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Adoption~Redemption And Finding A True Forever Home

my-home-is-heaven

I think he was more nervous than I was. It had been 20 some years since we’d sat down face to face and had a conversation.

As my husband and I walked into the coffee shop his back was to us. The profile reminded me of him, but a much older version. How quickly I had forgotten that it had been that many years. As he turned around and saw us approaching, he extended his hand and said “Hi”. It was odd, but somehow I felt I needed to give him more than a handshake. I extended my right hand and wrapped my left hand around his arm and gave him an unexpected embrace. I could see the tears well up in his eyes.

We found a quiet corner and sat down with neither of us knowing what to expect. Yet, somehow I felt a peace. The reunion with the man who had so deeply hurt me as a child was now a reality. For so long I never expected to have to face him again, but the email he sent inquiring to meet was timely… not mine, but God’s.

Stories were exchanged catching up on 20 + years with each of us delicately navigating how intimate we would allow the conversation to become. As he fumbled on his words a bit, he paused and expressed that he was a bit nervous. I felt compassion for him and the place he was in and expressed that he was not the only one.

What time chronicled as 1 hour, felt much longer to me in my soul. Yet, I felt we had shared enough for now. It was a good first meet after so many years and I had given what I could in that time.

Days leading up to the reunion I had contemplated, prayed, and consulted with dear ones close to me. Why now? What is God up to? After all I have no desire to rekindle a father/daughter relationship with him. It is in the past. It is done, and even though it was one of the most painful things to happen in my life, I see God’s purpose and plan in it.

When we allow ourselves to be a conduit for God’s
redemptive plan, failure is not possible.

Adoption doesn’t always go as hoped. Parents and children don’t always bond as one desires. This is the potential reality of bringing complete strangers{especially with older children}together as a family. This circumstance coupled with trauma, loss, and grieving and the expectation of things to be as if the child was birthed out of the couple’s loins can bring us to a place where we lose hope.

As I travel the road of being an adoptive parent myself, I understand too well the amount of perseverance and exhaustive work it takes to make this unique relationship work. I’ve had many days where I wanted to give up. Not because I didn’t believe in the child, but because I didn’t believe in me.

It was so humbling to realize that I shouldn’t believe in me, but that I needed to believe in the power of the One who’s strong when I am weak.

We are the conduit of the redemption of pain and grieving for our children. We are the ones who must show our children the way to healing. If we can’t offer that to them, then what hope do we really, truly know ourselves?

The words I heard from my Empowered To Connect training… “you can’t help a child in their healing journey if you don’t know how to get there yourself” have been a constant reminder that I am on my own healing journey in order to help lead my children on theirs. Without it, I could not help them find their way.

God’s story in the lives of adoptive families is not about giving a child a physical home, but a Spiritual home.

A physical home can mean many things, even an institutional orphanage, and we know that is not where a child will thrive. Yes, every child deserves a home, but will we settle for giving them less than what God gives us?

A Spiritual home gives a child a Forever home in the truest sense with God as their Abba Father. A Spiritual home is more loving, grace-filled, forgiving and lasts forever. A Spiritual home has a leader who is not me. A Spiritual home provides Hope.

My own physical home was broken apart but since coming to know Christ I have found a true Forever home and God has redeemed my adoption story. He wants to redeems yours too.

Do you think that a physical home is enough?
Have you allowed God to use your own story to bring redemption in your
life or someone else’s?

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8 Comments

Posted by on 02/15/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Standing Behind The Door Of Fear…

Flickr: stevendepolo

Flickr: stevendepolo

She stood there at the door peering around it’s edge as if not to be seen. She so desperately wanted to step around the massive, moveable wall, but stood paralyzed. Her fear gripped her once again as she heard the voice that had become so familiar… you don’t belong there, you will be rejected.

This thing called “Fear”, it was the big, looming monster that would breathe over me in any given situation where I had to feel confident in myself. It’s breath would cripple me as the mere thought of rejection ringing true would bring a typhoon wave of self doubt.

My outside appearances could contend with the most unexpressive poker face leaving onlookers fooled at what was truth. This little girl who had come with different eyes, different skin and a different entrance into the life of this family would reside inside of the adult woman always reminding me of the fear I had grown to know so well.

As a child growing up as a “transracial adoptee” (adopted from one race into a different race) the hurtful words from others told me different eyes, skin, the unique entrance into my family through adoption, didn’t make me unique in a good way, but were a deficit to who I was precipitating rejection.

This is where adoption can bring one like me… Through a journey, a past, riddled with self-doubt and fear based on circumstances and physical features that do not allow inclusion in the most basic sense of society.

