- Still Standing
- What I Saw the Day of the Family Photos
- The Downward Spiral of My Son’s Behavior
- How Do I Talk to My Adopted Kids About Their Birth Family?
- The Day We Told Our Son About His Past
- I Called the Police for My Own Son…and I’m a Good Mom.
- The Worst Father’s Day…but it Wasn’t
- What It’s Like to Take Your Child to the Hospital for Mental Health Care
- What It’s Like When Your Child Needs Inpatient Mental Health Care
- What Visits Are Like When Your Child Gets Inpatient Mental Health Care
- What Life is Like When Your Child Has Mental Health Issues
- When Grief and Hope Come in Waves
- Attachment Therapy: When a New Start is Scary
- When You Beg God for a Miracle
- Tough Vacation Decisions for Kids with Special Needs
- When Kids Take Medication for Behavior
- Water Balloon Therapy
- When You Are Humbled
- He Goes to the Park
- How to Measure Progress in Tough Situations
- When My Adopted Child Cries for His Birth Mom
- The Two Equally Important Jobs of Every Parent
- How to Shift Conversations with Challenging Kids
- What to Do When Your Kids Lie to You
- Dodge and Weave
- When the Life Has Been Sucked Out of You
- Every Test in Your Life Makes You Bitter or Better.
- Mornings, Bedtimes, and Other Routines for Kids with Trauma History
- What Happens to the Sibling of a Special Needs Child
- I’m the Most Stubborn
- Watching Miracles Unfold
- How to Find Peace…When You Don’t Get Your Happy Ending
How to Find Peace…When There’s No Happy Ending
Welcome to Still Standing.
I’m thankful you are here.
I welcome you into my home and as a fellow traveler on my journey.
If you were here at my house right now, I would invite you to sit down for a cup of tea with me.
I’d offer to share a piece of my secret chocolate stash (in the back of the freezer behind the frozen mixed vegetables – totally safe there) that I keep hidden away for moments with good friends.
I would warn you to watch your step because there are Legos strewn about the floor in random places.
We would get settled down at the table, and then I would start the conversation.
I want to tell you a story.
Before I begin, I need to warn you that this story doesn’t have a picture-perfect happy ending. This isn’t a sappy Hollywood tale that wraps up in one hour and 58 minutes.
But it’s beautiful.
Since you’re busy and so am I, I will start right in the middle and cut to the heart of the matter.
Two years ago, I thought my family and my entire world was going to implode — explode from the inside out.
I felt like I was dying, or wanted to.
We have 2 children we adopted from foster care, and these amazing little boys struggle. That summer, they struggled mightily.
May I share with you how God led me through that summer? God changed me in those 3 months in ways I could not have imagined.
I didn’t think I would make it, yet here I am, still standing.
Whatever you are going through in your life, God is there for you in the midst of your struggles, too.
I hate visit days.
Adoption is made to sound so pretty.
Sometimes, adoption is not very pretty. Because you see, adoption means there is pain. Families are ripped apart.
Sometimes adoption brings bright, white, hot pain. That pain has to go somewhere.
Sometimes it lives inside the child. Then what?
Our family has taken on the business of healing children who have been wounded by child abuse and adoption’s open wounds.
Yesterday was one of those pain-filled days.
Our ten-year-old son is inpatient getting the mental health care he needs. The drive takes almost an hour in horrible traffic, for what will end up being a 10 minute visit.
Every day I’m tempted not to visit but every day I go anyway.
Our son hates the visits. He feels the push-pull of wanting to see us and not wanting to see us.
I get it, even though it rips my heart to shreds. I pretend that it doesn’t, but it does.
I hate sitting in the waiting room. I hate it. He is getting decent enough care and the staff has been great with us and with him, but I still hate it.
There are tons of rules — all of course totally necessary for safety — but who are these people to tell ME, his mother, what I can and cannot do?
Don’t bring your cell phone. Don’t bring your purse. Stand here. Don’t stand here. No strings. Check stuff here. Three outfits.
What do you mean, I cannot bring him what I what? See him when I want? He is locked in and I am locked out?
Or is it the other way around?
In perhaps the ultimate of ironies, I feel like so many birth parents must have felt for years when we took children to visits at county buildings. Same ugly, dreary waiting rooms. Same God-forsaken social services furniture. Same locked doors. Same social workers who are burned out, overworked and underpaid.
Why am I being treated like I’ve done something wrong here?
When I’m at home, I try to rest but it’s harder than you would think. There are so many phone calls. Medicaid.
I’m a good advocate for my kids — a great one, actually — but this system is meant to wear us out. I’m sure that’s the goal. Wear us down until we’ll just take what is offered and stop complaining.
Except I won’t stop. I’ll keep bothering them until someone, somewhere, a voice in an office that has never seen me or my son, will stamp a paper and type an answer in a computer that means nothing to them but to us means everything — an approval for a therapy that might save his life and my sanity.
My husband and I sleep like the dead. We crash into bed at 8:00pm and don’t move until morning, and wake up tired. Exhaustion clings to us.
If I described how we have been living for the last months you would not believe me.
I would not believe this life unless I had actually done it and someday when I look back, it will seem impossible that we survived this way.
We are caring for some of the most wounded, behaviorally challenged children. This existence is barely living.
Instead of locks on the doors to keep strangers out, we have locks to keep our children in.
What it requires from us as humans is fantastic. The grief is unreal.
Like those times when we parented newborn medically fragile twins, it’s a fog of sleep-deprived, beautiful agony. Yes, we really did accomplish that difficult miracle. We are amazing.
We might not have done it all well, but we are still standing and that says something.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Sometimes it’s a victory to be still standing at the end of a tough day. When have you felt this way lately?
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The Still Standing Series
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