i am adopted. it is a title i was taught to wear with pride. like a cardboard folding crown declaring ‘birthday girl‘. something that comes with congratulations and tell me more and how amazing.
it is a gift. my story. a not secret identity, but still underneath my white button down shirt unless i choose the reveal.
i remember a young moment when all of my child’s selfish built up and i turned to my dad, declaring you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do-you’re-not-my-father!
i hurled the words at him like a weapon and watched them strike with that sinking can’t take it back feeling.
my dad silently handed me forgive in exchange for the hurt and walked away.
my mum turned in a gust of emotion to hand me truth. with the strength of knowing best and wisdom’s right, she nailed a lesson on to my heart.
determined that i would never forget it. she showed me the wound i had inflicted so clearly and close up, i would never want to taste those words in my mouth again.
i knew the truth. i knew that in broad shoulders and strong arms and tucked in stories and enough laughter to drown in—he was my father. and i knew that in no and spankings and taking away and not right now—he was my father.
and when my child arms pushed him away as hard as i could in that moment, he did not move. because he is my father.
when i was fourteen i again made a declaration to my parents. this time…setting down my belief in god. that i would acknowledge his presence but i would not call him mine. that i was not his.
they gave me my freedom–no lesson. this one was not theirs to teach. understanding my parents “work permit” as missionaries in png allowed for my childhood presence there. i needed knowing my faith was not tied to theirs as well.
so in the safety of grace i pushed god away as hard as could. and he did not move.
i knew the truth. i knew that in the light i had seen and the life i had handed over was:
- faith and family that could not be taken away.
- hope that was no less real when i turned my back on it.
- above every yes or no handed me…i am his.
“so he got up and came to his father. but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”