I Hope They Know

Sharing moments, memories, and love with our daughter's birth parents.

Candise Gilbert June 06, 2014

As an adoptive mother, I don’t have many days that go by without thoughts of gratitude for the journey that led us to our daughters. I feel a deep love and appreciation for their birth families and think often of them. For years we have had a wonderful open adoption with our oldest daughter’s birth mother and just recently made a connection with her birth father. I am grateful for open adoption, which has allowed me to share some of these moments. The phrase “I hope they know…” often goes through my mind. I worry that I don’t do as well as I should sharing these moments.  


She Loves To Dance
1. She Loves To Dance

I hope they know that when I stand backstage watching my daughter dance, there are tears in my eyes: tears of gratitude for the beautiful body she has been blessed with, and for the opportunity I have to watch her grow. Her birth mother wanted her to dance, and I feel it an honor to make it happen.

She Excels in School
2. She Excels in School

I hope they know what a sharp mind she has. She was born with a sharp mind, and we have done our best to encourage, teach, and cultivate that mind. In this photo she is quizzing her dad on the US history she learned in first grade. Dad did a pretty good job answering the questions. I, on the other hand, did worse than the first grader!

She is a Fantastic Sister
3. She is a Fantastic Sister

I hope they know what a loving big sister she is. She wasn't a sister until she was 7 and has done an amazing job of loving and caring for the new little one who joined our family. She knows they have different birth parents and finds joy in noting small similarities between them. They both have blue eyes and blond hair and very kissable cheeks. She has said on many occasions, “It’s just like God meant us to be together.” I couldn't agree more.

She is the Happiest Child I Know
4. She is the Happiest Child I Know

I hope they know what a happy spirit she has. Recently she was running through the backyard sprinklers singing at the top of her lungs. I tried to quiet her, telling her that I’m sure the whole neighborhood could hear her. Her reply was, “I want them to hear me; I want them to know how happy I am!”

She is Daddy's Girl
5. She is Daddy's Girl

I hope they know how much she adores her dad. The two of them share a number of hobbies, as well as uncanny similarities! They can both remember movie lines and music lyrics with unbelievable accuracy. They share a love for cycling, all types of music, and silly jokes. She knows her dad has an answer for any question. If I seem momentarily stumped by a question, she quickly replies, “Is this a question for Dad?”

She Loves Life
6. She Loves Life

I hope they know how much excitement her little body holds! She loves everything and everyone. She has a huge heart and loves fiercely. She loves school and adores her teacher and friends. She loves to garden and marvels at the harvest every single year. We joke that she doesn't need trip to an amusement park; she just needs to dig potatoes, pick a fresh artichoke, and watch her watermelon grow. She is passionate, and everyone around her enjoys it.

She Loves Adoption
7. She Loves Adoption

I hope they know how often she asks about them. It has been fascinating to witness her growth and maturity in regards to adoption. We welcome questions and answer them honestly, hoping to help her always have an age-appropriate understanding of adoption. She speaks of her birth parents fondly and shares about them freely. She loves and treasures photos, cards, and gifts they send. She feels a connection to them. She will always benefit from knowing how many people love and care for her.

We Love You
9. We Love You

I hope they know that we are doing the very best we possibly can to be good parents. We feel honored and blessed and hope that reflects in our parenting and the strong love we have for our children. We aren't perfect and have our share of failings, but the love the we have for our children and their birth parents is perfect.

I hope that birth parents everywhere understand that they are a cherished part of our families. You are loved. We think of you often with great gratitude. And chances are, the couple that adopted your baby also hopes you know how often they think of you as they watch your child grow and develop into a fantastic individual.

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Candise Gilbert

Candise is the mother of 2 darling girls and the wife of a fantastic husband. She became a mother through the miracle of adoption and parenting is her favorite job! She makes dinner every night, loves a good book, talks about adoption as often as she can, and tries to surround herself with fabulous people.

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