Adoption and the Real Mom, Reprised

Sometimes when I write, I share the marital funny with you.

Sometimes when I write, I share the pee-laced mess.

Sometimes when I write, I ponder the thick, humid exhaustion we mamas breathe.

And sometimes when I write, I confess my guilt for not being at my mama best when we adopted our toddlers.

You and I just never know what’s gonna show up in a life full of kids, do we?

The truth is, when I write about the reality of parenting, there are times I accidentally break open my chest and my heart falls out, and I remember those stories the most because they come from the deepest place of mama fear and mama love. Kids, you guys; they make us lose our minds and find our hearts and consider it a worthy trade.

Once upon a time, I wrote a post about adoption and the Real Mom, and I exposed my soul in all its brokenness and tiny bit of beauty. Today, Jamie Lynne of I Am Not The Babysitter blog fame is rerunning that post, “On Being Made Real,” in its entirety. Jamie’s on a trip to Ethiopia to visit her son’s birthmom. I have no doubt both moms’ hearts will fall out. Would you join me in wishing them peace as they join in the grand adventure of longing and loss and love?

And thank YOU for being part of my grand adventure, too. And for joining your lives to mine here.


On Being Made Real

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day.

When you’re 9 years old and a girl, I suppose being an emotional wreck is to be expected.

Ah, heck.

When you’re 37 years old and girl, I suppose being an emotional wreck is to be expected.

But sometimes, it’s hard to know which 9-year-old wrecks are I Stubbed My Toe And That’s A Great Excuse To Let Go Of The Emotional Mess Smouldering Inside Me,

and which wrecks are Real.

Yeah, yeah.  I know they’re all real.  But the Real real ones are those that will haunt my daughter into adulthood.  The ones that have Serious Potential for me the mama to Screw Up.

The other night, my Aden missed her birthmom.  Aden and Ian share a birthmom, so it was a natural conversation for the three of us to have together, and soon Ian was snuggled up, all ears.  There I sat, on the ground in the hallway next to the piles and piles of dirty laundry, with two kids missing their birthmom and asking questions.

Click over to I Am Not The Babysitter to read the rest…

Or read the original here…


Psst… a big, huge thank you to Kendall Hoover of for connecting me to Jamie. You’re the best. You are.


ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. We’ve all done it. It’s so humbling when people say sweet things about our family and I know, know, KNOW that my parenting is not nearly as graceful as I wish it were.

    And yet, maybe that’s part of the training; my kids have heard me say, “I’m sorry — I messed that up” so many more times than I can count. Because some day they may be Mamas and Daddies – whether the “giving birth” kind or the adoptive kind — and if they are, they are going to make mistakes. And they will know they are only human when they do.

    Adoption is a hard thing. I wish more people were as thoughtful about it as you are.

    1. Yes, Dreena. Exactly this. I wrote once about my gratitude for having a mama who wasn’t perfect & taught me by example to say when I’m wrong & ask for forgiveness. I’ve had PLENTY of opportunity to practice since becoming a mama myself. 🙂

  2. Beth,

    I love your openness. Thank you for allowing your heart to fall out with us. It takes a special kind of strength, and you’ve got it. 🙂


    1. Thank you, Devi. What a kind thing to say. Motherhood makes us all stronger than we ever imagined, doesn’t it?

  3. beautifully written, Beth! A very heartfelt guest post

  4. “Kids, you guys; they make us lose our minds and find our hearts and consider it a worthy trade.”

    This is quotable. So well said. I think I’m going to tweet it. I’ll give you credit, of course. 🙂

    And your “On Being Made Real” post is one of my favorite posts of all time, on any blog. How wonderful that it’s being shared with a wider circle now!

    Blessings to you,

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I’m grateful for you.

  5. Thank you for sharing that, what tender moments between you, Ian and Aden.

    Oh, and “Kids, you guys; they make us lose our minds and find our hearts and consider it a worthy trade.”? So true. That is motherhood put into words. Well said, my friend, well said. And way to be a guest

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