Monday, September 17, 2007

Musing and memories of an 'unwanted' child

[Not for very young readers]

'Mommy, why don't I know my Daddy? Where's Daddy? Will he ever come and live with us? Can I see his picture?'

I was only 15 years old when I found out the terrible truth about my father: he never supported us and disappeared from our lives as soon as he found out my mother was nurturing a little life in her womb. But no, wait: he did something else before he left. He tried to convince my mother to have an abortion.

I wish I had the ability to describe the emotions that overthrew me when Mother told me about it. Anger. Bitterness. Feeling of insecurity, feeling unwanted. And all the while, a deep and sincere gratitude to my mother, admiration of her brave heart. She chose to give me life! Yes, despite all, she didn't want to give up on her tiny baby. She didn't give in to evil manipulations.

This continued to haunt me for years to come. Why didn't he want me? Did he hate me so much that he wanted me dead and gone, before I even had a chance to breathe fresh air? Was I so meaningless to him that he never bothered to find out if I'm alive or dead? It was then that my most rebellious period as a teenager started (no, I'm not justifying it, just telling my story). A girl who knows her father didn't feel obliged to protect her! The very thought is pure torture.

It took a great deal of growing, trials, pain, praying and seeking God to finally let go of the bitterness and forgive my father. Sometimes I still wonder what he would think if he saw me as the woman I am today: a grown-up daughter, on her journey with God, with dreams and thoughts and doubts and aspirations, preparing for marriage, longing to be a wife, mother and homemaker. Would he feel sorry for what he missed? Would he regret for being so selfish and short-sighted back then?

Does he ever think about what could have been? Walks hand in hand, his sweet baby daughter cuddling in his arms; talk and play and laughter; watching his little daughter blossom into a woman, protecting her. A glorious vision of the day when he gives her away in marriage, in God's perfect timing, to the right man.

Another thing I had to work through was the inferiority complex of an 'unwanted' child. I mean, I couldn't be worth much if my father rejected me, right? But I kept reminding myself, until it became ingrained in my head, that I was a loved child, a planned child, a wanted child – a child of God, a child like all the other children, and maybe even walking closer to Him, as I have no earthly father to watch over me in my years as an unmarried woman.

"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up" (Psalm 27:10)

33 comments:

Karen said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I can't help but think how wonderful it is that you are here though! Thank God your mother did choose life and even if you were unwanted by your father you were always planned by your Father in heaven. I can't imagine what it would be like not to know my dad as I actually have a somewhat decent relationship with mine, but I suppose it is a lot better than having an abusive dad in your life.

Perhaps he will change someday just keep praying!

Mimi said...

What you have had to go through has prepared you for what God will use you for...
You are a strong influence on your mother, grandmother, fiance', and all your blogging friends!
When the time is right (God's timing) you may become a mother then you will have young minds and hearts to mold for the love of God.
God was protecting you even before you were born for his purpose.
God bless you for what you have overcome.
I am praying for you and N.P. that you will continue to seek God's guidance as you prepare for your life together.

Sheri said...

Anna, thank you for sharing your testimony regarding your earthly dad. With more than 1/2 of children growing up in a fatherless home, I pray this post of yours touches many hearts. You are making a difference my dear sister in the Lord!

I know you know this, but your Heavenly Father chose you "before you were born!" He will never let you go! He loves you from the top of your beautiful head to the bottom of your beautiful feet! He adores you! He rejoices in watching you grow and mature. He loves to pick you up when you fall. He smiles over your desire to serve him "at home." He daily wants you to crawl up into his arms; being engulfed in his embrace...

You are loved with an everlasting love dear Anna.

Emily said...

Anna - my heart truly goes out to you.... I can only imagine how all of that left you feeling when you found out. A similar thing happened to my half-sister; her dad abandonned her when she was 2, and although she tried to get in contact with him, he wanted nothing to do with her. Heartbreaking....

But praise the Lord, as you said, that God is your Father and He has taken care of you, and will continue to protect you. I pray that He will guard your heart from bitterness and those feelings of being unwanted, whenever they come to know. Blessings to you dear sister, and thank you for sharing this with us.

Buffy said...

What a sad thing to come to terms with. At least you know your mother wanted you very much if she was prepared to go through all that on her own.

I dread to think what people who weren't wanted by either parent must feel about themselves. I wonder if your father came to regret his immaturity and realise what he had lost out on?

Katy-Anne said...

