I remember back in school when the teacher asked all the students, “Do you know where you came from?” and would then begin her long study on people origins. This research included your biography and asking questions of your grandparents, parents, and other relatives which culminated into a full report to share with the class.
Now that sounds interesting and fun, especially to a kid who thinks, “Could I be related to a King or Queen or some rock/pop star in my generation?” but it could also lead to a major identity crisis for a teen who doesn’t know their origins.
Such was the case for my one daughter who is adopted. For her, wanting to know her identity became her priority and it nagged at her every moment of the day. She felt like she couldn’t live life normally without knowing where she came from. Not knowing your origins for some leaves a huge void in their life and at times feelings of abandonment and rejection.
This subject ran deep, because her kinship as of today still had no concrete answers to where her people originated from although we do have some clues. She was born in an Eastern European country and although I knew what race/culture, the fact that scientists are still not able to define and clarify where her origins began is a whole different scenario. For a teen, that can be extremely difficult on their self-esteem since most teens today identify themselves to the race they originated from.
For a thousand years persecution and resentment towards her people existed and even today within the country she was born in is prevalent. She was placed in an orphanage in which 80% of her race was being cared for by caretakers who dejected her people. To make things more complicated, because of leaving her clan and not by her will, she no longer will be accepted among her own people.
As I mentioned, scientists have not been able to define where her race originated from mostly due to non-existent documentation such as historical and archeological artifacts to draw from. Their people passed down their heritage, stories, culture and language orally because they were mostly illiterate. In World War II during the Holocaust, some tribes had their tongues cut off and could no longer speak their language or share stories of their heritage.
So that begs the question. Where did I come from? Does not knowing where you originated from really be that detrimental in how you live your life? And most recently for our family came the question, “Should we do a DNA test to help get a closer view to that origin?” I really struggled with that question because I didn’t want my daughter to base her acceptance of who she was to where she originated from.
Sharing her race was another question due to continued persecution and prejudice that exists even in America today. So, how do you tell your child to be proud of her heritage but not tell anyone? That’s a pretty tall order.
As time went on, she actually jumped at the idea as well as enjoyed the fact that she had a mystery about her that people wanted to know. It was becoming fun when people would try to guess what country she was from. Some said, Pakistan, Greece, Brazil, while others said, Italy, North India, Egypt and Europe. She loved being different whereas in the beginning of this saga, she just wanted to look like everyone else. Now she’s glad she stands out, set apart from other people groups. She liked being an “ORIGINAL”.
And that brings me to this point. God did not make everyone out of the same mold. Psalm 139:14 reads; “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and my soul knows very well.” In the original Hebrew text, the word ‘fearfully’ means: with great reverence and heart-felt interest and respect. The word ‘wonderfully’ means: unique, set apart, and uniquely marvelous. Another words, He sees each and every one of us as His craftsmanship, His MASTERPIECE!
So you see, it doesn’t matter what race, kinship, ethnicity, nationality, or what genetics you have. And this is something my daughter now realizes. Does she know completely where her origins started? Maybe in another hundred years when there is more breakthroughs in DNA, but for now, she will accept how God made her and enjoy the fact that she can call herself special indeed.