Do You Mean I Have A One-Of-A-Kind Life Purpose?

I HAVE A UNIQUE LIFE PURPOSE. Online Adoptee Bible Study

The latter part of the workbook describes signs that an adoptee is healing. The first is that he discovers that all the threads woven together in his life are there by design, for he has a unique life purpose that no one else can fill.

The Story of Moses 

Exodus 12-14 

The final plague God would use to prompt Pharaoh to let His people go was the death of every firstborn son in Egypt. 

Moses told the people about God’s provision to protect them from this plague. Each Israelite man was to slaughter a lamb without defect and put some of its blood upon his doorpost. God then promised that when He saw the blood, He would pass over them. Thus came the name “Passover.” He said, “No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt” (12:13). 

“That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs and bread made without yeast” (12:8). 

This sacrificial act was a glimpse of the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. He was the perfect Lamb of God, led to the slaughter at the crucifixion and whose blood continually protects and saves those who choose to appropriate this gift by faith. Just as the Israelites were commanded to eat unleavened bread for sustenance, so believers today are commanded to eat the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, whenever they remember and celebrate his death, burial and resurrection while taking communion. 

God then led the Israelites on the desert road toward the Red Sea. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or by night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (13: 21-22). 

When Pharaoh was told that the Israelites had fled, he took 600 of his best chariots, along with many other Egyptian chariots and officers. The Israelites were terrified, but Moses stepped boldly into his leadership role and said, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still” (14: 13-14). 

The Israelites continued their frantic escape, with Pharaoh on their heels. When they came to the Red Sea “…the Lord drove back the sea with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left” (14: 21). 

All of Pharaoh’s chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea and God threw confusion into their minds and made the wheels of their chariots come off. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.’ Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak, the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea…Not one of them survived” (14: 26-27). 

When the Israelites saw the great power of the Lord, they feared God and put their trust in him and in Moses, his servant (14: 26-31). 

  1. How do you think Moses felt when he put his big toe in the Red Sea? 

  1. How do you think he felt when he saw the Red Sea part?

How Moses Saw God 

Moses now saw God as Jehovah-M’Kaddesh, the God who sets his people apart for his peculiar possession and for his holy work. What joy Moses must have felt when he experienced the truth of II Peter 2: 9: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful life.” 

How You See God

Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!

You can record your words here:


How Other Adoptees Feel 

The late Brian Keck, between the age of 10 and 16, was placed in 27 foster homes, three adoptive placements, two group homes and one detention center. He went on to earn a degree in social work and is now dedicating himself to become an Olympic wrestler. He said in an article for Connections, a newsletter published by ATTACh, “The early years of my life had not been the fairytale that everybody dreams about. I feel that everybody has problems every day. The difference is how you deal with those problems. I could have felt sorry for myself and gone nowhere in life, but I decided I wanted to make something of myself. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be where I am now. I know that I had a bad childhood but why would I want to dwell on my past when I have a great future in front of me?” 

Learning about Adoption 

“Adoption isn’t right or wrong, good or bad. It just IS. Whatever happened in the past can’t be changed, but the decisions made about past experiences can be changed and replaced with joyful, life-supporting beliefs,” write Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson in Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children. 

Putting my Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. Have you ever had a “Red Sea experience?” Something that seemed impossible? Could your relinquishment be an example? How about uncovering and facing your true feelings about adoption or making a phone call to your birth mother once you have found her. Record them here. 

  1. What evidence is there that you have replaced painful, negative emotions with life-giving choices? 

  1. Is there a new boldness and confidence in your life? Please explain and give examples. 

  1. Look back on the last eight chapters and record how feelings and perspective are evolving. 

  1. What are some practical ways you could “reframe” the pain and loss from relinquishment? How can you change your outlook? Check the example statements  of “reframing” with which you most agree and explain why on the lines that follow: 
  • Loss becomes gain, for I can now comfort friends and family that are hurting. 
  • Unanswered adoption questions are held in the hand of my heavenly Father. 
  • The hole in my heart caused by relinquishment was the very thing that made me realize my need for God. 
  • Rejections by friends or parents were invitations for friendship with God. 
  • ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Writing Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother and God 

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother and tell her how you feel about the possibility of discovering your life purpose. If you feel ready, thank her for her part in your personality.

