This summer I was at the airport waiting for our friends Jen & Brandon to bring home their newly adopted daughter from Africa when someone stopped to ask me a question that I have yet to forget them asking me. I was there with my four kids and was overcome with emotion as I stood there waiting for them to come down the escalator. I had no idea that place would be so emotional for me. I wasn't the one coming down the escalator with my new child, I was waiting to welcome someone, but yet I felt as though I was right back up there at the top with my child. What an experience.
I was standing there with my kids chatting with someone about our journey and our adoption when they said, “So, how long did it take until things got back to normal? A few months?”.
If you are an adoptive parent you just laughed out loud. In fact you might be on the floor laughing so hard that you can't stop.
A few months?
I looked at her and with the sweetest attitude I said, “actually my kids have been home 18 months and we are no where close to normal. In fact, I don't know what normal is.” I smiled and was nice, but inside I was thinking that this person has no clue. It's not her fault she doesn't have a clue, because she's not walking in my shoes.
This weekend I was reminded again at how hard this road is that we are on. We had a hard weekend. Amos was very distant and said some mean things to me that I'm not sure he meant, but none the less they were said and I was hurt. It's amazing how hurt you can get from a 6 year old, but let me tell you a momma is hurt when one of her babies is mean to her.
I told Aaron this morning, that this would be so much easier if I didn't care. If I didn't care if Amos ever grew attached to me. If I didn't care if Amos ever truly felt connected to us. If I didn't care if Amos ever loved me with all his heart. If I didn't care about any of this, life would be easy.
BUT I do care. I care with all that is in me. I am his momma and he is my son. I would die for him. I love him more than he'll ever know. I desire for him to feel safe here and connected to this family. I truly desire for him to feel loved and to be able to share that love with us. I care deeply.
I feel as though this weekend we took a 7 month jump backwards in our growth towards attachment with Amos. That is so hard to swallow, because no one likes to feel as though they lost ground on something they've been working so hard on. I was reminded this weekend again that he is so broken. His heart is broken and wounded and I truly believe with all that is in me that only Jesus can heal my sweet boy. I was reminded this weekend that giving and taking love is so very hard for him. This Saturday will mark 21 months that Amos has been home, and yet I believe he still worries that we're not really for him. That this family is not really his and that one day he'll be abandoned yet again. My heart aches for his heart and mind knowing that they think these things some days. It's not fair.
If you've adopted and you're walking this same path with us, let's take heart to this:
I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Three posts worth reading.
#1 – My friend I mentioned above, Jen, wrote a blog called AFTER THE AIRPORT, that I truly believe everyone should read. If you are in this mess with us, you will relate and cry your eyes out. If you aren't on this journey, but know someone that is, read this so you can kinda get what they are going through!
#2 – Recently read a blog post by Dr. Russell Moore called DON'T ADOPT. Great post, where he addresses the realities of adoption. It's hard. It's not for everyone.
#3 – I wrote a post called I THINK HE'S SCARED TO TRULY LOVE ME. This was written FIVE days after Amos came home. It was raw. Our time home was not honeymoon. We were barely getting by. He was reacting. We had very high highs and very low lows.