Seeing Light from the Bottom of the Swamp

Just stating the facts of today:
The day after our 1 year anniversary of adopting our son.
He called me at work to tell me that he missed part of football camp because he had to go to the bathroom.
At 4pm I get a call from the nanny saying he had not come home from riding his bike at the time she asked him to which was 40 minutes ago.
When I get home to ask him about it, he tells me that she told him to be home before she left, but he didn’t know when she left and he didn’t know he was late.
When I suggested that if he is too sick to fulfill his commitments with football then he should probably not be out riding his bike in the first place, he says he just won’t ride his bike ever again.
I tell him I don’t care if he rides his bike, I just care that he picks and chooses the rules he wants to live by and I would like him to choose to live by all of the rules so that it is a fair and safe place to live together.
Then I asked him why he couldn’t go to the bathroom at the football field. He tells me that all of the bathrooms are locked and he has asked the coaches to unlock them, but they won’t. So, what do I want him to do??? “Crap myself?”
So, I reprocess, and ask myself if I am being to hard in my expectations.
So, I start dinner while I process and step away from the dialog for a moment.
Quiet time for a few minutes.
Then I change the topic to give him the benefit of the doubt about being late from bike riding and I say, Maybe the nanny didn’t realize she didn’t give you a time that she needed to leave for the day. Then he says, yeah, she told me to be back in 15 minutes because that is when she needed to leave.
I say, okay, so you knew when she needed to leave and she gave you a timeline, but you chose to ignore it.
He says that he doesn’t intend to disobey, but he gets in trouble anyway. He doesn’t understand why he gets in trouble when he doesn’t intend to.
I say, “Okay, you didn’t intend to disobey. So, how does anything change? How does it get fixed?”
He thinks for 30 seconds and says that he doesn’t know.
Later, he asks me when I am going to take him to youth.
I say 25 minutes.
I sit on the back patio and read, he watches TV and then gets ready.
We get in the car to drive.
While driving, I ask him if he at least let someone know that he was going to leave. He says that he didn’t.
I don’t say anything.
Quiet for a few seconds.
Then he says that the reason he didn’t tell anyone is because some of the coaches were in the weight room and a few coaches were giving drills and he was in the bathroom.
So, I tell him that I thought the bathrooms were locked.
He says that he went to the bathroom a few times there and then just wanted to use the bathroom at home.
I am quiet for a minute or two for processing.
Then I ask him if he realizes that he just told me something that is the exact opposite of what he told me earlier at home about the bathrooms.
He says, “Yeah.”
I tell him that I think I need to start journaling all of these details.
He asks me why would I do that.
I tell him that these dialogs are so twisted and convoluted that I can barely keep them straight or make sense of them. And, sometimes I feel like I am going crazy.
David calls to tell me he is on his way home.
Before we get to church, I tell him that one of the things he said to me really stopped me in my tracks and made me process my intentions and that thing was when he asked me what did I want him to…crap himself?!?!
I said, you caused me to wonder if I should be ashamed of myself for making you think I would rather you crap yourself than give you the grace to come home. And, the stunning part of this is that you said that statement know that you were using a toilet and there was not possible way you were going to crap yourself.
He says well I was not trying to cause you to be ashamed.
I said that the sentence was used to evoke some sort of response.
He asked if we could just forget everything.
I said, you can. I am overwhelmed. I am not used to people lying to me. And, it is so disgusting and intense.
He gets out of the car and asks what time should he come out of youth.
I tell him the same time sounds good.
I drive away feeling like I can’t see up. Where is the surface. This goes so deep and it is so dark. I determine it must be a swamp and I will have to try hard to find the light.

Remember being babied?

It is sad that not all humans have the capacity to “baby” their own babies.

When I see a baby, I bubble forth with mushy gushy love sounds and gentle words full of encouragement. Most of us women do. Even our men find it uncontainable. You know the voice that is at least an octave higher. Babies get the sense we are on their side. We attempt to create comfort with our voices so they know they are safe and we are for them. We become their instant fan club and personal cheerleaders even if it is just a one time encounter because they sat next to us at our own child’s choir performance.

Lord, help us have this voice for our 15 yr old adopted son who missed out on being babied. And, guide us to know how to do this in a way that honors his growing up but still touches those desolate places of his primary years.

Hey, even I could use a little “babying” when seasons are hard. And, I am grateful for a family that is quick to hug, extend great encouragement and are ready to protect or defend my honor.

This is now his heritage, too.

Our prayer is that with continued words of mercy, love, encouragement and grace, his acting out in rage and anger will subside and peace will reign In his soul.

While he is away from our grasp, we ask You to “Baby” him in every way, Lord.

“Your tongue is…

“Your tongue is like a rudder” is what I heard the Lord speak to me this morning.

It has been 2 days since our son was placed into an inpatient program to help him overcome despair.

For these past 2 days I have been wondering what could have been done differently, what have I not tried, where have I been a hinderance rather than a blessing, when is God going to answer our prayers, do I pray often enough, is my faith strong, where should we look for the next therapeutic process, why have we not received the miracle of emotional healing for him that we believe for, etc…

His 14-year life journey prior to being adopted by us in 2013 has not been easy. He has been made to learn to live with disappointment compounded by deeper disappointment, neglect, abandonment, rejection, failure, loss, many forms of abuse and rooted fear.

Like any mother, I want to help him feel safe, show him love, bring him joy, share in some fun, allow him to rest easy, live in peace and help him be his most successful self.

What I have to let go of each day is not doing life for him. And, not resenting him when he chooses the road of suffering. (When he chooses suffering, we all suffer.) But, I have compassion to know that CHOICE is a huge responsibility. And, I am maturing in the knowledge that his emotional maturity can be toddler level while his physical body stands at 5’9 and over 200lbs.

I wouldn’t be able to win any strength to strength battles with him for sure.

However, he can’t do what he has never been taught, trained or disciplined to do. And, he has missed out on much of that on any continual basis. This is evident by the multiple placements he had in foster care. We know of 17 placements prior to living with us, but there are more of which we do not have any record.

But, what I believe God wanted me to hear today is that I could help unravel the cocoon of lies and heartache that have held him captive for so long by using the weapon of speaking blessings, love, life and hope to him.

When God said, “Your tongue is like a rudder”, I went to the verses in James, to see what they actually said:

James 3:4-12 “4 And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself. 7 People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.”

So, as I navigate my role and seek to turn this ship around that is our lives and his destiny, I will choose to start with my tongue. Remembering that it is like a rudder. Positioned and purposeful.