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Catholic Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton

Additional Catholic Mom Columns

The "Prayer of Abandonment" for Adoptive Parents

Father, we abandon ourselves into your hands,
to send a child ... or not ... as you see fit.
You by whom the Word was made flesh,
send us a miracle, if this is what you desire.
Or lead us to her, if that be your will.

We do not ask for guarantees; no parent can.
Only light enough for the very next step.
We do not ask for a perfect child,
nor can we promise to be perfect parents.
Whatever you choose for us, whatever you desire
we abandon ourselves to your perfect will.

We are ready to offer our daily "yes,"
until that perfect will be revealed in us.
And until, at last perfected, we bear witness
to the work of redemption you began in Eden.

We love you, Lord, and offer ourselves to you,
wholly and without reservation.
We surrender ourselves, moment by moment,
knowing that this is only the first small step
Of a lifetime of surrender,
so that we may be made more perfect in love.
That we might imitate, on earth as in heaven,
the redemptive love
the adoptive love
the selfless love
with which you first loved us.

Readers can find the resources mentioned in Heidi's column at her blog or available for purchase through our own store.

Time to GET UP!

Whenever we go on vacation, I can always count on two things: For the first few days the kids will be extraordinarily clingy … and none of us will get much sleep.

It isn’t difficult to imagine the reason for these things. The security and structure of home life removed, the kids once again have to grapple with fears that lurk just beneath the surface. One in particular: that unless they are extremely vigilant, Mom is going to disappear.

So I try not to take it personally when, after kicking me awake at two-hour increments throughout the night, Sarah pokes me one last time at 5:45 and asks if we can get breakfast and go to the beach. Her father has already offered to feed and entertain her in the next room, but that doesn’t count. She wants ME.

I feel bad for Craig when it is clear that his particular brand of “Daddy Magic” simply will not do … I also get the teensiest bit aggravated, since he has managed to get a full seven-hour siesta without the hourly kidney kicks. “But Sarah, Mommy hasn’t had her beauty rest yet. What happens when Mommy doesn’t get her beauty rest?”

“She gets UGLY …. RAUGHHHHHH!” (Gives her best Mommy Monster impression.)

So, the problem isn’t that she doesn’t understand WHY letting Mommy sleep is in her best interest. The problem is she just REALLY needs to know that Mommy is there.

Okay, okay … I’m up. We make our dinosaur-egg oatmeal, put on our swimsuits, and head for the beach. We bury each other in the sand, creating mermaid bodies to go with their exposed heads. Eat apples and drink juice boxes, and find pretty shells.

It’s another memory in the making.

This week I was reminded how important this kind of memory-building is when we got word that a friend of ours – a young man of 54 – died suddenly Easter morning of an unexpected heart attack. Ken loved Russian literature and world history, and had the kind of loving and gentle nature that made small children warm up to him instantly. Sadly, recent family events had strained the relationship between Ken and his son. Memories of a regrettable kind.

Every family has a quilt of memories – some spoken, some fleeting, some recorded, some simply harbored in the heart. We do not know how much time we have together, and so we have to gather up those moments like squirrels in the fall, storing them away.

It’s time to wake up, Mommy. What will you do today to add to your family memory quilt? And what will you do to repair the blocks that have grown a little frayed around the edges?

Please hold in your prayers the repose of the soul of Ken Miller, and peace and comfort for his wife Carol and family.

Copyright 2008 Heidi Hess Saxton

Heidi Hess Saxton and her husband Craig adopted their two foster children in 2005. She is editor of “Canticle” magazine ( and author of Raising Up Mommy: Virtues for Difficult Mothering Moments and Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert. You may order both books at Heidi blogs for adoptive parents, Catholic writers, and has a new blog dedicated to Mary (

Would you like to receive Heidi's column by email?  Send a message to Heidi.

03/31/08 Recommends:


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Books by Heidi Hess Saxton:

Raising Up Mommy: A Study in Womanly Vice and Virtue

Behold Your Mother 

Let Nothing Trouble You: 60 Reflections from the Writings of Teresa of Avila (The Saints Speak Today) 

Dine Without Whine - A Family Friendly Weekly Menu Plan


Adoption Article Archives:


Adoption Resources:
These resources have been recommended by our readers.  To suggest a link or book, email [email protected] with your suggestion.

Helpful Links:

*Several readers have recommended local DHS and Catholic Charities for adoption resources. 

Little Flowers Foundation

Catholic Charities USA

National Council for Adoption

Priests for Life Alternatives to Abortion Resource Page

US Department of Health and Human Services

National Adoption

Information Clearinghouse

Catholic International Adoptive Parents Yahoo Group




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