aabm #12: was it meant to be their family?

Jul 30, 2010
what is ask a birth mom (aabm)? click HERE.
who are the birth mothers on the panel? click HERE.

today my aabm panel is answering the following:

Do you feel that the family your baby went to was truly meant to be his/her family?


I’m writing this from Mrs.R’s computer watching her and the boys and couldn’t be more sure that they were meant to be Tyson’s family. When I was choosing a family for Tyson I looked through what felt like ALL the profiles that matched my search criteria. I pretty much gave up because I didn’t want to just settle for something that I didn’t feel was right. My mom convinced me to look at a few more profiles and when I saw the R family I felt something I hadn’t felt when looking at others. We talked about this feeling the other day and both agreed that its indescribable. I couldn’t have gotten luckier with the family I chose not just for the communication and openness they have with me but for the most important person, Tyson!


YES YES YES. I don’t think she just went to any random famly. I know without a doubt that the family she is with was meant to be her family. I know that. It’s something I have known very strongly since the day I met them.


i know that my little guy is with HIS FAMILY RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT. i was very intimidated with the calling to find his family. i knew the exact family was out there, complete with mom, dad and siblings in tow. i was just terrified i wouldn’t know them when i saw them. there were a few factors that guided me. this little guy would be half black and like grow to be be close to seven feet tall. being 6’2 myself, i know what it is like to be out in the world and be very noticeably different but come home and just be one of the gang. so i knew i wanted him to have someone he could share his culture with someone that he would more closely resemble. thus an african american child. that narrowed things a bit.

anyway the third profile i looked at was this great couple and what do you know, one of their children is african american. They were and are the real deal. I soon found out that they had a very strong impression that they were missing a child, that there was one out there waiting to come home. I am sure a very daunting thought for a family of four. i had a precious moment after i met them for the first time. i went to cafe rio after the face to face and had a melt down in the bathroom. i was on the floor in absolute tears. and it took me a minute to figure out what those tears were about. they weren’t sad tears. but they were tears of peace, tears of calm, tears of joy, and tears of gratitude. it just felt like my little guy was doing his darndest to tell me thank you for finding his family (and they were NOT easy to track down). i could feel how excited he was to be with them again, and i felt his sweet arms of joy around me from the inside out. it is a feeling i know i will never feel again. but that peace and calm and joy is in my heart every time i think of his wonderful family.

they are truly amazing. amazing amazing people, that i really look up to and strive to be more like. truly good people, not perfect by any means, but good. K is his mom and M is his dad. that is all there is to it. and he has two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers. in an email “K” once told me how much these special spirits have fought to be together, and i feel eternally blessed to have been given a front row seat to watch all of these wonderful spirits grow.


I knew then and still know now, that he is with his family. Without a doubt. And that has been both a blessing and a comfort to me. But I also had never been on my knees in prayer more than when I was facing that decision. I looked into adoption as soon as I found out I was pregnant. But the feelings and desire to keep my baby also weighed heavy on my mind. I often tried to figure out a way to make it work so that I could keep him, but those plans always ended up being clouded with doubt and worry. I knew it wasn’t the answer to my prayers, or the right life for my baby. I studied and read through dozens of profiles. And there were couples and agencies that I met with that I knew wanted my baby- and would probably take good care of my baby- but I felt strongly about finding HIS family. And when I read his adoptive parents profile, I knew immediately, within the first paragraph, that I had found his parents.

Making the decision to place your baby is not easy. And it can feel daunting and frustrating to find the right family. But I know if you ask for God’s help, he will not ignore your plea. As difficult as it was to place my baby, it was an amazing experience that helped me to feel closer to my Savior than I ever had previously. I was carried. My prayers were answered. And to this day, I know that my life, and the life of my baby, has been blessed because I chose adoption.


it was the heaviest responsibility my shoulders have ever carried! i mean, that’s God’s job right? deciding who goes to what family. i was choosing Justin’s whole life, his ETERNITY even! hello! 17 and pregnant! obviously i don’t make good choices!

but it’d only ever affected me. this time, screwin’ up wasn’t an option. i couldn’t even sleep til i found them, for fear i’d choose wrong. i gave my caseworker my extensive and comprehensive list of criteria (this was back when there were only paper profiles) and she brought me my first 5 families. i opened the first file….not the family i’d ordered….there were many differences between them and what I THOUGHT i was looking for BUT, i felt something. i thought “like i’m gonna chose the first family!” i fully expected to view hundreds if not every possibility. again, this is huge! i’m gonna be thorough! so i went to scour through the other 4. they matched my preferences! they were what i was lookin for…..nothin. i tried to feel something but none of them drew me the way the first did. i couldn’t get them out of my mind. i couldn’t even finish the other 4 without going back to the first. i felt such a contrast, i took it to the Lord. i told him “ok, there may be somethin here. but before i pick a family, i’m gonna need some kinda burning bush! make the file glow in the dark or levitate off the desk!”. the response came as chastisement through the Spirit and scripture -oh ye of Little faith! i would not be spoon fed as i’d asked. i was to go with the prompting i’d received and take a step. so, i did. i moved forward. i told my caseworker it was them and she told me that even though they did not match my description, she knew i had to see that file.

as the next few days and weeks passed, i found i felt more and more at peace and somehow closer to these strangers. even before any contact, they’d become endeared to me.

