Monday, May 23, 2016

Pretty Pretty Package


Pretty, Pretty Package

Oh, pretty, pretty package
Mysterious to me
I ask today with trembling,
"From whence came ye?"

I know you hold my secrets, 
Perhaps some horrid truths,
At least that's what is whispered
From lips that are less loose.

When asked, my momma tells me, 
And Daddy tells me, too,
"Just leave those secrets in there,
That's what is best for you."

But I'm older now, and wiser
With Jesus at my side
And I'm opening my package...


Your paper oh, so pretty, 
Your bow so lovely, too!
But why are you so tightly sealed
In red tape and Gorilla Glue?

I know you want revealing;
You want your wrappings off!
But there are those who will not talk
While others only scoff.

But wait, I'll find some scissors,
And sharpen them and cut
Through screws and nails and anything
They use to keep you shut.
Because you see, I'm 'special'
And I can do great things
(At least they say things like that 
    When I trade my horns for wings.)

Just watch...I'll claim my package!
Just watch me tear inside!
Just watch me turn from wood to flesh, 
Before their very eyes!

I'll find my real beginning
Beyond the Sea of Lies
I hardly give a flying squirrel
About the questions why.

Oh, pretty, pretty package,
Wait just a moment more
The new day dawns and soon will come
When you're an open door!

The gift that you hold patiently, 
That gift that I know waits for me,
That gift of truth the world will see
Is what I've waited for.
Yes, what I've waited for.


Have You Been Shredded? (Or, Another reason Why I Love Compost)

Of course you have. We all have been left in a heap after someone runs us through the shredder for the sake of their own relief. That's the kind of shredding I'm talking about...and anyone, (not just those involved in the adoption triad), who has ever had to deal with the 'Big R', (Rejection), is doubly susceptible to the the wounds shredding leaves.

How do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again?

Picture this: A pile of shredded wood lies beneath the wood shredder. The shredder, relieved of  it's dreadful deed, now stands still and silent. The pieces of wood beneath try to gather themselves back into what they were before the shredding, but they don't even have the energy to move. They are still alive, but in different form.

All the kings horses and all the kings men can't return this pile into the tree it once was.

As the pieces lie there confused and wounded in thousands of places, they begin to break down. They were created to be able to heal and so they focus their energy towards that, but to the naked eye, no healing can be seen. The pieces panic inwardly, fearing their final death.

But it is not death that awaits.

It's transformation.

This is the kind of transformation that can only come of being shredded. Of breaking down from one form and becoming a new form. I believe this transformation begins best and most truly when we invite Jesus to be our Savior. He's not a king with king's horses...He's THE KING with HIS HORSES, and there's a universe of difference between the two.

A lot of people think when we ask Jesus in, everything just...BOOM!...changes overnight. But anyone who's walked through depression and anger and the host of other negative emotions as a Christian, knows there's some kind of wrong thinking in that thinking. While our spirit does change immediately, our problems, or others that come to take their place, will always be in our world as long as we're a part of this world. And if we choose to leave this world of our own accord, there will be no relief...SO, we are left with this mind-numbing problem... We have to deal with being shredded. (UGH!)

What? Someone else maliciously shredded me and I have to deal with it?
Uh...Yeah. Bummer, right?

But you see, our Maker made us in such a way, that He can work in us even while we're lying in what we think is a 'useless heap', torn into thousands of tiny bits and pieces. And if we just sit still and trust Him, some amazing things will happen organically, because with Him in our lives, we can reform into what He intended from the beginning...way back before He placed this spirit He created that I call 'me' to be in that womb... (Because you see, He knew us BEFORE He put us in the womb. ~Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...")

Let's go back to our shredded wood pile...

At first there seems to be no real difference, but give it a few days, then plunge a hand into the middle of it. What do you feel? (If you're a gardener, you already know.) You feel heat. This 'dead' wood is producing living heat. With time, the heat grows in intensity. If the shreds could talk, they'd probably scream out in pain...and yet, they don't move. They stay there, they allow the heat. If they could think, maybe the self-conversation would go something like this: "I have to stay here until the process is done. I have to stay here through this nearly unbearable heat. It won't consume me, even though it feels like it will. If I want to become what I am to become, I have to let the heat do its work in me."

