Brokenness

Respite in my Sanctuary

I have organized respite for boy 1.  He does not like me to call it respite for he has many bad memories when it comes to respite. I explain to him that it’s time to give respite a positive connotation.  After all, he is not being send away, this respite is because HE can request a respite; when he is so tired of life, tired of the hard work he constantly has to put in in order to be part of a family. He gets exhausted and then behavior gets too painful for all of us.  We have learned to give him space, and a place where there are no ‘have to’s’ and he can just be.

So off he went yesterday, at the same time when I was supposed to have my time away from life.  I was scheduled for time in my Sanctuary, something I try to do on a regular basis.  I go to this cute little cottage where I get quiet, I don’t see anyone, I don’t speak out loud, and I practice sitting in the presence of God.

As I arrived I was still working on the respite for boy 1, this was an unexpected circumstance that was trailing behind me. But even before this current circumstance, I knew I was going to arrive tired and full the begin with.  I had already let myself know I was there to rest.  For me, being quiet turns out to be work, it is not easy to let all feelings and thoughts just pass. And so, I told myself I should just read novels instead of study books,  And I could sleep the time away.  I also brought my computer this time, so I could have fellowship with friends overseas who were long due for a special devoted connect time. And I ended up binge watching some things I had not seen for over a year, something I just can’t do in daily life.  But… it didn’t feel like rest.

I started to ponder on God’s love for me, as I am.  Was it really that hard to know He loves me, even in this?  In the not seeking Him in obvious ways, in the not using this Sanctuary the way I usually do.  Why is it so hard to be loved as is?  And I realize why I don’t rest.  I can’t have peace about being here in this amazing place and not use it for what it is made for, in my opinion.  I really do not believe it, I really cannot grasp His love for me… as is!

And I think of boy 1, who I’ve encouraged to get away so he does not have to talk to us, so he does not have any ‘to do’s’ like doing dishes or cleaning up after himself, so he can just be a couch potato and rest.  I love him none the less.  I might show him my love even stronger because I am the one setting this up, because I am the one guiding him to what he needs, because I am the one that makes it okay to not talk to us right now and not be capable of doing anything but breathing.  My love is nothing less!  I cover him in my prayers and love from a distance, knowing very well what he needs. I tend to him.

I can be confident that God is tending to me.  I might not even have the energy to think about it just like boy 1 is probably not thinking about me and my love for him right now.  I might be far away of feeling His love just like boy 1 is probably only feeling defeated, alone, lost and plain tired right now.  I am still here, still tending to him just like God is tending to me.

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I checked myself into a hotel

We’ve been talking about it for months… a re-occurring get away for me.  Talking, we didn’t get past talking about it.  And then I noticed how tired I was, and I talked about how tired I have been for some weeks.

We didn’t realized this till a few nights ago.  Tim and I have been operating from this believe that ‘it would all get better’.  But it’s not getting better.  The progression we saw in boy 1 over time seems stagnant now. We thought that when we stick to the hard work, our boys would come to a place of peace, where battle and fight is no longer needed.  But we realize change may not come.

Since my last post, boy 1 went from his darkness to massive explosion.  We have come out of that a bit, but life goes on unchanged, meaning ongoing explosions about every little and big thing.  It’s exhausting and it is cause for great distress ALL THE TIME.  After the big explosion 2 weeks ago, I expected us to see healing and that we would know a longer season of laughter, ease and family life.  And that is not what is happening.  We realize this IS our life.  And the ‘it will all get better’ is not coming.  I do not mean to be hopeless but when I ran this by our therapist, she said the hopelessness is something I should definitely hang on to for it is HOW BOY 1 FEELS.  It’s his connection to us, he wants us to feel how he feels.  And there we go again…  the pain is good for something.

Accept, at the moment I am exhausted.  And so 2 nights ago, after another explosion, I checked myself into a hotel.  I needed rest, I needed sleep and both I was not getting at home.  Being at home meant being in constant tension.  Full disclosure… I have picked up dancing and boy, am I using that to get away from things.  This past Monday I just could not be home with the boys, and I went dancing.  I am learning it’s healthy to escape at times, and I probably needed to do that a lot earlier in the game.  And a dancing class here and there is not cutting it anymore, I am way past an hour get away.

We have 3 more years before boy 1 leaves our home potentially, and we may be in this battlefield for all that time.  That is what our story is.  And we do not have the sweet baby phase to look back on, or the cute toddler memories to cherish in our heart that makes this all a little more bearable.  No, all we know is battle…

I guess we did not ‘start’ a family for the sake of having a family.  We were aware it was going to be hard.  But honestly, in the back of my mind, I was hoping, maybe even counting on, we would feel like a family.

So all I can do now, is ask for your prayers!  Ongoing prayers for the healing of our boys.  Our agency has always said that ‘EVERY CHILD FROM A HARD PLACE CAN HEAL’.  I am trying to hang on to that, but I am full of doubt at the moment. Pray for Tim and I to stay connected and well through all this.  Pray for sustainability for us.  Pray that at least him and I will be and feel like family.  We need God’s grace!

 

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When all you should do is watch your child hurt

Our boy is in darkness.  And we’re getting worried.  It started 3 weeks ago and lots of it, everything actually, makes perfect sense now.  It started with bad behavior to the point it was hard to like him, to the point it was hard to be around him.  The anger coming out of him, at unexpected and ‘unreasonable’ times, was hard, because it was constant.  With very direct arrows at the people around him, ouch!  The boundaries we set up were disregarded.  And then we saw him get dark, truly dark.  He could no longer care.

