I was adopted on planet earth by my parents, and I became a child of God at age 27, yet many influential Christians label me as illegitimate and a bastard child.
You find this hard to believe?
Let me share two instances here.
Shamed by Christians
Adoptee shame is believing something is wrong with me. It’s something adoptees and foster kids hide at any cost, even with one another.
This first time I was shamed was when a female Christian speaker spoke about “illegitimate and bastard children.”
My heart pounded, like a drum.
Every part of me became alert, like a smoke alarm just started ringing.
My throat felt blocked….I couldn’t swallow.
Was she referring to me?
Was I illegitimate and a bastard child?
Was my life a mistake?
With childlike innocence, I waited in line to ask if she believed those awful words were true of me.
If looks could have killed, I’d be dead.
Where was the love of Jesus she pontificated?
Jesus would have immediately embraced me, saying, “It’s okay sweetheart. They didn’t understand or welcome me either.” (John 1:11)
Using Scripture to Label
Another time, while listening to a Christian music station, the preacher talked about illegitimate children in the context of Psalm 139.
How could this be?
I just looked at the Psalm again. I can’t see those two awful words anywhere.
These experiences sunk deep into my adoptee shame, like water gushing into a sponge. In fact, I believe they were instrumental in a midlife breakdown.
So what is the answer for adoptees and foster kids of all ages?
What Adoptees and Foster Kids Must Do When Shamed
- Remember, you’re in good company. Jesus was shamed to the utmost of the Cross.
- Ask God to show you who you are in His eyes.
- Memorize where your life began: Not at conception, not at birth, not on adoption day. Instead, your life began in the heart of God the Father. He loved you way back in eternity past…before the world began. And, when He created your life, He smiled.
- Make a picture about this: “If you were the only person on the whole earth, Jesus would have come to earth and died for you so you could belong to Him.
- Pinpoint the source of all forms of life. Did you know that not even a blade of grass or a little bird exists except by the power of God? Read John 1:3
- Develop a strategy: When you are labeled as a bastard child or illegitimate, embed this in your mind: I AM GOD’S IDEA
- Become an adoptee/foster kid warrior: Pray like this: I am a blood-bought child of the Living God and Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
- Develop boundaries. We need to get used to the fact that people will not understand adoption, nor have the skills to speak respectfully to us. When someone at church says, “Oh, we’re all adopted,” just smile and don’t get involved in conversation.
I love you, fellow adoptees and foster kids of all ages.
Contact me anytime if I can help, okay?