I’m standing at the kitchen sink moving the army green scrubber across the pan when I hear his high pitch wailing pierce the air. Moments ago, he was here hugging my leg, telling me he loved me, now he’s raging. Uncontrollable, unbelievable, and inconsolable. You cannot side step his triggers because you can never know his triggers. Even he doesn’t know his triggers. How can you possibly unravel the intricacies of a mind shaped by trauma and neglect?
I listen as my husband corrects him, loves him and then bathes him. Our son is angry and defiantly tells him, “I hate you Daddy.” Steve does not respond to this and I hear him toweling Isaiah off while talking about his new Spiderman pajamas as if he had said nothing unusual. I hear an Ethiopian lullaby drifting from his phone as he puts him to bed. I walk to the door frame and watch secretly lest he see me, and Steve lose his chance for the best that’s about to arrive. He leans close as Isaiah reaches up and circles his arms around his neck. “I love you Daddy. Forever.” Steve buries his head next to Isaiah’s cheek, “Love you too, buddy. Forever.”
My heart is full and broken as I lean against the hallway wall. I understand now that we aren’t in a transition period, this is our life. The raging, the anger, the trauma has woven itself into all of us and it cannot be undone. It is a hard truth and I push it back to God because I DON’T WANT IT. I want a child who moves past his trauma and birth defects, who completes therapy and smiles with delight at my asking. This is my ugly truth. In a flash I remember back to Ethiopia, when his small brown body was covered in sores and infection, his ear draining white puss, and his soup bowl that I picked bugs out of before he could eat. I remember the wild-eyed anxiety he had for hours each day as I would rock him singing and praying, he would trust me enough to go to sleep in my presence. I remember the screaming as I pulled him away from the nannies at the orphanage on his adoption day and how he looked at me as if I had taken the only people he had ever loved, because in truth I had.
It is no wonder his heart is still broken, and his wounds are unhealed. His scars run soul deep and they will not be hurried to completion by anyone.
This has been a year of grief.
Silent, unexpected grief.
No one has died, just our own human expectations and dreams of a “normal” family.
It caught me so unaware I could not label it, I could not even speak of it, because how do you look at all your blessings & tell God, "I thought there would be more," or "I thought there would be less?"
More words, less pain, more healing, less struggle, more rest, less heartache.
Instead I have held this grief of dreams unrealized in my hands quietly. I have watched as God took them one by one and lowered their importance in my eyes and heart while he steadily increased his. This has always been his way with me, a quiet unveiling of my idols, followed by whispers from him asking, "Am I enough for you?"
It is this word, ENOUGH, that has lingered with me the last weeks of the year. I hold it in my heart and let it rest on my tongue feeling the weight of it, testing its truth.
Is God enough for me at all times?
The question is large, and I cannot begin to answer it fully, but I can tell you that I have taken it in as my word for the year. I have prayed over it, meditated on it, and begun searching the scriptures for its assurance. I have begun to apply it as my standard when looking at my behavior, my work, or my thoughts.
Are they enough for God?
Friends, each of us carries the weight of something unspoken. I have chosen to speak mine so that you may be able to speak yours to the Father. Whatever weight you are carrying know that he is enough for you. I’m praying that each of you may find that for yourself and I’m working to share how that’s happening in our lives here this year.
May God bless you and keep you.