Recently, I received an email from a father who told me of his love for his adopted son, Elijah. He wanted me to share a little of my experience, as an adoptee, with his amazing 8 year old who was struggling with the same questions I had when I was a kid. So, I thought I’d write him a letter……
I know I have not met you or your family yet, but I hope that one day we will have that chance. Your dad and I have become friends over email and he has shared with me how much he loves you and how special you are to your family.
I wanted to write to you because, like you, I was adopted. In fact I grew up in a family with 13 kids…ten of us were adopted! Talk about different…we were different! Our family was huge and all of the adopted kids were different ethnicities – black, white, mixed, Vietnamese, and Native American. We kind of stuck out in our hometown. Some people would just stare at us.
You are not alone. I know it may seem like it sometimes. What you feel is what so many others felt at one time in their lives. When you’re adopted, you’re going to have questions. It’s as normal as breathing. There are a lot of questions of “why” and sometimes no answers.
You know what I have found though? After all of the wondering, there is one REALLY REALLY REALLY big question that matters the most. Am I loved?
And the answer, if I could blast some speakers with some crazy loud music, is a ridiculous unquestionable “YES! YES! YES! YOU ARE LOVED!” And I just don’t mean by your parents. (‘Cuz your parents love you. My parents loved the mess out of me too…even when I was a big pain in the butt.) I mean being loved by Someone who loved you before anyone else had the chance! God. He created you. Special. Unique. One-of-a-kind. Complete with all of those little quirks that make you, you. Psalm 139 says He “knit you together in your mother’s womb”. Look. God wove together every thread that would become Elijah. And He knew that the mommy that would give you Life would also love you enough to know that she wanted a better life for you than she could give. She never even considered abortion, because she knew, deep in her heart, that God had great things in store for you.
So, she gave the most awesome gift to your parents. You! When you truly love someone, you always try to do what’s best for them. And your birthmom made a brave decision. Mine did, too. It was the best thing for us! (We even created a website to show many others who are just like us at www.adoptedandloved.com!)
Your parents love you beyond your imagination, Elijah. More than chocolate. More than movies. More than Disneyworld. More than anything your lil’ mind can come up with. They chose you, even though your caramel color is different than their own and your hair may not look like theirs. They chose you because they loved you when you were only an idea in their mind, a possibility in their heart. And when they held you for the first time, forget about it! Just like my mom and dad, BOOM! That was it. Nothing could ever break that bond of love.
There are millions like you who wonder and may need a reminder that their adoption was the best gift ever. You see that little boy in the picture on the bench? That’s my adopted son. He doesn’t look anything like his Greek/Italian mother, but he’s a mushy part of her (and my) heart! Your family will never be the same because you’re in it. Your friends, your school, your church are all different–better–because Elijah is in the mix!
One day, you will understand how adoption made God’s purpose for your life shine through. Just like you, the family and friends God has placed in my life make every day an adventure worth taking. They help create memories that remind me in case I were to ever forget that I…am…special.
And Elijah. So are you. From one adoptee to another, I created the video “ONE IN 7 BILLION” to tell you that there’s no one like you.
Our birthmoms gave us the chance to love and to be loved. And that’s a lot to celebrate!
Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome munchkins. Ryan is a factivist, creative agitator, and international public speaker who loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.