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.
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.
I trudged to the front of the group, my palms clammy and heart racing. The gym was overcrowded with sweaty kids, a typical 90’s summer day club. The promise of good times and trying new activities had become disillusioned for me quite early on. My quiet, slightly pudgy 7-year-old self had won the attention of the camp director. And since attention was neither appreciated nor desired, dread—not laughter—filled my summer days.
I wasn’t surprised I had been called to the front. Several weeks had conditioned me for what was going to happen as I approached the grown up holding the microphone.
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.
The physical therapist looked at me and said, "Your strength is great! Your arm is really strong!"
I smiled confidently, just as he turned to the intern and matter-of-factly stated, "So, her shoulder joint is completely shredded. But, as you can see, her strength is really good!"
My heart sank. I thought, for sure, if my shoulder was strong - if my strength was enough to garner a compliment from this physical therapist who worked with shoulder injuries all the time - that great progress had been made!
But my strength - and even my ability to push through pain - did not change the condition of my shoulder joint.
"Do I look like her?" he questioned,
as he climbed up next to me.
"Yes you do, my sweet boy,
It's that dimple in your cheek!
The smile that you flash,
Your cocoa perfect skin,
Your twinkling bright brown eyes,
That's what you can see her in. "
"I can't remember her," he sighed.
As he scooted in even closer,
"She'll always be a part of you,"
and you, a part of her.
We can talk about your past and
any questions that you have.
I'll be here when you're scared,
and I'll hold you when you're sad.
"Will you be forever mine, too?" he asked.
as he nestled in to me,.
"Oh forever, and a day or more,
I'll love you for eternity.
You'll always be my brown eyed boy,
The one for whom I prayed,
And I'll always be your Momma,
Forever and a day."
Most of us have struggled with feeling not enough. It's what compels many New Year Resolutions.
Not thin enough.
Not spiritual enough.
Not disciplined enough.
Not present enough.
Not smart enough.
The nagging fear that we don't, or won't measure up can be crippling. Many of us have sacrificed freedom for living lives where we tire ourselves striving to always - finally - hopefully - be enough. But we never are. And the truth, sweet friend, is we never will be.
Last year, I wrote about how to enjoy a simple Christmas - even when it isn't by choice. I wrote about some of the hardships our family was encountering - illness, surgery, and my husband being out of work for the last six weeks of the year. I wrote about choosing joy when things are hard. I wrote about not allowing our circumstances to shift our gaze from the One who holds not only the season, but the whole world in His hands.
I had no idea that just a couple of weeks later my ability to live out those words of encouragement would be seriously challenged.
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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