Music can connect us in a unique way. Adoption songs and lullabies are one way that families can come together...

Songs About Adoption

When I think of babies, I instantly think of lullabies. As I hold an infant in my arms, I begin to hum and rock the baby back and forth. I can remember, listening to my mother hum constantly when I was a child. Whether she was doing chores or driving down the road, she was always humming. My siblings and I would often silently laugh at her wondering what she was humming as the tunes really didn’t resemble any songs we knew. Since becoming a mother, I often hear myself humming. Sometimes, the music is something I am familiar with and at other times, it is just some random tune. I have come to realize that this is a way to cope or escape into my own world. And as a mother, I now have a better understanding of why my mother would do this; after all, there were six of us! After my mother passed away, I would pretend to hear her humming. During quiet times, if I listen closely, I can still hear her. In the adoption community, songs about adoption can unite us.

Music has a way of bringing out our emotions. A song can put a smile across our face or bring up an unpleasant memory. A melody can evoke a feeling of happiness or remind us of our grief. We may feel the need to get up and dance or to sit quietly and reminisce. No matter what the reaction is, music is meant to make us think and feel.  

A few years after the birth of our two daughters, I was diagnosed with secondary infertility. I had a strong desire to have more children and was consumed with sadness for several months. I attended an event sponsored by my church with speakers and musical numbers. One of the speakers was a man named Micheal McLean. I was familiar with his work and knew it would be an inspiring evening. Besides being a great speaker, he was a songwriter. He had also produced and starred in multiple plays. I was anxious to hear what he had to share. However, I was not prepared for the visceral, personal response elicited by his music. Over the course of the evening, he shared a very personal story about a young lady he had met. The story was about how she had come to the decision to place her baby for adoption. While she told him about her experience, a melody came to him that was soon accompanied by lyrics. The song “From God’s Arms, To My Arms, To Yours” was created. He began to sing the song and I was instantly consumed with emotion. I had the very distinct prompting that I was supposed to adopt a baby. My husband and I had discussed it and this confirmed our feelings.

The song tells the story from an expectant mother’s point of view as she struggles to make a decision about her baby. When she decides to place the baby for adoption, she thinks about his future. She asks the adoptive mother if she would please tell the baby of her love for him. She wants him to know how she struggled with making the right choice for her baby and how she will always care about him. The expectant mother also shares her feelings about the adoptive mother, knowing how much she will also love the baby. She acknowledges that he comes from God, through her, to his waiting, adoptive mother.

In a video on YouTube entitled “A Birth Mother’s Love,” a group of women who call themselves “Birthmom Buds,” have put together a collage representing the words to this song. As you see the pictures of these strong, courageous women selflessly relinquishing their babies to their new mothers, you can feel the love through the music. You likewise see the love the adoptive mother is openly ready to give to the child. This video also lends support to expectant mothers as they go through their adoption journey.    

In pursuing our hopes of adoption, my husband and I decided to do foster care. We met a sibling group of five we were very interested in adopting and we cared for them as a whole for several months and then just two of the children remained in our home for a short time. The youngest child was just 5 months old when we met. There were signs of fetal alcohol syndrome evident in all five children. The infant was sometimes hard to console. I would rock her to sleep to try to calm her. As I was rocking her to sleep one night, a poem came to me that I put to music as I sang to her. The words expressed my feelings towards this baby and her siblings. My husband had struggled with the idea of loving these children but overcame those feelings as they became a part of our lives. Perhaps one of your concerns as an expectant mother is that your baby won’t be loved as much as you love him. No one will love your baby the way you do but as an adoptive mother, I can assure you that he will be loved. Remember that there is a family like ours waiting anxiously to love him with all their hearts.The song went like this:

Daddy, will you love me, will you call me your own,

Though not flesh of your flesh, or bone of your bone?

I came to this earth through another,

But I call you father and mother,

So guide me and teach me all that is right

And at the end of each day, I’ll kiss you goodnight.

Mommy, will you show me all the things I must do,

To take me to heaven when my life is through?

I came to this earth through another,

But I call you father and mother,

So guide me and teach me all that is right

And at the end of each day, I’ll kiss you goodnight.

I’ll watch and I’ll follow all the days of my life,

And at the end of each day, I’ll kiss you goodnight.

The song became a nightly routine and over the next four years of foster care, it was sung to 34 different children. Ultimately, we did not adopt that sibling group but remained in touch with them over the years as they grew and graduated from high school. Foster care did eventually lead us to the adoption of a 2 ½-year-old little girl. I often found myself singing these words to her as she adjusted to her new life and routine. She is now a young woman of 20. I hope and pray that I taught her what she needs to know to navigate through life. Mostly, we pray that she knows how much she is loved.  

