So, here are my notes–what was going through my head while listening to our pastor. . . .
I. I was very much afraid. I was so afraid, perhaps, that I didn’t begin my search until I really couldn’t function anymore. I was having panic attacks, showing up in the ER asking them to check if I had a brain tumor because I was pretty sure that I did. I had already spoken to a Confidential Intermediary a few months ago, put out some “feelers” on online registry sights, . . . but that was it. And, for whatever reason, now was the time to RISK what I might find. I had reached the point of critical mass–where the weight of not knowing had become heavier than the weight of knowing anything.
Jamie 2:1-3 (haha)
“In the month of July 2007, I was sad in my husband’s, best friend’s, parents’ presence, and so they asked me, ‘Why does your face look so sad when you are not really sick (no brain tumors)? You must be sad in your heart.’ I was very afraid, but I said to them, ‘I love you dearly! And why should I not be sad when the other half of my family (my ancestors) are missing, hidden from me, and my heart is heavy because I feel lost.'”
II. At this moment is when fear is overcome by passion. Nehemiah knows what he wants, knows exactly what he wants, and the King is about to ask him what he wants!! So Nehemiah spells it out to the king. Similarly, my passion to know who I looked like and from where I had come was pushing aside my fear.
Our pastor commented here that fear can be paralyzing, and that the fear of the unknown is especially disabling. And, he went a step further to say that many people choose to stay in some terrible but known place over choosing the unknown.
I do not think that I avoided searching until my late 30s out of fear. Prior to my experience with my search, I had very little reason to fear. I had such a great growing up, marriage, family, etc., that I think I was pretty sheltered–and I really did kind of expect good things to come from a search. (Good things have come–just not in the packages I was thought I was looking for.) Part of this is my personality too–I always expect that things will work out OK. NOW, however, I have spent quite some time in this little search bubble (which is common for searchers), and I am perhaps a little more paralyzed. Out of pain, I have developed self-medication/habits that comfort me, and I am afraid to let go and return to a life without the ones I sought–my birth parents/my siblings.
I think about them having fear. But I hesitate to think too much for them. Just as they don’t know me, I don’t know them. Some of them have imagined to be something which I am not. I will not do the same.
III. I did have a compelling vision–a vision of what could be.
“and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestor are buried so that I can rebuild it.'”
Nehemiah 2:6-9 detail how long Nehemiah might expect to be gone, and what he knew that he would need in order to accomplish his vision. This part escapes me. I had two search angels beside me, two social workers helping me/informing me, supportive family and friends all around me, prayers, I read books, articles, . . . I don’t know. I didn’t know how long it would take, how it would go, or what to do to “make” it go well.
IV. The gracious hand of God is on me, or my life would have completely fallen apart by now = my marriage dissolved, my sanity up a creek, my relationship with my parents’ perhaps destroyed, friendships lost, my faith lost, my children off the deep end. Instead, He has held all of that together for me when I could not.
Still–I do not know why I risked so much (it seems) only to be left by my birthparents and my siblings again. I don’t come from an angry place as I write that, only a confused place . . . logically, emotionally, spiritually confused by the outcome thus far.