I wrote this POST<-- (linked) almost 3 years ago, before Miss Alli joined our family.
I went back to read it, to see if my views have changed or if I needed to add anything.
There is something I would like to add.
Alli was older when she came home. She was 11 years old and had many behaviors that most would consider "uncontrollable"..... SHE is the VERY CHILD that epitomizes this post!
When you are "in the moment" with a child who's behaviors may be outside the box, it is HARD to remember sometimes what to do and instinct from old habits can pop up and take over. We MUST FIGHT this with all our might!
I have documented all of Alli's journey on this blog, and it has been a journey for ME as well!
Just when you think you have conquered some old sin, it comes back and rears it's ugly head, and there you are, once again, looking in the mirror, facing yourself.
It would be EASY to pass off a tantrum all onto our children. After all, they need to "get over it"!
"Get with the program!" "GROW UP!" "WE CAN'T CODDLE THEM FOREVER!" those are things I have read.....
The truth is, MANY TIMES, not all, but MANY, WE as parents are the ones who ESCALATE.
I think that is Mike's favorite word for me.... he'll sweetly whisper, "don't escalate!" :) And HE HAS BEEN SO RIGHT!
99% of the time, a potential problem handled gently and with compassion can go STRAIGHT to a time of bonding and learning.
Mike is amazingly patient, and growing up in his own family, he became acquainted with Schizophrenia. His mom had this terrible mental illness that plagued her most of her life.
I too knew about the effects of Schizophrenia and mental illness in my family.
I think this has helped us both to relax and not be afraid of the "not so normal" We were both exposed to extremes that many never experience.
God uses our experiences to strengthen us and in His GREAT WISDOM, brings us through things for HIS unfolding plan in our lives. :)
ALL of us are human beings, imperfect, flawed.... BUT GOD. :) Oh how I love my Savior! He makes Beauty from Ashes!
I think these last several years have taught both Mike and I more about what TRUE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is, than I have ever known in my life. And this spills over into ALL relationships, including marriage.
Dying to self... DYING to SELF, DYING TO SELF is required, daily in the life of a believer! But it can only be done in Christ. We do not have the ability on our own, We MUST trust in His infinite wisdom, grace and mercy. HE is our source of strength.
I am weak. HE is strong.
As I begin to look back on the last 22 plus months, we have ALL changed, each and every one of us! I was happy before, but I am full of grateful JOY today.
The stresses during life changes are real. The burdens can be too heavy to bear. Our tears sometimes stained our pillows at night, and sometimes tears flowed during the day, not because we were angry, but we so wanted to help our sweetheart heal from all of her past. When we put it in perspective.... 11/11ths of her life was TRAUMA. Then 11/12ths, and on Saturday, it will be 11/13ths.
Perspective helps us to FRAME expectations based upon reality and keeps us from saying, "GROW UP ALREADY!"
It is funny though. We have discovered that by parenting our children according to their EMOTIONAL AGE, (linked), they DO in fact catch up! We have watched our Alli go from a young toddler, to playing with and identifying with 4 and 5 year olds, then, a little older, and today, she has MANY friends that are her own age! It is amazing.
Watching a little girl go from "Survival" to "THRIVING WITH JOY" is one of the most fulfilling things I can think of. We have had the honor to do this 4 times. Each time, an amazing lesson in LOVE. We are so unworthy for such a task as this.....
And I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for HIS unfinished work in all of our lives.
another related post to this subject: is HERE.
“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)