Forgiveness: Thoughts, Quotes, and My Personal Experience

Forgive me for asking, but is anyone aware that International Forgiveness Day is August 2, 2015?

Rebecca Tillou August 02, 2015
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Forgiveness

for·give·ness

ˌfərˈɡivnəs/

noun

noun: forgiveness; plural noun: forgivenesses

  1. the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.

“she is quick to ask forgiveness when she has overstepped the line”

synonyms: pardon, absolution, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency, mercy

(Google, 2015) 

Rebecca, an adoptee

Throughout my childhood and into my teen years, there were situations in which I, as an adoptee, felt anger at my birth mom for placing me for adoption. I felt cast aside and unwanted by her. As I got older, I started to believe that, more than likely, my birth mom wanted to give me a chance at a life full of positivity and love. A life she felt unable to give to her child. After I discovered who she was, and spoke to some of her close acquaintances, I discovered that she had a friend call the agency I was placed with. She did not fight her friend’s advice that she was not in a position to raise a child. After hearing this, I know she had my best interests in her heart.

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  -Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”  -Paul Boese

“When you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn back against your future.  When you do forgive, you start walking forward.”  –Tyler Perry

However, there was another reason that I also had, and still do some days, anger towards my birth mom. Why? She was a chronic alcoholic and drank throughout her pregnancy. This caused me permanent brain damage and a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. My entire life has been affected by this disorder.

I have chosen to work on forgiving my birth mom as it relates to her carelessness. I keep reminding myself that, in HER situation, she didn’t understand a healthy way to cope with her life. She was an orphan, and then a foster child, until she graduated high school. She had been bounced around from family to family. Her own brother got to stay and grow up with her family. She was born and placed elsewhere. She coped by drinking. I try not to blame her. She was dealt a crappy hand. She may have known she was pregnant, but maybe she didn’t understand the effects alcohol can have on a fetus. So, as hard as it may be, I am working every day to forgive my birth mom for the choices she made prior to placing me for adoption.

Forgiveness can lead to healing, and healing can lead to forgiveness.

Faults: We all have them

One step at a time

Recognizes nobody is perfect

Gives someone another chance

Inspires love and trust

Values the other person

Experiences moving forward

New start

Enables hearts to heal

Sees life through the other’s tears

Stop, breathe, and live again

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Rebecca Tillou

Rebecca was adopted as an infant. She found her birth family in May of 2013 and continues to keep in touch with them. Sadly, her birth mother passed away in 1999. She and her husband live in New York and are the parents of two beautiful little boys, Dominic and Nicolas. They also have a German Shepherd mix named Chester. She was recently diagnosed with FASD at 34 years of age. She is currently working with nofas.org and thearg.org to get the word out that there is hope, and that you are never too old to better yourself.


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