Saturday, November 21, 2009
In the adoption world, there is much talk about attachment. Most adopted children have had the normal cycle broken for various reasons. When children have needs and the parent is unable to meet the need, eventually the child shuts down and withdraws. As adoptive parents, one of our greatest jobs is to reaffirm the child's needs and attend to them quickly.
Another element makes this process more difficult than it would seem...trust has been broken. The child does not believe that you will continually meet his/her need for food, love, shelter, etc. They have learned at an early age that nothing lasts forever, including families. Some children do all that they can to push the adoptive parents away. To trust them to be there and love you would mean risking hurt. This was the case with our son. As soon as he would find himself wanting to love and trust me, he would do whatever naughty behavior he could think of. His little mind would reason that I am going to eventually leave him, too. He might as well behave badly enough to just get it over with.
Many nights I have held him and assured him over and over again that Mommy will not leave no matter how naughty he behaves. Often he will melt and sob into my chest with those words. For one more night, he trusts that I will be there.
I'm sure most of you can see the parallels with our relationship with our Heavenly Father. God is completely trustworthy, yet the circumstances of my life have made me doubt that. My earthly father died when I was 15, which has led me to expect my Heavenly Father to abandon me at various times. I have to go to His Word and rely on Truth (not feelings).
In the past few weeks, my son wants to sit on my lap whenever I sit down. He then takes my arms and wraps them around him. If I let one of my arms slip or move, he will promptly grab it and put it back around him - holding him tightly again. Progress has been made!
Then I think about my own progress. Do I grab onto God and make sure I am firmly in the center of His will? When I feel He is distant, do I strive to feel His arms around me? He never moves, so have I? There is no place more grand than being in my Daddy's arms.