My story begins with my birth mother. Now, of course, there is more to my story than that – MUCH more. But this is the beginning. There is always a start to any story. I grew up knowing I was adopted. My parents were always open with me about that. I KNEW. And I wondered. As an adopted child, you can’t help it.
I met her (my birth mother) when I was in my late twenties, right before I married my first husband. It was surreal. All my life, I had looked at people in crowds to see if my soul recognized anyone. Do I have her eyes? Do I have his smile? How do I connect with this person staring back at me? Most of the time I looked at the women, because being a girl, I couldn’t imagine going through pregnancy only to give the child away. I created stories about why she couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t keep me. When I finally met her, it was the strangest sensation. It was a blurred moment standing still in time – a time of fantasy meeting reality. A hope turned into a living breathing answer. She came to my apartment, and when I opened the door, it was like looking in the mirror at my future self. A real live woman that birthed me into this world.
I slowly learned that she was forced to give me up, due to the time period, her age, her unmarried status; it was 1966 and things were different then. Roe v. Wade hadn’t happened, so abortion was only a small option at that time. I learned that I was probably conceived on Valentine’s Day. I learned that she loved my birth father and he threw her away when he learned she was pregnant. She had dreams of them getting married. He took those dreams and killed them. He burned down the little house with a picket fence. He burned down her dreams of a family. What did she feel like? Depressed, scared, lonely? I felt so much compassion and empathy for her. It hurt, And I was in her womb. That is how I started life.
She was an artist too. A creative being. “Oh,” I thought, “This is where it comes from.” Or so I thought at the time. I know NOW it all comes from the ultimate creator, God. Who else could it come from? In her creativity, she hid her pregnancy as long as she could. Once discovered, she was sent to a home for pregnant girls, far away from her hometown, to finish her pregnancy without friends and extended family knowing. I’m not sure what reason was given for her absence, but I know it wasn’t that she was with child. I know it was traumatic for her. The conditions weren’t good. How I hurt for her.
After a terribly long and painful childbirth, I came into this world. They made her sign the papers of adoption before she could even see me. She told me tenderly that she tried to memorize every inch of me before letting me go. My little fingers and toes, my eyes and lips. I can’t imagine her pain, especially now that I have a child of my own. But this is what God intended my story to be. And He has used it for GOOD!
This creative Father of ours can take an unwed mother, giving her child away, the child being adopted, growing up in a family where she didn’t feel like she belonged (and I emphasize – I didn’t feel like), and turn it into a story of redemption, and glorious LOVE! A story of a birth process that lasts a lifetime. A story of that child learning that God is her parent and He is the only parent that truly matters – that His love is lavish and that returning that love in creative ways is part of the story. A story where she knows she was molded where she belonged in the family she belonged in, to make a difference. A story that starts when we realize He can use the most unlikely person to share His love in unique ways.
Read the story of Moses. Especially if you are an adopted child. His story began to mean a lot to me in my late twenties and early thirties. It is where God grabbed hold of me. We are all adopted into the Kingdom. I just got a special preview of what that means.