Friday, March 2, 2012
They learned all about what they could be encountering. But, they were Christians. They were committed to these kids and nothing was going to change that. They would love them through it all. They weren't completely naive..they were trying to understand what life was going to be like, but sometimes there is no way to prepare some one for a world that they didn't really know existed. I think that is where they were at. Afterall, their days consisted of the idealic homeschool setting. Two daughters who were best of friends studying history by living out Little House on the Prairie---making candles and visiting Walnut Grove for a field trip. All of that was about to change..
I remember having some twinges of jealousy watching my friend and her two girls. The relationship this family had was beautiful. But, I knew it was going to change..not for the worse..but life as they knew it was going to be incredibly different. All that they had believed about themselves and their faith was going to be challenged in ways they couldn't have ever invisioned. They were about to be broken. And sometimes, the more you resist the breaking, the harder it is to make something beautiful again out of the pieces...the mosiac that is created out of the broken pieces can be even more eye catching, more breathtaking than we can imagine..shouting to the world..that God is good..all the time. Even when it's hard. Really, really hard...
As Christians who adopt tough kids, our underlying expectations for our children are challenged. Our secret satisfaction when our kids make us look good is exposed. Our fears that we are not good enough parents must be faced head on. The expectations that we held so dear are no longer attainable and we must redefine all that we thought we knew about parenting, children, and our God.
You see that white board above? I bought it for the new bedroom we are creating for Isaac. I have a pile of things ready to go into the room when it's completed. It's all under our bed to ward off the looters overnight. Our 15 year old with FAS took it. He stole it--those are the words I use when I am frustrated with him. A scene that happens in our home many times a day. Many. many times a day...like yesterday when Kaden took the key to the elevator trying to break into the lock boxes. The elevator doesn't work without the emergency shut off key. And Aaron and his wheelchair don't go anywhere without the elevator working..so no school for Aaron. It's all lack of impulse control. At times of the day, my FASD'ers have none. The white board was intrigueing...and the last 4 white boards that Jordan had, he ruined immediately. He wanted it like he wants our phones, our money, our car keys, our sanity :) and they are just some things he can't resist. So he took it.
Our Christian values don't stop him from lieing, stealing, cheating, truancy or sexual impulsivity. They won't stop him from getting into trouble and experimenting in a world I have never entered. But, it is not because he doesn't love Jesus. He loves Jesus with a pure heart. Of course, some of his behaviors come out of his inherent sinful nature...and the toughest part for a parent is to figure out when our children are making willful choices and when they are not. It's just never that clear.
I knew he had taken the white board and I waited to see it show up somewhere. We woke up to the note you see on the "stolen" white board..he didn't leave out for us to see necessarily. He was just writing..and that is what his heart said. Did we sit him down and lecture him about stealing? Did we yell at him and tell him that this kind of behavior will end him in jail in the future? Did, at that moment, share what God things about stealing? Does he know that he shouldn't have taken the board? Of course. He knows. And he is often just as frustrated as we are when he can't follow the rules of ethical behavior the he knows are right. He wants to be good. He wants to listen to Jesus. But, his damaged brain makes it so hard.
It's hard for us who have fully functioning brains. Just remember what Paul said about that in Romans,
"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." Romans 7:15
We make choices every day that do not honor God. It can be easy to get so discouraged and even disgusted with ourselves over our sin...our shortcomings. Imagine for a moment what it is like for our kids with FASD? It must be so hard to live in a way so different from the way you want to live? Imagine living in a family that has standards that are impossible for you to attain?
Yes, Jordan, Jesus loves you. He loves you just the way you are.
at 9:02 AM