I am declaring 2005 is the year of the family. Or more specifically, my family. Some of you may know this and some of you may be surprised to find this out but I am adopted. It is actually a pretty amazing tale of God in His infinite wisdom providing for me a life incomparable. Almost 30 years ago, my parents (Ken and Barbara) were in Greece. One day my dad was coming home from his professors house and on the bus an American woman about seven months pregnant came up to him and asked if he was an American. This is pretty funny, because my father is 6'5" tall with blond hair and blue eyes, very different from the Greeks!
He said he was and the woman introduced herself and after talking for a little bit, my father invited her home to meet his wife. They spent some time together and one day, the woman approached my parents and asked/told them that she would like for them to adopt the child she was carrying. My parents had been wanting children. This seemed like a perfect opportunity. A few months later, my parents drove my biological mother to the hospital and my mom was in the room during the delivery. Four days later they took me home from the hospital as their child and a year and a half later, the adoption was finalized at the American Embassy in Greece. In fact the picture of my mom and dad holding me outside the hospital is when I consider my life began.
Fast forward 23 years to the summer of 1999. I had always known I was adopted although I never felt that way or felt any kind of loss or longing or any of the typical feelings that most adoptees seem to experience. I don't even like to really label myself as adopted because the associations in other peoples minds are so different from my reality. Anyway, I was home alone for the week while my parents went away for some R&R (my mother was dealing with leukemia at the time). I went to the mailbox and behold the proverbial letter from my biological mother. To say the least I was stunned and surprised and kind of weirded out, not knowing what I should do or what I was expected to do. We corresponded for a couple of years and then I moved to Washington, DC to pursue my graduate degree. I found out after I decided to move that my biological aunt and grandmother were also in DC.
December of 2003 found me meeting my biological mother, aunt, grandmother, and step-grandfather for the first time. Talk about overwhelming. At the same time I decided to conduct an Internet search for my biological father (I had learned the name from one of the letters). In 20 minutes I located him and discovered to my amazement that he also lived in the Washington DC area. Talk about crazy! I wrote him a letter, not really expecting a reply but a few days later got a phone call. He was pretty excited and wanted to meet me. So a week later, I had dinner with him and his two sons (my half-brothers). Since then, I have had sporadic contact with both sides of the biological family tree. I'm still not sure what it all means or how this fits into God's plan for my life, but I do know that it is no accident that I am in the same city as both sides of my biological family. So far in 2006 I have had dinner with both sides of the family, met one of my cousins from my adoptive mom's family for the first time, spent time with uncles on both sides of my adoptive family and still have 2.5 months left. Never before have I seen family so much as I have this year and now the numbers are even greater than I ever imagined.
In spite of the craziness this all entails, the emotions that are involved, the uncertaintys and the questions, I do know that God is in control and sees exactly how this looks in the grand scheme of my life and those of my extended families (both biological and adopted). Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!