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“I Can Now Take Rejection In Stride” Online Adoptee Bible Study

The Story of Moses 

Exodus 15 

An incredible victory had just occurred! The sea had parted, the Israelites had gone through on dry land and Pharaoh’s army had been hurled into the sea. What celebrating must have occurred in the camp!

Miriam could hardly contain herself. She picked up her tambourine and joyously began leading the women in song and dance. The crowd went wild! 

You would think such victory would be accompanied by a continuous and overwhelming gratefulness to God for his guidance through Moses, but that wasn’t the case. There was gratefulness, but only for a few days.

Gratefulness transformed into grumbling when Moses led them into the Desert of Shur where there was no good drinking water. “For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter” (v. 22-24). 

As a seasoned leader, Moses knew that blessing always follows battle. Thus, he prayed, threw a piece of wood into the bitter waters as God commanded and then watched, as the water became miraculously sweet. 

The Lord told the people that the bitter water episode was a test. A test in which they failed to trust and obey him. “If you will begin listening carefully to my voice and do what is right in my sight, I won’t bring any of the Egyptian plagues on you, for I am the Lord who heals you” (v. 26). 

Following close on the heels of the miraculous provision of sweet water was a second test—this time in another desert, the Desert of Sin.

What an appropriate name, for the people committed the same sin—they grumbled against Moses. “If only we could die. Why are you leading us in such a round-about way to the Promised Land? Egypt was better. At least we had all the food we wanted. But here we are literally starving to death,” they probably said. 

Moses rebuked the people, saying that their grumbling was not against him, but against the Lord. 

What a giant step in growth for this adoptee! He didn’t take the rejection personally! What boldness and what a contrast to the Moses who once had said, “I don’t have anything to say.” Moses had changed from a people pleaser into a God pleaser. 

Meanwhile, the gracious God, instead of giving the grumblers what they deserved, gave instead another miracle. It happened one morning when they came out of their tents and noticed a dewy-like substance on the ground. Moses explained that it was manna—bread from heaven, which was to be gathered each day according to each person’s need. “I will see whether they follow my instructions to gather only enough for one day,” God may have said. “This will be their test.” 

The people failed the test again. They didn’t obey God’s command to only gather manna for six days and keep the Sabbath day holy. 

In spite of God’s goodness in the years that followed, the people continued grumbling, even going so far as to question whether the Lord was really among them. In the midst of the grumbling, their enemies, the Amalekites, attacked. Moses backed off from active leadership at this juncture and gave his “son in the faith,” Joshua, an opportunity to grow. Joshua would take the troops into battle while Moses prayed for them. 

Thus, with the staff of God in hand, Moses ascended the hill to pray. As long as he held up his staff, the Israelites won. However, as the battle raged on, Moses grew weary and asked Aaron and Hur to hold up his hands. This was another triumph for Moses! He threw off his former I-can-handle-anything exterior and asked for help from others. 

When the battle was won, Moses built an altar and called it “The Lord is my Banner.” 

  1. What inner struggles do you think Moses experienced when the people grumbled and rejected his leadership? 

  1. Why didn’t the rejection disturb him?

How Moses Saw God 

Moses perceived God as Jehovah-nissi; “The Lord Is My Banner.” A banner was a standard of victory carried at the head of a military band to indicate the line of march, or rallying point. God was the rallying point for Moses and the troops. Exodus 17:15 records his words: “The Lord is my banner…For hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord. The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

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 

See if you identify with any of these statements, check the ones with which you most agree:

  • I am tired of trying to please people. 
  • I sometimes feel like I can’t throw off my “I-can-handle-anything” exterior and ask for help from others. 
  • I need to learn to ask for and receive help from others. 
  • When I go to the Lord in prayer, my battles don’t seem so bad. 
  • Lately I am surprised by my resilience when others reject me. 
  • I don’t “read” rejection into every situation like I used to. 

A Banner Like None Other 

–Sherrie Eldridge 

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love” (Song of Solomon 2: 4). 

Suppose for a moment that you are a university coed on your way to a Saturday afternoon football game with your sweetheart. (This might be difficult for male readers, but do the best you can)!   

