I believe that God truly does equip those He calls. I believe that parenting a child is a high calling, and that God gives special grace and strength to the parents that he calls to parent children from hard places. There is nothing else in this life that has refined me as much as parenting has, and the refining that is coming with parenting a hurting child is indescribable. It is beautiful and painful and a blessing and exhausting. Parenting is hard period.
Dr. Karyn Purvis says this Jesus said to take up your cross and follow me. I don't find that Jesus ever called his disciples to a socially fashionable ministry. He called them to minister to the prostitute - to the taxcollector - to the people that were considered the outcast. Going into adoption you have to understand that this is not a socially fashionable ministry. This is a calling to lay down your life for the life of a child. Any other expectation will bring disappointment.
This is what God continues to chip away at me about - laying down my life - dieing to self. Jamesy has been home for 17 weeks this Friday, and I have learned so much. I have grown so much. I have also failed many, many times in this journey. Exhaustion has crept in and selfishness has taken over. Frustration has crowded out grace and suffocated mercy. But there is hope and I have seen progress and healing and growth in my parenting.
There are moments when fear ravishes Jamesy's body still. When he trembles and screams and recoils at my touch. The fear is dark and deep, but Jesus is meeting him there and teaching me what it is to really be His hands of love for my son. He is teaching me how to not take rejection from Jamesy personally.
The fear is usually not present in Jamesy during the day here at home. He is happy and loving, and I truly feel he is starting to feel secure. However he suffers with sleep issues, which I believe stem from trauma that no baby should ever have to endure. Every baby should be loved and nurtured from the beginning of his or her life. I am certain he cannot possibly remember his past, but impact of that trauma is all over him. I know that healing can come, and I pray that it does. Many of Jamesy's "behaviors" have diminished. He very rarely rocks his head to self-sooth anymore, as he has learned to rely on us to sooth him. At first Jamesy would fight sleep so much that he would scratch himself to stay awake. He has scars all up and down his little brown arms from this. In the last few weeks I have seen this stop. It is almost as if he fears sleep. I think it is scary for him to wake up in our home still. I think for a moment he forgets where he is. Even in Sunday School this past week he fell asleep in my arms only to wake up terrified.
Night terrors have become part of Jamesy's reality, and we continue to work through those. Jamesy has also started the habit of vomiting all over himself if he wakes, and I cannot run to his side quick enough. This has been one of the toughest things for me. For one I am weak stomached, but it is so disturbing to see Jamesy this distraught. I pray over him each night that healing would come, that the fear would vanish, and that sleep would be sweet.
I know that God is bringing hope and healing to Jamesy. I have seen him grow in his attachment to us. He adores his Daddy. I pray that he really knows that we are his Mommy and Daddy, and that we will not leave him, we will fight for him. I get asked a lot how things are going with Jamesy, and I always answer that they are going great and that this is so much more natural than we anticipated. And that is the truth - overall. But there are really, really painful, hard moments for all of us too. And we expected that walking into this. We counted the cost ahead of time. We prepared and educated our family as much as we could. We are in this together, and we are looking to God for the srength to run this race well. I want to be a mommy that is willing to acknowlege these hard things in my child's life and walk inside the painful trenches with him in order for him to heal. I will never dismiss Jamesy's past, and I understand how his past, even as young as he is, has shaped his future.
I am choosing to see beyond the hard things and to persevere.
When Jamesy wakes screaming and terrified, when he vomits, when he rejects me, when he reverts back to damaging behaviors, I am choosing to be thankful for the amazing blessing that has been gifted to me in being his Mommy. Because transformation is taking place in my heart as I learn to mommy my Jamesy.
Mommying Jamesy is beyond a doubt simultaneously one of the hardest and most beautiful processes that God has ever allowed me to be part of.
And I say without hesitiation it's worth it, simply because He is worth it.
I wouldn't have missed this transformation for anything the world could offer me.
PS For those asking about Jamesy's diagnosis: It looks as if we have finally gotten Jamesy into the Children's Hospital at the end of August. They are still ironing a few things out - it is tricky being that he needs to see three separate specialists. I covet prayer. I have had to stop googling, as I am witnessing more and more symptoms that follow this disorder in my sweet boy. It wrecks this Mommy's heart, and I am battling fear for him daily.