Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Facing the Storms

Storms are a funny thing...

When a storm rolls in the darkness surrounds you.  The rain pours down, the thunder cracks overhead, and everything seems bleak.  If you didn't know how weather patterns work, it'd be very natural to think that the storm may never end.  You'd think that the sunshine and blue sky were gone for good, and that you'd always be in this overwhelming darkness.

Thankfully, we all know that storms pass. They are here today, gone tomorrow.  The sun always shines again.  What an amazing promise God gives us as we watch the weather patterns and know that our current weather is not forever.

I've written a post about our recent storms in about four draft forms, but each time I finished, I decided not to publish.  Why? Because when a storm is overhead, it's hard to know how soon the sun will shine again.  And while I want to be honest about the highs and lows against adoption, I never want a family to read our blog and think that it's too hard or they couldn't do this...

But the reality of our family is that for the last few months, Chengbin has been going through a storm and we were learning how to help him through.  As he gets older and more aware, he has come to realize that most people do not share his story.  Most children are born healthy, grow up with their biological family, and experience all the love and security that you might expect. He has struggled with how to make sense of his story.  How to make sense of the loss.  The emotional pain.  The physical pain.  The feelings of loneliness he experienced.  He struggled for months in his little heart and mind trying to make sense of it all and over time we learned how to talk about it.  I prayed daily for God to give me the wisdom and the insight I needed to help him through this.  To help his little broken heart heal.  I downright pleaded with my Jesus over and over again to heal my broken baby's heart.  The darkness seemed overwhelming sometimes as I struggled to help him, not knowing if what we were doing was enough.

I have prayed over this boy for years now.  I know that Jesus will be the one to heal all the parts of his broken heart back together and he has entrusted us to be the parents of this precious little boy and to take every opportunity to help in his healing.

Together, we've faced the storm.  We've allowed him to be angry and sad and however else he feels.  He has every right to feel this way.  I became a Mama Counselor as we finally got to some of the reasons for his anger and sadness and fear and difficulty.  The truth of his story is that it isn't fair and it will never make sense.  His story is absolutely heartbreaking.  My heart breaks for this sweet boy and all he's had to endure.  But I'm thankful I also know the ultimate healer who makes all things new again.  Who 'heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds' (psalm 147:3). 

I have held my precious boy in my arms like a baby and cried with him as he expressed so many things for the first time ever.  The things he said were so hard to hear so I can only imagine how much harder they were to live.  I won't share the details because it is his story, but no child should have to endure the pain these precious children do as they suffer loss of their families and then live life in an orphanage with no one to call their own.  

I beg you all to consider bringing home one of these precious babies.  They need family! They need love!  They need someone to hold them when they cry.  They need someone to be on their team and be there for them when they are sick.  They need permanency and the forever that only a family can provide.  How can we call ourselves the church and say we want to follow Jesus, then turn our backs to the lonely, the broken-hearted, and the hungry children of our world who live and die alone with no one to call their own? This boy NEEDED us and millions like him NEED the church to rise up and be Jesus for them!!!  But I digress...

As I've held this sweet boy in my arms and grieved with him, I've seen some amazing things begin to happen...

The sun is starting to shine again.  And I'll be honest, it seems brighter than before. We've gone from doing terrible in school (read- emotional shutdown) to doing well- even getting Student of the Week at his school.  From crying every evening while doing homework, to easily accomplishing it with time left over to do some extra reading.  We've seen things that usually send him into tears change into a normal, regular reaction.  The change has been nothing short of miraculous!  Truly, the sun seems to be shining brighter than ever for him.

And I'm so grateful.  I'm grateful that in God's great mercy, he gave me Jesus to walk hand in hand with through all my storms in life.  And because he healed my heart time and time again, I know he can heal my son's.  And because he called me to be this precious boy's Mama, I know that he will provide the strength, the compassion, the wisdom, and the love I need to help him through his storms.

I know this will not be the last storm, the process of healing his heart will take many more years.  But if the sun shines brighter and brighter with each passing storm, there's no telling how beautiful it's going to be in the end!

'Once in darkness, wandering hopeless,
Never knowing love that frees us.

Then your glory like the morning, broke the silence, rewrote our story.

Once in darkness, wandering hopeless, never knowing love that frees us.  

Then your mercy, like the morning, broke the silence, rewrote our story.

Once in darkness, wandering hopeless, never knowing love that frees us...

Oh what glory! Oh what mercy! Where our story begins!'