My First Mission Trip

 In Narrative

July 2017, I had the great opportunity to visit Malaga, Spain on my first mission trip.

The entire adventure was full of amazing experiences that impacted the course of my life. One story, however, changed me in the most profound way.

As I walked the streets of Granada, with my dear friend, we began to share with one another and as I started to share about my adoption story, something incredible happened. For so many years, I have always shared about a young girl, teenager and adult who was given away, unwanted, second…coupled with unworthy, not needed and not good enough. But as the words started to fall out of my mouth, I caught myself saying “my birth mother wanted me but she was so young and became pregnant with my younger sister so she was forced to give me up”…and then I heard myself say “my foster parents had such a hard time letting me go that when they fostered another child, they were determined to adopt her” and then I heard myself express “my parents divorced and my Mom wanted to raise us but it just did not work out…it took her 9 years to finally be able to move close to us”.

Each time that I had stated that I was wanted, I stopped in my sharing and just stared blankly, trying to comprehend what I had just said.

And by the third time, I was in tears.  It was a shock to be broken free from a belief I had carried for so many years. And while many things in life take time to shift and change, this was nearly immediate after the shock wore off. I saw my current situation, the people I was with and the country I was in, in a completely different light. And in my mind, I re-negotiated each and every relationship within my family. And in my heart, there was an unspeakable joy and confidence that I was not willing to ever let go.

In this shortened version of my adoption story, I realized for the first time that I was talking about a “wanted” baby, child, person!

I had never seen myself through that lens. In spite of my faith and my belief that God created me for a purpose, the idea of having always been wanted by my family had never found its way into my heart…until this incredible day.

Many times, we think that the cards we have been dealt are the cards we are stuck with permanently.

We believe old stories and feel powerless to change them so we accept them as fact and move along. But I am here to tell you that not only are we powerful but we have the ability to gain new perspectives and rewrite our stories! We have the right to explore who we are, what we have been told, and seek resolution to stories that don’t add up or cause us continued anguish. Not only can we do this for our past but, we can also do this for our present and our future.

In one moment, in one day, my story changed…forever…changing me, forever! I now live as a “wanted” person. Someone valued, someone who is worthy and good enough and needed in this world. I was able to forgive the circumstances but more importantly, forgive myself for the lies I had believed in for so long!

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