My Adoption: Feeling Unwanted

abandonment-quote-mario-balotelli

Earlier this week, I watched a YouTube video where people had to try not to cry while watching a handful of videos. One of the videos in the challenge stuck with me tremendously.

One of the videos was a scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In this scene, Will’s father leaves. Although I have never seen the show, it is evident that Will’s father left him as a child.

But, in this particular scene that is part of the challenge, Will is in his teens and his father walks out on him again. This time, he is bailing on a trip the two had planned.

When Will discovers this, he ends up going on an angry rant that essentially said if he had made it this far in life without his dad, he could continue to do so for the rest of his life. He could continue to accomplish other great feats without his father.

Poignantly, at the end of his rant, Will asks his uncle, “How come he don’t want me, man?”

For most of the people participating in the challenge, the video itself did not make them too emotional. However, it made me extremely emotional. In fact, I broke down as I watched the scene.

My tears just would not stop flowing.

Because even though I have never had a parent walk out on in me in the way that Will’s character did on the show, I am extremely familiar with the feeling of being unwanted. For, I was adopted at the age of five.

My biological mother gave me up for adoption at my birth.

And to this day, I still ask what Will’s character asked, “How come she didn’t want me?”

That scene and those words specifically were another one of those moments that clearly depicts exactly how it feels to be adopted. And it assured me I am not alone in my thoughts.

I would love to tell you I no longer live in fear of rejection. I would love to tell you I do not heavily struggle with abandonment issues. I would love to tell you that I no longer have the idea in the back of mind that those close to me will give up on me and walk out on me.

I would love to tell you I do not constantly wonder what I did wrong to make my mom not want me.

I would love to tell you I do not constantly wonder what mistake I’ll make that is the last straw for someone. For, I have had a physical therapist tell my mom he simply could not see me anymore, that he could not deal with me, that I was too much for him.

I would love to tell you I have healed.

But, I have not.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever fully heal. I think with time and counseling, I can reach a point in my life where I can manage the feelings. But, I don’t know if I will ever fully heal.

For, if my experiences of adoption have taught me anything, it is that once someone is an orphan, a small part of them will always believe they are an orphan—no matter how many people in their lives try to suggest otherwise.

Fears of rejection and abandonment are real and fierce. They can be crippling and debilitating. They are a lifelong battle with adoption.

It is extremely difficult to let go of the fact that someone gave you up.

Truthfully, it is only within the past few months that I have begun to open myself up to the possibility that my biological mother gave me up for good reasons—that she did it out of immense love for me, that she did so because she could not care for me—not because I was unlovable or unwanted.

I am nearly a quarter century old. And I am only just now beginning to invite that possibility.

For, I will probably never really know why she gave me up. And I am going to have to be okay with that one of these days.

But, until then, I tell you once more on this platform, adoption is not easy. It is not easy on those who adopt and especially not on those who are adopted. Take it from someone who knows all too well.

My call to you is this: If you know someone who is adopted, please be mindful of what I have shared today. Please be mindful of their potential thoughts and feelings.

And if you feel led, watch the scene I am referencing here to get a better sense of just how difficult it can be. I will say, there is a curse word in this scene, which I do not personally condone. But, it does poignantly visualize just how difficult it can be on a person.

It describes a far too common experience in today’s society—i.e. parental abandonment of their children.

It is my hope and prayer that this post will give you all even an inkling of just how difficult that can be for a person, regardless of how old he or she was when their parent(s) abandoned him or her.

And if you are someone who has been adopted, please feel free to reach out to me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com. I am here if you need someone to listen or simply confide in. You are not alone, dear brothers and sisters.

You are not alone.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

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Life Update: We Adopted a Dog

karen-davison-saving-one-dog-quote

I have some exciting news!

My husband and I adopted a dog! We got him last week. He is a white Maltese—the pup in the above photograph, to be exact. His name is Noble. He just turned two years old. We got him at a local shelter.

Last year, Barnes and Noble offered a stuffed dog named Noble and a bear named Barnsie. When I saw the stuffed dog in the ad, I just knew we had to get him, so we did. And ever since then, we thought Noble was a great name for a dog. We thought it was fitting to name our Maltese Noble since it was white like the Barnes and Noble plushie.

Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, “I thought you wanted a Havanese and you were extremely set on it.”

Yes, you are correct. We were extremely set on a male adult Havanese.

However, those of you who have dogs know, when you find the dog, you just know it belongs with you. That’s how it was with Noble. At least for me, anyway.

My husband wasn’t completely sold on him at first because he really did want a Havanese. Granted, so do I. But, we know we want to have two dogs, eventually. So, we figure our second dog can be a Havanese. Therefore, we can spend the extensive time it will take to find a Havanese that fits our needs within our proximity, yet still have a dog.

If you want to know more about the journey we went through trying to find a Havanese, read this post.

Anyway, back to the adoption story.

Before we got Noble, I got alerts on my phone when a dog met certain criteria at our local shelter. While I was at home one day, in the middle of being on hold to speak with a representative, I got an alert about a dog. The alerts aren’t specific. I have to click on the attached link to learn more.

At this point, I was like, “I guess I will look, but I doubt the dog will fit our needs.”

Then, I click on the link to find it was Noble! He was so cute and fluffy. I showed my husband his photo and he told me my phone call can wait. So, I hung up the phone and immediately left a voicemail to request a hold on Noble. I knew if I didn’t do it right then and there, someone else would beat me to it. I mean, just look at how cute he is.

Unfortunately, the shelter wasn’t open yet, so my friend urged me to call them again right when it opened, regardless of my voicemail. Turns out, the receptionist was in the middle of checking her voicemails when I called a second time.

And guess what? I got the hold! By God’s divine power, my voicemail was first. The receptionist told me the voicemail directly after mine was requesting a hold on him, too. Just as I suspected, he was extremely popular.

When we visited, he was quite loving and friendly, almost like he knew he’d be going home with us. So, yes, like I said earlier, my husband was slightly hesitant to get him simply because he really wanted a Havanese. But, I assured him, if it didn’t work out and we had to bring him back, I knew full well someone else would adopt him in no time.

Our first few days with him were a little rough, so much so that we weren’t entirely sure if we were going to keep him. He was so frazzled the first night we had him that I only got three hours of sleep and my husband got two. We feared he had severe separation anxiety, for that is common for a Maltese.

But, I am so glad we took the advice of our friends and gave him some time to settle in.

For, we don’t think he has severe separation anxiety. We simply think he is like any companion dog. He simply wants to be close to his humans.

We haven’t figured out if he is entirely housetrained. So, for the time being, we put a doggie diaper on him and let him roam around the house while we are gone, which he loves to do.

And, we do have plans to take him to obedience training. He knows how to do basic commands. I just don’t think he actually comprehends that is what he is doing. Besides, I want him to behave well around other humans and pups.

We are slowly building a routine for him, which is great for us and him. He hardly ever barks like he did the first night. He’s super chill and quiet. In fact, yesterday, while I did homework, he just slept by me all day.

My dog dreams became a reality!

It has been incredibly fun to watch his personality flourish, even in the mere eight days we have had him. Sometimes, I still can’t believe we have a dog. Other times, it feels like he’s been part of the family all along.

It is in those moments I know it was part of God’s plan all along for us to get him.

Honestly, I could write so much more about him, but I’ll leave it at that. Although, I am certain this is not the only post I will ever write about him.

Just know, I am so excited to finally be a dog owner once again. I can’t wait to continue to watch his personality unfold. I even got emotional one day thinking about all the adventures we are going to go on with him.

Yet again, I am reminded why I love dogs so much in the first place.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Adoption: It Takes a Special Person

adoption-dave-thomas

I have officially read the first chapter of the textbook for my current course. Exciting, isn’t it? Surprisingly, I have yet to have my freak-out session abut my course. No worries, it will come in due time.

If it does not happen by the time this post is public, it will surely happen this weekend. Nevertheless, that is not what I plan on discussing this week. In fact, truth be told, I didn’t think I would ever write this post. But, God had different plans, friends.

First and foremost, for those of you who do not know, I was adopted when I was five and a half years old. As I grow older, I continually have experiences that help me process the event. This is one of them.

