Adoption is hard.
Just about the time you think you've got the hang of it, you don't. There is no constant, no even ground. Adoption is a slippery slope of emotional damage and often undiscovered scars. So. Many. hurts.
Over the last few weeks we have witnessed a decline in Thing Two's behavior. She doesn't express sadness or anger. She simply becomes very quiet. If she is angry at one of us (usually me) she will treat me to a dish of Resentful Silent Treatment. Once, the silence lasted for two days.
If Thing Two is sad....she is quiet. So, terribly, terribly quiet.
My Beloved and I are not psych majors and we knew so little about the workings of the human mind. Foster Parent training provides only a cursory glance at the internal damages caused by early childhood neglect and abuse. An abused child's brain bares witness to abuse. Their digestive system oftentimes will not work properly and anxiety and panic attacks are the norm.
One saying, concerning the challenges of adoption, goes like this:
The first year is hard. The second is harder.
This is our second year.
Thing Two and I met with our family therapist to discuss the sadness and anger in her little soul. She said she does think that things would be easier if she were not here. While we knew from a previous situation that she felt this way, hearing your 12 yo say she sometimes wishes she were dead is the most heart wrenching moment a parent can experience.
Thankfully, we have an amazing therapist! Her ideas to help Thing Two learn to communicate are brilliant and Thing Two is truly excited to try them. So are we.
Today is a new day. With tools in hand, our little family is facing the day with hopeful hearts. It would be so easy (so, so easy) to slip into an attitude of defeat. There is nothing easy or simple about life with these children. We are both unqualified and yet perfectly placed to be the parents of abused, damaged children.
God doesn't make mistakes.
It would be so simple to drown in the tears of my sorrow for these two and I admit to more than one very good cry this week. However, all of this, all of this messy, emotional, brutal hurt is no surprise to God. He knew all their little secrets before they came to live with us. God knew that Thing One had crippling anxiety that went undiagnosed for years. He also knew that Thing Two would swallow her words and wish to fade away, rather than face another confusing day on earth.
He placed them in our house, because He knew that we are the best choice for their unique issues. God knew we would not give up (even when we wanted to). He knew we would find an answer for the anxiety and silence. For whatever reason, He knew that no matter how angry, frustrated or despairing we might be, that we would press on.
And so we do.
I do not know the end of this story.
I don't need to.
Today, it is one footstep in front of the other. Tomorrow will be the same. Perhaps, one day, those steps will become a jog and then a run.
And we will run so far and so fast from this Kingdom of Tears.