I just love to read what Mary has to say. I love her stories about experiences with adoption and I love the encouragement she gives to moms. This post about forgiveness really got to me. She perfectly described a relationship of mine.

I am a survivor. This person, whose actions wounded me so deeply, is close to our family. I grew up with him. We have always had a bitter-filled relationship, without acknowledging the source of the bitterness. Forgiveness means letting that go.

In the past several years, especially since becoming a mother, I have chosen to acknowledge the source of that bitterness. Reopening that dark time in our family history was difficult and that doesn't even begin to describe it. Many of the people (not that many people were involved- it's just that the majority of the few) equated that with UNforgiveness.

So, it's something I've wondered about often. How do I know I have forgiven him? Well, I do know that it's not dependent on other people's opinions. I think forgiveness is between me and God. I don't feel fully capable of forgiving this person, but I rely on God to fill in the gaps for me. I know that He is the author of forgiveness. He has forgiven me and enabled me to forgive. And I think that I can look at my life for evidence of forgiveness. I have peace in my heart.

We have an upcoming trip to visit family. I am hoping for a peace that surpasses all understanding. I considered writing him a note to ask him to please be nice to me this time. But, I think I'll leave it in God's hands. He is much more capable than I.

Men vs. Women: Fathers vs. Mothers in relationships

Between my husband and I, we have 5 sets of parents. His parents were divorced and are remarried. I bring in the other three with my adopted parents and my biological parents, who are also divorced and remarried. So, that's a lot of parents!

This weekend, I attended a women's praise and worship service at our church. A single mother of 5 was telling us her story and giving us encouragement. One thing she said that really stuck with me was this: 'Surrounding ourselves with GOOD relationships helps us to experience a truer better relationship with God'. So true. So true.

I've been noticing something interesting. I don't remember my adopted father and I having a very close relationship. I have noticed that the more I grow in relationship with my biological father, the more accepting I am of my adopted father. I don't really understand why.

On the flip side. My adopted mother seems to be more distant. And it seems the closer that I grow with my biological father, the relationship with my biological mother grows distant. Now, I just found out she's had some health concerns in the past weeks, which is what this possibly is all about. And they are likely not related at all.

However, this is what is on my heart concerning these relationships with all my parents.
I want to be equal with them all. At first I expected that all things would be the same, that the relationships would be the same. I think I haven't ever expected much from my parents- any of them- so I didn't expect to continue to expect much. Follow that?! I expected, like the majority of my relationships, that they'd be mediocre at best.

I am surprised to find myself with a strong connection, a memory of a true relationship (in my child brain), and a desire for a continued strong bond with one particular parent. I can't explain it. It's not fair to the other parents maybe? That makes me uncomfortable. I don't really want to talk about this relationship with the other parents because it makes me uncomfortable.

I wonder why they can't just rejoice with me. I have lacked true relationship most of my life (my husband- Thank GOD- is an exception). I want them to rejoice and be glad that God has put someone in my life- besides you Grandpa! :) with whom I can experience a genuine relationship, someone who teaches me about relationship with God in the way he handles relationship with me. I am SO thankful for this. I don't want to feel guilty about it! I rejoice in it!

Does that mean these other relationships must stagnant and not grow in themselves? Absolutely not! I want these other relationships to grow and be fruitful in themselves and I want them to also bring honor and glory to God. But, I don't think it is reasonable to expect 'fairness or equality' in them. At least, not according to the world's definition. Maybe 'sameness' is a better word. These relationships will not be the same or equal, because God created us all to be unique. Therefore the relationships are unique in themselves and comparing them just doesn't work.

So, I think now that I have compared and analyzed them, I'll stop. I am thankful, grateful for each relationship and the way each relationship reveals to me things about God's character. I am not more thankful for one over another. And I am especially thankful for the new found blessing of meaningful relationship.

Just to be fair...

I want to honor my parents and I don't like being negative. It's just not who I am. Sometimes the truth hurts. It hurts me, anyway. And yet, I know through it all that God has worked out the details of my life for good. And that is enough.

