Book Excerpt from Blessed by Adoption: A Journey of Discovery Blending Families and Countries by Ann Kief
The Common Thread
There is a common thread to my life and my entire adoption story, and it is God. At the start of my life, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139: 13-14, NIV). God started my life’s journey, and when that Psalm became a conscious focus in my life, I began discovering more about my adoption story and watched blessings unfold. I learned of miracles that started before my birth, continue until this day, and will possibly be revealed to future generations. It’s as though a golden thread has tied these stories and discoveries together to create a beautiful tapestry of my life. At times, these discoveries have overwhelmed me with a barrage of emotions, which have often been too difficult to put into words.
As I mentioned at the start of this book, everyone’s story and journey is unique. Some adoption stories have been filled with tragedy and other with extreme happiness. When I hear of parents and siblings meeting for the first time with pure joy, I wish in my heart that I could have met my birth parents and some siblings. When I hear of unhappy endings to reunions or journeys of discovery, I’m grateful that at least I met eight first cousins, an aunt, many more birth family members and dear friends of my birth family, all of whom welcomed me and want to continue to be part of my life. It can be an emotional roller-coaster from excitement that prevents sleep to a journey of despair and anxiety that also prevents sleep. My life is richer and more meaningful as a result of all these emotions and discoveries. Focusing on the positives and blessings far outweighs any feelings of loss or voids, and the thrill of anticipating building these new relationships and making new discoveries keeps my future bright.
These experiences have grown my faith, and there is no way that I can believe these occurrences happened in any other way than as orchestrated by the hand of God! He set the stage for these discoveries, led me, comforted me, nudged me, encouraged me, and gave me hope to keep going. When I see the intricate ways these blessings have been tied together since before my birth, I know it’s far beyond coincidence and truly a result of God in my life. I also know that as a result of this relationship with Him, I will one day be alive in heaven and see my adoptive parents and birth parents and have all of my questions answered.
Even though my adoptive parents passed away in 1996, I still miss them greatly. My mother had such a sweet personality, and I never knew a person who didn’t like her. She grew up in Macon, Georgia, graduated from college at the young age of nineteen, and taught her father’s math classes at Mercer University when he was dying from cancer. She went on to help support the family and pay for her siblings to go to college. She later became a stay-at-home mother and the perfect diplomat’s wife, while spending her whole life giving to others. She has always been a pillar of strength in my life and frequently told me and showed me “I have a friend in Jesus.”
My father grew up in Illinois, got his law degree at the University of Illinois, and spent his career in dedicated service to the military and the U.S. Department of State. He achieved the rank of major general and was the top U.S. Air Force Reserve JAG officer. At his memorial service, I was amazed at the many wonderful testimonials given for the numerous things he did to help others. Both of my parents are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They did so much for the United States and Germany, but especially for me!
I hope and pray that this book will touch the lives of many in a positive manner. More than fifteen years ago, a friend of mine was sharing what Psalm 139 meant in her life, and that started my focus. One person with the right words at the right moment made a difference, and she doesn’t even know that was the result of her testimonial. God continued to place friends in my life to encourage me to keep going down this path. I can appreciate that even more as I look back on this journey.
Nobody can deny my testimonial and what I have seen God do in my life, and maybe sharing some of my experiences will benefit someone else. I feel strongly, and I have said often, that He didn’t give me these blessings to keep them to myself and just hide them away. They are too wonderful not to share with others. Even the Bible says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV). God formed me, and I’m extremely thankful that my birth mother didn’t abort me. Abortions were illegal in those days, but not impossible. Even though she couldn’t keep me, she showed love and selflessness by giving birth to me. Without that, my children, grandchildren and future generations would have been denied life. My adoptive parents would not have been able to love me as their child, and I could not have shared the miracles and glory of God in this book and elsewhere.
During the years of writing, when I have slowed down and even stopped writing at times, I was still being encouraged. Since I don’t particularly enjoy the process of writing, I frequently asked God if I was really supposed to write this book. I was looking for excuses, however, because I knew deep in my heart that I was to share my story. People often asked me how my book was coming along, and when I shared tidbits of my story with strangers, it was often mentioned I should write a book. I had frequent reminders and encouragement, so I knew I needed to be obedient to God’s calling. As I look back, I even think some of those delays were part of God’s plan. If I had forged ahead and written what I knew before last summer, I probably would not have connected with my birth father’s side of the family in a manner that was perfectly timed to coincide with the family reunion in Germany.
God gave me an ability to write, and even my adoptive father often said in my younger years that I should write. That seems to be prophetic as I look back. I don’t know where my story will go nor who it will touch, but that is not up to me. I will seek God’s wisdom on how, where, and when to share this book and my story.
Again I say “The more you see God, the more you see God!” I truly expect to see more miracles as my story continues to unfold. I’ve already seen other people blessed as a result of my having shared my story, and I believe part of my purpose in life is to share it so others may be blessed. If it does, praise God!
If you feel a nudging to learn more about God, please ask God to help you seek wisdom and be open to His plans for you. A personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ can fill your life with blessings and joy and can also give you eternal life. I feel very thankful and blessed!
Read Alice Murray’s review of Ann Kief’s book Blessed by Adoption: A Journey of Discovery Blending Families and Countries.
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Ann Kief and her husband live in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Her professional life was mainly focused on education, leadership and college administration. She taught at the university, college and grade school levels as well as in numerous parks and recreation settings. She has written professionally, as well as dabbled in writing children’s literature. She and her husband have also enjoyed pursuing their entrepreneurial interests in several businesses. Her greatest joy and fulfillment, however, has been as a wife, mother and grandmother. Learn more at BlessedbyAdoption.com