A call for letters

“A letter is a blessing, a great and all-too-rare privilege that can turn a private moment into an exalted experience.” – Alexandra Stoddard

letters buttonAn exalted experience. We all desire that–experiences that take us to place we simply do not go everyday, a place that excites us, challenges us, makes us see the the next day or even the next moments in a new way. Letters can do that through both the creating of them and the taking them in. When we sit in quiet with the specific intention of pouring our heart out in words to someone, we make space to process a relationship in our lives at least in part. But, it doesn’t stop there. We share that process, and in that sharing the exalted experience happens.

That’s what we want for you. So we are calling out for letters for this blog over the month of April–a letter to your child, a letter to your spouse, a letter to your mother, a letter to your child’s first mother or father, a letter to your child’s teacher, a letter to your best friend, a letter to a foster parent or orphanage nanny. We aren’t looking for a particular letter or bent. The person to whom it is addressed may have already read your words, may read them soon, or may never read them. Your letter could overflow with love or gently direct. Maybe your process in writing them is all that is needed to create the exalted experience. We just want to urge you to grab hold of one of those all-too-rare privileges when we see our hearts turned inside out and we experience something new together as a community.

Write a letter to share, then share it with us via email by clicking here so that we can consider posting it and sharing it with others with your name attached or anonymously if you prefer. Stephanie, the administrator of this blog, will read every word sent to us and, after experiencing the words herself, will reply to you if we decide to share it here. If you want to be held accountable to the challenge but don’t want your heart shared so widely on this blog, still email her and allow her the privilege of being blessed by your words and blessing you with a private response.


Celebrating Motherhood (Link Up)

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Motherhood.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s a hard thing.  It came to each of us in many different ways.  Some of you are still on the journey to becoming a mama for the first time.

With Mother’s Day a little over a week away, we want to celebrate and give you a chance to share a part of your story with the WAGI community.  Remembering the day you became a mama or the day you placed your child with their forever family.  Maybe you want to share with us how you celebrate your child’s birth mama on Mother’s day.  Whatever part of motherhood you want to share: the victory moments, the memories, the struggle in the journey, or your heart as you raise the children God has put in your life, we would love to read it!  Share an old post or write a new one this week, but share part of your story.


Gotcha Day Link Up

You thought the day would never come.  The day when the child or children you have been praying for would officially join your family.  The waiting is in the past.  The wondering is in the past.  You have seen God’s perfect plan unfold and you couldn’t be more excited and thankful for the journey God has led you on to get you to this point.  To get you to the child that God had for your family all along.

We want to hear your gotcha day stories!  Besides loving a good cry, it’s a great opportunity for all of us to share God’s faithfulness and give Him the glory He deserves.

So, go ahead, link up.  Share your story.

Share God’s story.

Typical {Referral Day Link Up}

I wouldn’t describe either of them as typical.

No, I’m not talking about my children – although the same statement could perhaps be true of them.  I’m talking about their referral day stories.  Both daughters came to us under very unique circumstances, so it stands to reason that their referral day stories are unique as well.

Take Miss A’s story, for example.  When we received Miss A’s referral, we had just hit rock bottom in our adoption journey – unsure of if God even wanted us to continue.  Perhaps this is how it all ends, we thought.  We don’t understand the what or the why, but we’ll trust Him wherever He leads.  And if that means not adopting, then so be it.

But our network of praying friends and our incredibly supportive agency worker encouraged us to stay the course, stay open to the possibility.  And so we did.  Sad as it is to admit now, we were anything but excited when “the new list” came out.  Missing was the typical nervous energy and excited anticipation of news of a match from our agency.  Defeated and worn down, we simply went to bed, deciding to check our email the next morning.

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5b

Logging into email the next morning, we found message from our agency worker. She had locked a child for us, a child with a need we had felt comfortable with. Sadly, still shell-shocked and feeling defeated, we had to admit we didn’t know if she was the one God wanted us to adopt.

We saw her beautiful, smiling face and read the facts of her file.  We talked endlessly with each other, with our prayer warriors, and with our agency worker. How gentle and patient they were as they walked us through our pain and doubt and uncertainty.

It wasn’t about her. Our doubt.  Our hesitation.  Our needing to process. None of it was about her. It was all about us…and Him.

Where He led us thus far in this adoption journey was filled with pain and questions. Would we – could we trust Him as He continued to lead?

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord, “And my ways far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8

So God did what He does.  He was patient with our questioning and wrestling and processing. He was powerful, moving mountains and infusing the undeniable confirmation we were so desperate to receive.  He was faithful, not leaving us to wonder where He was in this rock-bottom place.  He restored our hopes.  Dashed as they were, they were made new in ways that were beyond what we had imagined.

And in the end, He made it more than clear that this precious child – with twinkling eyes and robust cheeks looking at us through our computer screen – was most definitely our daughter.

