In 2016 one of our former CAC families, Natalie, shared a beautiful love letter she wrote to her son. Loren and Natalie had a crazy adoption journey. Heartbreak, infertility, loss, surprise pregnancy, and an unexpected move to a new state all in a matter of months. And then God asked them to step into what looked like an impossible situation with a little guy who needed a family. Her letter expresses the unconditional and relentless love that a mother has for her son.
My dear sweet son,
There are no words that can adequately articulate the Mama-heart you have brought out in me. And what a blessing that is, you are, to me. To your dad. To this family. You have knit us closer as a family, bringing our souls more intimacy as a unit; God put it in our hearts to be a family for children, but it seems as though He has used you much more in our lives than us in yours. We are often in awe of the unending, unconditional, ceaseless love that has been poured into us to cover you – this is something your dad and I talk about regularly. We enjoy watching you grow and develop; we are so proud of you each day for many reasons, and even when there is reason to be annoyed or irritated (example: when you are screaming and we cannot figure out why, when we suddenly need to spend 5 days in the hospital, when it takes us 3 hours to do what should take 15 minutes, or for whatever reason people get mad at newborns) we are overtaken by such wonder that you are ours, any irritation is diminished. You mean the world to us.
Your smile makes us smile. Your coos bring us overpowering delight. When your little fingers wrap around mine, my heart swoons and I stop all things to make sweet eye contact with you. We do a lot of just staring at you, even when it is 2 am and you are asleep and we should be to…you are simply our treasure. You, as a whole, add tremendous joy to our life.
Your dad plays Murder In The City for you daily, telling you it’s our song because of this specific line: “Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, Like the love that let us share our name.” Swoon.
Sage, you are my son. My very real son. And I pray you never forget that. I pray that if you come to a place in your journey where you wonder and you doubt and you are asking hard and valid questions about your identity, that you know deep inside you are our very real son. When people say ignorant things, which they have and will because we all do, when people equate biology to the sole factor in creating “real” families I pray you know deeper than your flesh that you are our real son.
We are not just playing house over here.
“Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart – but in it.”
-Fleur Conkling Heylinger
Yes, you grew in our hearts so-to-speak, but you also literally grew in another mommy’s tummy. Your First Mama. She is real, just as I am real. She carried you for nearly 9 months, feeling your loving pokes and prods, your wiggles and your dances. She saw you on the ultra sound screen and she delivered you to this world through her body. And then she placed you in our arms, entrusting us with her most precious gift: you. She has sacrificed an overwhelming amount for you, because Real Moms sacrifice for their Real Kids. You, my boy, have two Real Moms. I am the one who has the privilege of raising and parenting you, and I do not carry that responsibility and honor flippantly.
Sage. In the next ten to eleven weeks, you will become a visible “big brother.” Your little brother, whom you have been sitting on and being kicked by since you were 2 days old, is going to enter our home and we want to be clear: you are just as much our REAL son as he is. He is our son, you are our son, both and together you are our real boys. No matter what. Your sonship to us is irreversible, just as his is.
Your dad and I are in such bewilderment at the love we have for you, we are so curious how God is going to expand our hearts even more for your brother. And your future siblings.
The expansion of a parent’s heart is a mystery to me, but I am convinced He is in the business of Love.
You are real brothers. There is no fake or pretending. Your skin, hair, and eyes may be different from one another, your DNA may not match, but we know that resemblance and biology is not the only way to create a family. A real family. We are a real family, you are our real son, and you boys are real brothers. So if you hear people ask us or if people ask you if you are our “real son” or if you are “real brothers,” you can say with all of the confidence in the world “YES!” There need be no further explanation if you don’t feel like it: you have freedom to be confident and bold in your place as our real son. Our first born son.
I love you, Sage. Forever and for always and no matter what,