Courage is a powerful word and most who have it are too humble to talk about it. In fact, the word is typically only used by others who have recognized it in a quiet hero.
We speak of courage when describing some of our greatest champions: firefighters, police officers, military personnel, teachers. The list goes on.
The Courage of Genuine and Unconditional Love
While many forms of courage are eventually acknowledged to some degree, there is one type that is often hidden, never recognized unless one chooses to dig into the subtle shadows of genuine and unconditional love.
My parents possess that type of courage.
They could have kept my adoption a secret or limited how frequently I was allowed to mention it, but they didn’t. If I wanted to talk about the mysteries of my origin, they listened. They never made me feel that I was offending or hurting them. They just loved me through every conversation.
As I got older, my curiosity grew. I don’t recall expressing it aloud, but both of my folks later told me that they’d always known of my desire to find my biological family, and in typical courageous form, mom and dad supported me in every crazy endeavor.
Through my many “mission starts”, my parents tried to promote my search in any way they could.
They told me I was adopted through the Catholic Charities Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona. They provided me with the names of my adoption representatives, and they attempted to remember any hints which might advance my pursuit – miniscule details that could point me in the right direction.
Even so, every time I commenced an investigation, it was quickly halted due to lack of information and stiff legalities.
By the time I decided to search again in 2013, the idea had been dismissed for years. We’d all moved on with our lives and the thought of ever finding my birth family had blended into a distant fairytale.
But then, God gave me a dream – a vision actually (which I’ll write about tomorrow) – and I knew I had to search … one more time.
Before I did, I spoke to each of my adoptive parents. My evolving maturity had put their feelings at the forefront of my consideration more than ever before. I needed to know they were still okay with me following this dream. Their thoughts on the matter were critical and I had to ensure they understood my love for them.
The Courage to Let Me Chase a Dream
As they always had, both of my courageous parents rallied behind me! They invited me to share my feelings with them, anticipating that I might experience some unpleasant emotional ups and downs on this mysterious journey on which I was, once again, embarking.
They also understood that the paths leading to my intended destination could bring less-than-desirable results.
Looking back on it now, I realize it had to be hard for them. They knew I’d be relying on them for comfort if I was rejected by my birth family. They also recognized that, if I was accepted by my other relatives, I’d be splitting my affections among them.
But my mom and dad were – and are – courageous parents. God chose them for me. They never feared losing their parental status and they didn’t let their own insecurities stop me from pursuing the family with whom I shared DNA. In fact, if my parents even had insecurities, they loved me enough not to reveal them to me.
I’m so thankful for my mom and dad. They not only raised me to feel accepted and unconditionally loved, but they taught me the meaning of hidden courage.
I know my parents. They’re humble. If they read this, they’ll tell me that it wasn’t necessary. They’ll say, “anybody would’ve done what we did,” but I know better.
The Courage to Share their Only Daughter
Now that I have found my birth family, my adoptive parents continue to live a life of courage. They allow me to talk about my biological mother and father and they don’t make me feel as if I need to keep the details of our joyful reunion to myself. In fact, they share in my happiness. They want to know as much about my origin as I do. My two moms have met and they delighted in each other’s company. My other parents will meet someday too. I’m confident of that.
The fact that I found my birth family after two decades of searching is a God-driven miracle … there’s no doubt of that.
But I would be remiss to ignore the miracle He bestowed on me so many years earlier, when He sent my loving, loyal, courageous parents into a foster home and prompted them to make me theirs.
Being raised by my mom and dad has been one of my greatest gifts.
Thank you God!
And thank you, mom and dad.