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We are all born unique in the Image of God. We may have brown, black, blonde, red hair, or a variation? We may have brown, black, blue, green, hazel, or any combination of eye color. We have skin color from pale white, yellow, every tan or brown, mahogany to gorgeous black. We are a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors. We are each created beautifully and wonderfully by an amazing God.

Psalm 139: 13 – 18 (NLT):

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me,O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!

We have genetic beginnings; our DNA is specific to one person. We may be short or tall, have a tendency for slender or slightly meaty body types, or anything in between. Yes, there may be genetic abilities, such as athletic, studious, introvert or extroverts. The way we laugh, or giggle may be like our family. We may be double jointed, can twist our tongue upside down or into a circle. We are unique.

We are also a product of our environment, the emotional, mental, and physical spaces develop our ability to become the person God created us to be. Our relationships: mother and father to child and fellow siblings help define our character and provide love, compassion, guiding other relationships.

The combination of environment and genetics has long been a topic of interest to me. What makes a person tick? Do I support and nurture my children by demonstrating perseverance, peace in conflict, a listening ear and self-quieting techniques? Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of “Raising the Spirited Child”, was a great resource for our parenting.

Am I who God calls me to be by this example? Do I allow the image of God in my children to shine?

In adoption, I am blessed to see our children as unique and fascinating in their own ways. It can be a mystery to consider physical characteristics, mannerisms, emotions, and it is a joy watch the unfolding of each of our children.

Genetics and environment shape any child, a little slice of both parts leads to growth. I can hope and pray they will discover their God given talents and will have a smooth life. I do not want to limit their potential.

The assumption that a smooth life is a sign of solid parenting is a misnomer. The daily ebbs and flows of life are meant to mold and shape each of us.

Perhaps the challenging times are more useful to break off the hard places. Grief and loss related to adoption is one area I can not remove the pain. However, I can let my children share their feelings and be empathetic to their loss. I can hug them, rub their backs as they let out their thoughts. I can share tears for a different way to become a family and let them know I am a safe place to talk. I can remind then they are created in the Image of God and He can be trusted with every moment of their lives.

May I be a safe place to seek “zip my lip” listening and wisdom.

I can pray for the Lord’s wisdom with each contact with their birth family. I can encourage family time in open adoption with visits, sharing lives at holidays, celebrating life with hobbies or events such as raising livestock or kids’ sports games.

I can be an example of love and Jesus. There is no fear in love.

1 John 4: 11 -12 (NLT):

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

We can’t be with our children 24/7 especially as they adult. What am I learning as they pave their way in this world?

Keep my mouth shut more. Talk to Jesus about these unique children. Ask for His wisdom before I open my mouth.

There is something about putting aside my plans for the Lord’s.

Their paths should be directed as the Lord guides their lives. This recovering helicopter mom steers the prop in the wrong way.

I know detours and short adventures have brought me growth and a new life. It can be the same for my kids.

Author: Mary Mesikapp

Mary Mesikapp is a lover of nature, sunsets, mountain drives, and hikes. Mom of 4 (through blessings of open adoption, and our foreign exchange daughter from Brazil), previous Trauma / Emergency room Nurse, past Director of a Pregnancy Resource Center, student of the Bible as study leader and mentor.

Mary has spoken in schools and in churches about life purpose. She learns more about Jesus every day especially through the challenges and looks forward to encouraging women and families to be strong and steadfast in relationships and life.

You can connect with Mary on her website @inspiringlightthroughthecracks

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