Adoption (Open) · Stories About Jake

Dear Max,

Happy Adoption Day. This is always a big day for us – a day that we celebrate the anniversary of when we finalized your adoption when you were 9 months old – but this year it has extra special meaning. You understand so much more about your adoption story now since Mini has joined our family.

Looking back, I am so glad that you were right there with us when we adopted your baby sister, and I believe that you associated everything about her story with your own. I’m delighted that you were there when we got the call that her birth parents had chosen us, that you saw the expression on our faces and heard our squeals of excitement. Do you remember how I answered you with an ecstatic “yes!” when you asked me if you could eat a Hershey’s Kiss afterwards? Aunt Jen told you, “Max, I think you could ask for just about anything right now!”

I felt the exact same way when we got the call about your birth mother right before you were born. I was so happy that I would have given out Hershey’s Kisses by the bucketful!

I’m so glad that you were with us the morning that we got the call that Mini would be making her entrance into this world. You and I hugged each other as we listened in on the labor over the speaker phone. Oh, how nervous and protective I felt as you stood there hearing everything. You were processing a whole lot of information at once about real life (and getting quite a homeschooling lesson!) but do you remember how excited you were? And how wonderful the sound of her first cry was? Well, that’s exactly how I felt the day you were born. I couldn’t wait to hear your first cry and when I did, I had never heard a sweeter sound in all my life.

The moment that you were born made all the special moments I’ve ever had seem ordinary. Nothing compares to the moment when I looked at you and realized that you were chosen to be mine.

I’m so glad that you were on the airplane with us, rode in the rental car with us down the highway as Mommy’s knees were beginning to shake, heard Daddy read the text messages from our friends praying for us, and walked with us into the hospital room to meet your sister for the first time. Together, we experienced everything at the same time. You saw how excited we were. That is the same feeling that we had when you were born.

In addition to all of this, I’m also glad that you got to know Mini’s birth family. More than once you saw them crying and you saw me crying, and I wondered if it was confusing to you. I remember how you asked why everyone was crying just before we left the hospital and you inquired if it was because we were sad or because we were happy. You weren’t prepared for that and I wish I was the one standing next to you but Daddy was there. He held your hand and you looked up into his teary eyes and got to see an example of a real man, your father, hurting for the loss that his daughter’s birth family was feeling.

I don’t think you’ve forgotten that moment.

Yes, this year you understand so much more about your adoption. You’ve asked so many new questions and wanted to hear all the familiar stories again, which tells us that you’ve been thinking of the subject more frequently. On Saturday your birth mother called to say hello and talk to Mommy about her church and you got to talk to her on the phone. You told her you were a bug explorer and that you and Daddy were hanging out playing guitar and she was excited to hear about those things. She thinks you’re very smart and funny. You asked us last night if we knew her last name and if she knows Mini’s birth mom. You also asked if we had any pictures of her.

Today I’m going to show you the scrapbook that I made for you about her (and your birth father–which, by the way, is so much easier to explain because you met Mini’s birth father–whew!). In the scrapbook you’ll see ultrasound pictures, photos of her while she was pregnant looking beautiful at her Senior Banquet, and the list of her favorite things from the time I interviewed her right before you were born. I also saved more things (i.e. letters written to you and a CD of her sharing her testimony at church about why she placed you for adoption but I’ll save that for when you’re older. That’s a gift from God, by the way.)

It’s good that you’re thinking so much about your birth mother. I think about her every single day and thank God for the gift of life she gave to you, plus the gift of a family. Remember how I tell you that she was praying for God to show her the perfect family for you at the exact same time that we were praying for God to show us the perfect child for us? Isn’t that amazing how God does that?! She pictured you growing up in our home and being loved by Daddy and me and when she thinks of all the cool things you’re doing it makes her smile. She loves you and always will.

On Adoption Day we honor your birth history and we talk about how lucky we are to be a family by adoption. This is the time in your life when I can decorate a hat for you that says “Awesome Kid” and you’ll smile so big and proudly wear it all day long (I think…) Because you’re 5 years old I can make a big, big deal out of Adoption Day. You do, too, at this age. You’ve been talking about it for weeks. You asked if you could go to Build-A-Bear and we’re going to take you out to dinner at the food court! The food court, Max! Oh, how excited you’ll be!

The way we celebrate Adoption Day will probably change a bit over the years but one thing will always stay the same. It will be an important day in our family. I’ll think back to your birth, to the moments when our adoption journey began. Then I’ll tell you how proud I am to be your mom and how special you are to me. Not because you’re adopted, though. Just simply because you’re mine.

I love you forever and ever and ever.




17 thoughts on “Dear Max,

  1. I had just opened a new box of tissues a day or two ago; now I need to run to the store for another box! Max, what a beautiful love letter that Mommy wrote to you! It’s a keeper and so are you!! Happy Adoption Day. PS Mommy, the BOOK is calling your name and you’ve just written one of the chapters….

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve learned so much from you friend and I love sharing this journey. Happy adoption day to Max! What a precious precious blessing from God! Now I have to go find some kleenex! 🙂

  3. That is such a beautiful letter!!!You have me sobbing over here! Happy Adoption Day to Max, you, and your hubby!

  4. Great. Make me cry at work.

    I remember that day too. Holly was recovering from Mark’s birth and had meningitis. All at once I remembered it was THE day. I scrambled and packed up Joel and Gideon to try and make it to the courtroom – but *just* missed it (by what, 30 minutes?)

    I treasured spending some time with you, and lunch at La Madeleine with the whole crew is a great memory. What a privilege to rejoice with your family!

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