Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Mama Lost

Being the mother of a child who cannot live at home is a smorgasbord of emotions far too complicated to put into words, but I’m going to try. A Mama’s job is to love, to care for, to protect. But, what if protecting and caring for your child means allowing your child to be placed in intensive out of home placement? What if loving your child means saying goodbye?
On a normal day I get up, wake up my children, get them off to school, clean our home, wait on them to come home, cook them dinner, help them with homework and listen to their days, and finally at night, I send them to bed with a hug and an I love you. I’m there if they wake up at night sick or just needing their mom. I’m there if they are at school and feel bad to go get them. No matter what it is, how big or small, how serious or how annoying, I’m here. My kids know that.
But sometimes, some of my children, sick from wounds caused by their birth parents can’t be home and I feel all together lost. What am I as a mom if I am not tucking them into bed at night or arguing with them about whether or not they cleaned their room? Who am I if I have to lean on others to provide what they need?
Being the mother of a child who cannot live at home means trusting strangers paid minimum wage to do a job my heart aches for. It means I am not big enough to fight the monsters from their yesterday. It means sometimes looking in the mirror and hating who you are because a Mama should have her children and you do not. It means being unable to separate fact from heartache at 1 am when all is quiet and all you want is your child to be home and them to be ok.
Being the mother of a child who cannot live at home means getting up in the morning and walking to their room, opening the door, stepping inside, and leaning against the wall with tears rolling down your cheeks because you miss them. It means hours of meetings and appointments to make sure they have what they need, being close but never close enough. It means judgmental comments from people who will never ever understand how much your heart hurts everyday. It means feeling jealous and angry at other mothers; mothers who take their children for granted, mothers who judge you because your child is gone, mothers who have no idea what sacrifice means. Having a child who cannot live at home means family photos without the whole family, holidays with empty chairs, and prayers unanswered.

And so it is…I desperately wish I had some wise words, some something that made it make sense, but I don’t. I only want to say it out loud so that other Mama’s know they aren’t alone.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Kinda Jesus

So often when people talk about Jesus they talk about conquerer Jesus who rose from the grave, or compassionate Jesus who forgave the sinner, or healing Jesus who made the blind man see or even sacrificial Jesus who died so we might live, but they forget betrayed Jesus who was handed over to his enemies or angry Jesus who turned over tables, or lonely Jesus who ached for someone to be near him in his suffering, or desperate Jesus who asked why God had forsaken Him. There is no emotion that we feel that He did not, He knows your heart and feels your pain, you are NEVER alone. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Her Stories

She told her stories and she had her dissenters, 
people who refused to believe that kind of evil existed, and others who knew their friend was not capable of such ugliness.
She told her stories and her heart broke with every sarcastic and unbelieving glance.
She told her stories when physical wounds had healed and proof of reality was far past her reach.
She told her stories to free herself and warn others
But she was crazy
And so they did not listen
She told her stories and lived them out in nightmares
She told her stories and begged God to protect her children from them.
She told her stories and no one listened
And by and by, they told their stories which were altogether her stories on repeat
They told their stories when physical wounds were not healed and proof of reality was possible

They told their stories and they had her stories to prove they were not crazy

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Crying and Screaming

I can't remember
I can't forget
I wake up at night, 
screaming about things I don't remember.
crying about the things I do
Sick at my stomach and unable to move
I can't put a face on it, 
was it him or him, was I big or small, 
but my body remembers . . .
If only I could remember,
I could work my way through
If only I could forget,
I could pretend I'm normal
unbroken and unafraid
but no.
Not this time
Maybe never
Maybe monsters will always be bigger
Maybe I will always be stuck in the place of remembering and forgetting and 
wishing for neither. 

As I Lay Sleeping

As I lay sleeping the phone rings. It is him, he is scared and alone. I rush quickly to get dressed and make my way to him, terrified I won't make it in time. This time it's bad, I can tell from the sound of his voice. It reminds me of when I would listen to him cry as my father locked him in his room. I can't breathe. I am driving but the road is swirling about, making me feel dizzy and sick.

