One of the greatest questions that people must wrestle through is the question of who they are. The question of identity plagues the hearts and minds of people of all ages, perhaps none more than those who have experienced a great uprooting in their young lives.
Having moved internationally at fifteen I have struggled with knowing and maintaining my national identity. I have loved and continue to love my birth country. However, I have also grown to love my adoptive country. I recently became a citizen of my new country (I’m now a dual citizen) but this has only increased the confusion and conflict that I have felt internally.
There is this feeling of not fitting in, of remaining an outsider, especially in such a deep-rooted coastal area. However, I know that in returning to the country of my childhood there will also be a disconnect. I have grown and changed and the country has changed since I left.
Despite the challenges that I have faced in understanding my national identity my heart goes out to children who have been adopted internationally. Unlike me, with the support of my family, they do not have a developed sense of family identity that can soothe the confusion of discovering who one is.
I cannot begin to imagine how challenging it is going to be for my siblings as they continue to grow and seek to understand their national identity. Will they feel closest to their birth country? The birth country of their adoptive parents? Or their adoptive country?
This is a significant question that confronts many people (not just adoptive kiddos) and it needs to be taken seriously. I think that it is vital that we emphasize that it is O.K. to love more than one country. It is also important that we show and understand that we are all connected to humanity no matter our national identity. Additionally, we are all unique and having a unique and varied background is good and O.K. Finally, it is O.K. to explore aspects of our identity as long as we hold onto an aspect of ourselves that remain with us despite the changes and differences in our lives. For me, that is my identity as a child of God.
Would you pray with me for those around the world who are wrestling with the question of their identity?
Thank you for making us unique.
Thank you that we have our own story, our own loves, and our own hopes and dreams.
I pray that as we seek to determine who and what they are that you will comfort us. Please grant us peace and assurance that you will stand with us no matter the country that we find ourselves.
Please guide us into the knowledge of who we are, what we can do, and the difference that we can make in the lives of others.
In your name, I pray,