A sandwich blessing

We had a little sandwich disaster this morning.  Boy 2 is very particular which bread he wants with what topping.  And I switched it up by accident.  Hey, it’s only 6.30am when I make them 😉

Actually, I first made the crunchy bread with the cold cut topping and the soft bread with peanut butter, fluff and Nutella combo ;-).  Then I realized it was wrong and re-made the whole thing (yes, waisting bread in the process).  So enthusiastically I told Isaac about my mess up, and my fix!  And he got upset.  Apparently I had it right the first time around. He could not handle it and walked away, mumbling and he really could not take it for he kept saying: “This is so stupid.  So so stupid.”  He went on upstairs and unloaded to his brother: “This is so stupid.  I told her how to do it, why didn’t she do what I told her to do.”

I could have done 2 things.  Address his rude attitude.  I don’t need to explain to you how I was actually blessing him by making him lunch, but I could explain it to him.  I could also choose to love this boy at a time he was very distraught.  He was probably nervous about his first soccer practice ever.  He was probably also nervous about his band practice today (he is still struggling with his cool factor decreasing because of it).  Things are still new and he is on edge, rightly so.

This morning I chose the latter.  I laughed at the stupidity of it, and I laughed at the reaction of our boy which was just hilarious in a way.  I went back into the kitchen and I re-made his sandwiches for a second time (again waisting bread in the process).  This time he doesn’t know about it, and so in a little while, at school, he will open up his lunch bag and he will see his momma loves him deeply and desires to serve him.  I can imagine his response: “Oh my, she did make it right!  She fixed it.”  And he will go back to the morning and realize he was rude and awful.  And still I loved him…


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At least he’s moving…

This is one of those mornings where I realize how far boy 1 has come!

We were having breakfast and boy 2 was a bit slow.  Usually he is quite on time so I just wanted to let him know the time. Right away he answered: “I never go up till 6.50 so I don’t know why you are telling me this.  You got it all wrong.”  The ‘funny’ part is that he is not telling the truth but he just has to come against me, he just has to put up his hand in defense.  We all know he is usually on time and goes upstairs at 6.45.  He needs to keep me at a distance.  It’s been like that again for a few weeks now.  It’s the automatic response of: ‘Don’t come near me’, “I will keep you at arms length’, ‘I don’t trust you”, ‘This IS all too scary’.

And then I remembered boy 1.  He used to do this all the time, all the time!  Every answer was met with a No or Why?  And every bit of help was rejected.  But boy 1 is no longer like that.  Life is calmer now.  He can take a no.  He can also take help. It’s quite amazing.

When Tim and I discussed it as the boys were off to school, Tim’s remark was: “Well, at least boy 2 is moving.”  So I’ll take the positive note.  We have not had this phase yet with boy 2.  Let’s see how long it lasts.


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He watched us well

The boys were going at it yesterday.  I looked out the window and saw it all unfold.  It was ugly.  It was physical, words back and forth, and at some point the middle finger went up.  Of course I was excluded from the content of it since I was witnessing it all from a distance.

It was clear feelings got hurt because when we were all inside their faces said it all.  They refused to be in one area, and they were not speaking to one another.  It was serious.  And in the midst, I see boy 1 do something amazing.  He served his brother.  In the midst of anger, of: “I am not going to talk to him for a longggg time” he still did good.  He carried his brother’s laundry up from the basement to his brother’s room.

It was an amazing sight because have we not done just that with both boys?  We kept serving them even though we were so hurt, in the midst of anger, and definitely when they did not deserve to be served.  It made me quite proud of that boy.  He watched us well!  This is such an important attribute to life, we serve.  And when we serve those who deserve it the least, we love deeply those who need it most.


