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― C. S. Lewis

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I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

1 Month Home

We are one month together, and we are in the thick of learning what it is to be in a family and dealing with much grief, trauma and loss.

First off, let me say that I am not a perfect parent.  I have to die daily to myself....and it is hard.

There are many things  I could write about, but right now, I feel like I NEED to write about Miss Alli.
She is adorable, and sweet, and hurt, and angry, and a bundle of energy and she is loving yet frustrated.... she is 3, and 5, and 8 and 11 and single minded and determined and lonely and afraid and happy and affectionate and stubborn and needy..... and more..... :)

To sum her up: She is A WONDERFUL little girl....but we have much work ahead of us. :)
I feel like we are climbing a mountain.... it takes a long time to get up a mountain and the process can be weary.
We are very much like "Much Afraid" embracing our friends "Sorrow and Suffering".....

But oh the joy and anticipation of getting to the High Peaks! Oh the Joy when we will be able to look back and see the mighty handiwork of God in our lives.

Today was a day to mourn and a day to celebrate.  It actually started with my previous post from last night.
We woke up this a.m. and Alli unloaded the dishwasher without being asked, and then did the dishes. We got got ready for Church....but Miss Alli was not ready to go to Sunday School quite yet..... We had Ministry Group last night again, and she had a great time....but once again this a.m. was over tired.
She happily stayed with us during our class and then during the main church service.
As I looked over during song time, she was beginning to look rather sad, so I motioned for her to come and sit with me. She climbed into my lap and put her legs across daddy's lap and we quietly rocked during the entire service.
When it was over, we went out to lunch and she seemed to have a good time.

Then, I blew it a little..... I didn't prepare her for going into the feed store. We had to get  just a few things for goats and dogs. She wanted more. It started with cow boy boots and then went into dog leashes and toys etc, and don't forget the candy on the way out..... she managed to be ok in the store, but when I handed her to bag to carry to the car, I had to repeat myself, as her arms were folded tightly across her chest and there was a major pout going on. :)

This was my 3 year old Alli coming out.  When we got into the car to drive home, the pout was in full swing and it turned into sullen madness.....
She wouldn't answer my sweetest of inquiries. I was met with dead silence. A brick wall.... if you will.
So, I did what any mom would do....

I pulled the van over into the nearest parking lot, turned off the vehicle, got out and into the back seat with her and said, "We are not driving another foot until we get through this."  Silence. Refusing to look at me. Blankly staring off into space, going into herself where she could feel safe.  Safe behind her wall.
I was sitting there throwing up prayers trying to figure out how to climb that wall and reach her.

So, I treaded into deep waters and made my best attempt.
"I see you are angry!" 
"Can you tell mama why?"  Silence......

So, I took a chance after a few attempts..... I asked her to close her eyes. She didn't respond, so I put my hand over her eyes and asked her to breathe and think with me.
No response.

Then I said, "You know what REALLY makes me mad?"  I got a shrug....progress! :)
"I'll take that as you want to know."  I got another shrug.
I then said, "What really makes me mad is that you had to go into an orphanage!" "It makes me mad that you had to be cold!"  "It makes me mad you didn't have enough food!  It makes me mad that you had to change families and they gave you away!" "It makes me mad that you had to change again, and the same thing happened!"   That is what makes me mad.  Do you know why it makes me mad?

Another shrug, with a few tears involved.....

"It makes me mad because YOU ARE NOT JUNK. YOU ARE NOT TRASH TO BE TOSSED OUT!
You are PRECIOUS,  SWEET, AND KIND, and all those things have HURT YOU!" It makes me mad because I don't want to see my little girl hurt!"

By now she was clinging to me and holding on for dear life.  She was weeping, and I told her to go ahead and let those healing tears flow.....
And then, I said, "Do you know what makes me happy?"  She said, no.  "What makes me happy is that the Lord saw fit to bring you to us... It makes me happy that His hand is on our lives. It makes me happy because you are SECURE and SAFE and that you have sisters and a mommy and a daddy and we are on YOUR team!"  "It makes me happy that you are going to learn so much!"  "It makes me happy to see that you feel safe."

I told her I was going to get back into the van and drive home, and then she could take care of the dogs.  We got home and when we got into the house, she was saying, "Mommy, I am SOoooo Sorry!"
I told her, that is ok... You are learning. :)

About 2 hours later, we were back to the maddies, becaus she didn't know what to do. All of my suggestions fell on deaf ears as she had a one track mind.... "computer", but she had already used her allotted 30 minutes.  She stormed to her room with me following and she slammed the door....tried to anyway..... I caught it, and opened it and then said very firmly, "NO! You may NOT!"
I think she was stunned.  She began to sob.  We snuggled and I let her know it was never ok to be disrespectful.  She responded really well to that.

In the midst of these episodes, she has been delightful and happy.... we are learning to live together and work through very difficult circumstances.
What makes me the saddest is that in such a short life, Alli has never had any real stability. The only thing she has ever known is uncertainty.
But now, from now on, she will experience Stability, Relationship, Discipleship  and Forever for real...... it is a thing called LOVE, and in her own words, "I didn't really know what that was."

I'm sure it is scary. I'm sure she wants it to last, and we will need to consciously work on her understanding that she REALLY IS HERE FOREVER..... I don't think she believes that yet, because she doesn't know what forever means either. :)


But oh the mountain top..... It is in my sights. The Lord, through HIS grace and mercy will help us to get there. :)

7 comments:

:)De said...

Just know that I am still keeping you all in my prayers. It is such a hard row to hoe, but we serve the Master Gardener that sees the value of each blossom.

Love and Peace,
:)De

FaerieMama said...

tears pouring down my face as I type this. thank you for this post. I think of Alli almost every day, and pray and pray for her healing. She has the most wonderful mom...a woman I learn soooooo much from.

Jodie said...

Thank you Christi for sharing these private precious moments so that we may all learn. Your family is in my daily prayers.

Susan said...

Praying for you both (and ALL, as I know this is a whole family experience.) This is one of those places in life where one wishes time could be sped up to where Ali already knows you are hers forever, and where she knows you mean what you say, and trusts that implicitely. But like so many things in life, it takes wearing a groove in a new and unfamiliar spot, the same message again and again and again...and TIME...for that to "take"...Hard work for all, especially mama and her girl. Thanks for sharing. Love you,
Susan

Annie said...

God has really blessed you, I think with the intuition to understand and to know what to do. I just spent the weekend with an array of parents of traumatized children, and it terrified me to see a couple who seem to completely lack that flexibility, and compassion and imagination. God is blessing your girls through you - praise Him!

newmom2 said...

i love this post, it shows how to use your love and not the anger (even though you don't feel it). It explains how the BCLC ways are in actually events..

i.e Ali was my 3 yr old.

To break it out is so amazing for others to see that it is not an easy climb and that we all have these types of tantrums and how to deal with them in a healthy emotional way. Good luck to you and family you are really doing an amazing job... I know the hill you are climbing.

Rebecca said...

I'm once again moved and impressed by your good judgement in knowing how to lovingly and graciously deal with the bad attitude. But I know these times must be emotionally draining for you. Hang in there, Mom!

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