On Having an Adoptive Mother's Heart

In our house, we have a lot of kitchen counter conversations. The kind where you’ve emptied all sorts of bits and pieces of deliciousness out of the fridge, like a cheeseball and crackers or summer sausage or a fruit tray, and stand there snacking while you solve the world’s problems? A couple years ago, a dear friend of ours stood at that counter with me (eating those very snacks) and her words helped shape how I understood my purpose as a communicator.

When I said I wasn’t sure what my voice or message was, she spoke up. “You’ve got an adoptive mother’s heart,” she said firmly.

I knew it was true when I felt both resonance and relief. Yes. That was it.

On Having an Adoptive Mother's HeartI’ve kept two pieces of paper for years. One is a note handed to me by a child living in a Haitian orphanage, looking for an adoptive mama.

The other is a typewritten sheet that says “I will keep telling you that you are important, deserving, loving, intelligent, worthy, compassionate, beautiful, creative, inspiring, brave, true, strong, and able until you finally realize it for yourself.” Friend, if you’ve joined me here once or 100 times, I pray you’ve heard that message in some small way.

Those two pieces of paper have outlined my calling. To welcome my daughter through adoption, yes, but also the challenge to extend my heart, home and table – imperfectly, sometimes in fits and starts, when it requires remarkable flexibility, even when it sometimes hurts deep – through words and practice. I’m learning, and it is a long obedience in the same direction as I go, and sometimes I’m absolutely awful at it, but it’s how I’ve been created. There have been seasons of retreat – so necessary, and seasons of opening doors wide. I’m trying to learn these rhythms.

Here’s a video that shares a little of my heart. Please forgive the tears – this is so tender to me. I wish I could share this in person with you, friend.

And here’s the biggest gift of living this out: just this morning, I found out that our daughter is learning and living this same calling. Apparently, she very sincerely invited her teacher to stay at our home during a snowstorm last month. (It was a doozy of a storm that shut down all the roads out of our town.) I could have wept, because even at four years old, she’s learned to open our doors to others, knowing that there is a place for them in our home, where they will be safe, seen and secure.


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If you liked this, you might enjoy Day 1: God Gave Us You