Dear Younger Me…the rejected adopted or foster me

What to do if you're scared about being a mama to a child with special needs and scary background

I wrote this allegory in 1993, six years before my first book was published by Random House in 1999. (TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW).

Nancy Verrier, colleague and beloved author of the best-selling book– THE PRIMAL WOUND–read it and commented: “I believe your allegory would be very helpful to other adoptees who have had experiences similar to yours. I hope that you can get it published so that it might inspired others to lift themselves out of the trap that keeps yearning for something unattainable into the freedom of gaining something powerful and fulfilling. Even some adoptees who have had good reunions need to be able to stop feeling like victims, empower themselves, and begin to LIVE.”

Last August, I walked back into space and time through a long, dark corridor to a slightly opened door named Adoption.

In my arms, I held a precious baby girl, wrapped in a soft, pink blanket. She was innocent and pure, and lay sleeping in my arms.

“I’m going to give you to your mommy, little baby,” I whispered, cuddling her close to my body.

When I knocked on the door named Adoption, I noticed a sign” WELCOME TO YOUR FAMILY.

An attractive woman greeted us and asked that we come in and be seated.

I spotted a large winged-back chair and eased into it, baby in arms.

As the woman looked into the infant’s dark brown eyes, her body pulled away. Motionless, she stared into space as if frozen in time.

“What are you doing?” I gasped.

She said nothing, but her face grew hard and cold, and her eyes looked like steel knives.

“Take her–I don’t want her, she said, dropping the crying baby to the floor as she fled to another room.

Weeping uncontrollably, I lifted the traumatized infant into my arms.

“Don’t worry, little one, I will take care of you. I won’t let her hurt you anymore. We will go far away from her and you will be safe.”

The baby’s body, once soft and pliable, was tense and rigid. Her eyes were filled with terror as if to say, “What has happened to me? Won’t somebody help me?”

I carried her back to my own home, to the rocking chair I used to comfort our now-grown daughters.

“I will take care of you,” I whispered, rocking while cradling her in my arms.

“Welcome home, little one. I am so glad you are here. I have been looking for you for you long and finally I’ve found you. You were lost but now you are found. I will be your mommy. I will love taking care of you….for now you are mine.

Here are some ways that those who have been rejected can “Do Rejection Well:”

  1. Process Your Anger and Pain: This happens with real, live people! Lone rangers don’t find healing. Journal, therapy, support groups. Be active here rather than avoiding the anger and pain. If you do, you’ll get sick. Connect!
  2. Pronounce Your Relinquishment: This is making your claim for your life in spite of the rejection. Communicate by letter, email, text, or whatever—-“I am done with the rejection. I am a deeply-loved person.”
  3. Refuse to chronically hope for a miracle.



Dear Younger Me…the adopted or fostered me

What Can Adoptive And Foster Mamas Do When They Can See No Results?

Dear younger me…the baby delivery nurses named Baby X, the messed up me…the angry me….the me who has had more than her shares of struggles…

Oh, little one….tiny, unseen, unborn one…

My heart aches for you.

You’ve been through many hard things in your short life. You have no way of actually knowing.

But now since I’m old, I can tell you.

I have lived many days and read many books to help me understand.

If you feel upset, I will gently hold your head to my heart. If you cry, I will wipe away your tears with kisses.

Your actual conception was a shock to the yet-unformed you.

Your first developmental position in the womb probably was not in the fetal position, curled up and feeling safe….when one is in shock, no matter how old, relaxing is impossible.

Your life was not planned by any person. Because your parents didn’t plan you, your mother’s body worked  at aborting you through internal secretions. Because you knew you weren’t wanted, your life from the very beginning was one of defense. Push away anything to do with her.

When attached,  you knew that “something wasn’t right.” It felt like one person having an argument with another.

Your mother may have been drugging or drinking while she carried you, and your brain may have been damaged. These wounds will produce behaviors you can’t control, but rest assured little one, this is not your fault.

Your first conversation with her was when you were an unborn 7 months old. Hers was the only voice, so the deep and sad tones set the stage for your emotional health and future.

You may wonder why God let bad things happen to you…evil things, like your mother being raped, her wanting to abort you, or your brain being wounded with drugs.

None of us know this answer.

The only thing we know is that God is always good and that He promises to bring good out of evil.

And, you, my younger self, are that good.

I love you, Baby X.

Practical Suggestion to Increase Adoption Awareness Between Parents and Kids

Adoption professionals say that the most effective way for adoptees and foster kids, no matter our age, to get in touch with feelings about the birth mother is to write and letter to and from the birth mother.

I’m taking it a step further during Adoption Awareness Month 2017. You can observe this from this post. This time, the letter is from the older me to the younger me.

How about trying this with your kids, or fellow adoptees and fostered, with yourself?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. You may want to take a few minutes to find out some developmental markers of the age child you are writing to. Each of these could be springboards for talking to your younger self. Try this site:
  2. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What is normal for that age?
  • What do I know about my history?
  • What do I believe I might have been feeling, hearing, seeing?
  • Who else are key players in the scene for the letter?
  • How would these key players be addressed?
  1. Think of examples or metaphors that would further describe the experience. eg.–hot like a blazing fire, stinky like poop
  2. What is the name of the younger self? Does he/she have one?

  3. Is there a truth that can be anchored in this letter? eg.–God brings good out of evil

  4. How will the younger and older adoptee/ foster child interact?


God Is An Expert At Bringing Good Out of Bad--Pastor Rick Warren