powerful way my role as mother to my sweet boy Cam.  She clearly tells me that I am his mother, and seeing the way he interacts with her and the way he interacts with me, reminds me of this truth.  She has a very important role in his life as his heritage and beginner of life that I will never have.  The role I have is his mother. The wiper of his tears, the tucker-in at night, the time-out setter, the every-day-I-need-you-mom. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t been grateful to have been given this treasured role as mom.

People are still skeptical when we share our story and our love for Camden’s birth-mom, but we really don’t need others to understand.  We do long for people who are pursuing adoption to open their heart to this great possibility….and we are excited to see how this progresses and how the love we are putting into this relationship will bless Camden in the future.

♥  Mindful Mama


So blessed to have Cam in our family <3

So blessed to have Cam in our family <3

Are YOU my mother?

Are YOU my mother?


Do you remember this book from long ago? I never thought it would actually have meaning to me beyond a fun story with cute pictures….


You see….1 year ago on Thursday (January 31st, 2012) my husband and I welcomed our third child into our arms, home and hearts. While not carrying him in my womb, my heart had been longing for him since before he was even conceived. God clearly calls His people to take care of children without homes, and we felt compelled to respond to that gospel-paralleling truth. Camden Anthony was the beautiful fulfillment of responding to God’s redemptive call.




Having two older kids already, Camden’s homecoming was not filled with the anxiety of infants’ noises while they sleep, or the worry of am I doing all of this okay….we were weathered parents, having collected our fair share of our honorable parenting metals….


But loving this sweet little 2 week old brought about so many unsuspected thoughts whirling around my head at completely unpredictable times.


Do they think we love him as much as we love our other kids?


Do they WONDER how we love him as much as our ‘real kids’?


Do they think he really belongs here, or does he look out of place? As if we were babysitting…for.a.long.time.



Then the ones that sprung up, even deeper down in the recesses of my person, my motherhood……


Does HE think I love him as much as the other kids?


Does he feel as secure, safe, nurtured and adored as if he has just passed through my womb and into my arms?


And most the most profound question I ever hear whispered in my heart of hearts….


Does he KNOW that I am his mother?


The insecurity of a new mother is re-birthed all over again when a woman brings a baby into her arms and home through adoption. The continual subconscious searching for ‘clues’ that this child is responding to her, that he sees her, hears her, needs her and wants her as his mama.


Does this silent wondering, these secret whisperings….ever let up?


I don’t know….but as I embrace the beautiful gift of MORE love to give and MORE love to get from another child that God has entrusted to my husband and I….I rest in the truth, unforgiving and unashamedly, that


I am his mother.


Regardless of our DNA, of his juicy lips and my unimpressionable lips, his birth story and my empty womb, his stocky body and our small frames, of ancestry from Africa and mine from Italy….


Regardless of the radically different worlds we come from, we are now fused together in this beautiful institution called FAMILY.


There have been such sweet, sometimes tear-laden times, when my adoptive Father has given me clear glimpses of my sons’ undeniable connection to me as his mama. Just the other day he woke up from his nap so upset about something, when he is usually as peachy as can be after a long rest. He cried every time I set him down, and even after a bottle he was disgruntled and crying. Instead of getting annoyed as I started to, I picked up this falling-out-of-my-arms-width 1 year old, cradled him in my arms and rocked him on the couch. He didn’t flinch. He looked pensively into my eyes for what seemed like forever….and invited me as I gently stroked every little part of his beautiful face….reminding him what part I was touching, and of his mamas unchangeable love for him. As I was rocking and stroking, he wanted nothing more than my presence, he didn’t need me for a toy, or a laugh, or a bottle….for whatever reason, that day, he wanted to rest in the security and care of his mama. Without a sound or movement from him, staring into my eyes, we rocked there for over 10 minutes….suddenly he popped up on my lap- made a fantastic little toddler noise….and off he went to his little world of great adventure.


Apart from things I may think, or things I wonder if other think….I am his mama….and I sure am glad he lets that be known.




**Ironically enough, at this point Camden closely resembles Luke and I. His complexion leans more to the olive side like myself, and his lips, ears and hair are almost identical to Luke. Our biological kids are both still blonde. By the way, for those who are wondering, this doesn’t make us feel anymore like his parents…but it is a fun treat to enjoy ;o) From everything that has been imprinted on our hearts through adoption, we would have the same exact feelings for him if he was from any country in this great big diverse world.


As our adoption judge said after noticing his resemblance with Luke,


“it appears to be God’s providential hand”. If he only knew the depth of truth to that very statement.

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