Perhaps when all is said and done, beneath the anger of many adoptees and foster kids is the primal fear being forgotten. Forgotten by the one who gave them birth. Forgotten by the biological father whose name they may not even know. Forgotten by the blood relatives whose lives went on without them.
But most of all, forgotten by God.
As I became aware of this issue personally and shared it with fellow- adoptees in our support group, eyes welled.
Searching for wisdom, I learned that far from being forgotten, the orphan is the object of God’s special care and protection.
• He does what is necessary to preserve the orphan’s life (Jer. 49:11)
• He gladdens the orphans’ heart with the bounty of Providence (Dt. 24:19-farmers were to only glean fields once & leave rest)
• He feeds them from the “sacred portion” (Deut. 24: 19-21) • He defends the cause of the fatherless, giving food & clothing (Dt. 10: 18; Is. 1:17)
• He hears even the faintest of cries from the orphan (Ex. 22: 22-24) • He becomes a Father to them (Psalm 68: 5)
• He rescues when the orphan cries for help (Job 29: 12)
• He considers helping orphans an unblemished act of worship (Jas. 1: 27)
• He provides what the orphan is searching for – love, pity, and mercy (Hosea 14: 3)
• He blesses those who provide for the orphan (Dt. 14: 29)
• He has a unique plan for the orphan in history (Esther 2: 15)
• He strongly warns judges who issue unrighteous decrees & the magistrates who cause oppressive decisions against the orphan (Is. 10: 2; Mal. 3: 5)
• He is pleased when nations and people treat the orphan justly (Jer. 5: 28)
•He will draw nigh and be a swift witness against oppressors of the fatherless (Is. 10: 2)
• He commands others not to remove “the ancient boundary stone” (could this be their biological history?) or encroach on the fields of the fatherless (Prov. 23: 10)
While studying the subject of feeling forgotten, I saw a poster-sized reproduction of a
U.S. commemorative stamp. Two words grabbed my attention —”NEVER FORGOTTEN.”
The poster illustrated an army dog-tag on a chain, inscribed with the words MIA & POW— NEVER FOR- GOTTEN.
“That’s what I, and possibly many others adoptees and fostered need,” I zealously concluded. “A tangible reminder that we will never be forgotten!”
Then, fantasizing as only an adoptee can, I envisioned commissioning a talented jeweler to design a golden dog-tag (diamond-studded, of course), inscribed with the words ADOPTEE — NEVER FORGOTTEN! It could be worn daily as a reminder. A symbol.
However, the purest of gold, the brightest of diamonds, and the boldest of letters will not erase an adoptee’s primal feelings of being forgotten.
Not that the feelings necessarily dominate or paralyze. Rather, they lay dormant, triggered into consciousness only by specific present-day events.
- An unanswered letter
- A geographical move
- The death adoptive parents.
- “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed) a picture of you on the palm of each of My hands.” (Isaiah 49: 16)
The rejection of a friend.
6. The remarriage of a former spouse.
7. The empty nest.
8. The death of a spouse.
Because adoption is a life-long journey, filled with pleasure as well as pain, this writer has learned that by acknowledging, accepting, and verbalizing these feelings of orphanhood, my spirit is open to embrace and enjoy the words of another inscription. Not an inscription written on a dog- tag or a U.S. commemorative stamp, but one that is eternally imprinted on the living, nail-scarred palms of Jesus Christ — LORD of Lords and KING of Kings. ■
The Gilbert Adoption Video
Home Sweet Home Educational Media Company Box 544444
Dallas, TX 75254
The Children of the King, by Max Lucado Crossway Books, 1994