And I was reminded that our boy is not a boy with behavioral problems.  He is in pain!  And I became aware I need to rise above my own feelings, my anger, and my exhaustion.  This boy needs someone, please someone, to see past his behavior. And we are there now.

And we pick our words carefully, and just repeat them multiple times a day.  “You can be in a foul mood, that is okay.  You can be angry, you just can’t hurt people in the process, okay!  But we can give you space.”  And: “You will get better.  You will be okay again.”  And: “I am so so sorry you are hurting my boy.  It is so hard to watch but this will come to pass.  I am right here.” and when I say those words, I always cry.  Most importantly, I sit with our son.  I just sit with him as he is indifferent.  I just sit with him as he is dark.  I hug him, knowing I touch his soul even though nothing tells me any of what I do enters him. But I know God, I know LOVE, it will not go unnoticed.  God’s love always finds a way, in His timing.

And the few sentences that are spoken by our boy, they give us a lot of information.  Worrisome information.  Yes, there is very deep pain.  And we are concerned.  He is 16 years old and it’s not even been 2 years since he’s been with us.  He’s not even had 2 full years of stable life in his life.  I go back to the things I know… such pain.

The biggest gift we can give our children is to not want to change anything.  Although difficult for everyone involved, he is right where he needs to be.  This is inside him regardless.  This is the place to be right now, where healing gets room.  I’d rather him do this important part now, with us, then somewhere down to road, alone or with his spouse.  And I know what to do, I was there myself many many times.  I know what to do in darkness, I know what it feels like.  I do know what he needs. And even though he gives nothing, I love him and that is a crucial piece of information for his heart.  His momma will always love him.  That is simply my job.  Not because I am special, but because he is.

 

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Replenish my love

Father, I don’t want to go downstairs and face my day or boy without having prayed… I don’t want to attempt to do today in my own strength.  I am so tired and feel incapable and so Father, I open my hands so you can fill them.  I pray you will replenish my love for my boy on an ongoing basis today.  Let me not run out.  Give me the right words to say, help me give him the right direction for today as I have taken him out of school for the sole purpose of loving on him.  And Lord, give me the right eyes… when my boy looks me in the eye, help him see nothing but compassionate love.  And Father, I lift up our boy who is in darkness.  Will you open his heart and mind to the love that comes from his momma.  And I pray peace all over him, that he would not feel he needs to do anything with what he’s given, help him to only see and let it be.  Father, let Your will be done in our home today, You will be our faithful God.  Amen!

 

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Mom, I just don’t know how I am going to feel

I heard some footsteps on the top floor.  “Ah, someone must have woken up” I thought.  I made my way up and I saw boy 1. I guided him back to his room and I kissed him, I stroke his head and wished him good morning. Then I broke the rules, just to show him I love him dearly.  I grabbed his device from the other room and brought it to him.  His smile was so big, he knew I was making an exception, the one where we do not allow devices in the bed room.  Then he said: “Mom, you can stay here if you want….” When a child says that, at least our child, he is not saying, he is asking!  And so I climbed in his bed and we cuddled.  “Mom, I just do not know how I am going to feel on Monday.” And we talked about the big day coming up.

“I have been dreaming about this day for years.  I have wanted this day for years but now I just don’t know how I am going to feel.”

These moments are precious.  So very precious and there really is nothing better in my life then a moment like this where one of our boys just connects in the deepest way.  I feel our hearts attach, I feel welcomed and all walls, all fear, all mistrust is gone.

We are in Colorado for boy 1’s adoption hearing. We are adopting boy 1 on Monday November the 14th.  That day 2 years ago we met him for the very first time.  So we are blessed with our hearing taking  place on that very special date.

A few weeks ago, in preparation for this trip, I asked both boys to make me a list of places they wanted to go, people they wanted to see and things they needed to smell, touch, taste or hear.  I made no promises, I just said I would work hard to get all the things on their list organized.  Thursday would be boy 1’s day, Friday we’d focus on boy 2.  And so it was.

The days have been long and very emotional.  And our boys… they get through it like champs.  One thing they do is amazing… they share how hard it it so see certain people and places.  How it is good but it also brings up painful memories. Especially boy 2 usually processes on his own: he gets quite and plays basketball.  But during this trip he continuously invites us in.  He wants to share.  Both boys are feeling it, they are truly allowing the pain of the past to surface, and we do this trip as a family.  Hurt is carried by us all and the pain in on the move.

I am forever grateful for the people who were willing to go out of their way to give of their time. But this was not a one way affair. We have seen people run towards the boys, we have had past teachers cry at this reunion, we have heard from each and every person how the boys affected them!!!!!  Boys that were rejected, over and over again, are meeting with people who have ALWAYS recognized how unique they are.

I am so proud of these boys and I pray that after these many reunions, they realize it was never about them. They were never rejected because of who they are! I am also proud of them because they were strong. They endured severe pain and I look at them today and see how they fought to stay alive, how they fought to keep hope, trusting that good was in their future.

And here we are… boy 2 is awake now too.  I guide him back to his room, also with his device and soon I carry up lattes and tuck them in. We have a few hours before we start connecting again with the people of their past.

 

 

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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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