One of the best things about finding faith is how it changes perspective. Something formerly regarded as causeless is suddenly appreciated for its purpose. Circumstances and coincidences become designs and plans. Mistakes are seen as… not.
I was intended to live and my life was never a mistake. This is an important fact for an adoptee to grasp, as so many of us know that we are the result of what most would label, ‘a mistake’. But after I found my birth family and began to know them, part of my purpose and the purpose for my being given up for adoption, became apparent.
It was as if a great big hand had physically reached down, picked me up, and placed me elsewhere, with a plan. My half-siblings didn’t have the same privileges as I. They were subjected to some harsh and sad situations as they grew up. My life was not easy in my own way, but neither was theirs. In the end, that big hand reached down, picked me up, and set me back in the midst of my would-have-been family. And I got that rare, “It’s a Wonderful Life” look at what might have been, if.
For years, off and on, I had yearned to meet my mother. I never even considered the fact that my mother might have a family of her own by now. Learning of my adoption, a friend made the comment of how fortunate I was to have the responsibility to pray for two families! But at that time, I wasn’t even considering a search. Still, I was stirred to begin to pray for whatever other family I might have out there.
Several years later, more mature, deeply involved in music ministry, teaching, and watching my children become young adults, I was suddenly taken with the desire to see my mother’s face. Was it my children’s stages in life? Was I just exhausted with the work I was doing? I didn’t understand how I could feel such a deep yearning when I thought I’d closed the door on the idea of a search…I’d thought it was God’s will that I close the door. I would soon discover this was not the case. This gnawing desire had surfaced and my future was about to unravel in ways I’d never expected. No, I was never supposed to give-up, but rather, wait.
Now, emotionally strong enough to follow through with a search, I was a different Cindy than I was in my beginning. Funny how I used to dislike my name, “Cindy” seemed so, so country, but it actually means, “Bringer of Light” and without knowing it, that is exactly what I was about to do, not only for myself, but for a hidden and waiting family. Yet, fear kept me from redirecting my course.
I found myself on a rare day, home alone and sad? How could it be and why now? I lay across my bed and released a flood of tears, feeling like the biggest baby in the world, like I was disappointing God by wanting more, like a blob of snotty, ungrateful mess. The tears wouldn’t stop, nor a continuing plea to God to let me meet my mother and to please let it be okay that I wanted this thing, and to please understand that it didn’t mean I loved Him any less. I may have even told Him I was sorry for asking, I can’t remember, but in delving the archives of my memory, I do seem to recall having blubbered that as part of that wet-faced prayer as my stomach caved into itself with great heaves of misery.
How many times had I prayed such a prayer? It would seem countless, but upon examination, I had never openly asked for this favor. Another emotional obstacle, guilt, had kept me from asking. Wouldn’t that show I was still ungrateful for all the good in my life?
“You have not because you ask not.” The quote landed swiftly, center-stage, to my thoughts and I knew it was okay. The prayer was known before asked, and asking was not only okay, but necessary, if only an admission to self that I had not yet put the dream away. I began to understand, in fact, that in my case, forgetting was never intended. I won’t glibly say that if readers go pray and cry while doing so, the petition to find a birth parent will just automatically be answered. As I said in former articles, there was much preparation and the first and most important part of that was my own emotional healing, which had largely taken place. Still, my admission of needing to know advanced that healing. Coupled with a growing understanding that my birth mother also needed to know, these incentives set my ship’s rudder in a new direction.
Over the next several days and weeks, I realized that most of my life I had fantasized about my birth mother knocking on my door and exclaiming with open arms, “Here I am!” The dream had never been about me taking the reins. No, in nearly forgotten daydreams, I was the passive actress, forever wondering why she never bothered, forever centered on
Woe is me! Nobody wants me!But now, unlike that day nearly a decade earlier, when one of my sisters had paved the way for me to search for my mother, I had a computer and internet, stronger faith, stronger family, a network of loving extended family. Most importantly, I had come to a place where I could see, at least a little, beyond myself.
Was there a way to learn how to search without having to pay a private investigator thousands of dollars as I had been told so many years ago? The obvious course was to look online. That first, seemingly simple movement required a surprising amount of courage. Every little victory after that would be the result of making another decision to take another scary step. It was like learning how to walk in the dark without a flashlight.
Just this side of terrified, I stuck my toe into the outer limits and found I had a box full of matches.
Credits: Cindy Hailey
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