I hate that there are orphans. I hate that there is death. I hate that some people go hungry each day. I hate abandonment. I hate cancer. I hate poverty. I hate it all.
The good thing about this is that this earth is not the end. One day it will all be how it’s supposed to be. There will be no more death. There will be no more orphans. There will be no more hunger. There will be no more abandoned children.
Until then, we must deal with the painful things of this world. One of those painful things is knowing that a child of mine has been through some of those painful things in their short years of life. All he’s been through is not mine to share, but it’s tragic for a boy that’s only six.
Some days Amos goes through the day as if he’s been here forever. Other days it’s very evident that he has been through hell and back to get here. My boy has been abandoned by everyone he’s ever known (including us each time we visited and left) and it has left some nasty scars on his heart. Scars that I can NEVER change, but I do put my hope in Jesus for his scars. I AM CONFIDENT that Jesus is bigger than any crap Amos has been through.
Tonight I was once again reminded that this child is still scared to love completely and unconditionally. He is so scared to accept us and so scared to trust that I’m not leaving him. Amos was sitting in my room after getting in trouble and I went in to do what we always do after a child is in trouble and has been punished for their behavior. I asked him to come talk to me. I asked him to hold my hands. He refused. I tried to grab his hands. He pulled them away. I very calmly asked him to hold my hands and he very sternly said no. I explained that we weren’t moving on until we held hands, and that I loved him so much that I wanted to touch him.
Finally after what seemed like forever he held my hands, even if he did have a look that could kill. I looked in his eyes and told him how much I loved him and that I was not mad at him. We do the same routine each time a kid gets in trouble. It goes like this.
Child is taken to another room to talk about behavior and heart attitude
Child receives their discipline
Parent asks child why they were disciplined
Child says what happened.
Parent hugs child and tells them they are not mad at them and that they love them.
Child hugs back and tells parent he/she loves parent.
SAME routine every single time. We try very hard to not discipline at the spur of the moment, and instead take them away from others to keep them from being humiliated and discipline out of love as their parents. We don’t take discipline lightly. We are trying to modify the heart of our children and not just their behavior, and this takes time. (this is our goal … do i screw up? yes. GOD help me as I try to be the best mom possible to my kids)
Tonight I did the same thing I always do. After Amos finally gave in to holding my hands we talked about what had happened. At the end he started crying. I asked him why and he said “because you are mad at me”.
He had never understood that part. I AM NOT MAD AT YOU. For him he had never heard that and in his mind he sees it this way. DISCIPLINE = MOM/DAD MAD AT YOU.
Oh my heart broke because it clicked. He thinks each time he is disciplined that I’m mad at him. Now granted a lot of times his (and his bro & sis) actions do make me mad. But I try my hardest to never discipline out of anger. Never. It is never pretty when one does that and always leads to parents apologizing to their kids.
So, I reassured him hundreds of times that mommy was not mad at him. That I did not like his choice to disobey mommy, but that I wasn’t mad at him and that I love him dearly. He is very conditional with his love and in this moment he told me that he loved me a little bit even though I loved him a whole lot. (that’s another day and another post, but if things are good Amos loves me like crazy and if things are bad he does not like me. any other adoptive parents get this?)
After lots of hugging and holding he got up to leave and started bawling. I held him and rubbed his back as he bawled. Finally he was able to talk and when I asked what was wrong he told me he missed Carson (our dog that left us about 6 months ago!). I held him and talked about how happy Carson probably is, even though I knew for sure this wasn’t the real reason. I honestly thing he didn’t know what was wrong but he had a very hard time understanding and accepting my love. His emotions couldn’t handle that I love him that much. I said the same phrases I always say.
“I’ll never leave you.”
“you’re an Ivey.”
“God chose me to be your mommy.
“we’re stuck together forever.”
“you are my son.”
I said those phrases over and over to him and he cried and cried. My baby has scars. My baby is scared. My baby is learning that this momma will never leave him. My son is still feeling that if he messes up and gets in trouble that we’re mad, don’t want him and are going to leave him.
Adoption is not pretty. Oh don’t misunderstand me, adoption is fabulous, but it is messy. It is dirty. Kids lives are effected. I am so thankful each day for my children. God has taken us through the furnace to get to them and I can easily say I would walk through that furnace a hundred times over to have my kids. Those 2 years of waiting were some of the hardest years of my life (the hardest was our first year home!), but I would do them again to get here.
So, I say all this not to just tell you about a crazy 35 minutes at my house tonight, but to give you a small glimpse into a home with a child that has been hurt. I love my kids like crazy, and slowly but surely I think he’ll love me like crazy one day.
Even if I make really bad choices at places to get his hair cut! Poor kid …..
Good thing is that he has no clue that this is awful and crooked. He LOVES it!
**I wrote this about two weeks ago and have lingered on it. It’s a rough glimpse into our lives some days. Not all days are like this. 90% are not. But sometimes they are. That’s just the truth.