As I was scrolling Facebook today I read a post in a group called the Christian Adoptees Support Group. It was a prayer and it started with the words, “Father God, I want to be rooted and established.” Which comes from the scriptures and is found in Ephesians 3:14-19.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
This group, and others like it, are important to many adoptees, because often the world just doesn’t get it. Adoption is advertised as a wonderful, beautiful, positive thing that should be celebrated. Absolutely, it should be.
If I hadn’t been adopted where might I be today? If I had grown up in the foster care system what would have become of me?
I was rescued by wonderful people, who took me in and called me their own, and gave me such a wonderful home and wonderful experiences.
The problem is that often in the course of the wonderful celebration the underlying pain and trauma is forgotten, or even discounted. The conventional wisdom of the past, children are resilient, they won’t remember, sounded good, sounded like it should be true, and made everybody feel better about the circumstances. Everybody but the traumatized child that is.
What we know now is that though the cognitive memory may not remember, the subconcious does. The emotional memory remembers everything. It is now called attachment trauma.
What happened so many times is that child, having suffered a trauma, and was experiencing pain and grief, felt like they had to hide that pain, or be seen as ungrateful.
So we grew up, trying so hard to fit in, but never quite getting it right. Wanting so badly to belong, but never really believing we did. We had grief inside that remained silent and unexpressed. We longed to be seen and to be loved, but were often terrified of being seen and loved, so we ran from it. Even as an adoptee myself, I was shocked when I first realized how much anger was being expressed by so many adoptees. There are too many expressing all the things I just mentioned to dismiss it. I have experienced many of them myself.
So, when I read the opening of that prayer, something inside of me cried out. My throat got tight, and my eyes welled up with tears.
“Father, I long to be rooted and established.
Your Word says that I am.
My parents who chose me say that I am.
My family who love me say that I am.
My close friends say that I am.
Father, help me to know it, to be filled with it, and to really believe it!”