The Coveted Collection part 2: Family

My origin story may be fairly typical, though I didn’t realize that as a young child. I remember growing up in a home with my mom and dad. Eventually we moved into a new, bigger home and some years later, when I was about six months shy of my eighth birthday, my younger sister arrived. All normal stuff right? Well one day while looking through my grandmother’s photo albums with my mom, I came across my mom’s wedding announcement. As I read it, it dawned on me that the man mentioned in the announcement was not the man that I had been calling dad for as long as I could remember. I’m eight, but I’m a smart precocious eight so I’m doing the math and something is not adding up - my mom and this man got married in 1972 and I was born in 1973 so umm how is my dad, my dad? “Lucy, you got some explaining to do!” Ok, I didn’t say that but I did have questions. My mom then shared that the man in the announcement was my biological father, who unbeknownst to me, I’d actually met two years prior when he randomly came to my grandmother’s house one night. She’d left and divorced him shortly after my birth because he was extremely physically abusive to her, even when she was pregnant with me. She changed the spelling of my first name, my step-dad adopted me when they got married while I was a toddler so I no longer had my biological father’s last name, and I don’t think I ever would have known that he wasn’t my dad if I hadn’t come across that slip of paper in a photo album all those years later. From that moment on, I think I stopped calling my dad, dad. In that moment, our lack of real connection made sense. I started to fantasize about my “real” dad, and every time something bad happened in my life - namely me getting in trouble - I imagined what my life would be like if my mom and dad had stayed together, or maybe if he decided to come rescue me from the horrible life I was living (which was actually very privileged but no child knows that at the time *inserts shrug*). Or what if my family could be like the two-parent households of my extended family or my classmates? Or, better yet, what if my ultimate dream parents of Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams (heck, I already have the right last name) chose to adopt me? Anything seemed to be better than the thought that my dad didn’t love me enough to keep me safe before I was even born, or was okay with not contacting me for the first six years of my life, or letting another man raise me. I just wanted someone - my dad, a dad - to love me. When I read the entire book of 1 John (seven times to be exact) when I recommitted my life to Christ in my late 20s, I literally wept for days when I realized how much the Lord loved me. I finally had a dad, the best Dad, who loved me and would never leave nor forsake me. *insert content sigh*

Be blessed, Dr. S #BeYourBestYou


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