Several years ago, I was a woman in her 40’s with a lifelong dream to adopt a child.  I had worked in pediatric palliative care and I’d fallen in love with a number of children that I cared for throughout my career.  The depth of feeling I had for some of these amazing kids let me know I was meant to adopt a child; I was meant to be a mother. 

I didn’t have faith that as a single woman I could swing the cost of adoption and raising a child.  Through amazing support from my brother and my sister-in-law, some incredibly caring women (MS and DK), a loving adoption coordinator (Marilu), and a leap of faith, I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. One year later, on a Monday night in November 2015, I was blessed with a phone call that a baby was being born within the next 48 hours. I was told that the biological mom had chosen to place the baby with me, but I needed to give her time to make sure she was certain.  

I spent three days on my sofa, home from work, waiting for the call about Rylyn. I was excited but anxious and I needed to be at peace with the waiting. I paced and cried and hoped…and then I remembered that saying that “laughter is the best medicine” so I turned on Ellen’s show. I needed a positive distraction in the midst of the waiting.  The show’s theme song (Today’s the Day), by P!nk, struck me and it suddenly became my mantra. Imagine, your child is being born or has been born, but you don’t know yet and you’re waiting for the call that he is on this earth and he’s coming to you and you already love him but you don’t know where he is or how he is….it was overwhelming. 

That Friday, at 9:10 am, I got the call that his biological mother was certain about her choice to let me adopt her son. This gracious woman was going to place this beloved boy with me.  I was sitting at Logan Airport in Boston, waiting for the call that changed my life. The voice at the other end of the phone was the nurse at a hospital in Florida and she said, “Your son is waiting, how soon can you get here?”  I boarded a plane within the hour. 

 My mom, sister, and sister-in-law all offered to come to Florida with me for support but I knew this baby would do better being able to bond one on one with me. I knew I had to do this part of the journey alone.

I arrived in Gainesville at 6 pm. Because my travel was so last minute, I arrived to find that all the rental cars were booked. Crying from every emotion, I was somehow able to find a cab driver who agreed to drive me from Gainesville to Ocala, Florida. Through tears, I explained that I was going to meet my son.  

“It’s okay if you cry,” was all he said to me during the entire hour-long drive. He didn’t speak or turn on the radio, or the air conditioner…there was complete silence other than my quiet crying in the back seat. I was overwhelmed with emotion.  

The silence became too much and at that moment I remembered Ellen’s theme song from the three days I sat waiting for the very phone call that brought me to this place in my life. So in the middle of Central Florida, completely alone at the most poignant time in my entire life, I found P!nk’s song on my iPhone and it became my strength.  I listened to “Today’s the Day” on repeat for the 56-minute cab ride. It made me feel so empowered. 

I heard the GPS say 13 minutes until your destination, 7 minutes, 2 minutes, and finally “you’ve arrived”.  It was the countdown to meeting my son. I wept and laughed, and I never felt so scared yet so alive at the same time. I was ready to begin the rest of my life.

I walked into the hospital, which was nearly deserted on a Friday night, searching for the special care nursery. Ellen’s theme song was still blasting through my earbuds as tears streamed down my face. “Today’s the day I’ve been waiting for” and “Somebody please stop the clock, don’t ever let this day stop” were the lyrics that strengthened me. 

Some of the nursing staff had stayed beyond their shift to see me meet Rylyn. I’m not sure why…but one of those incredible nurses took my phone and got a photo of the first time my eyes met Rylyn’s. He was a bit of magic from the start.

Rylyn was born happy. He has an amazing, natural rhythm and a deep love for music, so we dance… a lot! Whenever we listen to “Today’s the Day”, he dances alongside me, while happy tears stream down my face. My son’s presence in my life is the best thing that will ever happen to me. I am blessed with this child who has a beautiful heart, who is an old soul with an incredible capacity to love, and who is so happy to just be alive – he literally has a joy for life I’ve never encountered. I don’t know how I got so lucky to be his mom.