I used to feel bad that her referral story wasn’t what I imagined to be typical – that we didn’t gush at first sight and instantly know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was ours.  Instead, I now see that her referral story is the best kind because it’s hers…ours. And through all of the private details and the ones I’ve shared here, God was telling us about Himself and His deep, patient, enduring, passionate, and abiding love for us…for her.

So, no.  I wouldn’t describe Miss A’s referral day story as typical. But if we’re honest, when we are following God’s plan, is anything typical?

– – – – – – –

What about you?  Do you have a referral day story you’d like to share?  It may have happened years ago or just recently.  Perhaps you’ve never taken the time to write it all down, or maybe you’ve already written about your child’s referral day on your blog.  Whatever the case may be, we’d love for you to share your story with the WAGI community!  Use the link up below to provide a direct link to your referral day blog post.  And while you’re at it, take the time to visit and comment on other referral day stories.  It’s in sharing our stories that community is built and God is glorified!

Stephanie Smit18 years in the classroom as a teacher is nothing compared to parenting three little ones at home full-time. Through their three daughters, God has revealed Himself most clearly to them. He not only worked a miracle in giving them their biological daughter, He continued to show Himself in mighty ways throughout adoption journeys in China and Bhutan that were anything but normal. You can read more about their family on their personal blog We Are Family.

Share your story {joy}

It’s hard. That’s no surprise. Afterall, there’s brokenness before an adoption ever begins. And, where there is brokenness, there is pain and grief and loss and questions and heartache. In the bloggy world, we read a lot about that stuff. Perhaps when faced with the brokenness, we’re moved to write. But, here’s the thing, there’s a lot of beauty too. There’s redemption, healing, laughter, and utter joy. ‘Cause that’s what our God is about afterall—grace upon grace and redemptive stories.

Today, we’re going to take a little time out of what can be the overwhelming part of adoption to share what could be the overwhelming part of adoption—joy.

Share your link here to a post from your blog that shares the joy of adoption. Then, go share in some others’ joy. Make sure you go check out a few of the other posts here too. I have a feeling that joy is a little bit contagious.

Share Your Story {Openness}

We know. Just the word openness made some of you uncomfortable. But, here’s the thing, though not every adoption is “open” in the sense that the child knows and has some level of relationship with his or her birth family, every adoption can be open in that parents can share information and honor the birth families of their children, even if their names and identities are unknown.

And, that’s what we want to talk about today. Openness. How you do it. Why you do it. When you do it. And, maybe what God has shown you through as you’ve built a spirit of openness in your family.

Share an old post or write a new one this week and share that one. We want to hear from each other so that we can encourage each other as we do this thing God has called us to do.


What are you doing on February 14?

Every child deserves to be accepted, to have a family, to be loved.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18

Join us in linking up with Marie Osborne and #SpreadtheLove this Valentine’s Day!

#SpreadtheLove is a social media campaign and blog link-up uniting bloggers, writers, parents, photographers, story tellers, friends, in honor of orphans, desperately seeking forever families.

We want to #SpreadtheLove!



If you have a blog or website…

-Post about adoption (any adoption, past, present, future, old post or new).


-Please encourage PRAYER for orphans and their future families.


-Add your post to the #SpreadtheLove Link-up  during Valentine’s week.

Whether you have a blog or not. . .

-Tweet, FB, etc. on February 14 encouraging everyone to join #SpreadtheLove with the hashtags #spreadthelove.


-RSVP to #SpreadtheLove LIVE on Facebook for pictures, suggested tweets & posts to help you out.


Finally, enjoy reading each others adoption stories and pray for the families all day this Valentine’s Day!

Share Your Story {Adoption and Marriage}

Cupid’s busy this week…and so are all the mommies looking on Pinterest for cute Valentine cards to make.

Since it’s the week of the year that romance can be more easily talked about without blushing, we’re hosting a different kind of linkup. We want to hear about your marriages, your relationships, and how adoption has impacted them. Maybe you’re in the midst of some hard stuff still. Maybe you have seen your husband or wife in a completely new way as you have watched him or her parent your child. Maybe there is a lesson you have learned through the adventure of adoption that has blessed your marriage.

We want to read about it. And, who knows, maybe it’s just the encouragement you need to write that Valentine to your special someone.

Share Your Story {Family Day}

In celebration of WAGI team member Suzanne who met her new son this week in Shanghai, we are inviting you to share your own stories of the day you became a family.

Whether that day was last month or years ago, share your post, share your pictures, share your heart and let us celebrate with you the spirit of adoption.

Share Your Story {Adoption and Christmas}

Such a significant season we’re in to pause and take a look at adoption perhaps in a new way. In light of that, we’ve been sharing words about adoption and Christmas around here from just a few bloggers. But, we know you have some words about it as well.

Between your cookie baking and last minute wrapping, take a minute and share a post from anytime this month relating to adoption and Christmas. We want to hear your thoughts about the two to either get a front row seat to how you might be seeing things in a new way or be challenged today to see things in a new way ourselves.

If you shared a link here, please GO HERE and copy the code to share these links on your blog as well. It isn’t required, but it’s a great way to help your readers see new things too. And, that’s always a cool thing.