January 1, 2013 came upon me like the weight of an avalanche burying me deep beneath the snow. Like each light weight, beautiful and individually unique snow flake mimics one’s life experiences, so too can the effect of these beauties as they bind together into something forceful that can take you down in an unexpected moment.
It’s been 11 years since my adoptive mom passed away, 18 for my adoptive father, and this year it seemed to hit me harder than it ever has. As my husband sweetly held me while I confessed this weight, I remained confused as to why it was this heavy, why this year? After all, it’s been a long time and as the saying goes…time heals all wounds…or so one would think.
Yet again, my husband speaks wisdom… “you’ve done more introspective digging this year than you ever have.”
The truth is, I daily face my past. I am constantly reminded that my past is not “normal”. It’s not a bad thing, this past, it just is what my life is. What God has allowed in his plan for my life. For my journey of identity and loyalty as His daughter adopted first and foremost by him and secondly by human parents. For my individual journey of becoming more like Him and who He truly created me to become.
Facing the truth about oneself is never easy, nor is it something many willingly take on, yet becoming an adoptive parent myself and being faced with helping our children on their own healing journeys has required more of me than I realized I would be asked. More than I’ve been able to give.
Some may think I have this unique advantage to adoptive parenting being an adoptee, but many times it feels more like an added burden to my parenting abilities. The baggage, the self doubt, the enormous expectations I place on myself to get it right and always at the core of everything ~ fear.
As I read other adoptees stories and work with a trusted counselor to face my past, I find myself conflicted in this process, saddened and angry about my past, yet hopeful and excited for my future. After many years of living with my adoption journey as a categorically inhibitory label defining me in my own head by societies stereotypes and what I perceive others think of me, I long to live with my adoption journey as a jewel in my crown as the daughter of The King.
No matter what baggage we carry with us in our lives there is a relentless gnawing that begs us to stop at some point and admit the longer we carry said baggage, the greater the weight will become. As this weight continues to grow, then we are the ones who ultimately pay the penalty fee.
As I turn 44 years old this year, I hope that the work I’ve done this past year and continue to do will shed the extra pounds I’ve carried around for so very long. The word that God has impressed upon my heart for 2013 is “FREEDOM!“
I encourage other adoptees and those who also have baggage to stop, look through the contents and re-evaluate the purpose and the need for what you are hanging onto.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us
as his very own children.