“Use your words”

Over and over again it is confirmed that what children need is not a perfect household, but a real home. Not perfect parents but honest, loving parents. There is room for mistakes. There is room for our hearts to pray to do better, always be better. And give them room to build resilience. Mental, physical…

I have been terribly challenged, after a few days of high. After finding out that we have a clear destination and a connection in our repeat journey of adoption, and feeling pretty good about myself at the post adoption support group, we hit a low point. I know everyone involved in adoption (parents and children alike), we all go through seasons, and some of us linger more in the hard patches, of no fault if their own. Circumstances are king, when you take into consideration the fragile heart of our kids and how it expresses itself in contrast with the fragile heart of a new parent. Alas, after a few good days, letting go of my own stubbornness, slowing my mind to be malleable and root itself deeply into the Truth…

I hit a new level.

On Friday, giddy and excited about the weekend, big plans to relax after conrad finished a crazy marathon, I learned, on our way out of kindergarten, that Jackie picked her lip bloody and “decorated” her white bed sheet with blood dots. She would dab her lip on the bed sheet and move an inch and dab again. The half top was polka-doted to perfection. A square meter of polka dots of blood. She gets fidgety sometimes when she can’t sleep. But as of late she also picks at her cuticles/hangnails, mainly her thumbs. And after getting some raw spots around her nails, the picking intensified. She realizes it hurts a little too late. We’ve had seasons of helping her develop awareness and strengthen her will but out of the blue she relapses. The other day, after a merry time, we were driving and listening to music, I glance back and there she was, pretty tired but avidly picking at her fingers. I got pretty mad. I raised my voice but gave her room and time to answer. She said: “I am frustrated”. Where did she even learn this label of a feeling? Does she even know what it means? I lectured her some, then I calmed down and asked her nicely: “what does frustrates mean to you?” she answered accurately “annoyed, angry”. “What frustrates and annoys you?” She answered with utmost serenity: “you two do. (Silence, Blink blink) You keep talking and I’m trying to rest”. A breakthrough I thought. “Jaclyn, you have a voice. You can speak up and say what bothers you, instead of picking at your fingers or lip.” She looked intently at me. blinked twice and asked smiling: “I can speak up because I am human?”