Finding the Words

This is the post I need to write, but don’t want to.  I only finally am attempting it because my silence is getting awkward.  I’m not sure why I haven’t been able to articulate what I am feeling.  Perhaps its because I am refusing to feel anything, because when I do let it in, its always tinged with pain.  That sounds so dramatic, but its the truth and hopefully the following will help to explain.

The Ugly Truth

A friend recently told me (in so many words) that my “thing” is honesty.  That my ability to put myself on blast is how I help others.  I can see that.  I do value honesty and feel that without it our testimonies and lives are lacking.  However, my recent problem is that I have been avoiding being honest with myself.  And if I’m not honest with myself, I can’t be honest with you.  That’s why you haven’t heard much from me lately.  That and what I do know to be true right now comes across very whiny and ungrateful.

So I must preface all of this by saying that I am grateful.  I’m grateful for my husband who has gone through all of this with me and been the strong one.  I’m grateful for my children.  All of them.  I’m grateful for the grace and patience of my loving Father. He is the only reason that I am (slowly) allowing myself to struggle.  Yes, I must allow myself to struggle.  I’m not a weak person and my life is one that proves it.  The problem with that is I do not rely on anyone – Anyone. Not my husband.  Not my savior – unless I have to.  (You can see I have many issues and many things that God is chiseling at.)  But nevertheless, I am grateful, and I fear sounding like I’m not.  I fear that saying that I am struggling is like saying that I’m just not happy enough with what I have.

Think about baptism for a minute. When you are baptized you think about the promises and how you are being raised to new life.  As you are plunged into that clear water you don’t think about the blood… or the death. But baptism is about death before it can be about life – the fleshly death of the person being baptized and the horrific death of Jesus on the cross.  Because of that death, in the loss and only through that loss, comes the beauty and the promise of true abundant life.

So here is the honest truth: Even though I am grateful, adoption is about loss and pain.  And it is difficult.  You are probably nodding and thinking about how you have heard that.  How you know that in order for a child to be adopted that must mean that they have had to lose a family before.  That’s true.  Everything in that child’s life has to die.  Everything that should have been theirs has been taken from them.  And for them to begin a new life with a new family, that loss must happen.

But there’s more.  The new family also experiences loss.  Our children were no where near perfect, but they were sheltered and secure.  We had a sweet little family.  Now we are a family of broken hearts.  Chandler and Noah are experiencing the realities of abandonment, neglect, and pain second hand by watching their new brother try to find his place among us.  It was so hard for them while we were gone to China and Noah still hasn’t fully recovered.  They are not as secure as they once were.  It’s so hard to watch them try to process it all.  I hate seeing Noah struggle with insecurity.  He is acting out.  Chandler isn’t sleeping through the night.  I am exhausted emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  I know Billy has to be because he has been so strong.  See?  Whine, whine, whine.

The other day I was frustrated about something and a friend said, “You asked for this, right?”  Even though I felt it was a thoughtless and insensitive thing to say, it isn’t like I don’t understand why they said it.  And I’m sure others probably feel the same way.  So to answer the question… yes and no.  It’s more like we accepted it than asked for it.  Mostly we said, “God, we’ll go where you lead us.” Just because I chose this child, accepted this road, doesn’t mean I can’t have bad days.  We expected it to be hard, and it could definitely be harder, but just because we expected it doesn’t make it any easier.  What keeps me going is the hope that beautiful, miraculous things come from adoption.

I do not want or need pity.  We need prayer, support, understanding.  I need to know that there’s no judgement when I don’t send that thank you note, or don’t make it to your party, or I seem ungrateful.  It’s because our family has just been broken and its taking all of our strength to pick up the pieces.  Most of all we need grace and love.  We need to know that the people in our lives are going to see our ugly, crazy, depressed, angry emotional roller coaster and they are going to love us anyway.

Thank you for listening to my rambling.  I’m looking forward to the day that I can look back on this and hardly remember the pain.  I know that God can heal us quickly and that is my prayer.  Until then, please pray that we continue to seek His face instead of focusing on the hardship of it all right now.

5 thoughts on “Finding the Words

  1. Tasha, I really like how you worded that- the second hand pain your children are experiencing as their new brother finds his place among your family. I don’t like that people have more sympathy for families with new biological children vs families with new adopted children. It’s the truth. But I don’t like it. Keep hanging in there.

  2. Tasha thank you for continuing in your gift of honesty. There is beauty in your words, and even if you can’t see it now, trust me it’s there. You will see it, later down the road. This is a good hard sweetie, God is doing a good work in you and your family, but it is hard. Stay real and true to yourself in the struggle, and be real and honest with God. The early days are so tough, so so tough.

    These two verses in Isaiah come to mind: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19.

    And this one too:
    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28

    Thanks for sharing so we know how to pray.

  3. Tasha, things will settle. You are doing the Lords work and He will provide for you. You are all experiencing a period of adjustment – and you will get there. Your children will recover from the time you spent apart & the change in the family dynamics with your new little one – I know it doesn’t feel that way right now – but they will. Children see things very differently than we do as adults, their perception of poverty, pain, loss etc isn’t as complex as we experience & understand it as adults. What you are going through is completely normal, in fact, I’d be very surprised & even possibly a bit concerned if it wasn’t the way you have described!
    If this whole, wonderful adventure has been led by the Lord, He will be faithful to complete His work in all of your lives. Never doubt that fact, rest in the knowledge He knew you would be walking through this valley right now & embrace the knowledge that He’s already carrying you all in His arms. He set you and your family apart for this purpose, to be this wonderful blessing to this child & a testament of His undying love for the weak, oppressed, damaged & abandoned. As you did not abandon this little one, He shall not abandon you – so look up & be refreshed in the knowledge that all will be well, for through Christ all things are possible.

    Isaiah 41:10
    10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

    Psalm 82:4
    4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    Isaiah 40:29
    29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

    You are blessed, rest in Him. Remember, the egg must break first before the new life inside can emerge in all its beauty.

  4. Thank you for writing this as you are putting words to how I am feeling as we are two months home from China ourselves. It is so hard for me to explain to those who have not adopted just what is going on here at home and while we are now at a point where we have mostly good days, I would be foolish in thinking that we are “past it” as some well-meaning people have said to me. And as far as people commenting that you “asked for this,” yes, I’ve gotten it too and have taken a lot of comfort from this post: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/09/06/after-the-airport
    Take care of yourself and hang in there!

  5. We aren’t called to comfortable situations; rather, face the curriculum that will lead to testimony and sharing and glorifying His greatness.

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