[eltdf_dropcaps type=”normal” color=”” background_color=””]I[/eltdf_dropcaps]n 2006, I was six years old. I had a different name and a different family. My story did not have a good beginning.
My name was M*. My home consisted of my biological mother, the man she was living with, an older sister and a younger brother. I have good memories of engaging with my little brother, but other than that, there weren’t many good childhood memories.
My biological mother made me believe I was ugly and worthless; she did this through her harsh words and emotional rejection. I knew no such thing as celebrating Christmas or any of my birthdays. I was there and had to be tolerated. There was no mistaking that I was unwanted and unloved. For a little girl, all I can remember was that I wanted was a loving family.
In 2006, my biological mother told me I needed to pack my things and that I was going on a trip by myself. She told me that a lady would come and pick me up and that I mustn’t be at home when she got back from work. And she left me there, standing in my room. L*(the social worker from Abba Adoptions) came and fetched me. I asked her if she was going to be my ‘new mom’ but she said ‘No’ and promised me that she would find me just the right mom and ‘forever family.’ Until then I was to stay with Tannie B* who was a place of safety. She also looked after special needs babies. I stayed with her for a year. My memory of that time was just of her loving me, caring for me and being so kind. It was the first time real love was shown to me.
While I stayed with her, an Afrikaans family sometimes looked after me on weekends, but it was always temporary, so I figured no-one would ever love me permanently. I remember my first day of becoming a Johnson so clearly. Dad_and_Mom were crying when they came to fetch me and my two brothers were so excited. I was so excited to be going to my new home with my new family who had chosen to love me and make me part of them.
I remember my mom asking me to do something and I just said ‘Yes,’ and she instructed me to say, ‘Yes, Mom.’ It was weird and new and wonderful and strange.
Before I was adopted, Mom lovingly made a scrapbook to introduce each member of my new family – Dad, Mom, my two older brothers and my sister in Heaven. It also had pictures of my new home and a pretty bedroom – just for me.
At the back of the scrapbook was a letter my mom had written explaining why they were giving me a new name; Mika Hope. I asked Tannie B* to read it over and over to me:
We already love you. We have prayed that if God wanted to bring a little girl into our family, He would do it when the time was right and would find the perfect little girl for us.
I know it might seem a little scary for you – but remember, my sweet little one, that God has prepared our family for you and you for our family.
In the Bible, God sometimes changed people’s names when He adopted them into His family. We would like to change your name to one that is similar to your name right now, but will be unique for you in our family.
We would like to change your name to MIKA HOPE. Mika is a name that comes from Japan and means ‘beautiful fragrance.’
We have chosen ‘Hope’ for your second name because no matter what has happened in our lives or what sadness we have gone through, God always gives us hope in Jesus.
We can’t wait for you to become part of our family so that we can start making special memories together.
All my love,
Your new mommy.
In the beginning I kept thinking that no-one would love me permanently. I believed the dream of a family would end soon. But as I began to settle in, I began to realise that I was good enough no matter my stubbornness and faults. As my parents showed God’s love to me, my heart softened and my independent will started changing. God was working in my heart and in all our hearts. He was writing new chapters to my story.
I remember one time, when I was eight, I was invited to a friend’s birthday party. I was the only little girl there who was not white. (That happens quite often when you are adopted into a white family.)
Anyway, my mom had just bought me pretty new sandals which I wore to the party. We then played a party game where we were divided into two teams and a sheet was placed over one team who were lying on the ground. We were covered except for our feet which stuck out. The other team had to guess who the feet belonged to. Before I lay down under the sheet, I ran to my mom and asked her to take my sandals as everyone would guess it was me because of my sandals. It didn’t dawn on me that I was the most obvious one to guess because of my skin colour!
I now have my own testimony of God’s grace and salvation in my life. As I look back, I can see God’s hand and how He was caring and protecting me.
I have been doubly adopted – physically and spiritually.
My identity is Mika Hope Johnson – I am half Coloured, half Indian and completely White.
But it is God’s adoption of me that has given me my true identity.
When God adopts us, He changes our past, our future and everything about us.
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)
It is because of God’s adoption of me that I am not rejected because Jesus was rejected on the cross for me so that I could belong to Him and have a heavenly Father.
It is God’s adoption of me that reminds me that I am not unwanted or unloved, because He chose me before the foundation of the world.
It is God’s adoption of me that reminds me that His love is not temporary but that He will love me with an everlasting love.
It is God’s adoption of me that that promises me that He will never leave me nor forsake and that nothing can ever snatch me out of His hand.
God chose to show me this through my earthly adoption into the Johnson family. My family. My ‘forever family.’ God chose to do this through the work of Jesus on the cross. Adoption is a picture of the Gospel of Grace. I am grateful to be part of that story and to know that God is still writing my story. And because God is the author, I know it is a beautiful story and a good story and it will have a wonderful ending.
Mika is 17 years old and currently in Grade 11. Visual Art is her favourite subject at school and her after school activities include Highland Dancing and Hockey. She is planning on studying Nursing when she finishes school.
Continue to read this beautiful love story here as told from her mom’s perspective, our very own Prov31 contributor Leanne Johnson.