41 years ago a woman gave birth to me. That same woman, after being absent for 41 years, emailed me two days ago. My adoption agency had made me aware so I was not completely taken off guard. She signed her first pitifully immature and unthought-through communication with me, "toodles".
Toodles? Seriously? Youve got to be kidding me. Reader: please dont try to dismiss it as her trying to be casual or not knowing what to do. Shes had 41 years and this was her requested reunion.
Needless to say, the communications were barren and have now ended. I have known all about her for 5 years now, ever since I had my sealed adoption records opened. Additionally, I have seen her arrest record, known her multiple marriage failures, unending job changes, credit issues and general instability. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, faced with bringing someone into my life, or our family life, we needed to know what we were dealing with. All this information is public and actually, I feel Provisional in directing my steps in this process.
4 years ago I met my birthsister (half-sister), Katy, after reaching out to her based on the information which was provided in my records. Youve seen Katy multiple times on this blog as we see each other as much as the across the country schedule permits. Katy is the opposite of our mother: internally beautiful, externally radiant, kind and sincere. She was the only link I needed to my past and Im thankful for the relationship we have cultivated. We all knew though, that it was only a matter of time before birthmother came searching for me. And she did.
I could write of the disaster that she is, and her seeming inability to make a good choice if it stares her in the face, but that would show more of my bitterness than I am willing to reveal. (You can laugh at that sentence). But seriously, I have gone round that round with what my responsibility is with this woman:
do I even have one?
does she need something from me?
do I owe her something?
what am I being asked by the Lord to do with her that might be different from others in my life?
or the same?
do I need something from her?
do I even have to put up with this crap?
should I just binge on grains and forget it all?
You get the picture. Its been 360 about 40 times over. And then she emailed and she was even worse than I anticipated.
Ultimately I decided what was being asked of me was to offer my forgiveness for any guilt or shame that she has carried with her all these years and to bless her future. I did both of those. She basically spat in my face by email. It was fun (thats sarcasm, for those of you who dont recognize it).
I wondered if I did it wrong, if something is wrong with me, if Im missing something. But ultimately I realized that forgiveness/blessing was all I had to offer and, in Grace, must move on.
Perhaps one day she will be able to receive my words. Or not. Perhaps one day the Lord with call her to Himself. Or not. Perhaps she will someday see that she could have been a heart shaper in my life, a lifegiving voice who guided and encouraged, supported and loved me. Instead of a woman who thought and talked only of herself, and then belittled me only hours after our first contact. Or not.
Is this loving our enemies? Turning our cheek? Offering forgiveness when it isnt anywhere near deserved? I have struggled daily with the consequences of her choices and now, 41 years later, Im being asked to forgive and bless. Some parts of this Christian walk are so very difficult.
I offered that forgiveness and blessing. She spat at me, telling me how she doesnt need that or want it and never has - how she is proud of her life and her choices. I dont believe it for one minute. Oh the pride of man/woman and the mirror this has been for me. So many times I have responded the exact same way in different situations. Gross. So ugly. And yet Jesus kept/keeps reaching for me.
I had to ask my adoption agency to tell her to cease contact. Only hours after it began. Im sure every one of you wants to tell me to not give up. Sorry. Ive already been down that road of thought. Sometimes we do have to brush the dust from our feet. Sometimes its best though it does seem such a loss.
How does one wonder all these years and then face merely a monster? Well, for me its nothing more than a clearer picture that the Lord has had His hand on me before the foundations of the earth, that He truly knew me before I was born. And that in my birth He Provided, like He has ever since. The good and bad of living with my adoptive parents is what shaped me into who I am today. It was not all good and not all bad, but it was all Provision and my very precisely chosen life. She was not my Provision. Still isnt. And now I can clearly see why. How kind to spare me from a life with this woman.
So today I sing a little louder, love a little more and worship a little deeper because today I can see what was around the corner, and that even in my birth He was saving me.