Never give up hope. And don’t give in to isolation and despair.
This is my advice to the adoptive/foster/step-parent who finds yourself in an ongoing storm that seems to engulf them with no way out, like a spinning tornado that keeps hurling debris at you.
The new book by Mike Berry, Confessions of an Adoptive Parent, has been one of the Love-bombs God has recently dropped on me as he shows me an ever-widening break in the storm clouds that have permeated my life for a while. Mike uses the analogy of a storm in the book (no wonder I relate so well!) and the reality that the sun still shines, even though hidden temporarily by the storm clouds. (He puts it way more elegantly – – so you really need to read the book to get the full heart-boosting effect.)
Being on the launch team for the book was very timely as it arrived just when my husband and I were/are stretched thin and enveloped in a struggle to find a way to deal with one of our adopted children and get them the help they need while keeping everyone safe – – an increasingly difficult and frustrating process as this child’s difficult behaviors were rapidly escalating. Reading the book during this period has given me a helpful re-grounding and perspective. When your world spins out of control, to hear from those who have “been there done that” and come out on the other side, PLUS who have the same faith and values is HUGE!
The over-arching premise of Confessions . . . is that “You are not alone.” And it is a message of hope. Isn’t that what we all need, what our children need, when we are in the middle of an ongoing storm? We live in an area where tornados are sometimes a threat. We learned to go to an interior room without windows whenever a tornado threatens. We also pray. And we monitor the weather radio. We have not had a tornado hit our house, but have had friends and family who have. Thankfully the damage has not extended to loss of life, but that is always a concern and possibility. Growing up with the threat of tornados I have not felt fearful of them since I can remember. I tended to feel secure in our routines that I and my family would be okay. Not because I am unaware or in denial of the devastation they can cause, but because of my faith in God, and the many times he has provided protection.
What procedures do you take to get through the difficult storms with your kids? Just like when severe weather threatens, prayer is number one. But also, gathering together (rather than dividing and isolating ourselves as we may feel like doing) can help us and our children feel calmer and confident. So WE need to be calm and confident – – and that comes with faith and the disciplines that as Christians we lean on and embrace even more in the storminess. Remembering the storms we have faced before can be helpful. And hearing from those who were hit and suffered damage, but survived can give us hope. Keeping our ears alert to any changes – for the better or worse just as with weather emergencies can help us know what to do and when. Certainly having our emergency plans in place can help us weather these types of storms as well.
We recently had a homeschool group field trip to a local fire station. We learned a lot about their duties and capabilities such as that here, each fireman was trained (or training) in paramedics as well and that each firetruck was outfitted with the same equipment as the ambulances except a bed to transport someone to the hospital. In learning about community help for our daughter, I had to learn what was (and was not) available from the different sources in order to navigate the best path and plan for her. I am happy to say that we now have the beginnings of a plan in place for her and I am seeing a bit more sunshine as the clouds are opening up. The sun really is still there, shining all along.
I received no compensation for recommending this book and my opinions are entirely my own. I was thrilled to get the book (and journal) free for previewing it and highly recommend it to you as well. Get your copy here.