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'Take my life and let it be' | Buckner staff member seeks to live out hymn as a voice for adopted children

My favorite hymn is “Take My Life and Let It Be.” The words give me the assurance that God has always been with me. They continue to be a daily prayer reminder in my life.

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee

God guided me purposefully to my family. I was adopted when I was 25 days old. I vividly remember the stories about how my parents prepared for my adoption and arrival into the family. My mother told me about the home study process. My father told me how he picked my name. They told me about the first time they saw me.

God prepared my parents well for the dedication required and the challenge of raising this strong-willed child, and God guided me to a family that, hopefully, was an answer to my birth mother’s prayers. My parents changed my life. I will forever be grateful for adopted families.

Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee

God gave me a voice for the voiceless.

Adoption in 1961 was secretive. It carried a stigma for all involved. Throughout my childhood, I faced the typical challenges many adoptees face: school assignments about family traits I couldn’t complete; stereotypes about adoptees I couldn’t shake; questions about who I looked like, why my birth mother “gave me away” and challenges of an unknown medical history.

Through each challenge, God was building a fierce determination and a sense of justice about adoption ethics, ideas, outcomes and societal beliefs. Every child needs a voice.

Take my will and make it thine; It shall no longer be mine

The hardest part of the song – to lay down my desires to do what God is calling me to daily.

It wasn’t my plan for foster care and adoption to be a lifelong calling. I was so tired of writing and talking about it by the time I completed a bachelor’s degree in social work from Baylor University, I vowed to do anything but work in adoption.

I learned in my first job, however, I could feel God’s presence when talking to children about what would happen in the days, months and years ahead of them, when completing a home study or talking with a struggling parent.

I also began to learn that the energy, the determination and the voice God had given me could be useful. My first supervisor told me perhaps I advocated for my clients a little too much. I smile at those words today.

The author of this song once said, “I committed my soul to the Savior, and earth and heaven seemed brighter from that moment.” I think she was probably trying to say, “Hope shines here.” I am, too.

Amy Curtis is the director of post-adoption services and counseling for Buckner International.

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