Earlier this week while at a doctor’s appointment, I overheard a conversation between a patient and an employee. The two had a discussion about the employee’s parents, who adopted a few of their children, including the employee.

During said discussion, the patient mentioned how wonderful it was that the employee’s parents adopted him and others in his family. The employee promptly responded, “Yes, it is. But, it takes a special person to adopt.”

Guys, that comment floored me. Much like my thoughts about a contestant on The Bachelor, who helped me not feel alone in my beliefs about my adoption, hearing the employee say that brought me great peace.

Honestly, this was the first time I’d ever heard someone else say, “It takes a special person to adopt.” For years, I’ve walked around telling people that exact statement.  I often wondered if I was alone in those thoughts.

It seems like I am not. It is extra comforting to know I heard it from someone who is in a similar stage of life as me. The introvert in me didn’t have the gumption to interrupt and say, “Yes, I was adopted, too. I completely agree! Thanks for saying that.”

Perhaps, this is my way of doing that.

Because he’s right. I firmly believe it takes a special person.

Even if you don’t know anyone who’s been adopted, it only takes a quick Google search to find a myriad of adoption stories. Some are wonderful, and some are downright horrifying.

As someone who has and continues to experience the highs and lows of adoption, I can assure you, the process is not for everyone. It takes a God-given desire and ability to choose to take someone into your home who is not your own and love him or her well.

The keywords of that sentence are: love him or her well. Getting the child into the home is one thing, but choosing to love him or her, despite all of their trauma and baggage, is a completely different story.

That is what takes a special person.

And that is what I think a lot of people miss.

Yes, it is awesome that people choose to bring children into their home. Yes, it is wonderful that kids get to have a family because of said people.

But, the story doesn’t stop there. That’s only the beginning, especially for the adopted individual.

For, just because a person is adopted, does not mean he or she has forgotten their past. The adoption is simply a new chapter their life story.

If adoption was only about providing a roof over someone’s head and food on the table, it wouldn’t be any different than being in an orphanage or foster care.

Adoption is about unconditional love.

It is about understanding those who are adopted are constantly hurting on the inside as they process the trauma they’ve been through—despite all the wonderful blessings that come with having a family.

It is about the quality of life and love within the home, not the physical house itself.

Therefore, it is important to realize that to be adopted in a home that sees the process as nothing more than physical well-being can do more than harm than good.

Adoption is messy.

It is a lifelong battle of being grateful for the chance at life and a family, yet constantly wondering what it is the adopted person did to be given up in the first place (in most, but not all scenarios).

So, I tell you: Indeed, it does take a special person to adopt. Take it from me and the complete stranger at my doctor’s office.

May you mindful of this truth if and when you consider adopting a child. For, as wonderful as the feat may be for the parents, it means innumerably more to the children, especially when done well.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Dog Adoption: Discouraged, Yet Hopeful

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As someone who struggles with depression, I find myself discouraged and downtrodden more times than I’d care to admit. I have tried many ways to circumvent this struggle, often to no avail.

However, one thing I am certain will help is having a dog, which is why my husband and I are actively looking for one.

The search for a dog has been extremely challenging, or at least I think so. To tell you the truth, I have wanted a dog ever since I had to let go of my last dog five years ago. It was tough.

I am committed to the search, so much so that I currently have nine tabs constantly open on my phone of dog adoption sites. I simply refresh daily just hoping to find a dog.

This is probably the time to tell you what type of dog I am looking for. It is called a Havanese, as shown in the photograph above. It is like a bichon or poodle. It is small, sociable, and fluffy.

Regardless, it is not easy to find adoptable dogs of that breed. I come across one in my state once a month—maybe.

Granted, I won’t settle for any other breed. Plus, I want a male, not a female. So, those two factors alone make it rather difficult, especially since I am not willing to budge on them. Regardless of the adoption process, I have put myself in quite the dilemma.

Yet, that isn’t to say the adoption process isn’t a major hurdle in this search. Believe me, it is. Little did I know that adopting a dog would involve such an intensive application.

Most of the shelters I have found a Havanese want to know way too much about me, like who my employer is, what type of crate I plan on using for the dog, if I plan on keeping the dog, if am I willing to have the shelter visit my home, if I agree to bring the dog back to the specific shelter if I ever had to get rid of it, etc.

