Child Hug Mom

Last night my two-year-old, Alyssa, drew a picture of a house, and it made me think about how different this house—our house—would be without this girl. Without her giggles, without nursery rhymes, without playing jumping frog, without trips to the zoo.

Zoo trips are one of my favorite outings because of the joy in her expression: wide eyes, circled lips, a huge smile. There have been more smiles with our new little one. Our family smiled before, but we can’t help but smile now. We can’t help but repeat the cute things she says. We can’t help but take photos. Lots of photos.

Our living room walls would be more bare without her captured image. Special memories in matted frames. The memories of our family before we adopted little Alyssa seem like a different time. Who I was then seems like a different person. With three older kids, I took long baths as I read novels. (I rather enjoy blowing bubbles in my backyard even better.) I remember spending hours in a quiet house with my Bible and journal. (Now, I enjoy reading Bible stories in different voices.)

There aren’t very many quiet moments any longer, unless the little one is at the babysitter’s house for the day so I can work on books. My writing gets done at record speed, mostly so I can spend more time with her. My writing is ministry, and it does have merit, but my little girl brings me oh so much joy.

Other things matter less compared to caring for our daughter. Adoption brought her into our life, and she’s forever a part of our hearts.

I’m encouraged to be a better mom with every addition to our family. And one of my favorite things is hearing a small voice in the morning, “Mommy, where are you? I waked up now!”

Waking up is what a toddler does to you. Waking up to what matters. Waking up to God’s beautiful world.

Waking up is what adoption does, too. Waking up to the realization that our walls have room for more photos and our hearts have room for more love. We have woken up to the wonder of how God crafts families—one set of hearts growing bigger and loving more with every new addition.


{Editor’s Note: Tricia’s family has grown even more since she wrote this post years ago … meet her family over at her website. Did you know November is National Adoption Awareness month, as November approaches, plan now bless family and friends who have adopted…take them a meal, invite them over, love them well and honor them in a special way!}

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  1. Michelle Ziner says:

    Hi there,
    I LOVED this post about how toddlers and adoption changes your life. We have 7 children. 4 biological and 3 adopted after fostering them. I found you on pinterest. We are hosting two children from Ukraine this Christmas for a month! We have raised support and they are coming the week before Christmas. We live in the Charlotte, NC area. Our main purpose for hosting them is that they are available for adoption and need forever families. We are not in a position to adopt at this time but we want to expose them to as many families as possible while they are here to better their chances. If they are not adopted by 16, they are then released to the streets where their life and chances go downhill fast. Is there a way that you could get the word out through your blog that these children need homes? Perhaps some will be touched by your post and moved with compassion to adopt!

    1. Amazing Michelle! You can email the information to amy [at] and we can see what we can do to spread the word!

  2. Stephanie says:

    LOVE this post Tricia! Your closing statement is EXACTLY how I feel! A year ago we were six weeks away from the birth of our adopted daughted. Today we’re planning her first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthday. She’s our first child, and I can’t image starting our family any other way! I’m looking forward to when GOD opens the door for another adoption!

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas!

  3. I spotted your adoption quote on pinterest. We’re celebrating our adoption day today–one year ago we finalized the adoption of our 5 children–5 year old twins, 4 year old twins and a 3 year old. We adopted them through the foster care system in our state. Our heart was to adopt a sibling group…and we did, adding them to my husband’s three boys from his previous marriage…we are a full house! Look forward reading more from you!