A letter for my son.

I remember it like it was yesterday, that phone call from the adoption agency telling me that a birthmom had chosen your dad and me to adopt you. She was due in about a month, and would like to meet us. I had nothing but pure excitement on my mind. Finally, my dream of becoming a mommy was coming true. That is truly one of the most fantastic days of my life!

Jeremy and me at his 2nd birthday party

Jeremy and me at his 2nd birthday party

The way I became a mom was way different than what I had envisioned. I felt the miracle of life being birthed in my heart instead of my belly. I gave up any notion of having a child that looked like me, talked like me, acted like me. But I didn’t care (still don’t), God had answered my deepest prayer and you were the gift He chose to bless me with.


Funny thing about becoming a mom – you start out thinking you have a plan, only to find out that it is nothing like you planned at all.Β The unique story of your child has to unfold throughout the days, weeks and years that follow their birth. My plan was something I thought I could control. You’d grow up in a loving, two parent home, raised to love God and love His Church. You’d get good grades because I’d make sure you did your homework and studied hard. You’d go to college. You might not be musical like me. You might be athletic instead. I was ready to embrace your unique individuality and allow you to be who you were uniquely created to be within the tight parameters I had set in my imagination.

It did not take long to realize that controlling any of that was an illusion. Yes, you were raised in church, but choosing church on your own was not something I could make you do. Getting good grades, paying attention in class, loving God, loving church… none of that was really ever in my control. I felt my dreams for you vanish one by one as you grew into this man-child who made it very clear you would not be controlled. So as you have grown son, so have I. You, growing in your body and mind to exercise your own control of things and circumstances. Me, growing to hold you ever more loosely as I learned to let go and allow you to experience consequences in sometimes painful and destructive ways.

Now that you are a grown adult, making your own rules and choices, I find that I often wish I could have a do-over of some of the years of your life. I wish I said “I love you” more. I wish I had spent more time relating to you and less time trying to control you. I wish I would have… the list is long.

But I realize that I can’t undo anything, and God never created me to be a mom who did everything right and perfect anyway. At some point, I have had to accept that I was a “good enough” parent, even though at times that feels like a cop-out. While I wish you didn’t have to go through the pain and loss of adoption and divorce, you did. As I watched your self-esteem plummet in the wake of being an overweight teenager, I felt powerless to help you. The years I spent traveling for work, blind to the turmoil you were going through while I was away… I was providing financially for our family but lost site of providing for you emotionally. In all those ways that I failed you, I have slowly learned to see opportunity for God to come in and fill in the gaps. In your heart that was broken by so many things, I now see God’s opportunity to mold and shape you into the man HE wants you to be.

Several years ago, God spoke to me about you. He said,

Jeremy is on his own journey. He cannot take your journey, he must find his own.

I realized in that moment, that I can give you many things, but I cannot give you my faith in Christ. That, you have to choose and find on your own.

My prayer for you is this:

God, help Jeremy see the hole is his soul that can only be filled by you. Pursue him relentlessly. May his life become a reflection of grace, hope and love because he found meaning in the necessary suffering along the way. May not a moment be wasted, but may all his moments work together for his good. Amen.


I love you Jer. I have faith in you. But even more, I have faith in the God who created you, gifted me with you, and will never stop loving you.



12 Comments on “A letter for my son.

  1. Thank you so much sharing this letter to your son…he was very precious at his 2nd birthday; and I am sure as he has grown, remained to be just as precious.

    I love the heart with footprints; such a visual symbol for adoptive parents…I have a friend that has adopted 2 children (and has three of their own!! the adoptions came in between their 1st two…and then a last older child).

    Your letter to you son reminds me that is something that I would like to think about and put a letter together to my 3 children! Thanks for that idea!

  2. What a beautiful letter to your son. So often I think we are too hard on ourselves as Moms, but I love the grace you gave yourself and how you shared your story.

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