with Guest Blogger | Kelly Mabee
“It is my prayer for you that the significance of these words you’re about to write encourages you more than it overwhelms you. This truly is your chance to be Jesus – to speak life louder than shame, to honor the bravery of this woman, to acknowledge her sacrifice in choosing life, and introduce yourselves to her.“Lindsey Kuipers, For This Child
I often tell our For This Child families to write their letter to the expectant mama last – when all the busy work is done and there is room for this one thing to consume their mind and emotions. I believe it’s that important. Maybe the most important thing they will do in the time leading up to being active.
I want to share with you what I share with them:
Here you are. This may be one of the hardest, most-significant things you do in your adoption process — just shy of your initial yes and the day you actually bring your little one home. Even still, it is my prayer for you that the significance of these words you’re about to write encourages you more than it overwhelms you. This truly is your chance to be Jesus – to speak life louder than shame, to honor the bravery of this woman, to acknowledge her sacrifice in choosing life, and introduce yourselves to her. My best advice: Trust yourself! Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Who you are and what you have to give is enough. Imagine this woman is sitting across from you, as uncomfortable as it might be, what do you wish you could tell her – whether she chooses you or not. Look back at the samples and read as many examples as you need to, but eventually you’ll just have to do it. Be bold and courageous, friend, and ask Holy Spirit to help you.
And then I ask them to just write – with the assurance that we’ll read the letter together, that we’ll invite a birth mom’s perspective in, that we’ll change and alter and edit… But first, just write.
And you guys, oh my goodness. The hearts I get to glimpse inside…
There are a lot times – because I’m in this world of adoption every day, surrounded by so many of the messy details and the heartache and the varying voices and the obvious corruption – that I wonder if it’s worth it. I wonder if this thing – adoption – is still “good”.
But then another letter shows up in my inbox.
These raw and vulnerable words, these deep emotions and pure desires, to love a baby and his or her first mama well and all the other junk sort of falls away. [Don’t read that as if I’m saying we shouldn’t be concerned about the corruption and the chaos, but rather that there is still so much GOOD and BEAUTIFUL in this brokenness.]
We all that said, I’ve asked a couple hopeful adoptive mamas to share what went into writing their letter to an expectant mama. And today, Kelly is going to share her heart with you. She’s human, like the rest of us, but oh how her heart [and her husband’s heart] longs and grieves and hopes for each woman who will hold her family’s profile book. There’s so much to gleam here, and I can’t wait for you to dive. [I’ll stop talking now, so you can do just that!]
OUR ADOPTION STORY IS STILL BEING WRITTEN
My husband Sean and I have had a yearning in our hearts to adopt from before we had biological children. We always knew we would adopt, it was just a matter of when the Lord confirmed the timing. We believe adoption is a clear picture of the Gospel and shows the heart of the Father. We are both convicted in our calling and ecstatic with anticipation.
The process has been eye-opening, teaching us a myriad of ways that God can move and the impact adoption can have on the people around us. We’ve learned that the set-backs as much as the leaps forward are heavy with meaning and purpose. One of the hardest things has been consciously remembering not to miss these moments.
I kind of see it like rushing out of the house to get somewhere exciting, and then immediately hitting a red light. Followed by another. And another. We don’t control them, but we don’t want to be late; we worry we will miss something. But while stopped at the intersection, other people pass through. And somehow, despite our temptations to run lights, we arrive right on time. Just as planned.
God moves in the activity, He moves in the set-backs, and He moves in the waiting. I know He is knitting together our family beyond what I can see. I know that this child is ordained to be ours and this expectant mother is meant to be an extension of our family.
KELLY’S “tips” for writing [the] letter
1. Invite Him In:
Pray for the expectant mother beforehand. Not only the woman that will eventually choose you as the forever family for her child, but all of the women that will hold the letter in her hands. Take your time. Let the prayer sink deep into your heart and give you a deeper posture of love for her. I personally put on some worship music and writing the letter organically became a worshipful experience. God wrote the ultimate love letter to us in the form of the Bible, He will help you with this one.
“Lord, speak through the letter I am about to write. Reach beyond the words and reveal Yourself, provide comfort and help her to feel seen. Give me the words to articulate my respect and my heart, make them sweet as honey. I pray that these words hold fast in her mind as a reminder of her value, her worth, and Your great love. You alone know these precious women and their situation, I need you to guide my hand”.
2. Allow Yourself to Feel:
I’m typically more emotional than logical. My husband, Sean, is terrific at handling challenging situations because he can subtract the emotional bias, handle the logistics, and pop the emotion back in at will. I am not such an emotional craftsman.
Understanding the importance of this letter, I thought the best state of mind was to be concise, get my point across, and then bring the emotion in at the right time. The Holy Spirit didn’t let me write a single word until I allowed myself to hurt, to feel love in all it’s forms. Adoption is beautiful, but it will begin with loss and heartbreak. Take rest from the business of all the paperwork, the fund-raising, paying the fees and applying for grants. Ask God to help you feel His heart for adoption, His love for this child and for the expectant mother. Feel the loss, feel the pain, feel the joy and the elation. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been overthinking this entire process. You feel a daily pressure to do everything with excellence, unintentionally believing that finding your child ultimately depends on the quality of the work that you deliver. Not today, my friend. Not today and not tomorrow. God is in charge of your adoption. You can rest in His sovereignty and pour your heart into this letter, no holds barred.
3. Remember, It’s Not About You:
In the best possible way, this letter isn’t to “toot your own horn”. The home study is essentially a giant research paper on you; the profile book is about you. You’ve been thinking and talking about yourself a lot, answering the same questions again and again as you fill out applications and apply for grants. When people find out you’re adopting, they rarely respond that they will be praying for the expectant mother, they say “I’ll be praying for you”.
I eventually felt conditioned to market myself and initially went into this letter with the same mentality. At this point in your adoption journey, this letter you are about to write is your initial encounter with your child’s first mother; the first building block in your relationship. Let the words flow without a nagging feeling that you have to prove yourself. Think about her. Not only as an expectant momma, but as a beloved and cherished woman in the eyes of her Creator. Your genuineness will naturally become evident to your precious reader as your words lovingly focus on her.
What a beautiful opportunity you have to exhibit your heart. I pray that you take joy in writing your letter and that God uses it mightily in your adoption journey.Kelly
I get the goosebumps and that lumpy feeling in my throat every time I read those three point of wisdom, and I’m so glad she was willing to share them with you.
Friends, invite Him in. Let yourself FEEL. And remember this is a PERSON you are writing to. What an opportunity. What gift. Let’s not miss it.
Need help writing your letter [and pulling the rest of your profile book together], connect with us. We would love to walk this journey with you.
Kelly is a passionate lover of Jesus, a wife to her best friend, a stay at home mom to two beautiful girls, and the owner of Sweet Home Cakery (follow at your own risk of wanting ALL the delicious things!) She’s “Monica-level” clean. She bites into ice cream with her front teeth. She snaps with her ring finger. She loves gifts but is embarrassed to admit that her top love language is the most materialistic one. She loves fiercely and operate under the notion that God is always working something in her, drawing her closer to Himself, and making her more like Him. You can follow her family’s story or connect with her on Instagram @soocallmemabee.