Monday, February 28, 2011


We seem to be making a little progress this weekend. Again, I am not naive enough to think we have cleared this hurdle, but there have been some good moments lately.

A few developments: We contacted a child counselor who is a Christian and specializes in attachment issues. She gave a lot of "free advice" over the phone (there ARE good people out there!) and led me to several websites and books that might help. Second, we reached out to a pastor and asked for help. Joe and I were talking and said, "This is huge for us!" You see, we are two fiercely independent, prideful, stubborn people, and it takes a lot for us to admit, "WE NEED HELP!" We are at that point and are ready to be totally humble.

My weekend started with reading a lot about attachment. I also read about natural consequences and how to react to George. He needs love, love, love. The oposite of love is fear and knowing that "love casts out all fear" was a key point for me to meditate on. Now, reacting to George in love does not mean there are no consequences to his behavior. Rather, the consequences need to be "natural". If he is mean and verbally hateful to me, the natural consequence may be that I don't want to snuggle with him the next time he desires that. I learned quite a bit in my crash course :)

On Sunday, we had lunch with some friends who are soon heading to Colombia as missionaries working with street kids. I won't even get into the excitement I feel about SOMEDAY taking the Safe Families model to South America.....but....maybe God is paving a way? Anyway, as the adults sat around the kitchen table, Joe and I opened up about our struggles through the past month. Tom ran to get a children's book, obviously excited to share something that might bring some light to our situation. He talked about how important it is to ask Jesus into the moment of hurt or trauma that George experienced. He shared how we can walk with George through those hard days in Ethiopia when his birth mom dropped him off at the orphanage and then invite Jesus into that situation. Through this exercise, Jesus can heal George in that place, and even "show" George that He as there in that moment, as hard as that may seem.

So, I began praying for a moment to really do this exercise.

And God answered that prayer.

All night long on Sunday, George was over the top lovey-dovey toward me. Stroking my hair, sitting on my lap, wanting me to wrap my arms around him. Finally, I told him that we needed to talk. It was time for George to understand the natural consequences for how he treated me the last month.

We began our conversation in George's bedroom. I sat on the floor and George sat on his bed. I wanted to bring him back to our trip home from the Dells. As I began talking about the things he said on that trip and how those words made me feel, George stopped me and said, "I don't remember that! I never said those things."

I went on, thinking this must be a manipulative strategy.

"Really, mom. I didn't say those things." He wasn't yelling, he wasn't angry, and he seemed sincere.

I'm not sure what I think - even now as I write this. Did he really block this out?

I continued, this time saying, "What IF you said those things. How do you think Mom would feel?"


"Yes. I have been hurting a lot lately from words you have been saying to me. Because I have been hurting so much, do you think I might not want to snuggle and hug?"

He nodded.

I asked him why does he think he might be so angry lately? He said he didn't know. We started talking about how I was his momma now and how much I love him. He got a tear in his eye. He wanted to talk about his Africa mom.

"Where is she? Is she in the ground? Is she in heaven? Why can't we take medicine to her? Africa needs our help!"

"I know Georgie, Africa does need our help."

"It isn't right that they have dirty water! It isn't right that my mom couldn't get medicine!"

He stopped. Then he continued quietly. "There was a time that I thought you were leaving me. Like my Africa momma."

There! We hit a key point -praise God! We talked about that fear and we asked Jesus to come take away that fear and bring peace to George's heart. It wasn't a long prayer, in fact, it was pretty short, but after that prayer, George was different. He hugged me tight, said he was so sorry for how mean he has been and then ran out into the living room to hug his brothers and sisters.

We made a small step forward! And we will continue to push forward - even if we occasionally find ourselves moving backwards every now and then. It is time for counseling - for all of us. It is time for healing - for all of us. God keeps bringing me back to Hosea and this is where I chose to sit:

"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel (George); he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon." Hosea 14: 4 - 7


Brian & Amy said...

Never been more convinced that YOU are the perfect Momma for George. Remember these tender moments when the next crisis are prayed for and loved!!!

Lisa said...

I know the situations are very different, but when my 7 year old was raging the last few months, he genuinely had no clue later the extremely hurtful things he said. I still am not sure what to make of that but he really didn't remember. He even used the B**** word that I have NO idea how he ever would have even known it to begin with. Good luck, prayers your way!

David and Amy said...

I've been silently following your blog for a few weeks now. I am so happy to read of this progress! We are in a similar place with our 10 yr old daughter. Would love to swap resources and strategies some time. Might you be up for a chat? Let me know!