Jan 25, 2009

Given Up, Passed On, Looked Over...

I have an older brother. He grew up in a different family and never knew me or my younger brother personally. About ten years ago we all reunited, and I have a relationship with him now that is one you could hardly tell was ever severed. Often when he is introduced to people who never knew of his existence, especially by our mother, it is often, "He was given up for adoption."

I can't but think of how sadly true this often is for many children. They are given up on. They are given away, only to become distant thoughts in the back of a parent's conscience only to resurface when guilt weighs them down for a passing moment. Then there are those who have done this to give a child a better life as they were unequipped or unprepared to take care of that child.

In principle though, I experience discomfort when I hear that some are "given up" as if it is surrender, or they are forgotten. It could be far worse, it could be abortion. But is the relinquishing of parental responsibility similar to that of terminating the life of the child? Ever grow up knowing you have a father you don't know, or mother you never have seen with your own eyes?

No sermon illustration intended here, but I am grateful for the Lord. For His word says,

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ"
(Eph 1:3-9)

Those who are of God have hope in the love of the Father, who adopts us away from abandoned families, hopeless futures, disparaging lives, and eternal damnation.



Jennifer said...

I do not think the term "given up" is so bad when it is used in the context of someone who is "unequipped or uprepared to take care of that child." In that sense, I would say that for many of these parents it is not about surrendering the child, but surrendering the need to prove something by keeping the child. It is a relinquishing of pride, and a humbling of oneself to be able to admit that she is not equipped to parent the child adequately, no matter how much she wishes she could.

My best friend was adopted and this was the case with her mother.

James said...

I agree, given up doesn't necessarily dictate a mere relinquishing of all responsibility. Typically, if someone has had enough heart to consider and arrange for adoption they have compassion for the life of the child. In the case of my brother, my mother did all she though she could do. The family abandoned her and her soon to be husband was a catalyst in influencing the decision.

Some, don't give up, they give over....I think the term has become loose and devoid of real meaning when slung around as "given up"

Like a Mustard Seed said...

wow a lot in just a short post...but good stuff. hmmm, i can say that for me i personally have never met my father, i've heard what he looked like, but have no face to tie to him only that i bear the color of his skin (the rest of my family is european light skinned) and my mother acts very much as you've described, that its behind her and i should look forward. it's difficult but now that I am a follower of Jesus, the meaning of the above verse is SO HUGE, i completely feel like now i am not "without a family" or w/out a father, in some ways i think it makes it easier since i've never had a father to understand the depth of how much he loves me and cares for me.

Anyway, to touch on the discussion I think sometimes it is best to share your child and relinquish them to a family that can take care of him, if you're yes addicted to drugs, etc. etc. but being poor i know often puts young people in that position to be swayed or pressured into it being the "right" thing to do as well. However, i think that even if you're entering into an adoption that if the child wanted to see and know it's parents that door should be open, not closed. we grow with time and experience, so it saddens me to see this. Also, though i think that you can have parents and be given up on in a very real way, so whether you're adopted or in foster care, or have a mom and dad that are you're "real" parents a child is still capable of being made to feel and often is left as given up on...especially if the parents are fallen, (which is a whole other topic) this has already gone on long enough, sorry..but to be perfectly honest i almost gave up my first born child through an adoption, met the proposed parents and after giving birth decided against it...the love i felt for that child lead me right to the cross (about 1 year later), but since i'd never experienced unconditional love and i didn't understand what healthy parenting was supposed to be because i didn't have 'healthy or happy' role models, i felt i had nothing to offer this child. it took sometime and i really had to allow God to undue lies that i had accepted, but with God all things are possible and i'm so very grateful for God's love and grace and for truly being my lord, my father and my creator.

peace, heather

seriously sorry for taking so much space up here, but no one has ever brought up this topic before.. in this context anyway)

James said...

Thanks for the insight Heather. You've made some valid observations and I think that we all should take the time to consider these things with a sober perspective. I think that there are many of us who have experienced actual parents, that had a biological contribution in the rearing of children, but yet have had no physical interaction or owning of responsibility. Either way, those who experience being adopted, having a child put up for adoption, or merely being abandoned (in many different ways), the loving, merciful, and grace giving God of the universe has made a way for us all to be made heirs, brothers, and sons of the Most High!

How glorious?

Like a Mustard Seed said...

very glorious! :)

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