The Council Speaks
Last updated 6/3/2019 at 1:59pm
Question: I am a First Nations person who was taken from my parents as a child and placed in a non-native foster home. I am an adult now and want to know who my biological parents are, if I have any siblings, and I want learn about my culture. I have mixed feelings on this and wonder if it would be a good thing to reconnect with my family?
There are many stories in God's Word that can help guide our thoughts, emotions, our hearts and comfort us. There are stories where people have been taken from their families and homeland either by captivity and exiled, of necessity and/or commanded by the Lord God to leave.
Moses was taken from his family by necessity for his survival. Yet when he was an adult, he longed for his family in his heart and he returned. He became a great leader of his people.
Of captivity, the whole tribe of Israelites were led to a foreign land, culture and language. They too longed to be reconnected to their families, their homeland and to be returned.
Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus were commanded by God to leave. Matthew 2: 13b-14 records, "The angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream saying, 'Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring the word, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.' When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed into Egypt."
They returned to their homeland and to their families. Matthew 2:19-23: "An angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 'Arise and take the young child and his mother and go into the land of Israel.'" HOME!
They all longed for home to reconnect.
You were taken from your biological family, from your home, culture, language and community without their consent and without your consent as you were but a child. I am sure you had many thoughts and longings about your family and your homeland as you were growing up. Somewhere inside all of our hearts, we long to know who our own family is. There will always be those questions and vice versa.
Seek support and counsel with trusted friends and your adoptive family, that they may pray with you and for you.
May you have peace as you start on your journey which ever path you decide to go on.
Our hearts are with you in Jesus' name.
-Nattie Flett, health worker and women's ministries leader,
Oji-Cree-Garden Hill First Nation
Why would you ask this question? Is it your foster parents response to it and their feelings, or is it your own personal apprehensions?
Reconnection to your biological family, your parents, siblings, culture and community is good and important. However, your statement about mixed feelings, I think, is really what is in your heart and bothering you.
In psychology or clinical terms these mixed feelings are called Anxiety/Avoidance Attachment Disorder. Many children who have been separated from parents and family suffer this disorder. It is developed over time when a child is trying to cope and uses defense coping mechanisms to survive. It is an exaggeration of coping skills that become maladaptive and as a result become a disorder.
Here, anxiety is pervasive and causes a person to have worries, fears, insecurities and apprehensions. It affects every area of their lives and often leads them into a life of addictions as a means to self medicate.
Disconnection is a breeding ground for chaos and confusion. Reconnection or connectivity evaporates a lot of these feelings. In the Christian faith of the gospel, when we get saved we are adopted into God's family and experience great, great peace because we are now reconnected to Him (God our Father). We legally become His child: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Rom.8:15).
-Gary Quequish-MA Counselor, Former President of NEFC
Oji-Cree-North Caribou Lake Band
Do you have a question for the council? Email your questions to Jo-Anne at Joanne.Director@indianlife.org or mail them to Jo-Anne Anderson at Box 3765 Redwood Post Office, Winnipeg, MB R2W 3R6. ISSN 1208-1167.
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