Ellen’s theme song became mine, and now it’s his. Every time I hear it, it brings me back to the first time I saw him, and it fills my heart. Ellen’s show brought me laughter, P!nk’s song brought me strength and the words were, and still are, my mantra. I’ll always remember it as an integral part of my life when I was cocooning and waiting for the phone call that changed my life.

We live a life of gratitude and so, thank you…

Thank you to everyone who has been touched by Rylyn’s sense of hope and joy and who has reached out to let us know of his impact. We are incredibly humbled by the response.

Thank you to my family and friends for loving my Rylyn so deeply and being so happy that my dream to become a mom came true.

Thank you to the incredibly kind people that make up Rylyn’s biological family – without their grace, I would not have this precious boy.

Thank you to Ellen and to P!nk…you are our happy dancing (Ellen) and your words are our mantra (P!nk).

It is an honor and a privilege to share Rylyn’s infectious joy of life. His presence in my life is the greatest gift I will ever know.


  • This is just one amazing story… brought a tear or two… love this wee boys infectious smile… you are truly truly blessed…

    • I absolutely loved reading this and it brought me to tears (joyful). I’m adopted too and I’m so grateful for my biological family. I adore you and your son inasmuch as I “know” you from Instagram. He’s just beautiful and his singing is lovely! Thank you for sharing him and yourself with us, this is what social media should be all about! Much love from Northern California 💜

    • I am so very blessed. My wee boy is the love of my life. I truly will never know anything more powerful. My hope for everyone reading these really personal blog entries is that they have a love as deep as I do for my son. I waited a lifetime for him but I knew he was coming to me. All the best to you and your family.

  • Maureen… and Rylyn is incredibly lucky to have a place in your heart. I love your beautiful little guy from the first moment I heard him sing his sweet song. Much love and happiness for you both.

    • Thank you for your kind words. Rylyn is such an old soul…as am I. I will never know a greater love. I’m a private person but this child strikes a chord in people so it’s my privilege to share his happiness. All the best to you and your loved ones…

  • What a beautiful beginning! And the beauty continues day after day. I know that Rylyn is such a blessing to you, and you are a blessing to him. Just look at all the people Rylyn and you have blessed. These posts are definitely the very best use of social media in my life. Thank you for your blog and best wishes to you and Rylyn!

    • Whenever my friends are down I send them his video (Every little things gonna be ok). My mom and myself love it. It just melts your heart hisfacial expression are the cutest. Enjoy your BLESSING that God has sent you. (Heaven sent indeed)

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Much of this social media platform is an effort to maintain an “online memory box” for Rylyn so he can appreciate it when he’s older. Patricia, I had a lapsed Facebook page with 48 friends, most of whom were relatives, prior to Rylyn’s video going viral. So to say I’m out of my comfort zone is an understatement. It’s all this sweet boy…if he’s bringing people joy, it’s my honor to share that. We all need it right now. Comments like yours are so appreciated, thank you for your kindness.

  • Absolutely beautiful story!❤️ You are lucky to have such an amazing son and he is lucky to have you as his mommy! What a sweet little face he has.. loved him singing Three little birds!💛

    • Can you believe this little songbird I adopted? Rylyn sings all the livelong day…he’s that kind of kid. He “dances between the raindrops” and was born happy. It’s my honor to share him when people need a bit of hope because this child has a sense of joy that is meant to be shared.
      All the best to you and your loved ones, Marta. Take care.

