An Open Letter About Our Adoption

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s impossible to say this in person to everyone we want to, so we’re saying it here. We apologize if blogging this letter seems impersonal or tacky, but it’s the best means we have right now.

First of all, thank you so much for your support. Adopting Asher has been a dream of ours for three years. After a mountain of paperwork and prayers and payments and waiting, he’s finally with us.

In a way, you have waited with us. And held our hands. And reminded us that one day, we’ll hold his. Thank you for loving us so.

That day is finally here. And although you’ve been waiting along with us, we ask you to wait even longer. We love that you want to see him and hold him and play with him, but it’s not time yet.

This might seem cruel, but we have to ask you to wait.

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You see, we’re all overjoyed at this adoption. All of us, except for Asher.

Imagine being taken away from all you’ve known—your friends, home, caregivers, language, food, routine, etc. Suddenly your world is flipped upside down. And you never asked for it. It was done to you. Sure they tried to prepare you by posting pictures on your wall and going over names and praying with you, but can you really be ready?

So now you’re in this strange place with strange people and for some reason, everyone is so happy about you being here. And while you do laugh and seem to be enjoying yourself and have some fascinations—automatic hand dryers and forests full of trees—you cry in bed each night. Your heart is breaking for the home you once knew.

Why is everyone so happy about that?

What you don’t know is that in time, your heart will heal. You’ll come to love these people as your family and know in your heart what mommy and daddy and brother and sister mean. You will have the experiences to back it up. But it’ll take time. And it’ll hurt real bad for a while.

This is why we’re asking you to wait and to trust us.

The five of us need to become a family now. The four of us had it down pretty well, which was itself a challenge. Now we’re adding Asher. And that affects all of us.

So for Asher’s sake and our family’s sake, please understand. We may not go to church for a while—it’s not because we’ve forsaken God. We may turn down your invitations to get together—it’s not because we don’t like you. We may pull Asher away if you try to touch him—it’s not because you have cooties (well, except for Steve Lutz).

It’s not about you at all. It’s about building a bond with Asher so he knows who he belongs to (you’ll agree he deserves that).

Thank you for your grace and understanding, love and support. We’re making the best decisions we know how to make, and if they’re awkward or off-putting, we hope you will trust our hearts that you’ve come to know.

f you have any questions, please ask.

Love,
The Chris Heinz Family

Chris believes you can love your work. He's the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., where he helps employees to succeed. He's also a Certified Professional Life Coach and a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach. He loves to coach people, write, and speak around the topics of engagement, coaching, strengths, and growth. He blogs often at ChrisHeinz.com.

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22 thoughts on “An Open Letter About Our Adoption

  1. Dear Chris:
    We’ll be praying for you that the transition to being a part of your family goes well for Asher and all of you.
    Blessings,
    Doug

  2. Chris, I know it is hard, but I am so glad you are taking the time to “cocoon” with your family! Even with babies, I believe the transition to a new family/country/culture is SO unimaginably overwhelming to their systems, and I’m sure it is only many times more so for young children. Learning to trust, learning to feel comfortable, learning that this is home…all of it takes a long, long time. All you can do is hold him through his tears, grieve with him, let your heart break with his. It is incredibly hard. Having been through it three times in our family, I know there is such a range of how children react too. But watching their resilience, their ability to love against all odds is an incredible joy. I will be praying for your family during this transition, and send much love to all of you. Please feel free to contact us if you could use any support from a family who has been there!

  3. Chris. I weep for Asher. Your love will overwhelm him and his heart will open up and be filled with joy. Praying like crazy for the little one. The rest of you are fine

  4. This is so beautiful and profound. A must-read for every new adoptive family so that they, too, can help their families understand the importance of waiting and giving it time.

    Best wishes to your family of FIVE!!!!

    I’m sure you’ll do great!

  5. Thank you for sending this — my heart goes out to you, Colette and your children. I know that it was difficult enough for me and my siblings having a blended family, and it’s a more complex situation for you, at least for the time being. Best to all of you and you will be in my prayers.

  6. I’m so excited for all of you and praying as you bond with Asher. You already know that is not going to be an easy task but the reward is great.
    Your letter was so well written and positive. Remember if there are people out there who say otherwise, you need to let that slide right off and not hurt you in any way. You know what’s best for your family and I admire that you have the courage to say so. Blessings to you.

  7. I understand completely and this is why you guys are great parents! Hope Asia and Rex had a great first week of school and glad you are feeling better! Say hi to Mom and know I am praying for your family! Love you guys!!!!!

  8. Dear Chris & Colette,

    You are making a very difficult decision (of millions!) that we parents make for the sake of our child/children’s well being. Asher is very blessed to have such loving parents who are willing to do what is best for him even when it might mean disappointing others. Every child should feel so protected and loved!

    Know that we love you guys and you are in our hearts!