After a while, the heat grows so intense that there IS outward evidence of something taking place within...Ah! There is life, after all! Walk by the pile on a cool day and the evidence permeates the very air around it as visible steam rises from its midst. Yes, the evidence is there...something is happening on the inside. And the ironic thing is that we can pull such hope from that understanding, yet the reason for that visible sign is the breaking down of what's beneath the surface of that pile.

Knowing this, we maybe take a second look. Maybe all that steam isn't so great after all, especially if what it signifies is something becoming less. Isn't that what breaking down does to us...makes us less?

Yes, it does.

So, do we rethink our views on the greatness of the visible steam or do we rethink our views about breaking down? We are at the cusp of something important here. The choice we make in our thinking matters. Immensely.

If we choose to believe that the steam is not evidence of something good; if we choose to believe that breakdown is bad, then that shredded wood is indeed, useless. Might as well burn it, right?

But if we stand on our belief that the steam is evidence of breakdown and breakdown is good because it produces something of value in the end, the whole picture changes, doesn't it?

Did you know that the same thing going on with this shredded wood pile happens with cast out and piled up manure? In time, the heat produced by this 'useless' product turns it into something else...SO MUCH SO, that when the process is completely finished, the manure has a pleasing aroma. (If the smell is bad, the product is not finished, so don't gauge the accuracy of this analogy by the stinky stuff you may have bought in bag from a source that's in a hurry to make money.) The truth is, you can't hurry perfection.

So how long does it take, this process of becoming something useful from something discarded? In nature, we call the process 'composting'. Composting shredded wood takes a minimum of three months, but that's when we're pushing the hurry button. Six months is better, and a year is better, still.

I don't know that as humans, we're ever completely done 'composting'. But with patience, our shreds will be transformed into something useful for the nourishment of others. Of this, I am certain. And when the time is right for this to begin, there will be signs and others will recognize the signs as a confirmation to us of what God's Spirit is speaking to our spirit.

Back to the pile...
What happens in all this heat? Oh, the amazing things that take place!!
Bugs that were in the wood when it was in its former form as a tree, die.
Viruses that plagued the tree, causing it to turn its energies toward the same problem over and over and over again, die.
This 'slow fermentation' intensifies the mineral properties of the wood, bringing out the best of its DNA.

It becomes something it never could have become if it had stayed a tree...if it had never been shredded.

NOW, after going through the heat, it has become a product of great value. People will come in groves and pay good money for just a little bit of it. Why? Because now, it has special properties it didn't have before...

~It protects the precious plants in gardens from...get this...heat. And yes, cold, too.
~It helps keeps water in during dry spells and absorbs excess water during wet spells. (Protects against excess.)
~It imparts nutrients into the soil.
~It builds the soil.
~Eventually, it breaks down so completely that it is what we commonly call, 'dirt'. But everyone who gardens has a different name for this particular type of dirt.... To us, it is so valuable that we call it 'Black Gold'.
~By the time it's life truly is spent, it isn't really spent because it has become a part of the soil it has enhanced, the plants it has enhanced, maybe even another tree that will one day go through the shredder and face the heat.

But that new 'tree-shredded-to-chips' will make it through the heat because it has good DNA.

Just like me. Just like you.

Because no matter what our roots, (and I'm not in any way undermining the importance of knowing our roots), whether we know our roots or not, whether we discover them to be 'good' or 'bad', we all have, at our root of roots, the best DNA known to man...and that's the DNA of our Maker.

As we journey through the sawing-downs of life... some call it 'carrying our cross'...we have to face shredding in one way or another, we have to face heat in one way or become who we are to be. It's a necessary thing, but we don't have to do it alone. In fact, it's in the trying to go it alone that we may make that awful choice to burn our chips rather than have them become 'black gold'.