  • Wow! What a story! I am crying as I write this. What a story of perseverance, faith, and strength. I have watched “ don’t worry be happy” so many times! Covid has been rough for those of us having to work. The smile and tears he brought to my face! You have a special little man there, I know you know. Loved reading this, thank you for sharing! Thank you Rylyn for helping me to smile! ❤️

    • Your comment is so appreciated. I waited a lifetime for this child…but I was not leaving this earth without being a mom. Then I was blessed with this incredibly happy person who is so full of life and, literally, full of joy.
      I work in a hospital in Boston and I’ve been able to work remotely to take care of Rylyn, but all of my colleagues have been in the hospital, all hours, caring for COVID patients. I’m in awe of their commitment and I thank you for yours…having to work during these unprecedented times. I don’t know your role at work but you can be sure that you are appreciated. Stay strong, be well, we thank you and we’re with you.

  • Love this story, and your little boy! My daughter is a pediatric palliative care doctor and she falls in love with the children.

    • Thank you for leaving a comment. Your daughter has an incredibly special calling…that is literally God’s work. I’m not a physician but I know the role of a doctor in pedi palliative care. She has all of my respect. And you don’t dedicate yourself to palliative care without a special upbringing learning to engage, be empathetic, and serve those families in need. As her mom, I’m sure you had a role in her choice to pursue palliative care. No greater calling, in my opinion. All the very best to you and your family during these unprecedented times.

  • I have saved his video when I feel sad and need to smile I watch it. God bless you both. His sweet little voice has made so many happy

    • Thank you, Darla. I had less than 50 friends on Facebook before all of this happened, literally. I didn’t embrace social media…but that one video, and messages from around the world, and comments like yours…I have to share my little boy’s love of life! With what is going on in the world, needing to smile is all it takes to turn the day around. Rylyn’s little raspy voice makes me happy every. single. day. I’m grateful to be able to share his hopefulness. Stay safe and be well.

  • What a beautiful story and aren’t you both blessed to have each other. He is a wonderful little boy and quite the singer. Thank you for sharing your story. Your mum and I go way back to the old Lawrence days. Bless you both and enjoy every minute of your life together.

    • Dear Marie, thank you so much for your kind words. Adopting Rylyn changed our family…I always knew that I would adopt but then to have my entire family, every single person, embrace this child. There is nature and nurture and then there is just pure love…and that is what Rylyn evokes in people. To know Rylyn is to love him. Rylyn’s relationship with my mum is everything. Her presence in his life is one of those things that will carry him through all of life’s ups and downs and it’s priceless. I’m so grateful for your message, it’s one I will print out for Rylyn’s “memory box.” All the best to you and your family.

  • What a great story! What an incredible little man you have. I was so touched by his sincerity and sweet little voice. It was much needed in this time of uncertainty. Everything IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! I know he loves his mom AND his nana. Thanks for sharing his song and ❤ with a world that definitely needs him. Prayers and blessings Joey S.

    • Thank you, Joey! What an uplifting message!! I’m so blessed and so grateful and so all I can do is pay my happiness forward by sharing this child. He was born happy and I’m compelled to share his sense of hope. We all need something right now and Rylyn is an old soul…so when he says everything is going to be alright, I truly believe him. He has a knowing that is far beyond mine and so I’m just sharing his joy and hope. You get it…my babe loves his mommy and cherishes his Nana. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and happy and healthy. Again, grateful for your special comment.

  • What an amazing story! I Love to hear Rylyn sing. His sweet face and genuine nature always bring much such joy and peace. God has blessed you with one amazing little boy. God bless you and thank you for sharing Rylyn’s joy and your story with all of us.💙

    • Thank you, Jennifer. Rylyn sings all day, every day…starting around 5:45am! He wakes up happy, always has, so when he sings, it’s his little soul sharing a message. Given all that is going on in the world, I feel compelled to share his joy of life because I’ve never seen anything like it. Thanks for your comment and support. It’s difficult to put it out there, but comments like yours make me know it’s the right thing to do. All the very best to you and your loved ones.

  • I’m in tears! Your story is absolutely miraculous. I too adopted a little boy, from Russia. He was 15 months old by the time I brought him home. Today, he is a 25 year old married man about to become a father. Your precious boy continues to bring me joy. His aura is so present that it’s hard to describe. He is truly a gift. Thank you for always sharing his light.

