We desire to hide our deepest wounds. And rightfully so. We’ve been taught that wounds equal failure. As parents we fear the words “I told you so,” if we revealed our struggles on this journey. But what if our wounds didn’t equal failure? What if they did something bigger than we could imagine?
I know what you want to do, dear parent.
I know because I’ve sustained the same cold blows from this journey.
You want to hide.
Is it possible to find people who get it? How do I go about connecting with people who won’t judge or criticize me if I’m brutally honest? What about people who will love me and my children even when things get really bad? Where do I find people like that? We’ve had these questions, and more, over the years. Here’s where we’ve found answers…
I heard the bus pull up at the end of our driveway and glanced at the wall clock. My kids were home from school and I had completely lost track of time. I jumped up to unlock the door and smiled widely at my three youngest sons. My 8 year old hugged my waist, my 9 year old threw his backpack across the family room, brushed off my hug and stomped to his room, slamming the door behind him. My 10 year old rolled his eyes and I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him, “Ok, spill it.” He sighed, “Noah wouldn’t leave him alone on the bus. He kept asking about his ‘real’ brothers and sisters. We asked him to stop but he wouldn’t. Noah asked why his ‘real’ mom didn’t want him and then it was time to get off the bus so we all just left.” “Thanks for telling me, I’m sorry that happened to you guys,” I squeezed his shoulder. He smiled a half smile as he looked up at me, “It’s ok, mom, some people just don’t get it.” In our family, we have 8 children all of whom were adopted. We don’t look alike. That fact is usually lost on us until someone else points it out.
It’s our Season 8 finale of The Honestly Adoption Podcast and today we’re talking all things new book, and how the Berrys began this whole adoption process in the first place…
We will be finishing up Season 8 of The Honestly Adoption Podcast by celebrating this week’s book launch for our very own co-founder and host, Mike Berry. Guest hosting on the show today is Matt McCarrick, who interviews Mike and asks all the questions you’ve been dying to know about the book, the launch, and where this all began.
On our adoptive and foster parenting journey, we’ve had lots of dark days. Sometimes many more than days of light. The amount of times we’ve felt like giving up and laying down are simply uncountable. But we’ve found unending hope…
“Your son has FASD!”
“This hearing is continued. And we’re reinstating visitations.”
“Hi, I’m your son’s principal. Just wanted you to know that he’s in the office again for punching another student and cussing out the teacher.”
“Ma’am, we caught your daughter stealing again. We have no choice but to press charges.”
Adoption and foster care can be filled with loneliness, desperation, and defeat. We know you love your kids, but it’s hard when you have to walk through your child’s past trauma with them. Can you really find hope in-spite of this? The answer is, yes. It starts by understanding something powerful and true.
“I don’t think I can take one more day of this,” I said, glaring at the table, with a clinched fist and gritting teeth. My friend agreed. Many colorful words were exchanged between us, that morning, as we sat talking in a restaurant. The steam from our coffee snaked and twisted through the air, disappearing, as if hope was slowly disappearing with it. We shared similar wounds. Both of us had children adopted from foster care and both of us were in very dark and desperate situations. We both loved our kids deeply, but recognized that, out of their trauma, they behaved in certain ways and it caused our exhaustion to abound.
You’ll often hear us say that self-care isn’t selfish, and self-care isn’t hard. In fact, it’s quite simple. Our community manager, Michelle McKinney (who went to college for fitness), and is now on the adoption journey, breaks it down for us…
It’s January. You might be saying, “Ugh.” Or you might be saying, “Praise Jesus!” All depends on what happened the previous year to either give you hope for moving on or angst of the inevitable. For adoptive parents, it’s probably both. We feel hope because our kids are older and maturing. But then there’s the fact that they are older and maturing…bringing bigger, more life-altering consequences. If you’re like me, because of the above struggle, I rarely if ever make the common New Year’s resolutions. Honestly, I don’t have time for that silliness. I only have time to survive is what I usually think.
When you’re in the thick of dealing with tantrums, meltdowns, outbursts, or aggression, it’s hard to see the heart of your child. But look deeper and your perspective, and own heart, may change…
I sit in the bland, cold waiting room of the latest residential treatment facility my child is a resident in. Clutching my legs just above my knees tightly, I listen to other residents and their parents receive instructions on a pending off-campus visit, in the waiting area next to where I sit. “Make sure he doesn’t have access to a cell phone, or social media, or email. You need to be back by 4pm sharp, no exceptions. Please stay within 10 miles of the facility. Absolutely no visits to home. If he tries to run here is the number you call. Have a nice visit!”
It’s a question we all wonder: “Do I have what it takes to care for this hurting child?” I believe with all of my heart that we do. We’ve got this. And here’s why…
I know you.
And I know what’s going through your mind right now.
Those questions and fears that bounce around your mind like a pinball in a pinball machine???
Yeah, I have them too! Trust me.