To be plagued by the fear of rejection.

So many times through my journey I would stand at that door peering around it’s edge. The fear of what might be would hold me back from experiencing what was supposed to be. Feeling the monsters breath would be enough to make me turn and walk away. Only to miss out on experiencing life, joy, fullness. Self rejection was safer than rejection by others and it was by my choosing, my control of my environment which adoptees can feel little of.

How many of us fight it? This fear? This grip of rejection?

Adoptee, Adoptive Parent, Birth Parent, Human Being ~
Isn’t this a door many have stood behind only to stand paralyzed by the possibility on the other side?

It’s on this healing journey that I have learned to cling to a fear that is beneficial and not detrimental.

It’s on this healing journey that I am able to stop peering around the edge of the door afraid of the possibilities on the other side. It’s on this healing journey that I am able to allow the breath of the monster to blow by me without inhaling it’s toxicity.

Fear in people and things is not what we were designed for…

Doing things out of a fear of man adds to my already existing baggage, depleting my spirit and making me feel worse about who I am. It’s a betrayal of self that never adds to our existence or worth.

“in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” ~ Psalm 56:11

God designed us for relationship with each other, but more importantly with Him. Perfect love casts out fear, and if I know the one true God, then I know his perfect love… Abba Father. There is no healthy fear when it’s placed in man, only when it’s placed in God. Doing things out of a healthy fear of God builds me up, builds my spirit up, it makes me feel good about who I am. It is beneficial fear.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not
be visited by harm.” ~ Proverbs 19:23

As an adoptee and adoptive parent I see this daily tension of fear in myself and my kids. Whether we are adopted or not we need to be amongst those who build others up and not tear them down. We need to help our adopted children see and believe that the shape of their eyes, the color of their skin, their entrance into our family was God’s creative hand on them. He loves them so very much that he wanted them to know they are a one of a kind, unique being that he put specific thought into creating unlike anyone else.

We need to teach and believe where our worth comes from and that when we place our value in “Who’s” we are we will never be rejected.

Do you struggle with a fear of man? How do you overcome your fear?

 
11 Comments

Posted by on 02/08/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Filling In The Blanks Completes A Story, Not A Life

Dreamstime.com: by Violetkaipa

Dreamstime.com: by Violetkaipa

Writing ones heart in cyberspace for anyone to see comes with very mixed emotions and fears. So, why do it, right?

As I began writing to chronicle our adoption and then eventually give a space to allow community for those who need to see adoptive family life transparently, real, raw, God continues to lead me in where my small, one voice of thousands of bloggers should speak.

The fact that I can share life from both sides of the fence is a privilege and I don’t take the time, your time, for granted when you come to Smore Stories. What has recently surprised me is the response from other adoptees in recent posts on my own healing journey.

I’ve had such immense privilege of connecting with others who also share the same journey, this road to healing. Some adoptees may not wrestle with this journey as deeply as others, but yet again, maybe some don’t want to face it and turn away from it doing everything they can to deny it’s existence in their life.

If you are the parent of an adoptee, have you asked yourself what it is that your child is really{I mean REALLY} asking for?

In the beginning I wanted love. I wanted security. I wanted to be fought for. I wanted to know that I mattered to someone…anyone, and I would do anything to get it, even if it appeared as if I was pushing others away, even if it appeared as if I was begging. As much as I wanted to feel it quickly, It would require persistence and time by my parents.

Into my teen years I wanted to belong. I wanted to be significant. I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be seen by my peers and those around me.

And now as an adult, married and a parent I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to fear. I don’t want to run from the things that have held me captive, held me back from a full and free life as a wife, mother, friend, human being.

Yet, isn’t this something we all strive for, contemplate, wrestle with in life?

I, myself, not my circumstances have been my own worst enemy. From what I’ve chosen to believe about my past, to how I have allowed the pain to root deep in my soul, to how I have sought answers. I have chosen the path of coming to terms with it all, and I alone have to take responsibility for allowing it to control so many years of my life.

At what cost will I seek to get the answers I think will solve my problems, heal my wounds, free me from the things that chain me in my own prison?

How many years of my life will I lose by constantly looking back and searching for answers I may never have?

I had to honestly ask myself… What is important for me to know that would change the trajectory of my life in this moment?

I can’t change the past. I can’t change the circumstances. I can only change how I allow those things to determine my future.

What would meeting my birth parents change in the trajectory of the life I want to have?

What would hearing an explanation for why it happened change how I feel about myself today?

What would knowing ___________ change ______________?

Filling in all the blanks would complete my story, but it would
not complete my life.

