Let me tell you a story.
It’s tender and I have been dying to share it with you but I needed to wait for all the pieces to be ready for you.
Mid-October I was invited to a blogging event. While getting ready for the event, I had the thought, “You should invite Cammi to this shindig with you.” (Cammi is Baby Jackson’s birth mother.)
So I texted her and invited her letting her know that I didn’t really know what to expect, but, as always, it would just be fun to be together. She texted back that she wanted to go and we set up a dinner date with her, her sister, me, Kim and Leisha before the event.
We had a hilarious and delicious dinner and afterward made our way to a beautiful house in Salt Lake City where we were greeted by blogging friends and the stunning Katherine Nelson. (You may recognize her from LDS Church videos on Temple Square, Emma: My Story and 17 Miracles.)
This was a night to celebrate Katherine Nelson’s new album, Born Brave.
After mingling and having some treats, Katherine invited us into a cozy room where she performed for a group of about 30 of us. She has a different and beautiful voice and we were enjoying a light evening of her music. Or so I thought.
I was sitting next to Cammi and her sis and across the coffee table from us were Kim and Leisha when I heard Katherine say, “The next song I want to sing for you is about adoption.”
My heart drops.
I am pretty sensitive when it comes to adoption and the media. (I don’t watch ANY television shows with an adoption storyline. It makes me a nervous wreck.) Cammi and I look at each other with surprised wide eyes.
Katherine explains that she’s seen infertility, miscarriage and adoption up close in the lives of her beloved friends and family. She inserts, “I co-wrote this song with someone who has a very intimate knowledge of adoption from a different perspective.”
I had butterflies.
And then Katherine sang, What’s Mine Is Yours for us, not 5 feet from where we were sitting.
Those few minutes were in slow motion for me as everyone else in the room seemed to disappear. Kim, Leisha, Cammi, her sister and I shared a sacred moment born of our heartache and hope. It’s a feeling and love that still lingers with me.
I’ve listened to this song probably one million times since that night. My big boys know all the words. Every time I hear Katherine sing, “longing family” I am in tears again. It’s the best way to describe what our home felt like in 2012 as the hope of 2 different babies flickered out and bliss that is Jackson and his Cammi burned brightly. I don’t know how we are so blessed.
After Katherine finished performing that night, I turned to Cammi and said, “Let’s tell her our story.” We were kind of giddy and still pretty emotional as we described to Katherine how much her song meant to us.
I listened in awe, bawling, as I heard Cammi tell Katherine why she wanted me to be Jackson’s mom. Cammi cried. Katherine cried. I don’t think I will ever be the same after that night.
It was so powerful.
This January morning as I type this with one hand, I have Cammi’s baby in the other, that beloved little boy. I feel so strongly about the line, “what’s mine is yours.” This is the core of open adoption for me. Sharing. Two families brought together.
I hope you will join me celebrating the release of this music video today. Share it if it touches your heart. Post photos and stories of your “what’s mine is yours” interpretation and moments on Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #mineisyours.
You can tag me (@therhouse) and Katherine (@knelson_music). We’d love to see and read your heart.
Such a powerful song for me. Enjoy.
Photography by the talented and generous Kim Orlandini.