This is only a small array of the slew of odd questions I have run across. Honestly, to me, it seems a bit unnecessary. Granted, I know the adoption process for humans is even more intensive but that makes a bit more sense to me.

According to God’s holy word, man is above animals. Specifically, Genesis 1:26 (NASB) reads:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Therefore, to have nearly the same intensive process for a pet seems like people of the world are trying to equate animals to the same standard of humans, which doesn’t sit right with me.

Other hurdles in the adoption process include technical glitches, which I know come with using the internet.  For instance, most websites don’t have entirely accurate information. Every once in a while, I’ll see several sites contradict themselves. One site says a dog is available, the other doesn’t.

Plus, some sites don’t even fully confirm the breed of dog! One of the several local shelters in my state simply says all their dogs are “mixed breeds” unless the owners happen to bring certification verifying otherwise. They say this online and if you visit the dog in person, meaning you may never truly know what breed of dog you are adopting.

I understand their intentions since most of the shelter dogs are mutts. But, it does not help people like me who are looking for a specific breed. I am not asking for a purebred Havanese, though it would be outstanding if I rescued one. Nevertheless, I would still like to know if it is a Havanese mix, not just simply a general mixed breed.

Thankfully, I know what Havanese look like. Yet, pictures aren’t always helpful.

Even all those aforementioned hurdles aren’t the most annoying part of the process. The worst part of the process is a fair chunk of adoption places won’t adopt out of state. Nearly every single Havanese I see is outside of my state of residence, only discouraging me more.

I understand the precautions, I truly do. But, it doesn’t help someone who clearly struggles with depression, when I know full-well having a pet would do wonders to my emotional state. I could consider getting a different breed of dog, but I have interacted with enough Havanese dogs to know that is the breed for me.

The cynic in me can’t help but believe this is what I get for being adamant about not shopping for a dog. I refuse to spend thousands of dollars on a purebred dog. It simply isn’t an option for me when I know there are thousands of dogs in need of homes, many of whom are in shelters that euthanize.

I want to be that person who gives a dog a home. As someone who has been adopted, I know the feeling of being unwanted all too well.

So, this is where you find me. Discouraged by a system that makes it extremely difficult to find a pet. I hope to get a dog soon, not just for mental health reasons. But, simply because I love dogs a lot.

And I want to experience the joy of watching my husband have a pet for the first time. Believe me, he is just as excited and longing for a dog as I am…if not more some days!

No matter how discouraging and difficult the process may be some days, I know it will be worth it. I am hopeful.

And because of that, my call to you is this: Adopt, don’t shop. There are too many pets longing for a home. That’s the plain, simple truth, friends.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

Boasting in My Weakness: I Am Fearful

2 Corinthians 12-9

First, I’d like to say that this week marks three years of the coffee soothes the soul blog! Wow! I’ve recently spent some time looking back at my old posts. All I can say is, they truly are a representation of my life in real time.

God is good.

Also, thank you. Thank you for praying with me this past week. I deeply appreciate you all.

I would ask that you continue to pray with me. This is a season of life filled with a lot of despair and uncertainty. Nevertheless, I believe God is faithful.

However, as I mentioned last week, walking with God is not a cakewalk. Truth be told, there are many areas of my life I still struggle with as a believer. Walking with God does not make my struggles go away.

Instead, God shines a bright light on them.

And as I sit listening to the progression of a thunderstorm, I am reminded of one of my constant struggles—fear. I am a relatively fearful person.

I am that person who always feels the need to look over their shoulder.

I am that person who always feels jittery and unsafe. In fact, as I type that, I can feel my leg muscles tense up.

I am that person who always feels the need to control their surroundings.

I am that person who always jumps to conclusions of what could happen.

I hate staying home alone at night.

I hate showering when no one else is home.

I live in constant fear that I will be harmed.

And now I must tell you why.

Even though some may disagree with me, I firmly believe being left at a hospital and living part of my life as an orphan was a traumatic experience for me.

I once had someone ask me if I had been through a trauma. At the time, I thought, “No, not really, except for my adoption, perhaps.”

