Tuesday, January 5, 2016

the silent months

there have been fairly signifcant gaps in these past updates--you'll notice posts have been few and far between since coming home.
at first it was because life was crazy, busy, hectic, and a whirlwind: between becoming a family of 4 with an adolescent and preteen, packing up a house and moving within days of arriving home, setting up in a new house in a new city, in a new state, and bonding as a new family all within 2 weeks!

and then the updates became more scarce because life got HARD.

when you adopt, especially the older child, you aren't just becoming a parent and you aren't just adding a daughter/son (or both!) into your family, no. you are picking up the cross of trauma, pain, loss, hurt, anger and sadness children far too young have been appointed to carry, and carrying it WITH them, and sometimes FOR them until they can develop the necessary tools to work through their grief, which could be years, or even decades.

 you are saying:
"i will give up my 'norman rockwell' visions of family dinners, picturesque christmas mornings and evenings, board games at the kitchen table", and saying: "i will accept that the rest of our lives may very well be lived in the trenches"  "i will continue to pour into a vessel that has holes poked all in the bottom" and instead switch your thinking to: even though this seems like a special event, a happy occasion, or a fun family idea, it will most likely trigger feelings of grief and loss in our children and cause pain and result in a melt-down.
you sacrifice happy-family traditions you've been planning and dreaming of, and instead plan ahead to do battle with your child as memories and trauma are purged to the surface.

going into adoption, you prepare yourself for "worst case scenario" and you do far more than "due diligence" when researching everything your new child's referral speaks of.  you feel like you are a long-lost best friend of Karyn Purvis, and in the heat of melt-downs you think "what would Mark V.  do" (can i get "a'men" from my fellow 'Parenting with Connection' folks!), Amazon recommendations start to look that of a fully-stocked child therapists office, and you are convinced in 3 years time you would have damn well earned an honorary Ph.D in child psychology degree from some prestigious university.

we thought we were prepared, we thought our children had been in a great place. we prayed and thanked God for his providence of where they were all these years before we came for them. after all it was a "christian" based, american foundation backed, foster village.

we were wrong.

while we were thanking God, we should have been pleading for him to exercise come sort of vengeance, turn these adults into pillars of salt, have rabid dogs consume them. i can't even describe the amount of pure anger and wrath i feel toward the individuals entrusted to care for our children, and instead inflicted trauma beyond imagination upon them. i feel sick at the thought that i left as a gift for these people a locket with the L's picture in it.

we fight battles WITH our children several days a week.

no, i'm not as honorable as this sounds. i'm not a mother teresa or mother goose even for that matter. it's hard. it's hard on me (and them of course). hence the silence. i've been silently mourning. mourning their past. mourning their grief. mourning the death of the patient, slow-to-frustrate, and happy-go-lucky momma i THOUGHT i'd be.

a good read, as to why you should NOT say "all kids to that" to adoptive parents of children with trauma backgrounds. 

being on the verge of tears has become a nightly occurrence after we finally close our door to go to bed. one of my mantras HAD been "it's not about me", until i was presented with a lifestyle that FORCED me to walk it out 24/7, and i realized just how much i do think it's about me. i realized my sacrificial love isn't as full of complete Agape as i thought it was. i'm reminded of my flesh and still broken human nature.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ --Philippians 1:6

people smile and compliment families like ours; and we smile and pretend they are right. we pretend it's glorious, we pretend we are patient and knowledgable, and we pretend our lives our full of laughter and joy. because we have to protect our children, and we have to protect their story, and we have to protect their lives now and their lives in the past for their lives in the future. so we smile and we nod and we say the response everyone expects "oh, it's been all so wonderful, we couldn't ask for any better of a beginning!" you become an expert at fooling people. so much so that profilers with the FBI couldn't pick the pain out of your soul.
we do this because we have to be wise. we have to be wise about who we share the most intimate knowledge of our children and our own family with. it's not appropriate to openly share the darkest and most painful memories of your children's past with strangers, well-wishers, and anyone that can read a fb status update, or even blog post.
the details remain the children's and the family's, which also means the pain remains the family's.

despite all the pain, this truth remains:
God sees the pain in our souls though.
God sees the pain in our son and daughter's soul, and He is faithful.

we read post like this and weep. utterly weep into a sobbing mess on the floor because the only people who "get it" are people who we will mostly likely never meet, never hug, never share coffee with as we spill our hearts. 

And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transferred into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. --2 Corinthians 3:18

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