How to Find Peace…When There’s No Happy EndingStill Standing|The Holy Mess

An October Series and Daily Devotions

This series is for you if…

  • You have lived through tough life circumstances and you are STILL STANDING.
  • You are currently living through tough life circumstances and you wonder how you will be able to still stand by the end.
  • People say you are a strong person, but you don’t feel strong.
  • You want Bible verses to motivate and encourage you.
  • By the end of this month, you ready to feel refreshed, inspired, and invigorated.
  • Your heart resonates with a story about foster care, adoption, and helping children who have been affected by abuse and early trauma.

New! Free Bible Journaling KitStill Standing Free Journaling Kit|The Holy Mess

Receive a free 10-page Bible journaling kit instantly. Includes daily journaling pages, a one month Bible reading plan, Bible memory verse cards, and more. This is a fantastic companion to this series and wonderful for creative Bible journaling.

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.

Inpatient Visits

June, 2015

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?

Still Standing

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.


The Still Standing 31 Day Seriesstill-standing-button

For the last 12 years, my husband and I have parented some of the most behaviorally challenged children. We have had experts tell us, “This shouldn’t be happening to you.”

Yet here we are. We are still standing.

Join me for the next 31 days as I take you on a journey. I welcome you into my home and into our lives.

I open the door and welcome you in. This is a private look at our day-to-day world two summers ago during one of our most challenging times, and also one of our most amazing as God brought us to some fantastic people and resources.

Some doors to our life will remain firmly closed as I protect the privacy of our children. I know you, dear readers, will understand and respect our privacy as there are certain aspects I cannot share here.

Yet as I have prayed about this series, time and again I have felt called to write this, and to write it now. No family is perfect. Your issues might not be like ours — or they might.

Regardless of your life circumstance, you have been through life’s difficulties. None of us escapes it in our sinful world. We don’t always get the miracles we long for.

Yet you are here.

By God’s grace and provision, You are still standing.

Still Standing

These are the posts for each day of the series. Add your email below so you don’t miss a post.

Do you know someone who would benefit from this series? Please share.

October 1- Still Standing

October 2- What I Saw the Day of the Family Photos

October 3- The Downward Spiral of My Son’s Behavior

October 4- How Do I Talk to My Adopted Kids About Their Birth Family?

October 5- The Day We Told Our Son Who Is Adopted About His Past

October 6- I Called the Police for My Own Son…and I’m a Good Mom

October 7- The Worst Father’s Day…Except It Wasn’t

October 8- What It’s Like When Your Child Goes to the Hospital for Mental Health Care

October 9- What It’s Like When Your Child is Inpatient for Mental Health Treatment

October 10- What Visits Are Like When Your Child Gets Inpatient Mental Health Treatment

October 11- What Life is Like When Your Child Has Mental Health Issues

October 12- When Grief and Hope Come in Waves

October 13- Attachment Therapy: When a New Start is Scary

October 14- When You Beg God for a Miracle

October 15- Tough Vacation Decisions for Kids with Special Needs

October 16- When Kids Take Medication for Behavior

October 17- Water Balloon Therapy

October 18- When You are Humbled

October 19- He Goes to the Park

October 20- How to Measure Progress in Tough Situations

October 21- When My Adopted Child Cries for His Birth Mom

October 22- The Two Equally Important Jobs of Every Parent

October 23- How to Shift Conversations with Tough Kids

October 24- What to Do When Your Kids Lie to You

October 25- Dodge and Weave

October 26- When the Life Has Been Sucked Out of You

October 27- What Your Kids Take Medication for Behavior

October 28- Morning, Bedtime, and Other Routines for Kids with Trauma History

October 29- What Happens to the Siblings of Special Needs Children

October 30- I’m the Most Stubborn

October 31- Watching Miracles Unfold

November 1- How to Find Peace…Without the Happy Ending (Epilogue)

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