Finding Out Who We Really Are
Just as I’ve done for the past eighteen years, I lift down the box from the back of my closet, feeling all the stealth of a Cold War spy. The box might as well be marked TOP SECRET. Few people know of the contents: my journals from my pregnancy with Sarah, the two hospital ID bracelets, mine and the tiny one that clasped around her baby ankle, and fragments of dried pink flower petals almost gray with the passage of time. Clues to that secret me, mother of a secret child. (Excerpt from Finding Sarah Finding Me)
How many of us have secrets in our lives that underscore the very essence of our being and yet our nearest and dearest have no inkling. For 20 years my precious children had no idea they had a half-sister. In 1979, a year before I met my husband, I had given birth to a baby girl whom I named Sarah and relinquished her to adoption. With God’s guidance I believed I was doing the very best I could for my child. For the next 20 years as God blessed me with a wonderful husband and our 3 kids, I prayed for the reunion with Sarah when she became an adult. But the reunion was not the joyful reunion that I had always envisioned. Our adoption reunion marked the beginning of my long emotional breakdown.
The reunion with my birth-daughter underscored that I had no idea who I really was. Was I wife to David, Mom to Lana, Kyle and Robert, but not to my firstborn whom I could never stop thinking of as my child? My heart cried out in this excerpt from my book:
Dear God, who am I? . . . Hagar dashing out to the desert? Naomi who whines in her alter ego of bitter Mara? Hannah who also gave up her baby and has been blessed with more children? Digging for myself in God’s Word isn’t a bad place to start as I unearth parallels to my own life in those ancient and messy biblical lives.
Then later in my emotional journey I learned (also from Finding Sarah Finding Me):
My love for my kids beats so strong at times I swear it will burst my heart. And I’ve been unable to cut my maternal ties for Sarah, though I tried for a short time. If I can’t forget Sarah, but actually pine for her still, how much less can God forget me? My besotted love for my kids is often marred by my own neediness and grief, but it remains by human standards a powerful, primal devotion that will never cease. Yet this very pulsing of my maternal heart is a smaller picture of God’s great love . . . . We find ourselves in the face of Christ.
Irish-born Christine Lindsay is author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Christine’s ancestry inspires her writing, but it was her experience in relinquishing her baby girl to adoption that inspires all Christine writes and speaks on.