"Battle weary." "Parenting in the trenches." "Remember, your fight isn't you against your child, but you and your child against their pain." They're common phrases for foster and adoptive parents, meant to encourage and offer solidarity. But there's something more: adoption and foster care are spiritual warfare.
When faced with adversity, many of us resort to protecting ourselves. It's human instinct - to avoid pain and discomfort. Our brain is wired to send signals to the rest of our body when we experience something unpleasant - it's a signal that tell us to avoid repeating whatever caused the pain - cause and effect.
So, what do we do when the source of pain and discomfort is the trauma and behaviors of our child?
"Mom," I asked through tears, "how can I possibly do everything the experts suggest??"
For the past three months, things have been tough with one of our kiddos. Past trauma and current realities have danced in ways that leave us all pretty tired at the end of the day. I had a stack of adoption and trauma related books, a highlighter, and pen sitting out - determined to figure out what we needed to change to make things better.
Parents of children with attachment issues often need to hear this reminder: Your child's attachment issues are not a direct reflection of you, your parenting, or any type of lack or failure on your part.
We cannot get in the midst of someone else's pain - really in the trench of grief with them - and not come out unscathed. Sometimes, the cost of ensuring our child knows they are not alone is feeling incredibly alone ourselves. It can be hard, but there is a truth greater than the facts we face every day: Jesus is with us, and He is for us.
In the midst of challenges, sometimes it helps to be reminded of truth. Truth that compels us. Truth that challenges us. Truth that sustains us. Truth that empowers us.
Sometimes, as foster and adoptive parents, we need to be reminded of simple truths. Not because we don't know them, but because we've been immersed in loving our people, advocating for the needs of others, and working through grief, trauma, and loss with our precious kiddos. If you find yourself in need of refreshing, this one is for you.
As a board member of Mid-Atlantic Orphan Care Coalition, I am sharing some FAQs over on their page throughout this month for National Foster Care Month. Today, I'm assembling these FAQs all in one place, with the hope of helping every day families understand that becoming foster parents doesn't require perfection or super powers.
Can you imagine a hope that does not disappoint? One that anchors your soul and secures your spirit? A hope that rises above the highest height and plummets below the deepest depth? Hope so unmovable, unshakable, and unchangeable that through great joy, heart wrenching grief, and the everyday mundane in between, it holds you steady?
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 7! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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