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Anchor us Lord

We wonder about it, do we feel different than other moms and dads?  We wonder how that blood bond feels, the one we will never have.  In our case, in my case, I don’t know what ‘blood’ really feels like but I really do think that that deep connection that comes with a blood bond is missing when it comes to us and our boys.  And I feel it on mother’s day.  I don’t feel connected to our boys like other moms do to their children, especially the moms who birthed their child. Now don’t get me wrong, I love these boys, but we are doing something that is not natural.

Natural would have been to conceive a child.  Natural would have been to birth a son.  And without that, it just feels we are doing something different.  And there is lack in it.  There is gift in birthing your child, a connection that we have to work hard for to get.

I know not many want to address this publicly, like I am not supposed to feel this way.  But I do.  And there is nothing wrong with it.  It is what it is.  And if anything… it helps me understand the task these 2 boys have.  They are supposed to bond to us new parents.  They are supposed to embrace us as their own.  They are supposed to love us.  They are supposed to let us love them.  Something so unnatural, something that, in a way, was not supposed to happen, is happening.  They were conceived by different people, and in a perfect world, they’d still be with the ones who wanted and planned for them.  And so without my ‘lack’, I don’t think I would ever have been able to understand them and what is been asked of them.  In a way it makes us equal.

And in it is gift… a gift that will take us many years to unwrap and discover.  And in the mean time, we will love these boys with all we have, because they ARE our own.  Given to us by the Almighty Who knew what He was doing.  Nothing happened by accident: He chose them, He chose us, He chose to make us into this particular family unit.  And bonding might take mighty work, and I might sense something is different about us.  We know all things come from God and we can only pray he will perfect His plan for our little unit.  And in that my prayer goes like this: “God, anchor us.  Anchor us in one another.”

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Lord, I love doing this with you

It was over onions in the food.  I normally cook 2 portions of dinner: one without onions, one with.  But tonight… I just forgot. Blame the exhaustion.  No big deal as the boy is allowed to pick out the onions, which he does when he happens to eat other people’s meals.  Just tonight… it did not go over well.  Anger came at me, a foul mouth, the looks and then finally the laughter indicating this was some sort of mean game and as if going ‘Nahnah nahnahnahhhhh’.  It was bad enough that, after the warnings of course, I took away the one thing most important to him… basketball.  And the light went out. Screaming, yelling, kicking furniture and doors, throwing things around.  And I let him.  I knew whatever was in there had to come out.  He had to sink deep.  And he sunk deep to his broken truth.  Yelling the ugliest words ever.  Accept, I knew they were not for me.  The screams were no longer screams, they now came from the top of his lungs.  Running out the door, coming back in, going around in circles showing whatever he was feeling, it was too much to bear.  The cries were no longer just cries, they now came from the pit of his stomach.

Our other boy was now affected.  How can one handle seeing his brother suffer and not be affected by it?  Well, not our boys. They are ‘too’ connected, they care ‘too’ much.  Though separated at some point, the bond between them never faded.  It probably got stronger because of it.  So now this boy cries the same tears as he begging-ly looks at me: ‘Do something! Please do something!’  But I can’t, not in the way he is hoping for.  So I hold, I just hold.  And I speak the words that come to me.

I go back to our other boy.  It’s time to calm him down and help him out of this war.  I walk towards him, I try to have the gentlest eyes ever, and he runs into my arms, holds me so tightly crying “Mom, mom, mom.”  And he chants: ‘I am so sorry, so sorry, so so sorry.”  I repeat over and over again that he will be ok, that we will be ok.  After a bit I bring the boys together in a room and honestly, I am empty.  What else can I do?  How can I make sure healing takes place?  I hold one boy, or two. We even hold one another.  I pray silently.  And as I pray I hear a song in my head: “Lord, I love doing this with you.  How I love doing this with you!”  And as I praise God with that sentence, I realize healing IS taking place.

