Brokenness

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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Coffee for the Heart is a place where we just see ourselves sitting down for coffee and sharing, accept it is on the internet, never the less it is very real.  Go HERE for more stories.

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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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Our Family Rests

IMG_8348We are in the middle of a very hard patch.  During our vacation in NC last week things did not go well, and I mean, did NOT go well. And so upon return, we knew our place to be: this week alone is filled with 8 hours of family therapy.

We are tired.  All of us are.  And in this moment we do not know how to get passed things.  If I speak for myself, I am still feeling very angry about the things that have happened the past week, and I am also still getting very hurt by actions of boy 2.  All that is hard to take in, it’s hard to process.  So I am in no place to start talking, especially if the talking I do is met with anger, resentment and without any sense of wanting to get better.  Boy 1 is tired and he expressed it in therapy: “I am not sure we should be talking.  I am so tired from trying to be good, and mom and dad are so tired of having to deal with my behavior.  It seems we need to take a break and rest, to not talk until we are more ready.”

And so our amazing therapist asked our boy what people do when they are tired.  They sleep, that is right.  “So yes, I think you all are tired.  How about a 24 hour rest period?” she asked.  And together we put a plan in place.  We go to bed early, no late nights just because it’s summer vacation.  No sleeping in, that only causes you not to be ready for normal bed time, routine is important.  No date night for mom and dad.  No children asking to go out to spend time with friends and no ‘going to the movies’ requests.  And most importantly: NO talking about any of what happened.  This time is to rest and to focus inwardly.

Inwardly…

It was time to pull a few other important things, and we knew this was not going to be easy on the boys, in fact, it would make them MAD!!  There is a huge need for us to go inward.  What happened last week?  Why?  How can we understand better why we do what we do?  And so we also called in a media fast.  No devices, no tv, no electronics.  If we spend this rest time being on devices, watching tv… we’d learn nothing.  We can indulge in snapchat and it’s great how numbing that works. Sure we can hang out with friends but then we are not dealing with any issues on the inside, we are just walking away from them. It was time to get uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable…

It’s time to face our pain, past and present.  And with that our therapist gave us an exercise.  An exercise I will not get into right now, but the exercise is hard work.  It takes huge effort.  It takes looking back, sitting with the past, feeling the pain of it, and learning about our believe system today because of it.

So here we are… the home is very quiet.  I catch boy 1 on the porch with his note book, working hard to go there.  To go to that place hidden deep within, and I see him hurt by what he discovers.  I have to let it be ok.  He is hurting but I have to let him be.  I see my husband having a longer ‘daddy time’ then usual.  Boy 2 is mainly struggling with not having his device, he is angry.  I know he has a long way to go.  I have to let him sit with the anger.  I can’t help him.  I see boys reading books.  I see boys picking up jobs around the house.  I even hear boys chatting about important stuff, deep stuff and it happens without anger or fights.  And me… I mostly watch our family do this.  Being this uncomfortable is not foreign to me.  I have learned in life that I can’t control things, that I can’t walk away from pain and I know it is important not to get into someone else’s pain.  Sometimes you just need to let someone be there.  And watching that hurts, but I am ok with it.  So me… I write, I pray, I cry, I do this very difficult exercise, and me… I go deep as well.

 

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Here we go again…

Rejection, unkindness, silent treatment, rolling eyes, even nastiness… all coming at me once again. It hurts, and I have been told that because I can let it hurt me, our match was successful with boy 1. Our match will also be successful with boy 2.

But it really does hurt and it really is not an easy thing.  And the next months will look just like that.  But it will come to pass. Our first boy worked through it in amazing ways and we find ourselves now having fun, joking around and spending one on one time together.  We long for that now.

Why are my emotions necessary?  The boys need to see me connect with them even if I hurt because of them.  I express my emotions healthily, they do know when I am hurt by their actions, yet I do not walk away, withdraw or get mean in return.  For some reason this is intricate to their healing.  Healthy, but difficult bonding!

I get through it because I have friends who will always receive my texts about the heaviness of it all, no matter how many of them. I get through it because Tim and I will take breaks. I get through it because friends will happily take our boys for a bit. I get through it because we did it once before, and we can do it again.  I get through it because God is not silent.

One day, we will have two boys who are better at trusting people, one day we will have two boys who know what true love is, one day we will have two boys who will return home after college because bonding did happen.  It is not too late and we pray God’s mighty power over all of us.  We all need healing, we all need to trust, we all need to know love in better and true ways.

 

I love that you are here and I certainly would love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !

Coffee for the Heart is a place where we just see ourselves sitting down for coffee and sharing, accept it is on the internet, never the less it is very real.  Go HERE for more stories!

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