When the son met his birth father, along with a flood of emotions there was the immediate connection through shared physical characteristics – the eyes, nose, smile, the laugh and even gestures. The absence of genetic mirroring in the adoptee’s world represents one more of many questions adoptees carry through life about their origins. When the void is filled, it can be a beautiful moment.
In the Kendrick brothers’ documentary, “Show Me the Father”, they highlight Sherman Smith’s story. Sherman had been married 40-plus years and had two grown children when he learned of a son he did not know about. The young man was in his mid-forties and had a family of his own when he found his birth father. A void was filled. It was a beautiful moment and the start of a great relationship thanks to the heart of a father, and the heart of Sherman’s bride to be open to this new dimension of their family.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, … So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:26-27. While we will not see the genetic mirroring with God until we meet Him in glory, one can draw comfort in the fact that the Creator is engaged with His creation, specifically our journey in this world. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves again to fear; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, – Romans 8:14-17. We are all adoptees! Paul provides a bridge between Genesis and John’s gospel. In doing so, he provides a connection with the Father through the Son, Jesus the Christ. It was a beautiful moment in my life when I first realized this connection. It is through this connection that I was able to embrace the connection with my 46-year-old son that I did not know about. "See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” – Malachi 4:5-6. Man’s role is to keep his heart open and soft. God will orchestrate the heart-turning.
Tips to let Heart Turning begin:
- Know who you are and Whose you are. Read John’s gospel and Romans 8;
- Carry no secrets into the marriage relationship. Get counseling if you have;
- Love your kids and celebrate genetic mirroring, always pointing to the Father;
- Be sensitive to the adoptive community and pray through ways to get involved;
- Answer emails or calls that start with, “Possible relation…”
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and the connection to You as my Father through Your Son. I confess I had a hard heart toward my role as a father, focused on doing the opposite of what my father did. Forgive me. Thank You for life’s circumstances that opened and softened my heart to You. By Your grace, heart-turning has blessed relationships in our family and enabled heart-level connections with the new family. Help me point to You and glorify You through the heart-turning You have orchestrated. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation need to see. Amen.
A faithful father lets the heart-turning begin where he is.