    • I’m in tears reading your message, Cheryl! I haven’t heard the word “aura” about Rylyn but that word puts my feelings into context…he has a joy of life, he was born happy, he is an old soul…and it’s all expressed in his aura.
      I adopted Rylyn in 2011, I cannot even imagine doing it in 1995. I admire your bravery for embarking on a journey of an international adoption as things can change so quickly. Lucky little boy and lucky family. And now his family is growing? Amazing for him and for you…I honor all you went through to adopt and raise him.
      As long as my little old soul wants to sing and dance and send a message, I’ll continue to share. Thanks for your perspective…”aura” is a pearl and I’ll keep that with me…very grateful.

  • What a beautiful story of love!! He is an angel on earth, and you get to be his Mom! God bless you both always!!

    • Thank you for your sweet comment. It was all love. And this child is all love. I waited a lifetime for him and I’m so incredibly grateful. All the very best to you and your family.

  • You two are so lucky to have found each other! Love that little boys smile. Looking at his smile makes me smile. Thanks for sharing him.

    • Thank you for your comment, Linda. I waited so long for this sweet boy. I was blessed with a happy baby who evolved into a little boy with a huge heart and an incredible joy of life. It’s my privilege to share his happiness. Sending a sense of hope and happiness to you and your family…

  • Maureen- you are an amazing Mom- I watched you as you waited for him and as you became the most incredible Mom to this beautiful little boy! It was a privilege and an honor to know you and watch you as you blossomed to become the incredible Mom you were meant to be!! Rylyn is such a lucky little boy! ❤️

    • You know I just love the person you are, Wendy. Thoughtful beyond measure, caring, kind…I’m fortunate to call you a friend. Much love to you and all of your family…

  • What a beautiful story! thank you for sharing it and for sharing his infectious joy with all of us. You 2 are each other’s blessing!

    • Each other’s blessings…I’ve not heard that before and I loved the way you phrased it! Thank you for your kind words, it’s my honor to share this little boy’s joy of life! I hope you and your family are safe and happy and healthy.

    • Thank you, Ressha. Often hard to share so much, but comments like yours let me know we are reaching people who appreciate the message. Just wanting to share hope. All the best to you and your loved ones.

  • You both are so very lucky to have found one another. You have a special bond that is very rare in life! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for your comment, Sherry. Life is so very short and having a special bond with another person is sacred. When it is your child, it elevates it to another level. I’m forever grateful. And then to be blessed with this little person with an old soul and a happy heart…
      You never know what amazing blessing is around the corner for you. All the very best…

  • Amazing♥️♥️♥️
    Such a wonderful love♥️♥️♥️
    I cried reading the story and I am blessed beyond words.

    • You changed my life, I’m forever grateful. He was born an old soul with a bit of magic and that magic came from you. It’s my privilege to raise him.

  • You had me at “beautiful heart, who has an old soul”. There is something special about your little man. How you found each other is just amazing. Thanks for sharing him with us! He is an inspiration.

  • Thank you so much for beautiful and moving tribute to your wonderful son. How fortunate he is to have such a loving and dedicated mother. He is a gorgeous child with voice of an angel. God bless you both.

  • Two hearts one love. Brought together by chance. Two lives that were meant to be together. It’s crazy how I love Little Rylyn. He brightens my day each and every morning. When he sings, “Little Nana”

  • Incredible story! Beautiful! I felt every emotion in your journey, and I couldn’t wait for the happy ending knowing it’s a good one. I love your Rylyn! He melts my heart. He makes me happy too! Thank you for sharing your story, and for sharing your precious son with us. Wishing you and Rylyn much love, happiness, and continued blessings.❤️🙏You are both truly blessed indeed.😇

  • You and your son have brought a beautiful light to many of our lives. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. Bless you both. ❤️

  • I am so happy that God answered your prayers. The angels were looking down on you both and the stars and planets all aligned. I absolutely adore Rylyn. Thank you for sharing him with us and your story. I did cry but tears of joy. ♥️ God bless you both.

