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Friday, April 24, 2009

My Adoption Hero: Part 5... Forgiveness & Grace (Erin Smalley!!)

A spunky sophomore transferred to my small Baptist College. She immediately made an impression on my ex-boyfriend and I was definitely interested in finding out a little more about her. For some crazy reason, we hit it off…we had so much in common (& I don’t mean just the boyfriend:) Little did we know that our lives would intertwine in the future...a deep connection of the heart.

My fifth adoption hero... who exemplifies forgiveness and grace, is
Erin Smalley. She is a daughter and a sister and a friend. Everyone is drawn to her amazing spirit, hilarious sense of humor, passion for Jesus and joyous zest for life!! I no longer call her *just* my friend. She is my sister-in-law, my children’s Aunti and one of the biggest cheerleaders during our adoption.

I first learned that Erin was adopted early on in our friendship and was amazed at her attitude and spirit toward her adoptive parents. They adored their daughter and she adored them. Erin was always comfortable sharing or answering any of my questions concerning her adoption. Her favorite thing to say was….I grew in my mom’s heart.

I will never forget when Erin made the decision to contact her birth mother. Her adoption was domestic and closed, but with lots of support and encouragement from family and friends she started her search. It was not the reunion that Erin had dreamed about…the kind you see on Oprah. Her birth mother chose not to have contact with her for very personal reasons. She had not told anyone...her baby was a secret. She was a closet birth mother. I can’t imagine the pain this decision made in Erin’s heart, but I watched her respect and honor the decision with dignity and grace and forgiveness. She recently told me...I thought the contact was for my own needs, but in reality the phone call was for her, to bring her some type of freedom and peace.

Erin, thank you for showing me what it truly means to love someone unconditionally, to selflessly let go of your own needs and forgive someone despite their circumstances. You are a woman of grace. I’m thrilled to support and encourage you during YOUR adoption journey to your daughter waiting in China.
Adoption radically changes your life...from the inside out!
I'm thankful you are my sister.


Its been so special for me to share my 5 adoption heroes!! Each one played a unique part in helping us bring home our Zoie.
Now I need YOUR help...please take a moment & let me know who your adoption hero is & why. Someone that was a source of encouragement, support, inspiration, cheerleader,
prayer warrior... My goal is to use these stories in the future to encourage anyone who is thinking about adopting.
You can email me at
Let's inspire!!


  1. Wow! What a great story! I feel like I can relate :)

  2. I love this!!! What a great way to honor her! and I agree :)


The best is yet to come!!