My last 'shredding' took place in March. It was awful. I cried out to God in a way I haven't in a loooong time. I haven't had to. But someone I love dearly had, out of their own pain, thrown me into their high-powered shredder. I found myself in a thousand pieces on the ground as that person, like the shredder that had done it's job, walked away seemingly unscathed. (I say 'seemingly' because no matter how much we want to believe we can, we cannot bring harm to others without also harming ourselves.)

Funny thing, my pastor had told me just weeks before that I needed to be ready for battle because the enemy (satan) would hate and try to keep "The Adoptee Heart" from 'becoming'. [<My word.] And funnier thing, the attack had come as a direct result of my following Jesus into a place I didn't want to go in regard to my own adoption story. It took every last ounce of courage God gave me and I still nearly balked. Then, as He walked me through obedience, the hail!

But my Savior saves me all the time. He saved me from despair through His Word during that phase of my composting. The heat was so intense, I was tempted to give it all up. The hope and dream of helping others through the rip-tides of this 'adoption thing', the reality of what the truths of adoption mean to me and millions of others, the desire to bring awareness to the world and the Christian world in particular.  I KNOW there's more heat ahead, but He will be faithful to bring me...and you...through to that place where we turn into gold.

I printed and carried the words God gave me that day,( through my open Bible that I did not remember opening to that page), in my purse for over a month. Every time the temptation to fear and lament over the words that had shredded my core rose up, I pulled out those words and read them. Initially, God gave those words in comfort to the Israelite nation in speaking to them of their beloved Jerusalem, but that day, the words and comfort were for me. Today, I feel strongly led to share them with you. I pray as I write this that your heart will see the meaning God saved for your understanding TODAY through His words :

Isaiah 66: 9 and 11-14a

:9 "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord.
"Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
:11 "For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
:12 For this is what the Lord says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted..."
:14 "When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants..."


So, how do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again? We don't. We let THE KING re-form Humpty into something maybe, scrambled eggs and cheese...minus the hard outer shell.

May His peace be your peace today!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Runaway Adoptees

Another adoptee run-away. Another adoptee attempted suicide. Another adoptee 'generational curse' trying to manifest its ugly head. Another adoptee in a mental institution.
Right in my my own neighborhood.
Right among my own friends.

Today, (again), is another down-pouring day. It can make one feel melancholy. Especially after receiving news like this just yesterday. But then, there's a part of me grateful for the rain, as if God is crying for these poor souls who have either lost their way, are trying to regain it or even find it for the first time. But I don't just feel for the adoptees...I hurt for their bewildered parents and children, too. Do they have Jesus as their Safety Net? Do they know where to go to get the kind of help that understands the root cause of the 'primal wound symptoms' displayed by so many adoptees?

As I talked to one mom yesterday, we spoke of her child's need to have therapists that understand the adoptee heart. We cannot assume that because one is a therapist, they automatically 'get it'. My resources repeatedly state there is an amazing lack of training in this area and often the ones who pursue deeper understanding of adoption and post-adoption related issues are in some way connected to the adoption world themselves. I hope to give my friend more info on what to seek in a therapist today. I love her so much and hate to see her pain as we speak of her adopted child.

I also had coffee with another adoption-connected lady yesterday and then (!) ran into her again later in the day. (Meeting these two women in a single day, and one of them twice is not something to be ignored, folks...THIS is what we call a 'Divine Appointment'!) The 'coffee lady' has a history of serious struggles and the more we talked the more I wondered if she were adopted. With some gentle probing she revealed that her mother was adopted. My new friend's descriptions of some of her mother's actions over the years were 'textbook' adoptee heart manifestations. As she spoke, I was reminded of the son of another friend who was adopted and how his mother's difficulties had reached past herself to her own children. In the (so far) end, he was addicted to drugs and lost his wife and children. Today I believe his addiction to be the result of his attempts to deal with the sad and angry emotions caused by  his mother's frequent abandonments. She had never healed from her own perceptions of abandonment as an infant adoptee. As an adoptee myself, I was a little shaken to make these correlations. How much of this was me? How much were my children affected by my post-adoption reactions?