This journey is so draining, so painful.  So very difficult.  I even tell the people around us that our life is no fun right now.  It really isn’t.  We wrestle through each week and keep telling ourselves that a year from now, we will be in a better place.  But how amazing, in the midst of ugly truth and lives broken, I see God.  And my prayer is that we will be in a better place around this time next year.  That life will be back to having joy in it.  But more so, I pray for our boy’s futures.  How I long for them to pass on the healing they have received.  How I hope they will not just go after good paying jobs, but instead truly understand the miracle in their lives and live to pass it on praising God saying: ‘Lord, I love doing this with you, I love doing this with you!’


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Oh that boy sees, and he blesses me


24 hours have passed.  It’s time to do a family check in.  Where is everyone at?  How is every feeling?  Do we need another 24 hours of rest, or are we ready to talk?

I go last… I know I am not ready to talk and I know some others are.  I am about to call out more uncomfortable time.  I have to let it be ok that I am not ready when everyone else is.  I know the boys will be angry with me, and I have to let it be ok.  I know my husband would rather us move on, he is uncomfortable with it too, and I have to let that be ok.  I am nervous about the dinner time we are about to have…

And then something amazing happens.  I take my turn.  “I am not ready boys.  I am still tired.”  I look at boy 1 and I tell him I am still angry with him over last week.  He does not pull his eyes away from me, instead he listens intensely, and he knots his head.  “Boy 2, I still so hurt by your actions towards me, or lack there of.  My tank did not fill up enough yet.  I am afraid I am still able to fire up easily, and I need to work too hard to self-regulate.”  When boy 2 rolls his eyes at me I continue… “And I have to be honest with you guys.  When I see boy 2 rolling eyes at me, when I see that he’s not gotten passed the fact he can’t be on his device, it’s really hard for me to get rest.  Because the rejection continues, the anger at me continues… you are all resting but I still get this treatment.  I still get to be tense.  And boy 2… you do not share anything about where you are at.  You are just angry.  So I just have to breath through this, but also give myself more time.”

Boy 1 steps in: “Can I please respond to this?…  Today has been good for me.  I have been writing and thinking.  I have had good talks with my brother and he’s helped me today in processing things.  But of all things, I have wrestled with the question: “How is it that mom loves me the way she does when she is so angry with me?  How does she do it?  I don’t understand.”  He went on to explain about Monday, when we came home from therapy… “I was still set on being angry with you guys, I was still set on making you hurt because… well… I hurt.  I decided I was not done being defiant and stubborn.  I was not going to listen to anything you had to say.  I was not ready to let go, and the therapy session showed it, I stuck my ground and kept calling everything unfair, without listening to what the adults had to say.  But then we drove home, and we all realized we had nothing to come home to and mom happily offered a trip to the library.  Why would she want to take me to the library and serve ME? And when it was time for dinner, I saw mom make our favorite family meal.  I also know I don’t like the broccoli that comes with that favorite meal and usually mom makes a separate dish for me, with my own vegetable.  I told little brother that dinner was going to suck, how mom usually makes it different for me but there’s no way she would tonight.  I was going to hate dinner.  Then we sat down… and mom actually made me my separate dish just like she always does. It got me quiet, and it made me think. I don’t understand where it is coming from.  How does she do it when she is angry?  I have not found an answer but mom, I want to applaud you.  In my time alone today I have come to realize dad is right when he tells me what a strong woman you are.  You tell me you are angry, you have every right to be, but you just tell me you are, and then you go about life.  You don’t yell at me, you don’t stop loving me, you don’t reject me, you don’t ignore me.  I want you to know I see.  You are a remarkable woman.”

As our boy speaks I let the tears roll down my cheeks.  I grab my husband’s hand.  He knows how hard this week has been and boy 1’s words are healing for my heart.  In that instant I realize it’s all worth it.  In that instant I see what God is doing… He is healing our boys.  He has given me an amazing gift: Hurt, hurt for these boys and show them how you heal.  Love, love these boys and teach them what it truly is.

And with that we did extend our family rest with another 24 hours…


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