It's so true about the Lord taking us up. I grew up with both father and mother but did not feel very loved by my father. He always told me I was ugly, or stupid, or that I would never be able to do such and such a thing. He told me that I "didn't fit" into the family. I also rebelled and while that is not an excuse, God has really been good to me. I've gone from a rebellious teen to a married young woman with a son. It's so wonderful, and it can be that way for you too Anna.

Haus Frau said...

He is the Father to the fatherless. Bless you Anna for sharing a bit of your story. (((Anna)))

Ways of Zion said...

What a terrible thing to have to deal with. My father was angry with me from the momment I was born because I was supposed to be a son (as first born) needless to say this did not help a loving relationship between us.

Seung said...

I will always remember a classmate of mine in medical school, with whom I used to study a great deal. During these study sessions, she'd often tell me bits of her life story -- whether I wanted to hear it or not. It was tiring to listen to. The story itself was worn-out and flecked with so much anger. But when she told me that she'd had an abortion, and that it had been the best thing that had ever happened to her, I sat up and took notice.

Why anyone would want to trade in a child's life for the cruel and senseless grind of 80+ hour weeks for the rest of your life is beyond me ...

USAincognito said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It is a great reminder that no matter what our earthly fathers do to us, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and who will never abandon us.

Candy said...

I couldnt have responded better than what Sheri and Usaincognito both said.
:)
Hugs to you,
Candy

Terry said...

Your heavenly Father has given you talent, wisdom, and insight. Thank You for your openness and willingness to share your most painful memories for in order to help and encourage others. You are indeed your Father's daughter!

Kelly said...

Dear Anna, thank you for sharing. You've come so far with God's guidance and he'll continue to guide your life with N.P. You are always in my prayers.
It is always good to remember that God can be our parent whenever we need him. I grew up with an abusive mom and it was only my dad who really was a parent to me. Now with my daughter I am struggling to be a good mom when I had no good example of one. Leaning on God is all we can do.
Kelly

Alexandra said...

I'm so sorry, Anna. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm touched that you found the love of our Father, and did not ultimately define yourself by the thoughtlessness of your biological father.

Anna S said...

Thank you, dear ones, for your kind encouragement and support. My heart is on its way to healing today, and I've forgiven my earthly father.

Elizabeth said...

Aww ... Anna! I can't think of anything say that others haven't already said better! I am impressed and inspired by your bravery and strength!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Anna,

My heart truly goes out to you, our need for our fathers to love us is primal and deep. My father didnt want children, but he opted to have me becuase it would keep him out of being drafted for military service...if it hadnt been for that i'd have been in the same boat as you frankly. So i understand the wound there.

Haus Frau said it best, "He is the father to the fatherless"....

Peaceful and Healing Week,

Wendy

Anonymous said...

I am filled with such respect for the "brave heart" you described your mother possessing. It must have been a very lonely, & even frightening, time for her all those years ago.

Your birth father is missing out on knowing the wonderful person you've become, Anna! But the Father loves as no earthly parent can, & you are a testament to that love. It's so evident every time you sit down & connect with all of us in Blogland!!

May God continue to bless you & your family,

Brenda

Mrs. Jo said...

I loved what you wrote about how you WERE planned and you ARE wanted by your Heavenly Father. How awesome to know that! I have known many people who have made mistakes regarding their kids who go on to restore those relationships later in life. I hope this is possible with your earthly father. If not, perhaps your Father-in-law or other godly men in your life might fill those Father shoes for you.
You are a special young lady and God is doing such neat things in you. I'm so glad your mom chose life!

Anonymous said...

Anna,
Thank you for posting this. I never knew my father either (in some ways our story is quite similar). My mom was a "wild woman" in the 1960s and had 2 children out of wedlock, myself in 1963 and my sister in 1967. Neither father ever wanted to be involved. It's a very long, hard process to work through feeling "unwanted." I think you expressed yourself beautifully.

It took me a long time to see that my Father DOES love me and I AM wanted. You are much wiser than I was at 22!

Thankfully, my mother kept us and raised us herself (family members did try to talk her into adoption). My grandparents were very supportive and helped raise us (my grandpa died when I was 5, but we lived with Grandma and she took care of us while Mom was at work). By the way, Mom went back to church and was saved at age 28 after my sis was born. The church was VERY supportive of a single mom. Both my sister and I are Christians now.

Your post made me cry -- I know how you feel and how hard it is to forgive. Again, I think you expressed yourself wonderfully - you truly have a writing gift!

Blessings, Lisa in ND

JoAnn said...

