Last night after the children had gone to bed Dean and I talked about B and tried to make sense of our emotions.
So what is the first Christmas after disruption like? To answer that question, here is a glimpse into our lives the past weeks.....
When we sat down to open presents and a child counted everyone and said, "We are all here." My heart ached.
When a mom took her life a few weeks before Christmas because it was just "too much." I shivered because I know her desperation all to well.
When someone gave us a special gift, to let us know they care, we felt blessed.
When we took family pictures and ours has four children instead of five, I cried.
When I read a joyful adoption announcement, I felt torn inside. I want to be happy for them but instead I feel fear.
When I was folding socks and saw Josephs threadbare socks I was reminded that he used to get the hand me downs from two big brothers, not anymore.
Other years we had three children the same age for the last week of December and the first two weeks of January, but not anymore.
When I face another day of sitting on the sofa doing nothing because it hurts to move and I am so tired, I battle bitterness.
When Lia told a new friend, "I have two brothers and one sister," I want to tell the woman that we used to have three boys.
When someone told me, "You need to do what is right for your family," when talking about Christmas plans, my heart was warmed.
When I took Joseph for an evaluation, I was reminded of the many, many such appointments I attended for B. All those new doctors I took him too, all the times I asked the doctor questions to see how much they really understood about RAD. I feel as if all the time and headaches were for naught.
When Joseph has, "a moment," and I am thrown back in time to another little boy who looked just like him, I panic and tell Dean I need some space. Dean calmly takes over and I have a good cry.
When I sweep my family room floor and remember B helping Dean put it in place, my heart hurts.
When I cleaned my kitchen chairs and saw the teeth marks on the back of a chair, I remember the rage that produced those marks and thank God that we have moved beyond that time in our life.
Whenever B's name comes up, I cry. Somewhere I read this quote: You know you have healed from your pain when talking about it no longer brings tears. Sometimes I think I cry more for B now than I ever did while he was at home.
When all the children are playing peacefully, I thank God because it wasn't always this way. B couldn't tolerate peacefulness so he intentionally caused chaos.
....and that is how we felt this Christmas season....
Blessed - because of God's Gift of Jesus
Sad - because we are a family of 6 instead of 7
Guilty - because this was never how it was supposed to be.
Relieved - because the responsibility of parenting B is no longer our's
Weary - because of all the emotional pain of the past years.
Thankful - because God found a family that is able to meet B's needs when we no longer could.