Autumn leaves paint a glorious palette of color around the path toward the stadium and the sound of the gathering crowd fills the air. The smell of fresh caramel corn wafts through the air and vendors sell mums with pipe-cleaner letters. 

As you enter the stadium, your sweetheart takes your hand and leads you to your seats for a great afternoon of entertainment. 

“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” you say to yourself. 

As the marching band lines up for the pre-game show, small planes with advertising banners buzz overhead. One particular banner catches your attention immediately, for it spells out a familiar word—your first name! 

After your name are three simple words: I LOVE YOU! 

“Somebody really wanted to get their message across,” you figure. When you glance at your sweetheart to see if he saw the same plane, you notice a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. 

“Do you know something about that banner that I don’t know?” you ask. 

When the band conductor signals the crowd to stand for the fight song, everyone rises, except the two of you. As the crowd sings, your sweetheart pulls you close and pulls out a small gift box. 

“Go ahead! Open it up,” he says. 

Your eyes well with tears and your heart thumps. Inside the gift box is another box, hinged and covered with silk. Again, he invites you to open it up. As you do, you discover a golden engagement ring, which he removes from the box and places on your finger. 

“Honey, will you marry me?” he says. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” 

What a story! “That only happens in fairy tales,” you may be muttering under your breath. 

Let me share how that fairy tale comes alive day after day in the lives of those who love and follow Jesus. 

How like the sweetheart is Jesus, the Lover of our souls, who courts us daily. How like the couple on the stadium bench, oblivious to everyone around them are you and I as we enjoy intimacy with Jesus in the midst of this crazy world. How like the sweetheart who went to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate his love by having his message of love unfurling behind a plane, did the heavenly Father in sending his only Son to die for us at Calvary. How like the words of proposal spoken to the coed are the words of Jesus…“I want to spend eternity with you.” 

The analogies are endless. But perhaps in the midst of our hectic days, we should take a look at his banner flying over us. And as we do, we will delight in its message once again: (Put your name here)…I LOVE YOU! 

Learning about Adoption 

Perhaps one of the greatest battles for an adoptee is giving up people pleasing and not taking rejection personally.

Ronald Nydam, Ph.D., in an article entitled “Doing Rejection” appearing in Jewel Among Jewels Adoption News said, “The task of all adoptees is to finally relinquish their relinquishment; that is, to really accept the decision of the birth parents to carry out their plan for adoption. If the original relinquishment is not relinquished, the adoptee may chronically hang on to the primal connection in such a way that she is never free to be fully adult. Doing rejection successfully means opening the door to a full life as an adult who can do self-acceptance and intimacy in spite of a birth parent’s negative opinion.” 

Putting my Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. Are you driven to please others? If so, what are some of the ways you have tried to win the love and acceptance of others? 

  1. What is the most painful opposition or rejection you have experienced?

  1. When you are faced with rejection, what are your options and needs?

  1. Have you “relinquished your relinquishment?” How? When? 

A Drawing for My Birth Mother

Draw a picture of yourself atop a mountain, plunging a banner of victory into the ground. Why not make this the day that you relinquish your relinquishment and see the Lord as your banner? 

Draw a picture of yourself and your birth mother after you relinquish your relinquishment. 

  1. “He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song of Solomon 2: 4). Meditate on this verse and then ask yourself: 

• What would the banquet hall look like? 

• What would Jesus look like? (Just think…he is the one who will meet ALL your needs). 

• What would he say to you? 

• What would you say to him? 

• What color is the banner? 

• What does the banner say? (What words does he use to convey his personal love?) 

  1. Read Isaiah 54:17. If you think about rejection as a weapon that is formed by Satan to destroy you, what does God promise and what does that mean to you? 

  1. Joseph of the Bible was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery in Egypt. Joseph walked so closely with God that he found favor in the eyes of the Pharaoh and was put in a high position of authority. When a famine came in the land where his rejecting brothers lived, they came to him, asking for food. Joseph’s response in Genesis 50: 20 says a lot about how he viewed rejection. What did he say to his brothers? How can you apply this to your life?

  1. What is the “take away” for you from this chapter? 

Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers 


Rejection can roll off you like water off a duck’s back! Like Joseph, you will be able to trust in the fact that any rejection life can throw at you will always be turned for your good if you belong to God.

