I have three issues I would like to resolve, or at least receive some input on:
I am a twenty-one year old Muslima who was born to a Hispanic mother, but raised by an Arab mother whom I consider my mom, and my father is Arab as well. My family life has always been amazing alhamdulilah, but I have a younger brother who knows nothing about my past. Should we ever tell him? when is the best time?
Secondly, I recently received a message from a family member notifying me that my biological mother is out on the streets, eating garbage from restaurants, and wandering off in an unstable mental state. How should I proceed in the most cautious manner to help her? I want to send her money but have this fear that it will go to the wrong people.
Thirdly, I am stuck between wanting marriage and working on my medical career. I am at a point in my life where I feel ready to start a home, but at the same time I’m not sure medical school fits this puzzle. Can anyone give me some tips?
I am so happy to read that you are happy with your adoptive parents and that your family is amazing Alhamdulilah. That is truly a blessing in this life.
I wanted to write firstly about you finding out about the state of your biological mother. That must be really heart-breaking for you and it is but natural to want to help her out in any way possible. My recommendation would be (if possible) to talk with your adoptive parents if they are 1) that open-minded to see that you want to help her and 2) that they themselves would be able to help you out by either doing more research about ways to financially help her out without the money going to the wrong people (as you mentioned). However if you choose not to involve your family in this decision, then that is completely okay too. In that case, I would ask you to research any charitable organizations in your area that help/assist people who are either homeless or have other problems. Because there are a lot of charities that do such a thing. And you can even look up ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) or ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) websites if you are wanting the organization to be Muslim-based. I hope this helped inshAllah.
Now, coming to the part of telling your younger brother about your past… That is a decision that you would have to make. You did not mention his age so I will assume that he is younger than 18. If he is, then he might not understand anything about your past and might become more confused and conflicted when and if you decide to tell him. My recommendation would be (and the decision is totally yours) to wait till he is old enough to understand. I would also recommend that you have a conversation about this (again, if you think this is right) to talk to your parents about this before proceeding. They will definitely provide you insight and guidance. Also, you need to ask the following questions of yourself:
1) Telling my brother about my past, what makes it so important for me to tell him? What is my motivation behind that?
2) How will I handle if my brother’s relationship with me changes after I disclose to him about my past?
I am sure more questions will arise in your mind as you make your decision. I would highly recommend seeking out a Muslim counselor in your area that can help you process this. Trust me, counseling helps a lot!!
About wanting marriage or working on your medical career… There are people who I personally know that have gotten married and pursued their careers after marriage. And then there are those who wait till they are established in a career to get married. Again, you need to figure out what is more important to you. You never know what Allah SWT has planned for you. I pray that you find a caring, and understanding spouse who will be supportive of your medical career because there are people out there like that. This is also something that you can process and explore further with a counselor.
I wish you all the best and pray that Allah SWT helps you always. Ameen.
Your sister in Islam,