So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

After all these years, my dad still calls me his Butterfly. I was given the name as a young child after I’d mastered every lyric to the Sunday School favorite, “If I were a Butterfly,” and knew all the hand motions by heart. My dad beamed with pride as I’d wrap together my big thumbs and flutter my fingers to resemble a monarch in flight while singing at the top of my voice. Each morning, my mom would twist my curly, blond hair into two pigtails, and I’d stare at my reflection in the mirror and wonder if I was like a real butterfly: Bright. Delicate. Beautiful. Transformed. 

There was a time, though, that I felt unworthy of the name my dad had chosen for me. When I was a junior in college, I learned I was pregnant. Recoiling in shame, I pictured my butterfly wings crumpling, and falling one by one to the floor. 

Raised in a Christian home, I strived to be the good Christian daughter, and worthy of God’s love. I attended a Christian college. I was appointed a Resident Assistant, a leadership position in the college dorm. I didn’t drink or smoke and refrained from foul language. I practiced abstinence with my long-distance boyfriend, most of the time. 

When I held the positive pregnancy test in my hand, I sobbed heavy tears and pleaded with God to show me what to do. Instead of listening for His answer, my mind churned with thoughts of everything I’d lose if I continued with the pregnancy: My leadership position. My reputation. My parents’ trust. I agonized and groaned until the pressure became too much, and I called my boyfriend to tell him I’d scheduled an abortion. 

But I couldn’t go through with it. Minutes before the procedure began, I watched as an image of my baby appeared on a screen, with tiny movements and a strong, beating heart. My eyes widened, and I leaped from the exam table and bolted out the clinic door. All I knew was that my baby deserved a chance at life.

When I announced my unplanned pregnancy to my mom and dad, I could see the disappointment in their eyes. I hung my head as they asked, “What are you planning to do?” I didn’t know yet. 

At my dorm, I grabbed a baggy t-shirt, a pair of leggings and an old sweatshirt that I wrapped around my waist to cover my growing baby bump. I’d hide my pregnancy for five long months, the entire spring semester. Those months crawled with loneliness, and I spent much of the time on my knees, praying for God’s direction. Whenever I felt my unborn child stirring in my womb, I’d cradle my belly and whisper, “I love you little one,” and dreamed of life as a mom. Over time, those dreams faded and instead morphed into heavy tears with the realization I wasn’t prepared to be a parent. At the time, I wasn’t capable of giving my baby everything she deserved. In the end, my boyfriend and I made the heart-wrenching decision to move forward with an adoption plan. 

In the hospital, I held my newborn daughter and sang softly until her eyelids became heavy and she drifted to sleep. During my pregnancy, I’d wondered if she’d have my eyes. His nose. My freckles. His dimples. When I gazed upon her pink face, I knew she had been perfectly and wonderfully made. 

Tears fell down my cheeks as my boyfriend, and I prepared to say goodbye. He gently scooped up our newborn, cradling her against his chest. Using the back of his shirt sleeve, he wiped away tears and whispered that he didn’t expect it to hurt this much. In silence, the two of us proceeded to change our baby into her going home outfit. I tucked her arms inside the pink gown sleeves while he clumsily tied the elastic ribbon at the bottom. Spreading out a white knitted blanket, I carefully swaddled her in it, just as the nurse had demonstrated. Then my boyfriend and I stood back and stared. She was breathtaking. Kneeling beside my infant daughter, I caressed her face with my hair and kissed her forehead, soaking her cheeks with my flowing tears. “I love you little one,” I told her. Silently, I asked God to watch over her until we met again. Then, it was time to let her go. It felt like my heart turned upside down as we drove away without our little girl.

Five years later, my then-boyfriend, now-husband, answered a call that our daughter wanted to visit us. Tears welled up in my eyes as I turned to our six-month-old son sitting in his high-chair and said, “You’re going to meet your big sister.” An arrangement was made to meet our daughter and her adoptive parents at the local arboretum. Waiting outside the entrance gate with my husband and son, I bit my lip in nervous anticipation of seeing her. Would I recognize her? Would she like me? The moment I saw a little girl, dressed in a white shirt with a blue flower embroidered on the front and whitish blond hair that shone like diamonds, I knew she was our daughter.

Pushing my baby boy in a stroller, I marveled at the resemblance between my daughter and son. Both had the same blond hair. Same light blue eyes. Same dimples when they smiled. When I gazed upon the two of them, I thought my heart would erupt in pink and blue confetti.

At that moment, I realized God holds each of my children in the palm of His hand. Each story different. Each path unique. For my daughter, it was giving her life and touching her occasionally along her journey. For my son, it is being there to guide him every day.

I, too, am loved and cherished by God and for too long have carried with me the burden of guilt and shame. With God’s grace and forgiveness, I finally let that burden go. I found the courage to share my story in hopes that it will help others in similar circumstances to make brave choices, not just easy ones.

At one point my daughter took my hand, it felt as though my heart turned right side up again. I knelt down and looked into her eyes, shaped like mine. “I’ll always love you,” I told her. 

In the glistening afternoon sun, we watched as a butterfly floated toward us like it was sliding down a sunbeam from heaven. I smiled and pointed to its colorful wings, remembering my dad’s nickname for me. I am still a butterfly. God shined his loving face upon me and made me bright. God held me securely in his hands because I am delicate. In my brokenness, God made me beautiful. Through His workmanship, I am transformed.

Originally published on Hope’s Promise 

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins writes about the real-life complexities of being both a birth mother and an adoptive mother. She has testified before the Colorado Senate committee on behalf of the Colorado Children First Act, been published in Her View From Home and BLUNTmoms, and is the Adoption and Pregnancy Blog editor for Hope’s Promise. Adrian studied journalism at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and is married to her high school sweetheart where they currently reside in Castle Rock, Colorado. Adrian is working on her first memoir about hope and healing through the journey of adoption. She can also be reached at adriancollins.orgFacebook, or instagram.com/adrianccollins.

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.