I did not know…
- That people would think my child was bad.
- That people would think it was my fault he was bad.
- That at my weakest points I would be tempted to think he was bad, and that it was my fault.
- That people, grown ups and kids, would be mean to him because they thought he was bad.
- That he would break my heart because he would start thinking he was bad.
- That is was even possible that he would literally fight me for everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
- That all I had to give, would not be enough.
- That no matter how many books, blogs, and articles I read, no matter how many creative things I try, it would seem like nothing is working.
- That I would be so tired. So very, very, tired.
- That at the end of the day I really wouldn’t just want him to behave so it is easier for me. I would want him to learn and grow so it wouldn’t always be so hard for him.
These are all things I did not know before Ben. I knew he would have special needs when we said yes to adopting him. What I didn’t know was that those “special” needs would require me to have super human power. Tonight as I write this list I realize that I do not know how to begin to fix even one of the issues that we faced today. What I do know is that I want to sit down and cry. And then fall asleep. And then wake up tomorrow and find that overnight his oppositional defiance has magically disappeared. Poof! Without a complete diet makeover, without digging into a well of patience, without saying the same thing 10,001 times everyday. Gone without wondering if he should be on medication but being too afraid to talk to anyone about it because they might judge me for even thinking about it. Without more apologies to people when they don’t understand him, without more apologies to him when I don’t understand him. But, I do know is that it will not be magic. It will be consistency. It will be perseverance and resourcefulness. It will be hard won when it happens. I don’t think Ben will ever be fixed. Actually fixing him isn’t the goal, and isn’t my job. The goal is to teach him to strengthen his weaknesses so he can grow into all that he will be. So that he will know he is not bad. So he will know he is not a victim to this struggle. He is an overcomer! So that he feels the reward of making the best decision when he felt like making the impulsive one again. So he will have much compassion for others who will come into his life with their own special needs.
And my job is to love. Not just correct and discipline. Not just fight with, worry about, put up with and advocate for. But to do all of those things with great love. Because love covers a great multitude of offense. On both of our parts. I am so thankful for the great love I have found in Jesus because tonight, once again, it is covering the great offense I feel in my heart as I sit and cry and hope that tomorrow is better. It assures me that He will provide me with the super human power I need for this battle. That I am not bad. I am also an overcomer. Tonight I will go to sleep and I will wake up tomorrow ready to see what it brings. Because His mercy is new every morning. And that means mine is too.