‘I knew God wanted me to deal with the adoption’

Robin’s story | Secrets coming into the light of the Holy Spirit

“Perth in the 1960s was fairly provincial: to be pregnant and unmarried was unthinkable, a shameful disgrace. I was so naïve, I didn’t even know I was pregnant until five months. I was also self-centred and had other plans for my life. So, when my parents arranged for me to be sent to Melbourne to have and give the baby up for adoption, I went along with it. I wasn’t forced. I let it happen.

Afterwards, I went on with my life, with the adoption my one dark secret. I’m normally an open person, but this was something I buried and told no one.

In 1981, someone very close to me died. We were at the beach together when he was taken out by a rip and drowned. It was terrible and afterwards, I was a mess, full of turbulent and painful emotions. When this period of intense grief subsided, I began to ask questions. Up to this point in my life I had sought to be happy, but now I wanted to know the truth of what life was all about. Was there a God? If so, who was he? Was he good or was he a monster who takes away people you love? I was searching for reality, whether it was pleasant or not.

Back then, the only Christian I knew was a friend, Colleen. She had visited me prior to the tragedy and she had talked to me about God, but at that time, I saw it as just raving about religion. I wasn’t ready. Then, after the tragedy, she came back and shared the gospel again. This time I was ready. I suddenly understood three things: something was very wrong with the world; the wrongness was in me; and Jesus was the answer. I was born again. I had very little theology but I believed in Jesus.

After that, it was a process of learning and changing. I also came to see that God doesn’t like secrets. Suddenly, in 1989, after nearly 25 years, the buried secret of the baby I had given away was being dragged into the light by the Holy Spirit. Everywhere I turned – on the TV, the radio – there was something about adoption. At the same time, the adoption laws had changed, allowing contact between birth parents and adoptees: that was no coincidence. I knew that God wanted me to deal with it. He wanted to restore us. I was told her name was Susannah and I wrote her a letter.

Susannah rejected it. She wrote back, politely, saying she didn’t want contact, that she didn’t know how to deal with having two mothers. Although this was a blow, later I saw God’s timing and that this was only a first step; neither of us were actually ready and I think it would have been a train wreck if we’d met then. Years went by and I prayed for her.

Then, in 2014, somehow the issue was reawakened in my heart. Maybe I could try again. I sent away to the agency for forms, but while I was waiting for them, I got a letter from Susannah wanting to make contact! I didn’t know it, but God was working on us both, at exactly the same time. He is amazing!

I leapt at the opportunity and, from the very first communication, there was a strong connection. We just took off. The journey, although exhilarating, also had significant challenges. The big one, of course, was that I was a Christian and Susannah wasn’t. In her eyes, I was a Pentecostal lunatic, while she was trying to be a Buddhist. Having talked about it a lot, in 2015, we decided to leave it. We said, ‘Let’s see who gets the lightning bolt first!’ A year later, the lightning bolt hit her! Hallelujah!

I’m 80 now, and Susannah is a much-loved, precious daughter, fully restored to our family. Looking back, I see that God knows the end from the beginning. He can restore and redeem! His timing is always right. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, ‘Know therefore, that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.’

Robin’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

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