  9. Great wisdom my friend. We adopted our first child and when jack was 6 months old and everyone wanted to touch him or hold and kiss him we were advised 47 years ago not to pass him around, so we sat on the living room floor and 12 family members sat in a circle on chairs simply to observe him. It went great. After a time it worked out fine. Obviously, your situation is quite different, but we will pray for continued peace and joy as God leads the way.

    Blessings,

  10. Absolutely! Chris & Colette, we LOVE you guys! So good to hear you say you’re taking this stand for Asher’s sake, AND for all of you!! May the peace of God rest upon, envelope, saturate, and surround you each and every one!

  11. This is truly a wonderful statement of healthy boundaries and love that you have for your family. God is establishing everything. Bringing unity, order, firmly setting the groubd for your new addition…little Asher. He guards over your home. His angels are comforting little Asher’s heart. He shares his pain. Thank God we have such a compassionate God. That Asher’s new home & life are a picture of this:
    When we walk through a valley to go to “Jerusalem” we may weep in the valley of Baca….but God will bring forth springs of joy/ love/ refreshing to Asher!!!
    I’m so happy and anticipate great bonding & healing as God “pours” forth the springs on Asher & his new wonderful family the Heinz’s.
    Love you all

  12. Chris Heinz, I love you so much. You are an amazing parent. I’m praying with you and Colette as your new family storms and norms.

  13. Wow, Chris-very wise and I know many may not understand, so, I’ll be praying. Not so much for others understanding at this adjustment time, but for Asher, Chris, Colette, Rex, and Asia. I remember how much of an adjustment it was for our son to come into our family, both for him and for us! 🙂 He’s even from the US, Michigan, in fact, just like us! But, it was still a definite adjustment. Praying for you guys, and. . .CONGRATULATIONS!

    With love

  14. I read your letter on Facebook and my heart is so heavy thinking about Asher crying at night. I am praying that his heart heals quickly and that everyone adjusts quickly.

  15. blessings on the Heinz family!
    how awesome to set boundaries to protect your child!
    how very important!
    Father, I pray that you will give this family all that they need during this time of transition… that you would equip them to overflowing with love and compassion for You and for one another… that You would meet each one of Asher’s deep needs at this time, in Your amazing way and by Your amazing grace… that the discomfort of being in unfamiliar surroundings would be replaced by a deep, deep sense of Your comfort, Your Presence and Your everlasting arms holding him up. I am so grateful, Father, that You work all things together for good… and that even these days will be foundational in Asher’s life as You replace his fears with faith as he see You victorious in his life, as he see You conquer the enemy of his soul. Father, I pray blessings on each family member for wisdom and grace as they walk through this time and these emotions with Asher and that Asher comes to see he has a family who will be there for him ALL the days of his life… representing You, Who has never left nor forsaken him, and never will. Thank You for Your great love for Asher in bringing him to this family. How hard it can be to watch one that we love suffer emotionally. We all grieve with Asher for the losses he is experiencing. I pray You would begin to heal him in this grief process… oh, Father, hold his hand… let him know You will never let go! In the mighty, sweet and precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

  16. Dear Chris,
    This open letter is, to me, amazingly thoughtful and sincere. Thank you sooooo much for offering it to your audience. I felt impressed by the clarity and honesty it relays. It is so honest and so helpful. I felt at once heart warmed by your family’s success as a unit and heart ache for Asher’s painful transition. And yet, I feel so hopeful when I consider the outcome of this love’s work! A family bound in faith, hope and love, under God! There’s no safer place to be.
    God’s best to you and yours! I join the body in prayer for your team. I feel so excited about the journey and the many arrivals along the way you will enjoy. I glorify God with you, for the testimony of His grace and power…He is demonstrating it through your life and family!
    Sincerely and Happily,

  17. Dear Chris and family,

    Thank you so much for sharing openly this process of adoption, and the continued journey your family is on through this process. Chris, I know that we don’t know each other very well (yet), but I’m grateful that God has placed you and Colette and your family in State College and Calvary and recently into my life. I’ll be praying for you; it’s such a privilege. God’s timing for Asher to grow into his new role, no matter when that change occurs in his heart, is perfect because it’s in His hands. Be blessed,

    Rob

  18. We totally trust, and LOVE, your hearts Chris and Colette!!!! That is a very wise plan of transition, and more. May the Father of Lights shine into Asher’s precious, breaking heart (and little Rex’s as well), and chase the darkness and sadness away. Bless you, dear ones!!!

  19. I really appreciate your concern and dedication to Asher’s bonding experience with your family.

    We have friends who have had SEVERE long-term problems with their adopted children (behavioral issues involving criminal behavior); who knows how much of that was related to bonding issues complicating the emotional baggage associated with orphan/adoption events.

    I am sure God will honor your hard work at integrating Asher into your family.

  20. My heart rejoices and breaks with you for the joy and tears of finally bringing Asher home!

    May the Daddy who knows us best give you the discernment you need to love Asher well.

    He loves you so much –