Monday, March 26, 2012

Secret Thoughts

As we headed to the agency to drop LJ off with his G-mama, Ty said, "Mom, I don't want give LJ back."

I didn't either.

Not only am I ready for my baby to be home, but I fear the progress we made over the weekend will be undone in the four days we wait to bring him home for good.

There's nothing we can do about that, so I'm moving on from that point.

I'm not sure I can even describe the number of swirling emotions I feel at the moment. There were so many beautiful moments, this weekend, that made my heart sing...but the outweighing challenging and emotionally exhausting ones seem to stand tallest.

I'm not sure how anyone could survive this without Christ.

I would be lying if I said I didn't have "those" thoughts. The ones I can't speak out loud. The ones that only get voiced to God and whispered to Ben (in the dark).

Are we really ready to do this? Can we do this? Are we making a mistake?

The answers are all obvious and not important. The reality of how much we need Jesus is.

It's not just LJ's behaviors. Those we were able to take in stride, overlooking some and addressing others.  It's the other long list of emotional experiences that have me on my knees, tonight.

It's watching Ty's tender heart hurt at LJ's gruff behavior and unprovoked's the soft "mommy" whimpers that come from the bedroom that I cannot's disapproving looks toward LJ from people who just don't's family members speaking honestly about how they feel and questioning how long it will take to love LJ in the way they love's Ben and I questioning the same's watching Ben mourn the loss of his one-on-one time with's me mourning the loss of the years I'll never have with LJ...

This is not and will not be easy.

All the periphery struggles will work themselves out. My only cry tonight is that God will teach me how to love and mother my new son. I could do it my way in my strength, but I don't want that. My way may not be the right way for LJ. Unlike my story or Ben's story or Ty's story, LJ's life has been written as a series of reports, that conflict at best. There is no constant. There wasn't one worker or agency or mother. His life has been patched together, while being riddled with disease, neglect, and movement.

If it weren't for Jesus I would be at a loss. I wouldn't be able to move forward. I, however, find great peace in knowing the Know-er. The Know-er of all things formed my son in his mother's womb. The Know-er of all things breathed life into his being and said, "I will not fail you (Joshua 1:5), nor will I abandon you (John 14:18). IN FACT, I will give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11)." The Know-er never left LJ's side. He was in every bedroom, in every home.

He is in our home.

The Know-er will lead me and guide me. He will teach me to mother. He is the only one who can. He is the only one that knows my son.

When both our case worker and LJ's foster mom asked us, this weekend, if we were sure we wanted to do this, I heard the Holy Spirit prompting - DO YOU TRUST ME?

We do.

We will sign our commitment on Thursday morning and bring our baby home for good.


  1. praying for you all...remember that ty has had nothing but love since he was born, lj has had nothing but rejection. you've got a big deficit to fill- and God is able. the difference between the boys is that one has had love, one has had not-love. it's going to be challenging, but it can be done. i've done it, many of us have. take it right back to the beginning and start with love.

  2. We had to leave our son in Uganda for six months after spending two months with him. I was terrified of what his response would be when we finally got to have him again. It wasn't good - he was grieving hard - but he has slowly found his footing and trust again. Family members who wondered whether they could love a five year old now can't get enough of him. Those things will smooth over and one day not too long from now you'll suddenly realize how normal it all feels.

  3. Praying for you right now my friend. From the outside it sometimes looks so easy...I know it is not...Thankful for your honest heart as you walk this journey, and because of Christ and His redemptive is perfect for you, for Ty, for Ben and of course for little boy LJ!

  4. I LOVE that you are so real and share your heart. Thankful that we serve the "Know-er" and He has you all in his arms as you walk out the coming, days, weeks, months, and years. Standing with you...loving you!

  5. You are strong. He (and you) quite fortunate to have found each other. Blessings.

  6. I read every post you write, but do not comment often. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your honesty. I am praying for you and your family during this transition. You are an inspiration and encouragement!!!

