A Letter to My Adopted Son

You're not that tiny newborn anymore.

You're six months old. And we dedicated you to Jesus Sunday. This is the letter I read to you at your dedication.

You love playing with your feet, you think your sister is hilarious, and don't you dare tell your Daddy, but you have a HUGE crush on your mama! Although right now, you'd rather have me, pretty soon, he's going to rock your world. And you're going to see just how awesome he is. Really. Grow up and be just like him.

You smile and giggle when we make funny sounds at you. You laugh so hard when I kiss your neck, and although most days are really hard taking care of you, they are filled with so much beauty. I can't imagine our family without you in it.

From the moment I found out about you, I have worried about you. Before your sister came home to us, I didn't know what it felt like to be a mama. I had no idea how much I would love her. I didn't know how it would feel to hear her say my name for the first time. I didn't know how it would feel when I watched her get shots. I didn't know how it would feel to watch her take her first wobbly steps, or feel her little arms wrap around my neck.

I didn't know what it would mean to watch my heart walk around outside my body.

But when I found out about you, I did. I knew just how much I would love you. I knew all the things in this big world that could hurt you, or cause you pain. And I worried.

I worried because I couldn't reach down and rub my belly to feel you moving. I couldn't schedule doctor appointments to know you were okay. I couldn't eat well and drink lots of water to keep you healthy. I worried a lot about you. And over and over again, God reminded me that you are always His first.

We knew once you were born, you might have some obstacles to overcome. And we were ready for them. While you were growing in your birth mom's belly, I felt the Lord speak a word over your sweet little life; be brave.

I think He gave it mostly to me because I was scared I wouldn't be enough for you. When I worried if you would be healthy, or all the obstacles you would overcome, or when I felt that I wouldn't be what you would need, I would hear Him whisper to me, "Be brave."

Sweet boy, you are brave. Much braver than your mama. You have been through more hard things in your short little life, than most people encounter in a lifetime. There were days, when we weren't sure what the future held for you. I would ache when I thought about you growing up, because I wasn't sure if we would get you there. You spent the majority of your first few months in the hospital. And you are brave.

You are a fighter. You are an overcomer. Your Daddy and I cannot be more proud to call you ours. We fought for you. We will always fight for you. You were so wanted. You are loved more than you'll ever know.

Sometimes it terrifies me, raising a black son in the world we live in. And although my love for you sees no color, the world does. My prayer for you is that you will always know your true identity. I want you to always feel as though you have a place to land, to know where you belong. Not only in our family, but mostly with the Lord.

Your Dad and I chose your life verse not based on your adoption into our family, but hopefully soon, your adoption into God's.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." Galatians 4:4-7

My heart's greatest desire is for you to place your identity in Christ. Live as His son, Micah. Walk in your sonship and inheritance from Him. Live as you truly are, relentlessly loved, anointed, set apart, cherished, and free. And I pray that as you walk in your True identity, others will see Love and join this Kingdom forever family too.

And I pray you are brave.

When others question that sonship. When they question your roots or where you belong, I pray you are brave and you hold fast to the Truth. When the enemy causes you to doubt you are loved and wanted, I pray you'll lean in close to your Daddy, the One you hear me talk about all the time. Listen to only what He says about you. His voice is the only One that matters.

And your mama's, of course. But really just His.

You are more than I could ever dream.

I love you more than you'll ever know,

Mommy

Beautiful Brokenness

I sat in our hospital room with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart.

How can something so broken, be so beautiful?

My whole family was sleeping.

I watched her mince as she changed positions and found a more comfortable way to rest. Her poor body had endured much with this pregnancy. And in the last 48 hours, she delivered our son. Brandon was taking a much needed nap from sleeping sitting up the whole night. He insisted that I have the couch. The room was filled with the sounds of rhythmic breathing. And a blanket of heaviness covered us all.

I looked down in my arms and studied the lines of my son's little face. He too asleep, unaware of all the love held in that room for him. I wished for him. Years ago, when that

lonely pink line

showed up again after months of hoping. I prayed for him, like I did his sister. Prayed he would find his way into our family. Little did I know during our

failed adoption

last summer, God was already growing him in Selah's birth mom's belly. What she considered a mistake, God redeemed, like He always does. What we thought was loss from our failed adoption, was only God's kindness in

biological siblings.

While the quiet lingered, my heart cried out to Him. "Do you see her? She'll loose a son today, Lord. And what we have prayed for and wished for so long will finally happen. We'll gain a son. How do we do this?"

The days our birth mom has signed, placing her children into our family, have been both the happiest and saddest days of my life. Happy, because without her, I would never be a mommy. I would never change diapers, watch first wobbly steps, get wet kisses, and hear that name. Sad, because she will miss those things. And even though right when it happens, I send her a message or video, the children that share her DNA, call me mom. "The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege is not lost on me."-Jody Landers

Right when the weight was too much to bear, I received a text from a dear friend, "This is a beautiful brokenness that will draw you both to Papa. His love covers."

Did He see her? Absolutely. He is crazy about her, just like He is crazy about me. He watched our sweet son form in her inmost parts, and He was knitting him together right in her womb. He was preparing her heart for this day, the day she became a mom again. The day, she would love him so much she would sacrifice her feelings, for his future.

Did He see me there, grieving one second, and filled with complete joy in the next? Of course He did. And those tears I shed when the room was sleeping, He sat right there with me and caught every one.

His love covers. It covered us both. And still does.

