Thursday, April 4, 2013

Trauma, Part IV

~Trauma on the brink of adulthood~

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this cheery subject.  One reason is that we were trying different approaches; we started seeing a new therapist, and anything I had to say seemed like the same ol’ same ol’ mundane gibberish.

We’ve been in the trenches for over three and a half years now.  Oh, how I would love to say things have gotten better.  Or even that I am comfortable in the trenches.  Before you slam my inbox with hate mail, please hear this:  I love my Teen Treasure!  I would turn my life upside down to help him heal.  Come to think of it…oh, never mind.  

As a mother, I realize I am grieving.  As with every child, whether biological or adopted, we have hopes and dreams.  Not that they would live out our dreams or fulfill our incomplete goals.  Rather, that they would live passionately for the Lord, joyfully and content with what they have, grateful for His gifts, humbly toward themselves, kindly toward others and generously toward the least.

To live this kind of life requires self-awareness, humility and sound decision-making.  Despite thousands of opportunities to learn and exercise these skills through scenarios in therapy and daily family life, our son is unable to get it.  He is nearing adulthood, and I hate to admit that hope is but a distant glimmer in the darkness.  On the other hand, as long as I am breathing, I will cling to that ray, no matter how faint.  Because my hope is in the Lord. 

 I know with all my being that there is no thing or no one beyond His redemptive power.  Nothing.  No one.    And yet I ask, “Why?”  Why would God choose not to heal my son?  I know He is sovereign.  I know He chose to break my heart for children running out of time.  I know He chose to keep certain things from us.  I know that in my wretched selfishness I surely would have said, “No, Lord.  You must be mistaken,” if I had known the extent of brokenness and damage evident in my son.  

I would have said no, not because he didn’t deserve love, nurture and healing, but because it is beyond my ability to parent in the trenches with the abundant grace it requires.  

Unlike Jesus, who knowingly and willingly gave His life for me, I am unwilling to sacrifice my wretched life.  And God knows that.  He is sovereign.  He shielded us from the hurt and anguish that would enter our home. 

And so when I ask, “Why?” I already know the answer.  He will do whatever brings HIM glory!  And whether I see His glory revealed in this situation or die longing for it is not for me to know.  And it’s not for me to question.  His glory revealed may be as much in the journey as in the finish line. 

And so tomorrow and the next day…and the next, I will surface from the trenches long enough to catch a glimpse of the ray, I will continue to parent with as much grace as I can muster, and I will praise my Heavenly Father that His ways are higher!

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isa 55:9

If you are parenting in the trenches, please know you are not alone.  First of all, God has never left your side, and secondly, there are others walking the same or similar journey. 

If your family has experienced healing, it would be such an encouragement to me and others if you would share it in a comment.  If you would like prayer, it would be my privilege to lift you up.  If you’ve discovered practical resources that have made a positive difference, I would love for you to share the title, the link or specific information. 

To HIM be the glory!


Martha said...

Please know that although I wouldn't even pretend to have any advice, you and your Krew - every one- always are in my prayers.

Felicia said...

Just today I received this message on facebook.....

Mom I never say dis before but ur the best mom I have ever had and thank u for ur unconditional love

..It may not seem like much. However, it came from my 19 year old daughter who we adopted from Guatemala at the age of 10. Shortly after she turned 18 I had to ask her to leave home for the best interest of our other children. I thought that I had totally failed. After she left home I remained in contact with her once a month through a message on facebook. After about 6 months she responded. Her heart had finally opened and she was willing to accept us as her family. She is finally happy and her acceptance has totally transformed her life and her relationships with everyone in the family. I prayed for this but had lost hope. I continued to contact her because that is what a mom should do. I will pray for your situation.

Michelle said...

Connie, Every time I am praying for my RAD-ling, I will include you and yours as well. The trenches is such a perfect term for how this feels, and I also struggle to parent with alot of grace some days. I am fortunate that she is only 11 and we haven't hit hormones yet, but I know that time will come and I worry how it will affect her. Considering how many other children that are demanding your attention, I would say that you are "trenching successfully" if you are still able to get up each morning! Blessings to you and know that you are not alone- God is with you.

CarrieT said...

I will keep you all and especially your son in my prayers, Connie. I have wondered from time to time how it is going. No words of advice just a reminder, as you know, that God is bigger than all this and He will never leave Kooper's side. Even if he is not where you would like him to be when he leaves the nest, God can and will keep working on him as an adult. He meets us where we are and still keeps working on all of us after we are technically grown!! Hugs to you!

Carrie T.

lizzielou said...

No advice to give you sweet friend, but some encouragement and of course will be praying for you and Kooper. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it" I just find this verse very encouraging for a parent goung through what you are, I had a hard time as a teen and it wasnt easy for my parents but what they showed me and taught me about the Lord stuck deep in my heart and after a few years of searching I went back to God. He will come. Jesus will heal Him. Sending you much love, dont forget you are a wonderful Mom, God chose your family for a reason. xoxooxoxox

Chris said...

No advice here either, we don't have RAD, just attachment "chanllenges" I know I grieve the loss of the child that I didn't get to know, now I just have a sassy, know-it-all teen who according to others is doing "wonderful" Even though that is the definition of teens, I don't have the memories of the time when he was my little boy who loved me...
Thank you for posting, that reminds us to pray.

Mama Ds Dozen said...

So sorry. So sad. So hard.

As I have rejoiced in your new adoptions, I have wondered how Kooper was doing. Sorry to hear things are still TOUGH.

Hugs & Prayers!

mama of 12

Jolene said...

Today I realized that it is literally easier for an 8 yr old (PTSD/Anxiety?....RAD?) with all that to scream and cry and throw fits like a baby than it is to simply say I'm mad because you said no.

No advice. I have two kiddos with these challenges and I'm no closer to answers than I was 3.5 yrs ago when we started this journey. Actually, I think I know less.

Praying for you all...toughest thing ever and I am still grieving about it myself...

Marie said...

Praying...hang in there. God is at work.

cara said...

Sending prayers your way, We too have a son who seems similiar to yours. He is 15, adopted from Ukraine at 10.5. He has been diagnoised with several personality disorders. Living with him is challenging everyday, I find myself looking forward to him moving out as an adult, but I fear what that life will be like for him. He can not tell the truth, make good choices, struggles with friendships etc., except he blames everyone but himself.
I guess all we can do is pray, and know God is in control!
God Bless, Cara

Linette said...

In a world (and too often a Church) that is fixated on easy answers, thank you for sharing this truth:

"And whether I see His glory revealed in this situation or die longing for it is not for me to know. And it’s not for me to question. His glory revealed may be as much in the journey as in the finish line."

You put words to a God-centered perspective that we all need to be reminded of regularly.

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