Honest Advent: Day 16

December 16, 2022, By: Jimmy Scruggs

Day 16: Father

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3

“It’s a simple fact that everyone has parents. I know not everyone has two parents around, but we are all the by-product of two people—and that comes with a lot of wonder, weirdness, and weight.

“It’s a wonder that we are our own person, but we can see so much of ourselves in the way we act and look.”

The Wonder: Often I felt like the black sheep of my family, which began at my ninth birthday party. I had all the girls from my class come for a sleepover, and the one girl, who was like the class bully, looked at a family photo and said, “Why don’t you look like any of your family?” This was the first time I had felt insecurity about my adoption and began questioning who I look like, where I come from, and much more. The older I got and less answers I had, the more insecure I grew.

The Weirdness: In 2014, while searching for my biological mother, I discovered that she had passed away a few months prior. Grieving someone you never knew, but have a natural connection to was a rollercoaster of an experience. As time went on, I still wanted to continue the journey of looking for other biological family members. In 2018, I was given Ancestry DNA to see if it would help me find any answers. After receiving the results of DNA matches, I began messaging many strangers. One day, I got a message back from this gal who happens to be my biological dad’s half sister. I made the awkward “I think I’m your child” phone call. Sure enough, that man was my father, who had no idea I existed. In this same year, I found out my biological mom was also an adoptee, which added a layer to my journey to figure out who her biological parents are. I did get to meet her adoptive sister and niece. Walking into the Mexican restaurant in Thornton, I made eye contact with strangers who began crying. I was greeted with hugs and the words, “You look just like her.” It was weird hearing the words I never expected to hear. During our time together, I was able to learn about my biological mom—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even though some of the facts were difficult to hear, I was in awe of the experience.

The Weight: Years and years of searching the internet, Facebook, and trying to put puzzle pieces together, I found mom’s mom. In March of 2022, I got to meet my biological grandmother. It was a surreal feeling getting to see someone I resemble, to hear stories that connected my personality. For many years, I never understood the wonder of looking into the eyes of someone and understanding nature versus nurture. That time spent and phone calls with my biological grandmother added a weight (in a good way) that I never understood. It was a weight lifted off my shoulders.

When I think of my story, Scott Erickson’s writing, and Jesus’ story, I feel like I have a special perspective to the idea of Jesus as Father. The idea of being loved through my journey of being an adoptee has opened my eyes to the reality that even if we feel like we may not fit this exact mold or idea of person based on our life journey, we still have a connection with Jesus, even if it feels distant or incomprehensible. In my own spiritual journey, there are times where I struggle to comprehend the idea of Jesus as Father, but I am thankful for my perspective of knowing that even if I don’t feel connected or struggle or see the ways that I am made in the image of God, I still am.

—Emily Pearce