That is a very touching post. It's so sad with all you've gone through, but truly the Lord seems to be teaching and blessing you in and through it all. :)
JoAnn

Shelley:) said...

God bless you for being so candid. When I was growing up, my best friend was the 3rd child in a single parent family growing up on "mother's allowance" (a form of Canadian welfare that no longer exists in Ontario). She said that her father was already married to another woman and she was the product of an affair. According to her mom this "man" only saw her one time, through the bedroom window of her home. I can't imagine how this feels as I am the only child of parents who struggled with fertility. God has a plan for everyone, therefore all children are planned, just not always by their parents. I also think this post would be ok for young readers as too many children and teens can identify with the pain you've suffered and could benefit from your excellent example of victorious living:)

Anna S said...

Shelley,

When I wrote this, I felt it might be too traumatic/bitter/dark for teenagers, but maybe you're right.

Lily said...

Anna,
What you have to say should be said to teenagers as many of them are getting themselves into situations too young these days. Many are faced with pressure for abortions. Actually many married women are faced with the same pressure. I know several married friends who were advised that now is not the right time for a baby and advised to abort.

Your mother was very courageous as 20ish years ago abortion was a well exercised solution to a 'problem' and we are all grateful that you are here. I know of a woman who was pro choice until her mother told her that she was going to have an abortion and decided not to when pregnant for her. The woman realized how close she was to not existing and became a pro-life activist. It is a terrible thing you had to deal with, and at such a young age.

God is always a father for all of us. His sorrow is greater than anyone's over each and every child lost to abortion. There is no greater father in the world. He has blessed you with a wonderful life. We are all blessed to know you.
~Lily

Anonymous said...

My story is a little similar. My mom got pregnant at 17 back in 1960. Her parents tried to talk her into giving the baby up for adoption, but she wanted to keep it-me!
My dad was 17 also and they broke up soon after.
My grandparents loved me dearly after I was born and my mom and I lived with them until she met and married my step-dad at 21.
I searched for my biological dad, and long story short, found him when I was in my early 30's-living in the same town as me-small world!
My mom had a traumatic childhood with an alcoholic mother and was emotionally distant. I struggled with feelings of self-worth for years and years. I still struggle with believing God loves me.
A child's concept of their parents has a tremendous impact on how they see God. My mom was a better mother than her mother, and I'm a better mother than mine. Thankfully, the mothering in my family improves with each generation. :)
And my biological dad? He thought about me all through the years and was very kind when I met him and we've kept in touch.
So my story has a good ending. It still doesn't erase the years of loneliness and feeling unloved and unwanted though.

Mrs. Brigham said...

Thank you for sharing this touching post, Anna.

Word Warrior said...

Anna,

You may have read my post about it before, but I was in your mother's situation too...pregnant, abandoned and enouraged by a number of friends to abort the life in my womb.

Those who know my oldest daughter, know she is a testimony to God's grace and mercy, restoring what the locusts have eaten--ten-fold.

She is the joy of my life, serving her family, loving her siblings, and honoring her parents (I married the only Dad she knows when she was 4.) Her vision in life is to be a godly woman, helpmeet and mother to "a thousand generations".

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story...another beautiful testimony as well, and you are such a strong voice against abortion, simply by your life.

You're a special gal!

Anna S said...

Kelly, no, actually I had no idea about the situation you had been in, with your eldest daughter. That must have been tremendously difficult for you, just like for my mother. I'm so happy you met your husband and were blessed with many more precious children!

Cinderellen said...

God is so good to all of us. Its amazing how much He truly does love us. And imagine, we can't even fathom how much that love is!
What a wonderful Maker!!!
Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you and keep you.
Psalm 121

Coupon Addict said...

Anna,
I wish I could say something to make you have total peace in your heart. But, I will say this. When you have children and you love them with all your heart and love and serve your husband. You will find a healing in being the two parent home you longed for. Peace be with you dear. I am sure you are going to be an amazing wife and mother.

Rebekah S. said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. The Lord so clearly has an AMAZING plan for your life, Anna! You have and I believe, will continue to, have a huge impact on the girls and women who visit your site. You encourage them, edify them, and strengthen them more than I believe you will ever know. And for that, I want to say thank you!!!

Peace and blessings to you, dear sister,
Rebekah

Anonymous said...

This is a truly beautiful post...so heartfelt and so honest.

Thank you for sharing it.

Jennifer said...

Oh Anna, I'm so sorry :( You are a strong and smart woman. Both parents should be proud, and know that your Holy Father is.