Thursday, February 28, 2013

Loving Fiercely.

The other day I was at lunch with a dear friend, that recently moved back into town and has been out of state for 5 years.

NOTE: I rarely see anyone in real life, because well my kids hold me hostage, my life is busy an about intense healing .
An hour into "catching up"... after she shared her trip to Disney World with her 3 kids,she asked ; "How are things with your big, beautiful family?"
I had decided to be honest....
I was trying to explain “things”...and she bluntly asked, (not being rude),

“So do you love your easy kids more?”

My answer;
“My “easy kids” (and what kid is 'really' easy) don't hurt me, like my kids from hard places do, but no, I don't love them less, I don't do less for them, in fact I probably do more, but my easy kids honestly are easier to love. My hard kids have taught me to love fiercely, without expecting reciprocation...and THAT has taught me so VERY much, even when I HATE it.”
I most definitively HAVE to love them differently.

“BUT they are SOOOOO cute, I would bring one home if I could, I don't understand how they could be so angry and violent”

(don't hate her she just doesn't know, she really is very sweet)

“Have you ever looked at how sweet and darling a baby gorilla is? Adorable right? Want to take one home?...truth is they 'can' be loving and oh so cuddly...truth is there is a primal part of them that may or may not rip your arms off of your body and beat you with them, truth is they could be easily frightened and throw their feces at you to keep you away if they get frightened, you just never know....”

she knodded.

“My kids come from survival, they can switch to that primal brain and have no say in how to regulate or really know how to stop their behavior... the throwing shit has happened...but look both arms still attached, for now.”

I grinned big at my brilliant analogy and humor...until I saw her face.

Forehead slap, I have gotten WAY too used to speaking frankly.

“What I mean is this, they are capable of things,things that no parent is prepared for because of things that were broken inside of them when they were very small, so they try to control what they my mom, never being ever to go to bed with a single thing out of place, even if she is on her death bed?'s like that with everything..and that can be HARD.”

She responded, “I am sooo like that, a little OCD, I have to have things in place before I can sit down or go to bed.”

“ Exactly, now times that by one million.
When Dude was a baby, he refused to drink, anything, for no reason.would.not.drink. He was 20 months old and going dehydrated, whatever I tried, he would spit it out..we had to hydrate him with enema's. Can you imagine, he is here in AMERICA for craps sake,and he is dying of dehydration, because he WILL not DRINK...and imagine being me, a Mother who has already had a son die because of dehydration...the look of HATE in his eyes saying, I will not let you save me, help me, love me,
....if he could have ripped my arms off and beat me with them he would it is like that, not always as extreme, but you know, like that...”
So I love his fierce little spirit the only way he will let me sometimes. With a whole lot of consistence, a whole lot of love, and not letting his rejection work, by trying with everything in my being to not reject is that for us.
Love is giving him everything no one else did, a bed, food, safe environment..and sometimes that is all he can take from me, even then sometimes THAT is too he emotionally does whatever he can to make me want to push him away.

I am not a robot, sometimes the kid succeeds, I am after all human and totally blow it.”

She just sat there.
“We live in separate worlds, don't we?”


we ate in silence for a while.

“I want to tell you about how cute Miley's birthday party was and how we decorated it,and the food I made, because you used to do the same kind of things, would that hurt your feelings?”

“NO, I would love to hear about it, it won't make me sad, a little nostalgic, but not sad.”

so she shared, and I lived in that world for a while...

When we left the restaurant she hugged me tight, and said, “I couldn't do it, and I am not being complimentary, I wouldn’t be that strong, or want to be, but I am grateful for you, and love you, I want you to know that.”

Walking to my car and watching her drive away, I knew that hug was a goodbye, forever.
She doesn’t want any part of my reality..and that hurt for three good long seconds, as I am sure she mourned what our relationship and how our lives complimented one another years ago...and I and she let it go.

Reflecting after she drove away and I sat in quietness, waiting for my cell to start lighting up with texts of
“when are you coming home?”
“So-and-so just broke/destroyed/peed ....”
“Help meeee....”

I thought about where, and who I was 5 years ago...who I was, what used to get under my skin, what things I took for granted...
Yes, my heart breaks daily, yes, I am stretched and yanked and pulled on, and almost ripped to my kids inability to love, my heart and body are covered in emotional scars, loss and losing, sacrificing and letting go are daily events,”moving on” is a mantra tattooed on the inside of my brain...

as is the simple words 'Thank you”

and I like that.

I don't always like my life.
I don't always love my children the way most people love theirs... I simply can't.
But, If I am remembering, I AM loving them more and better than anyone else EVER has, that, right there is MORE than enough. I can feel good about that.

Today I am loving the fierce strength, confidence in who I am , who my family is, and NOT needing to apologize for those things.

