One Adoptee Discovers Late Mom’s Legacy of Love

When Rocky Memories Turn Warm

I never dreamed I’d be writing a book about her…my late adoptive mom, that is.

It felt like I never loved her…in fact, I hated her.

Now, something quite unexpected is happening.

Warm memories are surfacing. I can smell her apple pie, see her take care of my kitty, and feel her gentle hands rubbing warm oil on my childhood asthmatic chest.

Had something changed in my brain?

Why the warm memories?

After all, mom died 37 years ago and my lifelong memories of her were far from warm. Instead, I remembered  daily fighting matches.

Where did the memories come from?

Were they stored somewhere deep inside?

At the same time, I was learning about legacy and how it is a gift from one generation to the next.

Could I be discovering mom’s legacy to me at this late date–the seventh chapter of life?

A few months later, I was asked to speak to a group of adoptive and foster mamas in Pennsylvania.

The meeting planner asked about the topic and it was then that I took a leap and asked if I could share these memories along with truths about how mamas can create a legacy, even if their kiddos aren’t ready to receive it.

Before delivering my message, I felt like a scared cat delivering a dead mouse at the door.

How could these weary mamas who were parenting kids with severe behaviors possibly be edified? 

Much to my surprise, their faces were welcoming.

How amazing these turn of events are!

I thought I was done writing books and speaking, but now I’m writing a book about mamas leaving a legacy.

 

Irish Adoptive Mom Writes Groundbreaking Book!

What To Do When There's No Adoption Literature

Dear friends…I am pleased to introduce you to Mari Galligher, an Irish adoptive mom. She is soooo brave. When you read about the current adoption atmosphere in Ireland, you will be amazed that she has broken silence in a country that doesn’t talk about adoption. Please welcome her, and give her a big hug. Love, Sherrie

After twenty years of adoptive parenthood, I give much thanks for lifesaving reading material that came my way over the years.

In Ireland,  parenting books on adoption do not exist, much silence and secrecy still shrouds the topic and even today as I write, adopted people campaign to get rightful access to their identifying information – information that under Irish law they are not allowed to see. 

So as an Irish adoptive parent, I relied on the generosity and talent of adoption writers such as Sherrie Eldridge, to guide me along the way.

Sherrie’s Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew was my handbook, particularly when it came to talking about adoption, a conversation I found the most challenging over the years.

Being adopted into a country thousands of miles from your birth home  – my son and daughter were born in Russia and Kazakhstan respectively –  adds another layer of sadness to the grief of separation. 

Having the conversation with my children over the years, taking it all one day at a time, grieving with them for the loss of their birth families, acknowledging how hard it must be and undertaking a search via an international searcher for vital birth information – all these have helped and both children, now young adults, have enough birth family details to undertake a reunion whenever they are ready.

 I’ve recorded it all – my longing for parenthood, the milestones, the ups and downs, the tears of joy and sorrow and now there is an adoption book on Irish bookshelves. 

My adoptive parenting book called Becoming a Mother: Reflections on Adoptive Parenting was published in 2018 by Orpen Press – the first book on adoptive parenthood on Irish bookshelves and is my story of being an adoptive parent – all that I have learned along the way.

Thank you Sherrie for the opportunity to write on your valuable, wonderful blog or as we say in Gaelic  “Go raibh mile maith agat”.

The link to Amazon Kindle US bookstore.

https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Mother-Reflections-Adoptive-Parenthood-ebook/dp/B07JLZBLF6/

Mari’s site is: https://www.marigallaghertherapist.com/

 

Has God Forgotten the Fatherless?

 

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.

  1. An unanswered letter
  2. A geographical move
  3. The death adoptive parents.
  4. “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed) a picture of you on the palm of each of My hands.” (Isaiah 49: 16)
  5. 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. ■

     

    Recommended Resources

    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