A letter to my (adopted) son on his first birthday

It’s so hard to believe that you are already one year old. It feels like just yesterday you and I were wheeled out of the hospital together. You were so small and I was so blissfully happy to finally have met you. Time has flown by the past 365 days, even as I wished for it to slow down. You have brought such incredible joy to our lives during your first revolution around the sun. Being your mama is an honor and a privilege and I hope that I can always do right by you.

One thing’s for sure: I will spend the rest of my life trying.


Now that you are a toddler, your personality is really beginning to shine. You are funny and sweet and brave and determined. You make people smile everywhere we go. I cannot tell you how many lives you have touched. Even on a simple trip to the grocery store, you melt hearts, lift spirits, and give freely little blessings of happiness and laughter. Making Daddy (Daaaaaaaa) laugh is your favorite thing to do, along with growling and panting like the doggies, vacuuming on Mommy’s hip, taking clothes in and out of the washing machine (yes, you once LOVED to do chores), and crawling around in that adorably cute hybrid walk-crawl thing you do. You love to be outside. I mean, love it. You could watch the leaves blow in the breeze all day and be perfectly content. You are also smitten with books and cannot get enough of them. Your favorite book is called My Love for You. (pssst…it’s mine, too.) Every time you see that book you light up like a Christmas tree. It can pull you out of the crankiest of moods.


You and I just love spending time together–we savor our long walks in the park with your doggies, Gracie & Taylor, and love hanging out on the back porch and in the yard listening to the birds and the horses next door. You are fascinated with birds and point at every single one that flies by. When you need me, you yell “NaNaNa!” at the top of your lungs. That’s what you call me, and it’s music to my ears. Every morning, you spend an hour (sometimes two when you get up really early) playing with Daddy before he goes to work and I suspect that this is the highlight of his day. I believe it may be yours, too. The love between you two is something to behold. The love between the three of us is a force to be reckoned with.


You only had two teeth when you turned one–both on the bottom–but there is one on the top that is starting to poke through (ouch) and you are already (pretty) good at chewing food. Your favorite food is fruit–cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon–and we just discovered that you love chicken noodle soup like Mama, and ham and cheese like Dad. You refuse to eat peas, but most other things are fair game. It’s so fun watching you get better at picking up food with your sweet little fingers and trying to use a spoon. You try so hard at everything you do and eating is no exception. I have no doubt that you’ll be wielding your own utensils soon.

You don’t realize that our skin doesn’t match yet, but I know you probably will soon. And even though we have been together from the moment you were born, you had another family first, before you came into the world. I will tell you all about your adoption when you’re a little older, and I know that it will probably make you sad. You may have doubts and fears, but I want you to know that Dad and I are 100 percent your “real” family and that we would do anything for you. I also want you to know that you can talk to me about all or any of this at any time and I hope you will always feel like you can be completely honest with me. My feelings won’t be hurt if you need to cry. I will cry with you. Your first mother chose us to be your parents because she loved you so much. She knew that the three of us would make one happy family, and she was right. She is a strong, courageous woman and will always have a special place in our hearts.

We may be different in some ways, but we are the same in so many other ways. Like the fact that you and I are both Aries–our birthdays are only one week apart! I’m already noticing the similarities in our personalities. You’ll see – we’re a lot alike, buddy. You’re a lot like Daddy, too. Our hearts match and that is the important thing. We were brought together by love and devotion instead of blood and biology, and the way I see it, that’s even more special. We were brought together by something bigger, and you are, and always will be, a Ferguson through-and-through. You are the very heart of our little family. You have brought us joy beyond measure, and I count my blessings every day.

I have so many hopes and dreams for you, but the greatest is that you will be happy and always know how much you are loved. Your smile can move mountains and you can do anything, and be anything, you set your mind to (like that walking thing you’ve almost mastered). Your Dad and I will be here for you every step of the way–when you fall down, when you get up, when you fail, when you succeed, when your heart breaks, and when it soars. Happy birthday, my sweetest thing. Here’s to a hundred more.

I love you more than I ever thought possible.



p.s. eat your peas!

Finally finalized + our adoption video

A lot has happened since my last post! Miles’ adoption was officially finalized on March 5th, 2015. We didn’t actually know until the end of the month, though — can you believe no one told us? There was no court date and no appearance, which was a bit anti-climactic. It was just a judge signing some papers. And our attorney failed to tell us when the papers had actually been signed. This was really surprising because he was so great, and an adoptive father himself. I would have assumed he knew how important it was to us. Anyway, the adoption is now official in the eyes of the law (even though it has been final in our eyes since the moment we held our sweet boy) and we couldn’t be happier.

I had been saving this video to share when we announced our finalization (didn’t think it would take this long!). A wonderful local photographer created this film for us and we think it’s a super sweet memento of our first year together. Miles has brought us such joy and I can’t imagine our lives without him. I thank my lucky stars every day for the tremendous honor and privilege of raising this cuddly, sweet, smiling baby boy.

We finally have consent to adopt!

