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
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).
- How do you think Moses felt when he put his big toe in the Red Sea?
- 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
- 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.
- What evidence is there that you have replaced painful, negative emotions with life-giving choices?
- Is there a new boldness and confidence in your life? Please explain and give examples.
- Look back on the last eight chapters and record how feelings and perspective are evolving.
- 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
- Read Esther 4:14. What did this uncle say to his adopted daughter about her life purpose?
- Read Jeremiah 1:5. What does this verse reveal about life purpose? Can you apply it to your life?
- Read I Corinthians 7:7. What does God state as fact in this verse?
- Read Romans 12: 4-8 and list all the spiritual gifts.
- 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)?
- Read I Corinthians 12: 7-11. List the gifts mentioned and how these gifts are to be used.
- 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.