Sherrie is an acclaimed adoption author and adoption speaker from Indiana. This is an excerpt from her latest book, Twenty Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed, posted here with permission. Sherrie’s website is
When I found my birth mother after a 15 year search, at first she refused to talk with me. However, she changed her mind, requesting that I never ask about the identity of my birth father. Why? She said she was raped. How did I react?
Like an ice-skater who suddenly fell on the ice and had the wind knocked out of her. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that rape would be the reason she placed me for adoption.
This first conversation with my birthmother was when I was 47, and she informed me that she had been raped. When she said the words, it was as if a black cloud en-shrouded me. Any time I told my reunion story, which was often, I said, “I was conceived in rape.” I can’t tell you the depth of shame I felt. Without my spiritual perspective already in place, I would have concluded that my life was a mistake. I didn’t go down that path, but I did take responsibility. One day, I realized that I didn’t have anything to do with my birth mother’s rape. It happened to her, not me. I also learned a profound life lesson — that good can come from evil. The good was me. I also learned that my life began not at conception, not on my birthday, not on adoption day, but in eternity past — in the Heart of God the Father. My life is His idea!
For those of you with children whose birthmothers were raped, perhaps my experience may help. Parents, if your child’s birthmother experienced rape, the news won’t send your child to the psychiatric hospital. Remember, we
adopted people are strong survivors. Give your child a chance to grow by hearing the truth. You’ll know the proper time to tell that part of his story, for you know your child better than anyone. Listen to your heart. You will do
fine, and your child will grow stronger. Follow me on my blog and my YouTube videos on how to share painful birth history with your adopted child. Don’t be afraid, parents and adoptees! Yes, it’s hard to do, but you will all grow. I promise you! When truth is told, we are all set free to choose and grow.
(From Sherrie’s blog and an excerpt from Sherrie’s latest book: Twenty Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed Random House Publishing)