Dear  Big C & Little C,

After today my heart felt ready to write you. My heart has been swelling beyond my body these 28 days since you came into my life at 11:50 on a Monday night screaming as I took you from your ill fitted booster.  A boy who exited the car and instantly said “this is my new home and I am gonna stay and you’ll adopt me” as if he were exclaiming the color of the sky. A boy trying hard to prove his worthiness that night. I was scared and instantly felt an immense amount of fear & responsibility & I wondered can I do this? And am I enough for you? I had no idea how to comfort a girl who had only seen one picture of me and who knew only sentences told to her, about us, just that day– as DFCS scrambled to find you a home. I recited to myself what Mikole (your caseworker) said, “We received so many home-studies for these two but after reading your history & your background we felt you guys could provide best for these two…” somehow I  pulled strength from that. Even though I felt way over my head and felt that perhaps we had said yes too quickly. I reminded myself again of her words & that we prayed that day before you got there and God gave us a peace that it was the right decision.

In these 28 days we have gone to numerous doctors and have more to go. We have braved public meltdowns, violent outbursts and words that cut to our hearts. However, we have also laughed, ate dinner, learned together how to begin to form some semblance of a family. We’ve learned triggers for you and we’ve learned how to be better parents everyday. And as we’ve told you we are in this together learning how to parent and how to be kids all together. I won’t lie little ones, this journey (ONLY 28 days in) has and is the hardest thing I have ever done and as someone posted (Steve Logan) “It’ll be the hardest job you’ll love.” Truer words never spoken. I have doubted myself dozens of times and looked at Matthew with tears in my eyes saying, ‘Can we do this?’ & ‘Are we doing this right?’ & ‘I made so many mistakes today’ & ‘I want to be these kids constant, I want to show them the love they need, give them the laughter they deserve and the memories they are owed.’ I wondered a lot those two weeks if I would survive and although we are far from perfect, we have come soooo far with further yet to go.

Today as we played with your cousins and I elected to drive to get pizzas for everyone…the oddest thing happened. I cried. I cried in route to Little Caesars, I am not even sure what all my tears were, but I cried thanksgiving to God. I cried for your biological mom & biological dad. I cried thinking that they were missing so much. I cried thinking of how they were missing you little C learning to read and showing us your silly over the top personality & all your impersonations, especially creepy grandma (family favorite). I cried BIG C thinking of how they were missing you throwing balls in the yard and making silly faces  and your great desire to help and be a BIG, little man. I cry even now. I find I am straddling this chasm of grief and great-fullness. I cry for your biological parents and am also so thankful for you. Its the weirdest place to be, it seems impossible to be in both places but here I  stand straddling the line. Today in route to Little Caesars I cried tears of thankfulness I am not sure I can fully explain, but of course I will try. These days have been largely  about surviving and hoping we don’t have as many rage filled moments resulting in your  bringing pain upon yourself. I kept asking the Lord to help me feel more peace and to feel more like a momma. For 28 days you’ve said “momma”and although I know you still don’t know the words you say, today for the first time I cried and said to myself “I am a mom” and wept big alligator tears. I feel so blessed to a momma to you.

You are strong, resilient, brave, funny, beautiful, silly, lovable, hard and determined children. Big C you love superheros in part because you have a strong need to feel protected and safe. You love catching your sister being silly and winking or rolling your eyes in our direction. You love taking compost out and walking with Dad to take our recycling. You also love to cook eggs and are a professional as you told us today when you helped Dad make breakfast. You are a great big brother and can make a game out of anything. Little C you are FULL of personality. You have the best voices and your joy is infectious. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve accidentally fed you too much sugar because you are spider, monkey, ninja princess.

Today for the very first time I felt like a mom. I have of course had moments where I was doing mom things and of course I have felt love for you. But today  I felt a small heart shift, today I felt like your mom. I know we have a ways to go, I still have so much to learn about you…just today you told me your favorite food (Pizza & everything & macaroni and cheese). I know you had zero say so in coming here and I wish you were more able to be apart of choosing where you go, but I am so glad your here. My house right now has crayons strewn about, stuffed animals in animal hospital under my table(been there for 2 weeks+ I am little concerned LOL), socks left in hallway that I’ve asked you to pick up twice and more snacks than ever before ….


our house also has more;  love and laughter than ever before. Its bursting at the seems with memories and we are only 28 days in. First shower, bath, dinner, yard time, meeting dogs, playing with dogs, first day of school, first prayer, first story time, first time meeting various family, first breakfast,first pink and blue pancakes (first day of school), making cornbread muffins (little C) & eggs (BIG C). We cried, we’ve had movie nights, we read our first book together and played our first game. We talked about God and we’ve done it all together. Thank you for letting me into your world and I pray you feel safe here, I hope you have fun here and I desire for you to feel more at home each day.



Momma Ryann


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