I was the firstborn in my adopted family. My parents didn’t think they could have biological children and decided to adopt me through a closed adoption process. In reflection, I can’t be more thankful for the many years of investment, intentionality and love. But I would be lying If I told you that my adoption journey was bliss. I often talk to parents who are considering adoption, and try to leave them with a realistic picture of one transracial adoptee perspective, through my experience being raised in a family of a different ethnic and cultural background from my own. Issues of abandonment led me to a profound sense of loss.
As an adult transracial adoptee, I like to think the hardest times have passed—those trials and tribulations were a thing of childhood. Yet, there are times I am reminded of some of the lowest moments, where I experienced great loss and confusion. Like most teenagers, I can remember struggling through my emotions, be them moments of joy, betrayal, anger or abandonment.
I remember feeling as if bad life would compound and build on the underlying struggles that I would face. Processing my emotions and identity as a minority within my own family gave way to a sense of hopelessness that led to immense sadness. My search for identity and acceptance led me down trying to find all the right outlets in all the wrong places.
As soon as I was old enough to find my own path, I rejected what I was raised to believe. Yet, I couldn’t catch my breath, and each day that passed I can remember thinking in my head, “why can’t I catch a break?” and “Why can’t I go through one day without something working against me”. The grind. I would dream of better days to come, days full of peace and joy. One day, during the summer of 2006, late at night I went on a walk in the neighborhood and conceptualized my plight:
I look up and witness the vast expanse of stars
I fall to my knee’s tears streaming down my cheeks
I reach out, yet I reach for something I cannot touch
Stars, they flicker in the night sky, and disappear in the dark clouds
I know there out there, yet still I fear
Come back! Shine like you were!
In a pit of despair, my head sinks and my eyes close
Darkness, ever close, closes in around me
Bountiful blessings I know they surround me
Lord see my pain imbue my mind to think of such
My mind’s eye this light creates a warmth I seek.
Images appear and disappear of times well spent
Memories of happiness seem to speak
I feel the cold, encompassing every fiber of my being
Why Lord? Why abandon me in my moment of need?
My soul seeps out emotion like ripples in the water slowly expanding
My loneliness compares to this blackest of night.
Yet, As I peer into the darkness, I feel the faintest of hope.
I pause and close my eyes and ponder the scope.
The elusive dream follows me like a constant companion
The morning star sends me visions of grandeur alluding to freedom
My thoughts now exist to be uprooted from being polluted from this constant illusion
Self- dependency creates a web of dependency, in truth freedom is chained to consistency, but the frequency of dysfunction is in my mind like an intimacy.
My feeble attempts to break my mind of this grind are defined in my broken-hearted epiphany.
Simplicity is the ghost of me, complexity is the root of me.
So, who can unwind what’s been intertwined in this mind of mine?
Lost in thought deep in time the past rots and binds, mine is of the mind.
The logic of reason consumes me like treason at antithesis with consistency of freedom, like running circles in a prison of internal inspiration of fantasy.
Motives lost in intrusion of these visions of illusion
Please Jehovah Rapha, save me from the Author of confusion.
And He did! My heart breaks for the younger me, he so desperately needed support, sought out freedom and he found pain and suffering. But God! Who restores entire Kingdoms, who forms covenants and keeps His promises! Not everyone has to have a dramatic testimony, but for me, God was there… in the valley of adoption.
“..there is hope for the hopeless, peace and forgiveness, there is life in the red letters…” – Red Letters- DC Talk