When I Was 28 My Parents Told Me I Was Adopted and I had Siblings I Never Knew Existed

Opinion   |   Demetrius Minor   |   Dec 11, 2017   |   5:45PM   |   Washington, DC

“Lord, if there’s any bitterness within me, please remove it”—this was the prayer I had found myself praying for several weeks in March 2014. I didn’t know why I was incorporating these prayers into my life. From my viewpoint, I had no enemies or anyone that I had ill will towards.

But it was on March 31, 2014 that I had finally realized the meaning behind the mysterious prayers. It was the day before I was scheduled to move to Atlanta, GA on a ministerial assignment when my father summoned me downstairs.

Originally, I thought I’d be treated to a chorus of “We love you and we’ll miss you”, but what would be revealed to me would make my skin grow colder than ice on top of the Arctic Circle.

My father would sit across from me and my mother would sit adjacent to me on the living room couch and reveal to me for the first time, at the age of 28, that they were not my biological parents.

I sat there stunned, perplexed and quite simply numb. Everything was moving so fast and I could hardly think, much less speak.

Finally, I mustered enough courage to remind my parents that for all of my life they were the only mother and father that I knew, but that this shellshock of a revelation was inexcusable.

I was then told that my birthmother had been in a terrible car accident a couple of years prior that left her paralyzed and confined to an nursing home. The duration of her life was unknown, and it was this that caused my parents to unveil the truth about my life.

On top of finding out I was adopted, it was also revealed to me who my biological father was and that I had siblings, that up unto then, I had no idea existed.

As if this twist of events couldn’t get even more bizarre and earth-shattering, my mom revealed something to me that still gives me goosebumps to this very day. When I got saved at the age of 7, I gave a bible study to a woman named Wanda at my aunt’s house. Wanda would later come to my church and get baptized. For so long I had thought Wanda was a family friend and my recollection of the event was very vague due to the fact that it was so long ago and that I didn’t remember seeing Wanda much during my life.  It was then told to me that Wanda, this woman who was the recipient of a bible study give by a 7 year-old kid, was indeed my biological mother.

I was STUNNED. Words escaped me. It was an emotional mixture of joy and yet profound shock. There was new meaning to the belief that God’s ways are truly not of the ways of man. I didn’t quite grasp the full meaning of this, but I could yet feel a supernatural presence around me.

I would go to Ohio to visit Wanda in August 2014. During my flight, I consistently pondered on what I would say. She was incapable of communicating with her mouth, which made the situation even more difficult and painful.

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Nevertheless, the moment came when my oldest biological sister led me into the room at the nursing home where she was staying. I simply remember gazing upon her, not knowing exactly how I felt, except numb. But it was in a private moment with her that I simply reminded her of previous encounters with God and that his hand was upon her.

As we locked eyes upon each other, I felt something special. The awkwardness was intertwined with a sense of closure that God was revealing to me, through grace and mercy, my real identity.

Wanda would pass away on February 3, 2017, two weeks before the passing of my mom. She never raised me. She never saw me graduate from high school and college. She never read the Bible with me or witness me preaching my first sermon. I never had the mother-son bond that so many men have enjoyed.

But she never allowed the consequences of her decisions deny me the opportunity of life. She birthed me at a time when her life was turbulent and fractured by a reckless lifestyle.

She was gracious enough to cherish the sanctity of human life and allow me to be raised by two loving parents, and because she chose life, I will always be eternally grateful.

LifeNews Note: Demetrius Minor is the author of “Preservation and Purpose: The Making Of A Young Millennial and A Manifesto for Faith, Family and Politics.” He is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network. He serves as a ministry assistant at First United Pentecostal Church in Augusta, GA.