Did I really just say that?
The words leave my lips and I wish there was a string on the end that I could grab and pull them back in. But out they go, like a balloon floating up to the sky and I can’t take them back.
Just over a year ago, our daughter Ady came to be in our home forever. In those first moments and weeks I never could imagine that I would find myself a year later saying something I would regret. Or feeling frustrated and confused as I have many times.
Over the months that have followed since our little chickadee (my nickname for her) or cutie-pa-todie (daddy’s nickname for her) came to our family, we have learned the depth of her pain and loss in ways we never expected or planned. Hitting, spitting, kicking, screaming, manipulating, destroying, crying, inconsolable crying. The pain and hurt done to her has left her literally terrified to receive love. She is like a tornado of hurt, fear and deep pain.
Foster and Adoptive parents, I see you.
You heard an adoption story and your heart was touched.
You saw the pictures of children waiting in foster care.
You thought, we have so much.
We have more love to give, and it will be enough.
So you jumped in, laying so much down.
But over time you’ve learned love alone isn’t enough.
It takes time.
The daily grind is hard.
Maybe if you were to be honest, you’d admit that you’ve had moments of doubt.
What did we do?
Can I really do this?
You’ve thought of giving up…
Put that picture up on social media, not so pretty right?
I remember reminding God that rubber bands do snap. And as He always does, with love He reminded me I wasn’t going to snap. That I woke up today, put my feet on the floor again today, ready to love.
You know, when people first learn that you are adopting (or fostering), they think you are a hero. And yeah, when you spend years fighting for a child, you can even start to think you are bit heroic.
But I am not her hero.
Her Hero came over 2000 years ago.
He took on every sin and atrocity that was done to her.
He was her Father when she had none.
He was her comfort when she cried alone.
He is the one who rescues and redeems.
Her Hero can see through all the stains of her past.
He knows who she is, all her beautiful potential.
He is who will heal her, despite our shortcoming and mistakes along the way.
What a freeing idea. And what a privilege to be a part of her journey to get to see the miracles in her life that will come. Knowing that I don’t have to be the hero gives me so much hope.
So adoptive/foster parents, don’t give up. Breath deep in the freedom that you don’t have to be their hero, the Hero has got that covered. You just have to be there, pointing them to Him. Wake up another day, and tell that little one that they are loved. Even when their behaviors are unloveable. Pour your second cup of coffee and remind yourself that you too are loved, mistakes and all.
What a beautiful, messy, redemptive journey we get to be on.