Songs can bring about emotion when we least expect it.  A certain hymn at church may bring back feelings of grief and sadness. While at other times, the same song might bring comfort and peace. Lyrics have a way of touching our hearts. When we don’t know how to express our feelings to someone, we often share a song to get our message across. Music speaks to the soul. Shakespeare said, “When words fail, music speaks.” Another quote I found from an unknown author puts it this way: “Music has the power to make us smile, and bring us to all types of tears. It can carry us back in time, and inspire us to dance in the moment. For all our happiest days, there is music.” May I add that in all of our darkest days, there is still music.  

A beautiful and touching song written by Mark Schultz, “Everything to Me,” shares the words and thoughts of an adopted young man to his birth mother. This song shows the expectant mother struggling with her emotions. Her adopted son thanks her for her sacrifice and unending love. He then in return expresses his never-ending love for her.  

During our years as foster parents, we had another sibling group of three for about 18 months. The baby girl was just 8 months old when she came to live with us. We came to love this baby girl and her older brothers as our own. We watched her first step, heard her first word, and observed her daily growth. While they were living with us, I suffered a miscarriage. We decided to continue caring for them. A few months later, I became pregnant again. After discussing it with my doctor, it was decided that due to the added stress, it was time to let the children go. It was heartbreaking for us. We were essentially the only parents they knew. We sent them out the door with words of encouragement for their next adventure. Eventually, they were united with their mother. As I often do during major events in my life, I turned to writing poetry to express my emotions. Frequently, the words come to me in song form. This is the song I wrote as I grieved the little girl no longer with us. I think it expresses the feelings that an expectant mother might have as she relinquishes her baby to another. With the assurance that the baby is being loved and cared for, she thanks her birth mother for her sacrifice.  

Where are you my little girl, where are you tonight?

I hope someone is loving you and holding you so tight.

When the morning comes I pray that you’ll be alright

And know that deep within my heart, I loved you with all my might.

On a cold and lonely day, I held you in my arms

You looked at me and suddenly I was taken by all of your charms.

And then one day you had to go, leaving us all alone

We wish that we could see the day when you are all grown.

Here I am, I’m all right.They take me in their loving arms

And sing to me each night.

I give thanks every day, for the gift you gave to me

By giving me away.

I have always loved music. As a young girl, I was taught to play the piano. I dreamed of being on Miss America and playing the piano for my talent. That didn’t happen but I have been able to use my talent over the years, either by performing solo pieces or accompanying vocalists or choirs. I have also had the privilege of teaching several students to learn the joy of making music. I especially enjoy playing Christmas carols during the holidays. It brings a feeling of nostalgia and peace to my home. It brings back memories of Christmas Eve as a child singing carols around the piano or going door to door to spread Christmas cheer. Besides playing the piano, I enjoy singing. I sang in my high school choir and was able to travel on tour and share our music in Mexico and Canada. Those are some of my best memories. Music has a way of bringing people together. I will always cherish those friends who shared that time with me. You may have special memories shared with friends and family during your childhood. Maybe you can recall songs you sang together or listened to on the radio. These memories trigger feelings of times gone by, whether happy or sad. Some memories we choose to remember and cherish while others we choose to erase from our minds. 

As an expectant parent, you are currently feeling all kinds of emotions. Look for music that will uplift your soul and help you find peace. You could put together a playlist for the adoptive family to listen to and share with the baby. This could be a connection to you no matter what form of adoption you choose.  

An unknown author said, “We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how to dance to it.”  May you find the answers you are searching for and find music in your life.

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Cindy Hill

Cindy Hill was introduced to adoption when she was 9 years old as she watched her 16-year-old sister place her baby for adoption. She had no idea how adoption would impact her life.
Cindy married her high school sweetheart and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this past June. They have six children, two of whom are adopted. In addition, they have 12 busy grandchildren. Pre-Covid, they enjoyed Sunday dinner together each week. During their four years of foster care, they had 34 children in their home, either for respite care or long-term placements. Cindy has always had a great love for children, especially newborns and young teens as they learn to navigate the world. For the last 12 years, Cindy has been a substitute teacher for grades K-12 for their local school district. She is an active member of her church congregation.
Cindy loves yard sales and finding bargains to decorate her home. She has always enjoyed writing poetry and keeps a journal. ( 13uponthehill.blogspot.com) She and her husband have one son at home who will graduate in May, leaving them as empty nesters with their small herd of cattle.