Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Interview with Talitha Piper

 I'm so excited to have a special treat for my readers today! Awhile back I had the privileged to get to know through the world of Twitter, Talitha Piper and later meet her at Desiring God's National conference this fall. Talthia is the daughter of pastor John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church. She was adopted as a baby by Pastor John and his wife Noel who has been posting Talitha's adoption story on her blog. When reading through her story I decided to ask Talitha to do an interview for Nobody416 and she graciously agreed. So without further ado...

  Olivia: You have a large age gap between you and your siblings and your parents were older when they adopted you. What have your good and bad experiences been with being the youngest by a long shot and having older parents? Any special memories with your siblings that you wouldn't of had if it wasn't for the age difference? 

   Talitha: Well, yes there is a very large gap between my siblings and me! It has been really fun being the youngest. First of all, I am really close in age to my oldest niece so  it's more like we are just friends instead of aunt and niece! And second, I really loved having older brothers because they were so much wiser and knew so much more than me! It also has helped me when I am thinking about what characteristics I would like my future husband to have. I feel so blessed because I have 5 godly and wise men in my life, (my brothers and my dad) who are good examples of fathers and husbands!

  Olivia: Have you ever been asked if you have met your "real parents"? If so, how have you responded?  

 Talitha: Yes I have been asked that question, but not a lot of times. So I don't really have an actual response I tell them but usually I just say that I have wonderful parents that I live with, and a wonderful Father in Heaven, and somewhere a mother who loved me and had to give me up. I guess, I don't really give a straight answer, I just tell them how blessed I am!

  Olivia: Do you ever think of what your life would of been like if it wasn't for the Pipers adopting you? If so, what do you sometimes imagine that to be like? 

 Talitha: I actually hardly think about what my life would've been like if it wasn't for the Pipers adopting me. But when I do, I imagine growing up in a house where God is never spoken about, or mentioned. I thank God that I was adopted by the Pipers!

  Olivia: Your mom talks about how you always have known that you were adopted and they've been very open with you. How has that impacted the way you see adoption?

 Talitha: I see adoption as a little picture of how God adopts us. The excitement, the pain, the sorrow, the joy!  I think that I wouldn't connect earthly adoption to heavenly adoption if it wasn't for my parents giving me a godly definition (and example!!) of adoption.

  Olivia: When you were adopted, your family became biracial (as mine also is). What has that experience been like for your family and particularly you?

 Talitha: My dad takes me out every Saturday for lunch. I have noticed some people kind of giving a sideways glance at us. They don't usually openly stare. Or when my mom and I go out together, sometimes people think that she is my grandma, or some other relation or guardian. Overall, the experience hasn't been bad or anything.

 Olivia: Has being physically adopted effected your perception of spiritual adoption?

 Talitha: Yes. I kind of touched on that on another question. But I can say it again! Being physically adopted is very special, but being spiritually adopted is ten thousand times better!! My family is only biracial. God's family is multi racial. That is so amazing! I have been adopted twice in my life. Physically and Spiritually! I thank God everyday for that!

  Olivia: Does having parents of a different race effect how others have looked at you or been perceived?

 Talitha: No, It really hasn't. I mean yeah, strangers look at me and my parents but not really anyone else. I also have a lot of adopted friends and my family has friends who have adopted children of other races as well.

  Olivia: What advice and encouragement would you have to others that have been adopted by parents of a different race?

 Talitha: Let your physical adoption help you think more about your spiritual adoption. Think about how you don't look like your parents, well, we are not like the Father. We are not perfect. The Father IS perfect. We who are adopted don't look like our parents. We maybe don't act like our parents. But we are like our parents in a big way, We all have sinned. Think how special it is to be adopted, physically, and most of all spiritually. Thank God frequently for being adopted in both ways!

 For more of Talitha (and a picture of her dad as Superman...) check out her blog Talitha Going Godward. Thanks again to Talitha for being willing to do this! In the next week I'll be posting my family's adoption story so come back for that.


  1. Also my blog is this: http://talithagoinggodward.blogspot.com/

  2. Oops, forgot to add that too the post... I'll put that in.

  3. Talitha,

    This was about as gratifying as adopting you in the first place.


  4. that was great! thanks for having her!

  5. What a sweet post and a great perspective on adoption. Thank you!

  6. I, myself, was adopted as a baby. I remember first hearing about spiritual adoption. Tears immediately began to well up, and then began streaming down profusely as I began to realize the amazing act of love and grace that God had done for me! Once a son of Satan, on my way to eternal punishment for disobeying God. Now, a son of God, joint heir with Christ, God's perfect Son, who calls me "Brother." Thanks for sharing with us, Talitha. I've heard your father speak so well of you over the years. I am so glad to see you in the Lord. Our prayers have been answered!

    Grace and peace

  7. Talitha, I love how you sound like your Dad when you use phrases like... "Being physically adopted is very special, but being spiritually adopted is ten thousand times better!!" (emphasis added) :D

  8. Wow! That was very encouraging Talitha! God Bless You.

    - An Asian Brother

  9. Thanks for this - my wife and I are considering adopting across cultures and this was a very helpful insight. Early days for us but thank you

  10. Good Questions. Thanks for posting this and adoption insight.

  11. Dear Talitha,
    Your words ~ "Or when my mom and I go out together, sometimes people think she is my grandma..." ~ reminded me of my own childhood. The perspective I had an inkling of then has, through the maturity of years, deepened.

    I found myself deeply offended by those comments,in defence of my mother who didn't, by my youthful eyes, seem to warrant those 'grandma' comments. I was grateful then for my parents ages (they were 47 when they had me, their only child) for I saw that they had achieved the wisdom of years.

    Now, at ahem, 42 years of age, I can only wholeheartedly support that view. Yes, my mother wasn't as physically able to do some of the kiddo-type things as I would have wished, but she sure 'made up for that' in other ways.

    In my case, we had our own children at ages 29, 31 and 35. But the ravages of a chronic pain illness have limited me greatly so 'I am now my mother who was not as physically energetic', but hopefully also 'making up' in other ways.

    I like to look at these 'diffences' as 'calling cards' to study Biblical persons who lived out lives posessing these characteristics/circumstances. For instance, wasn't Sarai advaced in age when she had Isaac? And Elizabeth for John the Babtist? Looking at these 'life characteristics' through the lens of faith strengthens my trust in God's sovereignity & creativity.

    Thank you for how you spoke of the good in each situation the question asked about. And, more importantly, for showing how it connected with the spiritual and giving glory to God.

    grateful for Him Who 'upholds the universe by the word of His power,' (Hebrews 1:3

    ~ Jackie