The Toronto skyline, dominated by the CN Tower, stretched out before us. My wife and I were in the midst of a leisurely dinner that we were sharing with Carol and John, two of my former students. Carol, an intense and extremely bright young woman, had reached the midpoint of her personal story.
Well she said ruefully, “it didn’t turn out to be anything like I had expected. In fact, “she added, her face darkening, “it was a really a bad scene.”
She paused and to encourage her, I said, “I’ve heard that your experience wasn’t all that unusual. Many adoptees find the whole experience to be anything but pleasant.” I continued. “Still, something good may come of it, despite your initial contacts.”
Carol smiled and John expressed his opinion that she should keep at it just a little longer. “Someone in your family might turn out to be the person who will make it all worthwhile.”
I’m not so sure “Carol said. “It’s so very discouraging.” She turned to me. “ I hope that my bad experience isn’t turning you off.”
I’ve been warned.” I said. “ever since I really began to think seriously about searching for my family, more people have taken a negative than a positive approach. They corroborate your testimony: ‘It’s bound to be a bad scene,’ they say. And its not just the old saw about finding that you have a highwayman for a great-great grandfather. “I could see by the pain in Carols eyes that she fully agreed.
“It is worse, much worse!” she turned to me “Are you going to pursue your dreams anyway?”
“I am,” I said, “and let the chips fall where they may.”
I did pursue my dream and I let the chips fall. This, then, is my story, the tale of a dream pursued. It is not only a narrative tale; it is also an exemplum of a doctrine of the Christian faith, the doctrine of adoption in Christ. I trust that I will succeed on both counts.
Introduction, “Received in Grace”, The search for a Birth Family, ISBN 0-595-19973-9
Dr. Norman Carson, Ph.D., retired professor and former chair of the Geneva College Department of English, is managing editor of the Geneva Magazine. He has contributed reviews and articles for a number of Christian journals. He is an ordained minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America.
He is also my Uncle, that is, ever since he found my father in 1988.