  7. I have faith. Hang in there. I will be praying for and thinking of all of you.

    You always inspire me, and I so respect your truth and honesty. If you ask me, Ty and LJ couldn't ask for a better home.

  8. I am so glad that you put into words what all of us feel. I have said from the beginning that foster adoption is not about how you feel. It's about what you know. It's a committment that was made long before you even met your child. It's amazing how fiercly protective we are over them and how completely terrified we are too! I firmly believe that there is no way that you can take an older child and completely bond (and fall in love and all the things that are required), in an instant. It takes time. Of course you love him but you couldn't possibly feel the same about him as you feel for Ty. It takes times. You WILL feel that way but it takes time. My point? It takes time! In all honesty, it took a full year for us to get there. It takes time. Of course you know this but no, you are not making a mistake. We don't even have to ask God if we should adopt. We already know from His word that the answer is a resounding YES!!! You're doing a good thing Mama!

  9. Seems like you had a very full weekend, from reading your latest updates. I can't even imagine all of the emotions that are present now, for all of you bonding now as a family of four.

    I know that you already know this...but LJ has so many reasons to cry. To burst into tears without any obvious provoking. Your response to just hold him while he cried, was perfect. And, the fact that he cried and didn't hold it in...allowed him to process his feelings. I can't even imagine what he has been through.

    You're going to be going through a lot of changes...but God has His hand on all of you. What I keep thinking about when you come to mind (which is so often lately!) is when you posted a picture of LJ's eyes...for the very first time. You KNEW he was your son. And, God knows that you are the perfect mother and Ben is the perfect father and Ty is the perfect brother, for LJ.

    Meanwhile, if I were you, I'd invest in some serious chocolate and having a drawer/cupboard specifically designated for it.

  10. I love your honesty! Parenting a "hurt" child is hard. (If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking out Beyond Consequences by Heather Forbes.) It's hard knowing you love a child, but not feeling it yet. It's often hard to deal with negative behaviors, but it's harder when the bond is not yet there. The bond WILL come. The feeling of love WILL come. I love how you place your faith and trust in the Lord. He WILL NOT fail you. It may not be an easy path, but He will carry you.

  11. Oh, Rebekah. So many of your fears and worries are similar to those of every parent adding a second child. I hope you can connect to some of that "normal" anxiety that every new (again ) parent has. This is not to say that LJ doesn't also bring a different story - I am all too aware of his journey given my many years working as a therapist for kids just like him. If anyone is up for what he will need, it is you. He needs someone to love him, unconditionally, forever and ever. If you can give him that, the rest will come. I am honored to read about your story as it unfolds!

  12. Thank you for giving us a peak into your life of walking in sacrificial Love and obedient Faith. You and your husband are certainly courageous! Psalm 26:12 says:
    My feet stand on level ground:in the great assembly I will praise the Lord.
    This is what I will pray for all 4 of you, especially LJ. One day he will say this!

  13. Thinking and praying for your family as you go through this transition. When I adopted my daughter from foster care at 8 --I had MANY times I wondered what I was doing and why and if I was strong enough for this. Her heart was hurt and her soul crushed. It took so many tears to get where we needed to be; and it got worse before it got better! We went through months of "testing" where she acted horrible just to see if I was going to send her back. 15 years later, I never regret those choices but it was a very hard road.

  14. I have been following your story for a long time. As I read your most recent blogs, your genuine and honest processing is beautiful to read, and so easy to connect to as I hear my own inner voice and fears about this process for our family. I keep hearing God's promise for you running through my mind, that He is making EVERYTHING new (Rev 21:5) I pray that you can begin to see his newness in your family in small ways daily. Blessings

  15. Once LJ is around your family and feels the abundance of LOVE and security, he will learn to trust you, Ben and Ty and become part of the family. He will embrace it too.

    I feel for LJ. The hardships he's had to endure to get to today! That is no small task. God will guide you. You will all be fine. Give it time.

    Blessings to all of you.

