I’m thinking a lot about my 5-year old son today (although quite frankly, it’s hard not to at this age what with the “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy….”). My mind is on birth and adoption, because it’s Easter. This is my favorite of holidays, celebrating how a singular event made spiritual orphans into sons and daughters. That’s big.
So I’ve been thinking about how my son will form his sense of identity, because he’s adopted. He can now verbalize that Mommy’s belly was broken, so we got to choose him to be our boy. He doesn’t know yet that someone else had to do what could be interpreted as un-choosing him first. By my judgment, that piece comes later in the age-appropriate conversation chronology. Before we delve there, I need him to be of the age where he can understand that things aren’t always as they appear.
I pray so frequently for his identity to be secure, definitely not based on having been gleefully chosen by us, although I hope that helps. I just know that our choosing him may not feel like enough comfort at times in light of having been surrendered by the mother who bore him. So I pray.
I pray, first and foremost, that my son sees that the Maker of the universe chose (with a capital C) him. I pray He sees that as we prayed for a child, God Himself placed him in the womb of a woman who would choose life. I pray he understands that although his birth mother couldn’t raise him, she certainly chose him. Millions don’t. I see fully now, and I pray my son does, that it’s not the giving up for adoption that un-chooses a child. It’s the alternative to adoption that does that–giving nobody anywhere on earth a chance to choose them.
So, Son, I’ll speak to you, and you can read this in good time. I hope you see with crystal clear vision that you were chosen three times (above the average one or two): 1) by God who created you, 2) by birthmom who chose life and 3) by us who wanted your utter preciousness in our home. I pray you have eyes to see what your birthmom did instead of what she couldn’t do.
But mostly, Son, I hope you see that the sky’s the limit for the love you can feel and the places you can go in your life if you just believe that nobody is truly an orphan by God’s grace.
I also need that message. Some people have chosen me; others haven’t. Some have embraced me and drawn close; others have stepped back or built walls. It will always be so for everyone. I know I’m not unique in that.
So may we cling tightly to some truths in order to survive and thrive during the expected times of being un-chosen:
- We have life, and we are no orphans. We need never doubt that we’re fully loved, chosen, enjoyed and prepared to live abundantly. There’s nothing about anyone’s life that need be second rate because of rejection.
- We can choose to focus on what being “given away” offers to us instead of just what it steals from us. The Fixer turns around for good many an assault meant to harm us or accidental screw-up flung our way if we put it in His hands. We can foresee a benefit coming to us out of any circumstance when we surrender it. And since we know that we, too, have flung our fair share of junk around, we can forgive.
We need not run after those who put us to the side; others on our path won’t dismiss us. We need not pursue affection or approval; God pursues us with them and just the right number of people will, as well, although at times it won’t feel that way. (Just hold on.) We can put our hearts in the right Hands, knowing He’s the master of making lemonade from twisted, turbulent, messy, lemony human behavior.
If we get this–really get it–then we are free. People can choose us…or not. They can reject us from malice; we are free to use it as education to select better future associations without bitterness. They can reject us from ignorance; we are free to walk away and move on with heads held high. They can be correct in passing us by; we are free to say thanks for the feedback along with the hurt.
Even if everything in our lives is transient; we are free to let go, receive new and expect good. When the foundation of being Chosen is irrevocable, and it is, identity is immovable. It makes us able to be thankful for what people can give and forgive what they can’t. They simply don’t define who we are. We can know something is becoming of us, because our adoptive Parent will ensure it if we believe and follow.
So, Son, grasp and hold onto these things with white knuckles, always with every breath. You were created. You are wanted. Something is becoming of you. No person’s choice–for better or worse–has control over that.
Some people may desire us and have the ability to embrace us. Some may not, passing us on to the next person. It happens to the best of everybody. Make it of no matter, Son.
Some people will fight to have us close, and some will call us too much and push us away, sometimes violently. Make it of no matter, Son.
Some people will honor and value us, and some may refuse to respond to the sound of our voices or acknowledge us with their gaze. Make it of no matter, Son.
We stand on solid ground, Son. We’ve invited the Easter Truth into our hearts. We are loved, and nobody can steal our ability to love. We were given life, and nobody can steal our ability to live. Nobody.
I think today about all the babies who took flight to heaven and communed with God before their earthly bodies ever had a chance to live. They were Chosen, too. They also exist by design. It just takes one Choosing, ultimately, to have a future. (Remember, Son, it depends on no person.) The Father can’t be overruled in the end. People don’t have the final say about you.
I hope our love as parents is meaningful to you, Son. I hope we lavish it. And yet I hope it pales in comparison to how much you value the love of the One who made the original Choice that gave you to us and this world. What He Chooses, nobody can un-choose.
With Hope and Heart in Hand,
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