 

  • Write a letter FROM your birth mother, imagining how she might respond to your discovery of what she has contributed to your life.
  • Write a letter TO God, asking him to show you your life purpose and spiritual gifts. 
  • Write a letter FROM God about he might feel as you discover spiritual gifts and life purpose. 

 

Letters TO and FROM

My Birth Mother


 Letters TO and FROM God


Digging Deep for Answers to my Adoption Questions 

  1. Read Esther 4:14. What did this uncle say to his adopted daughter about her life purpose?

 

  1. Read Jeremiah 1:5. What does this verse reveal about life purpose? Can you apply it to your life? 

  1. Read I Corinthians 7:7. What does God state as fact in this verse? 

  1. Read Romans 12: 4-8 and list all the spiritual gifts. 

  1. Based on the gifts listed above, where do you see yourself? Where do others see you? Do they easily follow you (leadership)? Are their spirits lifted by your words (encouragement)? Do you love to teach biblical truths…can you explain them clearly (teaching)? 

  1. Read I Corinthians 12: 7-11. List the gifts mentioned and how these gifts are to be used.

  1. How will your life change as a result of studying this chapter?

Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

As we put our big toes into our personal Red Seas caused by the loss of our birthmothers, we begin to see God at work in every detail of life! Life becomes an exciting journey. We will talk about seeing God at work in our lives next.

 


Will My Birth Family Reject Me...Again?

I’M NERVOUS ABOUT FINDING BIRTH RELATIVES. Online Adoptee Bible Study

The Story of Moses 

Exodus 4 

Like many adoptees, Moses probably experienced a tremendous amount of anxiety prior to his reunion with his birth brother, Aaron. “What will I say?” “How will I act?” “Will I laugh or cry?” he may have wondered. 

As with all adoption reunions, there is joy as well as pain, blessing as well as a sense of loss. Moses’ reunion with Aaron was probably no exception. 

As he crossed the desert and neared the mountain of God, how his heart must have skipped! Flashbacks of his traumatic adoption day may have occurred or warm memories of his big brother taking care of him when he was a small child. 

As he neared the mountain of God, a tall, slim figure gradually came into view. 

“Moses!” Aaron shouted, running toward him, arms outstretched. 

“It’s so wonderful to see you!” they echoed, kissing one another, first on one cheek and then the other. 

“Do you remember when we used to play together when you were little?” Aaron might have asked as they sat by the fireside that evening. “How are mother and father?” Moses probably said. “Are they still living?” 

As they talked, Moses experienced feelings he had never known before. Feelings of completeness. Of peace. Of connection. 

“Then Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had sent him to say, and also about the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform” (v. 27-28). 

Following this sweet time of fellowship with his long-lost brother, Moses returned to his father-in-law, Jethro, expressing his desire to return to Egypt to see if his people, the Israelites (which included his birth family) were still alive. 

One can’t help but wonder if a dual-theme began at this point in Moses’ life, where his life calling became intricately woven together with his adoption experiences. Not only was he to fulfill the divine command by demanding that Pharaoh release the Israelites, but in a personal, adoption-related way, he was about to face his cruel adoptive grandfather, Pharaoh. 

What terror must have filled his heart! He was being stretched reluctantly into a leadership role that would require that he face his greatest fears—rejection by Pharaoh and rejection by the people he would be leading, 

God warned that when Aaron demanded release of the Israelites, Pharaoh would refuse to listen ten times. The result would be specific plagues upon the Egyptians. Water would change into blood. Frogs. Gnats. Flies. The livestock would be plagued. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. The Passover. The death of the firstborn. 

Moses watched as Aaron spoke to Pharaoh eight times, but on the ninth confrontation, during the plague of darkness, Moses spoke alone before Pharaoh. 

How interesting. It is often in our darkest hours that we embrace God’s strength and grace. Moses was proving that those with the deepest fears have the greatest capacity for faith. Finally, he was living out his life calling! 

  1. Do you think the initial conversation between Aaron and Moses was spontaneous, or did it feel a little awkward? Explain.

