The results were in. As I clicked the link I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but there were all kinds of hits. The first, a relative so close that it was likely a half-sibling. I shared in an online group for others who are adopted and immediately someone reached out to me. I gave them access to my ancestry account and by the next morning they had pieced together a family tree. Was I really seeing this?
My brother and I are genetically unrelated but were both adopted into the same family. His name is Bobby and he has cerebral palsy and mild mental retardation. With the death of our adoptive mom, I became his legal guardian. Two months ago I decided to do a DNA test on him. These were his results as the stage was set for a new beginning.
The Lie Unravels
I remember well the day as a child that he told our mom he wanted to know who his family was. The beating that followed was severe. The goal? That he would understand that there was no finding them. His birth family didn’t want him. The story told was that his dad died in a car accident and his mom went into a mental facility. Family members took all of the children but nobody wanted him. As our adoptive mom screamed those words at him, I internalized every lie. They consumed me as if to intimately integrate into my own identity. After all, we were both adopted, so if it was true about him, that meant it had to be true about me, too.
Unwanted. Rejected. Abandoned.
Yesterday morning when the confirmation came that it was indeed his half-brother, I picked up the phone and made the call. The mans wife answered and I didn’t have to convince her. She knew Bobbys name and the surname he took in the adoption. I could hear the woman go to wake up her husband as she excitingly proclaimed, “We found Bobby!”
The conversation continued, now all three of us on the line. As we talked I could hear that Bobby had woken up. While on speaker phone, I asked my brother to sit down for a minute. He knew he took a DNA test but had no understanding of what that meant. I shared how the story he was told about who he was, how he ended up in foster care, how the details surrounding his adoption, that none of it was true. His eyes locked onto mine.
I wanted him to hear the truth.
And The truth was this:
His dad died when he was 2 years old and His mom was very poor. She was pregnant with his sister out of wed-lock and placed in jail for it. Bobby’s grandmother called child services saying that his mom was too poor to take care of her kids and so child services took them away. With the losing of her family, she became deeply sad. She never got over the loss, forgot him or for a single moment, didn’t want him. He was her little boy. I could see light filling his eyes. A light that turned into an explosion of joy as I shared that I had found his half-brother and that he was on the phone right now.
For the first time in Bobby’s life, he got to hear what the names of his parents and siblings were. He got to hear the sound of his brothers voice and see a picture from an obituary of what his sister looked like. He received the gift of hearing the truth — he was wanted and loved.
Are There Lies That You’re Partnering With?
As each piece of the story began to unfold, I could feel the childhood beliefs I had once embraced alongside my brother, exposed for what they are —Lies. And those lies broke off. It left me wondering,
“are there other things I’m still partnering with
in my heart that I need to give to God?”
Not everything we think is true. But when the truth comes out, so does the light of God, right there in our circumstances and pain.
The greatest truth here isn’t whether or not Bobby’s physical mother wanted him (she did), but that God wants His children. We are His masterpiece. He knits each of us in our mothers womb—fashions, delights and has a plan a purpose in our lives. That truth brings freedom. It shouts out:
“You are My beautiful child!
Wanted, accepted, cherished and loved!”
“Then Jesus said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You Will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!’” John 8:31-32
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb…”