Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Adoption - Thoughts at Christmas


I spent the first few months of my life in an orphanage. I was adopted when I was about three months old. My birth name was William Paul Bibelhausen.

I have a brother who is two years older and a sister who is three years younger. They were adopted also. I remember going to the orphanage when we were picking out my sister. I remember being in a courtroom, before a judge related to her adoption. I have a picture in my mind of my mom and dad in the front seat of the car with my sister between them. She turned around and gave my brother and me a huge smile. She was now part of our family and we were all very happy.

One of the first clues I had of being adopted was a time when a neighbor lady was breastfeeding her baby. Later my mom told us that we were bottle babies. There might have been more said that I don't remember but somehow I knew I was adopted although I may not have understood all it meant at that time. I was probably around five years old then.

I have never had any bad feelings about being adopted and have never felt abandoned by my birth mother. I do have a friend who was raised in an orphanage who was angry with his birth mother when he met her. He wondered why she gave him up. That may be the difference. I felt like I was raised in a good home by good parents. I have never had a desire to meet my birth mother although I am very happy that I wasn't aborted.

In a Bible study recently someone made a comment that we can't choose our relatives. While that is true in most cases, I thought back that my parents chose me. When I was about eighteen, I was at a Bill Gothard seminar and one of the things he said was that God placed adopted children in special homes. I agree with that and am thankful.

As I said, I was raised in a good home by good parents. It wasn't always easy though. From what I hear, I was an especially difficult child. I also know that my mother desperately loved me. She wanted so much to be a mother. She was devastated years before when due to a hemorrhage, she had surgery and could never bear children.

From childhood, my mom was sick. She had rheumatic fever that led to future problems and many other illnesses all through her life. I have many memories when I was a child of her being sick and in the hospital. She died when I was sixteen from a heart condition related to the rheumatic fever.

After that, my dad did his best to raise us well. There were friends and relatives who came into our home to help as they had at times when my mom was in the hospital.

That must have been a very difficult and frightening time for my dad. I had already begun my decent into drugs and my sister became pregnant a couple years later. He used to say, "Things would have been different if Ida (my mom) had been there." I'm sure that would have been true.

I am thankful that I was adopted. I’m sad to think of all the kids now days who don’t get that chance because of abortion.

As I ponder the meaning of Christmas, I am thankful that Jesus made it possible for me to be an adopted child of God.

Philip

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