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I adopted your babies today.

We’re smiling in the pictures, but I also feel the pain deep inside your heart. My chest tightensI feel guilty, undeserving, unworthy. (Doesn’t every mother feel this way about her babies?)

I want you to know that while we celebrate their permanence in our family, we will not let it take away who you are to them. We aren’t subtracting. We’re adding.

You love them. We love them. Even in the hardest of circumstances, they will always know that 1+1=2. Two moms. Two hearts invested and beating for them. They don’t have less; they have more.

RELATED: 4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know

It’s complicated. I don’t always know what to do. I don’t know what the right or best thing is for them. I don’t know how to fit extras into the simplistic equation that the world has defined as “family.” But I know you felt them tumble and roll inside you in the middle of the night. You fought against the impossible to bring them into this world and to hear their first cries.

I might be the one who runs to their cries in the middle of the night, but you are the one who gave them life. I’m not sure who is the greater gift-giver, and at the end of the day, I don’t think it matters. Because I know we are both the receivers of the gifts they are to us.

When he smiles, I see your eyes. When she snuggles, I see your sweetness. When he makes a mistake, I see your hope to please. When she cries, I see your need to be held.

The world, the easy-to-follow narrative, wants me to hate you. To be angry at you for the hurt you might have brought into their lives. But, Mama, the world wants you to hate me for taking them away from you. To be angry for all the mistakes I’m about to make in the next few years that cause them pain (and cost them therapy).

RELATED: We are an Adoption Success Story—and it’s Still Hard

No. We’re not letting anyone write that story for us. God takes the worst of circumstances and works it for something beautiful. I believe that. I believe that so much that I’m willing to enter into this complex, painful, brutal, beautiful relationship.

Let their story be one of praisethat what was meant for evil, God turned to good. He took the hard things of our lives, and He turned them into a 4-year-old holding a kitten and laughing.

You, Mama, you are part of what He’s working for good, and so am I. How lucky are we that we get to be part of these kids’ stories?!?

Thank you. I love you.

P.S. I’ll split the cost of their therapy bill with you. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

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Emily Chappell

Emily is a teacher, a writer, and a mom of six kids, both biological and adopted. Every day is filled with chaos and joy, celebration and Jesus, and a few temper tantrums (often her own) along the way. 

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