As we were licensed, we were filled with anticipation. I knew that I had a lot of love to give to children who needed it. I knew the power of love and believed that with enough love we could move mountains. And, in a way we do. These kids came to us broken. They came to us with various different issues. We loved them. And we loved them. And we loved them.
For years now we have loved them with everything in us. They have made huge strides and appear as if everything is fine now, but it's not. Shea still struggles with fears that cause her to try to control people around her, and not let me be the mom. She still struggles with feeling safe and believing that she will always have enough food to eat. She's been with us since she was just 5 1/2 months old and still the effects of her trauma affect her. On the outside, she seems like a very strong willed little girl, one might think she just needs to be tamed. But what isn't seen in the fear behind that strength. What isn't seen is the brokenness that remains. It doesn't consume her as much as it used to, maybe doesn't define her like it used to, but it's still there. It still causes her to be a little less resilient to certain things, and causes her to struggle with her own self worth. She still fights battles others don't understand. Love isn't enough to just make her all better. It certainly helps her, but my fantasies about just loving these kids better was just that. There are lasting effects that we still deal with many years later. William struggles with self worth very deeply. No matter how passionately I love him, he still feels unloved at times. He still feels like he doesn't have value. I tell him every day just how amazing I think he is, I rejoice with him through his victories, hold him when he falls short, tell him how important he is to my life. How important he is to everyone around him. Still he feels as if he isn't valuable. Somehow lesser. No matter how much we have overwhelmed him with love we have been unable to rewrite his inner tape. There is nothing like holding your child who you adore, while he cries and screams that he is not loved. As I'm holding him, crying with him he is unable to accept my love. Other times he's full of joy. We just never know.
Why am I telling you this on Gotcha Day? Because I believe adoption is so important. But it's important to know that it's not always easy. It's important to know it wont all be perfect just because the adoption is final. It's important to know it will be hard.
But you know what? Hard things produce great rewards. My reward is in knowing he's safe. He's loved, and I believe he will overcome this. She's in a place where she can blossom, and be safe as she lives out her life and learns how not to fight with those around her. No matter what we love these kids. No matter what I will do everything in my power to keep them safe from harm. They will be clothed, fed, encouraged. Some days it takes everything out of me. Some days I'm filled to over filled with love.
If you have thought about adoption, I want you to know I'm happy to talk to you honestly and frankly about the ups and the downs. I want to encourage you that it will be hard, but worth it. I want to implore you to make a difference in someone's life and know that their life will not be the only one changed. I want to remind you that it is a calling, and when you are called to something, you need to believe that God will take you through it.
Happy Gotcha Day my sweets.