Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Plan - Why I Left My Son in Another City.

the burning weight in my stomach needs no stirring- it's been burning hot and steady for days....

We walked into daycare yesterday morning unexpected, and he asked "am I going"? I answered yes.  He hung his head -he knew the plan.

The plan his Daddy & I would never had agreed to a year ago- but hindsight is 20/20 and we've got much to look back on.

The plan- not because he's in trouble, or bad. The plan, that moved forward even when he promises not to call me a moron, throw a lamp or be mean to his brother again.  Promises easily spoken but not yet kept.

The plan- that in our hearts we believe is right but the believing breaks it.

I hang up the phone and get my game face on to pack his things.  The last week or so has been filled with hurry up and wait, so the call was expected but not until later this week.  Packing this time is different from the hospitalizations- he's allowed to have his favorite toys.  I struggle to find favorites in his room.  He's allowed to have jackets and sweats with strings. He gets to wear his shoes.  His robe with the belt is not a problem.  I pack his journal with the notes about how angry he is with us, and his football cards.  His alarm clock and the CD of his Daddy's songs.  His orange toothbrush and his "In my Heart" book that he loves.

The plan is not a quick hospitalization, but a 90 day (or more) residential stay. And we are packing underwear and wrestlers while we can hardly believe that we are so desperate for a Fresh Start that we're taking our son to another city and leaving him with strangers- praying they can do for him what we can't.

He passes the 3+ hour ride playing his game- he knows it will be the last chance he'll have for a while.  Every so often he whispers "Mommy, I don't want to go" and I can only reply that I know.

In the last few days, we've done the high-fives and celebrated that he will be the very best ever medicine taker because he is so good at it.  And we've talked about his new room and the cool field trips they'll take. And the XBox that makes his little brother jealous to go with him.

But there is much we haven't said out loud, but we know.

I want to grab him and hold him close and kiss him and sing lullabies over him but I know that will be more than he can handle so I let him escape into trying to get to the next level of Star Wars. And I watch his sweet face for miles and he doesn't know it- like he doesn't know the nights I sneak back into his room after his storm and kiss that face, and cry and beg God for change.  And wonder why the God of the Universe doesn't just fix this.

We arrive at what will be his home for the next several months.  We get a tour and I can't complain but my stomach burns hot.  And I talk about the cool view from his very own room and the neat desk and the fun shower curtains and the awesome back yard the whole time I know he's going to hate it.

And they tell him to pretends he's a rock star as he signs his autograph and he's included in the admission process because he knows.

And we leave our son in a house with strangers that we must trust to help him and not hurt him.  And we leave him there with the same rules posted that we have at home, similar schedules and the same chicken nuggets on the stove.  And we wonder if it will really make a difference and it takes everything in us to hug him goodbye and walk out the front door and leave him. 

But we do.  

Because there is a plan is to give him and our family a Fresh Start.  The plan is to identify primary diagnoses instead of them all competing against another that will help us help him.  
The plan is for him to learn to control his actions regardless of his feelings.  

The plan, is that he will learn to accept love---from the parents who seem to have abandoned him.  

Loving him looks different than I expected it to- and I'm sure there are some who will say "I would never" leave my child- and I expect those have never been privileged to love differently than they expected. 

It's a crazy plan that takes a scared nine year old who doesn't believe he is worthy of love and fears being abandoned a second time and puts him in a house with strangers more than three hours away from his family.  It's a crazy plan that's purpose is to teach respect and kindness in a house that isn't his own.  
It's a crazy plan where love seems to turn it's back on the one who is loved. 

But I think of another crazy plan- one where my God Daddy asked his own Son to be born flesh, grow up and then die- willingly for all the ugly and sin of others (John 3:16).  He turned His back on the one he loved so that He could love all.  God's crazy plan that helps me love my son,  because He first loved me.  

We're praying that more than anything, God will reveal His love to Elijah in a new and unmistakable way- so he will truly understand what it means to be adopted and loved, not just by this mean 'ole Momma and Daddy but by his God Daddy.  

Then, and only then will he be able to lose his own shame and experience real love.  

And we're asking for partners.  Partners who will commit to take one day between now and October 22 to pray for Elijah. If you'll send me the date, I'll send you some specific prayer needs and his address so you can send him a note and let him know he is prayed for and loved. 

Knowing the plan is needed is kind of like swallowing nasty medicine to cure an infection- it may bring healing but it's sure hard to get it down.  
Our family has been on heightened alert for so long, it's going to take some time for us to de-stress and learn how to do life without him home.  

Our hope is in the Lord.... happy Tuesday y'all! 


  1. Put me down for October 1.hugs to you and yours sweet Robin.

    1. I have you down for 10/1- I'll add you to the FB event with prayer request and his address. Thanks!

  2. Robin, we would be honored to have a specific day to pray for Elijah ... you pick ... we will take a date to send him love and encouragement, but we will pray for Elijah and the rest of the Allen's for as long as you need!!!

    1. thank you- I set you up for August 23. If you'll send me an email address I can send you the details and his address- my email is randr86@cox.net

  3. Robin, you and your family are in my prayers. As I've told you before, we have walked this path and know your pain. Since I am a friend from years ago, I do not personally know Elijah, but if you think a note from me would be of encouragement, then put me down for a day as well. Lamentations 3 was a blessing to me this morning, in the midst of pain and feelings of abandonment, the author calls to his memory the steadfast love of the Lord! Praying for you all!

    1. Joy, we are all family in Christ and as my friend, I think it would be fine to send him a note. I set you up for August 20th. Thanks so much- it's always encouraging to hear from people who walked the path ahead of us... Thanks for sharing Lamentation 3.

  4. Pick a day for me too. I would be honored to pray for Elijah (and your entire family). May God give you and Rex peace during his time away. <3

    1. Ginger- I set you up for August 5th and sent you an invite to the private FB event. Thanks for partnering with us!

  5. Pick a date for me too. My honor to pray for your family. May God give you all peace during this time.

    1. Angela I set you up for August 22 and sent you the details via FB private event. Thanks girl, love you!

  6. Robin,
    I will take July 31st and will pray for your family all the other days as well! I see families like you struggle everyday in my practice and I am in awe of all that you live through and with such grace! I will pray that this is the best fresh start for your family ever!

    1. Angie, I have you down for 7/31. I think you're on FB so I'll add you to the event with the prayer specifics and his address. Thanks so much!

    2. Hey Robin,

      I got your website from Becca Crockett. I tried to email you, but had some trouble with it. We have a ministry in Salem/Roanoke for adopting families. I'd love to meet with you or talk, if you're up for it. My email address is kelli@emptychairministry.com Our ministry is at Fellowship Community Church. You can look at it online at www.emptychairministry.com

    3. Kelli- so sorry for the delay- I was getting a lot of spam and changed my settings to moderate comments and forgot. I'd love to meet and talk. My personal email is randr86@cox.net. I'll check out the ministry online. Thanks for reaching out.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...