Loving my children has taught me so very many things...things I may have never wanted to know about the extent of damage and pain, torture, neglect and abuse one little soul can take and their hearts continue to beat...

Loving my children has taught me fierceness in love, support, in caring, loving, recognizing what is and what isn't important, what relationships, words and work I want to put into things, and what is simply fluff.

I live in a no fluff zone.
I am good with that.

I recognize the losses, I do...but I also choose to see what I have been given ten fold in those losses, and some of the time (not ALL of the time) what I have gained, been given, the insights and friends I have now far surpass who and what I had and was before...and that feels right, not easy, never ever easy...but so right for me.

….and I also so still think baby gorillas are adorable....just sayn'.


  1. Thanks for your honesty. It's SO hard when (especially what had been particularly precious friendships) change - and especially when we least expect it. And it's really hard when we suddenly realize that it's because they just can't - or don't want to - face or enter into the reality we live in.

    Although my circumstances are entirely different, and the pinnacle of the hard that's been the tipping point so far removed from the things which your friend couldn't relate to or face, I've watched the same thing happen over the last few months in my own life.

    At the same time, I've seen God bring some precious friends alongside me in ways I'd never have imagined they'd be willing to walk - some seeming to be the most unlikely of people.

    And I pray the same for you! That you'll be overwhelmed with a sense of love from those who are willing to enter in to the hard...into the day to day realities - even if it's messy at times...of your world. People that'll walk alongside you, pray for you, support you, and encourage you. And, yes, at times distract you and allow you an escape from your reality. And that He'll give you people for whom you can do the same, even at the times you may feel there's so little of you left.

  2. That has been an interesting thing in my life... what friends can "take the heat".... and which friends say "have a good life".

    Friends I used to see nearly every single day- we live in the same town- I have seen once in two years.

    I was ok with that from the beginning- but I always held a bit of frustration with them.... but over the past 2 years- I realize, I am REALLY ok with that- and respect them and their ability to "handle" things.

    We are all different.

  3. Oh yes. We've only been in for a year now, but my former life feels so foreign and strange now. Last night I had dinner with former coworkers (only gone for an hour because bedtime routine requires two parents), and I tried to honestly answer the hard questions and laugh at the jokes at the appropriate times. I knew this road of parenting kids from hard places could change the scope of friendships, but I wasn't prepared for the degree. But, like you, I do find baby gorillas quite cute.

  4. Wow this is an amazing blog post. My friend Jennifer posted your link on Facebook. I love how you think and process. Your honesty and transparency is life giving and intense. I'm so grateful! I have 4 kids and have felt a deep desire to step into the world of adoption for years. What you describe seems like the affection of heaven the Lord must have for me, for us, as we sin and make messes over and over. Thank you for sharing, what a blessing!

  5. I gotta say, you can to blog! Your frankness and honesty is so appealing and I appreciate it more than I can say, as a fellow adoptive Mommy of one who struggles with some of the same issues you are facing. God has gifted you and your husband with amazingly big hearts with your 'fierce love' and I pray that they will all someday say "thank you" to you both.

  6. One of our adoptive mom friends posted this to our group!We're all AMEN-ing it and nodding in the understanding that comes in living it. I like the baby gorilla comparison. It sure fits with my sweet RADishes. I LOVE my kids. Yes, I can mourn the losses - mine, theirs, ours - and then rejoice in the gains. On the good days, I thank God made me the way I am... crazy enough to do this. On the bad, I pray for God to help me find the way thru without losing myself in the process.

  7. I need to link this. Thank-you.

  8. Thanks Lins, this is put so well and I can so relate...Love you and yours

  9. I read this yesterday and bawled (it was time, hadn't cried for a while) and then between yesterday and today I The house is a mess and I haven't gotten much done but I feel like I can do it all again. The screaming/peeing/hitting/growling is a little less overwhelming right this minute. Thank you.

  10. Every so often I think - what the heck? How did I get here? I used to leave work to pick up craft supplies, or to sneak away to an Irish Dance performance or lacrosse game. Now I leave work to go to the psychiatrist, to meet with CPS, etc. I used to LOVE my home, and cherish every little thing, now I just try to keep things from being destroyed. Ah, well. It is worth it, so worth it. But that IS hard to explain to the ordinary person.

  11. We live similare lives right down to the dyslexic spelling failures. I love this post and your blog. Keep inspiring so that we can learn.

  12. I am so glad I read this. I understand what you're saying, and can empathize with it, in a very small way. We only have three and mine are still babies. But there are still struggles, with loving them differently as they walk side by side, and are themselves, so very different. It's hard to move beyond the failures at this point, for me. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  13. Beautifully said. I especially liked the part about how you love them more than anyone else has. That is a good perspective to have and interestingly enough, one I had never thought of before. I'm going to remember that one!

  14. Wow. I read this on the right night. Thank you for always being open and honest.