Adoption story – Happy Birthday Noah


Tomorrow I celebrate the birth of my son. While of course both my kids are precious to me, there is something about my firstborn that changed my life.

His birth brought healing to me.

I was adopted at the age of 6 weeks by my precious mom and dad. I can say with all honesty that they gave me the best life that anyone could ask for. I love them so much.

But, if I were also truly honest – there has always been a piece of me that was missing.

That is, until Noah was born.

The only thing that ever really troubled me about being adopted was that I didn’t look like anyone else. That probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. I mean, you’d think the rejection issues would be bigger. But for me, even though I was part of a loving family, I still knew I wasn’t quite the same as the rest. One of these things is not like the other. That was me.

My brothers (not adopted) were both clearly labeled from a young age as to which side of the family they were like. I knew which one was like mom, and which one was like dad. My parents both came from big families and you could just look at them with all their siblings and you knew they were all related. We’d go visit on family vacations and everyone would talk about who looked like who and even though I knew I was loved and cherished, I also knew I didn’t have anyone like me. Nobody would say I had my aunt’s eyes, or that my cousin and I were practically twins. I was part of their world, but I knew something was missing. I wasn’t a complete reflection of them.

It never really defined me. But it was always there.

Then 15 years ago that all changed. My Noah was born. I didn’t really think about it very much while I was pregnant, but I will NEVER forget the first thing that my husband said to me after he was born.

“Shelly, he has your mouth”

Those words struck a chord deep down in my heart. My little heart that while always loved, never really had anyone that truly belonged to it.

Until Noah.

In the whole world of people around me, I finally had someone that was part of me. That changed my life. After everyone went home that night 15 years ago, I just held him and stared at him. Me and my little boy.  I cried a lot. I grieved for a mom that I never knew, who I had often wondered about. Why she didn’t want me?  But as I looked at my own little piece of myself wrapped up in that baby, I truly understood the sacrifice that she made for me. I knew that she would have held me and cried over me. And I knew that despite the circumstances of her life, she truly did love me. Because only in true sacrificial love would you be able to give a part of yourself away.

Happy Birthday Noah.

I love being your mom. I’ve told you and your sister that you are the only two people in the world that I have who are like me. Maybe that’s why I hold on so tight to you sometimes. Maybe that is why I don’t always want to share you with the world and I want to keep you to myself. Maybe someday I’ll meet others like me and more things will heal in my heart. I’d learn more about my story. But for now, I’m grateful to be your mom and I’m so thankful that I can look at you and see me.

That sounds vain, but it’s not.

And while I know I have never been alone in my life without love,

I needed so much the love that I see in you,

Reflecting me.

22 thoughts on “Adoption story – Happy Birthday Noah”

  1. A beautiful story Shelly. Please pray for my daughter Sarah who we adopted 28 years ago. She is in the process of fostering to adopt. I do pray some day she will have the experience you have shared.


    1. I will pray for her for sure George. God uses many things in many ways to bring joy and healing to our hearts! I pray that for her – I think an adoptee going on to adopt is a very special thing….the hearts understands each other…bless you!


  2. That was a special birthday tribute, Shelly! And strangely enough, even though we have been friends since we were kids, I never knew you were adopted. You are a strong, beautiful, Godly woman who has blessed so many lives! Happy Birthday, Noah! xo


  3. this is really special Shelly. And the beautiful thing is both your kids look SO MUCH like you. God knew just what you needed and how to heal your heart in that way.

    I can’t totally relate to you, but I was rejected by my Dad and grew up fatherless. There was a big Dad size hole in my heart my whole life that sometimes felt like there wasn’t much space for anything else. Having a daughter and even being pregnant healed me in that way. Seeing Daniel with Pen helped me to see what real fathers are like. I would always be jealous as friend’s houses or when I saw a Dad playing with his daughter. Now I get to see my own daughter, who I love more than myself, be lavished with neverending love by her daddy. Truly healing! But I know what you mean about how it also brings up sadness too. It makes you wonder why?

    I’m so glad that God gave you to a family that raised you up in godliness. He knew what he was doing all along 🙂


    1. Thanks Brianna, you are so special – Penny is blessed to have you as a mommy and what you have gone through in the past will only make you stronger – God is so good to us – he brings us through and makes us stronger! xo


  4. Great story cous-in-law, ha ha. You know that both Beth and I were adopted, and into pastors homes to beat. Well of course Beth got re uinited with her mom in 95 and I found my family in May 2012. Though my folks are long gone, I look like my brother and my half siblings too, and have saw pictures of my mom and her sister and brother. I look so much like my mom and aunt. What a great read. Blessings to ya all.


  5. This made me cry!! I read this blog and was able to see right into your heart Shelly…beautiful!! Happy Birthday Noah!


  6. Loved your beautiful, honest words Shelly. I’ve shared this with Katie and Michelle in the hope that it blesses them also. Thank you for sharing your heart.<3


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