It's been a while since I've updated, since I've even felt enough emotional energy to write, and I guess it's partly because I feel like very little has changed. We're still dealing daily with the ups and downs of Reactive Attachment Disorder in the form of Miss M, who's done so much healing in the past eighteen months and yet still saps so much of her pregnant Mama's ever-decreasing patience and energy.
On the bad days, enhanced by the pregnant emotions brought on by another RAD child that I love, I can hardly hold myself together. No doubt Miss M is effected by her brother's behavior and absence as well.
On the really bad days, I wonder why God ever chose me to mother these hurting kids. Blunt, matter-of-fact, stubborn and strong-willed me...who has so much trouble exchanging my selfish will and my sinful feelings for His perfection. What could He possibly have been thinking?
And yet, on the good days, I'm so profoundly encouraged by the bond that I know is blooming between my eldest daughter and myself; the hot tears of remorse and the hugs of forgiveness, the ease of conversation and the honest questions, the non-existent lapse of time between frustration and transitioning back to that crazy new love-and-acceptance-thing again. I'm so thankful for the new-found evidence of compassion, empathy and conscience that I see awakening in my daughter. And, if I'm being honest, I'm thankful that God is growing these things within me as well.
Two years ago, when God asked me to spend nearly every waking moment with a disrespectful, controlling, rage-filled, attachment-disordered child, I thought there was no way that we would both make it through the year in one piece. And now we're well into our second year of homeschooling, and, minor daily difficulties aside, I am really proud of how far we've come. Slowly and often painfully (for both of us), Miss M is healing.
All glory to God for miracles I can't even comprehend.
For the present, I'm keeping busy at home with school and toddler-wrangling and Christmas shopping and gathering recipes and craft ideas for the upcoming month, and our minds are turning to decorating and organizing and preparing for the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus...and also for the upcoming birth of our own sweet baby boy in less than seven weeks.
The irony is not lost on me that at the same time my heart feels like it's losing one son, I'm preparing to welcome another into my arms.
Trusting is so hard. I lack the patience and the discernment needed to see what God is doing in my family right now. I miss my oldest son...the son he used to be, the son I thought he was. I ache that he's missed his birthday, the anniversary of his addition to our family, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and countless family memories so far. My heart cries at the thought of celebrating the birth of Jesus...and the birth of our littlest son...without him. I can't see how God is working in this.
But two years ago, I laughed at God when He told me to homeschool Miss M. I fought him. I tried to tell him that it wasn't possible for me. That there was no way.
What I found out is that God's plans often don't make sense to me. But they're perfect plans.
I'm putting all the energy I can muster into trusting God right now; trusting that somehow all this junk and suffering and senseless hate and violence has something to do with healing Mr. J.
Join me, and the rest of my family, in trusting that God has a perfect plan for our oldest son.
And please continue to pray for us all.
There is a hearing scheduled for December 12th where Mr. J's near future will be decided. Because he is a threat to our family and to the community, he will most likely be made a temporary ward of the court if other arrangements are not made for him before then, in which case he would also be assured of having a criminal record follow him into adulthood. Our hopes are for God to intervene before then, providing funding to allow us to send him to a therapeutic boarding school (where he has already been accepted) and retain our parental rights. There is a strong chance that the charges would be dropped if this happens. We hope that in heading this direction, our son (who is only thirteen) will be given a second chance regarding his criminal history, his relationship with his family, and his journey towards healing. Pray that God will reveal His perfect plan for Mr. J's future.