But, as I get older and reflect on life more, I firmly believe being an orphan was a traumatic experience for me. And there lies my fearful nature.

I think a lot of my actions, attitudes, and behaviors can be stemmed from that event in life. It has shaped who I am and my perspective on the world and the people in it.

Part of me hates admitting that, considering two and a half years ago, I said I was trying to break free from the anchor of my emotions—my adoption. In that post, I shared how I should not live a life where I must explain to others I am the way I am because of my adoption, that instead, I should make Jesus the anchor of my life.

I still hold true to what I said then, just as I hold true to what I am saying now. Because, if anything, the time difference shows you that dealing with an adoption is not a quick and easy process. Instead, it is one filled with many ups and downs, as my various adoption posts have shown, which you can find by typing “adoption” into the search bar.

And so, I believe it is because of this foundational experience in life that I am fearful. I trust God. But, not completely. At least, not easily. Often times, I am the believer who finds herself kicking and screaming to give God her all.

And I hate that, I truly do.

I don’t want to be that type of person who always has to watch her back.

I don’t want to be that person who second-guesses God’s goodness.

I guess I am writing you all to tell you that my adoption brings joys and hurts in life. For instance, I believe it is because of my adoption I love people well.  I believe it is because of my adoption that I refuse to buy a dog from a breeder.

Yet, I also believe it is because of my adoption that I tend to be passive aggressive. I believe it is because of my adoption that I want to shut people out when I am hurting.

Maybe it is just the thunderous weather getting to me. Or, maybe it is God shining a light on this struggle so that Satan would no longer be able to use it to distort my view of Him. Honestly, I don’t know.

But, I do know God calls us to not be fearful. May this post be a reminder to me and you—God is an awesome God! His plans prevail.

And that is why I am confident in His call to tell you I am a fearful person. And just that alone. I don’t have that part of my life figured out. Truthfully, it may not happen on this side of heaven.

Yet, God will use my declaration for His glory. I will boast in my weakness so that God’s unrelenting power may rest in me.

Of that, I am not fearful in the slightest.

Blessings,

Renata

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

My Adoption: A Show Brought Healing

Psalm 27-10

My husband and I recently finished watching a season of a show that I didn’t think I’d ever watch. We just finished watching Season 17 of The Bachelor. In this season, the bachelor, Sean Lowe, ultimately picks Catherine Giudici.

Before I continue, I will say, I am not a huge fan of the television show. It is not a tradition of mine to watch this.  In fact, I don’t quite understand why it is America’s guilty pleasure. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the show here and there. But, never a full season from start to finish.

Honestly, more than anything the show makes me sad and uncomfortable. There’s just something about one man or woman pursuing 25 (or more, depending on the season) others for love that seems a bit overwhelming and makes me skeptical.

Nevertheless, I did have my reasons for specifically watching season 17 of The Bachelor. I chose to watch that season because Sean Lowe is a professing, devout Christian. So, even though, I knew who he picked, I wanted to see if that particular season was different than all the others. I wanted to see how a Christian’s man journey to find love was different—if at all.

After watching the season, I firmly believe God led me to watch that season for a reason. Unbeknownst to me, I found encouragement and healing by watching it. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about how God can use anything—even a worldly, reality television show—to bring healing and restoration.

One of the contestants on the show, AshLee, was adopted. At the time of filming, she was 32. She was eliminated after the fantasy suite week. Needless to say, she made it far in the competition. Therefore, audiences got to watch her grow and share more of her life story along the way.

For those of you who may not know, I, too, was adopted. I was intrigued to see how an adopted person would handle the emotional rollercoaster journey that is The Bachelor. Before starting the season, I did not know an adopted person was one of the contenders vying for Sean’s heart. Simply put, I wasn’t prepared for what her story would do for me.

Throughout the season, she kept coming back to what it was like to be abandoned by her parents. She often struggled with letting go of control. She struggled with trusting someone fully and completely. She struggled to tear down her walls and look past her years of rejection. She struggled to fully let someone in.

Yet, she did not once struggle to love.

For, even though it may have scared the living daylights out of her to open her heart to the possibility of loving Sean, when she made the decision to take the risk, to take the plunge—AshLee gave it her all.

