The same weekend that we met A. & J. for the first time, we had dinner with A’s parents and sisters at their home. I’ve got to say, meeting A’s parents gave me big-time butterflies. I wanted to make a good impression and not say stupid things. I’m sure I did anyway (in fact, I’m pretty certain I broke out into singing a jingle at the dinner table).
A.’s mom and I hit it off right away, though. (Same with her dad and sisters, but this post is especially regarding Tina.) We seemed to have a lot in common, at least in the way we both appreciate the little things in life that make the world interesting and fun. She treasures the big and small things and she has the biggest of hearts. People matter to her more than anything. We talked easily about all kinds of things, including family and friends, and how those friends just ended up becoming part of the family.
Tina has been an awesome example of a supportive, loving, and giving mom. She and A. have a close relationship and there’s no question that she’d do anything for her daughter. Even the hardest of things. With selfless love, she watched her oldest daughter carry and give birth to her first grandchild. Then she stood by her side when the baby was lovingly, yet tearfully, placed for adoption with another family.
Tina is very special to us and she’ll always be a precious part of Mini’s adoption story. She wrote a letter to Mini and gave me permission to share it with you. I really wanted for you to see a glimpse of what open adoption means to the birth mother’s mom. After reading it, please leave her a comment if you’d like.
First I want to say, HAPPY ADOPTION DAY!!! You have such a wonderful family and are one lucky little girl. I hope you will realize and always know how much you are loved from one end of this country to the other and a bunch in between. Even though you are at what seems like the other end of the world, I have enjoyed watching you grow. I fell in love with your Mommy, Daddy, and Max when I first met them just as quickly as I fell in love with you the day you were born.
I want you to know that God had a plan for you even before we knew you were coming. When A told us that she was pregnant, God spoke to my heart and told me that I was not to be the one to raise you. He had better people in mind for you. God knew and I knew that we could not give you the life you deserved.
Living through the 6 months before you were born was not easy but I put all my faith and trust in God and He helped me through it. I always prayed that you and A would be healthy. I also prayed that Mommy, Daddy and Max would make it to the hospital in time for you to be born but you had other plans, you came 4 days earlier! As I look back, it was good for A to be able to spend that time alone with you.
I see so much of A’s personality in you and that makes me smile and my heart leap for joy. She is a wonderful young lady and has always been happy and loves life. She has LOTS of friends and seems to be who people come to for counseling and help with the teenage stuff. She is a smart girl and plans to be an Adoption Counselor and someday, maybe a lawyer too. She wants you to be proud of her.
I don’t ever want you to think that you were adopted because A didn’t want you. Oh no, no, no, that was never the case. She loves you so much that she only wants the best for you. She knew there was no way she could provide for you and give you all the wonderful things you deserve out of life. She hand picked your family for you because she loves you that much and knew they could give you all those things.
I must tell you that I take full credit for your middle name. Mommy, Daddy and A had decided that Mommy and Daddy would pick out your first name and A could pick out your middle name. It was when your Mommy and Daddy were visiting here for the first time and we were sitting in church that I had an “Ah Ha” moment. I was thinking about you, A, your Mommy and Daddy, and our Pastor’s wife. I know that seems weird but she had trouble having babies and said that if she had another girl she would name her Hope because she always hoped she could have another baby. I thought about the word “Hope”. I knew that your Mommy and Daddy hoped for a long time they would be able to adopt another baby. I thought about how having your Mommy and Daddy adopt you gave A hope. I thought about how this adoption would give you hope for a wonderful life. And last but not least, the adoption agency, Hope’s Promise, gave us all hope. I leaned over and whispered to A that your middle name should be Hope. We all agreed, it was a done deal!!
Now, let’s talk about your brother for a minute. Isn’t he the greatest kid ever??? I have to tell you that the first time we ever got to meet him in person was at the hospital the day you were born. He came right in the room and climbed up in the bed with A like he had known her all his life. She asked him what he thought of you, his new little sister, and he said, “I think she’s great and I love her beautiful hair.” He started protecting you and taking care of you right then and will forever. And isn’t that kid the funniest??? I can tell in the pictures of you two together that he cracks you up just like he does me. He has a certain spark in his eye and you just never know what he’s thinking. I know he will teach you a lot of things that big brothers teach little sisters. He also promised A that he would take good care of you.
My wish for you, Mini, is that you will always be happy, always have the Lord in your heart, always know that you are loved by many people, and that you will always reach beyond your dreams. I hope this Adoption Day is only one of many happy and joyous days in your life.
I love you.
A’s Mom, Tina