I call and I call, but he no longer answers. I try helplessly to figure out where he is based on the things he said when he was making more sense. . . wrong. Over and over I call his name but no one answers. Maybe, I figure, his vision is blurry too, so I drive to a similar location. Still not answering. I lower the windows and dial the number and listen. . . nothing. Keep driving, keep calling, keep listening. Finally I hear it. Oh God, I hear his phone but not him, please let him be ok. I run frantically around the area trying to find him, I keep calling.

There he is. . . curled under a bush, not moving. He is cold and stiff. I panic, afraid that I am too late. I drag him out, God he's so heavy. I don't remember him being this heavy last time. I get him turned over and am bombarded with the smell of alcohol and vomit. His eyes slowly open, "Lady" he says "it's ok, my sister is coming, just leave me here." He seems confused when I explain that it's me, that I have found him, that I will take him home.

Home to what? Home to broken dreams and promises. Home to empty walls and beds? How can that be home? Perhaps the concrete where he was lying was a little warmer than this place.

My heart breaks a million times over as I watch him stagger around and cry about all he's lost. I want so badly to help. Just like when he was little I would try to figure out how to push the food under the door so he could eat. Now it seems there is nothing I can do. I stood there helpless and sick until the mosters inside finally quieted enough to let him rest.

I tuck him into bed and kiss his forhead. I am so sorry.  "Sorry for what," he says. "Sorry for all of this," I reply, "Sorry that I can't help this time." I leave the house tired and thankful that I found him. Please God if you can't make his burden any less, please always let me find him. Please don't make me say good-bye to someone else over a broken heart.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My

Family is, to me, not just relational, but created. I say that as a woman who lost or never had most of the people who have the usual titles that many people take for granted, "mom", "dad", "grandparents", etc... I say that as a mother to children who have lost all of their "normal" family and struggle to find the words to describe the roles the new people in their lives play.

I came from a very broken family. I learned to improvise. I learned to allow people into my life to fill in those parts that had been stolen. You see, I can't say, "My mom" without my heart aching for who she could be. I can't say, "My dad" without remembering all the things he did that daddys shouldn't do. The list goes on and on down a dark hole I would prefer not to visit. Rather than dwell on that, I have created new "my's".

You see, when I talk about the most important people to me, for the most part, they don't have a normal or typical title. For example, at the age of 10, an older couple at church stepped in to play a grandparent roll in my life. When people saw us together they would do the thing that most normal people do, search for a connection. They will ask or give you this look, now who is this?

They don't mean, "What is their name", they mean, "How do you belong?" Well, now, what does one do when you don't belong? Or rather, when you don't belong the way everyone else, when you have been grafted in or adopted or accepted by people who chose to love you when those who should could not? I couldn't call them my grandparents because technically they weren't, so I started calling them my Nina and Papa Rob. From there, many people have earned a "my" role, each of them bringing healing and wholeness to my heart.



Now, I fully realize each of these people are not only mine, there are people in their lives who have the blessing of having normal and typical ties to them. Papa Rob has a daughter who calls him Daddy. He had a wife who called him husband, a mom who called him son. The list goes on, but the bottom line is when I say someone is "my" whoever, it is my way of saying they are part of my family of the heart, a person who I love, trust, and am grareful for. It's not typical or understood by some, it's even mocked by a few of the unkind, but it is all I have and I wouldn't dare do anything less.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Be the Difference

There have been times in my life that for one reason or another I have lost my faith, my way, and myself. I have had the blessing to be surrounded by people who loved me through those times; who encouraged me and reminded me over and over again of who God said I was. During those times I also had people that pointed out my faults, my failures, and every reason I was hopeless and unlovable.

It was not in condemnation that I got better. I got better because regardless of what I did, there were some really amazing people who said,“You are loved.” They didn’t list my sins; they had a full understanding that Satan did that on a daily basis. He had me so broken at that point that broken and hurting became normal. It scares me to think he almost won. However, my heroes were relentless in their reminders of who it was God said I was. Their actions refuted every false belief I held and every ounce of hopelessness I felt.

I didn’t flee my sin, I ran home to my Daddy who welcomed me with open arms. I’m sharing this in the hope that the next time you feel like pointing a finger or judging that you open your arms and share your love and heart instead. Through you, they can see Him or him…through you they can make it home or be lost forever…BE THE DIFFERENCE!

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole. Trust me. For when she finds her muchness; when she gathers all the pieces of herself, all the pieces you have broke...