Sunday, September 4, 2016

Lessons In Love And Rejection In Adoption

Those of us born into a loving, secure family cannot be too thankful  for that blessing. We don't have to wonder why our mom couldn't take care of us pr who our family is. We don't have the beast of rejection snapping at our heels, threatening to pull us down and devour us. Watching our children work through the devastation of rejection is tough. How do you help someone come to terms with something so huge, when you have had a secure childhood?

   Sometimes Dean and I feel wholly inadequate to fill the intense emotional needs our children have. Facing the onslaught of rage, fear and pain these deep needs cause can be wearying, but seeing them grasp what we have been telling them is so rewarding!

   Today held one of those rewarding moments. Kiana was keenly feeling the affects of her past. Going to church and seeing her friends who "match" their parents is hard for her as it is a visible reminder of the fact that she is adopted. As is typical for children with a history like hers, she was lashing out at me.

   We need to be sensitive to our children's pain, but sometimes they need to face reality and today was such a day for Kiana.

  It is easier for her to cast the blame for her troubles on me. "If you wouldn't have adopted me....!" Of course that isn't logical thinking, but trauma is seldom logical.

  I whispered a quick prayer for direction and wisdom which God graciously answered by bringing to mind our cat Marshmallow and her kittens. Marshmallow had a nest of kittens in our woods earlier this summer and the children loved them dearly. Mama Cat wasn't impressed with all the attention and moved them several times. Eventually she moved them and we couldn't find them. That was the end of the kittens.

  I told Kiana to think of those kittens. "What if Marshmallow couldn't take care of her babies and left them cold and hungry, they would be meowing and crying. Then we would find another cat who would be willing to take care of them and feed them like her own. If the kittens would scratch and hiss at that cat, do think they would feel warm and safe?"

  Kiana shook her head no.

  "But what if those kittens cuddled up to that cat and she fed them and kept them warm and even though they missed Marshmallow, they would let the new cat keep them safe."

  "You are like those kittens, you can hurt us because of the pain you have in your heart, or you can let us help you and love you. The choice is yours, do you want to be a cold and scared kitten or one that feels safe and loved?"

  I sent her to think about which type of kitten she wants to be until lunch was ready. I haven't sat down and asked her what she chose but her actions speak for themselves. She joined in the talk around the dinner table and cheerfully helped with clean up afterwards. 

  Sometimes, well most times, we feel out of our depth when it comes to helping our children heal but we thank God for those break through moments!

  I am off make sure my kitten feels loved and secure.....

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