This morning, I am in tears as I type this. Man, living in my family means we go deep...really deep. We think together, we learn together, we grow together. By that I mean we grow individually but at the same time, we grow together as a unit.
I am blessed. I am blessed to see pain and healing, failure and success, delays and growth. It is not an easy road to walk, and many would outright reject it because it hurts, there are scars...many of them. I guess I am different, for I live for moments like this...that Great Awkwardness between pain and joy, where the deep cuts are revealed and yet the long road shows where it all leads.
Home...it leads home.
This morning, Josh had free time for school and he just handed me this. Pardon his ten year old grammar and spelling mistakes. This is unedited, and straight from his heart. I had no idea what he was going to write, but for his free 20 minutes he begged to write something, and I replied, "Sure!", totally expected yet another Super Hero story to come my way.
Instead, he shared his heart with me and revealed what being abandoned felt like to him, as well as what being adopted did for his soul. How startling that he KNOWS he was left alone for a short period of time, maybe an hour or so, but his story reflects that it was DAYS...SIX DAYS before someone found him. When we are alone, time takes on new meaning. And notice how he describes "...and the baby was still in pain." even after having been found and taken to a safe place. That's because abandonment IS pain. However, Joshie was held and touched so little, that even after he had been home over a year he actually told us that it "hurt" to be cuddled, and he still pushed our hands away.
Thankfully, not anymore, he craves closeness, almost as if he will take a lifetime to make up for that single 11 month period. My little RADish (Reactive Attachment Disorder) is now a sunflower, blossoming with his face reaching toward the sunlight.
Yea, he was barely a month old when his birth mother left him behind a building, for whatever reason. Abandonment is never forgotten, and it remains soul deep. Adoption is about loss, no matter how much you think you have provided your child, you can never, ever remove that sense of having been "thrown away", that core sense of loneliness. They can recover, they can heal...but you can not undo what happened to them.
You also don't hide it. You share it, you enter it with them, you try to normalize it. Never, ever hide it or pretend it "happened then, this is now" and blow it off. I am reminded by this that our job is always to help our kids work with their reality, not pretend it was all pretty. If we don't help then work it out now, while we have the chance to help them accept their personal narrative and grow throw it and with it. If we don't, it will come out later.
We, as parents, don't need to be afraid of the dark places. We really don't, and we don't want our children to silently live in those places all alone. We ARE the monster killers, we are the ones with the "Monster Spray" that helps them slay those scary thoughts.
Oh Joshua, my dearest tender one, how I have loved walking this journey with you, though I wish you had never had to take it. But, since you did, I am blessed to be the one God selected to hold your hand. You are the strongest, most courageous little boy ever, and you are growing into a remarkable, thoughtful, loving man.
Mom #1 sure doesn't know what she is missing out on.
The Love in a Family
It was 2002 in the cold streets of Kasakston where a baby lied on the ground crying as if it was hurt or in pain.
The baby was by himself lonely, and hungry for days on end. Only after six days did the people walking down the streets who heard the baby's cry took in to their consideration he needed a home so they called a baby house. When the baby was fed and clothed it was happy, but not for long. Even being in a place with people all around him, he was still lonely and the baby was still in pain. Why? The caretakers never gave love or nurture to the small child. Months past it was now 2003 and the young eleven-month old baby was being adopted! He was being brought to his new loving parents home that soon to be his as well. When he got there he saw that he had a brother who was as loving and kind as his our parents. But it took years for the toddler to love his family and he always pushed away his mother and father always scared of what would happen if he loved them and then they left him just like his first family. The good thing was that his family just kept sticking through it even when he rejected them. Years had past and he finally accepted that they were going to stick like glue forever, and to this day he still loves to death. His name is Joshua Arron LaJoy!