i was allowed one face to face meeting with them (agency policy was not so open in ’96). i was SO freaked out! this was not open adoption! our correspondence would be so limited! my son’s opinion of me would be based mainly on how i represented myself to these 2 strangers in about an hour and a half! i must’ve tried on every ugly maternity outfit i had but nope, still fat. i wore TOO much makeup and i PRAYED HARD that i wouldn’t get nervous and make a dummy of myself, that i’d be my best self, so that they could tell him he has the cutest, smartest, funnest, nicest birthmom! but i had another even more significant request of God. i told him that i knew they were his family, that i was grateful He’d led me to them and for the peace of mind, that nothing would detur me from this course, but i asked…cautiously, could i please just have some little sign, something i’d always remember, so i could never doubt. and because i did first show faith, and because of His tender mercies, and because i asked, and because He knew my decision was not hinged on it, He gave liberally. He didn’t have to do it. i would have gone through with it. He is so good to me.

when those strangers walked into that little office, i knew them. I recognized them. I can’t tell you from when or where; I don’t know the conversations we had or what the nature of our relationship was, but i remembered those faces! And immediately they were in my heart, as though they’d always been. immediately i felt family love for them. Never before or since have I experienced anything like it. I know now that he was theirs before he was mine. THEY shared him with ME. They are an extension of my family in a way I cannot explain.

can i doubt?

while they were not what i had in mind initially, they were and are PERFECT! i can’t imagine my life without them. i have total confidence in them and in my decision. i NEVER worry about him. NOW i understand that God knows i’m not that smart! He DOES His job. i wasn’t choosing a family, i was finding the family that God had chosen.
i imagine it this way; before we came her, God says “Tamra, you’ll have a tough assignment, you’ll go to parents who are sad and confused, your little soul’s gonna get hurt, you’re gonna stumble, you’re gonna get lost. but don’t worry Tamra, your sister Debbie (A-mom) and your Brothers Gale (A-dad) and Justin (our boy) have volunteered for the rescue effort. Debbie and Gale will wait and pray and cry and wonder and they will share their Justin with you. he will come as your missionary on his way home and though you won’t love yourself enough to get well, you’ll love him enough. and you’ll remember me and i’ll heal you”.

so that’s how it happened, or at least i bet it was pretty close. on this side, it looks like MY gift, MY sacrifice, but when we return i imagine we will see more clearly that it was them who gave to me, their sacrifice. how can i say my gratitude?!

i figure adoption is the work of eternal families and the work of reclaiming lost and wounded souls. what could be higher on the priority list of The Most High? there are no coincidences in adoption. it sure ain’t random and it certainly wasn’t MY genius that orchestrated it, i can’t even keep my ROOM in order! God is all up in this business. it’s His business! and He’s good!


  1. Ron and Jessica said on July 30, 2010 at 9:58 am

    You gals have brought the tears freely flowing down my face. Especially Tamra. Truly amazing!

  2. This is one of the very best posts I have read on any blog, ever. Thank you so much to everyone who was willing to share. This brought tears to my eyes, and strengthened my testimony of adoption even more.

  3. Melanie said on July 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, Tamara, so well written. Very powerful and spiritual.

  4. Becky Rose said on July 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! This is a testimony!

  5. Michelle said on July 31, 2010 at 4:08 am

    This was wonderful to read. Our birth mother tells me all the time how she knew that were the family for the baby to be she was pregnant with. It warms my heart to no end, like nothing else can. When you know something, you know it and that is that. Adoption is so amazing. No words for it at all.

  6. I have been missing AABM! LOVE IT!!!

  7. What Tamra wrote was so real!
    The part about "ugly maternity clothes" and "too much make-up" made me laugh and was heart-rending at the same time.

    I also love aabm.

  8. TomandSteph said on August 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I loved this! What precious stories.

  9. Courtney said on August 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I don't know what to say except there are tears rolling down my cheeks.
    As an adoptive mom, I hope my b-mom felt the same.

  10. All of these stories are so so touching.

    Tamra, you especially spoke to me. Being an infertile, adoptive mom, there is doubt in a lot of little corners of my mind. I've never doubted that our daughter was meant to become part of our family. But that's just it "become" part of the family. I had never even thought, before reading your post, that she was already mine. That maybe our connection with her birth mom is actually not so recent. I don't know why I never thought it. It makes sense. But I am wrapped in the arms of the spirit right now and I know that it's true for me. I am feeling God's love for me in a new way and His love for our birth mom. It's so cheesy to realize that this profound testimony building moment is coming because of the internet, but it is. I can't thank you enough for being willing to share your story.

  11. Lara, i can't say what that means to me. what a beautiful experience! thank you so much for sharing it!
    and thanx to all of you who've said such kind things about our stories! and of course to Mrs. R for the venue and invitation to share!

  12. I don't understand why an adoptee can't have two families.

    I have two. A Natural Family and a Nurturing Family.

    It is what it is.

    Why does one family have to be "less" someone's family than the other. Isn't that up to the adopted person to decide?

  13. Amanda,sure they can! shoot, a birthmom can even! i do! more family=more people to love and be loved by=a blessing

  14. Wow, I wish I’d found this site sooner. Tamra’s story spoke volumes to me. I was you 19 yrs ago. Thank you all for your stories & testimonies! Speechless.

  15. your “panel” of birthmoms is hardly diverse. they all say the same thing! there are just as many, if not more, birthmoms who don’t feel that their children were “meant to be” with their adoptive families, but i guess that’s not warm and fuzzy enough for the readers of this blog.

    • When I say I have a diverse group of birth mothers answering the questions, I mean some who placed many years ago (up to 17 years ago) and some who placed more recently (4 years). Some are open adoption being a birth mom and some are not. Some are in open adoptions and some are not. Some had older children and placed a younger sibling. Some are adoptees. Some love their experience in adoption and others do not.

      I didn’t have anything to do with their answers and didn’t edit them other than adding some line breaks. (Man, this is an old post with my old formatting. It hurts my eyeballs. I am sorry you had to endure it! LOL)

      Anyway, I am aware that not everyone feels this way. But these ladies do. And you are right, I do love warm fuzzies.

      Thanks for reading! :)

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