The other day at church I literally got three different "ah ha" moments regarding God's love and healing for me as an adoptee. It was one of those really good days of insight and comfort.
As I went up for prayer time after the service ~ I noticed all these shadows on the wall beside me ~ outlines of all the people standing and singing/praying.
I'm normally not one to even notice something like that, but for some reason it really caught my attention. Then I got interested and wondered exactly which shadow was mine. I knew I was in the crowd on the wall, but couldn't distinguish my shadow from everyone elses, they looked so gray and similar. Just outlines of people ~ no depth or details.
While searching and trying to distinguish where I was, all of a sudden I realized that familiar moment of indescribable PANIC I felt right before putting everything into my adoption "search" ~ Where am I? Who am I? Am I really there?
I had to sway a little bit and move so as to find "me" among all the others. Then an instant feeling of RELIEF came over me when I finally found the right one ~ yes, I was really there!
It was a familiar feeling ~ of what I have felt my whole life ~ in "searching" mode.
Adoptees deal with identity issues galore. And my little "shadow" experience at church was just a picture to me of the feelings I have "stuffed" and tolerated for many years ~ even after searching for and finding my birth family. For then I've had to search for who I am in that new-found truth, reality, of connection to them and to myself, finally.
What I realized is that I had based my entire identity on what I DID ~ not WHO I was ~ because I truly didn't really know WHO I was. It was like looking at those shadows on the wall ~ not real ~ no depth or detail ~ just a dim outline to go by.
I had to MOVE ~ DO Something ~ to feel real or to find my existance. I based my identity and worth on my work for many, many years. I was a social worker and put great pride in "helping" others ~ not realizing that I found comfort in focusing on and helping (even secretly judging) others because it protected me from having to look too deeply inside my own life, identity, pain, judgement, insecurity.
If I stayed busy DOING things that I thought were "good" then that MUST mean I was good enough, to compensate for the nagging emptiness, unworthiness, and rejection I felt but tried not to acknowledge, because it hurt too bad. After all, I spent my entire childhood telling myself the same thing I heard so often ~ "I am chosen" ~ and that certainly left no room to question or feel or examine or heal.
I once heard Joyce Meyer say that "God created us as human-beings, not human-doings for a reason." Isn't that the truth!
It wasn't until I found other adoptees who were courageous enough to be "real" and share their inner stories, that I could begin to become "real" to myself and face the "black hole" of terrifying emotions inside of me that no amended birth certificate, adopted name, or false-self could cover, no matter how hard I tried.
God knew I needed Honesty and Truth within myself in order to heal ~ and unfortunately "Adoption" as we practice it in Western Society ~ well, it's a far cry from being truth-based ~ secrecy, sealed records, high-powered marketing schemes begging for mothers to relinquish their God-given miracles & motherhood because of not having enough money, or for being too "young". All this, so their babies can fulfill the desires of those who desperately want and feel they have the right to be "parents" at the expense of other's trauma and loss ~ ignoring scientific-based studies regarding the inner-life of infants in their mother's wombs and the tragic effects of separation ~ not to mention, the honest writings of adult adoptees worldwide ~~~~~~~~~ YES, sometimes the truth is hard to hear, hard to accept ~ but that doesn't negate the truth and reality that is.
Psalm 51:6 ~ "But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being."
Thank you, God, for DESIRING honesty in my heart, for being there when myself & others can't bear to believe or hear the pain that is there ~ for healing me and helping me every day, to BE the human-being you created me to be. My worth not based on my works or deeds, but on the true me who you help me to find.