I am a biological mom to Shayne, what an undescribeable joy!
I am an adoptive mom to two more sons. They were 6 months and 18 months when I first held them in my arms, and we welcomed them into our family. It has been, and continues to be a journey we couldn't walk outside of God's strength.
We assumed, because of their young ages that it would be a "piece of cake." After all, how much damage can be done in such a short amount of time?
We soon learned that neglect often has far greater affects than physical abuse. That neglect affects children, as early as in the womb.
You don't have to agree- but if you are questioning the validity of the statement I would guess that you have never loved a child who has truly been neglected. The younger the child, the worse it can be. Research proves this, it isn't my opinion. It is my experience.
I once described raising my boys like being on an island. The five of us are on the island. The water around us is full of boats- large and small. Our island looks like the others. For the passer-by it looks pretty good. There are some neighboring islands that are pretty similar. There are even a few sightseers in helicopters hoovering about. All around us are people waving, smiling, nodding, they even sometimes speak to us. Some are really close to the island; close enough to touch us but they never actually step onto the island. No matter how surrounded we are, how many people we can see or hear, we are still alone on the island. Because our island looks like the others, people assume they know all about our island- but in reality, they can't understand what life on our island is like.
One of the biggest criticisms we face comes when we try to explain the phychological damage our boys are in the process of healing from. When we speak to teachers, friends, school and daycare workers to explain some of their behaviors, we get the obligatory smiles, the rolling eyes, the sneers. They often assume we are just making excuses for them, after all, they were so young. If we would just discipline them a little more, we could solve all those "behavior" issues. SIGH!
We've been in play therapy for about two years now with E. We've been trying to show him, by unconditionally loving him through all his rages, fears and tantrums that we aren't going anywhere. That it is safe to talk about his Mommy T. That it is okay to miss her. That it is okay to love her. At the same time we are trying to gain his trust that we are here, and we will not leave.
We are seeing baby steps, and in the process we've had some conversations that have blown me away. They usually come out of the blue and catch me totally off guard. I've pulled the car more than once to pull him out of his car seat and just hold him. We cry together. When I relay these conversations, I usually get those same sarcastic looks. You know, the ones that say- without words- liar.
We realized a few months ago, that E. is grieving- much like you and I would grieve over the death of someone precious. Part of his grieving, has included very clingy, sad spells. So tonight, when I told him Rex and I had an appointment, and Shayne was going to watch him for a bit, I wasn't surprised when he started to cry.
"Please don't leave me mommy, I just love you so much. I'm afraid something bad will happen to you mommy, please don't leave me." This cry was a little different- it was from his soul.
Noone knows a child like their mommy. I know when he's playing me (discipline) and knowing when he's hurting (unconditional love.)
I knew my son was hurting tonight. But, as usual, I was caught off guard by the pain that came pouring our of him.
We had talked for a while about how he was afraid his biological mom might be dead- and he was scared that I might die too. He talked about the "difficult decision" that had to be made. (really- he's only 5) He asked me if she could be part of our family and live with us.
Then, he took my breath away as he, through sobs and tears said the following:
“Miss T. needs a baby- she needs somebody to grow up and tell her how to live. I tried to tell her how to do it right, but I didn’t have a mouth because I was only a baby. I tried to grow up really fast so I could tell her. I tried really hard. She wouldn't listen. I just miss her so much. “
A five year old little boy should not ever have to carry the burden of not being able to fix his mother. But, he does. Much of the pain in our fallen world shouldn't be. But it is.
As much as my heart aches for my son, it yearns even more for my Heavenly Daddy to wrap E. up in his arms, and love on him like I can not. To give him peace like I can not give. To heal his heart.
Today is Multitude Monday, I am supposed to be listing what I am thankful for. With my mom heart a bit overwhelmed on this Monday I'll focus on one thing that encompasses so many. I'm thankful for Hope.
My hope is in YOU LORD!
When you think about us, will you pray for our family. It does get a little lonely on the island.