How Adoption Inspired My Love For Painting Angel Wings

Painting and art is often used as a tool for healing and therapy. 

I’ve shared how my grief has inspired me in my art. For me, in our journey through adoption, painting was a way for me to grow closer to God and pray over my baby while we waited.  I love sharing this story and our journey with how God brought us our son, True, through adoption because it’s a story where we had nothing BUT trust to hold onto… and as God always does… in his time… he comes through.

Most of you know all of our boys came to us through adoption. I didn’t conceive them biologically and I didn’t give birth to them… but they are 100 percent our boys. True is our only child we actually went through an agency to adopt. This agency is also a ministry for moms living on the streets.

We finally got the call that a birth mom had picked our family to adopt her “girl” ( she never had an ultrasound, she just decided to go with girl) and we were matched. She was due in three months and birth mom wanted us at the hospital and we were going to be able to take him home right away. 

Of course we were elated and then the counting down of the days began. And as we got closer and closer I would call our social worker more and more asking for any updates she could give me. (For me, there is something really amazing that happens when you are picked and there is a living child already in the world – though in a womb. I instantly fell in love with this baby I never felt or touched or heard.) So you can imagine how important updates would be for a mom of a child that she doesn’t really know where the child is.

Basically, our birth mom went off the radar. We learned that this was typical of her behavior and were told not to worry too much. But y’all the thoughts that go through your mind can be kinda crazy. And knowing that she was without a home or money, living on the streets in Houston, the forth largest city in America, (we had just been through a very intense training on what kind of life that can be) my heart was just a nervous wreck every day.

During this time, Jaime came for a visit and we decided to paint some art. This scripture had been my prayer for “Baby Lewis Dos” (this is what I called our baby when I would refer to him) and I needed to get it onto something.

For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands

— Psalm 91:11-12

I had absolutely no control in this situation at all. I couldn’t make sure she was taking pre-natal vitamins. I couldn’t make her go to doctor appointment. I couldn’t even make sure she was eating a solid meal herself. Y’all…helpless isn’t a strong enough word for what I was feeling. I had only God’s promise! And every single time Baby Lewis Dos popped into my head I would pray this scripture over him.

“Little Bit” at three days old, one day with us.

Finally, we got some news. At midnight on September 20, birth mom was on her way to the hospital. We were ready to head out the door… BUT… we were told to wait. I’m not sure the reasoning for this – we had to just trust the agency at this point. It was a long long night that could totally have a whole blog post for itself.

Finally around 6 am, I think, we got the phone call. Birth mom had changed her mind. The baby was a boy by the way and she is keeping him. Obviously we were devastated. Two days went by and we got a call from our social worker that birth mom needed help. She asked if we would we be interested in picking up the baby and keeping him temporarily until she was settled and figured things out…

Bart and I went back and forth. It was a hard discussion but we decided yes, we wanted to help. How could we not? Two weeks later we met birth mom to bring “Little Bit” back and she realized then she still wasn’t ready. She felt like she was supposed to give him to us to adopt but birth dad wasn’t on board now.

Two months passed with “Little Bit”,  the new name we all dubbed for him, and we still didn’t know. We knew we loved him, but we couldn’t quite love him like we wanted to because he wasn’t ours. What was God doing? I was sitting on the couch with Little Bit and literally crying out to God and praying promises over sweet boy that even though I had no clue what was going on in God’s mind for this baby and our family, God had a plan for him and it was a plan for good.

At that moment, my phone rang. I got the call that birth dad finally decided to give Little Bit to our family through adoption. He was going to sign the papers and we could finally continue on with the process and Little Bit would be our son.

At that exact moment y’all, I somehow had the good thought to take this picture of us in front of his angel wings and I will treasure it forever! I don’t know what all True endured while she was still pregnant with him. I can image based on knowing what we did about birth dad and what people living on the streets go through and have to do to survive. But I do know for sure that no matter where he was, I knew he had an army of angels surrounding him, protecting him always. There was major proof of that his first two days of his life on this earth.

 True Lewis' adoption day ten months later.
True Lewis’ adoption day ten months later.

I don’t remember a time ever in my life where I’ve really given the reality of angels a thought. But during this whole adoption journey with True, God just put it on my heart to pray for angels to surround our boy. And to know that they would be wherever he was protecting him, guarding him, and lifting him up with their hands.

Now I think about angels differently. And I think about them often. 

So angels are not only an important part of the creation, Christmas, and Easter stories, but also of our story today. What we see behind the scenes in Bethlehem is also a peek behind the scenes in our lives.

— Mark Dance,

For more reading on angels and their roles today:


 Bodie, my art assistant.
Bodie, my art assistant.

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One Comment

  1. Janice

    Melissa, your Family Story is truly a Gift from The Holy Father of all Creation!! I was crying as I read your family story about Family. His gifts to us are TRULY just what we need, when we need and are ready in HIS EYES!! Praising God for your ministry thru the eyes of a Mother and Artist. Happy to know you are in Memphis, TN…I am from Greenwood, MS and have a deep connection with St. Judes as a Clay Potter thru our beginnings of a Pottery Co-op with myself and 9 others. I created for a Grandmother in Nesbit that had a Grandchild that I partnered in Prayers for this Family and others. Then I received permission for St. Jude’s Priest to come for a Tour and Present about 600 of these pure white 4″ crosses with a circle card attached that read, “A Circle is round, It has no end, That’s how long Jesus will be your Friend.” It was one of the spiritual days of my life. Oh yes, Our Church Bus that 14 ladies were taken to St. Jude’s on met up with Paula and her daughter for lunch and the awesome Tour. This was the first day I met this Grandmother and Daughter in person. We had connected thru my (at that time) new Methodist Minister that had come from Paula’s Methodist Church. God places people where they need to be and when they need to be. I still keep up with this family ocassionally thru FB and this Child is now a grown man doing fine. Praising God for all things!!
    Are you still in Memphis and continuing your Painting Ministry?
    Love to you and yours and keep painting, Janice “GG” Gammill (painting sisters in Christ)

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