My husband is at work. The kids are in bed. I am alone with my thoughts. (yes dad,I do occasionally have thoughts!) In less than a week my ninth child will be joining this family. He will be the sixth boy. He will be the forth child we have adopted through the state. We have made this life altering commitment to a nearly twelve year old boy based on my oldest daughter’s impressions,a past foster mom’s description and some very incomplete paperwork. We are basing how he will fit into our family on a four hour visit
I am at the point of adoption that birth mom’s feels when labor starts; scared,hopeful,wanting the baby here but not wanting the pain that bringing the baby into the world entails. Transitioning a hurt child into a family of hurt children is not an easy thing. There is pain and loss involved. A tremendous amount of pain and loss-for everyone. I am happy and relived that after months of fighting we are finally getting our son home. I love him already with a fierce almost painful love. The love you feel when you hold that newborn baby to you breast for the first time. It feels like your heart can’t contain it. That is the love I feel for this son of mine. Unlike a newly born son,this son is nearly twelve. He has spent most of his life in either Hell or the purgatory of our foster care system. He has had his birth parents, a family placement, three foster homes and two stays in psych hospitals. He is on psychotropic meds. He has been hurt by,raped by and/or abandoned by every adult he has ever cared about. I have no illusions he is going to move in and fall on his knees in appreciation my love. He cannot possibly love me back. He is terrified. He is angry. And yet he still wants, desperately wants,someone to just love him. He is down, but not broken.
I am afraid of what behaviors we will see when he finally feels safe enough to work through all that emotion he has placed in a box inside himself. It isn’t going to be pretty. I am afraid I am not up to carrying yet one more child’s pain. I am afraid I am not up to being the recipient of all that anger. I am selfishly not wanting to stir up the other kids because I don’t want to deal with the fallout. I am selfishly not wanting to give up the freedom to leave without a child in tow. I am forty-eight years old. I am tired of being the mother of over grown toddlers. Now I have a newborn again. A rather large one at that. I am scared I am not a good enough mom to do this. I’m not by the way. I never have been;I cannot do this. My husband and I cannot do this together. We can only do this because God gives us the strength to get through each day. He gives us the wisdom. He gives us the grace. It’s a funny thing;I can’t do the work the Lord has set before me without the Lord’s help. I am simply not able.
When I looked into the eyes of my new son, God allowed me to see him as He sees him. I saw a glimpse of the person my son was created to be. It is that child,buried beneath all the rubble, I will love when things get hard. It is that child I love now.
He may never love me. I know that in my head. It is my heart that will long for it. Perhaps he will feel safe here. Maybe he will begin to trust. In time he will heal his broken heart;heal his broken spirit. Maybe someday he will love me.
A mom can hope.