To: My Girl—The Day I Adopted You & My Hope For Your Future

Oh, My Girl, I cannot believe you are a senior this year and nearing graduation. I can’t even think about it or write these words without tears gathering.

I will never forget the day you burst forth into my life and the day I ran with open arms into yours.

You, little thing, were my heart’s desire.

This road of adoption is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s something I’d do overagain and again and againin a heartbeat. But it’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The most agonizing. Gut-wrenching. I didn’t know if I’d get to take you home. I didn’t know if you’d be mine. I felt so out of place in that hospital. I felt like an invited and welcomed thief. I felt like an invited and welcomed intruder. Internal anguish. And I cried a hidden ocean in that hospital restroom before you breathed your first breath.

My very first glimpse of you. My hands on you. Little baby, were you praying?

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone because you know your momma … when I fall, I fall hard. And the day I held you in my arms, I fell hard.

You were mine.

And all through your baby years, you and I were joined at the hip. A permanent mark wrinkled my clothes from you backing up and plopping down in my lap with your book to read. You’d just begin backing up, and my lap had better be there.

But adoption was hard because I had to deal with internal struggles like

~What if she doesn’t love me when she finds out?
~What if she is disappointed in me?
~What if she is disappointed in life?
~What if she longs for another?

And I’ve had to deal with issues and tell you things over the years that I wasn’t sure I’d survive …


~You didn’t grow in my tummy because my tummy was broken.
~You grew in someone else’s tummy.
~I believe God gave you to me because I prayed for you for so many years.
~You might hear that I’m not your real mother.
~Someone might ask you who your real mother is. 

Until someone experiences adoption, they never know how much pain the word “real” can cause. 

But I did survive because I had no idea at the time of your birth that God would do such sweet things …


~Let you favor me, just a little.
~Give you a freckle on your arm in the same spot as mine on my arm.
~Give you a heart to love the broken.
~Give you a heart that says I’m real.
~Give you a heart that trusts God.

And I remember the first time we talked about adoption, and I was scared to death. And you acted like you didn’t even care. You wanted to keep playing with your toys. You made it so easy for me, and I sighed a huge breath of relief. And you still loved me. I couldn’t believe ityou still loved me.

My Girl, through all the uncertainties, the thing I’m certain of is that I love you as though I’d given you life. I couldn’t love you any more. You were never my second choice, you’ll always be my first. I choose you.

You are joy. You are beautiful. You make me laugh. I love shopping with you, dancing with you while I’m shopping with you, singing out loud in the car with you. I love that you talk to me, that you share your heart’s secrets with me. I love watching you walk away from me when we arrive at church to go work with the children. I love watching you walk into the hospital to volunteer your love to premature babies and whatever else they need you to do. I love your sentimental soul, that tears can prick your eyes instantly. I love that your fierce strength can surface in 60 seconds, including your protectiveness over me and your little sister.

I want you for my BFF for the rest of my life.

Because you say back to me“You were never my second choice, you will always be my first. I choose you.”

And you have no idea the joy that brings to me, the tightness that gathers in my chest, the feeling that my heart could just 4th-of-July-explode with happiness and love and relief.

Oh, My Girl, with all that I know and have experienced … I wish adoption for you. I do. Because God has given you a heart for children. And when you tell me that you’ll adopt one day, I fully believe you will. And I can’t help but smile over the fact that you’ve redefined generational bondage. And I wish adoption for you because when you fall, you fall hard … just like your momma. And every child needs someone to fall for them, to fall hard for them.

I couldn’t be more proud of you, proud that God let me be a part of your lifeyour little days and your big days. 

I am blessed, and I know it.

You are my girl … my real girl.

And I love you … I really love you.

25 thoughts on “To: My Girl—The Day I Adopted You & My Hope For Your Future

  1. Andrew! I'm sorry you cried. I cried, too. A lot. Does that make you feel better? 🙂 You are so sweet and so are your words. It's like … you know all the right things … but blast if you don't feel the sting anyway. 🙂 It was so much harder when the girls were little. Now … I feel stronger … and I think the girls' seemingly unconditional love helps that so much. Words or thoughts don't sting as much. It's not about me or my feelings, but about seeing them fly the nest, happy and healthy in every way, as much as possible. You always bless me, Andrew …


  2. Awww, Shelli. You made me tear up with this beautiful post. You are a blessed woman. God has given you two amazing girls, girls of your heart. Your struggles resonate with this adoptive mama. Those same thoughts plagued me, especially when my boys were little. I know God has taught you much as you've walked this road. May He continue to use you in your daughters' lives as they eventually launch into this wide world.
    Hugs, friend!


  3. Becky Wade!! We were at El Chico with my mother and my nephew … I saw your comment. I say, “Oh, my goodness … my favorite author commented on my blog. I cannot believe it!” Thank you for your sweet words and the love you have shown me here. I pray God blesses you for it. You have greatly encouraged me. xoxo


  4. This is such a beautiful heartfelt letter. I can't help but keep reading it over and over. This is the good stuff, the wins, the answered prayers realized. I wish there were more posts out there like this one. This is what God is capable of doing in the life of a humble servant who is willing to just trust and follow His lead.


  5. Thank you, Gene. And I'll never forget that step of trusting and following. I was terrified for many reasons. But people were praying … peace came over me. Words spoken to me just when I needed to hear them. Guidance, you know. 🙂


  6. What a beautiful love letter, Shelli. And the picture of her all bent over with her little behind…the cutest. The only thing greater than the love described here is the love our Savior has for us. It overwhelms me to think of it. Thanks for sharing your heart.


  7. Thank you, Melodie. Yes … I've always loved that picture of her bent over, gardening, pushing her baby around in the tiny wheelbarrow. And I so agree … God's love is overwhelming. How He takes us in His arms, welcomes us in … just the way we are.


  8. Oh, Shelli… No one could read this without tears. What a precious story of God's tender answer to your prayers. And what a needed reminder that the treasured things in life don't often come without pain. Thank you for sharing your heart.


  9. Awww. Beautiful. My husband was adopted and was the answer to many prayers for his mommy and daddy. We most of the time forget he was adopted and think he looks like his dad and all of us sit around comparing his height and appearance. He was so blessed to be the light of their lives. I am blessed that he is now my honey. Thanks for sharing. Forever parents choose to love wholeheartedly. 🙂


  10. Angie … you gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. My friends usually forget the girls are adopted. They'll apologize when they forget … but it just makes me smile … and melts my heart. I'm so proud your husband was an answer to prayer. I know he was exactly what his parents needed. God knows exactly what we need. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Means so much. xoxo


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