A day or so ago I got an unexpected note from a reader here on the blog. Though we have never met, I do, for many reasons, consider her a friend. She thanked me for the below post. Shes a mother of two adopted children and somehow these words spoke to her (years after I initially wrote them). What she didnt know was that I had already planned to republish the post again this year, 5 years later to the day.
My reason for reposting was simple: Redemption has come. What that means is not that those feelings were not real but that they were not the end. I was not left with them forever. There was a Plan in place and He was the author and center of that Plan.
At the core of my being as I grew up, I held unbelief in my heart. Unbelief that I was loved by anyone. And the only thing which might change that was if I became what others wanted, or saw as lovely or perfect. It was a terrible way to grow up and to live. No ones loving words or affirmation could penetrate deep enough to change my heart, only the Lord could go to that deep place and heal me. In 2006 I began to pray for that kind of healing. I had no idea that it would involve actually losing a relationship I held most dear and also meeting my birthsister and having the opportunity to have relationship with my birthmother. But it did.
Since this original post I have both met and established relationship with my birthsister and also have had personal contact with my birthmom and father (via my birthmother). One was a wholly positive experience, one not so much. You can read about the not so much one here and see the wholly positive one here and here and probably a few other places. Again, Provision in both regards.
But what I want most to share is this: that deep longing and pain is gone. I am free from the unbelief and what has replaced it is a sense of who I really am and how the hand of God has been upon me all of my days. No words will come near expressing the change so I will not even attempt it. But I will testify that it is my God alone who has come and healed this very broken piece of me. It took years and tears and terrible pain, sitting (mostly) still while He worked in me. It took praying through my darkest hours instead of jumping out windows or moving cars, knowing that He was doing something very worthwhile and I needed to hold on. It took screaming at my best friend when she adopted and having to look myself in the mirror afterward realizing who I was really screaming at. And it took publicly defaming my husbands character instead of looking at my immense fears of abandonment. But the Lord had even prepared them to walk through it all with me.
And then there were my adoptive parents. Never able to meet my expectations, always "failing" and "letting me down", ever abandoning me in my mind - and yet they held onto me. They fought for me. They encouraged me and held to me. Yet, they watched me attach myself over and over to older women, seeking the mothering relationship I thought I needed. I broke their hearts over and over. But they waited. With no promise of change ever coming, they continued to love and be available to me. That is true parenthood, wouldnt you say? And now my adoptive mother and I roar in laughter and dance together - I trust her as I trust almost no one. How could I not? And I tearfully run across parking lots to the arms of my adoptive father - I have let him into my heart. Again, how could I not? Both of these were, only years ago, unimaginable to me as I was so bitter. Bitter in a place they could never reach, which must have been maddening. They now are truly some of my very favorite people to be with and I respect and appreciate them in that deep place which once was only broken. Beautiful, Beautiful Redemption.
Where once was darkness, now light. Where once only fighting, now feasting. Where once only pain, now immeasurable joy. I dare not say that my birthday will never hold a level of mourning in some form or another or that it will ever be my favorite day of the year, afterall a life tie was broken and as I wrote before consequences do remain, but the pit of despair it once held now has been filled.
Another friend of mine wrote to me last week after I posted the pictures of the girls and I dancing with my mom. She was asking if I could possibly put anymore Redemption out there. I am as amazed as anyone, I assure you.
I hope as you read this post you are encouraged. We all have areas we dont fully believe Redemption can fill. May I encourage you today to give those over fully this Christmas season. On your knees say that you arent sure that it can be fixed but you want Him to come into those deep places and reveal His Glory. And ask for the strength to wait it out as He does, in His perfect timing. May I be the testimony that refrains... He still works miracles.