Don't think I haven't gone there before. I have, and I've had to walk close to Jesus in those times so as not to allow satan a way to pull me into his abyss of guilt and shame.

One thing adoptees are 'famous for' is running away. I ran away once as a teenager and once as an adult. In my case, neither incident lasted more than an hour. (No, really, I'm such a sap!) However, I did learn how to run away mentally and emotionally. I remember how I would read, read, read as a child and then how my mother would yell at me, "You're hiding! You're hiding! WHY are you hiding!?" Well, for one thing, she was a fearful woman and I was scared of her and when you're scared, you freaking hide. But she was 'hiding' in books was more than a love for books, it was a form of escape. We all do it. I just did it more than the average bear.

I could be tempted, in the past, into believing myself weird, but actually, it was my God-smart mind working for me where I was incapable of working for myself. It was a coping mechanism that as far as I knew, didn't hurt anyone...It seemed to be a safe place for everyone concerned.and as an adoptee who vacillated between complacency and rebellion, (sitting on the outside, standing with fist raised on the inside), this was a good choice, even though my awareness of my reasoning went no further than, "I just like to read!"

Unlike other adult adoptees who would leave their children for hours, days, months or even years, I didn't run away from my children. They were the only DNA of me that I knew of in the whole world! I couldn' least not physically. I was conditioned to a certain standard of performance and running away didn't fall within my particular boundaries. (I broke my boundaries in other ways.) But I'm pretty sure there were times when I 'disconnected' from them emotionally and mentally. I realize I'm being extremely vulnerable in sharing this, but the truth is, my relationship between myself and my children could be better. It's good, but it could be better and although I'm still sorting through this, I believe at the root is maybe this thing of my heart running away when times got tough.

Once I followed Jesus, I followed to the best of my ability but I didn't understand my own woundedness and spent a lot of time trying to perfect my outer shell in order to cover the hole in my heart...a hole I didn't really know I had. I just knew I often felt 'off'...incomplete... Well, as many adoptees will tell you, it's a hard thing to explain. Not having full revelation of truth in my life...truth of heritage, truth of why I react to stressors in a certain way and how that is connected to the 'primal wound' of an infant-mother or child-mother separation, I made mistakes. Some of them were pretty big, too. I still make them, but not as many, certainly not as big and I believe that is God's plan for everyone associated with adoption in one way or another...Progressive healing. But part of the reason for The Adoptee Heart...part of it... is the hope that adoptees younger, far younger, than I (I am a grandmother, after all), will start their progressive healing earlier than I did.

Actually, it's God's plan for all of mankind, isn't it? That we get better from the many and varied stumblers satan has set before us, planning for our demise? That we have patience with ourselves and with each other as we hold on to Him -our life raft- and make that long swim toward shore?

So, what's all this have to do with the stories I began today's post with, I wonder? Well, from what I've learned, running away is a very, very typical adoptee trait. Some run away physically, some fantasize about it, some do it via books, internet games, fantasy worlds, addictions...It's escape, people. We need to recognize this truth because there's more to it. When we need to escape it means there's something we need to escape from.  Yes, the stresses of everyday living can make anyone feel the need to escape, but wouldn't that mean the scarred heart is even more susceptible? Could this scarring be what makes so many adoptees take running away to a deeper, more serious level...even to the level of attempting to permanently run away through suicide? (Remember, the suicide rate among adoptees is 4 times that of non-adoptees.)

It is true that no man is an island. What affects us DOES affect the world around us, no matter how private we think we are able to keep our 'stuff'.

Maybe we can just chew on that a while. Ask God what HE thinks. Look at some of the materials put out by Deanna Shrodes at Adoptee Restoration and maybe take a gander at the resources Sherrie Eldridge has to offer on her website. But let's not ignore pain...Pain is a symptom presented by something in need of healing. Let's not run away from the painful truth, hiding behind the skirts of Jesus as we say, "Well, I have Jesus and that's all I need." Yes, He IS all we need, but part of being in Him is following Him and He leads us where we need to go! The Third Person of God, Holy Spirit, is our flashlight...searching the darkest corners of our hearts. Not only does He bring to light those places we don't want others to see, most importantly, He brings to light those places WE don't want to see!


