I knew from a young age that I was different. I seem to have always hated conforming. Sometimes I wished I could because it would have been easier, but I have convictions about being honest with myself as often as possible, whether others respect or appreciate that or not. I’ve always liked the idea of doing what most people probably wouldn’t even consider doing, though I have not always been brave enough to actually follow through. I’ve also always had a desire to show compassion to others and to stand up for those unable to stand up for themselves. It is then no surprise that I was inspired by muses which would not be considered normal for inspiration, or at least probably not in the way I found them inspiring. Am I rambling now? Sorry.
My favorite movie as a child was Annie. I had it memorized and could sing, and usually did sing-much to my sisters’ dismay- every song from the soundtrack. I liked Annie, and I loved her story. She was an orphan who found a home. I don’t think I knew what an orphan was before that movie came into my life, but I was intrigued. I was saddened to learn her real parents had actually died, but happy in her finding a home where she would be loved by all. It was a happy ending for her, but I also remember making up an ending in my head which included all of the other orphans getting adopted as well. They all needed homes and parents to love them, give them new lockets, and throw them huge parties at the finale.
Annie was not the only inspiration I got from my childhood in the 80’s. My favorite character on The Facts of Life was Natalie, and she was adopted. Different Strokes had a twist on the adoption story where a rich white man took in two poor and orphaned black boys. He loved them as his own; it was great and almost controversial. I cannot remember many other specific shows or movies (I think there was one called Rags to Riches which was also musical), but there always seemed to be stories such as these to pique my interest in the world of adoption.
Yet, not all of my inspiration came from fictional rich white guys in New York City adopting orphans. There are a few biblical stories I also remember pondering. In order to save Moses’s life, his mother had to give him up; she placed him in a basket, and sent him down the river in hopes someone would rescue and keep him. God guided that basket to the Pharaoh’s daughter. She raised him as her own and he grew up living as royalty. Had this not happened, God could not have used him to liberate the Jews from Egypt.
Another biblical character who was adopted, in a sense, is Jesus. Yep. He had a heavenly father, God, who sent Him to be born as a human, and taken in by a human family. Mary gave birth to him, but she was basically an adoptive mother. And Joseph… well he had to get a visit from an angel in order to decide adopting Jesus was the right thing to do. After all, he knew he was not the father. Now, because of that “adoption” we are now able to be adopted by God once we accept Him into our lives. Oh, the power of adoption, of opening one’s heart to the otherwise neglected.
Because of these stories and realities being a part of my childhood, I remember telling a friend of mine, back when we were in middle school, that I was going to adopt children instead of having my own so that I could help orphans find love.
I had forgotten about that until a few years ago, when I started being plagued by the concerns by others of my lack of procreation. I kept thinking that it was odd that I never had a desire to conceive my own child. Seriously, what was wrong with me? What kind of woman does not feel the need to create new life? Why did God not see me as fit to be part of this natural process of life? It started to bother me. But then I realized that God had other plans for me. Not everyone would be comfortable taking in a child not of their own flesh, but I would actually prefer it. God makes us all for a purpose, and those orphans need someone to want them. So again I find myself wanting not to conform, but to stand up for and love those who need love.