I think I want to think some magical, fairy tale ending would be the result, but in reality that is unlikely.

Much like Jacob in the bible I have wrestled with God for a very long time. But I realized recently that my wrestle with God was not for him to bless me but was that I wanted him to make others bless me. I thought having answers would be the blessing that would allow me to be free from my past. It wasn’t until I realized the One I was wrestling with was the only one who could truly bless me and free me from my past.

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land.
I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 
Genesis 28:15


What is it that is driving your own journey(adoptee or not) and what is it that will truly complete your life?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 01/25/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Marriage And The Past Through An Adoptee’s Eyes

marriage and the past blog post

This adopted, little girl born in Korea grew up in a small, all white community where she stuck out like a red wine stain on a beautiful wedding gown. With the early divorce of her adoptive parents, this striving to belong, this striving to be who she thought others would accept her, this striving to be perfect, this struggle for identity, she would pack them one by one as her “baggage” into adulthood.

It‘s a privilege to be a part of Death by Great Wall’s series “On Being Adopted.” You can read the rest of my thoughts on “Marriage And The Past Through An Adoptee’s Eyes” here

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 01/21/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Why Would The Abandoned Become the Abandoner?

 dreamstime.com: Gheburaseye

dreamstime.com: Gheburaseye

This act of abandonment is a part of every adopted person’s story. If it weren’t then obviously we wouldn’t have needed a new home.

For many in the world of adoption{adoptee or adoptive parent or birth parent} this word of abandonment is embodied with pain, loss, and grief.

As I continue on the long road of my own healing journey, I’ve come to a place where the “A” word has a certain appeal, a certain attractive quality which it formerly did not have.

Why would the abandoned adoptee want to become the abandoner?

You may think I’ve lost my mind, but please read on…

In the years of my own healing journey I’ve reconciled being abandoned and re-reconciled it and quite frankly it’s been reconciled to death!

I can’t speak for others, but I’ve personally gotten to a point where I am completely tired and frustrated by being plagued with the damage, defeat and damnable condeming effects of this abandonment.

So who are you thinking I’m going to abandon? My husband? My kids? My adoptive family? My birth family?

As appealing as that may be for some, for me that is about as appealing as placing my moist, saliva laden tongue on a metal flag pole during a sub-zero winter day in North Dakota.

What I am talking about abandoning is a life. My former life. My “society-adoptee-defining, I’m cursed-forever angry-depressed and damaged for the rest of my life” life. My “self-defeating, can’t reconcile my past and move on with my life” life.

At what point can we-should we-will we say to our abandoned selves… That is a reality of my story, but that reality does not define my future nor does it place me in an abandonment chamber alone the rest of my life?

At what point do you/I ABANDON the abandoned life and become the beautiful, deeply rich, colored, stronger, wiser, purposeful, valued person that God always had in mind we would become?

At what point do you/I cut the abandoned life ball and chain off of our leg and live a life abandoned, free and spirit filled?

For this abandoned child, I’m working on it minute by minute, day by day, situation by situation. I am fully aware of that piece of my life and I give it the respect it tenderly should have, but sometimes I think that respecting this thing in particular which poses a barrier for me to become all that God intended, requires me to walk away from it knowing the place it had in my past yet does not have in my future.

When Jesus spent his last moments on the cross he muttered the words…

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As God placed the sins of the world on Jesus, he had to turn away from Jesus… he had to abandon him in that moment. Even then the one who had no sin became sin on our behalf. Even then by Jesus bearing the sin of others{which always results in abandonment and loneliness}, He changed the course and meaning of our lives for eternity.

My birth parents decision of abandonment may or not be sin. I don’t know the true circumstances or their heart in the decision. I can either dwell on that past fact, or I can embrace the fact that this abandonment and loneliness was paid for once and for all in order to allow me to become the righteousness of God.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8

Will you choose to become the abandoner rather than the abandoned? Please leave a comment so we can learn from each other’s experience.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 01/11/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Facing The Past To Be More Present

kimdongsookphotoJanuary 1, 2013 came upon me like the weight of an avalanche burying me deep beneath the snow. Like each light weight, beautiful and individually unique snow flake mimics one’s life experiences, so too can the effect of these beauties as they bind together into something forceful that can take you down in an unexpected moment.

It’s been 11 years since my adoptive mom passed away, 18 for my adoptive father, and this year it seemed to hit me harder than it ever has. As my husband sweetly held me while I confessed this weight, I remained confused as to why it was this heavy, why this year? After all, it’s been a long time and as the saying goes…time heals all wounds…or so one would think.

Yet again, my husband speaks wisdom… “you’ve done more introspective digging this year than you ever have.”

