Today M is moving bricks. I really believe he’s too comfortable in the pit where he resides. He can play legos all day and read in the afternoon and do a chore or two, but I haven’t taken any of the “family” privileges away. It’s time. He’s not defiant, mouthy or unbearable. So why the heck am I trying to make his life miserable? Because I’m after his heart. If I believe nothing else about adoption or parenting, this I believe: if you don’t have your child’s heart you will have missed everything. There are so many screwed up kids out there from parents that were ignorant or incapable or gave their children everything but love. I don’t believe teenagers have to be miserable or disrespectful or angry. My two oldest have been delightful (for the most part). It is possible. It is doable. It is God’s way. But what do the teenage years look like for M and S? Not the same, unless we reach their hearts. S is making great progress. We took a long walk while M started moving bricks and she just shared all her frustrations and sadness about M. She has compassion. Thank God for that. That is a sign of a heart filling with love. M, no compassion. S and I talked about doing the hard stuff with M. Giving him what he wants, the care taking love only, will not reach his heart. I just feel this urgency that if he doesn’t shift, doesn’t start reaching for me, that he will be lost forever. And I know it won’t be my fault. I have done everything humanly possible. That won’t make the pain any less. No matter how I “feel” at any given time, I have loved this boy through it all. But I have to let go and let him find his way. He has to want it. S and I talked about all these things and I see the understanding on her face and the blossoming trust she places in us. Before she would get angry and yell at us that we didn’t love M and it wasn’t fair. Now I can take her aside and explain to her what I’m doing. I believe one day she will be able to help other children who are damaged and wounded, so that they won’t be alone and will be able to know it is possible to heal.
That brings me back to the bricks. Hate it. Scares me that someone in my neighborhood will turn me in. Been investigated by social services before and don’t want it again. But if this will make M uncomfortable and make him search his heart I’ll stand in the gap and trust God for him. Now, he moves bricks across our yard, a very short way. Usually only one time. It’s not abusive, it’s not punishment. It’s a way for him to physically get in touch with his anger so he can connect with his “stuff.” I fought our therapist for months on using bricks but it has been the only thing that has reached him.
This is the single hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. 10 years of therapeutic parenting. Many more to go. Why do I share these personal details and fears? Because I know what it’s like to feel alone as a mom. At the place where no one understands, not even your husband. Tim is always supportive, sometimes questions, mostly gets it. But he doesn’t have to do this every day, 24/7, 365 days a year. There are so many other moms out there who get it, who struggle, who plead with God to deliver them, then pick themselves up and continue on. It’s a small club, but I pray for moms and want you to know you’re not alone. There is hope.