  16. I think that everything you are expressing is normal. I would think something was wrong if you didnt ponder these things. It will be a HUGE adjustment. But...WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE:). Im sure there will be challenges. God will give your new family everything you all need. Prayers!! Mollie (Ohio)

  17. A christian mama from the south joing you in prayer.

  18. love your honesty and your FAITH! prayers beings said for your little family.

  19. I'm standing with you and praying for all of you.

  20. Lizzy has been with us for two years, and as we fill out all the paperwork that you guys are too, I still have a lot of same emotions you do. This is not easy.

    There are two things that I focus on when I start to question all of this.

    1. Lizzy deserves the same chance in life that my other kids have. LJ deserves to have an awesome set of parents like Ty has. Ones that will love him, stand up for him and teach him how to be a good person.

    2. Lizzy deserves to be in a family that will teach her about God. She deserves a Mom that will pray that she will grow up and love God more than anything else. She needs the chance to come to know Him as her savior just like the rest of us do.

    Knowing that I grew up with all that and that my kids are growing up with all that has made me very aware that I have been give MUCH and much is required of me.

    I know that you are committed to this gorgeous little boy, hurts and all. I am so thrilled he has you. Sometimes we really have to let tomorrow worry about itself and just focus on today. Keep fighting for this little boy, you are the only one who will fight for him like YOU will.

  21. Oh girl, I know, I know, I KNOW! I remember too clearly watching my son rub his forehead raw into the carpet and being unable to console him. He was 2 and a half and so angry with me for taking him from what he knew. I wondered more than once if this was for wasn't what I thought or dreamed or hoped it would be. I cried to God to lift my little man up and let him know how loved he is.

    What would we do without Jesus? Without knowing that there is a Knower who was with him while I couldn't be, I would have crumbled to the floor.

    When the road seems tough and too hard to bear, remember that it does get better.

    Prayers of joy and strength are being said for you!

  22. I love this post. I love it so much, mostly because there are nights when I wonder if an adoption will ever happen for us. The doubts creep in with the darkness. I know you can do it, and I know we are all rooting for you. This time next year things will be so much different and you will wonder what family was like without him.

  23. Thank you for today's post. The boys have been with me 2 months. They are only foster babies, and yet I feel the guilt of not feeling the same for them as I do the one's I have known from their very first moments, but I love them so much more this week than I did 8 weeks ago.

    Read all of the good books, and take all of the good advice you can, and when all of that fails you in your child's moment of testing, and raging grief, just fall to your knees. I do. Someday my foster boys may say, "Remember that foster mom who would just start praying like crazy right in front of us?!" Even if they leave me I hope they remember those moments, and forget my worst ones. Praying for you!

  24. My daughter came to me at three. We were the 5th family she lived with. There were moments I questioned my ability to be her mother. There were moments I locked myself in the bathroom to cry out to God, "Why did u call me, how can I bond with a child when my own mother/daughter relationship with my mom is broken, why me?" That is the honest truth! There were moments I hoped we didn't make a mistake. I can tell you though with time, patience, grave and most of all love it gets better and easier. It's been 7 yrs and I wouldn't do anything different other than be more open with how I was feeling to my friends who would have listened had I given them a chance. It gets better, keep looking up and know God has it already worked out. :)

  25. Oh, sweet, young mama! In reading the above responses to your post you have plenty of great advice and wisdom. Remember what God told you way back when HE made it clear to you that foster adoption was HIS plan for your family? The quote “Don’t Doubt in the Dark What God Told You in the Light” seems to apply here. :)
    I am a birth grandmother so my story is very different but I do want to echo what was said in one of the earlier responses. When I found out I was pregnant with my second child (who happens to be my daughter who is a birthmother), I was scared to death that I would not be able to love this child as fiercely as I loved my first. My husband and I were so sad about the one on one time we would be losing as another child joined our family. I can tell you that there is enough love to go around!! I know your situation is different and loving LJ may be a choice for a time but there is not a doubt in my mind that God will give you more love than you can even imagine for this child.
    I can also tell you that God is writing your story, Ben's story, Ty's story and LJ's story and because He is faithful, your story is going to be beautiful. Also remember that Ty gets a brother and think of ALL THAT HE IS GETTING. It's difficult to see our children hurting and even more difficult to think that we might be bringing that hurt and confusion into their world. The most important thing to remember is that you are living out faith and obedience and in doing so you are giving Ty the most amazing gift for his future!

