Thursday, April 02, 2015

A Kingdom of Tears

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.

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.


Island Rider said...

Praying for you and confident that the God of creation and redemption will bring about His Kingdom in your family and their lives.

Annie said...

Thanks Rider!

Patti said...

Every time I read here, my love for you grows. Your faith, while pointed at God for your needs,lifts me for mine.

Happy Easter, Annie!

Annie said...

Ahh Patti! I can say the same about you. Often times I am reminded that I am not alone on this little paddle boat of life. We each are facing turbulent waters, but thankfully, Jesus is at the helm!

T. Paine said...

My heart truly goes out to your two youngest daughters, as well as to you and your husband as you parent and love them.

I sometimes get cynical with all of the ugliness in the world today, and then I see somebody like you and your hubby's love and dedication to your adopted daughters despite the stupendous difficulties involved, and I know that there is still great good in the world.

The horrible issues your daughters must have endured are somewhat mitigated by the stability, faith, and love that you have shown them.

You truly are doing God's work. I wish I was half the person that you and your hubby are in showing God's love to others. Truly.

God is indeed great. He can take a tremendously evil act and bring about the greatest joy the world has ever known. Our Lord proved this as He allowed himself to be nailed to a cross so that he could break the chains of death for all of us who accept Him.

Happy Easter to you, my friend. My prayers are with you, Chris, and your girls!

Annie said...

Mike, if you only knew how little and ugly and mean we can be. We are so small and so sinful. We covert your prayers because sometimes we don't know how to pray ourselves.

I do not write these words because I humble...I write these words because I am sinful person, raising sinful people in a sinful world. There is none perfect...not one...

God is so good to us, sinners that we are!

T. Paine said...

Of course you are absolutely right, Annie. Indeed we are all sinners and unworthy, and yet He loves us anyway.

That said, Mother Theresa helped me, a terrible sinner, to put things into perspective. She said, "We are not called to be perfect. We are called to be faithful." That is what I strive to do, and when I fail in my faith, I pick myself up and try again, through Him who strengthens me.

May God bless you, my friend, and ever increase your faith with His love and mercy!

Roo said...

I read your posts and am in awe of what you deal with and how you deal with it.

I have dealt with anxiety and sadness, but it is my own and as an adult. I can't even imagine the pain that is felt in watching someone so young deal with that much sadness or watching a young teen deal with anxiety.

God bless you all and keep you in is loving care to help you all get through it to keep moving forward. I will await a post later to hear of an update.

Please give the girls an extra hug or two from those of us out here that care and pray for them to feel secure and happy.

Annie said...

Roo, you sweetheart! Thank you for your kind words and prayers. Sometimes I think we subsist only on the prayers of others.