Is this the reality for us adoptees? Must we face our past to be more in the present?

The truth is, I daily face my past. I am constantly reminded that my past is not “normal”. It’s not a bad thing, this past, it just is what my life is. What God has allowed in his plan for my life. For my journey of identity and loyalty as His daughter adopted first and foremost by him and secondly by human parents. For my individual journey of becoming more like Him and who He truly created me to become.

Facing the truth about oneself is never easy, nor is it something many willingly take on, yet becoming an adoptive parent myself and being faced with helping our children on their own healing journeys has required more of me than I realized I would be asked. More than I’ve been able to give.

Some may think I have this unique advantage to adoptive parenting being an adoptee, but many times it feels more like an added burden to my parenting abilities. The baggage, the self doubt, the enormous expectations I place on myself to get it right and always at the core of everything ~ fear.

As I read other adoptees stories and work with a trusted counselor to face my past, I find myself conflicted in this process, saddened and angry about my past, yet hopeful and excited for my future. After many years of living with my adoption journey as a categorically inhibitory label defining me in my own head by societies stereotypes and what I perceive others think of me, I long to live with my adoption journey as a jewel in my crown as the daughter of The King.

Family Isn't Always Blood

No matter what baggage we carry with us in our lives there is a relentless gnawing that begs us to stop at some point and admit the longer we carry said baggage, the greater the weight will become. As this weight continues to grow, then we are the ones who ultimately pay the penalty fee.

As I turn 44 years old this year, I hope that the work I’ve done this past year and continue to do will shed the extra pounds I’ve carried around for so very long. The word that God has impressed upon my heart for 2013 is “FREEDOM!

I encourage other adoptees and those who also have baggage to stop, look through the contents and re-evaluate the purpose and the need for what you are hanging onto.

Will the things you keep allow you to be more in the present, or will they keep you buried the past?

God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us
as his very own children.
Galatians 4:5

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 01/03/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Should Healing Be A Choice Or A Non-Negotiable?

Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No! I won’t do it and you can’t make me!

These very direct and rebellious words can surface at the youngest of ages, too often earlier than any parent’s tender ears would like to be scathed by them. At this stage of motherhood, I’m convinced the progression of age is in direct proportion to how seriously I took these words of rebellion.

When my kids were toddlers these rebellious words did not have the same effect as when they were in middle school or high school. As long as I was taller than my sons my authoritative confidence didn’t waiver, and as dad consistently had my back, our boys quickly learned that their size didn’t allow them to get away with challenging mom’s authority. The last one they answered to was dad and he was on mom’s team. By the way, my husband should be granted Knighthood by the Queen for as many times as he’s saved this damsel in distress from the relentless insurgents!

So, what does a parent do when you don’t have a long history with your son and you throw adoption, a difficult past, processing issues and PTSD into the mix? And to add even more weight onto the scale, you are trying to get your son the help he needs to heal, but he refuses to cooperate.

“No! I won’t do it and you can’t make me!”

As adoptive parents we are constantly walking the tight rope of when, how, if, or should we handle a situation with our adopted son differently than we did with our birth sons due to his history and challenges. We constantly are faced with the question of whether this{rebellion}is his history or if it’s age appropriate.

The question I grapple with is…

Do we allow our son to have a choice in complying with therapy and doctors recommendations of medications or do we not give him a choice if we know this is what is best for his healing journey? 

I’ve conceded that rebellion is rebellion no matter what angle I look at it, whether it’s willful or not, just like sin is sin. In the case of our son, he can’t see why or logically process through his healing journey and his rebellion looks intentional, but here is where a child’s background does matter. His rebellion is really fear and fear grasps control and control means you can’t make me do anything I don’t want to.

So we must carefully handle his fear, we meet his needs, even if he doesn’t know what he needs, and we validate his feelings and voice. We reiterate the role that God has given us as his parents at this point in his life and our desire to always do what is best for his well being. Even if he doesn’t agree with us.

From the beginning of time when sin entered we became predisposed to rebel. Sometimes that rebellion comes in the form of physical and emotional limitations such as refusing help when you need it.

The consideration of God’s healing plan for us over our own desires sometimes requires us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do, but if we truly trust this omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God, then we must place our fears in the gentle hands of the One who will never let go of us. We must stop fearing security.

As a parent desperately praying for the healing of a wounded child, I am continually challenged by how I can do better at being more like the hands that hold me as I try to hold my child. Just like my child, I too rebel as a human with fleshly desires and sin. Yet where in the sand is the line drawn when it comes to rebellion and the healing journey God has each of us on?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 12/31/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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