  • What a beautiful story of hopes, life and love. Thank you for sharing your dreams and we all love Rylyn!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I have shared Rylyn’s singing with family and friends. At the time when I first heard this sweet, cute little boy sing, I was worried about a few things and after hearing him sing it made me feel so calm and at peace that “everything little thing is gonna be alright”. At that moment I stopped worrying. May God bless you both.❤❤

  • Stay blessed dear Maureen. He is a blessing to everyone. When I was panic stricken with this pandemic and nearly slipped into depression when I heard this Angel sing to me with the most wonderful smile… “Don’t worry, everything little things gonna be alright”. Love him so much.. You are the most luckiest Lady… And also Rylyn is very, very lucky to have a mom like you.

  • First time reading this, and I cried the whole time for the pretty little girl grown into a beautiful woman and now a loving Mother. Lucky you, lucky Rylan. I remember with crystal clarity the first time I heard him call you Mommy.

  • He is indeed a blessed child and it’s no coincidence that you get to mother him cos I can tell you have so much love to give. Love ❤️ and💡

  • So I am crying like baby now! I loved this kid the moment I saw his little face on social media. So much so I’ve deemed him “my little friend” (in my head) I have now transitioned it to Aunt Tana…lol (never met the kid) but you feel his presence and energy. This story warms my heart. I said from day one, he should be on Ellen without knowing the story. You were born to be his mom! God bless you both!

  • Praise God. He is such a blessing to you and to all of us who have watched his joy of life reflected on our screens. Love him.

  • God bless you and little Rylynclark!! You are a special person , that’s why GOD put his little buddle of Joy in your care and even though I’ve never met you , I can feel the spirit
    and energy and the goodness coming from rylynclark that he has and still is Generating from you. He’s been a blessing to me and i know everyone else. God has a purpose and a plan for his life. Get ready!!
    You and your family be blessed and stay safe. Your always in christ!!

  • Maureen, you and Rylyn were meant to be Mother & Son..
    a match made in heaven!…
    May life be kind to you both and God’s blessings be with you and Rylyn always!…

  • What a wonderful and touching story!..Maureen, you and Rylyn were meant to be a family!!
    A match made in heaven!❤❤❤

  • Tears for sure…
    Rylyn is absolutely amazing❣️
    You are absolutely amazing ❣️
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful
    son with us❣️

  • I’ve listened to his sweet video multiple times and my heart soars to see him and listen to the words he sings. I hope you both are doing well. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! Sending love.

    • Thank you, Madonna! All of you were so amazing…I remember talking to you at airport, waiting to board my flight. The cadence of your voice calmed me and I was in tears bringing my little boy into your office to meet all who had guided me along the way. All the very best.

  • Such a beautiful story full of love, you and Rylyn are truly blessed to have found each other. Thank you for sharing, I so needed his sweet sound, smile and song today. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Awe!!! My tears as I read this amazing totally aligned adoption😭I’m so happy! It gives me hope as I really have always wanted to adopt❤️Even though my daughter is grown now and I have 5 grandchildren my heart yearns to adopt!❤️Thank you for sharing your sweet boy who always pops on at the exact moment That I need to hear his song with his easy & free spirit ❤️🥰

  • What a gorgeous story!!! I am so happy for both of you!! What a blessing his mother gave to both of you!! She knew you were the perfect person to care for her precious child — when she realized that it wasn’t possible for her to do it herself. Sending you and Rylyn SO MUCH!!! love!!!!!

  • I had listened to this video previously but it came around again last Friday. I listened to his sweet voice telling me everything’s gonna be alright. I had a tough few days but Rylyn’s sweet voice and facial expressions made it OK. What a blessing you are to each other! Thank you for sharing him with us.

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