When Mark Schultz was in third grade, he was looking at his baby book and noticed something different. His sister’s book had more details than his. So he asked his mom about it.

“My mom said, ‘That’s because you are adopted.  We had your brother and sister, but with you, we got to pick you out special.'”

Knowing he was deliberately chosen made him feel special. It also motivated him to want to be the best kid he could be. He wanted to be sure that his parents knew they had chosen the right kid. So he worked hard and achieved a lot of success, even as a teenager.

“I was the quarterback in football, I pitched in the baseball state championship and we won, I ran track and played baseball in college. I sang and wrote songs. I had a lot of success.”

While some people saw being adopted as a reason for sadness, or maybe believed their birth parents had rejected them, Mark saw it as a positive motivation. He was grateful that his birth mom had given him the chance to have a great life. And he wanted to be sure his adoptive parents were glad they had made that choice.

As Mark’s career as a singer and songwriter took off, it only made sense that he wrote songs about his experience with adoption. As he sang those songs, many fans shared their stories of adoption with him.

At one concert, a mother waited in line to talk with Mark. She shared about her teenage daughter who struggled with sadness. Even though her adoptive family loved her dearly, she couldn’t shake the idea that no one wanted her and her family had adopted her out of pity. She felt abandoned and rejected. Mark asked to speak with the girl.

“I told her, ‘People can make mistakes, but God doesn’t make mistakes. God has a plan for your life, and what you don’t want to do is miss out on that plan. And if you think “I’m adopted and nobody wanted me,” you’re beginning to hear whispers of missing your plan. God meant something when he made you. He’s got a plan for your life. Don’t miss it.'”

A year later, Mark was back in that same city doing a concert. After the show, that young lady walked up to Mark along with some friends who also were adopted. Mark hardly recognized her, she had blossomed into a happy teenage girl. She talked of how Mark’s song about adoption had become her theme song. She thought of it as a reminder that God is writing a good story in her life, and she doesn’t want to miss it.

Hear more about how God has used adoption in Mark Schultz’ life in Chapter 24 of Epic. Check out Mark’s newest record Follow at markschultzmusic.com.

Mark Schultz - The story of adoption