There are many ways to express your love for adoption. For some, songs about adoption are the perfect way to connect with their own personal adoption experience, whether as an adoptive parent, birth parent, or adoptee.
Music is a powerful way to express emotion about heartfelt topics like adoption. Recently, a Lifetime adoptive mom, Erin, used her talent for singing and songwriting to tell the story of her love surrounding the process of adoption. We're delighted to share Erin's song, "The Gift of You," with all of you today! We hope that her beautiful lyrics encourage you as you move through your own adoption journey!
"I really wanted to share this amazing chance God has given me. My heart has been for those touched by adoption since I was a little girl. I have always known how special adoption is, and the older I get, the more I have seen, the more I people I have talked to, the more I see this. God gave me this special song, and I really wanted to share it with Lifetime as you played a part in our family and my heart. Thanks for all you do!" Erin recently emailed us.
As she shares on her independent music label's website, "I am an adoptive mom of four children. I also have a brother that was placed for adoption and have been blessed to be able to establish relationships with my children's birth families.
I am in a unique position to be able to see more than one side of adoption. There are many different ways and reasons birth families make this choice, but adoption is always a selfless act.
This is a song written about the gift of adoption, from my heart, for my children. I want my kids to know the act of placing a child for adoption is done out of love. They have always been loved, with my love for them growing in my heart long before I met them. The gift of my children to me is from their birth families and from my Heavenly Father who has a plan for all of our lives. As this song continued to grow in my heart, I realized there are so many people that have been touched in one way or another by adoption. I hope this song can help be a bridge of understanding and healing for someone."
You can watch the music video for "The Gift of You" here:
We feel blessed to be able to share Erin's story with you today:
My story about adoption started when I was around 11 years old. I came home from school one day and saw my mom sitting at the kitchen table. She was crying. I went up to her trying to find out why. She then told me the story of how she had placed a son for adoption. She had been an unwed mother and knew she did not have the means to be able to care for her son. One of the beautiful and yet heartbreaking things she told me was how, when she was at the hospital to give birth, the nurses tried to take him away from her right away since she was placing him for adoption. But she begged them to let her hold him one time, so she could tell him she loved him and to say goodbye.
Adoption was so different back then. Very frowned upon and hush-hush. The only option was a closed adoption, and my mom was never to know anything about her baby. The nurses even told her that she would completely forget about him soon. She needed to just get on with her life. But she never forgot.
It was eighteen years later to the day when I came home to find her crying. Eighteen years and she still loved him and thought about him. My heart hurt for her. I believe this was when God planted a seed in my heart about adoption.
As I got older, I would tell my mom that IF I ever had children, the only way was I was going to adopt. I just have known since then that this was how my family would come together. I feel so blessed that God put me in my family, where I was able to see the heart of a birth mom, years later. I have had a big heart for all birth moms since. It is such a hard choice, but it is the most amazing gift! I now get to be a mom to four such amazing gifts! Each of my children, like all adopted children, has a unique story that is all their own.
Our first adoption happened quickly; we only had to wait around two months. When they called to tell us about our daughter, she was already born. I used to joke about how most moms have nine months to prepare for a baby, and we had nine days. I had chosen not to get the nursery ready at all before our child was born, so we had absolutely nothing "baby" in our house. For me, it was too hard to know a nursery was there just waiting, which meant we had to really scramble to get the needed baby items.
After we were chosen, we went to the state she was born to meet her and her birth mom. It was love at first sight! We then came back home as there were laws regarding us being able to take her home yet. I was crushed at having to leave her in the foster home she was staying at, but we were able to go back the next week, and then she was ours.
Our next adoption was the longest. We waited until our daughter was two before we started the adoption process again. At first, we tried with foster care, knowing there are lots of kids in need of homes.
Not long after, we were in contact with a birth mom who was sure adoption was the best choice for her. She lived in our state. We went to the hospital after her daughter was born, signed preliminary paperwork, and came home with a beautiful baby girl. Two days later, we received a phone call from the birth mom saying they were coming to take her back.
I was utterly devastated. It was as if a piece of my heart had been taken out of me when they came and took her away. It was sad for quite a while, but looking back, I can honestly now say it was all part of God's plan.
After a time, we decided we really wanted to have another baby, which is unlikely in foster care. That is when we decided to try to see if we would be accepted by Lifetime. I honestly did not think we would be approved, but we were. I remember listening to webinars and going through the listing of birth moms that had spoken to Lifetime. To be honest, as the years came and went, I grew extremely impatient! I remember one webinar where the woman said her wait seemed like forever, but once she finally held her child in her arms, she knew that the wait was worth it. That the wait was necessary so she could get her child. I can say that is exactly how I feel about Kaeden now, although at the time, I had a hard time getting past the waiting.
We connected with our son's birth mom through a friend of a friend. We decided to do the hold with Lifetime and commit to her. This adoption was great as I was able to go to one of her ultrasound appointments, as well as be in the delivery room and watch my son be born. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life! However, as I was there watching my son being taken care of by the nurses, I was also so incredibly heartbroken for his birth mom. For most moms, this is the time of joy where they bring this child and lay them in your arms. But for her, it was anguish. I watched her sobbing as I was the one who walked out of the room with her baby boy. This is one of the images I will forever keep in my heart, showing the love she had for him.
Our next adoption was through foster care. We had several kids come and go through our home. Mason came and was supposed to go back to his parents in a short amount of time. Once that did not work out, they then decided he would go to his grandfather. A little over two years after we took him into our home, he officially became one of us.
Our final adoption was through Lifetime. This adoption is very unique in that our son's biological grandparents are good friends of ours. He gets to see them fairly often, and also sees other members of his biological family. I love that he has more people to love him, although sometimes this is a little hard as my other children do not have as much contact with their biological families.
Having some contact with each of my child's biological families is something I have always made and will always continue to make a priority. For me, it would be an extremely rare case with severe issues where I would not have some sort of contact with someone in each of their biological families. I know how hard it is not to know anything about my brother all these years later. I will always do everything I can not to put their birth families in the same situation as I am in.
Each of my children's situations is different, so the contact I have with each family is different. I also try to be flexible and talk to my older kids about how they are feeling about the amount of contact they have and want to have. One example is that Kaeden and his biological sister now use the Marco Polo app, as he wanted to be able to talk to her.
There are a lot of questions that can come from those who were adopted. A lot of them I cannot answer, and some I can. I think one of the most important things to keep in mind is that an adoption is an act of love. These kids were loved by their birth mom, who had to make a hard choice. I know every situation is different, but even kids that were taken away into foster care were loved by their birth mom. She could have made a choice not to have the child at all.
I believe helping our kids to see they have always been loved first by our Heavenly Father, then their birth mom, and then their adopted family can help them through some of the questionings of why they were adopted. I also think having honest empathy for the heartbreak the birth mom has gone through has helped me as an adoptive mom. When the questioning, or sometimes anger and resentment comes from an adopted child, I feel this can help me guide them through having grace for their birth family and acceptance of why they were adopted.
God put me in an amazing place when He chose me to be the daughter of a birth mom who had placed a child for adoption. I am genuinely thankful for the way He created my heart for empathy, love, and understanding of the love that a birth mom carries in her heart for her child for the rest of her life. Adoption is a selfless act and a beautiful gift—a gift of a life given from one mother to another.
I pray for peace in your heart as you continue on your adoption journey. As you can tell, adoption is a huge passion of mine. I would love the chance to talk to anyone who would like to. Whether it is to have someone else to talk to, to see if I can answer questions, or to share things I wish I had done differently during our adoptions, just anything at all. Thanks so much.