Adoption. When anyone ever shares they were adopted I always get the chills. I think its because someone thought beyond the natural need to have children of their own. I know some adopted because of fertility issues and some are lead to adopt by God. To me it doesn’t matter because anyone who can adopt a child and love them as their own are special people. Even more special are the children of adoption. The ones that grow and thrive such as Christie. Enjoy. (Story brought to you by Crystal Nix)
Twinkie. That’s what I’ve been described as since I was little. How can a little girl be a Twinkie, you might ask. Well, some would say I’m yellow on the outside and white on the inside. I never took much offense to the term, laughing it off with everyone who joked about it. Being adopted from South Korea and raised by Caucasian parents was a fact of life for me. I can’t say enough wonderful things about my parents and family. They are the greatest family in the world. However, even despite their love, I struggled with who I am for a long time.
Young girls are thrust into a world that judges them, criticizes them, and encourages them to look a certain way. Growing up in a predominantly white, upper-middle-class town, most of my classmates had light hair, blue or green eyes, and many were very thin. They had boats, access to nice hair salons, expensive clothes, and what I thought at the time to be beautiful lives. I, on the other hand, was chubby with black hair and dark brown eyes. My family was blessed with plenty, especially compared to the rest of the world, but we didn’t live like many of my classmates. Most people knew me as “the Asian girl”, since there were hardly any minorities in my school. While boys chased after my friends, I sat on the side wishing someone would notice me, and maybe for once a crush would say they liked me, too.
Of course my parents always told me I was beautiful, but they were my parents and I felt they were biased. They didn’t see what I saw when I looked into the mirror, or what I presumed other kids saw, too. I remember one instance when I was twelve and I had a crush on a boy from Vacation Bible School. My friend and I were invited to a pool party at someone’s house and he was there. In pre-teen fashion, a friend of mine told him that I thought he was cute, to which he replied, “ew, the Chinese girl?” I’ll never forget that. It planted some deep seeds of insecurity within me. For a long time I thought I would never have a boyfriend, let alone a husband.
For most of my adolescent years, I pined for my mom’s blonde hair and blue eyes. I thought that if I could just look like “everyone else” that all of my troubles would be solved. I failed to see that my perception of “everybody else” was incredibly wrong. I felt that God had made a mistake in putting me in an Asian body. My mom would continually tell me that God doesn’t make mistakes and that I’m exactly how He wanted me to be. Being upset with my outward appearance, essentially with how He made me, was more ugly to God than any scar or unwanted physical trait. It was years before I actually believed her, but she was right.
Around the time that I fully committed my life to Christ, I became more comfortable in my own skin. One day it hit me: there are a lot of different people in this world and each one of them is here for a reason. God has never, and will never, make a mistake. He made us as He saw fit. The real beauty that God sees is in our love for Him. It’s whom we are deep down. It’s how we serve the Lord with a happy heart and how we pour out His love onto other people. It’s how God becomes the top priority in our lives and we allow all else to flow from that decision. That’s what real beauty is, and that’s type of beauty that transcends skin color.
As the years have passed, I’ve learned that being caught up with outward appearance is shallow, and I wish I hadn’t given it so much thought for so long. It’s difficult, though, for women and men- young and old alike- to move past this in a culture that values very shallow things. The life God calls us to live contradicts much of what our world pushes on us. Beauty, material possessions, financial success, and selfishness are praised, while a God-honoring life is commonly seen as “close minded.”
Recently, I’ve wondered why people say beauty is skin deep. Why must beauty be equated with our skin at all? Beauty is beyond our skin- it’s what comes from our hearts. So to every girl and woman out there, young and old, who questions her beauty: please try to put your focus on what’s on the inside. As 1 Samuel 16:7 says, for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.