I am honored, honored, that many other adoptive families ask me what to do when the honeymoon phase is over. It motivates me to continue to peel away the layers of attachment disorders. It's why I am not giving Etienne meds for sleeping or allowing him to destruct little things because they could become big. I don't want a band aid. I want a whole child. It is so cool to be able to pray with other moms that are hiding in their pantries, wondering what to do to make their new kiddo get it. But I am a long, long way from knowing how to fix a broken heart.
This weekend was one of those weekends that I found myself at the end of "me" again. In the span of 24 hrs, we had cleaned marker off the piano keyboard, attempted to reassemble a new remote control car that had been dissembled, searched high and low for some irreplaceable pieces of many Christmas gifts, stopped him from hanging/snapping his neck (while reenacting "Puss in Boots" and I am NOT exaggerating) and lost some books from my childhood. I am not sharing this to lament. I am sharing this to encourage others on this journey after the casseroles stop arriving and your family has moved down the prayer list. Because that's when adoption starts.
Another mom pondered "What defines a successful adoption?" and since she asked, I have returned to this question over and over again. God adopted us as His own without any requirements. His love is as far as the east is from the west; without bounds or an asterisk at the end. When you've been home with your longed for adopted child and they are redefining your patience, your parenting skills and your family core, that's when adoption starts. I remember crying to Ryan one night that I just wanted my heart to feel like I could die for Zeke and Etienne; in my mind that would define a successful adoption. That was a long time ago, before I came to the end of me and completely, 100% gave up. And giving up on myself was when I finally started to truly appreciate what unconditional love really looks like In our family, for us, successful adoption is ongoing and I believe that every so often, when we have incredibly frustrating RAD days (and nights, who am I kidding?), God gives me that reminder that His adoption of me was perfect. And I am not Him. He's got this. So I will keep peeling the layers and putting the ugly moments out there because I know that those ugly moments are molding the six of us to His definition of adoption. And now I shall google how to remove vasoline from the remote.