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An Unexpected Mother’s Day Gift: 2 More Moms

14 May 2018

“I didn’t expect today to hit me from so many directions, but the adoption process has left no part of life untouched.”


mothers day ig


I expected next Mother’s Day to be revolutionary. I expected that next Mother’s Day I would look at my two boys with wonder and awe and gratitude that I can’t even imagine today. I expected that next Mother’s Day would be the one that was totally different.

But as I sat yesterday morning and thought about the moms in my life, I realized that there are, suddenly, two more.

+1 Mom

I still can’t tell you my Chinese son’s story, ’cause he’s not officially mine yet, but then there’s not much that I actually know about these women.

The first, of course, is his birth mother. We don’t know her, and we probably never will. We don’t know her situation or very much about the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy.



But I do know that she carried my son safely for nine months, and I know by experience that is no small task. I know that she chose to protect him, rather than take the free abortion service the Chinese government would have provided. I can’t tell you how yet, but I know that as she held him in her arms, she loved him. And and I know that she made probably the hardest decision of her life to do what she thought was best for him. 

We will probably never know her, but I owe her more than almost anyone else in the world. I’ll never get to thank her, but she’s done more for my family than she’ll ever know.

+1 More Mom

I’m probably encroaching into the territory of what I’m not supposed to tell you, but I’m just going to say this: He’s in foster care and has been for a little time.

And even if that was all we knew, it’s enough.



It’s enough to know that there’s a foster mom out there who has fed my son at her table. She has sent him to preschool and welcomed him home day after day. She has picked him up after countless falls, cheered him on through those early milestones, and tucked him into bed—with her own children if she has some, or as a temporary bandaid over the ache of a longing mama heart.

I can’t tell you, yet, what we know about his physical and developmental condition, but if we didn’t know any of it, it would be enough to know that he was better cared for than he would have been in an orphanage.

It would be enough to know that precious early weeks, months, or years of physical and emotional development were not completely lost, just because she was there. My son got a better start in life than he otherwise would have because that mother was willing to open her home and her family and her heart to a little boy she didn’t know, and who had no claim on her kindness.

We may or may not get to meet her, but we owe her a debt we could never repay.

Xièxiè, Māmā

I wish there was a way to say happy Mother’s Day to these two amazing women, and to thank them for everything.

Because I’m sure next Mother’s Day will be revolutionary and overwhelming and different from anything I’ve ever experienced, but—even though I’m still waiting to hold my new boy—these two mothers have already changed our lives.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Gloria permalink
    14 May 2018 10:29 AM

    Agh! I LOVE this! The hardest job in the world is Mama, even if it’s only for a short time. I would guess it’s worse, because they will think about him every day for the rest of their lives and wonder how he is and wish they could hold him one more time. So glad he is going to have YOUR love every day to help him grow into the young man he will one day become.

    • Lex permalink*
      14 May 2018 2:10 PM

      I know! Ugh. I’m torn about whether or not we ask to meet the foster family in-country … Could be really great or really … awkward and not.

  2. Noemi T permalink
    14 May 2018 11:32 AM

    I love this. P. Shaun shared something similar yesterday regarding his story and it made me see motherhood in so many ways I hadn’t thought of before. The sacrifice of the biological mother and foster parent that I guess I just never thought much of it and how significant it was. Anyway, this little boy is going to be so blessed to end up with you guys for it’s forever family. It’s just so cool so see it all come together because it just seems like everything you’ve prayed for is coming together and it’s so great 😭😍
    I’m not crying, you’re crying!

  3. Bianca permalink
    14 May 2018 5:31 PM

    Your love for this boy, your son, is so beautifully evident. Thank you for your openness and faithfulness to open your heart to adoption. ❤️

    • Lex permalink*
      15 May 2018 9:34 AM

      ❤ Thank YOU for all your love and support.

  4. 14 May 2018 9:19 PM

    Really stoked on playing the tinyist of parts in your adoption process! My aunt adopted 7 kids and it’s been a blessing to see how they grew up and how being raised in that loving home molded them. I’m sure your house will be similar in that regard!

    • Lex permalink*
      15 May 2018 9:35 AM

      Can’t thank you enough for your contributions! Your aunt is a saint; that’s amazing to hear. I hope we can be what our little man needs. 🙂

  5. Jilian permalink
    14 May 2018 11:20 PM

    I love this! It’s such an incredible job and journey being a mother. A mother who gives up her child is often forgotten or viewed as less than a warrior. And the foster mother again is sometimes overlooked. Her dedication to A child. The sacrifices of both these women is beautiful and you perfectly captured it.


    • Lex permalink*
      15 May 2018 9:37 AM

      I hope we never forget them. He’ll have questions that may never get answers, but I hope we can help him see, in time, that at the end of the day his family includes so many strong, loving women.

  6. Michael Ingham permalink
    15 May 2018 6:39 AM

    We are looking forward to next year with you. We still call him Happy in our house. Happy Wisniewski; isn’t it the best?

    • Lex permalink*
      15 May 2018 9:38 AM

      So appropriate! Prayers it always will be. 🙂

  7. Annemarie permalink
    15 May 2018 8:48 PM

    Shaun talks often of his birth mom and foster mom. I understand exactly how you feel when you talk about how grateful you are for them. I owe his birth mom everything. And I owe the mom who raised him everything. They all played a part in who he is today. Your little boy is so blessed that you will be the next mom in his life.

    • Lex permalink*
      16 May 2018 10:27 PM

      It’s definitely a new concept to be anyone’s “next” mom. On the one hand, I feel (mostly) like he’s “mine” and I’m grateful for what they’ve done … but it also feels like he’s “theirs” and I owe it to them – in a way – to not mess this up.

  8. Isabel permalink
    15 May 2018 11:52 PM

    Love this and have loved keeping up with this journey and life transition through your blog 💕

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