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The Word on the Week

Who Am I ?

Who am I?                       Word on the Week                     6th March 2021.

The question of one’s identity is about the most personal thing that can happen to you.    To be told you are not who you thought you were, as brought out by the wrongdoings chronicled in RTÉ Investigates: Ireland’s Illegal Adoptions (RTÉ One, last Wednesday) are devastating.

It is who you think you are that enables you to play your part in society with self-assurance.    How you were treated as a child has a lot to do with the confidence you bring to life’s decisions.   To be told, later in life, that your parents are not your birth parents, as one person said “Takes time to process”.

Apparently there are 126 cases of falsely registered births where the adoptees names were substituted for those of the birth parents.  This number has now increased to 151 and there are thought to be many more.   The church agency St Patricks Guild which handled these cases is currently being wound up.

In an attempt to trace her siblings one adoptee was given the name of a birth sibling living in the United States. They met over the internet and bonded. A DNA test subsequently revealed the initial information had been incorrect: they were not related at all!   She said she wanted to scream!

There has been some question of these birth records being classified information under the GDPR privacy legislation which would prevent Tusla sharing information about adoptees’ biological families.   There should be no such restriction.

To know who your Mother is, where and when you were born is a self-evident right.   Whether or not you have siblings and their circumstances is also information of prime importance to establishing who you are.   But the best anchor of all is to be a Christian, a son or daughter of the living God.  

And this is not by random chance but “He chose us in him before the creation of the world” (Ephesians Chapter 1 verse 4).   That is from all eternity God the Father has been gathering a family – the Children of God.     

This choice is effective in the world through Christ as St Peter said “it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God (St Peter Chapter 1 verses 18 -21).

Your identity is secure in the family of God.