An Imperfect Destiny

Autumn 1971

I sat on the sun warmed side walk on a cool autumn day. My palms and spindly legs soaked in the heat and I thought. I thought about the universe and its expanse. My mind wandered into avenues like destiny, the black expanse in a darkness beyond our floating universe. I felt like the speck on the flower in Horton Hears a Who. It scared me.I jumped up and ran for something I knew, my home, a concrete symbol of security. Destiny was a concept beyond my scope of imagination a wave length my child’s mind could not fathom, but without it, my future seemed too open, too daunting.

Destiny is a confusing word. Christians fling it around like air freshener. Preachers proclaim predestination from the pulpit. Sweet young girls believe they are destined to have a fairy tale wedding. Young men say to the love of their lives, “You are my destiny.”  What does destiny really mean? Are we destined for things or do events happen due to chance? Are they random? Do we live in a random swirling mass-of-atoms-universe?


1. something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing, lot or fortune

2. the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.

How do we swallow the destiny pill on adoption? If we believe that each of us, according to Ephesians 1 were predestined to be adopted as Christ’s siblings, does that mean we were also predestined to be orphans? And what about our adopting physical children? If a child is formed in another mother’s womb, does that mean we are stealing her destiny to mother that child when we adopt him? Heavens no!

Destiny and God’s perfect plan

Destiny and God’s perfect plan are likened unto Robert Frost’s lines “two roads that diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

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We cannot attribute all the bad things in the world to God and His choosing. Death. War. Famine. These things create orphans. That was not God’s choice. C.S. Lewis explains, “If you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that. You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will. Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, “if you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realize that this also is God.’ The Christian replies, Don’t talk damned nonsense’. For Christianity is a fighting religion. …a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.”

When we choose to adopt, we are putting something right. However, if we adoptive parents do not believe we were destined to adopt the child then we will never feel the freedom to fully parent the child. there will always be that seed of doubt, that ‘what if’ that creeps into relationships, decisions and adoption. ‘What if’ has knocked at my door before, I know better. I turn it away. If I let the tiniest seed of doubt enter in, it grows as quickly as the beanstalk Jack climbed. If the beanstalk grows, I WILL face giants. Giants in the form of gnawing questions.

  • Did I make the right choice?
  • How can I parent this child?
  • How can I get out of this adoption? It is too overwhelmingly HARD.
  • Did I rip the child from his culture?
  • Will he ever attach?
  • Will he heal?

And these giants grow until I feel inadequate, overwhelmed and full of regret. If I believe that I was destined to adopt this particular child and God has placed him in my home and my part was an act of obedience, not an act of rearranging a family, a culture, a nation to suit my whim, then I have a solid foundation to build my parenting on.

I know. I know. A difficult concept to swallow. Some of you may want to throw the technology you are reading this on at me right now. I understand. Hold onto that Ipad just a minute.

A woman gives birth to a child. Isn’t it her destiny to raise the child? Yes, in a wold that hasn’t fallen under the curse. In a world that Adam and Eve didn’t eat the forbidden fruit. If that were the road we had taken in the garden, then adoption wouldn’t even be on the table.

Sin did enter the world. The curse is real. Death, decay, disease, war, famine, drugs, terrorists, dictators, do exist. There is a god of this world who roams the earth seeking whom he many devour. He rules this present darkness and disaster is his specialty. God, the Father knew all of this before the foundation of the world. Sin will prevail for a time. Adoption is necessary. It is redemptive. Parents would be destined to adopt and step into an imperfect situation and follow in the steps of Christ who came to set the captives free and heal the brokenhearted. In an imperfect world, it is our imperfect destiny, a powerful destiny.



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