Try not to let these truths bring despair today. God shows us truth to set us FREE. Despair is the last thing I want for anyone reading this! Remember that Jesus truly is there for us. ALWAYS. But He's not a sugar-coater. He majors in reality and if we want to see the suicide numbers, institutionalized numbers and a huge number of other negative adoptee statistics go down, we need to face the truth of the this one fact: Adoption IS trauma. Some may heal from it without much help. Most don't. Can we just say "Okay, I get it?", join hands and let the healing begin?

I love you,


There is also the the possibility of adoptees running TO rather than FROM something when they run away. Here is an important excerpt from "Journey of the Adopted Self" by adoption author, Betty Jean Lifton (adoptee, adoptive mother and Ph.D.):

Running away has been called the "roaming phenomenon" and a "symbolic search" for the parents. We could say that the adopted adolescent is not running from but to something. One man remembers that he would head toward Denver, where he was born, with the thought that his birth mother might be there. It didn't matter that he didn't know her name and had no way of looking her up. 
Some adoptees go to live in a friend's house, as if wanting to try another family out for size. This substitute family can satisfy their fantasy of what it would have been like to grow up with their real family. Others run for the sake of running, as if they can somehow escape themselves or their fate. "Running away from yourself is the hardest thing to do," according to one woman, who ended up a ward of the state at thirteen."

Monday, May 2, 2016

There's This Guy...

I will often point to Deanna Shrodes' site and others because their words bring added or new light to adoption issues I'm already contemplating.

Well, there's this guy I found today over at Origins, Inc. I read his article, "Adoption and The Bible" and it said a few things God had already been speaking to me about...(But this article is several years old, so God's been speaking to others before I was even considering such things!) I liked what I read because so much of it resounded with my spirit, and I believe most importantly, God's.

This man's pseudonym is Rohan McEnor. At this article's writing, he was protecting his daughter, but apparently there is no longer a need for that, because I found his book, Rebecca's Law (FREE download!), which relates his own story, at another site in which he uses his true name, Cameron Horn.

This evening I read another of his articles which showed how adoption in the modern sense violates every one of the Ten Commandments. This father of a relinquished infant who never wanted her to be relinquished shows his anger, boiling just beneath the surface in this article. Apparently, some accused him of blasphemy after it was published. I suspect it was more because of his approach than his reasoning.

I too, felt his anger, but I do not believe he wrote blasphemy. It seems to me he kept a very rational mind while writing in spite of his anger. Jesus got angry about injustices placed upon God's children when he overturned tables, right? He didn't like it that man was taking such advantage of man under the guise of doing service to God. Well, of course, I know this guy isn't Jesus and I'm NOT making that kind of comparison, but if it's okay for Jesus to have the temporary appearance of a madman because of injustice, I would think it okay for Mr. Horn to write with anger about people who hurt people while hiding their real motives behind the skirts of Jesus Christ. That kind of stuff makes me mad enough to spit. But the truth is, it doesn't matter whether or not it makes me angry. It doesn't matter if I can get thousands of people to 'side' with me.

What matters is what God thinks.

I am not a Bible scholar with a degree in theology. I cannot and do not want to argue over Scripture. I lean, probably to a fault, to the heart of what God speaks to us and I believe this guy is speaking God's heart on the matter of completely unnecessary adoptions. I am a pretty good listener, however, and if my understanding is skewed, I want God to show me. Still, I'm thinking this guy has it pretty much right.

I hope you'll take a look at "Adoption and the Bible". It contains some amazing tidbits and 'truth bombs'. Mr. McEnor/Horn didn't just write opinions, his work is well-documented and I do hope he writes "Father to the Fatherless: What the Bible really says about adoption", the book he spoke of in the first section of the article. I think I'd find his insights valuable.

I am several chapters into Rebecca's Law now and can hardly wait to finish here so I can go back there and see what happened next. I am a little afraid of what I'm going to find...