Guys, that floored me. That moved me in a way I never thought possible.

For the longest time, I thought I was alone in my feelings of abandonment, trust issues, difficulty to lose control, years of rejection, and building up walls. And even though I know my fair share of adopted people, I have yet to find anyone I could confide in with all those thoughts, feelings, and fears.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my husband. But, it’s a different story to find someone who knows exactly where you are coming from and who can understand your thoughts because this person, too, has gone through what you’ve gone through.

I guess, in a way, AshLee was that person for me. She was a source of affirmation. Even though I am in my 20s, AshLee’s age did not make a difference to me. In fact, if anything, it only encouraged me more. For, it showed me, even in my 30s, this will be a struggle and battle of mine.

Granted, I watched the show as a married woman. And at this time AshLee was single. Nevertheless, I did discover she is married now! Praise God! Regardless, I think the shared thoughts and feelings still make a difference.

For, I think with or without a husband, I will struggle with my feelings of abandonment, trust issues, difficulty to lose control, years of rejection, and building up walls. I think it is just a cross that adopted people carry until God calls them home.

But, I don’t think that goes without a purpose. As I mentioned, AshLee did not once struggle to love Sean. In fact, she professed her love more than anyone else. She poured her heart out to him. She immersed herself in loving him.

Watching that helped me better understand why I love the way I do. As an adopted person, I’ve realized, like AshLee, even though it may take time to let someone in, when I do, I love hard and I love deep. It’s the very reason why my heart aches for depth in relationships. I strive to build roots and remain loyal. I strive to go below the surface, even if it further increases the possibility of getting hurt.

I think when adopted people give love, we give it with all we’ve got because we know what it is like to not receive it. We know what it is like to feel abandoned by it. And because we know what that is like, we wholeheartedly and passionately strive to make sure no one else ever has to experience it.

Yet, all of that goes away when we are rejected.

When Sean sent AshLee home, she looked visibly angry. Nevertheless, during the Women Tell All portion of the season, she told the host, Chris Harrison, that she was not angry. He proceeds to say, regardless, she definitely came off that way, which she understood. Mainly, she did not know what to say to Sean, which is why she reacted the way she did.

Whether or not she was angry, she did not say a word to Sean before leaving. And the two remaining girls commented that she did not even say goodbye to them either.

To the regular viewer, AshLee may have come off cold and ruthless. But, to me, as a fellow adopted person, I understood completely. Truthfully, I probably would have done the same thing if I was in her shoes.

In my eyes, what came across to viewers as anger was a defense mechanism. For, in those moments of perceived anger, I could see it in her eyes, she was building up her wall again—just like that.

It can take years to tear down the wall but mere milliseconds to put it back up. Except, each time we have to rebuild it, the wall is stronger, making it that much harder to tear down again.

Therefore, from my perspective, I don’t think AshLee was angry that she was sent home. I think, if anything, she was upset that she let Sean in. For, she said it hurts because she let him in. Then, she proceeds to hide her face away from the camera to cry. Quite frankly, once she was sent home, it seemed as if she was completely over the production and show.

I don’t blame her.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what season 17 of The Bachelor taught me. Yes, it was wonderful to see Sean and Catherine fall in love. This past January, they celebrated their fourth anniversary and Catherine is pregnant with their second child.

I think their relationship has lasted and will last because God is at the center. So, yes, a devout, Christian man’s journey to find love on a reality television show can be different than all the others—even when the production is the same—because God is and always was at the center of the journey.

But, in the end, AshLee Frazier’s (now Williams) journey meant the most to me. It made a lasting impact on my life. For, even though she did not receive the final rose, in God’s perfect plan and timing, it served a purpose. It helped me heal. It encouraged me on a level deeper than that of finding love. More importantly, it reminded me I am not alone in my struggles as an adopted person.

Thank you, AshLee. Thank you. Praise be to God!

In case my words leave you unsure of where to go from here, my call to you is this. If you know an adopted person, please encourage them to read this. Encourage them to know they are not alone in the emotional rollercoaster that is adoption.

And if you hear an adopted person express the above thoughts, listen to them and don’t shut them down. Instead, take what they say to heart. I urge you to love them well through the difficult journey. For, they probably love you more than you will ever know, and more than words could ever express.

