**Disclaimer: The last thing I ever want to do with this blog is discourage people from adopting. Yes, it is hard. But it's also beautiful. God really does place the lonely in families. He does not and can not lie. It's against his nature. We are in a difficult place that not all families go through. The majority of my adoption friends are posting stories of their easy attachments with their child/children, the automatic love they feel for them, and the God-given beautiful moments. We also have had some beautiful moments. Please do not let our small statistic of the reality we live in scare you if you have been considering adoption. God wants the Church to take care of orphans, and adoption is one way to do that. Now to move on.......**
I am thankful. Sometimes I don't think about it like I should. Deep down, though, it's always there. Thank you for my breath, Lord. Thank you for eternal life, Lord. Thank you for my parents, Lord. Thank you for my husband and children, Lord. Thank you for this house, Lord.
There are some days I just don't think I can parent a child from a hard place for another minute and I want to scream. I question whether or not I actually listened to God's call. Did I imagine it?
The answer is no. It was as real as the pink toenail polish decorating my feet.
Still, the "what-if" syndrome creeps in on a daily basis.
One of my adoption friends described parenting a RAD child as "the death of a dream". She was right.
There have been two rare occasions in which Y rode with Alan to work (because of a bad morning) and I have caught myself at the table with Paulos and Easton with Alana across from us (Jayde does her work in her room). I looked around and thought, "Yes, this is what I imagined. A blended family with challenges, but love. This is manageable." Then when Y comes back, the entire household is thrown into disarray. I am no longer able to speak to another child. He consumes all of me. Yet at the same time, he does not like or trust me.
It will be hard for a long time. We have had the privilege of families contacting us and giving us great leads on therapists for our family who specialize in RAD children. Also a family camp that we are looking forward to after the holidays. There is a light. A dim light, but it's there, and I need to focus on it. Continue to pray, please.
We are thankful for the families who have come forward the shared their experiences with us to let us know we are not alone. Thank you for giving up personal details about your lives to virtual strangers.
This Thanksgiving season, I am grateful for:
My husband, for without him I would go crazy. I could not do this alone. We know the research shows the effects of RAD on a family often includes the breakup of a marriage. We are determined not to become a statistic.
Our parents: My parents have provided the Jeffries Shuttle Service (I need to get them chauffeur hats). They have picked up Paulos from pre-school and fed him lunch while I finish schooling the others more times than I can count. Alan's parents help with the children, run them to and fro, and let us go on much-needed date nights to keep us connected. Whoo-hoo!
Friends: Dude. Our family is blessed with some of the best friends on the planet. They come over after the kids are in bed to visit. They donate stuff like scooters, bicycles, balls, and clothes to our family. They invite us over for dinner and let the kids play in a small setting. They understand if we need to leave early or cancel plans at the last minute. They listen to our rants. They are awesome.
My Children: Each one teaches me something. Each one has a special gift from God and is a special gift from God.