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The Tie That Binds

Faith Prince was always bubbling over with life. She was married to an engineer and they had two adopted children. Both Faith and her husband were active members in their local church. Their house was located on a hill with a beautiful view and was often a center of joyful fellowship, especially for young Christians.

Faith was very adaptable to all ages and many people were amazed at how she, as a young woman, kept everything in good order. She seemingly had nothing to worry about. But Faith had a secret, or at least something she did not share with others. She had been adopted herself and. deep down, had a desire to meet her natural mother.

Denise Palmer had been a secretary for a factory manager when she was twenty years old. One night she had been asked to work late. As she was leaving, a stranger confronted and raped her. Denise was desperate when she discovered she was pregnant. She felt very alone in the world because her divorced parents had not kept contact with her. Denise was a young Christian as she had not been brought up in a Christian home. The minister and his wife were very supportive, as was her girlfriend, but yet there were so many unanswered questions in her own mind. Why had this happened to her? What must she now do with the baby? The strain was beginning to show and Denise finally gave in to her doctor’s persuasion to put the baby up for adoption as soon as it was born. Deep down it still did not feel right to her.

It took several years for Denise to come to terms fully with the traumatic experience. She received much support from her fellow church members and gradually became more involved in church life generally. Eventually, Denise married a widowed man from a neighboring congregation but deep down she still wondered where her child had ended up.

Only fifty miles away, Denise’s daughter, Faith, had been brought up by her adoptive parents in a warm Christian family atmosphere. At an early age, Faith had shown much interest in the Bible stories and responded well to Christian instruction going about her days with lots of cheerful songs and a skip in her step. At school, Faith’s sunny character stood out from the crowd. At the age of ten, her adoptive parents thought it the right time to tell Faith she had been adopted, but it did not seem to make an impression on her then.

When Faith was twenty-five years old, and had been married for three years, she started the search for her natural mother. This was like a gap in her life and Faith wanted to fill it with something. At first, she was unsure whether finding her real mother was worth the risk; who knew what she would possibly turn up? What could have been the reason for adopting a child out? Did her real mother want to see her? Faith was scared of the truth. It could turn out to be shattering news. Faith’s adoptive parents were very helpful in supplying all the information they had but yet the bureaucratic channels were complex and full of forms to fill out. The wait for replies and consents was long and Faith was aware that her efforts were in vain if her natural mother didn’t want to see her. But her resolve to continue grew by the day. Faith had come to realize that her adoption was a very special and significant part of her life: it had meant she was brought up in a Christian home. God had chosen this for her.

Months after stalling the search, a reply came from an adoption agency confirming Faith’s natural mother had used their service. The agency would try and locate her and inquire on Faith’s behalf whether a meeting was possible.

“Progress at last.” thought Faith. It was up to her mother now.

When Denise received a visit from the adoption agency, she listened in near disbelief at their request. She had not been prepared for this and didn’t know how to answer at first. Denise was stunned that after all these years, her daughter had made the attempt to find her. All the memories that had subdued over time came flooding back. The tears of joy and sadness mingled together as she cried.

Denise agreed to see Faith but, despite the fact she was excited about meeting the daughter she abandoned all those years ago, she also felt apprehensive about facing up to the past again. As Denise prayed, it became clear that God had brought Faith onto her pathway and that she had the opportunity to make up some of the lost ground from years ago; a chance to try and explain. But a question that kept on surfacing in Denise’s mind was “Could it be possible that my daughter is a Christian?”

The agency had arranged the meeting in a private room at a local restaurant. Faith had asked her husband to drop her off as she felt too nervous to drive. There were so many questions that went through her mind. But one that kept on returning was “How do I witness about my beliefs to my mother without frightening her off?” Faith had thought her mother was probably not a Christian. As Faith entered the room she saw Denise sitting by the window. Their eyes met; they were the same color.

Mother and daughter talked for hours. They shared each others lives. They cried together, laughed together and prayed together. Christianity was the link between them. Blessed be the tie that bind.

This is all in the past now. Faith is still as enthusiastic as ever, but she has her quiet moments of reflection. She stands in the open doors of the living room and looks with thankfulness out into the garden where her husband is tending the home grown vegetables. She has received all she has asked for. The children are always glad when their grandparents come to visit.

From behind the shadows of the willow trees, two white doves gently sail towards the golden horizon.