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The Son Who Walked Away

Carol Graham shares an open letter to her estranged son. Read more from Carol on her blog.

You were so tiny. My firstborn. My son. Adopting a baby required an extensive amount of soul searching. There was no doubt. Our prayers were answered when she placed you in my arms. My baby. And yet….you walked away.

The Son Who Walked Away: estranged son

When you were six months old, the adoption judge asked if we were committed for life – not a year or twenty years — but for life. And yet… walked away.

Taking your first step straight into my arms, you wrapped yours around my neck, so proud of yourself, yet a little scared. And yet….you walked away.

Falling off your bike you came running to Mommy to help ease the pain. And yet….you walked away.

When that mouse ran across the floor and scared me, you caught him and put him outside, protecting me. And yet….you walked away.

Being bullied at school and sharing those woes with me, you needed my comfort and support. And yet….you walked away.

Coming home several hours past curfew, finding me waiting for you, worried and praying for your safety, you apologized. And yet….you walked away.

Finding the girl of your dreams and asking for my blessing on your marriage, I gave it without reservation.  And yet….you walked away.

Placing your firstborn son into my arms, with tears rolling down your cheeks, you asked forgiveness for all the times you rebelled or was ungrateful for my love. And yet….you walked away.

Placing your second son into my arms, with joy flooding your heart, you laughed because now I had two little ones to love. And yet….you walked away.

Listening to your concerns and struggles, offering love and advice, you were so appreciative. And yet….you walked away.

Hiring both you and you wife when times were difficult, you repeatedly told us how grateful you were.  And yet….you walked away.

Every day when you called me, you ended the conversation with, “Love you, mommy.” Yes, you still called me that. And yet….you walked away.

At our fortieth wedding anniversary party, you shared how much you loved me and appreciated how we welcomed your wife into our lives. And yet….three days later….you walked away and took your family with you.

“Have a nice life,” were the last words you spoke to me on that awful day, three years ago. A part of me died. My heart shattered into pieces.

Four of you vanished from my life, in one fleeting moment. My heart has been pierced with four wounds that only your return can heal.

When you walk by our store, head down, not looking in the window, my heart breaks a little more. Once you glanced up and I waved but you quickly looked away.

I will never give up hope. I will never stop believing that one day you will come back. I see you embracing me in my mind’s eye.

I will not question you. I will always love you.  I forgive you.

Please walk back home.

Carol Graham

Carol Graham is the author of a fast-paced award-winning memoir, Battered Hope, the blog Never Ever Give Up Hope, and a regular contributor to numerous blog sites. She has a monthly column in Book Fun Magazine and has been published in several anthologies including a best-seller. In 2015, Carol received the Woman of Impact Award from Focus on Women Magazine and Author of the Year for her memoir, Battered Hope. Carol hosts a bi-weekly talk show Never Ever Give Up Hope in which she interviews people with remarkable stories of how they conquered overwhelming obstacles and achieved success. Never Ever Give Up Hope has an international audience in over 70 countries. In addition to motivational speaking, hosting a talk show and writing, Carol is a business owner, a wife, mother, grandmother and together with her husband have rescued over 30 dogs.

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Thursday 23rd of July 2015

Carol - this saddens me a lot. I am sure there would be a reason on why he walked away but I feel why children fail to understand how much it hurts their parents, how much pain this brings and at an age when parents want a happy family, this turns to be such a hole in the heart. You are a kind woman and I am sure one day he will be back. Hugs and happiness!

Carol Graham

Thursday 23rd of July 2015

Thank you for your encouraging words Parul. Our son is adopted with FAS and the doctor told us that this is not uncommon in adult male children in this scenario.

Joy Healey

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

Dear Carol,

Such a heart-breaking post.... I really hope and pray that this situation resolves itself. I just can't imagine the grief you must be going through,

If I didn't have "my boys" I would have nothing, they mean everything to me.


Carol Graham

Thursday 23rd of July 2015

Thank you Joy. It's been three years and I still cry about once a week. It affects every part of your life especially when you see him drive by once in awhile.

Vernita S

Monday 20th of July 2015

Dearest Carol: I'm am deeply touched by your story. Sometimes, childten do things which breaks our heart. Thank God your son has a mother whose hands are out stretched still, and like the prodigal son in the gospel of luke, I'm praying for your son to return again and rekindle his loving relationship with his loving mom.

Carol Graham

Monday 20th of July 2015

And I wholeheartedly agree with you Vernita. Thank you

elly stornebrink

Sunday 19th of July 2015

I can't imagine (nor would I want to) the loss of a child, I believe it is the hardest or one of the hardest challenges a mother can face. I imagine your sense of emptiness, this hole in your soul that is vacant awaiting his return. And return I do hope he does one day, back in your life and in your arms with a great big well-deserved hug! ((Carol)) <-- hug <3

Carol Graham

Sunday 19th of July 2015

You hit it on the head, Elly. I have suffered much loss as many people have, but this is the first time I have felt an actual hole in my heart. Thank you for your support in believing that he will come back home -- for the hugs we had every day.


Sunday 19th of July 2015

How painful! I can't even imagine how heart wrenching it is to deal with. Hugs Carol. Children will make mistakes. Give it time and they will correct it. He will surely walk back to you.

Carol Graham

Sunday 19th of July 2015

I agree which is why I will never give up and why we are giving him his space without trying to contact him, etc. It has to be on his terms. He has since left his wife who I know was a great influence so ......... Thank you for your comments.

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