April 11, 2016

   
 
The emotional impact of losing my family through adoption, 
and then finding them again in 1990 is felt every day.
 
When I look back over the years, sometimes I'm amazed. 
It's true.
 Had I given up through the highs and lows of this journey,
I may have forfeited the laughter and love 
my son and I shared with my Dad at lunch today.
The full-circle Thanksgivings we've cherished with my maternal family. 

We all live in the same town. 
We experience life more and more together. 
The joys, and the sorrows.

    
I've come to know and accept myself,
and grown closer to my entire family,
by birth and adoption, 
through facing disenfranchised grief 
who completely understands and loves me.

Oftentimes, only after He's relentlessly pursued
my desperate running heart,
day after numb day. 

A Savior who I still don't trust completely,
but who has always been faithful to answer my prayer...
"Father, please help me trust You."



 
 One day, several years ago, while sitting at my paternal grandparent's (by birth) kitchen table, my Papa Sid showed my cousin, Lisa and me a beautiful purple plaque,
with the word "Shalom" painted in colorful script. 
He explained to us that his Hebrew name was "Shalom" and it meant "Peace." 
Our beloved Grandfather passed away unexpectedly just a few days later. 
We were so young at the time, we didn't understand the impact
and the blessing he was sharing with us.
 
"Shalom" means "peace, wholeness, nothing missing or broken."


 
A few years before, my maternal grandmother (by birth), Carolyn,
called the family into her room on the 14th floor of St. John's Hospital 
and had us recite The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 together. 
She passed away the next day.


  

Thanksgiving morning 2013 I would find myself
on the same floor of that hospital,
holding my (adoptive) Mom's hand as she peacefully left earth,
just as the sun was starting to rise. 
My adoptive family's surname was Shepard. 
Years later, it occurred to me. 
 
 The Lord (Jehovah Rohi) has truly been my Shepard. 
He has taken this lamb into His arms
and held me close to Him, my entire life. 
He cares.  He feeds.  He restores.

 
 
A few days ago, I was having an especially sad day...
and those days always seem
to remind me of my Mothers
The one I never got to meet,
because she passed away before our reunion...
and the one who raised me.

 
 
My sweet husband listened, and helped me remember. 
 
"Really though, don't we all originate from Heaven...
our real Home?"
 
And he's right.
 
Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and where is the place of my rest?"
Is. 66:1 
 
Father, thank you for these gentle reminders.

 
 
"I'll pour robust well-being
into her like a river.
As a mother comforts her child,
so I will comfort you." 
                               Is. 66:12-13                                


 

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