  1. How do you think Moses turned his fears into faith? 

  1. How do you think it felt for Moses to hold his own flesh-and-blood relative in his arms and to see someone who probably resembled him physically?

How Moses Saw God 

Moses was getting to know God as Jehovah-Rohi, his Shepherd. Like a shepherd, God would feed and lead Moses as he led the people of Israel. “I will be with you,” God said earlier. What music that must have been to Moses’ ears! He took this promise by faith and thus was able to step confidently into his life purpose. “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40: 11). 

How You See God

Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!

You can record your words here:


How Other Adoptees Feel 

Check the statements with which you most agree and explain why on the lines that follow: 

  • When I found out my birth mother’s name and phone number, I was terrified. 
  • I need a break from adoption stuff. I am overwhelmed. 
  • I often wonder if my birth parents are alive. 
  • I am afraid to tell my adoptive parents about my desire to search. 
  • I am afraid that I might seem disloyal to my adoptive parents and I don’t want to hurt them. 
  • I know my adoptive parents would be so upset by my desire to search that I would have to “protect” them…. take care of them emotionally. 
  • The closer I get to the feelings surrounding my past, the faster I run from them. 
  • I don’t know what I would do if I were rejected at my reunion. I am afraid it would destroy me. 
  • I need someone to “hold my feet to the fire” so that I won’t avoid my past. 
  • I need to prepare myself for possible opposition and rejection at reunion. 
  • I need to be reminded often that no matter what the outcome of my search, I will grow. 


  1. How do you feel when you realize that other adoptees have feelings similar to yours? 

  1. How have significant people in your life reacted when you expressed the desire to search for your birth family? 

  1. If you haven’t expressed a desire to reunite, how do you imagine they would respond? Check whatever applies from the following: 
  • Why open THAT can of worms? 
  • That is such an important piece of your life. I understand why you would want to search for your birth family. 
  • I always thought there would be a time for this. Go for it! 
  • Let by-gones be by-gones. 
  • You’re asking for trouble. 
  • You know who you are in Christ…that is all you need to know. 
  • A quivering lip. 
  • I will support you in every way possible. 

Learning about Adoption 

Jayne Schooler writes in Searching for A Past: The Adopted Adult’s Unique Process of Finding Identity, “Denial or rejection stands as the greatest fear for any adopted person who makes the decision to search. Rejection is an opposing response to a shaky, uncertain extended hand. Rejection is the dashing of hope to embrace and be embraced, to love and to be loved by the one person who has existed only within the deep recesses of the heart.” 

  1. Have you forced yourself not to think about your birth family (denial) as well as a possible reunion with them? If so, how? 

  1. How would you deal with the pain if your birth relative rejected you? Have you counted the cost?

  1. What are some practical ways in which you could prepare yourself for a possible search?

Putting my Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. How do you think it would feel to hear your birth mother’s voice for the first time? 

  1. With your left hand, draw the faces of your birth mother and you. (On your day of birth as well as now). 
  1. Have you learned the art of being gentle with yourself while contemplating reunion—to rest when you feel overwhelmed? What do you do to calm yourself? If you don’t know how to take care of yourself, what are some first steps? 

  1. Do you ever feel guilt when contemplating a reunion, fearing God may not approve? If so, explain.

  1. What are your needs as you contemplate reunion or facing repressed thoughts and emotions about your birth family? 

  1. What do you believe a reunion with birth relatives would do for you? What would you hope to have, if anything, after the reunion that you don’t have now?

  1. How do you feel when you realize that other adoptees have similar feelings?

Writing Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother, 

My Adoptive Mother, and God 

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother, telling her your feelings about meeting her. 
  • Write a letter FROM your birth mother, expressing how she would respond to your letter. 
  • Write a letter TO your adoptive mother, expressing your desires (if you have them) about reunion with your birth relatives. If you have no desire to meet them, tell her why. 
  • Write a letter FROM your adoptive mother, expressing how you imagine her feelings would be about a possible reunion. Then write what you believe she would tell you after you disclose your desire. 
  • Write a letter TO God, telling him how you feel about facing your greatest fear. 
  • Write a letter FROM God, expressing his thoughts toward you at this time.