I love my parents, the ones who adopted me, chose me, as they so often said. Their sacrifice was not small. Adding our family of siblings (there are 3 of us) to their family of three in a few short weeks. They provided a lot for us: a great neighborhood w/ a large yard to grow in, a good school system to learn in, yearly summer vacations and trips to summer camp, a supportive family of aunts and uncles and grandparents, many many good memories. But, bad ones too. And really, what family doesn't have bad memories, skeletons which no one talks about. A friend once said, 'Talk to anyone long enough and you'll see most families are dysfunctional.'

Really?! I don't want that for my family, this family God gave me that my husband and I are striving to raise.

I think the thing that was missing from my adopted family most is a lack of relationship. There was a way of tearing down the relationships that existed between my siblings and I that was accomplished so discreetly and unnoticed that I only now see it. I feel like my parents thought they were doing a great thing by adopting us and providing for us. And they let us know it. But, I don't think they tried to get to know us. We thought differently than they, we did life differently than they. Instead of embracing us as unique persons, they wanted to conform us to their ideals.

They demonstrated their love for us by providing for us in a way that exceeded what our biological parents could provide and they thought that was enough. What we were lacking was an investment in our souls, the very people God created us to be.

I am reminded that the battle is not against my parents, but against the forces of darkness in this world. Satan would have broken relationships in this family. He worked towards it for many years. But, I think God would have it differently. Sometimes it is difficult: these relationships are work, but this is what keeps me going: Whatever my parents did, they did because they love us. They tried to do the best they knew how. I only wish they had taken the time to get to really know me.


REAL- and quite possibly long

I want to be real. And I want to be honest. And, I haven't felt like it. So, I haven't been writing.

Meeting my biological dad was one of the best things ever to happen in my life. Yet, I have been avoiding writing about this reunion.

When I was a kid, I said that bit (one of the best days) about being adopted. Everything else was compared to that day. I was a people pleaser in those days, and I wanted my new parents to be pleased with me. I wanted them to believe I liked life with them (even on the days I didn't) so that I could stay. Because I didn't want to be sent away again.

I am getting distracted. I am starting over.

It sucks. It disrupts what I believe and I am pushed on to a more accurate definition of who I am, why I am loved and how I am loved.

I believed life was rough. And I believed my life was too much work for my parents. I believed my life got in the way of their life.

I thought being saved from a rough situation saved my life from a similar story- the story of my biological parents, the story of teenage pregnancy. I believed that being second rate in my adopted home was better than the way my life could have been with single parents.

Now I am not so sure. But, I am not so sure that that matters to me anymore.

Now I know my father loves me, because I have experienced his love. I have experienced something that is impossible to describe. He loves me and now I know. He wants to bless me with good things. He makes time to connect with me. He enjoys my quirkiness, or at least seems. And for now, I am content to rest in that.

Sure, I feel uncomfortable. What does this mean for my adopted family? If God can restore these relationships with my biological family, can't he make those relationships better too?

Being connected to so many people makes me want to crawl in a hole and come out next year. It's a lot of work, but I know it's good for me.

And even this still seems sugar coated.

You know what? It really sucked when he left!

I was so depressed. WHy? I knew he needed to go back to his home, back to his work, his life. Was I scared to lose him again? Was it old loss being experienced again?

I don't really know what was going on. I was in a fog for a few weeks, lost, living moment by moment. I so much wanted to rejoice in the love I had experienced, so much wanted to rejoice in the new memories made and I didn't know how. All I felt was lost and confused. And I was ashamed that I would feel this way.

Finally, after a couple weeks, I told him. I shared my lost feelings and my confusion. And I felt better. And then, within the same day, we shared with one another, the same thoughts about all of it. The thoughts and ideas we had were based on waiting on the Lord. I had taken my hurt, my confusion, my lostness to the Lord. And he heard my cry. And my father confirmed my message from God with the same scripture God had put in my heart.

And the joy I experienced then and there is beyond description. God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good!


God loves adoption.... but that doesn't make it easy. This mama reminds me and this mama needs encouragement and prayer.

And now I'll resume my vacation.



I am taking a bloggy vacation. It's summer. It's hot. My littlest one is becoming much more active and I trouble to keep up- how do you keep up with three little ones still under the age of 3 (but not for long?)

So much has happened in my little world... and my emotions and thoughts and the growth of my little ones... so much to write about- but when? how? I hope to resume in another month with a better plan for keeping up with it here.

Until then- happy heat to you all!