Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What We Feared Has Come To Pass

    I have written this post countless times only to delete it because I failed to find words to adequately describe what we have experienced during the past few weeks. I wrote even more posts in my head, a scramble of words that never made it onto paper, much less onto my computer because they were so jumbled together. The biggest reason of all though if I am honest, is denial. If you don't acknowledge something it doesn't exist, right? If I don't see the dirty dishes, perhaps they will go away.... 

    That kind of logic doesn't work for long in any situation, most certainly not in regards to the burden that is weighing on my heart. So good bye denial.

     You see we just said good bye to Braden. We are passing the baton so to speak, on to another set of parents. Giving the privilege and responsibility of his care into their hands, even though our hearts are aching and the tears flow unbidden from our eyes. 

   I see his picture and a great pain weighs me down, someone asks how many children we have, I say four, and try not to cry. 

   There are so many emotions swirling through our home; sorrow, love, fear, guilt and relief are foremost but there is so much that is hanging on each of those feelings that it is impossible to separate them from one another. I feel like I have to separate them in order to process what has happened but first I must understand it all, pack it in neat little boxes, categorize each emotion so I can feel them one at a time and work through them one by one. But grief doesn't work that way. Sometimes I laugh and cry at the same time, my head pounds with the intensity of it and my children look at me, wondering what has happened to their mom.

    I don't have the heart to go into detail, maybe I never will but for now all I can say is that we made this decision with Braden's best interest in mind. Don't you hate the phrase, "best interest?" It sounds so cold and callous but in this situation that is the best I can come up with.

   Braden couldn't come to grips with his past and in his childish mind, he blamed us along with his birth parents for all of his troubles. We adopted Braden through the local county foster care system where we were court ordered to take him for visit's twice a week, one hour with mom and one hour with dad. Braden would cry when he realized we were going for a visit. Big tears would roll silently down his cheeks as we drove. When we arrived he would cling to me, wrapping his arms around my neck in an attempt to avoid the visit. I had to pry his arms loose and walk out the door while he screamed and banged on the glass. Several times the supervisor called me on my phone and asked me to come back because Braden was inconsolable. Eventually Braden stopped fighting, he developed a resigned air and went to the visits without a fuss but oh how sad, he looked. We didn't understand trauma and attachment and thought he was settling into his new routine. 

   In Braden's eyes I was not keeping him safe, I was taking him back to the people who hurt him. Any thoughts of allowing us into his heart were banished when I took him for visits and then left him, ignoring his cries. Is it any wonder he feels he cannot trust us?

  That pain coupled with FASD made it impossible for him to move forward in our family. As much as it hurt us, we came to realize that for his good, we needed to let him go. Our hope and prayer is that a fresh start will give him what he needs to overcome his past. Isn't this what parenting is all about? Giving our children the best we can, despite the pain we experience? It would be far easier for us to hang onto Braden but would that be fair to him? 

   God has been so good. Years ago, before Dean and I or Braden's new family knew anything about him, God was preparing each of us to meet Bradens needs. We stand in awe, albeit with tears and heavy hearts and praise God for his goodness and grace.

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