We experience many rejections in life but few are as earth shattering as the rejection of a parent. Many children who have been adopted feel rejected whether or not that was what really happened. And who can blame them?
For various reasons, of our three children Kiana struggles with this the most. In her childlike mind if her mom loved her she would have worked at her life until she succeeded in getting Kiana back. We have talked until we ran out of words trying to explain the harsh reality of drugs, alcohol and how hard life is without a support system to no avail because she is convinced, "If my mom loved me she would have gotten me back."
Today was a teary day for Kiana. Poor girl. I don't know when to blame her actions on Lyme, when it is typical 9 year old behavior or when trauma is the culprit. I told her therapist that so much of our parenting is based on gut feeling. "I feel like we are just winging it!" I told him. "Another way of describing it would be called intuition," he said. "You gain intuition by spending time with someone and learning what they respond to best. So I would say you are probably doing what is best for your children." He will never know what a comfort those words were!
Anyway, this afternoon Kiana and I had a chat, something we haven't had much success with lately due to the impact Lyme has had on her ability to process information. She said, "I just want my mom to give me things and call me." Kiana speak for, "I want my mom to love me." I asked her why she thinks her mom doesn't return our phone calls. She promptly said, "Because she doesn't love me!" I urged her to think of other reasons but she couldn't come up with anything.
"Maybe she worries that you won't want to talk to her," I suggested. Kiana burst out, "But I do want to!"
"I think she might feel guilty," I explained. "She probably feels bad that things turned out as they did. Remember how you feel when you have done something and feel guilty, then you don't feel like you deserve good things?" Kiana nodded, she could easily relate to that feeling.
"Maybe she doesn't have a phone," I continued. "Dad has to pay for our phone usage each month. I someone doesn't pay, then they can't use their phone." That led into a long fear based discussion of whether or not we are rich. "We have enough money to buy the things we need," I said, "So yes, we are rich."
In the end Kiana admitted that there is probably a reason her mom hasn't contacted us. "Your mom will never forget you," I assured Kiana. "Deep down mom's love their children, sometimes they just make poor choices which hurts the child."
I told her about the years of prayers and tears that we went through before God answered our prayers and gave us a little girl who needed our love. "Now you have a choice," I reminded Kiana. "The choice of whether or not you will let us love you and fill that empty place in your heart." I held my arms out for a hug and she hesitated for a second before giving me a huge hug.
The storm has passed by once more....until next time, that is! Our hope and prayer is that someday she will be able to come to the place where she can feel secure in our love for her.