It’s kinda hard to follow that last story. I’ve been wondering for two weeks what to write next.
Remember in the story where Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after experiencing God’s glory? When he came down his face was so red he had to wear a veil. I imagine it slipping every now and then and someone has to remind him, “excuse me sir, your glory is showing.”
That’s pretty much how I felt for the next week after God showed off. I felt like every where I went my glory was showing. Then as time went on, we went camping, I started sweating and life got hard. Our normal shifted from being in daycare before vacation to using a nanny after vacation… so I’ve been with kids 24/7/3 weeks straight… that I swear feels like it has been 270 days!
Last week I had a sobering moment when I attended our area Foster and Adoptive Parent meeting. There was a therapist there teaching on the effects children experience from trauma. If I’m honest, it wasn’t really new information, but the truth is this was the first time I had paid attention to it on this side of adoption and it was overwhelming! There are things our girls have experienced that I cannot erase, but with lots of unconditional love, holding and never giving up, there’s much hope that they can experience levels of healing. But one thing she said, and I know she didn’t mean it to be discouraging, but what I kept hearing was, “they will never live up to what they could have been.”
That is still a lot to swallow, and honestly, I can’t accept it. I know we have challenges, and there are challenges I don’t even yet know of… but I have to believe there is more hope than that for us. I think back over the past two years, this Friday is two years since they first walked through my door. I can’t even count how many times I have seen God’s hand on their lives. There is purpose in their story, there is purpose in their pain and their is redemption of what the enemy meant to destroy.
I understand the science behind the effects of trauma, really, I do. She told the story of a child walking in a park, and one day on the same path he had always walked he sees a snake and from that point forward, he will always be looking for a snake. Every stick will be snake until he sees it isn’t.
My biggest earthly fear is snakes. Hands-down. Twice this summer as I have stepped out of my office my foot has almost landed on a snake. There is an ungodly dance and accompanying scream that occurs in these instances. One time I almost got a 9mm and attempted shooting before I realized I was more likely to kill my dog than the snake. This is my own small trauma. And for weeks as I have stepped out of my office I have questioned every stick, every branch, every movement that crosses my path. And I remember thinking to myself, If your biggest fear is snakes, every stick becomes a snake.
When she shared this example on that evening I felt my heart sink as I realized the depth of what my girls will have to overcome. We have seen tremendous progress and I am amazed by God’s goodness. At the same time I could relate to what they call being “hyper-vigilant”… mine isn’t just about snakes though. There are days where I am exhausted just from trying to prevent melt-downs, protect bedtime routines, manage excitement and maintain emotional stability for me and all those around me. For the first time in months I took a deep breath….
Despite what science says, despite what trauma they have experienced, I have a good good Father that loves me deeply, loves these girls lavishly and is on this journey with us. It isn’t all up to me. I cannot even begin to know what lies ahead, but he does, and I can rest. He gave me this scripture two weeks ago:
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Even as the facts were swirling around in my mind that night, I had to remind myself not to be caught in the worry of what will be, but enjoy this moment right now.
I went home that night, snuggled on the couch with Daniel and the girls to watch Peppa Pig. Gabriella smiled really big and said, “look mom, it’s our whole family! how do we all fit here together?” Well, that’s just what families do, we squeeze in to make everyone fit. Then she gently replied, “do you see this mom? this is my happy tear.”
Y’all. I almost cried. It is not often that I stop and snuggle on the couch, but it is those moments that bring about their healing. These are the things that show them they matter, they are loved and safe. This is what brings them happy tears and erases the ones cried in fear.
Please pray for us. Some days are still hard as we get used to new routines and in a week start a new school. We need lots of grace! We need teachers that can understand where we are coming from and not give up on the hard days. This mom needs grace to see what is important and trust the truth of who God is for us. I’m thankful for the many ways he has shown his glory, it serves as a continual reminder that we are not alone. Thank you all for the ways you have loved us lavishly, celebrated our adoption and given us more than we could have ever asked for. We are truly blessed. And I know without a doubt, these girls know they are loved, not just by us… but by each one of you. This friends, this brings healing. #lovedoes