Tuesday, October 10, 2017

May The Lord Keep You...

Our eldest daughter, embracing her “I’m 18 and you can’t control me” ran off with a guy she’d met on Snapchat but had never physically met – to live her life, hours away from us, dropping out of her senior year with only 2 months to go…..to run away once more….pursuing her life the way she thinks she wants, to a small town with a population of 400…..because he told her he had a ring….and to run is easier that to serve the ISS she received for cyberbullying a good friend of hers and finish school. Which only lasted one night then she ran again, next fix someplace else, on the run forever more......lost and lonely because she won't listen or accept or get the help she needs. 

Our parental pain is one of sadness like a loss you can’t ever find closure to.  This isn’t what we’d hoped or dreamed, but we did sign up for it.  My self pity goes like this:  I’ll no longer hear her laughter at my bad jokes, no companion to do those mother/daughter things, no winter formal or prom dress shopping, no choral concerts to attend, no graduation to dream and prepare, just a voided emptiness where once a high school senior existed.  No hugs. No too many things to list…. Many milestones not achieved from basics of drivers or a job – it just didn’t come together.

So, my husband who seems to be handling this better than me this time, reminded me we have unconventional children – things don’t often go as planned, their journey is unique from others, they don’t follow the common path. 

We have loved.  We have stood even through the worst of times and we stand still. 

Many suffer.  We suffer. While I want to understand, I don’t.  The face of mental illness is real – I see so many depressed children – as a society we don’t have the answers yet or the plans to help.  1 in 5 are affected by mental illness each year.  It is hard to get them to accept the help they need.  Especially when they are 18 and “in control” yet so out of control.

A close friend recently sent me this reminder - it had to be from the 90's and I loved her memory as it grounded me once again:   I remember years ago you and I were sitting on the bleachers at a softball game, and you told me you and Steve were looking into fostering to adopt.  You also told me that you were looking at it as a mission to help save some children from bad childhoods.  You said you knew you'd get children with problems but that was what went with fostering children.  You have certainly accomplished this mission in the older three and Sophia is still a work in progress.  Your kids have had a great childhood but they don't yet realize nor appreciate all that.  Most kids don't really appreciate a good childhood until they become parents.

She went on to give me needed advice:  When we first started coming a Pastor Abe preached a sermon on parents should not blame themselves if their grown children make decisions the parents didn't like because when the children become adults they are responsible for their own decisions. He said something like that and it made me think how we can tell the kids what's right and wrong but in the end they make their own decisions and they have to live with those decisions.  Parenting isn't easy and we can only do the best that we can.  You have been great parents and the kids have wonderful experiences to reflect back on.  We are praying for you and your family.  "With God nothing is impossible."  God's timing is never wrong.  We'll keep praying and expect great things!

So.  We journey on. We remain in our mission.  We wish her well and that she knows we will always be who we are, here for her as her adoptive parents only wanting the best for her….so…I lift up this blessing and prayer…

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Life is like a burning field

Life is like this burning field....
You can see the smoke, some of it is greater than the actual fire, 
creating drama for a small amount of a controlled burn.  
That is how I am feeling right now - we have SOO much drama creating SOO much smoke....when the fire is actually small and just a simple douse of good water could make a difference.  
But when you don't have the water, the fire burns out of control, 
moving quickly to consume all that is before it.

It creates a smoke fog so dense, in driving through it you can't see to the other side.
I drove hoping to find my way safely, scared by the lack of vision and fear of someone coming behind me too quickly or in front of me too slowly.  
The smell of the smoke filling my vehicle with lingering effects.

Lately, this is our life - we are going through the smoke, hoping to find the clearing - but 
the smoke keeps coming.  
Running away daughter (yes again), my Mom has cancer, 
son struggling in college, 
the list keeps growing like the flames of life.

Someday this smoke WILL clear.

So I drive with the guidance of God. Knowing He knows my path.
He will lead me on to the clearing....
For this I wait.

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Boat of Life

I recently read this:  “No one puts their children in a boat unless is it safer than the land they are on.”  It moved my mind to push past the many times I wonder why refugees brave the waters in overloaded boats to die horrible drowning deaths on a gamble to make it to a new land…..that phrase gives me new understanding.
As we’ve struggled with our foster children we’ve adopted in these teenager years, I ponder that phrase as I see it in their eyes and lives.  Recently our daughter ran off to live with her birth mother.  6 weeks later she returned angry at her birth mother and refusing to speak to her.  During this time so much happened, but at one point my husband and I were able to sit with her birth mother, talk and share stories and see our shared daughter’s baby/early childhood pictures and realize we ALL loved her the same.  But she was too alike to her birth mother to be able to live with her and hearing her birth mother say “she needs you because you are stricter” was the same as she needs structure….rules….our kind of love.  What a HUGE sacrifice this lady made….she recognized something many birth parents aren’t able to grasp.
While I dream that one day she will accept her birth mother and talk to her again, and be OK with TWO Mom’s….this journey has taken me outside of my comfort zone as we continue to deal with her lack of self esteem and ability to recognize true wholesome love from us and her birth mother.  The journey isn’t over.  The running isn’t done….I pray it will be….but I can’t control it and have released her to God to watch her when life is too hard and running is all she knows to do.  No matter how unsafe the boat is – she believes her land is less safe so she gets in that boat and runs to a near drowning before coming back. It is so horrifying to watch!

I hurt for her pain.  I hurt that she didn’t get the relief she wanted after 8 years of yearning for her biological family  that the search arrived and she burned those bridges hard as she let loose of 8 years of anger that raged in her being against these people she has blood ties to.  She looked into the face of her birth mother who was a mirror of herself with only fog around the edges to make her look different and couldn’t deal with the reality of her own life.  Acceptance. She still feels lost no matter how many life jackets we throw her.

We journey on – sometimes when the stress is high and my sight fogs over the purpose of this journey we chose, I pray that God will bring us to the new land together and we journey on in that hope.
Pray for us.  That is the life jacket we need from you!  Pray we find new land.

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