"I Want to Email My Mommy"

I was sitting at my desk when Little Man and Eby raced into the room.  “We want to message our families,” they shouted.  “I want to talk to my sister,” Eby said and Little Man followed with, “I want to email my Mommy.”

I wasn’t expecting such significant thoughts and I faltered for a moment, especially at Little Man’s words.  We talk about our children’s Ethiopian families regularly but he had never asked to contact his Ethiopian mother.  After being in touch with her for a time, we haven’t heard from her in nearly two years, which worries me. She has all of our contact information, so I hope one day we will hear from her again, but of course, I’m concerned that something may have happened to her.

Tomorrow Little Man will be five years old; he has been our son for all but the first four months of his life.  We have been blessed more than words can express by his life – he adds joy to our family every day.  I know his young mother misses him.  The last time I saw her, three years ago, she told me that she was learning English because she wants to be able to speak to Little Man one day.  I pray that day will come.

If she could see him tomorrow as he blows out the candles on his cake, she would be amazed at the incredible little boy he is becoming.  He defies everything science tells us about the importance of prenatal care, good nutrition, and safe childbirth.  God has given Little Man an amazing, bright mind, a strong, healthy body, and a joyful spirit.  He is full of spunk and delight.  Yesterday, as he read a story to me about Pat the fat rat who sat on the hat, I marveled at the way he is growing.

Today I am thinking of Little Man’s Ethiopian mother, wishing she could share the joy of his birthday.  I hope that one day soon I’ll find an unexpected email in my inbox from a “friend of a friend” who sends a message on her behalf.  I see her face in Little Man’s and wish I could pop a few photos in the mail to her or see her at our dinner table tomorrow night.  I know how much she would want to be here and my heart hurts for her as we celebrate.

I am deeply thankful that I have seen Little Man’s first mother face to face, wrapped my arms around her, watched her hold Little Man close, heard her story, shared coffee and tears.  I’m honored that she trusts me with her son; I’ll do my best to return that honor to her.

#311 – 320 giving thanks

lemon cake with cream cheese frosting

five candles on top

tight hugs around my neck

still little enough to sit on my lap

mastering “Go Fish”

learning to read

abundant life despite all odds

Farmyard Tales nearly every day

a heart for Jesus

singing a little JB, “Baby, baby, baby oh….”  He’s a star.

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Mary
    October 12, 2011

    So amazing to read. It is the part of adoption I NEVER thought about–the loss on the other end. The heartfelt desire for a birthmom to raise her children coupled with the recognition that, for a variety of reasons, she cannot.

    I got to meet our foster baby/soon adoptive baby’s birth mom and it was precious–pain and joy all squeezed together. What more can we do than to honor them? I loved how you put that. Honor them with a memory for their kids that their first mommy was a courageous woman who loved them. And then honor them with prayers that those first mommies can hold their babies again one day, even if on the other side.

    Thanks for your always encouraging posts.

  2. jane
    October 12, 2011

    What a beautiful tribute to a birth mom. I think of my son's birthmom also, worry and wonder about her. She gave me the the most beautiful gift.

  3. Mama D's Dozen
    October 13, 2011

    You are BLESSED to have had the opportunity to meet his birth mom. Our children's parents had died before their adoption, but we were able to visit their village and meet some older 1/2 siblings. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.

    Hope your time in Seattle goes well


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