Our adoption story is quite different from most. Never had I imagined I would have two children with extremely

open adoptions

. I wanted to adopt internationally so I wouldn't have to "share" my children with a birth mom. Looking back, I see how selfish my motives were. I was thinking about me and the desire I had lived with for so long. Now, looking at all God has done in our story, I am humbled how God has grown our family. Not only do we now have a son and a daughter, but we have a dear sister, and her two boys in our extended family as well.

People ask me all the time how I "let" her be so involved in our lives. And although I understand their concern, it's because it works for us. She respects me as mommy, and I respect her as the mom who gave my children life. We share a bond that is like no other. My children will never know the depths of our love.

But it also works, because we share a similar story. One of loss and brokenness. A story in great need of redemption. And right at the time in both of our lives when we experienced our darkest days, God picked up a pen and started writing.

And He wrote a story of beautiful brokenness...

A woman with a choice to make, and a woman with no choices left.

And throughout His story, He drew our hearts to His. In a way we both never imagined.

Welcome to our family, Micah Rand Satterfield.

You will never know how you are loved.

Our Birth Mom

In my last post, I shared about our

open adoption.

 When Brandon and I were walking through the

adoption process

, I read everything I could find about birth moms. I wanted to know what it was like through their eyes. Whether you are interested in adoption, in the middle of paperwork,

waiting on your baby

, or possibly considering adoption for your child, this post is for you! Here are Lakeisha's (our birth mom) thoughts on open adoption...

Why did you choose adoption?

I chose adoption because I wanted better for my child than I knew I could provide. I could have kept Selah, but it would have made life so difficult for the two boys I already have. At first abortion was an option for me. However, I went to Piedmont Womens' Center for an ultrasound to see exactly how far along I was in the pregnancy. There was a brochure available for an adoption agency. I called and spoke with a wonderful caseworker. After further conversations, she helped me confirm that adoption was right for me.

What fears did you have about adoption?

I was nervous that our (Jessica, Brandon and my) baby would resent me, and still am at times. I didn't know my biological father until I was 14. Don't get me wrong, I have a daddy that has always been there for me. However, I found out from a stranger that he wasn't my biological father. It crushed me. It made me question who I was and everything else about myself. When I met my biological father, I didn't see him as my daddy. Not because he wasn't there for me, but because I was neglected by him with selfish motives. I don't want Selah to resent me for placing her with Brandon and Jessica. I want her to love me more because of it.

What qualities were you looking for in picking a family?

At first I didn't have anything specific I was looking for in a family. I had no idea who or what type of people I was looking for. I am a go with the flow, and if it is right, it will happen, type of person. I knew I wanted my adoption to be open, but I didn't want to be the only one to make the terms. I was open to everything except a closed adoption.

What helped you heal after placement?

I know this is going to sound crazy but there is and never was a "healing" process for me. I have nothing to heal from. I'm not sure how to put this into words, but I am going to try my best. I don't feel like I lost anything. I gained more than I could have EVER imagined from this. I never lost a daughter, I gained a family. She is mine but wasn't made for me. I have honestly only REALLY cried (like boo-hooed) once. It was the night when the three Satterfield's left the hospital. The only reason I cried then is because of the nurse. She kept hugging me and repeating, "She's not going to hate you, she will love you more." I wanted to tell the woman to get out of my room, but I held it together and then when she left out I burst into tears thinking, "but what if she does hate me?" I got in the shower, cried a little more, and after that, no more tears. I have cried because of some of the hurtful things friends and family have said to me. Not because I gave her up for adoption (I hate that phrase by the way, I didn't give up anything either), but because some people do not understand my decision.

How do you feel about open adoption?

Open adoption is an excellent option for anyone. In my opinion, the only reason I could understand a birth mom wanting a closed adoption, is if she was raped and it would be more traumatizing for her and the baby if they knew each other. Other than that, I can't really understand it. Even if you don't want an extremely open relationship like I have with my "baby mama" and "baby daddy," :) then you can still have updates. Every situation is different, but I think mine is PERFECT.

What would make a birth mom scared to have an open adoption?

The only fear I could think of is if the birth mom and adoptive family didn't want the same thing in the adoption. Or if they are awkward around each other or do not feel comfortable. It could possibly hurt the birth mom to see the child she gave birth to respond more to the adoptive parents or leave with them. But again, I don't have those problems. Communication is key in these situations. Never be scared to say how you feel, just because you don't want to offend the other person. More than likely, the other would be thinking the same or at least something in the same boat. I don't keep anything from my adoptive family. They know the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is no need in

keeping anything from them.

What are your wishes for your child?

I want Selah to have everything I had and more as a child and an adult. I had a great childhood. Things didn't change for me until I found out about my father. I began to act out. I don't want her to go through the same experiences that I lived, so I want to be an open book for her. All I ask is for her to have a stable, Christian foundation. If you choose the best parents for your child like I did, then you don't have to worry about their childhood or their life in general, for that matter. You know that it will be the best and even better than you could ever ask for.

What does adoption mean to you?

Adoption is awesome. It is the very best gift you can give someone. In my eyes, nothing is greater. Abortion is selfish and a cop out. Every child has a purpose, and whether that purpose is to be "your" child or not, only God can determine. It is such a blessing to see a family as special as the Satterfield's, who can't conceive a child themselves, watch their child be born. I can't describe into words the feeling that gave me.

Thank you so much for being here and hearing our story. I'm so thankful for each of you! My prayer is that you see God's glory and His beauty in these words! Be encouraged, dear friend, even when it feels as if He's forgotten us, He is working in so many lives around us to write His story, not only for our good, but theirs too.

Stay tuned...exciting things to come!