To My Son, On Your Adoption Day

“This resurrection life you receive from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, 'What’s next, Papa?' God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.”

-Romans 8:15-16

Photo by Taylor Fiddyment

Dear Coen,

Today was your adoption day and oh love, do you know how to draw a crowd! Your dad and I spent more money on the food for your party that we did at our own wedding, and truth be told, I could have easily spent even more. So much of foster care is waiting, outsiders waiting to bury you in negativity and uncertainty. Everything is shrouded, concealed and hidden. The moment that we could finally celebrate you openly and unabashedly, there was no good thing I wanted to deny you. That’s nothing compared to your big sister, who tells me everyday how much she will give you when she’s your mom.

Imagine then the feast that awaits you when God welcomes you home. He is waiting to adopt you as his child forever, and if I in my redeemed but broken humanity want to give you the world, just imagine how much the God of the universe, who indeed created the world, wants to give you! He has promised you throughout his word about this feast that awaits, likening it to a wedding. Adoption celebrations, much like weddings, are a taste and glimpse of God’s search and celebration of us, his creation, children made in his image.

You are made in his image. Every inch of you.

We bought this house for you, before we even knew you. Your room was prepared for you, before you were born. I remember spending hours daydreaming on Pinterest, rummaging Hobby Lobby, and pulling furniture from all over the house and garage to set up a place just for you. Imagine then how much more your Father in Heaven has prepared a place for you in your everlasting without end forever home.

“You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.”

-John 14:1-4

If I, in all my sin, with selfish prerogatives and a limited budget spent so many hours planning for your arrival, just imagine what the same God, who is flawless and loves perfectly, who created mountains and oceans and deserts and time and space and each strand of DNA, has created just for you.

Here’s why you were adopted, my love. When I was a kid I remember thinking that grown ups knew everything and had life figured out. I know now that all of that is, most of the time, an act. The truth is all of us, your birth parents and your family, your tribal family, your extended family; we all have sinned and been found wanting. Every mom, every dad on the earth in some capacity at some time has failed. Your birth mom and I have both made mistakes, screwed up, and fallen short. No one is exempt from this, and I can’t promise you that I will never let you down or always be a perfect parent. In fact, I can guarantee the opposite.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

-Romans 3:23-24

But the wonderful news is that both of us, both you and I who have had parents who have made mistakes and come up short, have a heavenly Father who makes no mistakes. It was not a mistake that you were born; you were beautifully and wonderfully made. When you were born you were dealt obstacles that exist in a fallen world, but you were created with strength to overcome them. God, your true forever father, protected you, loved you, and created you from day 1. He is your real father, your true father. You and I are both adopted into his family forever. You are the son of a King, and he makes no mistakes in parenting. He will never leave or abandon you, he will always give you what is best, and he is right now preparing for your arrival.

You, my dear sweet son, have been through so much. I’m so proud of you and how much you fight in love. You’ve grown so much. For the first five weeks of your life we drove back and forth through blizzards for hours just to visit you in the NICU. We stayed home when outside stimulation was too much for your body to handle, and met you where you were at. When you needed to be left alone in the dark, we did that. When you needed someone to hold you around the clock, we did that too. We travel all over for therapists, doctors, healers and scientists to help you as you grow.

All of that is nothing compared to what God has and will do for you. There is no place you can go where he will not also be. There is no amount of miles or time or space that can separate you from his love. He will chase you down; his love for you knows no ends. He is not limited by science; he created it. He will help you achieve and grow and accomplish and overcome more than should be possible.

Do not put limits on yourself because you were created by a limitless God.

Every life you meet is important. In one year you have influenced and reached more people than you could imagine. You and your story have been given the power by God to influence others. You were created with purpose; nothing that has happened to you is a mistake.

You have been given a unique set of talents and gifts and challenges. Even when your dad and I make mistakes helping you along the way, remember your true father in heaven makes no mistakes. He knows what every day already looks like and he is waiting for you to walk them together with him. He will never fail you. He will always love you. In him is a bigger, more perfect family than you can imagine.

I thank him everyday I get to be your mom. It is so surreal staring into the face of forever with you. There is no more waiting, just an endless string of days into eternity that I get to know and love you. What a beautiful, daunting, wonderful, privilege of a gift that is.

We love you so much Coen!

Welcome home,

Your mom

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God doesn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? The one who died for us- who was raised to life for us!- is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture...None of this taxes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing- nothing live or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable- absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our master has embraced us.”

Romans 8:31-39

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