Daring To Journey Through Adoption: Welcoming Brokenness

i Sep 20th 15 Comments by

Daring To Journey Through Adoption

Daring to journey through adoption means entering into a world of brokenness.

Stepping into this arena as an adoptee or adoptive parent takes immense courage.

For any person walking this planet, our life began the same… being carried in the womb of a mother.

Yet, what we can take for granted is what happens between a mother and her child in-utero and upon birth.

I had 2 sons by birth. They were planned pregnancies and I wanted each of them wholeheartedly.

I rubbed my growing belly imagining their features. I touched their little feet as they protruded in alien likeness against my side. I spoke to them softly and lovingly. I formed a bond to them even before I set eyes on their precious faces.

I longed for the day I would get to hold them in my arms. To kiss them, snuggle them, smell them, was a day we celebrated with great joy and expectation.

But I pause to think about other children. Ones like me, possibly. Who didn’t enter the world with the same wholehearted desire of their arrival.

Who’s presence and future would require a life-altering choice by the woman who would carry them for 9 months.

A choice that would mysticize their past and complicate their future.

There are many children who’s mother did want them and love them while in-utero, yet at some point after their arrival into this crazy world, they were purposefully separated from her.

There are many children who were ignored, resented, drugged, inebriated, abused and unwanted while in their mother’s womb only to be further wounded after their birth by purposeful separation.

Adoption results because through relinquishment or abandonment, a child’s physical connection to their birth mother is broken.

Because of the reality of these circumstances and what has to occur in order for a child to enter into an adoptive family, daring to journey through adoption means one must welcome brokenness.

As an adoptee I’ve had to face the sobering reality of brokenness in these terms, and it is something that has left an imprint on my soul.

Whenever I am asked about my birth mother and whether I have any knowledge of her and my father, a black and white silhouette flashes before me.


There is no face. There is no image of their hair type, eye color, cheek structure, lip shape. I have no recollection and for as much as I have worked to be at peace with that, I am always left with a sense of wonderment:

Wouldn’t it be nice if I just knew…

…what she/he looked like?

…where she/they lived?

…if she/they wanted me?

…why she/they chose to let me go?

The shards of brokenness as an adoptee cuts me to my core, but I cling to the fact that wounds can be healed and broken does not mean worthless.

There is great responsibility as adoptive parents to not only welcome, but embrace the brokenness of your child’s circumstance.

Responsibility to speak words that tell your child the brokenness is indeed a part of their story and you will hold the pieces with love and tenderness.

To embrace them through understanding their brokenness and holding them tightly as they process and question it.

To do anything less is to minimize the pain of a broken connection between a mother and a child at the most fundamental level.

  • There is no adoption without loss and grief, so we must be prepared to guide our child through it.
  • Be a partner and hand-holder to your child. This is their journey and their story. They need you to share in their journey and provide space and empathy for what they are feeling.
  • Remember the loss and grieving of adoptees is not a one and your done discussion. As we move through developing stages cognitively and emotionally, we will become more and more aware of how we feel. It’s vital to seize those opportunities to connect with your child in their journey rather than pass it off, explain it away, or even pretend it didn’t happen.
  • A birth mother will always hold a place in their heart with a longing to know her, to reconnect the broken connection.
  • Our issues with identity and self-esteem are rooted in our lack of personal history. To ignore the truth of it is to inadvertently ignore the truth of who one is and their origin.

Adopted children need you to help glue these broken pieces back together. Our stories will never be perfect, without blemish or scars, but you can help us make sense of the brokenness and help us see our value despite it.

Mine is but one story, one experience. I hope you will share how the broken pieces are/aren’t coming together in your own journey through adoption.



  1. Don't We Look Alike?
    September 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I’m re-blogging this one, too, Tara.

  2. Amanda Boorman
    September 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Really thoughtful and calm reminder of an adoptees loss. Such delivery makes it easy to listen and learn. X

  3. Susan Beckman
    September 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    So many adoptees experience this. Thanks for sharing your personal view. It helps the others know that they are not alone.

  4. Kelly @ Love Well
    September 21, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I’m always grateful for your wise words, Tara, as you gently help people on this journey. You have such a unique perspective; your voice is so needed.

  5. Three Pink Diamonds
    September 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, it helps to understand things from the adoptees perspective.

    • Tara Bradford
      September 21, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Thank you for visiting and joining in the discussion.

  6. DonnaKWallace
    September 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Your words coupled with that black and white photo will forever be seared into my memory. I am changed. I write this often after your posts, but it is true again. Thank you for writing it true–for showing us.

    • Tara Bradford
      September 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

      It’s great to have you on this journey with us Donna!

  7. Jamie
    September 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I love this. Plain and simple truth, even though this circumstance is nothing at all plain and simple. Thank you for sharing your heart, feelings, and truth.

    • Tara Bradford
      September 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Yes, Jamie, love what you said… there is no plain and simple in the adoption journey. Grateful to have you with us.

  8. Carolyn Hughes
    September 20, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Your posts are such a light of hope and understanding for anyone who struggles with their identity. A broken past doesn’t have to mean a broken future.

    • Tara Bradford
      September 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thank you Carolyn, I’m glad we are in this as a community.

  9. sonya
    September 20, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I love the idea that “brokenness does not mean worthless”. Beautiful, Tara!

    • Tara Bradford
      September 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thank you Sonya, glad to have you with us!

  10. prayingintruth
    September 20, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Amen. Amen.