As you might have noticed, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about my experience with adoption. It seems that this blog has become an outlet for answering those questions after years and years of thought. I think one question I was asked that is probably the most important to answer is: “Why did they just give you away?”
This is also by far the hardest question anyone could be expected to answer. It’s the question that gets down to the nitty-gritty of adoption. When it’s worded this way, I feel my back stiffen a little, and I get defensive of my own worth. I think the phrase “give away” is what does it for me. When you give something away, it’s painless and easy – like handing off a baton in a relay. Even though the question is meant to be harmless, it stirs an emotion like my existence is somehow devalued. The bond between a mother and her child is so unbreakable that just “giving away” a baby is absurd to me. It's more than giving your child away, rather it's giving a piece of yourself.
I, of course, asked my parents this exact question over and over. Why did they do it? Why did they give me away? The decision to place me for adoption goes beyond worldly means. Every time that question came up, my parents answered unwaveringly the same: “Your birth parents loved you SO much that they wanted to give you a better life than they could offer you at the time.” Nothing has stuck with me more than that pure example of sacrificial love. Sacrificial love is giving a piece of you, however painful, for the better of someone else. I'm so thankful that my parents who raised me reminded me of that truth so often. They helped save a place in my heart for the day I would meet my biological family.
I’ve always related the love from my biological family to the love of Jesus. Jesus loved humanity SO much that he sacrificed himself on the cross to give us eternal life (John 3:16). Wow. How breathtaking and humbling is that! I grew up learning that my biological parents loved me so much that they humbled themselves and made the biggest commitment of sacrificial love that any parent could make. It's like bringing the gospel into a real life situation, where brokenness can become beautiful. That example of pure, selfless love is how I want my love for people to be in all situations. Without realizing it, my birth parents played a huge part in defining love for me. They’ve had an impact on my family that will last for generations.
I feel blessed beyond measure because I have two “sets” of parents that love me to the ends of the Earth. I’ve had the opportunity to ask my biological family the question that stumped and overwhelmed me for so many years. I felt silly after I asked them, because their response was exactly as my parents said it would be. There is nothing a parent won’t do for their child; however complicated, the same is true for adopted children, too.