  26. oh i wish i lived closer so that i could come over to make you some listen... to pray with you... i know how difficult it is...i know the silent questions... i also know that the Know-er will answer each one of them on exactly the right time... in the meantime... i'm praying for you...for the mama heart...and the new little brother..that God may soften his heart... that he can sit on your lap and experience the love God has for him in abundance... xx

  27. Just love this blog,, love your openness, your rawness, your willingness to be "lectured" by others. I love the wisdom and overwhelming love for Jesus that you share with the world. I am praying with you guys. My heart melts with compassion for your family. blessings.


  28. I have been reading your blog for a couple years and I have no doubts that you are going to make it through this. But I think this comment stood out the most..."it's disapproving looks toward LJ from people who just don't understand." This scares me and makes me cry. What is WRONG with people? I see so much racism in our society today and I pray that LJ will not have to face this all the time as he grows up.


  29. Stopping by to let you know I am praying for your expanding family! Can't help but think how blessed Ty and LJ are to have you and Ben as parents and how blessed you and Ben are to have your two boys!

    Stay strong, listen to your heart and remember we're out here praying for all of you!

    Praying from Waterford,
    Kim M

  30. I have caught up on your last several posts with tears streaming down my face. I'm so happy for your beautiful family and pray that the transitions, bonding, attachment goes smoothly and as painlessly as possible. You are exactly what little boy needs and I'm so excited to read more about your new little family.

  31. Thank you for sharing your secret thoughts and fears! You are strong through Him! My heart t ore in two when reading about him whimpering for his momma. So so so hard! I can't even imagine how hard that is for you. Again, thank you for sharing. We're here and we're rooting for you all!

  32. You guys will get there. It will take longer than you expect. It will take more courage than you think you have. You will see a child grieve in ways you wished you had never seen because once you see it, it is imprinted on your heart forever. But LJ will get there. You will all get there. LJ will heal and you will become a cohesive family of 4.

    When I adopted my son at 6 months, I was his 5th home in the past 2 months. Someone might as well have stamped a big ol' red "attachment disorder poster child" stamp on his forehead. I started out feeling calm, saying to myself that since I knew what the problem was, we would get through it. Then after some time the panic set in. He was clearly more damaged than I or anyone else had ever imagined. I rode out the roller coaster for two years before I could finally say he was securely attached. And a roller coaster it is. Just when you think you have made it over a hurdle, it slaps you right back in the face. But remember there are a lot of good times in between there too. Times when you will look at him and know with absolute certainty that you made the right decision.

    My son at age 3 is doing very well but those abandonment issues still come up from time to time. But he is also a happy and healthy little boy and he has every chance of growing up to be a happy and healthy adult. LJ will get there too.

    BTW - those looks from strangers - get used to them. People will stare because you are now a transracial family. They will stare because he is having a meltdown. They will stare just because they think they can. And they will never understand nor is it your job to make them understand. Your sole responsibility is to your family.

    Best attachment book I ever read was Deborah Gray's Attaching in Adoption. I highly, highly recommend it. Most attachment books just talk about why a kid has attachment issues. Duh. We all know why. The question is always what to do about them. This is a good book for that.

    When you get frustrated (and you will), when you get scared (and you will) and when you feel at a loss (and you will), feel free to e-mail me kaleymeister @ or call me at 920-918-3313.

    Good luck and God's Blessings! Keep using your supports from people who have been there and done that. They will make all the difference!


  33. It's Thursday morning!!!! LJ comes home today and Ty, you never have to take him back! Welcome home, Little Boy!

    Praying for your Rebekah and Ben

    Kim M