The need for approval from people will be replaced with a deep desire to have an intimate relationship with God. We are then able to come full circle with our adoption experience and learn to see it through God’s eyes. We begin to see that indeed, we were adopted for a purpose. This will be our topic for the last chapter. 

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Learning to Appreciate Tough Times

Since the nation is cooped up inside with COVID, it may be a great time for some introspection about how this tough time is teaching us profound lessons in our faith walk with Jesus.

As children of God, we are all in the process of being healed by the Great Physician, Jesus. His healing can be evidenced in newfound appreciation, as we learn to enjoy him and the life he has given us.

Webster’s defines “appreciation” as, “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 into the worth of something.”

As I took time to look back over the last few years and identify the most hurtful experiences, there came a new desire to praise God for the trials. See if you identify with any of these statements, check the ones with which you most agree:

  • 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 trust 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 healing balm of Gilead until I had been deeply wounded.
  • I didn’t appreciate the comforting shoulder of a friend until my heart was 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 Jesus as Lord until my life became unmanageable.
  • I didn’t appreciate Jesus as my Life until I came to the absolute end of my own resources.
  • I didn’t appreciate his omnipresence until everything familiar disappeared.
  • I didn’t appreciate his promise to come again until life around me became terrifying.

Friends, I am sure you can make your own list, which I’d sure encourage you to do.

I pray all is well with you and that you’re healthy and safe during this difficult time.

Sherrie

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I HAVE A UNIQUE LIFE PURPOSE. Online Adoptee Bible Study

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

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.

 

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

Will My Birth Family Reject Me...Again?

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. 
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I AM CONFUSED ABOUT MY IDENTITY: Online Adoptee Bible Study

Who Am I, Anyway?

Is it any wonder that many adoptees and foster kids struggle with their identity? Two sets of parents? To whom do I belong? And, what do I get from whom?

Moses also struggled, so take heart, friends.

The Scripture Base for Moses’ Life

Exodus 3:1-6

 1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 

The Story of Moses 

One lonely night when Moses was tending the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, he led the sheep to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God. All of a sudden, a blazing light broke the darkness. “There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a blazing bush” (3:2). 

Moses stopped dead in his tracks with his eyes fixed on the burning bush. “Why is it so bright? Why doesn’t the scraggly little thing burn up? Why don’t the shooting flames extinguish?” he may have asked himself. 

“I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up” Moses said to himself (v. 3). When the Lord saw that he was coming to check it out, he called to him from within the bush, “Moses. Moses”(v. 4)! “Here I am,” Moses said, wondering where the voice was coming from (v. 4b). “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground” (v. 5). “Holy ground?” Moses may have said, furrowing his brows. “WHAT is holy ground?” “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (v. 6). 

“The God of my father?” Moses may have said. “Which father? My birth father or my adoptive father? I get so confused whenever family heritage is discussed.” 

“When I was young,” he may have thought, “my birth parents probably taught me about the God of Israel, but my adoptive mother taught me about the Egyptian gods. I am so confused.”

  1. Do you think Moses had any idea that God was involved in his adoption?

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  1. When the voice said, “I am the God of your father,” do you think he was aware of a God who was alive and who spoke to individuals?

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How Moses Saw God 

Moses had yet to learn about El-Olam, God of eternity, or God, the Everlasting One. His sovereignty extends through the passing of time and beyond our ability to see or understand. Moses would have to learn to trust in God’s sovereign plan in allowing his life to be touched by adoption. 

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:

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How Other Adoptees Feel 

Check the statements which are most meaningful to you and explain why on the lines that follow: 

  • When others ask about my nationality, I am so embarrassed. I don’t even know what it is. 
  • Before my adoptive parents died they told me that I would inherit all that they had. I didn’t even want it. It didn’t seem like it was mine. 
  • I absolutely hate it when our class is asked to do a family tree assignment. My family tree has no pattern. It would have to be two trees instead of one. 
  • When our class is asked to bring an ethnic dish to pass, I feel like I can’t bring anything. 
  • Who are my real parents? 
  • I feel like an alien. 
  • None of the above. 

