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Who Am I?

This month I’ve been thinking a lot about “identity” and how to help our children with this process.  One of our adopted children has struggled deeply with this issue throughout her life.  Even now as a young adult, she continues to redefine and search for her identity, mostly without rather than within herself. 

As our children approach young adulthood, many of us witness the challenging process they must face to integrate birth family, extended family and complex histories into a peaceful core that makes space for all that created that child as a unique person. 

In her book Adoption in the Rearview Mirror, author Karen Springs writes of a process called kintsugi which is putting broken pieces back together into something even more beautiful. 

“We used the concept of kintsugi…an ancient form of Japanese artwork by which a broken piece of pottery is repaired using gold…the end result is a work of art that is worth far more than the original…just like a piece of broken pottery, every child will be mended and healed in a different way.”

Each of us has our own brokenness which we must integrate into an identity.  Foster and adopted children especially came from broken places and must find a way to connect these pieces into a functional whole. 

We can either take these broken pieces and mend them with gold or we can leave the rough edges to cut ourselves and others. 

How can we help our children mend themselves with the gold of our love and the love of God to create something even more beautiful from the broken pieces?  How can we help them see that they are even more exquisite through overcoming brokenness?  We offer some resources for the journey here. 


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Jodi and her husband Jerry have nine children, six through adoption. Their experience includes both domestic and international adoption, and they are passionate advocates for adoption of older children. Jodi and her daughter Agnes Tucker are the authors of Fasten Your Sweet Belt: 10 Things You Need to Know About Older Child Adoption. They speak widely on the subject and advocate for children worldwide. More about Jodi can be found at

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