About 10 years ago, my parents (those who adopted me and my siblings) sat me down with some big news. To say I was shocked is an understatement.
I thought I had been left behind, unwanted. The news was devastating to that belief, and it took me awhile to see how I had been impacted by the false belief about myself and my family. The more I learn about myself, the more I am able to accept God's love and see myself as He sees me. I believe my post-high school journey would have been more difficult, were it not for the love of these people who were about to enter my life.
The news was from my Aunt Nene, a step-sister to my biological mother. She was offering a different perspective to my adoption story.
Here's the perspective I grew up with:
Our mother, a single mother, struggling to support, realizing she couldn't do it on her own, sought help from a private adoption agency meets older couple with one teenage son, struggling with infertility, desiring more children. Match made in heaven, right?
Aunt Nene ( I was seven when I was adopted and remembered her well) alternative version: Mother had been struggling. Grandpa had just helped her move into an apartment and get settled. One day, Aunt Nene's mom delivers cookies to an empty apartment. Family struggles to find us for weeks. Grandpa hires PI, takes new parents to court to gain custody of us. Court awards custody to new parents. Finally, she says she has waited 10 years to see me again and asks them to talk to me about it.
Shocked by this new perspective, I quickly embrace my new old family. Soon after reuniting with Aunt Nene, I meet uncles and their families and Grandpa and Grandma and cousins!
It was a beautiful day in the park where we picnicked. I remember how my uncle just stared at me throughout the entire initial meeting, while I talked about myself and what I was doing and what I had been doing the past 10 years. You know, general small talk stuff!
Grandpa and I formed a bond founded on the shared love of Christ. We all did really, but it was this relationship that began to transform the way I viewed myself. It was this relationship that brought me through some of the toughest years I have experienced. I do love my Grandpa.
I went to see my Aunt Nene as much as I possibly good while working my way through college. Now I live too far away to drive up for the weekend, and that makes me sad. But our bond is tight and it transcends the miles and the times. Whether we talked last week or last month, we understand and love one another and it is a really good thing. I love her.
Now, it's been more than 10 years since that reunion. I am continually encouraged by this family of faith. I see that God brought them right into my life at a time when I needed. I see that God worked out all the details, because He loves me and because I love Him.
Come back for more bits of the story!