I bet when you saw the title of the blog you said to yourself “I did not know that she was adopted?” Well, I wasn’t really adopted but I had another family on the side. My best childhood friend lived across the street from me for around fourteen years until she moved one mile east of me as our high school years were approaching. I was six months old and she was one when we moved into our neighborhood in Colonial Acres in Memphis, Tennessee. It was the classic hometown street where everyone knew their neighbors, kids went to school together and neighbors knew most of your business.
Well, let me get back to the adoption story. My family was quite unstable. Nothing but drama where I lived. But Karen’s house was different. She did not have drama like I did. I liked going over there. I ate dinners over there, had many sleepovers there and was included many times in family events. Her dad would sometimes call me is fifth daughter. I liked that. No actually I LOVED that! He loved on me, gave me hugs and treated me just like I belonged to him. I called him my substitute dad since mine was mostly absent. I always felt such security when I was around him and the family.
I have so many memories from those years but one of the funniest was how he would approach the topic of my body maturing into a young lady. I was a late bloomer to puberty. The joke was that I was a carpenter’s dream………flat as a board! I am sure I was in t-shirts when my friend was wearing a C cup bra. Mr. V would always ask when things were going to change and I had no good answer. But there came the time that the t-shirts were no longer needed and the training bra was a badge of honor. One time when I went to hang out at their new house he saw me and made many positive comments about me having a chest now. It made me laugh! I loved that man! Even as I am typing this I have tears streaming down my face.
In my heart I loved Mr. V like he was my dad and I was his real daughter. He made me feel so loved. Mr. V went to heaven not long after my husband and I were married. One day my phone rang and it was Karen telling me he had died. My heart was broken. He was gone. I remember at the grave site all the family members were given a rose to place on his casket and I was included. I was family and I could put a rose on the casket of a man that loved me like his own. I think of him often and was so thankful for the temporary adoption I experienced from this family. There are really no words that express my feelings adequately.
As much as I cherished being Mr. V’s fifth daughter the adoption that truly change my life was when I became a Christian on June 10, 1970. That day my heavenly Daddy adopted me as His very own. Not sure what number I was but it did not matter. For the first time I had a forever DADDY! In Ephesians 1:5 it says, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” He was excited to have me as his daughter. I was excited to belong. Galatians 4:4-6 says it best, “When the right time came, God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
It was never easy having a dad who was detached and absent in so many ways. But even before I knew my heavenly Daddy God sent me an adoptive daddy with Mr. V. I can still see his face and remember how he loved this young girl. But what is more wonderful than that is the joy that I have knowing Jesus will never leave me or forsake me. I can spend time with him any of my waking hours. I can talk with Him, sit in His lap and more important is that one day I will see Him face to face and He will say to me, “Welcome home, my daughter I am so happy to see you.”
Oh what joy awaits us who believe. We have an eternal home waiting for us. And for me I will see my sweet friend Karen again and Mr. V!
Living by the brook,