It happened. They said it would. Not from him. I thought I was prepared so the sting took my breath away. From behind the closed door, “This family is stupid. I wish I was never adopted.” Do I open the door and say that I’ve heard? Walk away? The anger seems too big to carry alone. Too big for a 10 year old boy.
I walk in and ask him to look at my eyes. I ask if he would like to share those thoughts with me now? “No.” I ask why he said it . As his eyes meet mine, “Because I’m angry.” I tell him I understand that but we don’t speak hatred out of anger. I tell him I’m glad he is using his words but there are different ones to use. Ones that won’t hurt people like his hurt me as a tear gives way. I tell him I am trying to help him learn healthy ways to deal with his anger and give him some paper and tell him to write his feelings down if he needs to and I turn and walk out.
It is said calmly. It is said with love and concern and understanding. It is said with bravery. I didn’t want to have that conversation but I did. Because I can do hard things and so can he. I get to teach him that. And with God’s help, we can do it with love.
It had been a hard day. Behavior issues I thought we were past reared their ugly head. He had lost a privilege for two days. I was ruining his life. Your average tween things except for this isn’t average. He is an average boy that has been through a not so average life. I’m an average mom trying to love extra ordinary. Life calls us to hard sometimes.
I realize that part of our day could have very easily triggered things in him and wonder if he is just having a hard time verbalizing them. I feel a hand slip around my waist, “Mommy, I’m sorry for my behavior today,” and he squeezes me with every ounce of himself. This is the boy I know. This is the boy I’ve watched him grow in to right in front of me.
I hold this little man boy’s face in my hands and thank him for his apology and accept it. I let the tears from my face land on his because I want this sweet boy to know that I take loving him very seriously. I want him to know this mother son thing is hard and it hurts and it heals and we will always figure it out together. I squeeze back even tighter so that message is felt deep in his bones. That is bravery. To ask forgiveness is brave. This sweet boy walked in to my life at the age of 3 and opened up his heart to me. He let me love him when I’m sure there was nothing scarier. He loved me back. He loved new siblings, a new dad, new aunties and uncles, cousins and grandparents. He forgives us when we fail him and he shares his feelings with us when it’s hard to. He let joy in to his life and some days needs to remind himself over and over again that he’s deserving of it. This boy so many define by his adoption, his grief, his loss. This boy that is so much more than that. This boy has taught me courage.
This kid. My son. What a beautiful gift it is to be his mom. Hard and exhausting, maddening and emotional…a privilege and a joy…. In the midst of this ugly I wanted to scream and cry and feel sorry for myself. With that little arm and that soft low voice asking forgiveness, I was reminded, God, that you see me. You are ever present, God With Us. In the ugly and the wonderful, in the hard and the holy. In it all, You are working. If we let you, You will write this story and it may be difficult but oh, will it be beautiful. Thank you, God, for it all. May it shape us both in to who you’d have us be.
**Are you in the hard or the holy? God is in both. Trust that.