Tag Archives: adoption

Does Your Life Matter?

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Words cannot express the overwhelming sense of sadness that has filled our nation once again with a senseless act of violence too horrific for words. Yet today, as the rest of the world moves on with their day, 2 young children were laid to rest in the community of Newtown, Connecticut.

I have a 9-year old and 19-month old daughters who I can only protect so much, but this insanity that has rocked the holiday season makes me fear for their safety when I can’t be there with them.

I was listening to talk radio today and found a quote which I think makes a lot of sense to the happenings in our world today.

“Everybody wants to be known, and everybody wants their life to matter. Everybody wants their life to have meaning.”  – Rush Limbaugh

Regardless of how we feel about the talk show host or not, his words are truly hitting home today. We live in a social media world where people over-share their lives on a daily basis. You can find out what someone is doing from their waking moment to going to bed at night.

Yes, I love keeping up with my friends I can’t see, but it doesn’t mean I need to take a picture of my breakfast for the world to see. A confession…I have always had dreams of being a movie actress. What does that say about me? It means I want to be known and I want my life to matter.

I was 25-years old when I fell in love with my oldest daughter. I adopted for completely selfish reasons and will tell anyone that who tells me how wonderful I am for adopting. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted my life to matter in the life of someone else. When I die and there are no more regrets I want to know that my life meant something to someone. But you know what, it does.

I am loved by a man I never thought I would meet and I matter to him. I am loved by a 9-year old who needed someone to love and raise her, and I mean something to her. I am loved by my 19-month old daughter who knows nothing of fear and craziness in the world and to her I am her world. I am loved by my parents who have raised me the best they could and then let me go (although I keep coming back) and I matter to them. I am loved by my sisters and their families and I matter.

I could go on and on, but knowing I matter and that my life has meaning outside the confines of my own mind, means I have something many people don’t have. I have the knowledge that my life is worth something. I ache for the children and adults who don’t have the reassurance that their lives are worth something and they matter to someone out there.

So whether this is you struggling to find meaning in your own life or you are part of a larger community and have people that need to know they matter, tell them. Open up to those around you. Yeah, we may think you’re crazy but chances are we are not going to reject you. We all have some amount of crazy and what is “normal” is all relative. Be someone who matters to someone else. Let your life have meaning by giving beyond yourself and being the change someone desperately needs.

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One Thought Remains

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The other night I rented a movie, October Baby, and have had this running through my mind for the last 2 days. The movie is about a girl, who at 21 comes face to face with the reality of her medical condition. After fainting on stage, Hannah learns she was adopted and all her health issues are related to a failed abortion, which she survived. She begins her journey to find answers, her birth mom and her place in the world.

Now, I have to premise this by saying this is not a post about abortion but about an adopted child coming to terms with her abandonment.

The movie made me cry. Hot, emotion filled tears ran down my face while watching this movie. I did warn my husband I had rented this and he was fine not watching with me. He walked in the door from work that night at the very end of the movie. Good timing on his part.

The pain that wracked this girl was heart-wrenching. She was on a desperate quest to find the mother who never wanted her. She finds her and it’s not a magical moment. It’s a woman denying the facts and once again pushing this child out of her life. The heartache for me comes from having an adopted daughter who has begun asking questions about her birth mom.

Here is where it gets tricky for me. My daughter knows she is adopted and is only 8-years old. I have told her that her birth mom was unable to take care of her or herself and this causes a lot of heartache for my daughter. But she’s yet to ask if her birth mom wanted her. How do I answer this when the time comes?

I know her birth mom was in a group home and unable to care for herself independently or for anyone else. I know she recognized the fact that she was pregnant, but not sure it’s something that has remained with her or not. I know the parents of my daughter’s birth mom did not want to take on raising another child. But I can’t bring myself to tell her she wasn’t wanted. She was wanted. I wanted her.

When people tell me what a good person I am for adopting my daughter, I tell them no. I adopted her for very selfish reasons. I wanted to be a mom…and not just any mom, I wanted to be her mom. I tell her when she wants to talk about her birth mom and has questions how much I love her and how I got to choose her. I wanted this baby, not another baby, but her.

For whatever reasons a child is given up and/or unable to be parented by the one who gave birth to them, I pray they can find forgiveness as Hannah did in this movie. Hannah meets a priest who tells her, “Because we have been forgiven by God, we should forgive each other. In Jesus, you are forgiven, and, because you are forgiven, you have the power to forgive, to choose to forgive. Let it go. Hatred is a burden you no longer need to carry. Only in forgiveness can you be free, Hannah—forgiveness that is well beyond your grasp, or mine, a forgiveness that you can’t find on a trip or even in this cathedral.”

When we forgive we offer the same grace that God has offered us. For grace is getting what we don’t deserve. 

Another Day

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Do you ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself today is going to be a GREAT day? I would like to say I take that approach daily, but let’s be honest…I don’t.

This morning I met with the psychologist and resource teacher at my oldest daughter’s school. I knew the premise of the meeting was to discuss her talking about her birth mom, but then I showed up and got the rest of the story.

Let me back up for a moment…I adopted my oldest daughter when she was 2 years old. She lived with my mom as an infant and came to my house directly from there. She never met her birth mom and we don’t know who her birth father is. My youngest sister is also adopted and recently met a birth sister and brother. This all happened the same weekend we went to San Francisco, where my daughter was born and my sister was meeting her birth family for the first time. This is the same weekend my daughter started asking me the questions I knew would come eventually.

This brings us to the meeting today. Within the last 2 weeks my daughter was asked to write a sentence using words from the board at school. Her word was “sad”. She wrote she was “sad when one mom gave her away to another mom”. This breaks my heart. It was all in context for me but the day those questions and comments start being said my reality breaks into the heartache I feel for my daughter.

I see her hurt when I explain to her that her birth mom couldn’t take care of her because she couldn’t even take care of herself. The tears that rolled down her face as we had this conversation and my heart broke with my daughter. No one says being a parent is going to be easy, and this has been one of those months when life takes us by the strings and whips us around to see where we will land. 

I will continue to love my daughter unconditionally and answer any and all questions that I can, while reassuring her that her father and I love her and we chose her to be our daughter.