Friday, February 18, 2011


I never knew, before becoming a mommy, just how many times my heart would break over or for my kids.  I guess I assumed that there would not be many heart break moments until they became old enough to have their hearts broken by a boy or a girl that they had their hopes set on.  Little did I know that the heart breaks I would experience as their mommy might have little to do with how their hearts were really feeling. 

Now here is a heart

My reflection about this tonight comes on the heels of one of my children's struggles with knowing just how much he can trust to try and step out in friendship again...especially in light of friendships lost or altered due to the moves we have made.   Those are not his words, but it is the sense that I have about the struggle.  While my son comes across as a competent social butterfly in many situations, he struggles in leaving the safety and security of home to develop and deepen relationships beyond these walls.  My heart breaks in this as I think that his life would be sweeter with more people to call friends.  Then again, perhaps his need or desire for friendship is truly different than mine.  And, perhaps, all he needs is more time, some gentle encouragement, and opportunities to come his way to build the kind of relationships that he needs, not that I think he needs.  Nonetheless, a bruised heart quietly beats in my chest.

My heart has broken numerous times over early missed moments with my second child.  While I always considered 6 months "early" in terms of adoption, it was not until the birth of my third child that I truly realized all that we missed in those first 6 months.  It was strange to grieve that loss so long after the time had passed, but the grief came nonetheless.  That is not to say that everyone should feel the way I do about that.  Every adoptive parent and family is as unique as a thumbprint.  I am convinced of that.  As well, I have so much to be thankful for in terms of what did happen for my son in those first 6 months.  After all, he lived in the home of one of my heros, Thea Jarvis, the founder of The Love of Christ  I know that Ben was guarded and protected by his temporary first family and  by the One that made him.  While there is so much to rejoice over with regard to Ben's early days, every now and then that broken heart sneaks up and surprises me.  In those moments, I often find myself choking back tears and lingering a little longer over the pages of a bedtime story or snuggle. 

Even in the day to day, I find myself with an occassional heart pang or a full out break.  An unkind word spoken from another child to one of mine.  A misunderstanding arising from a moment of impulsivity.  Words that spill out, but can't be put back in.  The fear of teasing over new glasses.  Challenges with reading.  Challenges with math. Challenges with....  Why can't things be easier?  Being one of the last chosen for a team or group.  Unmet expectations...mine and theirs.  Emotions that teeter totter in unexplainable ways.  A grumpy moment from a tired mommy...

I know there are times when life is life and we all need to just buck up and deal with it.  And believe me my wee heart breaks don't usually last very long.  One of my sweet cherubs is bound to do something that snaps that sorry feeling heart back into reality.  :)  Yet, I hope I never lose the occasional sense of a the heart pangs I feel for my children.  They are good reminders of the precious gifts that they are and how much I love them.  My life would not be the same, nor complete, without them.  I just hope I can continue to grow in my discernment in how to deal with them - when to be tough, when to be gentle, and when to be somewhere in between.  And, I hope, that when I make a "mistake" in the approach I take, that God would be gracious and make them forget somehow make it work anyway.  He can do that, you know.

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