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Learning about Adoption 

One night at a dinner party I listened as my host mused about his children: his son looks like his grandfather, but does not have his disposition; his first daughter has his reserved and deep nature; his second daughter looks like his wife’s brother and shares his interest in science. Without being conscious of it, he was telling me how his children are connected to the family. Adopted children never hear their parents make such conversation. They don’t know who they resemble or who resembles them, whose interests and talents they share. They suffer from what is called ‘genealogical bewilderment’—a lack of knowledge of one’s real parents and ancestors.

–Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton

Putting my Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. Do you ever feel like an “alien?” Like you weren’t really born, but were just dropped into your adoptive family? Explain.

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  1. How does it feel not to share looks or personality with your adoptive family?

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  1. If you were asked to draw your family tree, how would you do it? Draw it below:

How did you feel when drawing the family tree? 

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  1. Do you believe you have a “dual identity” because you were adopted? If so, how will you get a true sense of who you really are? 

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Writing a Letter TO and FROM My Birth Mother 

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother about your confusion about your identity, if you struggle with this. If not, write her about what stood out to you in this chapter. 
  • Write a letter FROM your birth mother, expressing feelings and thoughts she may want to convey to you. 

My Birth Mother

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Digging Deep for Answers to My Adoption Questions 

  1. Read Romans 8:28-29…”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” What does God promise to do in and through the confusing things of life for those who belong to him?

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  1. Read Romans 11:17…”If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root.” How could you liken this verse to adoption? Who is the wild olive shoot?

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  1. What does this verse say happened to you? What specific word describes the shoot’s relationship to the tree (hint: it starts with “g”)? 

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  1. With application to adoption, what does the olive shoot receive from the root? Who do you think the root is and what does the shoot receive from it?

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  1. What does God promise you will become? See Isaiah 61:3b…”They will be called oaks of righteousness,  a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

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  1. What is the “take away” from this chapter? How will your life change?

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Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers 

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Our confusion about our identity often results in a drive to be perfect. We will talk about that next. 

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CAPITULO CINCO

“Estoy confundido sobre mi identidad”

Éxodo 3
La Historia de Moisés

Una noche solitaria cuando Moisés estaba cuidando la manada de Jetro, su suegro, guió a los corderos al otro extremo del desierto y llego a la montaña de Dios. De repente una luz flameante interrumpió la oscuridad. “Estando allí, el ángel del Señor se le apareció entre las llamas de un arbusto ardiente.” (3:2)

Moisés se paro como muerto con sus ojos fijos en el arbusto ardiente. “¿Por qué está tan brillante? ¿Por qué no se quema ésta pequeña cosa? ¿Por qué no se apagan las llamas?

“Voy a ir a ver éste sitio tan extraño- porqué no se consume el arbusto” Moisés se dijo a si mismo. (v.3)

“Cuando el Señor vio que Moisés se acercaba a mirar, lo llamó desde el arbusto, ¡Moisés, Moisés!” (v. 4)

“Aquí me tienes” respondió Moisés, preguntándose de donde venía la voz. (v. 4b) “No te acerques más. Quítate las sandalias, porque estás pisando tierra santa” (v 5).

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“¿Tierra santa?” Moisés pudiera haber dicho, frunciendo sus cejas. “¿Qué es tierra santa?”

“Yo soy el Dios de tu padre. Soy el Dios de Abraham, de Isaac y de Jacob.” (v 6)

“¿El Dios de mi padre?” Moisés pudiera haber dicho. “¿Cual padre? ¿Mi padre de nacimiento o mi padre adoptivo? Me confundo tanto cuando se discute sobre mi historia familiar.”

“Cuando yo era joven”, el pudiera haber pensado, “mis padres de nacimiento probablemente me enseñaron acerca del Dios de Israel, pero mi madre adoptivo me enseñó a cerca de los dioses Egipcios. Estoy muy confundido.”

1. ¿Piensas que Moisés tenía alguna idea de que Dios estaba involucrado en su Adopción?

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2. ¿Cuando la voz dijo “Yo soy el Dios de tu padre,” piensas que Moisés estaba consciente de un Dios que estaba vivo y hablaba con los individuos?