Glory to God alone,
...the post from 5 years ago today (which you can see here):
I have begun this entry and erased it all a couple of times now. These words I
want to express but do not want to take up time sharing and do not want to sound
like whining. What I mean by that is that my time to meet for coffee and dinner
and even to talk by phone is precious and comes in small amounts. These words I
am wanting to share with you all are not words that I want to take up that kind
of time and yet I want you all to know. So, if you are reading this and I dont
know you or dont know you well then forgive me for sharing so deeply. For those
of you that are my closest relationships, here is my heart today. I dont much
want to talk about it after I write it, but just want you to hear my
My birthday is the hardest time of the year for me...always has
been. This weekend I will have been alive 37 years. I feel great about the time
of life that I am in. I feel great about where I am as a woman, wife, mother and
friend. I feel that I have grown more in the last 2 years than ever before in my
life. I know that my relationship with the Lord has taken a different course and
because of that I will never be the same. I can see the evidence of brokenness
working together for the good in my heart and feel a joy that comes from nothing
of this earth. I am not happy all days, some months not even most days, but I am
thankful and joyful in all days. Where I am in life is good and I love the role
that I play in it.
And yet, this time of year, my birthday, causes such a
crashing blow of emotion for me. I was adopted at two weeks old. Every year I
find myself in a maze of thoughts and feelings related to that adoption. I fear
failure as a mother, wife and friend. I fear our family is not functioning as it
should because of me. I fear I should be doing more and being more
The truth is that I project my feelings toward my birthmother onto
myself this time every year. Deep down, I feel that my birthmother was a failure
as a mother. I feel that she did not live up to her responsibility with me. I
feel that she chose herself. I feel that her choices have caused a darkness of
insecurity in me that only prayer has lightened. I struggle with abandonment
fears and inadequacy because of her choices and thankfully I have been able to
recognize that and given it over to the Lord but this time of year never quite
feels like a celebration to me. Whenever we step outside of God's plan there are
consequences. Can beauty be made out of error? Absolutely. But there are still
consequences. These are the consequences that I live with.
I was adopted
after two weeks of bonding with my birthmother, who held me constantly, I have
been told. Her choice, though probably the best and very difficult for her,
leaves me feeling nothing more than deficient every year at this time. I know
that she was young and it was a selfless decision and all of those great phrases
that people tell you when you are adopted but at the end of the day, I feel
discarded not more loved by her decision. I guess I knew and felt so much more
than anyone could have ever known that I did at that time. My adoptive mother
says that from the time I could form sentences I was asking her about my
birthmother. I asked if she thought that my birthmother ever remembered me or
thought of me. I asked if she thought that my birthmother ever loved me. She
says that I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself while asking her
if she thought I looked like my birthmom. I wanted some reassurance that she
remembered me. I remembered her on some level.
Isnt that what we all
want? To be remembered.
I know that you all are thinking of the positives
that have come for me from the adoption and that I have so much to be thankful
for and I do. But allow me share the truest emotion that I have about it. I do
not sit on this pitty pot all year...quite the contrary. I forget every year
that I will have a meltdown at my birthday until I do again. This morning, I
just thought, hey - why not share it this year. These people care about me and
our family and they should know my heart on this. Most of you have asked me at
one time or another about my birthmom especially after last year.
my birthmother last year. I stood in front of her home. I know her name and I
know that I have a sister who is 18. I know that she has been married 3 times
and struggles with many problems and has since she let me go that day in
December of 1970. She has her own emotional war. I know that Doug and I, and our
children, are better off on this side of things. I also know that a childs bond
with their mother is something of the Lord and is not broken with a piece of
paper or lifetime of others explanations or accurate sentiment.
someone very dear to my heart at this time 37 years ago. I mourn every year for
her. That does not take away from the thankfulness that I have for the life the
Lord has granted me now, it is just another part of it. The "birth" part of
birthday for me holds a disheartening connotation. So I will make the choice
again that I have to make every year.
On Sunday I will celebrate my life,
which God gave me. I will celebrate His works in me and all that He has
accomplished and given me. I will look at my husband and my children and cry
tears of gratitude. I will remember my adoptive parents and their joy to have
me. I will choose to look at my gifts in life. I did want to share though that
like most things in life, my response is a choice. That response does not mean
that other feelings arent there but rather is the reflection of the motivation
of my heart.
There are so many facets to ones life, huh? I looked at a
piece of art a few weeks ago that was diamond shaped with multiple facets. From
each angle things looked different. I guess that is true for our lives as well.
I pray that in the largest facets you can see who I am striving to be but also
that the smaller facets remain as a testimony of what has grown within me.