Thursday, May 8, 2014

A letter to birth moms, as Mother's Day approaches

My husband, Ryan, emailed me this letter yesterday out of the blue. I happen to think it's pretty incredible, so I wanted to share it with all of you. I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't given even a passing thought to how our daughters' birth mothers may feel on Mother's Day this year, so I am very thankful for the reminder. Our adoptions are both closed, although we were blessed to meet Essie's birth mom, and I'd like to think that maybe she may find this letter here. It's really for all birth moms, though. A truly special class of mother whom I will be thinking about this Sunday.

Dear Birth Moms,

Mother’s Day is just a few days away and, for some reason, along with all the other amazing mothers in my life, I keep thinking about both of you.

I am not sure why.

If I am being honest, I rarely if ever think about the fact that our two wonderful daughters are adopted. They both so seamlessly entered our lives in such natural ways that it is never an issue. We have three kids. Three wonderful, beautiful, healthy kids. The fact that two were adopted and one was not never makes much of a difference.

But as we get closer to Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking about both of you.

I think part of the reason why is because, for our family, there was a pretty big chunk of time where Mother’s Day was anything but a happy occasion. I would dread the week leading up to that Sunday, knowing it would be so hard on my wife and knowing there wasn’t much I could do to take away her pain.

As I thought about how much different Mother’s Day is for us now (maybe the best weekend of the year) I started to wonder how Mother’s Day might be for you and it occurred that maybe it isn’t such a happy day.

So I decided I would write you a little note to let you know how much I appreciate you and how even though you might not be here every day, you will always be a part of the lives of the young ladies you designated to our care.

Karey and I often talk about how you are both our heroes. We know that the situations that led to the births of our daughters were difficult and even heart-wrenching times. But during that time you made the decision not to think of yourself, but to think of that precious child. You wanted the best for her and despite it being anything but easy, you fought to make sure they would be taken care of forever and in the best way possible.

And let me tell you.. they are both amazing.

Clara came to us when she was only five weeks old and a remarkable five pounds. This was after being born early and a lengthy stay in the NICU. Today she is perfectly healthy. There is not a visible hint of her premature birth and she is smart as a whip. She remembers small details we often forget, sings on tune like a perfect angel, is a constant defender of her little brother and is becoming a pretty talented artist.

In fact, despite only being four years old (although she claims she is five), she is already writing her name and a few words. Let’s just say I find it appropriate that the first word she learned how to write all by herself was “love." And she writes it everywhere she gets a chance.

Esther is a special girl as well.

At almost a year-and-a-half, she is all over the place. She never stops smiling, gets into everything and runs whatever room she is in. Despite being pint sized and without the most extensive vocabulary, she finds a way to get her point across. She almost always gets her way. It is to the point now where we have coined the phrase “Don’t Mess With Ess” to describe her.

I want you to know what amazing little people they are because none of that is possible without you. You hold a special, irreplaceable position in their lives. We never hide that from them. They know where they came from. They know their unique story and they know you are the ones that deserve the credit.

You made a tough decision to place your most precious possession in our care and I can tell you confidently it was a wise one. Primarily because of the woman you let your children call “mom.”

This weekend we will celebrate my amazing wife, who prayed her entire life toward only one goal. To be a mother. Despite that desire, God saw it fit to withhold that gift for five years, for a reason we, at the time, never understood. But all that pain went away the day we got a call that Clara was in need of our care. From that moment Karey’s central focus in this world is to give your babies all the love and care that you could have ever hoped for. There is literally nothing that shakes her from that mission. She does it with grace, with compassion and she does it in honor of the gift you gave us both.

I told you at the start of this letter that I don’t think that often about the fact that Clara and Essie are adopted and that is not 100-percent true.

From time to time there are these moments. They usually start with a big hug that includes an incredible squeeze (both of them are pretty solid squeezers).

In that moment I can’t express my love for both of them enough. It gushes out of me. I feel this need to thank someone, anyone, for the honor of being able to hold this incredible creature so close. I almost always thank God, but lately I found myself quietly thanking you. Thank you for honoring me with the responsibility of their fatherhood. Thank you for this gift.

Obviously there is no way I could ever repay this gift. So all I can do is make you this eternal promise: I will take care of these two girls with every single fiber in my being. I will protect them, I will defend them, I will make sure no harm will ever come to them. But most importantly, I will love them. I will love them every single second of every single day and I will make sure they know you love them as well.

So if Sunday rolls around and the idea of Mother’s Day puts a small pit in your stomach, I hope the knowledge that your babies are as happy and as healthy as they could possibly be makes things a little bit easier.

I am sure it won’t take away all of the pain…. But please find some small comfort in the knowledge that we couldn't possibly love these girls more, and we will never take the incredible responsibility you have given us for granted.

Happy Mother’s Day,


  1. Wow. That is beautiful! I'm wondering if your adoption agency/lawyer has a file that it could be kept in so that the birth mothers could one day find it there if they went in search of info. I know our agency does that, but I'm not sure if all do.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  2. R is so intuitive and can reach into his soul for the right words. Thanks so much for posting this! Now that we are matched my heart does ache for the pain that our birth mother will endure her whole life for our joy. R just captured that appreciation.

  3. Oh, Karey & Ryan-
    You know that I am one of the biggest fan of the Kirkpatrick-Nobles photo albums. Each time I think you can't outdo your current photos...additional, even better ones always follow. I think it's because, without words, the moments you capture of your family radiate love, telling a story of how grateful and happy you are.
    I often question how you do it all- raising three children age four and under, manage a blog that I'm sure comforts more women than you can imagine, finding matching outfits for special occasions, catching such innocent sibling interactions and cousins sharing time through your gift of photography, AND raise a Super Hero as well!!!
    Ryan deserves so much credit as well...I love the fact that he mentions his chidren on air, is so down to earth and approachable, and is never hesitant to share a clever story regarding your amazing family. Even more now, after reading that letter...goosebumps!!!
    Those children- all three of them- are some of the luckiest in the world. They have two parents and an entire extended family that live to love and enjoy one another. You and Ryan are doing an amazing job, and I can't imagine that any birth mother could ask for anything more than to have their child be as loved and cherished as yours.
    Your family is an inspiration to all on what really matters in life, and I agree with Ryan...that even though you had a very difficult time trying to fulfill your dream of motherhood, that it was all part of the bigger plan. He promises us that after the rain, the sun will shine once again, and Clara, Luke & Essie are your rainbow :)
    I am proud and honored to call you my friend- the lovely teen-aged babysitter we knew has heard her calling and I wish you the most wonderful Mother's Day- though I know, for you, EVERY day is Mother's Day.

  4. I have tears reading this-so beautifully written.

  5. I know it sounds cliche', but adoption truly is a gift of love all-around. Selfless love, which is really the only kind of real love there is. Thanks for sharing this beautiful letter.

  6. Wow. This is such a wonderful, touching letter, thank you for sharing it!

  7. Yep ... tears over here too!! Loved this!!

  8. This is just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  9. Amazing and beautifully written! Thank you for sharing!

  10. This is the new ray of hope for the deprived parents and not to lose hope as they can also get such beautiful children in their lives.

  11. Wow! Speechless! Thanks for the putting words to the feelings so many of us pro-life Catholic have deep in our hearts.

  12. Oh, how I love this... and so glad I did not read it on Mother's Day :)

    As an adoptive mom of three.... I so relate in the deep gratitude... so deep and beyond words.

    Birth moms are special people. Our three are so different and came to adoption for three very different reasons.... I just pray they know how much they are loved.