"" Life A Bit Sweeter: Saving Her???

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Saving Her???

You may know that for a little time now, I've been adamantly opposed to others referring to our adoption as us saving our daughter.  It's something that has gotten under my skin by very well-meaning family members and friends.  Yesterday, I started thinking about it and started asking myself the question, "Why does that term bother me so much?"

As I began to think over it, I began to realize that it all comes from my childhood.  Just before I turned 5, I was taken in and later 'adopted' into my family by my aunt and uncle after my mom died.  (They are pictured here with "C" and "MJ".)  I always worried about whether or not I would be good enough for my new parents.  I wondered if they would love me the same as their biological children.  The truth of the matter is that they did and they have.  You would have never known that my aunt and my uncle who I still call mom and dad were not my biological parents.  They never treated me any different.  In fact, sometimes my siblings thought I was the favorite child.  When I think about those years, I worried a lot about fitting into my new family no matter how much my 'new' parents tried to reassure me.

That brings us to our Ethiopian daughter.  I guess I've been so hard on anybody using the terms saving or rescuing when referencing our daughter because I don't want her to ever overhear anything from well-meaning people who might refer to her as being orphaned, rescued, or saved.  That term isn't used with regards to our two biological boys "C" or "MJ".  I simply don't want her to ever feel in heart that she might be a charity case.  Whether it's said or not, I believe when you don't live with your biological parents, you go through so much mentally and internally wondering why your parent(s) didn't fight hard for you.  There's a lot of self-talk that goes on and sometimes a lot of feeling rejected even if those around you shower you with love.  For many, many years into my early young adult life, I went through people-pleasing because of this insecurity as an adopted child.  I'm not saying that all adopted children will go through any of this; it's just my story.  Yet no matter how much I went through at the age of 5 and older, God is a complete healer.  He is a restorer.  I am amazed at what He has done in my life and who He has used to help me accomplish His purpose for my life.  Who would have thought that a child who was once orphaned herself would become a mother to an orphan?  So here I am, God.  Take all that was meant to harm me and use it for Your glory.

The truth of the matter when I look at the facts is that my husband and I ARE taking her from a life that without the proper medical treatment, nutrition, and resources, statistics say she may not reach the age of 5, nevertheless make it into adulthood.  It is our hope that as a family we will continue to sow into the lives of Ethiopian families even after her adoption.  So if this is rescuing her, I am okay with it because it's not me doing the rescuing or saving.  This is God's doing, His mission and He's the same One who has rescued and saved me time and time again. 


amy smith said...

brilliant michelle..
exactly spot on.
so thankful for an explanation to my own distaste for the statement.

Michelle said...

amy...so glad u understand. i don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. i just felt it was right for me to explain my heart.

ReaganF said...

Beautiful post, Michelle. Thanks for sharing your heart! -Reagan (from YG)

Kristi J said...

beautifully written!! :) kristi
ps..will email back with ya tonight after the kids are in bed :) kj

Michelle said...

Thanks Reagan & Kristi. I was hoping I would be able to clearly articulate what was in my heart without offending anyone. I just want others to understand the impact those words can have after an adoption.

@Kristi: thanks so much for the response!

Angela said...

I agree Michelle, very beautifully written. I feel your passion. We've all been adopted into the body of Christ. What a beautiful and truthful analogy.

Michelle said...


April said...

I saw much agree with you Michelle, I too do not like those terms and always correct people, that I was the one in fact saved through the miracle of adoption, my girls have given me a million more times than what I could give them..and that is the truth, so that is my answer whenever I hear that from others...thanks for sharing..

Michelle said...

Thanks for understanding April! BTW: You live in one of the best places...I just love everything about Georgia...I really hope to one day move that way.

Sarah said...

Amen sister. I love your perspective on this. This is beautifully written. Bless you!

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