Mother’s Day Love for Adoptive Moms

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 A couple of people that are sitting on a table

For the last three years I have traveled to Orlando, FL, to meet up with some amazing women who are adoptive and foster moms. These women are uniquely drawn together through the bond of parenting wounded children. Children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD, and for many of our kids, just one of their diagnoses) is unlike any other parenting experience. Our kids often have a hidden disability, or inability, to connect and develop healthy relationships with anyone. However, the mom is always the one most affected because our kids sense that we are the biggest threat to the wall they’ve built around their hearts. 

As I prepared to go to Orlando this year my youngest adopted daughter asked if she could write a letter expressing Mother’s Day love for adoptive moms.  My sweet daughter Stephanie has made so much progress in healing and is a testament to the love and faith required to parent kids with such tragic scars upon their hearts. My daughter is a source of hope for many moms where hope may be hard to find. These are her words and her heart.


 A person sitting in a park

Dear  Mamas,

It’s been a bad year hasn’t it? People say that it’ll get better, but it doesn’t. You fall to your bed each night, exhausted and broken. You just want to grab your child and shake their shoulders and yell, “ For once just listen to me!” You’ve fallen on your knees, lifted your arms and face to the ceiling and cried “ God, why me?” or “ God take me now!”  But I’ll tell you a secret… sometimes the worst days, are the best days. That worst day of your life could be the starting point of your child’s healing. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can get out of that pit.

I might not understand what my Mom went through exactly, but I understand what I went through and what your kid is going through, too. My past might be much easier than your kid, or the other way around, but I still understand. It’s scary to think what I would be like or where I would be if my Mom had given up on my siblings and me. If she had booted us out or put us in a group home. Mom and Daddy were there with me every single backbreaking step. I’ve caused so much pain toward my family. But Mom says she doesn’t regret it, it’s still hard to believe it sometimes though. Some kids are so damaged they may never heal, but that doesn’t mean your child won’t. And When your child heals you won’t regret any bloody thing your child did (I don’t literally mean bloody). Because you’ll know that the battle is over, there will still be fights, but its over. Your child will be so grateful when he or she realizes, like I did, that their life is so much better. If gratitude had arms, you would be swept off your feet and you would never touch the ground again. I am SO grateful that my family chose me and didn’t give me up when they found out that I had RAD… tears are falling on my desk as I’m typing this out even now.

God wouldn’t have given you this burden if He thought you weren’t strong enough to handle this. Don’t give up. You’ll gain and lose friends through your life, but God will never abandon you. Don’t give up. I love the verse John says, “ Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid”…  Be at peace… don’t give up.

A couple of people that are sitting in the grass

As a soon to be 15 year old, I will confess that I sometimes think that I don’t need my parents and that I can take care of myself. Boy was I dead wrong. Sometime in November, my youth group and me went to a retreat and a diabetic friend got sick. Long story short, she wasn’t taking her medication, so she got sick. Vomiting, shivering, hallucinating, the whole shebang. A friend and me stayed up with her the whole night, sometimes the pain would get so bad she would start screaming. It was a long night. I wanted and needed my Mommy so bad I would start whimpering when I had time to think. You saved your baby’s life by adopting him or her. They need you, so keep on going. For all we know, God could have made you and gave you life and put you on this earth so you can change lives. That one life, your child, will give other moms hope, like my mom is giving hope to you. They need you.

The other thing that’ll get you through this long journey… is love. “Love is patient, love is kind, love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:4. Whether the source of love is coming from God, your spouse, your children, other moms, or even pets, you will never go anywhere or do anything without love. With God, other trauma mamas, love and encouragement, you’re Super Mama! Stay strong, don’t give up… stay strong…


A man and a woman taking a selfie

Lest you think our lives are just unicorns and rainbows, we have fought hard for all three of our adopted children. Although our oldest of the sibling group is estranged from us, we advocated and fought battles for her to get the help she needed to heal and live in safety. Our story with her did not have a happy ending as the world sees it, but I know we did everything humanly possible and ultimately it is God who is the divine Healer.

These words from my daughter Stephanie are a huge blessing and don’t come without sacrifice and courage from all of us. As she said, we are in the midst of the teenage years and are struggling to stay connected while she stretches the boundaries and learns life lessons along the way.  We constantly battle the lies that Satan wrought in her heart because of her birth story and life of her first two years. She is loved, encouraged and challenged every day to become a mighty woman of God.

To all moms on this Mother’s Day, I wish you a day filled with peace, joy and contentment. As my daughter so eloquently reminded me, “if gratitude had arms you would be swept off your feet and you would never touch the ground again.” 

 A group of people posing for the camera      

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  1. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to
    put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending way too
    much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was
    still worth it!

