The ridiculed little girl spoken of in my first article for Adoption.com began the inevitable course of growing up. Her emotions had told her, and sadly she had listened, that she was a ‘duty-child’, taken in by parents, particularly a mother, who wanted to show a small community that they were doing something good with their monies…giving back to the world that have given to them with such grace.
Like most teenagers, she faced many obstacles but chose to attribute hers to ‘being adopted’. She considered herself a victim of life rather than one who has victory over circumstances. This attitude negated gratitude, which lent her easily to building a wall of pride. The tall, thick wall did its job well, keeping out the ‘bad guys’, a group that increasingly expanded to include those seeming to reject or even disagree with her. She became an angry, insecure teenager with an appetite for acceptance and an even greater appetite for making sure no one knew that all she really wanted was to feel wanted. But remember, feelings aren’t facts.
Eventually committing herself to the Christian faith, her methods slowly changed. Her newly trusting heart warily opened, revealing wounds, some unfounded, and some truly warranting attention, but not by mere bandages. With these wrappings removed, the cleaning that precedes healing could begin. She began to trade in her arsenal of self-defense weaponry for better ways of living. She learned she had based much of her reasoning on lies:
1-If she worked hard enough; the world would accept her and give value to her life.
2-If she could just be in control of and even create her own life, everything would be just right and she would live happily ever-after.
…In essence, she was trying to be her own God and create her own Heaven. The huge problem with that was the effort it required to ‘be God’, and for some reason, her ‘Heaven’ kept shrinking as the fallibility of others necessitated their removal from her self-made ‘kingdom’.
Her methods were definitely not working.
Face-to-face with the utter ridiculousness of her tactics, (the first attempt was never needed and the second was never attainable), she began to change course. It didn’t happen overnight; some of her failings overlapped some of her victories, but her ship was definitely listing to another side now.
In time, she found her desire to feel loved was fully met by a loving God who never turned her away in anger, was always patient, and forever accepting. He had given her an adoring husband and beautiful children and taught her how to love them well. She had friends because she learned to be a friend. In spite of the imperfections and hard challenges each day was likely to bring, life really was better and happier, and laughter balanced out the bitterness of disappointments and tears. Life had become sweet and latently, she had become grateful for it and her place in it.
This was a life she knew others could have, too. She began to use inherited and cultivated abilities to share her story and heart. She still made mistakes, plenty of them. As yet unfinished, much healing had taken place, right to her marrow… my marrow.
This story could easily end on a happy and peaceful note right here, but it is far from over. In fact, I didn’t know I was at last prepared for a new chapter, a new journey, to begin. My future would be bright, holding answers to repressed, yet life-long questions. Questions posed by me, and as I would come to discover, quite a few others. (To be continued…)
by Cindy Hailey