Sorting through a cupboard in my den today, I stumbled upon an old journal. As I flipped through the pages, I found this poem that I etched late one night during a very dark time.
The pages leading up to the poem, are the accounts of an incident between two of my kids. One that I remember well!
Not a poet by nature or practice, this shows how fiercely I am wrestling with the ability to love my kids, forgive them and continue to work towards their health and healing, while surrounded by lies on every side.
Truth slips away, a friendship strained.
Not speaking, an uncomfortable silence...tears.
What is self without truth?
Am I true?
Do I know how to live without it?
Slashing at me as if I'm a robber in the night.
What do I steal from you, that you fight me with lies?
I'm bleeding; dying, but you don't see it.
Here to help you.
Here is my hand.
Again, I offer you all that I have.
Will you hurt me?
Oh heart of mine, can you keep beating when the breath is gone and your blood is poured out?
Oh heart of mine, where is your power to forgive?
Reach out and LIVE!
Trust is not in truth, dear heart.
Love is not in honesty but beyond....way beyond!
You will find it living in the shadows with hope or floating on the clouds of forgiveness.
Today I take our son to Childrens Hospital for a procedure.
They will scope his stomach and his colon and bring back a sample of the tissue in each to examine.
I don't know what to hope for...that they find something that will give us a clue to why he is 17 years old and only weighs 97 lbs or that they don't find anything and we just march on like this is normal?
He is tired.
This has been such a LONG journey!
Two years ago April, he had his bone marrow biopsy for Myelodysplastic Syndrome. A rare blood disorder that, if left untreated, turns to a fast and fatal form of leukemia.
We caught it in time, and infused the life giving blood from two umbilical cord donors into his limp body that saved him.
They saved him, but he developed Graft vs. Host Disease (GVHD). His body and the new cells refuse to co-exist in peace. They fight, they rage, they reek havoc in his system causing rashes, stomach issues, fatigue, etc.
So today, they will be looking for signs of GVHD unrest in his stomach and colon.
Will his cells never learn to cooperate? To even just agree to disagree?
Will their fighting reduce him to skin and bones....wear him out completely?
I shouldn't worry or be anxious. Considering all we have been through, this is small potatoes. I don't know why this has hit me so hard the past couple of weeks-??
Its selfish, I know. But maybe its the sense that for his sake, and mine, he is 17. He should be planning his future, spreading his wings, gaining strength to launch out of the nest. And yet, he grows weaker...
Over the past 5 years, we have 'launched' 6 1/2 kids (one is in process). Its rough. We made it, but it was rocky. We made a few mistakes, learned a few tricks and are just getting familiar with that scene.
Now, I may need to learn how to 'un-launch'. And honestly, I don't want to!
If he doesn't launch, that means he isn't doing well.
That means he is still fighting for his life.
Its not behind us, ITS still with us like a bad smell!
How long, LORD?!!......how long....?
This is at a Make-a-Wish event.
He is holding the football.
All immunizations went out of his system when they kill his
During a recent (wonderful!) Adoptive Moms Retreat, I was chatting with some other moms who were struggling with one or more of their kiddos. As they searched for answers on what they could do to resolve some pretty challenging issues, we came to a hard place...should you/is it ever ok/what are the potential pitfalls to calling the police or involving the authorities???
I can't say that I'm an expert, and I certainly don't have all the answers. Every situation, family and child are so very different. But I do want to share a few thoughts that I have gleaned from our situation.
There are certain things that we have not wanted to compromise on in our home; violence, sexual abuse, threats, drug or alcohol abuse, or destruction of property. Now, there are other things that some people might think we shouldn't allow, that we have chosen to overlook for the preservation of relationships. Such as, smoking cigarettes, lying, stealing, etc. Who knows if we were right to do that, but thats what we did and it seemed right at the time. Maybe we would do it differently if we faced the same choices again.
But here is what I really wanted to point out....
There was a time, when I thought that having a child arrested was the worst possible thing that could happen to a family. I don't think that I was even conscious of having that perspective, but I did.
For weeks following our sons arrest for drug possession, I slumped into a dark depression. I wrestled with a belief that all had been lost. It felt as though he had entered into a dark world in which there was no hope of escape. We were the worst parents ever and should never have embarked on this road.
For three long years, he battled everyone around him. He has been in and out of juvenile detention, been expelled from school too many times to count, had his license revoked, lived outside our home, run away for days at a time, assaulted people, stolen innumerable items and money, probably stole a car and broken into houses. But despite all that, we are ok. He is ok.
The critical thing that I have learned through all this is...
There is a bigger, much more elaborate story being written in his life. And it is not finished yet. I am glad that I called the police, begged probation officers to follow through on charges and ultimately made him see that every choice he made had consequences for good or evil. He hated me through this 3 year journey, but he could count on me and my responses!
Much good has come of these hard knocks.
One example, albeit sorta silly, is that he is reading chapter books now. He would not pick up a book by choice, no matter how much I pleaded or bribed. Until, he was stuck in Juvie on the weekend of his 17th birthday. In his extreme boredom, he picked up a book and began to read. When he came home, he begged me to buy it so he could finish it. Since then, he has worked his way through the whole series. Miracle!
But whats more...he loves us, he loves being around us. Has a job at Wendy's, has a Christian mentor (which he found himself!), asks to go to church with us, is getting his GED through Goodwill, and has a probation officer that keeps him accountable.
His story still isn't finished, and it won't be for many years. But where we are is not where we will stand- and I am so very thankful that we do not serve a stagnant God!