There are many times in our lives where we grieve over many things, while some of those losses are visible, such as the loss of a loved one, others are not.
Today as my husband and I were getting ready for our day, he mentioned that today was his father’s birthday. My heart broke in that moment, because I know that at the age of 27, my husband lost his father and days like today aren’t easy. At some point we have all experienced this type of loss, and although painful and heartbreaking, it is a part of life. I usually ask my husband to tell me a story about his best memory of his dad, they usually brings tears for us both and often a smile of remembrance for him. I never had the opportunity to meet my father-in-law, but I know he would be so very proud of his son and the wonderful man he has become.
I think back over the years and the many different types of losses we experience collectively and personally and we talk of most of those losses, but the ones that are unspoken are the most difficult. In my personal journey, the greatest “loss” has been watching my mother battle cancer and the horrific aftermath that has ensued. In my eyes she is the most amazing person I know and it is an honor and privilege to be her daughter. God has truly blessed me with amazing parents. Watching her go through all of the treatments, and the now two year battle with the after effects of the radiation have brought me to a point where I feel that I lost the woman I once knew to be my momma. While I am blessed beyond blessed to have her here with us, I see how, over these past few years their lives have changed so dramatically.
While I could spend page upon page detailing personal losses and the grieving process, I instead find myself beginning to focus on these children that will be brought into our home. How do I as a mother, help them through this extremely difficult time in their lives? How do I honor them, love them and help them to heal? They too are going through a huge and rather unnatural loss in their lives. Some may never heal from this journey and some may never get the answers they seek. I find myself reading blogs written by former foster children and taking notes on ways I can help them to adjust and begin to heal the hurts they cannot possibly express.
Children often will not come out and say that they are mad because their mom and dad left them and they don’t feel they belong anywhere, they often lack the ability to express themselves in spoken word. Instead of speaking their frustrations they often act out and manifest behaviors that are considered problematic.
Having served as a special educator for the past eleven years, I have daily dealt with behavioral issues. In some respects they have become second nature in how I react. I tend to stay very calm and not show any reaction. I try to analyze the behavior and begin to work towards a solution or healing that is positive and protective to the children. While I know that we are not prepared for every situation that we will encounter, I know that establishing a support system and resources is a key component in this journey. I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God never gives you more than you can bear and that His plan is always perfect.
Psalm 34:18 ~ The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.