One year, one month and 22 days. That has been "our Forever" together and yet, it feels like so much longer. I work to look back over the year - to see progress made - but that night, the only thing I see is the dark dark cloud that resides in my heart and over my house.
Adoption is hard. Redemption sucks! The enemy ... he's ruthless!
The hard, unspoken, ugly truths of adoption often go unmentioned. Who would put out there for all the world to see and know the things that really happen in our homes or in our hearts? I mean, for heaven's sake, we're all so busy spreading the need and blessing of adoption so that you will adopt ... that we neatly and conveniently post only the fun, the cute, and the aww moments on our Facebook status's. Our blogs are full of all the special occasions, "Firsts" through their eyes and the beautiful side of adoption. Besides, the truth is, the truth makes
But the truth is ....
- When you say "Wow, he talks so much" or "he can say so many words" - your right! But the truth is, he talks that much because he is struggling with attachment issues. A kid who incessantly talks is also a kid who needs to have the attention always on him/her. This is absolutely exhausting and well, frankly, knowing it stems from such brokenness, it is crushingly sad.
- When you say "He's so inquisitive", the truth is, his 500 questions he's just asked is because once again, he has attachment issues. RAD (reactive attachment disorder) lists a child who asks incessant questions or "asks questions that he/she already knows the answer to" as one of the indicators of many on the list for RAD. This is not only exhausting, but heart breaking. Attachment is a dance and a process. Some days, I don't know whose leading and whose following. I do know ... it feels more like a race that doesn't have a finish line. The truth is, sometimes, that feels defeating.
- "Aww, he's so affectionate" you say as he puts his hand into yours and walks away with you. The truth is, what you didn't see was how he turned his head around and smiled a callous smile at me as you walked away. You didn't see the manipulation in what you thought was a sweet gesture. You didn't see that he/she was using you to manipulate/hurt me as one more test ... "will she stay"? (because you also didn't know/understand what happens in a child's heart when they've been abandoned) You also didn't know that often these kids will "Mommy shop" because they've had so many caretakers in their life. The Mom, me - just another Nanny. What does that mean? It means that he/she has no clue what a Mommy is. The truth is, He/she isn't being affectionate with you because you are special. No, he/she has no clue the proper boundaries and you are just another "Nanny" that will give them what they need/want. Now is that moment as cute? The truth is hard and sometimes, painful.
- "Wow, she's/he's such a leader" you say. The truth is, she/he struggles with control issues. Her/his inability to follow, her/his desire to always be the one in charge and the fact that she/he is always "helping you", isn't because she's/he's just helpful. If she's/he's helping ... she's/'he's the one in control. This too an attachment issue. Being a leader is a positive quality. Being someone that has to control everyone and everything around them at all times is a stronghold.
- The truth is, the kid isn't the only one who can have attachment disorders. This is an adoption reality that I am learning the hard way. The truth is, love and attachment is a two way street. Just as they have to learn to love and trust us - we have to learn and trust them. The truth is, many days I still feel like their is a stranger living in my home. Many days, I am still wondering where those parents are of the kid that was dropped off 1 year, one month and 22 days ago. I am learning that love is as process and it may not happen over night. The truth is, this feels shameful and many days the enemy uses this truth to tell me that I am a horrible Mom.
- The truth is, often kids adopted at an older age will lie, cheat and steal. This is because it's the only thing they have ever learned and was absolutely necessary to survive. The truth is, I have watched so so many families dealing with these strongholds and they alone, begin to destroy a family. These habits are incredibly hard to break. The enemy knows this. He's ruthless I said!
- The truth is, even after you've read all the books on attachment, done all the coursework and gone through the process ... it is still a constant struggle every day to figure out if the behavior your child is exhibiting is a 'personality trait" or an "adoption related attachment issue". The truth is, parenting a child by adoption is like a massive puzzle with lots of missing pieces ... that you may never find.
Adoption is the by-product and God's solution to brokenness. The first sin of Adam and Eve separated us from our loving God and forced us to be cast out of the Garden. Because of our lies and sin, we were no longer worthy to be in His presence. Only through the blood of Jesus, were our sins washed clean. Only through the death on the cross, were we able to be adopted as sons and daughters. The truth is, our own adoption process was brutal, bloody, shameful and hard.
The truth is, it's THIS truth that keeps me going each day! He paid a price for me. He gave up his own life for me! The truth is, adoption is not only hard but there is nothing comfortable/convenient about it.
Wasn't for him ... why should it be for me?
Someone once told me that they thought it was "fair" and "right" that a family would pay as much as they did for the International Adoption process. To them, if the child was worth it .. the family would be willing to "sacrifice" ... that their finances were their "investment".
I've been thinking about that for a while and have but one thing to say ... the sacrifice of adoption is our lives. He laid down his life for me - and through the adoption of our child/children, we have to lay down our lives for them. I don't know a greater sacrifice or a greater investment than that.
The truth is ... even in all these truth's, it's still worth it!