As I watched my oldest daughter’s journey to motherhood I was grateful to play an active part in her life and now in my precious grandson’s life.
From the very beginning Rachel was full of questions and transparency.
Did it take you long to get pregnant?
Did you have morning sickness when you were pregnant with me?
When did you get over the morning sickness?
When did you feel me kick?
Did your feet swell this bad?
Will I be a good mom?
Some questions I could answer and some I could not.
Yes, I had morning sickness and yes, it will end eventually.
I don’t remember how far along I was when I felt the first kick but it was amazing.
Your feet may be sausages but they will return to normal!
You will be a great mom!
After Aiden’s birth she told me she knew she was made for this.
The greatest reward and heartbreak all rolled up in the same calling.
Being a mom has been my greatest joy and most humbling experience.
I have documented the many ways my biological and adopted children have both challenged and completed me.
Everything I believe about this sacred calling has been tested beyond understanding.
A few months ago I watched my youngest adopted son cradle his newborn nephew and was struck by the goodness of God.
When Rachel and Aiden left I knocked at the door of my son’s room and told him I was sorry I didn’t get the opportunity to cuddle him like I did Aiden.
He told me it was okay and I said no, it was not.
His reply? No, it really wasn’t but that’s why he liked to love on Aiden.
My mother’s heart burst with both pride and heartbreak at the same time.
I couldn’t possibly have known at the time the turmoil and chaos going on in our son’s heart and mind.
The immense chasm of brokenness that separated him from the loving relationships of family would cause him to make decisions that would forever change his life and ours.
Last night I went to visit him in his group home, where he tries to build a new life for himself at the age of sixteen.
I took him his favorite foods; peanut butter and jelly sandwich fixins, oreos and granola bars.
His hair was long, his voice barely speaking above a mutter, and the first words out of his mouth as always were, “I’m tired.”
He is struggling with night terrors and his sleep is restless and disturbed.
The hard work in therapy is causing him to start to relive his childhood abuse. The floodgates of pain and helplessness are starting to open, and my brave son is willing to walk through the valley to get to the other side.
I am proud of this young man yet my heart breaks with every glance at his forlorn face.
No, son. You won’t be spending Thanksgiving with us this year.
I know, Mom.
There are just so many hurts and relationships to be repaired as you work through the choices you’ve made. Next year doesn’t have to be this way.
He just looks aimlessly into my eyes.
You can come home later in the weekend and eat your favorite foods and spend some time with your dad and I and your sister.
I will never give up hope on you.
Whether it takes a year, or ten or a lifetime, you are my son.
The words choked in my throat, and even now as I type this, the tears stream down my cheeks.
This is not the way I envisioned my family, separated on our favorite holiday, celebrating our blessing jar tradition apart from one we love.
None of us has escaped without scars, the hurts of living out God’s love in a broken world.
Yet our God is still good and loving, an ever present help in times of trouble.
The road to healing is a slow one, but I will never give up hope.
Psalm 62:5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.