Friday, May 14, 2010

A Harsh Reminder

I was reminded last night how difficult adoption can be.

Crazy thing is we had a great day. George had a half day of school, came home to a lunch he loves and the opportunity to play outside with his brother all afternoon. When the older kids in the block came home, all the kids were outside shooting baskets and running around. George has so happy.

Then, we had pizza for dinner! George absolutely loves pizza. On his Mother's Day card for me, he wrote that I make the best pizza ever. I hated to tell him that actually someone named Papa Murphy makes the best pizza ever, I simply know how to put it in the oven.

After dinner, everyone got their pajamas on and we snuggled in for a family favorite, Survivor. Everyone was looking forward to it. We all have our favorites and enjoy cheering them on through the challenges. George got a little crazy, jumping on the couch, screaming, laughing. I asked him to settle down. He didn't. I asked again. He didn't. I scolded him, "You need to settle down or you will be going to bed."

He responded, "I'm going back to Africa!"

And off he went. In his pajamas and barefoot, he started walking. OK - we have been through this before. Last time, which was a long, long time ago, he made it to our next door neighbor's yard before he stopped. I was sure he would do the same thing. He didn't. He kept walking and walking and walking. He was walking through inch deep puddles in the ditches, but he kept going. It was starting to get dark, but he kept on going. When we couldn't see him anymore, Joe jumped into the car and raced after him.

At this point, the children all exploded. Lincoln was crying hysterically, "I don't want him to leave!". Harry was screaming at how sick he is of these games. Eleanor was furiously muttering things under her breath I can not repeat here. And Isabel just stared out the window. A year of frustrations all came out of the kids. They were so angry that George continues to rule our family by doing things like this.

I was so angry!

The last time he did this, I cried and held George and told him I loved him and didn't want to him to leave. This time, I was angry!

When George walked back into the house, I met him in the doorway and told him, very clearly, how angry I was. Not only was I angry, all the other kids were hurt by his action. None of our children have ever done that...none of them would be allowed to do that...none of them have ever thought of doing that.

I sent him to bed.

Adoption is hard. This came out of no-where! We had been having a wonderful month. In fact, I was thinking how I needed to write how things have been so good, that maybe we have really turned that proverbial corner. All I did was parent George the exact same way I parent all of the children when they are getting crazy. I didn't touch him, I didn't yell. I was firm, but in no way was this out of the ordinary for me. This is the life of adopting an older child, I guess. Something triggered a need to leave.

Adoption is messy. I realized tonight how much my children are affected by this. And sometimes they just need to let it all out. Our family is faced with the daily decision to love someone who has been incredibly un-lovable! And we all are challenged with forgetting the very un-lovable child and love the child standing before us. That is a hard enough lesson for an almost 40 year old woman! Imagine the challenge in a 13 year old girl's heart! God continues to ask us to go above and beyond - we can't get by with simply loving the lovely.

Adoption brings heartache. For everyone involved. I remember many times asking God, "If adoption is Your heart...if Your word says so clearly that we need to take care of the fatherless...why are You making this so hard for me???" I don't have an answer yet...I think it is maybe because God wanted to change us. But in that changing, I have experienced more heartache than I ever thought I could.

Adoption is difficult. But, as I write this, I am reminded that my trial is to be expected. I claim to be a Christian - a Christ-follower! If I follow Christ, his journey here on earth led to a pretty awful destination. Adoption is so hard, but I didn't have to hang on a cross.

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