My heart is heavy this morning – burdened by families who I know and love who are struggling with their adopted children.
These kids come into our families from hard places where they have experienced unthinkable traumas. We have hope for our kids to heal and to learn how to be a part of a family again, but sometimes the road to healing is a long one – which isn’t always understood by folks watching from the outside.
I will never forget the day I taught a painting class at the orphanage in XN, where we lived for 4 years. I had paint kits for each child – with extras so they could choose which kit they wanted to work on. I stood before the class telling them they could choose. That is when all hell broke loose. There really are no other words to describe the chaos that followed. A fist fight broke out and I stood in shock. The nannies who were helping me pulled the “bullies” off of the other children and I ran to comfort the child who had received the worst of the blows.
I bent down and scooped up the 8 year old boy – who was one of my favorites in the class. I cradled him in my arms and began to softly speak to him as I rubbed his head. That is when the tears came in full. He pushed me away and began to scream and roll on the ground.
I recognized my mistake quickly. I am a mom at heart – I wanted to comfort my sweet little friend, but I had caused him more pain than the punch of his classmate. Being held in my arms was to much. He didn’t know how to respond. Didn’t understand the love of a mother.
His reaction haunts me. But it helps me to understand the hard work that is ahead of most adoptive parents. Our children, for many different reasons, have been denied the basic needs of feeling loved, safe and cared for. It hurts them in depths of their souls. One hug after a punch won’t fix that.
only a miracle from God the Father. I am watching God work that miracle in our little monkey. Nightmares slowly cease. Trust is built. Love is learned. But man – have we needed a bucket full of grace and a lot of prayer as those things have happened.
I guess that is what this post is about. Grace & Prayer.
When I am carrying my 5 year old on my hip – don’t look at me like I am an over indulgent mom. Understand, my girl was never carried as a baby. When she throws a temper tantrum over being left at Sunday school, understand she doesn’t trust me to come back to pick her up. When my little monkey spits out the food you serve our family, please remember she never had tasted cheese till a few months ago. Her new life is so foreign to her. Please show her grace and pray for our family.
Thankful God has extended it to me – so that I can extend it to my dear daughter – so that I can pray for other adoptive families and extend it to them as well. What a gift it is (and will be) to see the healing and transformation take place in the lives of our kids. Daily I am thankful that God has given me a front row seat to watch his hand at work.
Tammy has an amazing husband and four fantastic kiddos who keep her hopping. She counts it a blessing to have such a family and is burdened by those in the world who don’t. After living in China for several years and volunteering as an art teacher in a local orphanage, she is changed. She learned that orphans in China are normal, sweet, loving children who are hoping, wishing and praying for a family to call their own. She couldn’t adopt all of her students so she is on a mission to tell others about the joys of adoption. Check out her blog here.