People are strange creatures sometimes. Don’t you think? Well, I know I certainly can be. I tend to be much more open about past struggles. You know, the ones I’ve faced and already came out on the other side of.
But, when I’m struggling in the moment, as in this very moment, I tend to be very quiet about it. When it would seem I should be yelling for help or in alarm, I take a step back and wait and watch. Perhaps I need to see how it all turns out first? Maybe I’m just not sure what to say?
So it has been the last few weeks. It all started with five of my children being diagnosed with mycoplasma (walking pneumonia) and then shortly thereafter one of my teen daughters having an appendectomy. Now, none of this was fun but, it was doable. You go to the doctor, you get the meds, you tend to your children, they get better. It’s a momma routine known and practiced by many moms just like myself.
But, then the catch. My teen daughter did not get better. There were complications. Or perhaps I should say new issues. Or better yet, hidden issues. Mystery issues. Issues with no easy answers and no easy fixes.
For weeks we’ve been seeing our outstanding pediatrician and an excellent nephrologist (kidney specialist) and there has been no stone unturned. We were greatly relieved when cancer was ruled out and other serious possibilities but, confused and frustrated that the issue remained and might possibly be a chronic illness that will impact my child’s life.
Now, I want to say two things about that before I say a few other things. First and foremost, please pray for my little girl. Pray that this will be resolved just as mysteriously as it began and remains. Secondly, if you are dealing with chronic illness, I will gladly pray for you. Just ask.
In the midst of this abnormal time in our lives, normal life continues. That’s so perturbing to me. I always have wished that when things were spinning a bit too fast, we should be able to pause things like haircuts and algebra and bill paying. I feel like we should get a waiver of some sort that says ‘Give this family a break please, they’re facing a crisis.’ That’s not the case of course and regardless, we must press on.
Just tonight a friend shared an image with me that touched my heart. It inspired me and gave me hope. I knew I needed to blog but, I was feeling a bit depleted emotionally and writing is such an emotional investment for me. The image she shared was the one I’ll include below and when I saw it, tears came to my eyes. I’ll try to explain why.
As many of you know, many of my children came to us later in their lives. I didn’t hold them as infants, encourage their first steps or hear their first laugh. By the time I became their mother, they had been broken in many ways. Trust was almost always damaged. It’s almost a guarantee that trust is going to be a struggle after experiencing foster care. And, just for the record it doesn’t fix as easily as it does in the movies. Nope.
There has to be a putting back together. A mending. A repairing. You might say a ‘kintsukuroi’.
If I could have intervened and protected my children from the brokenness that they faced, I would have. If I could even now shield them from facing betrayal and hurtful people and dangerous places, I would. If I could find the answers and offer solutions and make it all better, I would. But, then, just look at how beautiful they are and becoming more so every day as they are pieced back together and made whole again.
This morning I experienced a beautiful moment. I was sitting at the table busily assembling the breakfast sandwiches when I felt a touch on my leg. There was my beautiful girl. Laying her head on my lap, sitting on the floor by my chair. I knew it was the pain she is experiencing that caused her to reach out for comfort. I immediately responded and gladly so. Oh, I wasn’t glad she was hurting but I was glad she was trusting. Making herself vulnerable, pressing in, asking for what she needed. This has not always been the case. The struggles of late have mended that part of her heart more than the seven years before.
If you are an adoptive parent, like myself that may have missed out on countless opportunities to be there for your child in their early life, take courage. You are there now and in the most unexpected moments you too will see the beauty of the healing that occurs.
If you are in a broken place yourself right now then learn a valuable lesson from this broken but healing beautifully girl. Press in. Dare to trust. Reach out. Lay your head on the Father’s lap and ask Him for what you need. He will respond gladly and another expression of beauty will mark your soul.