Convenience is something we value in our culture today.
These are all words you will find on many, if not all, of the cleaning products today. All terms we like to apply to the messy areas of our lives. My girl friend used to use a floor product called "Once & Done".
Once & Done. Wouldn't that be fantastic?
But even with floors, it's not really true. You've washed it once and you are done…for now. The truth is we all know we are going to have to wash that floor again.
It is the same with adoption grief. It is not a "Once & Done" proposition. I will never forget the most impactful sentence I ever read during the exhaustive adoption reading I did before my first child came home at 10 months in 1998.
"With age comes understanding."
This is a heavy concept. Just what does that mean?
She was a baby when she came home.
We've always talked about her adoption and what a blessing is has been to us.
He has always known he was adopted and he has always been such a happy and content child.
What are you saying? Are you saying that there is no formula to apply for a rapid release of grief?
Shouldn't all the love they have received for all of these years cancel out those beginning moments of pain?
It does not work that way. With age comes understanding. It is a great foundation that your child has growing up loved and invested in, and it will ultimately allow that when the storms come, they will be battle worn and weary, but they will stand and you will be the rock they stand on.
Think about your child's story. How have you presented it to them? How you talk about it to a 2 year old about how they came home is not how you talk about it to an 8 year old, or a 10 year old, or a 12 year old, and by the time they are 15, they know the how and are figuring out the WHY.
It is the WHY that hurts them.
It is the WHY that is NEVER "Once & Done".
If you are the newly adoptive parent of an infant, you MUST recognize that grief is not a disposable feeling. It has no rapid release formula. It is the gift that keeps giving. Forever. It never goes away.
Prepare for it.
If they were adopted as infants, theirs is a pain that was forged deep in their hearts before they were even born. It is our duty and honor to carry them through it when it finally comes to the surface, and it WILL come.
If there was ever a time that you need to understand that "It's not about me", this is the time.
It will feel like they are rejecting you.
They are not.
It will feel like they do not love you and never did.
It will make you think that none of the love and attention and effort and blood and sweat and tears you have poured out for them matters.
This is what an adoptive parent does.
It's what a PARENT does.
We bear the pain with our children.
Because we love them.
This is when we begin to understand just how perfectly God loves us.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8a
Love BEARS all things, BELIEVES all things, HOPES all things, ENDURES all things. LOVE NEVER ENDS.
love is not "once & done".
It endures forever.
Please be prepared to love your children by BEARING, BELIEVING, HOPING, ENDURING, AND NEVER ENDING.