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Preface: I reference Journey Groups, which is a small group where stories of a trauma and/or abuse are shared in a confidential environment. It generally includes 2 leaders and 6 participants. Our group was 2 leaders and 4 participants. After a time where I wrote letters from Little DCabs to Big DCabs and vice versa, we all determined that we really like the name BabyCabs for my infant self.

Sheesh, so I am really going to share this. I opened up the box and it feels like I am now at the Triple Dog Dare dare stage, so here we go. One of the things I have realized in learning that the abandonment wound can make you feel like “too much and not enough” all at the same time, means that I can have essentially a 360 degree potential of being poorly received. It fits well. I don’t know the story of my adoption in full. I have pieces, but not a full picture, so there are many gaps that have to be filled in, and for much of my life, I filled in the gaps with a lot of self-contempt. I self-published a book and it covered some of these themes.

As I mentioned, these could all be simultaneous, or intermittently pop up. I didn’t and don’t always function in this realm, but they are thoughts and labels that hang on. Sometimes, they appear in surprise attacks, especially after having a long period of feeling steady and hopeful.

I have a long history of chronic back pain and a recent willingness to consider the depth of emotional trauma being a factor in my body “keeping the score” via pain. Recently, I have been asking questions about whether my birth mom held me, and if not, if there was some disconnect from my very first moments outside the womb that impacted me throughout my life. I don’t really know, but the curiosity brought me here…to Michigan…again, with a need to see if God would show me where to direct my fight. Because, for me, I had come to a place where I felt much like I was living out the Andrew Peterson song lyrics of “Be Kind to Yourself.”

Well how does it end when the war that you’re in

Is just you against you against you

Gotta learn to love, learn to love

Learn to love your enemies too

Be Kind to Yourself, Andrew Peterson

After a couple days of getting acquainted with my group members and leaders leaders in the Journey group, Tuesday morning (10/10/23) arrived. By then, we had all shared a short 10-minute story of our lives, covering some basic themes and interacted with each other really well, developing trust and care for each other. However, that morning, I was undone. As I walked into the large group teaching time that morning, almost from the start of worship, all the way through the session, I felt the warmth of non-stop tears streaming down my cheeks. They wouldn’t stop. I can’t remember a single word said that morning, but everything felt like a bullseye had been aimed directly at me.

By the time, I went to our Journey group, everything felt like I was moving in slow motion. As the group interacted, I was asked if I was ok. I tried to explain that I was feeling and how undone I had been during large group and how “fuzzy” things felt in the moment. What was stirring for me is that I knew what I needed to do, but it was going to be something between me, Jesus, and the now named BabyCabs. Tuesday was the day we had a long afternoon break, so I sensed that I was being lead to the beach where many have spoken of meeting Jesus. This was the same place I paced back and forth feeling as if I was preparing for a fight a few days earlier. Well, I found the fight.

The day before, the beach was comfortable and the sun was out. Not today. The day had gotten colder and the conditions at the beach were not comfortable at all. Initially, I was frustrated. Then, I realized that the conditions were perfect for what I needed to do that day, so I walked with a chest full of turbulence toward the beach. I wore a jacket that was purchased in Michigan years before, with a broken outer zipper, but thankfully a functional inner layer zipper and some helpful buttons.

For now, remember who you were as a child, before you harmed others. Will
you let yourself connect with this innocent, vulnerable child who was neglected
and hurt? Jesus knows all about you and longs for you to feel His healing, loving
embrace. Will you allow yourself to consider who you were as a child?
He came to forgive your sin, but your resistance to remembering the child keeps you
from all Jesus has to offer you in His mercy and grace. Jesus says our true need is to
become like little children and humble ourselves. Then we can receive His mercy

p. 74, The Journey Begins Manual

We have all probably all heard, said, or lived the phrase, “I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself.” I wonder how frequently that same phrase can replace forgive with love(s). In my case, I had already done enough story work to believe that God does love me (even if I don’t feel his delight in me on a daily basis), and I have accepted my birth mom gave me up out of love (most of the time). Yet, I still had this feeling that someone needed to come rescue BabyCabs in a sense…someone other than me. Today was the turning point. I am the one who was made to provide care for BabyCabs, not out of abandonment by others, but out of care for my infant self.

