Addise’s Letter (Grab a Kleenex)

Parenting is the most difficult thing I do.

Photo by Emily Bell (aka our family photographer)

Photo by Emily Bell (aka our family photographer)

Motherhood splits me open to ALL of the hopes, fears, insecurities, and dreams I have for the future. I see the future in my two sons and daughter. From the daily grind to the defining moments, parenting causes me to wonder if I’m really doing anything right.

Adopting our two oldest kiddos has FOR SURE been one of the best opportunities for transformation in my life. It’s probably because it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. And do. On the daily. It’s one of the most vulnerable places in my life. Our kids hold up a mirror for me. More than anything I want to be a healing person in their journey. But I mess it up a lot.

This fall Addise and I were invited to share a bit of our story for the amazing organization, AdoptTogether. They host an annual Baby Ball Gala to raise money for families in the adoption process. Financial restraints are the #1 reason more families don’t adopt. So, AdoptTogether is working to eliminate that barrier so more kids get into families. Every kid deserves a loving family.

They shared this video of our family and two others at their Gala in Hollywood. My voice is the first voice you’ll hear. (If you want a full copy of Addise’s letter and more of the backstory, scroll down. It’s worth it.)

Grab a Kleenex. You’ll need it.


I’ve known the founders of AdoptTogether for a long time, even before they started AdoptTogether, while we were both working at collaborative churches in SoCal. We got a call less than 2 weeks before the Baby Ball. They had a family cancel last minute and asked if Addise and I would be willing to participate.

Addise is almost 10 years old. She’s actively working through her adoption story, and like all adoption stories, it’s really hard. She’s a STRONG and TENDER little girl. She has BIG and STRONG emotions and it’s hard to process them all. She’s kinda like her momma in that way.

So, I wasn’t sure she’d want to share anything about her story or our relationship, especially in such a public way. It was a BIG ask.

When she got home from school that day I told her what they were looking for from us. I was intentional not to persuade her. As we talked, she snuggled on my lap and asked really smart questions about what was being asked of her.

While I did NOT want to pressure her, I also realized this could be a breakthrough experience where she could own her story, not where her story would own her. I saw this as an opportunity for her to write her narrative differently. I envisioned this being a moment she could look back on with pride in both who she is and who she’s becoming. I prayed that she would not make a decision in fear but in power.

Rewind. Months ago Addise and I were talking about being an Ezer (it happens a lot around here). I asked her what she thought it meant and she said, “girls are strong and powerful and make a difference in this world.”

Cue sobs. Yes, baby girl. That’s an Ezer.

Then, she told me she wanted to start something within this company her momma had just started called “Ezer Girls” so ALL girls could know that they are strong, powerful, and can make a difference in this world.

Back to this Day. After we snuggled and she asked all her questions about the letter and video shoot she asked, “Mom, would this make a difference in the world?” I had to take a deep breath to control my emotions and leave the decision to her, without manipulation.

“Yes, Addise. I think this would make a huge difference in the world.”

“Ok, Mom. I want to do it.”

With that, she got off my lap and went to write her letter.


(unedited and written without help)

What I appreciate most about mom and dad is they help me with homework.

They also take me to places. For example: Disneyland, LEGOLAND, and to fun places I have never been before.

We usually go to the pool on Sunday and have a special breakfast like eggs and bacon.

They also help me in tough moments like when I am scared, hurt, or angry. They also let me watch TV.

I love them because I know they care about me and that they love me.

A memory I have is that one day I fell on my bike and I told my mom and dad and they let me relax for the rest of the day.

That is why I love them with all my heart.

P.S. Thank you for making me brave.

— Addise Diaz

Raising this Ezer Girl alongside her Daddy is one of the holiest privileges of my life.

PS. Ezer Girls is coming soon because Addise has a vision. If you’re interested in knowing more, let’s talk.