Misunderstood and reviled

The publication of an extract of Someone’s Daughter on Parent24.com has caused quite a stir, judging by some of the comments posted by readers.

Even though the positive comments far outweigh the negative, when I first read the latter I was very hurt by their intensity.

“You are a terrible disgrace”, wrote someone who signed their name as ‘?’, accusing me of seeing a lucrative story to write and shame my parents about. “I think you are selfish and saw a story to write about that would make people feel pity on you,” he/she delcared.

“Pull yourself together”, stated ‘casino’, while ‘turbo_superboss’ wanted to know why I was “so ungrateful and angry” at my mother for not telling me.

Of course, I know their comments are based on ignorance. None of these people have read my book and are judging me without knowing all the facts. Yet I still felt hurt, misunderstood and unjustly criticised.

At the same time I was aware of a sense of familiarity to all of this. Then it struck me. Jesus experienced the same unfair judgement and misunderstanding while He was on earth (Luke 17:25) and especially when He hung on the cross. Although He had every opportunity to defend Himself, and with God’s power in Him was more than capable of doing so, He chose not to.

Like my critics, Jesus’ attackers could not (or would not?) see the full picture and consequently, completely misunderstood His message.  Yet, despite all of this, Jesus asked His Father to forgive them for their ignorance just before He died. What compassion, what mercy!

Jesus also warned Christians that they would encounter persecution for His name’s sake: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

The lesson for me is clear. I should expect criticism, but I must show compassion and forgiveness, just as Jesus did. I may have finished writing Someone’s Daughter, but God’s teaching and healing continues. What a blessing.

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Sharing with adoptive parents – a healing experience

It was with much anticipation, and not a little apprehension, that my husband Sean and I recently attended a support group for adoptive parents. I had been invited following the publication of Someone’s Daughter. The members of the group wanted me to share my experiences as an adoptee, which they hoped would give them insight into their own adopted children. 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the group, or what they expected from me, but after Sean and I met our friendly hosts Jan and Luzonne Mentz and each subsequent family as they arrived, my nervousness melted away.

What an amazing group of people. Most are transracial adoptive parents, which in itself presents a host of challenges. Indeed, there was much excitement among the moms when someone produced a book on how to dress your (black) child’s hair.

But what impressed me most about this group was that they have so much love to give, especially to children who have been abandoned or whose mothers are unable to raise them for whatever reason. Even though they are fully aware of the myriad emotional and psychological issues surrounding adoption, and especially adoptees, they are willing to take them on fully, and are eager to learn as much as they can.

I spoke briefly about my own story, after which many were eager to ask questions, especially about what they could do to ease the load for the children when they started to probe their own biological roots.

I don’t know whether the information I provided was helpful, but what I do know is that the roughly three hours I spent in the company of these families was exceptionally healing for me. Just being in the presence of, and being able to talk to members of the adoption triad was amazing, and something I have been praying for for a long time.

All adoptive parents are special. Even God has a special place in his heart for those who take care of orphans, as they do. May He bless you and your children richly in the years to come.

Rest assured, I will be back.

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