Summary: Unless you know how special you are to God, you may undervalue yourself. Many do. But let scripture teach you about who you are to God.
You are Not an Accident
Purpose Driven Life #2
August 9, 2003
I was born illegitimate in Winnipeg and I stayed that way for 2 months, until I was adopted. The woman who gave me birth, in those days, had to stay with me until adoption and, had she wanted to, could likely have surreptitiously watched to see me taken away by my new- and real- parents. But, she didn’t- she had linked up with an army guy and I was the result.
When I was 8 or 9, I remember, in the Carroll School yard, where I attended school from Grades 1 to 8, one recess when on eof my cousins was upset at me for something, she said, “Oh, but you’re adopted.” That came as a dagger in the way she said it and it went to the heart of my soul- deep and it hurt. I went home with that, and my parents explained (as they said they’d done before, but it didn’t stick before) how they had ‘chosen’ me. They wanted children but Mom was not able to be pregnant, so they got to choose me and, later, my sister. To them, I was very much wanted and was not an accident. There was no lack of desire for me in their family, and that love is what was always there.
But where was God in all this? In my earliest times, where was God? I was an accident to Jackie and Gladys- I was not their desire that night in September 1951. They looked for other things, but not a pregnancy. Where was God in all this for 9 months when she carried me toward birth, alone, without Jackie’s support or knowledge? Where was God?
Historically, to be born illegitimate has not been great. Recently, I read “Trinity” by Leon Uris; this is a historical novel about life in Ireland between about 1820 and 1920. That was certainly, not a place to be illegitimate, because you and your mother were always second or third class, poor, and scrounging just to get by- and stigmatized. There was no significant amount of adoption, then, even, nor has there been in most times over the centuries.
Even today, being adopted does something to how a person sees him or herself. In 1994, in a Counseling course I was taking, I did a paper on the Impact of Searching for Birth Mother on Adult Adoptee Self-Esteem. There’s a growing body of literature on the subject discussing why someone would search, in the first place- there are reasons why growing up in a good family is not enough, for instance, and it’s quite normal and reasonable. There are self-esteem issues that are very real. Why wasn’t I wanted? What were the circumstances of my birth? Is my birth family rich? How big is my ‘other’ family? These are only some of the questions that those who grow up in their original families don’t have to ask because they know the answers. But an adoptee doesn’t know these answers and has to go looking; some do, and feel compelled to search, while others do not, but the questions remain, in either case, in most, from what the literature on the subject indicates. It’s like there are holes on a sheet of graph paper that have to be filled in, and some feel great compelling to do this.