2015-01-14 17.43.13Miles is 10 months old today! It’s so hard to believe that much time has gone by. It’s also hard now to remember a time when he wasn’t with us.

I just love this little kid. He really is turning into a little kid. He got his first tooth this week, and there’s already another on the way. And it’s official: he’s a total mama’s boy. He has become my little cling-on and wants to be on my hip at all times. So I’ve learned to vacuum, cook, clean, and even sometimes work with a rather large baby in my arms. My biceps are always burning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way – I love it!

2015-01-14 17.43.15Our agency in Texas finally signed the consent to adopt (yay!) so that means that our attorney in Virginia can petition the court for finalization. After that, our Virginia agency will write a final report and then the court will say that we are officially a forever family. I guess we won’t be going into court to make an appearance. Here, I think your attorney just calls and tells you that it’s official. Kind of anticlimactic. I was picturing a day in court with a jolly old judge and tears and hugs and photos and the whole shebang. Oh well, we will just have to think of another way to mark the occasion!


Community reactions to my transracial adoptive family

IMG_2693I can’t believe that I haven’t written a post in more than a month. What a slacker! I could tell you I’ve been busy as can be and that would be true, but I think there’s more truth in the fact that I just don’t want to put my baby boy down. Like, ever. He’s so snuggly and he gives the best hugs now. He’s such a love bug. If I’m going to continue writing this blog, though, I know I have to get better about managing my time. So, today I thought I’d tell you how our journey as a transracial adoptive family is going so far, and how other people are reacting to our family.

In a nutshell: it has been wonderful.

Sometimes I look at Miles and honestly forget that he hasn’t just always been here, and that he isn’t biologically related to me. He’s just my son and that’s that. I’m aware that our skin doesn’t match but while we don’t match, we do coordinate. I mean, black and white is the quintessential color combination, right? Kidding aside, being a black and white family has already enriched our lives in so many ways.

Continue reading “Community reactions to my transracial adoptive family”

My experience with adoption and bonding: Fast, real, forever

IMG_1763When we were waiting to be matched with a birthmother, I read a lot of blog posts and articles about adoption. A common concern of hopeful adoptive parents seemed to be whether or not they would be able to love their adopted child like they would a biological child. A lot of people wondered whether they could/would feel a bond with an adopted child. That thought never crossed my mind, though. I was worried, instead, about the reverse.

What if we gave him or her all of our love and he just didn’t care back? What if our baby looked at us like we were total strangers and never warmed up to us? What if he was just so distraught because he suffered the “primal wound” of being separated from his biological mother that no matter how much love I gave him he never healed?

Unrequited love was the secret worry I had.

Continue reading “My experience with adoption and bonding: Fast, real, forever”

Post-placement visits, paperwork… and lots of love


People who don’t understand adoption assume that once you bring the baby home, the adoption is complete. But domestic adoption doesn’t work that way. Depending on where the adoptive parents or birth parents live, and those particular state’s laws, adoptive parents only have what is called “legal-risk placement” of the baby for the first six months. Essentially, the baby is not officially or legally part of your family yet, but rather, is “placed” with you pending legalities and more paperwork. Just when you think you’re done with filling out forms, there are more!

Because Miles was born in Texas, his birthmother was able to voluntarily and irrevocably relinquish her rights 48 hours after he was born. So, thankfully, we haven’t had to worry about her changing her mind about the adoption. (I don’t think I could have handled that particular stress for six months.) But the agency we worked with then became the legal guardian of Miles–not us–and said agency then “placed” him with us for six months until the required amount of time and post-placement visits with social workers have been completed and we can finalize the adoption.

I guess it’s like a trial period, designed to ensure that we aren’t totally inept at this parenthood thing. The time when birth parents can officially relinquish rights varies from state to state, but to my knowledge most states have the 6-month waiting period before finalization.

Continue reading “Post-placement visits, paperwork… and lots of love”

Our Adoption Story: Finally Headed Home

IMG_6591I will always remember our little yellow cottage in Texas fondly. It was a pretty great place to live for a couple of weeks, and we enjoyed our time there as much as possible.

Jamie’s birthday came and went–we celebrated with take-out Italian and a cake I made, and witnessed an absolutely incredible lightning storm that made the night feel like the 4th of July. We were having fun with Miles, taking him on walks and getting to know our sweet little baby. But the minute we heard IMG_4535that we were approved to go home, we jumped in the car and left as fast as we could. Truth be told, we were already packed up and at the gas station, with the car pointed towards home, when we got the call. (We were expecting it.)

We were ecstatic to (finally!!) be leaving, but we were also slightly terrified of the 19-hour road trip that lie ahead. Jamie and I and the dogs have traveled across the country together and the four of us are used to long road trips. But adding an infant to the mix would surely shake things up. Not to mention we were starting the trip exhausted from newborn-baby quality sleep. Miles had to eat every two hours. And each feeding took about a half an hour. And then there were the painful gas episodes he had at night that left him crying and/or screaming. What would that be like in the car?

Continue reading “Our Adoption Story: Finally Headed Home”