How to Heal a Fractured Family
How to Heal a Fractured Family. The short, simple answer is to trust in Jesus. Yet, sometimes, that is hard for me. Our family has been fractured for a long time. There have been cracks here and there, but this year, it is different. I’m not going to lie; it has been a struggle. Since 2014, but even before then, due to some extenuating circumstances. I don’t want to discourage anyone from adoption, but there is so much more I know now than I did almost 14 years ago.
What You Need to Know
When people are in the process of adopting a child or children, it is an exciting thing. We do all the things that are required. You have to do background checks, have money in the bank, fundraisers, fingerprints (if international), and so on. We work hard on those dossiers. Our homes are spotless for our home study. We eagerly anticipate our referral or a picture. There are so many support groups where we talk about our discouragement of NOT getting a referral quickly enough.
What We DON’T Realize
Is that we are waiting for a family to fail in some way. If it is foster care, we are waiting for a family to abuse, neglect, or hurt a child or children so they will be placed in the system. Then we jump through all the hoops. For the next 17 out of 23 mths, we will wait for the termination of parental rights.
Or, if it is a newborn, we are waiting for a sweet birth mom to make the most difficult decision of her life. Her life will be altered forever by choosing the blessing of adoption. If international, we are waiting for a birth parent who may be dying, the child is starving, or some other tragedy that places them in an orphanage.
When you adopt a family member’s child, you are waiting for drugs, alcohol, abuse, neglect, or abandonment. There are other circumstances, too, but that was my circumstance for my son. You start looking at YOUR sister and think…she is my son’s aunt? Grandmother? Both?
The Dark Side
We are walking into the blackest chapter of our children’s lives. Our greatest joy as an adoptive family and what we worked so hard towards will come at our children’s most tremendous loss. Whether an infant or an older child, that loss will forever be embedded in their brain and heart. They are the only ones who have heard their mother’s heartbeat from the inside out, and your heart is not the same.
My heart aches because, in a perfect world, my kids would still be with their birth families. Succeeding, thriving, living, loving, and yet because of certain things, they are not there. They are with me. I am grateful. Indebted. I am forever changed because they grew in my heart, not under it!
They will always wonder what it would have been like if they had stayed with their nuclear family. They have been raised by their birth parents or in their birth country. Try explaining all of the things when they are older. It’s super fun, aka traumatic.
Getting It Straight
I do not regret any of my children. None of them. They are my joy, and I’m so thankful to God that He wove my family together beautifully and intricately.
Trauma is an awful thing. Plain and simple. Talk to ANY adoptive parents, and they will tell you the same thing. Trauma can come in all shapes and sizes. It can come with a list of diagnoses, and then there is “traumaversary” That leads to sabotage of all good things, behavior issues, confabulations, deceit, manipulation, and so much more.
My Family is No Different
We have, and continue to have, all of the above things and the “so much more” times a million. What started as one child exhibiting out-of-control behaviors due to FASD, PTSD, RAD, blah blah blah trickled down to other children. Another child was exhibiting similar yet different behaviors. Then, a third child goes above and beyond. Lastly, the fourth child struggles with anxiety and more.
It has wreaked havoc on my person. My husband, other children, and even my pets will lose hair when life is escalated in my home. Sadly, this usually occurs November-March and then in July-October; as I look at that typed out, it is from October-July. That gives us two mths trauma-free.
All the Things We Have Tried
We have done the things. Doctors, specialists, therapists, counselors, pastors, family, medication, no routines, homeschool, private, public; All. The. Things. One child, nothing has worked for that child. Another child, we hope, is in the process of healing. The third child is excited right now. The fourth child, we deal with it day by day.
I am exhausted. My husband is tired. Honestly, even the kids are tired. Mix all this crap with a pandemic and being in this house, and you have Funville. My underwear drawer no longer holds underwear. It is stocked FULL of candy. I wake up, in the morning, with a bag of snickers under my arm and wrappers everywhere.
There is a newfound love of Limeade Slushes. My teeth are going to rot out of my head. I have become a human GPS because I take LONG drives on roads I have never heard of or driven. My favorite pastime is driving to my neighbors and seeing if their pig is in the front yard. I cry; a lot.
Sadly, I feel like my family is falling apart. That Scripture of satan lurking around the corner to devour my family is happening! Honestly, at warp speed. I have so many words. So much has happened that my fingers will not move as fast as my brain.
I am praying that this pandemic ends. I am praying for healing for my medically fragile children. Salvation for two of my kids. Wisdom with all of them. Healthy delivery for one (going to be a granny!) A healthy relationship for two kids. School to open for one. One to come home safely. Another is to stop making REALLY poor and dangerous choices.
I want my family to heal and to be whole. I want God to intervene and DO SOMETHING. Honestly, I am just ready for Jesus to come riding down on His white horse and take us all home. Home, where there is no sadness, no darkness, or pain. Just glory.
God is Bigger
I have to trust in that. Right. Yes, trust. The hardest thing for me to do is trust Him with my family. Maybe that, alone, needs to be my prayer. Lord, let me trust that You have plans to prosper and not harm my family. Help me realize that You and only You can heal the fractures.