May 24, 2013

Adoptee Mentors for a New Generation

I don't know who has more of a challenge -- baby scoop adoptees such as myself or children being raised in this orphan-craze-people-call-ministry that we live amongst today.

Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos

Both have their huge challenges and some days it seems an exercise in futility to try to bring change. But, there are significant glimpses of hope I see around me. I see the work my adoptee and first mother friends are doing around the world and I know for sure, change is happening -- just not as fast as we'd like.

Here's an important truth I'm realizing: Young adoptees need out-of-the-fog adoptee role models. By outing ourselves and living our truth, we set an example that it's okay for them to live theirs.

Recently I was preaching at a conference and shared my story. During the altar time I was praying for people and felt drawn to one young lady -- a middle schooler. I knew nothing of her life or circumstances, but I walked over and placed my hand on her head and began to speak a word of knowledge and wisdom. Among other things, I said, "You're living in fear. There is so much in your heart that has never been spoken and it's time for that to change. I speak confidence, and boldness, and the spirit of might over you! God says do not be afraid, do not hide, do not allow anyone to intimidate's time to share what you feel..." She reacted very strongly, crying and clinging to another friend who had come forward with her.  

On the last day of the conference after the last session was dismissed she came running up and said,  "Will you come outside and meet my Mom?" I said I'd be glad to. She seemed so proud to introduce me to her mother who was there to pick her up and take her home from the event. I walked outside with her and immediately noticed her mother was of a different race and looked absolutely nothing like her. The mom was very warm towards me and said, "It's so nice to meet you. It seems something special has happened for my daughter this weekend. Thank you for all that you've done." I said it was my privilege and for some reason she felt comfortable to open up and tell me that she had adopted several children including the daughter who was standing with us. I had no idea prior to this that I had been ministering to an adopted girl.

We chatted for a few moments and then I needed to go wrap things up to get to the airport. As I was walking back to get my belongings to go, the young lady approached once more and pressed a note she had written and neatly folded into a small square, into my palm. "For later, when you leave..." she said.

Once I got to the airport and settled in with my Starbucks, I opened the square and the first words I saw  were: "I am confident now. I am strong. I will say what I am feeling inside. Thank you."

Though each generation faces it's unique challenges, some commonalities of being an adoptee will never change. Those coming behind us need our example.

They need to see strong, fully empowered adoptees who speak up.

They need to see that even though we won't always receive the response what we long for -- we remain confident and strong.

They need to see our resilience -- that despite our wounds, we do not give up.

They need to know, they are not alone.