This is the letter I wrote to my nephew’s birth mom a few days after he was adopted by my sister and her husband in April 2012. Asa came home from the hospital several weeks later after major corrective surgery and now, at six months old, he is thriving and surrounded by a loving family, including a big sister, more than a dozen cousins and even a sibling on the way.
Dear Birth Mom,
I am in awe. I have been sitting here staring at this picture of my precious new nephew Asa for an hour now and I am overcome with emotion. He is so beautiful– those big dark eyes and those tiny lips that seem to be continuously turned up into a smile. Tears stream down my face as I write this– tears of joy because we have been waiting for this day, for this child, for him, for so, so long.
But I know that our joy comes at the price of your pain. I know that while our hearts are full, your arms are empty. And while I don’t know who you are or where you’re from, I do know that our family is eternally grateful to you for making such a courageous choice. Your choice– the decision to give Asa up for adoption even at the cost of your own heartbreak– is the bravest and most selfless choice that I can imagine a mother making. And we give you our heartfelt thanks.
I’m sure my words will do little to soothe your wounds, but I want to assure you that Asa is already adored by our entire extended family. We have been praying for him– for you– for months now and we joyfully welcome him into our lives with humility and a deep sense of gratitude. He has an entire network of prayer warriors praying for him as he faces surgery– and he has an entire network of friends and family who are ready to shower him with love, compassion and mercy as he heals.
Right now, Asa’s big sister Haddie and his cousins Joey and Kate are in the room drawing pictures to decorate his bedside in the NICU. Kate drew tiny Asa in a crib while surrounded by all 11 of his cousins being showered in kisses. Haddie drew her brother smiling. Joey drew him holding hands with his parents, skipping through a field.
As they draw, the kids keep asking to look at his pictures. They laugh at his sweet expressions. They dream of what it will be like to hold his hands for the first time. And even at a young age, each of them instinctively know that this baby boy– our baby boy– is theirs to love and cherish. And they, like the rest of us, have all already fallen helplessly in love with him.
So, thank you. Your gift has changed our family forever. You will forever be an unsung hero in my mind–and you will be in my prayers always.
Erin MacPherson is an Austin, TX mom of three and aunt to ten. She is the author of the Christian Mama’s Guide series, with four new books releasing in April 2013. She blogs at http://www.christianmamasguide.com