you belong with us

I just realized that I have been doing Recruits for over a year.  It all started last April with Nichole.  Can you believe that?

Anyway, I have been giddy with excitement to bring you today’s Sluiter Nation Recruit.  I asked her awhile ago not knowing what she would say.  I am not sure she considers herself a blogger even though she blogs.  But she has it.  That thing…you know what I’m talking about…that makes for an amazing blogger.

And she’s related to me.

MacKenzie, author of Stepping Stones, is my sister-in-law.  Cortney’s sister.

Both of us are the only girl in our families.  Neither of us had a sister until I married her brother.

Over the past seven years of being her sister (and specifically since we both became mothers), I have felt a bond that is so very different than I have with my brothers.

The day she told us they were starting the adoption process, I cried with joy.  Not only was she going to make us an aunt and uncle, but she was opening her heart and home to save a child.

Little did we know it would be TWO children.

Since their arrival in December, MacKenzie has made me so very proud.

Grab a tissue and read her letter to her boys, Kingston and Kyrie.


My Sweet Babies,

I can’t even begin to tell you how much my life has changed since you entered it.  Everything I’ve known for the past 30 years has been turned upside down.

You made me a mommy.

You taught me how to live on 2 hours of sleep or less a night.

And still function.

You showed me that I can love in a way I never knew about.

You helped me learn 100 tricks to getting food in your belly without it being spit right back out at me, followed by your giggles.

You have changed my life so very much.  And I know this is only the beginning.

But then I think about your sweet little lives.  In the seven months of your lives before you knew me and daddy, you have experienced so much.

You had to lose your birth family in order to join ours.  Which is something that even though you were infants, I know you felt.  I know you grieve.

You then lived in an orphanage.  And were cared for by a new set of people.

Only to be moved to another place.  Where you met your special mothers.  Woman who became special to you.  That you grew to trust.  Maybe even love and bonded with.  You spent the majority of your life there before meeting us.  And I think you probably thought you were finally home.

But you weren’t.

And then what had to be the hardest transition of your life happened.

You met your mommy and daddy.

And we swept you away from everything you knew and loved.  We took you from your beautiful country.  From the sweet brown faces you were familiar with.  From your friends.  From all the smells, sights and sounds you were used to.

And into Michigan.

I know it was hard, my darlings.

I know you were unsure of us.  Of our unsteady hands.  Of mommy’s tears for no reason.  There were lots of times I cried right along with you.  Sometimes out of happiness.  Other times because I didn’t know what to do for you.

You were unsure of the changing formula, and the doctors visits.  The antibiotics.  The tummy aches. The sleepless nights.

Slowly and surely, we found our rhythm.  You found comfort in my arms.  And slowly (OH SO SLOWLY) you started to sleep better.  You beat out your tummy troubles, and we finally got rid of that nasty parasite.

And every day you learn more.  You laugh and play.  You are both crawling EVERYWHERE.  And fast.  And Kingston, you’re walking more every day! You get into everything you shouldn’t get into.  And you look me straight in the eye before you do it, you silly boy.   You capture a room with your adorable expressions.  Kyrie, you laugh at everything.  Especially when I tell you no.  You shoot your hands straight up in the air to show me how big you are, and with SUCH confidence.  And the stories you tell me.  I cannot WAIT until I understand your babbles.  Because I already know you are hilarious.

But my loves, I often wonder about your hearts.  Do you know I will love you forever and ever?  Do you know that no stranger will ever come and take you away again?  I worry that you do not know.

Because you still have not lived with us for longer than you’ve lived without us.

And at one point, we were the strangers that took you away from what you knew.

And sometimes at night, you cannot be soothed unless you are in my arms.  And if I even think about putting you down once you are asleep, you wake up immediately and cling to me.

Oh, how on these nights I never want to let you go.

I promise I’ll never let you go.

I want you to know we are your forever family.  You are home.  We love you with every ounce of our hearts, and a little bit more.

I will always kiss your tears away.  I will always cuddle you.  I will always let you snuggle up next to me at night when you cannot sleep without me.  I will protect you, no matter what.

I’m your mommy.  Now, and always, darlings.  I’m your forever mommy.


I might be partial, but not only are those boys some of the cutest ever (not counting my boys of course), but MacKenzie is one of the most kick ass moms ever.

And she’s a pretty flippin’ awesome sister too.