Babies are the greatest gift in my eyes. Holding a baby is where I feel the most tender and strong at the same time and I am fully aware of what a gift I hold in my hands. If I could retire and rock babies as one of my hobbies, I would be a tremendously happy man. Holding my sons was way more valuable that any gold and I recently had been adding these images to my FB page before I really knew why.

As I reached the beach, I found the rocking swings where I was going to meet BabyCabs. The image I had all morning was that I needed to rock BabyCabs down at the beach and tell him what he needed to hear. My initial wish for a pretty day was a nice idea, but it wasn’t what would show my need to protect and care for a tiny, dependent, helpless little me. The day was perfect to show a level of care and protection from the elements. It was as it needed to be.

Back and forth, back and forth, I rocked and to begin, I positioned my arms to imitate holding a baby. After a few moments, I started to feel like Ricky Bobby when he didn’t know what to do with his hands. Eventually, I just decided to rock and imagine what a 7 lb. 7 oz. newborn me would look like in my arms. For the first time in my 53 years of life, I said the words that BabyCabs needed to hear.

  • You are not an accident
  • You are wanted
  • You are loved
  • You have a purpose
  • You are adored
  • You are meant to be here

And, the words continued to pour out, as did tears and sobbing. I imagined all the sensory things that I have enjoyed in my life and “provided” those in the moment. To scratch BabyCabs feet, back, scalp…and just imagine that I was doing this, just as I had done for my sons when they were newborns. For years, I had come close to the bullseye in understanding this level of care, but when it came down to it, I couldn’t imagine myself providing this type of care for my infant self. I can’t explain why it took 53 years. I can’t explain why I had to experience painful things to get me here, but I know it brought me here. Afterward, I took a depth breath and did a quick movement of my chest and shoulders and I had a loud spinal pop that felt like it reverberated through my chest. It was like the heavy heart had a release. It felt uh-maze-ing!

Me with my 2nd born, Sawyer. He was just about the size of me as a newborn.

One of my favorite songs since I was a teenager was “Can’t Hardly Wait” by The Replacements. There is one line in the song that says “Jesus rides beside me” that has always been a picture of longing for me (even if the next lyrics are “He never buys any smokes. Hurry up, hurry up, ain’t you had enough of this stuff? Ashtray floors, dirty clothes and filthy jokes”). While I am aware that as a believer, Christ lives in me, it has been rare to feel that he is beside me, as someone cheering me on. That day, as I rocked, I felt as if he was sitting next to me as I held BabyCabs with his arm around me and a feeling a joy and pride that this was happening. For a split second, it felt real enough that I opened my eyes and looked to my right just to make sure I wouldn’t see Him. I didn’t, but the presence was very real. So, “Jesus rides beside me” can be switched to “Jesus rocks beside me.”

As I shared this encounter with my group, I could see their faces filled with tenderness, as were their words afterward. One thing I realized is that my time with BabyCabs kinda threw off my next assignments to work on. I was supposed to write a letter to someone who harmed me, and then write to someone I harmed. Because this felt so central to what I was there for, I asked for permission to write a letter from the perspective of Little DCabs to Big DCabs about what an infant me needed from me as an adult, and then turn around and share my Big DCabs letter of apology to Little DCabs. By now, I was starting to feel like I was talking about myself in third person and I was having flashbacks to the Nike “Bo Knows” campaigns back in the day. I’m not much of a talk about yourself in third person guy, but this was new territory and I had no idea how to express it. Someday, I may share the contents of these letters, but for now, I think it needs to be for a smaller audience. I will say that as I shared my Little DCabs to Big DCabs letter, the faces of encouragement were forever marked in my mind. They were cheering me on too.

So, where does this go from here? I am not completely sure. I feel like this was an open door to something more, but I don’t know what that is. However, I am sure of this, I hope to remember to be tender, kind, good, and protective of BabyCabs, whatever that may look like.


    • Avatar DCabs

      Sarah, I think that is where I have questions. Was she even allowed to hold me? And if not, did that create this big vacuum in my first 5 days until I had a home? Just questions with no answers…and thank you, my friend for your openness and encouragement lately (always actually, but especially lately)!

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