More importantly, may they be reminded that, regardless of all the issues and struggles that can come with being adopted, God has a plan and purpose for it. As Deuteronomy 31:8 states, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” And as the above verse Psalm 27:10 states, “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.”

God did not promise a pain-free life. But, He did promise to use all circumstances for our good and His glory. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, do not be dismayed. No, God’s everlasting promise does not make the pain caused by fallible humans go away completely. But, it brings sweet reassurance and wonderful peace.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).

My Adoption: 18 Years in America

adoption-rescued-david-platt-quote

Today, December 21, marks 18 beautifully sweet, yet challenging years in the United States of America. Eighteen years ago, I was adopted. For, those of you who may not know, I was born in Russia.

As always, I am amazed another year has gone by. I don’t plan on doing anything special. Honestly, more than anything else, I am humbled.

As a blogger, I would much rather tell you my “Welcome to America” anniversary date than my anniversary with my husband. It is another example of me choosing to be private, yet open.

So, you find me here celebrating a unique anniversary that is hard to explain. It is like a birthday, but it is not. As I shared in last year’s post regarding this anniversary, some days, I am joyous about it. Other days, I experience much sadness about it.

This year was different.

This year, I found myself genuinely curious about my adoption and my biological parents. This year, I am conflicted. I want to be upset that my biological mom left me at the hospital. But, I also want to know even a little something new.

When I was in junior college, my mom gave me a single sheet of double-sided paper that had basic information about my biological parents. I know their names. I know their height, eye color, hair color, age, etc. I have never seen pictures of them, though.

I simply know my biological mother signed away her rights because she could not care for me without my father.

So, with that information, a few weeks ago, my husband and I did some Google searching. I simply wanted to see if the information I had could get me anywhere.

I will say this now: No, I do not plan on meeting them or going there. Like I said, I acted on a small dose of curiosity.

Ultimately, the search showed me how run-down the village I was born in is. Also, the search began to plant this notion in me that my mom may have given me up because she loved me too much to give me a bad life. It gave me this notion that, perhaps, my mom did not want to give me up, but she knew she had to.

To say coming to that realization was not difficult or challenging would be a lie. I have spent much of my life, especially before I knew Jesus, angry at my biological parents. I thought being angry would give them what they deserved. After all, they did give me up, right?

I tell you this to say I am still processing how God is working in my heart. I am still processing my adoption. I do every single day in some way, shape, or form.

I tell you this to show you as wonderful as it is to be adopted and to have a family in America, my past is still my past. My life story did not begin in America. It began in Russia. It comes with its challenges. It comes with tears, questions, hurts, trust issues, and more.

I honestly believe if an adopted person does not think their adoption has affected them in any way, he or she is hurting the most. For, no matter how wonderful an adoptive family may be, I firmly believe it is human nature to wonder why we were unwanted. I believe it is human nature to question what we, as sinful humans, do to make others not love us.

Therefore, I personally cannot neglect my adoption. If I neglect my adoption to its fullest capacity, I choose to let go of a piece of God’s plan for me.

Additionally, if I neglect my adoption, I choose to let go of a large part of my identity. Perhaps, that is why God is working in my heart. My last college course deeply challenged who and what I find my identity in, including how and where my adoption fits in.

Perhaps, God believes it is time for me to see a small part of why my life story began in Russia. Perhaps, He is not. I don’t know.

All I do know is, with each passing year, I choose to face it more and more, one small step at a time. In the process, I continuously learn, it is a beautiful picture of God’s never-ending, undeserved grace in my life.

So, here’s to 18 years in the United States of America. I praise God the 18 years have led me to this wonderful platform. Thank you for joining me on an incredibly heartfelt journey of humility and deep reflection.

Blessings,

Renata

 

Thank you dearly for taking time out of your lives to read my blog! Your support means the world to me. I praise God you found this blog, whether you stumbled upon it accidentally or sought it out intentionally.

I’d LOVE to hear from you all! Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at coffee.soothes.the.soul@gmail.com.

I pray God would bless you and be with you always, no matter where you find yourselves in life.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. – Romans 4:25 (NIV).