Can’t Fathom More Love

Adoption Story

Ellie, almost age 6

Remember Craig, Linda and Ellie? We featured them around the holidays in our We Love Updates post! Craig and Linda graciously agreed to give us an update on their lives and to share about raising their nearly six-year-old daughter to feel confident in her identity, both as an adopted child and just a kid.

Craig said it’s been challenging at times to talk to Ellie about adoption, but books like I Wished for You have helped. “She became comfortable with the language probably three years ago,” Craig says. “But she hasn’t asked a whole lot of questions yet.”

Linda says they’ve taken opportunities to talk about it as they’ve arisen, as well. “We had some friends adopt a little boy from China and another couple who adopted a sweet girl from Russia. We also have a family in our church who adopted two of their five children. We make a big deal about it and how special it is. It gives us that segue into talking to her about her adoption.”

For Ellie’s first birthday, Sarah [Ellie’s birth mother] sent her an enormous stuffed bear that her grandmother had given her when she was a little girl. Recently, Ellie asked who it was from.

“It’s from your birth mother,” Linda told her. Ellie asked, “What’s her name?”

“Sarah,” Linda said. Ellie asked, “Well, where did she get it?”

“She’s trying to connect the dots,” Linda says. “And she’ll proudly tell you she’s adopted and that it makes it special.”

But it has been confusing on occasion.

Adoption Story

Craig, Linda and Ellie

“A friend’s mom was having a baby, and obviously, the baby was in her tummy,” Linda says. “And she came home and asked, what was it like when I was in your tummy? And I said, honey, you need to remember that you weren’t in Momma’s tummy. You were in your birth mother’s tummy. So we try to make that distinction without confusing her, I hope.”

“We pretty much let her ask the questions and respond,” Craig says. “But we will sometimes try to prime the pump a little bit.”

The couple has become sensitive to how others perceive and talk about adoption, too.

“I think I’ve become cognizant, probably in the last two years, that I don’t want Ellie to feel like she’s labeled as being different,” Linda says. “And I’ve said, unless it comes up in conversation, I don’t know that people need to know. I think it’s a tremendous blessing, but I just don’t want her to have a stigma that she’s somehow different than other children. However, when it comes up in conversation, we’re more than happy to share.”

“Friends in small group sometimes joke about their son and say that they have teased him that he’s adopted. Now, it just makes my world completely different,” Craig says about his sensitivity to those things now.

To read the rest of Craig, Linda and Ellie’s adoption story, including the unusual arrangement they had with Ellie’s birth mother after Ellie was born, visit their adoptive family testimonial on our website.