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    1. Leslie, I’m so glad this letter ministered to you. It’s such a hard walk as an adoptive mom and one I’ve written a lot about, although more in the past than recently. Be encouraged that you are making a difference!

  3. Thank-you for sharing your daughters letter. That is such encouragement! And Please Thank your daughter for writing her thoughts. Sometimes kids don’t tell us what they feel (unless they are angry and screaming) because they are sure Mom would not understand. But I was not adopted (although I tried to figure out if I could have been so I could blame my troubles on that) and I remember treating my mother like that. As an adoptive Mom with a teenager, this letter was what I needed. Thank-you!

    1. Thank you, Becky, for encouraging me! It is hard parenting teenagers and our adopted ones come with such baggage and emotional needs that it’s hard to sort through what’s “normal” and what’s not it. Hang int here because it’s worth it and you’re doing an amazing thing!

  4. Wow. The letter was so touching and beautiful. I plan to print it out and post it somewhere in my home so that on my hard day’s, and we have many, I can read it for encouragement. Please let her know that by her heartfelt letter she has given me the encouragement to keep trying.

    1. Bethany, I hope this encourages you for your journey. It is definitely a hard road but it is possible for healing to take place! God bless you!

  5. Pingback: Thanks from an Adopted Daughter
  6. Hello,

    My name is Allison, I am a mom of 14. I’ve recently re-picked up blogging. I found your blog through Mama D at I’m looking to connect with other adoptive families as I know we can provide each other understanding, love and support that others cannot fully understand. If you ever need an ear or someone to pray for you please know that I am here.

    Many Blessings,
    PS – Your daughter is absolutely amazing and appreciate her letter so much!

    1. Hi, Allison. What a great call on your life. I’m so glad you reached out. We have indeed struggled and still struggle with huge questions and attachment issues, but God is sovereign and I have to cling to that. I can’t imagine having all the kids that you do, just the sheer physicality of providing for them, but what a blessing! Thanks for contacting me. Have a blessed day!

  7. Wow! This is amazing! Stories from Christine Cain, Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore all come to mind. Look at what God can do with those who have been abused. I am just in awe of how God is using you to heal these children. I’m just starting to read about your adoption story. I might be here a while…

  8. Wow…wow…wow
    Reading this 2 months late and yet, the message feels so strong, tugging at the cords of my heart so much that I feel like hugging you both, tightly and never letting go. And your daughter is so beautiful, in and out. You are lucky to have her just as she is lucky to have you.
    More strength and grace unto you.

    Hugs & thots,

  9. What a sweet, wise fifteen year old you have!! A precious gift. I saw your link over at Wedded Wednesdays, and I’m so glad I visited. We’re praying for my son and daughter-in-law’s little waiting daughter in India. They’ll be adoptive parents sometime next year, God willing. What a testimony your blog is!

    1. Laura, thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting on my daughter’s letter. I hope your son and daughter-in-law are blessed through adoption, but I also hope they will go into it having educated themselves on adoption. If they ever need someone to talk to please give them my blog name. I want to encourage others in their adoption journey while also being transparent about how hard it really is.
      God bless you!
      Marty@Marty’s Musings

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  11. What beautiful pictures of you and Stephanie. And what a mature and compassionate young lady you are raising. I know her words–and yours–are a gift to many parents. Thank you, marty.

    1. Thanks, Laura. It just struck me as odd that you mentioned my daughter’s name in your comment because it’s the first time I’ve used her real name. When my kids are old enough to make the decision I allow them to choose whether they want to be identified by their real name or not. I appreciate you encouraging me as my daughter’s words encourage others!

      Have a blessed day!

  12. I love the photos of you Marty, with your sweet daughter. And God even blessed you with a daughter who in so many ways resembles you too! Your daughter certainly has wisdom beyond her years (and quite the great writer too)! I’m encouraged by her perspective on it all, because I know something of the difficulty of loving a child with RAD. We had a foster daughter for a season, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I applaud you for your commitment to these children, Marty. You’re an amazing mom!

    1. Thanks so much, Beth, for the words of encouragement. We do think it’s funny when people say she looks like me. It’s just God’s way of confirming and blessing! I will tell you that parenting RAD has indeed been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, and I’ve been through tough. My kids are still struggling but every day is a chance to work again and trust God more.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

    1. Hi, Mimi. Thanks for stopping by Marty’s Musings. I’m so glad my daughter’s post for adoptive moms touched your heart. I’ve written a lot about our journey and I would feel honored anytime you want to visit and share your story.

  13. That is a beautiful and very eloquent letter. You must be very proud of her, as she is of you. I have three adopted children as well. It was a bumpy rode to motherhood but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!