Guest Blog: Why Would the Abandoned Become the Abandoner?

This week as I read my friend Tara Bradford’s blog I was encouraged by what she had to say about abandonment when it comes to adoption issues. So I’ve asked her if I could share her post with you all and she graciously agreed. I met Tara when we lived in Bozeman, got to know her more when we both attended the Orphan Care Summit (where my heart was changed forever for foster care, adoption and orphan care) and I continue to get to know her through her blog where she writes honestly and eloquently.

Tara’s story of adoption began when she was adopted from South Korea at the age of 2. She is married, became a Christ follower at the age of 31, has two biological boys, and in 2011 they adopted a sibling group from Ethiopia. (Please go to her blog to read more of her story. You’ll be glad you did.) Enjoy Tara’s post below.

Bradford 2011-family-photo


This act of abandonment is a part of every adopted person’s story. If it weren’t then obviously we wouldn’t have needed a new home.

For many in the world of adoption {adoptee or adoptive parent or birth parent} this word of abandonment is embodied with pain, loss, and grief.

As I continue on the long road of my own healing journey, I’ve come to a place where the “A” word has a certain appeal, a certain attractive quality which it formerly did not have.

Why would the abandoned adoptee want to become the abandoner?

You may think I’ve lost my mind, but please read on…

In the years of my own healing journey I’ve reconciled being abandoned and re-reconciled it and quite frankly it’s been reconciled to death!

I can’t speak for others, but I’ve personally gotten to a point where I am completely tired and frustrated by being plagued with the damage, defeat and damnable condemning effects of this abandonment.

So who are you thinking I’m going to abandon? My husband? My kids? My adoptive family? My birth family?

As appealing as that may be for some, for me that is about as appealing as placing my moist, saliva laden tongue on a metal flag pole during a sub-zero winter day in North Dakota.

What I am talking about abandoning is a life. My former life. My “society-adoptee-defining, I’m cursed-forever angry-depressed and damaged for the rest of my life” life. My “self-defeating, can’t reconcile my past and move on with my life” life.

At what point can we-should we-will we say to our abandoned selves… That is a reality of my story, but that reality does not define my future nor does it place me in an abandonment chamber alone the rest of my life?

At what point do you/I ABANDON the abandoned life and become the beautiful, deeply rich, colored, stronger, wiser, purposeful, valued person that God always had in mind we would become?

At what point do you/I cut the abandoned life ball and chain off of our leg and live a life abandoned, free and spirit filled?

For this abandoned child, I’m working on it minute by minute, day by day, situation by situation. I am fully aware of that piece of my life and I give it the respect it tenderly should have, but sometimes I think that respecting this thing in particular which poses a barrier for me to become all that God intended, requires me to walk away from it knowing the place it had in my past yet does not have in my future.

When Jesus spent his last moments on the cross he muttered the words…

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As God placed the sins of the world on Jesus, he had to turn away from Jesus… he had to abandon him in that moment. Even then the one who had no sin became sin on our behalf. Even then by Jesus bearing the sin of others{which always results in abandonment and loneliness}, He changed the course and meaning of our lives for eternity.

My birth parents decision of abandonment may or not be sin. I don’t know the true circumstances or their heart in the decision. I can either dwell on that past fact, or I can embrace the fact that this abandonment and loneliness was paid for once and for all in order to allow me to become the righteousness of God.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~Deuteronomy 31:8

Will you choose to become the abandoner rather than the abandoned? Please leave a comment so we can learn from each other’s experience.

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Thanks so much Tara for allowing me to share your post here. It gave me such hope as I read her words that by God’s power my son, although he may struggle with abandonment issues in his lifetime because of adoption, does not have to be bound by it and it does not have to define his future.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for reading and sharing!

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