Before you were born,
God was there bringing you to life
and saying, “YES” to who you were
and all that you could be.
He put His arms around you even
before you knew your mother’s touch.
He cared for you as no one ever could.
He has been your closest friend
and constant companion–
listening to your cry, enjoying
your laughter, and encouraging you
to follow him. He has never shut you
out or made you feel ashamed.
He has comforted you and carried your burdens.
He has given you grace
undeserved and mercy that
has been new every morning.
He has been your God and Friend,
promising you a place with him,
in him house–forever. And, as
your Father, he has promised to be with
you through all of your life
with all of his love.
Copied with permission of Roy Lessin,
Best to You Catalog, Spring 1996 Jewel Among
Jewels Adoption News
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As children of God, we are all in the wonderful process of being healed by our Great Physician, Jesus. His healing can be evidenced in a new-found appreciation for life, as we learn to enjoy Him.
Webster’s defines appreciation like this: “To be grateful for; to value highly; to place a high estimate on; to be fully aware of; to prize; to exercise wise judgment, delicate perception, and keen insight in realizing the worth of something.”
This appreciation is like a scar, for it grows in the very place that pain once lived. Pain that was self-inflicted or caused by another. It’s like the gold that comes forth from the refining process, or the beautiful rose blossom that bursts for from the thorn-laden stem. Like Job after his suffering, we may confess, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (42:5).
As this writer took time to look back over the years, there came a new desire to praise God for the trials. See if you identify with any of these:
• I didn’t appreciate the acceptance of Christ until I had been utterly rejected.
• I didn’t appreciate His strength until I allowed myself to become weak.
• I didn’t appreciate His loyalty until another betrayed me.
• I didn’t appreciate His grace until I fell flat on my face.
• I didn’t appreciate family living close by until they moved far away.
• I didn’t appreciate the Lord’s belief in me until I knew the sting of persecution.
• I didn’t appreciate the Light of the Lord’s countenance until I sat in darkness.
• I didn’t appreciate the little things in life until I looked death straight in the face.
• I didn’t appreciate the healing Balm of Gilead until I had been deeply wounded.
• I didn’t appreciate the comforting shoulder of a friend until my heart had been broken.
• I didn’t appreciate the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit until I felt totally abandoned.
• I didn’t appreciate intimacy with God until I spent time in the desert.
• I didn’t appreciate the hope of heaven until I buried a loved one.
• I didn’t appreciate the privilege of prayer until I had no one to whom I could turn.
• I didn’t appreciate Jesus as Lord until my life became unmanageable.
• I didn’t appreciate Jesus as Life until I came to the absolute end of my own resources.
“It doesn’t really matter how great the pressure is; what really matters is where the pressure lies—whether it comes between you and God or presses you nearer his heart.”
—Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret
When I was a little girl, my dream was to become a famous ice skater, like Sonja Henje. She was the daughter of a fur wholesaler in Norway and received her first pair of ice skates when she was six. At 14 she was the Norwegian Skating Champion. At 15 she would win the Olympic gold medal in Skating, a feat she would repeat in 1932 and 1936.
Like Sonja, I started skating early in life and loved it. When I wanted to take lessons in a nearby town, my mother said no. I reminded her often that I would be famous if she would have let me!
Upon meeting my birthmother 20 years ago, one of the pictures she gave me was her ice skating. I couldn’t believe it! She had the same desire as me (synchronicity). She was dressed in a silky skating outfit, trimmed with fur. It must be that my grandmother let her take lessons because she was obviously performing for something. However, she didn’t win the gold like Sonja.
Can you think of any synchronicities with your birth relatives? Please share in space provided below!
All children have a secret place where they can fantasize about having better parents when they are disillusioned with their own. Freud called this the family romance. However, when the non-adopted child later learns and accepts the fact that his parents have both positive and negative characteristics, the fantasy dissipates.
It is not that simple for the adopted child. The adoptee really does have another set of parents out there somewhere. The adoptee’s fantasies begin when he is told that he is adopted and are both positive and negative.
You may not be aware that your child fantasizes like this, and perhaps not all adopted children do, but listen to the words of adoption specialists Drs. Brodzinsky and Schecter in Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self: “In our experience, all adoptees engage in a search process. It may not be a literal search, but it is a meaningful search nonetheless. It begins when the child first asks, ‘Why did it happen? Who are they? Where are they now?”
I learned this concept quite surprisingly one day while caring for my two-year-old twin grandsons. Whenever I have the privilege of spending a day with them, they often bring up the names of all the people in their extended family. Their minds turn often to those who love them. “Papau? Sheia? Koa? Mimi? Gompa?” they ask, ask if to say, “Where are they now? What are they doing?” My grandsons have no trouble blending the two sides of their extended family. To them, there are no walls of preference, only people who love them and whom they love.
So it is with the adopted child. Somewhere, deep within her heart, are the questions, “Where is my birth mother right now? Where is my birth father? I wonder what they are doing.”
It is vital to keep in mind that there is no “we and they” mentality in the adopted child’s world. Birth parents have always been and will always be a part of her world, whether acknowledged or not. It is we, the adults, who sometimes erect walls of competitiveness and possessiveness in relating to our child.
I realize this is difficult information for some parents of closed and semi-closed adoptions. You may find it threatening to open conversations about the birth family. However, it is essential if you are to be in tune with your child’s secret world.
A Definition of Fantasy
What is adoption fantasy anyway? Some synonyms for fantasy are:
• haunting fear
Adoption fantasies are not bad. They are simply dreams adopted children and adults build within their hearts to ease the painful losses of adoption. Adoptees need not belittle themselves for having them, for without them the pain might have been too great, the burden of grief too heavy. In many ways, fantasies are a gift to the adoptee because
they help her to survive.