Our Friday night tradition of Pizza and a movie continues, and then we all retreat to camp in mom and dad's room for the night. It is usually a peaceful sleep, but last night was a little different. The sleeping arrangements were changed. This time Erika slept on the cot at the end of our bed, Anna took the chair and Sarah slept on blankets on the floor.
I was awoken to Erika having one of those dreams. The kind that give me chills. She never remembers them. But they are of that deep,mournful cry; a panic, a sense of loss and loneliness that is so great it can't be fathomed by those of us who have never experienced total aloneness.
And then, once again, I heard the cot start to squeak back and forth. When I got up to check on her she was in a deep sleep rocking back and forth and she had tightly wrapped her covers all around her like a straight jacket. I touched her gently and said, "sweety, you are rocking". She opened her eyes,smiled and then went to sleep again, this time without rocking. Then it started up again.....
When she woke this morning, she was rested and had no memory of her restless sleep.
I am so thankful that in God's mercy, he allows us to not remember things in our conscious state. Things so terrible and feelings so fearful that they are best left untouched.
When the right time comes, if God so chooses, she may remember more. She remembered a lot when she first came home, and the things she told us were shocking and upsetting.
She was in the dark a lot. There were other beds. She was tied, sometimes she ate and sometimes she didn't. The covers were wrapped around her. She was left to lay. For four years she rocked before she made it to an orphanage. Much of what she told us, she has forgotten. Time has a way of helping us to forget.
But then there are those times when her memory is triggered and she does. The season of year, may be her trigger. Our 3 year anniversary is coming up soon. It is both joyful and sad. It triggers memories of belonging to a new family, but it also triggers memories of rejection, abandonment and loss.
That is the nature of adoption. It has 2 sides. Happiness in finding a forever home, but profound sadness because you were rejected by the very ones who gave you birth.
The circumstance doesn't really matter. The rejection hurts just the same.
One thing we as adoptive parents can do for our children is to grieve with them. The compassion we show them when they feel that loss is so important. Their sadness does not reflect on their love for us, nor does it mean they don't love us. It just means they have suffered great pain and need support to heal. It is our job and DUTY as parents to love them through these moments, being careful to not trivialize them by saying, "But you have a new home, you are here with a new mommy and daddy, your life is wonderful now!" Those things do not matter at that moment. What matters is that momentary memory of pain and rejection. Our reaction to that can make all the difference in the world towards their complete healing.
Our daughter is a happy, loving and caring child. It is our prayer that her past pain and experiences in life will be used by the Lord to mold and shape her into the vessel He has chosen for her to be, and that she would see His hand on her life.
I know she already does.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)