“Why were you adopted?” “Do you know your real parents?” “What if they are people you pass every day in the grocery store!” Middle schoolers can be insensitive!
I never hid my adoption, and my adoption was never hidden from me. We talked about it. I thought it was cool! It was a fun fact that was exciting to me! I was never embarrassed by it. I knew my parents loved me, and I always felt loved and wanted.
When I got into middle school, I started to struggle. Middle school is a hard time anyways. Does anyone actually enjoy that time of life? You’re trying to figure out who you are in your group of friends, in sports, in school, and in general! Add working through feelings about your adoption, and times can get tricky.
I’m going to pause and add a short educational bit. Our brain develops throughout our life stages. The last part of the brain to develop is the frontal lobe. This area is important for decision-making, impulse control, and empathy. While adults know how to say no to peer pressure, or how not to sweat the small things, adolescents lack this knowledge. The frontal lobe doesn’t fully develop until our mid-twenties! Could this be part of the reason why middle and high school (and sometimes college) years are so difficult socially and emotional? I would say yes!
Now that we are aware of our brain development during this life stage, how can we help our kids, adopted or not? Knowing that others were struggling, and I wasn’t the only one, would’ve been helpful. On the outside, it’s easy to think that everyone else has it all together and that no one else is trying to figure out life. Social media wasn’t even that big when I was growing up. I cannot begin to imagine how hard these years are for our youth today!
I think that one of the best ways we can help our kids is in showing them that they aren’t alone, that their feelings matter, and that there is always something to be learned. We all have someone we look up to, from superheroes in story books, our older cousins, celebrities, or the neighbor across the street. We all look up for help when we are down. I realized that adoptees needed someone like us to look up to so I wrote my Bible study, Adopted Twice.
I look at four Bible stories from the point of view of adoption: Moses, Ruth, Esther, and Jesus. Each story is different, just like our adoption journeys. Each character is cared for and loved by someone as if they were their own. Isn’t adoption about taking someone, anyone, into your care? It is about providing for them because you are willing and able to show them unconditional love.
I love that each and every adoption story is different. Some adoptions are within families, from aunts to grandparents and step-parents. Some are from couples who couldn’t have children biologically, so they chose to walk the path of adoption. Some are couples who could have children of their own, but also felt called to this journey. It is not the reason, but is the result, that matters.
Some adoptees are from other countries, cultures, backgrounds, but they all have something in common-- adoption. While adoption is messy, tough, confusing, and at times hurtful, it is also a beautiful picture of what God has done through Christ.
Christ came to bring us closer to God. Through Christ we can say we are children of God. God adopted us into His family!
Parents adopt children into their families. Those children are given the same opportunities, love, grace, and care. They are not lesser or greater than their siblings. They are equal.
That is what I love about adoption. We, as adoptees, know first-hand what the adoption in God’s family feels like. We aren’t only adopted by our earthly parents, but also by our Father in heaven. We are adopted twice! Both are significant and life changing, and both impact not only us, but those around us.
I want to challenge you to be open about your adoption, whether it’s a spiritual adoption into God’s family, or a physical adoption here on earth. I know that the more I talk about my adoptions, the more I learn, grow, and heal. Life is messy, but there is always something to be learned.
You can find them on Instagram at @adoptedtwicestudy
About the Author
Lyndy is an adoptee, sister in Christ, wife, mother, and author. She wrote Adopted Twice when she realized there wasn’t a study out there for adoptees. She prays that her study helps those who are struggling with the “why” of their adoptions see that God was and is at work in their lives. Her children’s adaptation of the study is scheduled to release at the end of this year. Check her out at www.adoptedtwicebs.com