How Adoption Changed Me

Lemme tell y'all a story.

It's a personal one about how adopting my daughter changed me and how I view the world.

In my opinion, making an adoption plan is -- in a lot of cases -- one of the truest, purest forms of love and selflessness.

But to be honest, I don't think I fully understood the amount of love and bravery and courage a human being was capable of carrying until August 3rd, 2013.

The Phone Call...

I woke up on August 3rd, 2013, to get ready for work, and my cell phone rang at the same time my alarm was going off.

[Unknown number.]

"This is Shelley," I answered, assuming it was some source calling me back for a story hours after deadline.

"Shelley, I am bubbling with excitement..." said the caseworker from a Texas adoption agency.


I screamed.

I cried.

I paced around the house in my PJs with my frazzled bed head and tried to find my glasses without tripping over the dog.

When we received the phone call that the mother of a beautiful, perfect, healthy little girl chose us to be her forever family, my heart stopped.

A woman loved her precious child so much that she wanted the very best for her which meant making the hardest decision of her life.

And out of everyone IN THE WORLD, there was something about my husband and me that told her, "They're the ones."

Meeting Our Daughter's Birth Mom...

Weaving in and out of 908347 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic on empty stomachs and no sleep is not something I'd recommend to anyone.

Just sayin'...

[Unless you're gonna meet your child, of course! Then you do whatcha gotta do!]
How Adoption Changed Me
As the caseworker chauffeured us around big-city Texas style, she said our daughter's birth mom was very much at peace with her decision.

"She kissed her goodbye and didn't cry," she told us.

"She didn't shed a tear. She is very confident in choosing you," she reassured our nervous hearts.

My mind raced as we got closer to meeting this brave woman...

What will she look like? 
What will she say? 
Will it be awkward? 
Will she change her mind?
Will we say the wrong thing?

But the second we walked inside, a stunning woman walked toward us. She had tears streaming down her face.

She had been waiting for us.

She wrapped one arm around my neck, and one arm around Chris', and we wept.

"I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm crying because I'm so happy that she has the perfect family," she said.

I'm grateful she chose us to be Olivia's family, but I'm also grateful for what she taught me about strength and selflessness:

That sometimes loving someone means loving them so much that you choose to let them go.

Related content:
Adoption Photos
Love At First Sight
Adoption Process


  1. I love this! What an amazing story!

  2. Yes.

    As an adoptive mama who has walked the journey many times before, first mamas teach us a lot, A LOT!

    1. They sure do, Shonya!

      So happy you can relate. Would love to hear more about your family!