Have you ever done all you can do and it wasn't enough? Have you ever tried to help someone else, but what you had to offer wasn't helping?
It's hard to say that because I believe with all my heart that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. But in the end, I'm not God. And thankfully, God knows that too. And maybe I'm not supposed to fix everything. Maybe I'm just supposed to do my part in God's plan, and allow someone else to bring this to completion.
I've been processing what feels like a huge failure in my life, and it's taking me to some new places of understanding. You see, five and a half years ago, we answered God's call to adopt and welcomed our two daughters into our home. It didn't take long to realize that their early life in Liberia had done much damage to both of them emotionally and cognitively.
I believed that unconditional love from me (and my husband) would make them whole. I believed it was just a matter of time before we'd be one of those success stories you love to read about and see on made-for-tv movies. I believed God would do a miracle in their hearts and bring healing through the safety of our home.
We knew it was going to be rough ... don't get me wrong. We didn't think it would be easy. We just didn't anticipate some of the problems. It wasn't until last year that we had an answer for the behavior issues of one daughter: reactive attachment disorder.
When I first read the list of behaviors associated with this disorder, it was as if someone had taken a camera and documented our last five years. The one exception is violent behavior, which is why it took so long to diagnose. Plus our belief that we could handle this on our own - with God's help. What's frustrating from a parent's point of view is that everything we've learned to do with our other children backfires with her. So for five years we fed into the problem instead of helping it. We are now in therapy, but the effects are minimal.
Sadly, now she's a young teenager, the age where a child is developmentally supposed to separate, and we are seeing an increase in the risk and danger of her behaviors. There's little connection between cause and effect. And worse, there's no remorse. Our other children are affected. We are broken. Helpless. On our knees.
So back to my beginning thoughts. What if I've done my part? What if it's time for someone else to help? What if I'm hindering her healing by not taking this to the next level of action? And, what if it's time to protect my other children?
Until you get to this hard of a place, the answers to those questions seem easy. It's easy to speak words of confidence and encouragement. It's easy to say that God will give me the strength to handle whatever He brings my way. I believe that too. But what if I've done all I can?
That's the deepest part of this question ... what if now, what I have to offer, isn't helping any more?
And if I've done all I can, does that mean I failed? Or that I was only supposed to do my part?
I don't have the answers today. I just have tears. Tears for a broken world that harms its children through neglect, violence and self-centered behavior. Tears for a country that destroyed itself and emotionally harmed its people. Tears for a little girl with something broken inside her. Tears for other children who've been hurt by her brokenness. And tears of frustration that I can't fix it all.
But I still have faith. I do. I believe that God is sovereign and in complete control. I believe that God has never left us and that He longs to bring healing. And I believe that God will give us the wisdom to know what to do ... and the strength to do it .. no matter how hard it is.
So if I'm MIA, you'll have an idea what's going on. I don't write about this often to protect my children, but I wanted to do so today. The questions are heavy on my mind, and your prayers have made so much difference to me. I wish I could hug each woman who reads these words today.
I love you,