Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Time Has Taught Me

Every year during national adoption month, which is also our 'Gotcha' month,  I am challenged to look back over the years of our journey and do a lot of contemplating.  This year even more than in past years because of the challenges this year has brought.

Yes, during National Adoption Month I feel a need and a responsibility as an adoptive parent to inform and encourage people about the wonders of adoption, but this year I thought long and hard about encouraging anyone to jump into another person's pain.  That may sound harsh, but the reality is 'hurt people, hurt people'.

Now I can hear many of you thinking, "They were so little when they came, how much can they remember?"  or "After 8 years in a loving family, surely their past is their past." or  "It is just being a kid or a teenager, nothing unusual.", and the most painful "Surely if you prayed enough and asked God for healing you would not be dealing with these things."

 The truth that many people are not able to comprehend, I know I could not before we adopted, is that kids with hard starts are going to have a lot of hard work to go through to deal with the trauma locked up in their minds and hearts.  Think about a soldier coming home from a war zone trying to deal with what he has seen and the PTSD he deals with, they were adults with functioning reasoning skills, the ability to protect themselves and fight back, and they had lots of other guys on their team.  These children have none of these things on their side.  They have immature reasoning skills, they are too small to fight back or protect themselves, and many times the ones who should be on their side are the one harming them or doing nothing about the harm.

Now before you say it, I know this is not true in all scenarios, praise God.  And I know that all children will deal with trauma differently.  And I know that many adopted children go on to live very typical lives with little affects from their early losses.  And I know that some children will mold into their families with not a thought of looking back at what they have lost.

That being said, I do believe that the majority will not fall into this category, especially with the trends to children being older and older when they enter their forever homes.


1) The biggest thing I am learning is that adoption is refining me in ways that I never knew I needed refining!

When you have a child who can find every button to turn on your anger, bitterness, selfishness, and the unforgiveness in your heart.  A child who desperately wants in his deepest soul to believe that he can trust again, but in order to do this he is going to test and manipulate every part of you to say, "Are you trustworthy?  Are you going to stick with me?"

I have been on my knees searching out God with tears of desperation and dying to self repeatedly.  What better place to be than to know you can't do it-----only God can.

2) That God is more than enough!

I am a control freak, I admit it.  Stepping into the lives of hurting children, I wanted to 'help' to 'fix' to 'control' to 'make it better'.  What parent does not want the best for their children?  But as time went on I was daily reminded 'I can't fix this'.

Don't read this wrong.  I fight for my treasures!  I read and research and implement all sorts of different techniques.  I have new friends all over the country that have become part of my rallying squad and I a part of theirs.  We use therapists and therapies to engage hearts and minds.  We have prayed over, cried over, and loved over a hurting soul.

But in the end I have to trust that GOD IS ENOUGH!  Only His love can reach a lost soul.  Only His touch can heal a broken heart.  Only His mercy can cause a heart to trust again.  Only His forgiveness can release a ripped up heart to forgive others. And all of this takes time and it is in God's time, not mine!

3) That love is a moment by moment choice---for all of us.

Sometimes love is easy, the sweet tender face of a sleeping new born, the sweet smile of a six year old handing you a bouquet of dandelions, the smile of triumph in the face of a child who aced the test.

But what about love when you have been lied to again, or they found the answer keys and cheated again, or the child who is screaming in terror over what seems like nothing, or the silence and trembling for no apparent reason, or the fists balled in anger again.  Where do you find the love here?

I tell you, you find it in the choice.  You choose to love this child in his pain.  You choose to forgive again and again and again.  You choose to teach the same lesson again and again.  You choose to look past the anger for the hurt daily to see the child.  You choose not to wait for the 'I'm sorry' but remind them again it is needed for restoration again.  You choose not to be easily offended again.  You choose to try again.  You choose not to let the offending words pierce your soul.  You forgive those outside your family who do not understand.


Many, many days lately these choices have been made though puddles of tears and piles of prayers, but they are made none the less as I fight my flesh for my children's future and God's glory.
There is so much more running through my mind, but for today on this eighth anniversary of our children's home coming, I wanted to share what I am learning about myself, about love, about God.

And to decide, "Do I encourage others on this journey?"

Well the answer is yes!

Is the journey going to be all roses?   No

Is the journey going to be all thorns?  No

Some days, weeks, months or even years it will lean heavily in one direction.

But if this is the journey you are called on, you will be called to die to yourself daily, to pray harder and longer than you believed possible, to seek the TRUTH in everything, even things you long thought true, and to grow through trials, pain and joy unspeakable.

May the God of all Truth be glorified in our lives and our journey!


Hilltrain said...

Long time, no hear! :) Very, very well said. Praying for your family...

Shilo said...

This just smells SO SWEETLY of redemption...the remaking of me through my circumstances, the reordering of my life to match His loving interaction with others, the empowering of His presence...You bless me so much!!!!!!!!

Angela said...

Love this, Donna!! So very true! Believe me, I have struggled with encouraging others to adopt...! My 2 newbies have found so many buttons in me that I didn't even know were there, it is pretty hard!!