Since it's the beginning of a new year, I rememberd an article I wrote some years ago for a women's magazine. They had wanted something positive to begin the year. 23 years later, I decided to republish the article here.
I was four when my parents told me I was adopted. For the next 46 years, I wondered who I “really” was. But I didn't do anything to find out.
Now, my adoptive parents were good parents and I have no complaints about my life. But I couldn’t help wondering. Were my birth parents alive or dead? Why did they give me up to be adopted? Did I have any siblings? What was my ancestry? Was there someone else like me out there somewhere?
Like most adopted children, I occasionally daydreamed. What if my birth parents were famous people who had given me up because they couldn’t look after me? Maybe they missed me terribly and would appear one day to shower me with gifts. What if they were horrible people, and they'd turn up and try to take me back?
From the beginning, though, even when I was very small, I firmly believed that God had put me where he wanted me. I don’t know why I felt that way. My parents attended church but didn’t have a close relationship with God. I did, however, have a grandmother and several aunts and uncles who prayed a lot and talked to me about God. And I loved going to Sunday school and singing songs like "God Sees the Little Sparrow Fall" and "Jesus Love the Little Children."
Perhaps because of my grandmother and my other relatives, or perhaps because I've always felt different from other people, I’ve been talking to God ever since I was a child. And always, when I wondered about my past, and who I really was, God would tell me it was okay—it was all under control.
Even after leaving home, getting married, and having four sons, I did nothing to find my birth parents. Perhaps because along with the nice daydreams there was also fear—what if they were horrible people and they were in jail? Or worse— Anything was possible....
But when my first grandchild was born, and my son asked me about my medical history, I suddenly realized this wasn’t only about me. We all needed more information.
So, after doing some research and telling myself to "Just Do It," I contacted the post-adoption agency in the city where I had been born. Within weeks, I knew my parents had been a very young unmarried couple. I also learned that my mother had written them recently saying she wanted to get in touch with me….
Ten years have passed. I’ve met both my biological parents. And I’ve learned that my birth was the spark that led my biological mother to give her life to God. Since then, she’s been a missionary and a pastor’s wife for over 50 years. And during that time she prayed for me daily, and believed that because God had been faithful to her, he would also be faithful to me.
All those times God told me not to worry—that it was okay—it really was.
Isn’t it funny? All that wondering, and in the end there was a simple explanation with ordinary people. And God was there the whole time, looking after each one of us, answering prayers, working things out for the best for everyone.
I believe that my adoptive parents were exactly the right people to raise me. The fact that I was able to help lead both of them into a relationship with God is only one of the wonderful things that happened.
When my biological mother became pregnant, it wasn’t seen as a blessing. Just the opposite. And yet she believes it was a blessing, even for her. God really can take any circumstance and bring good out if it.
Whenever I might be tempted to worry about what will happen tomorrow or next week, I simply have to look back at my past and say, “I know who holds my future; God has it all in control.”
*First published January 2010 in The Link and Visitor. Edited slightly.
Note: If you want to know more about my journey as an adopted child, and finding my biological parents, check out my memoir blogs here.