Talking in the Dark

One of my children was really acting out tonight. I know that all the leavetakings that are happening soon are going to be very hard on her so I tried to talk to her tonight about what she was feeling. This is a child who has walls 10 feet high and 7 feet thick when it comes to discussing feelings. She very seldom gets angry and almost never cries. At least not where anyone can see. Not surprisingly, she refused to talk. So I turned off the bedroom light. Not having to look at someone always makes it a bit easier when my kids need to discuss the pain in their lives.

She still refused to answer any questions I asked, so I said a prayer and dove in. I have been reading a book on stories that help children heal from trauma and loss, and so I told her a claiming story. I spoke of my awareness of her pain of being abandoned as a baby; of not looking like the rest of her adoptive family; of knowing how her heart aches to see her birth mother again but not knowing if she is even alive after the earthquake in Haiti took so many lives.

But then I also shared how I KNOW…and I mean I truly KNOW that she was meant to come here. She was meant to be a part of our family and I knew that before she ever arrived. I prayed for her and dreamed about her before I ever even found her and once I did, all it took was a look at her photo to have God whisper to my heart, “There is your daughter. Go get her.” God has a way of making sure that children end up in the families where they are supposed to be. I told her all of this.

Lest those of you doubters blast me about children being born to abusive parents or into Third World countries where they die of starvation or disease, I do not know what God’s plan is for every child on this earth, but I do know that He does indeed have a plan whether we understand it or not. I know in my heart that the foster children who have been placed in my care came to our home–and not another foster home–for a reason. I know that in spite of the pain and anguish my foster children have experienced, that they have angels watching over them. I also know that no matter how badly it hurts to have them leave, perhaps staying in my home is not part of God’s plan for their life and they need to move on to gain the life experiences they need.

With this one, however, I told her that God wanted her to be here. Yes, it hurts to have to experience so much loss at such a young age, but without the loss, she would not be here today. The loss was part of her journey here and something that can contribute to her growth and strength, or something that can attempt to break her. The viewpoint is all up to her. Does it take away the pain? No. Does it give her a stronger sense of “rightness” –for lack of a better word–about why she lives here in this family? I think it did.

Part of the walls around her started to crumble a bit tonight. In a good way. Usually when her feelings rise to the surface, no one is allowed to share them. Tonight she let me in and even allowed physical touch that she usually resists when she is feeling defensive. She fell asleep in my arms with contented sighs. It’s only the first leg of a long road ahead of us, but at least for the moment, we are sharing the journey together.

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Filed under Adoption, Foster Care

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