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Como Moisés Vio a Dios

Moisés todavía tenía que aprender acerca El-OLAM, el Dios de la eternidad, o Dios, El Eterno. Su soberanía se extiende a través del tiempo y más allá de nuestra habilidad para ver o entender. Moisés tendrá que aprender a tener confianza en el plan soberano de Dios en permitir que su vida se relacione con la adopción.

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Como Sienten Otros Hijos Adoptivos

  • Cuando otros me preguntan sobre mi nacionalidad, siento pena. Ni siquiera sé lo que es.
  • Antes que mis padres adoptivos murieran, me dijeron que yo heredaría todo que ellos tenían. Ni siquiera lo quería. No me parecía que fuera mía.
  • Odio en absoluto cuando en la escuela nos piden hacer un árbol genealógico. Mi árbol genealógico no sigue una norma. Tendrían que ser dos árboles en lugar que uno.
  • Cuando en mi salón de clases nos piden traer un platillo étnico para compartir, siento que no puedo traer nada.
  • ¿Quienes son mis padres verdaderos?
  • Me siento como un forastero.
  • Ninguna de las de arriba.

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Aprendiendo Sobre la Adopción

Betty Jean Lifton, escribe en su libro Jornada del Ser Adoptivo. “Un noche durante la cena en una fiesta yo estaba escuchando al anfitrión hablar sobre sus hijos: su hijo perece a su abuelo, pero no tiene su carácter; su primera hija tiene un naturaleza reservada y profunda; su segunda hija se perece al hermano de su esposa y comparte su interés el las ciencias. Sin estar consciente de eso, el me estaba platicando como sus hijos estaban conectados a la familia. Los hijos adoptivos nunca oyen a sus padres conversar así. No saben a quien se parecen o quien se perece a ellos, quienes comparten sus intereses y talentos. Ellos sufren lo que se llama “Separación genealógica” – una falta de conocimiento de los padres y ancestros reales.”

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Poniendo Mis Sentimientos y Necesidades en Palabras

  1. ¿Alguna vez te has sentido como un “extraño”? ¿Cómo que realmente nunca naciste, sino que solamente fuiste colocado dentro de tu familia adoptiva? Explica. _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Cómo se siente el hecho de no tener el mismo aspecto o la personalidad de tu familia adoptiva? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  3. ¿Si te pidieran dibujar tu árbol genealógico, como los harías? Dibújalo en el espacio asignado.

4 ¿Como sentiste cuando estabas dibujando tu árbol genealógico? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

5. ¿Crees que tienes una “doble identidad” porque fuiste adoptado? ¿Si es así, como vas a lograr tener el verdadero sentido de quien realmente eres? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

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Escribiendo Una Carta a Mi Madre de Nacimiento

  1. Escribe una carta PARA tu madre de nacimiento acerca de tu confusión sobre tu identidad, si es que luchas con esto. Si no, escribe sobre lo que te pareció destaco en esta capitulo. _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  2. Escribe una carta DE tu madre de nacimiento, expresando sentimientos y pensamientos que ella quisiera transmitirte.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Profundizando a Fondo para las Respuestas a mis Preguntas Sobre Adopción.

  1. Lee Romanos 8:28-29. ¿Qué es lo que Dios promete hacer dentro y a través de las cosas confusas de la vida para quienes le pertenecen? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  2. Lee Romanos 11.17. ¿Cómo puedes comparar este verso a la adopción? ¿Quién es el renuevo del olivo silvestre? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  3. ¿Qué es lo que este verso dice que te sucedió¡ ¿Qué palabra especifica describe la relación del renuevo con el árbol? (empieza con “i”) _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  4. Aplicado lo a la adopción, ¿Qué es lo que recibe el renuevo recibe de la raíz? ¿Quien crees que es la raíz y que es lo que recibe el renuevo? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
  5. ¿Qué es en lo que Dios promete que te convertirás? Ver Isaías 61:3b _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

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6. ¿Qué es lo que te llevas al completar esta capitulo? ¿Cómo va a cambiar tu vida?

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Pensamientos, Percepciones, Metas y

Oraciones

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Nuestra confusión sobre la identidad frecuentemente resulta en un deseo para ser perfectos. Vamos a hablar sobre esto en el siguiente capitulo.

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