where the healing begins

Monday, May 27, 2013

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For the first time in two years, on a hot day at a local park, we did a family visit with Brenden and Raniah’s older sister and her family. If you’ve read here long, you know that while they were all still in foster care, we attempted visitations between the siblings. Let’s just summarize and say that it didn’t go well. It was easily one of the most painful parts of our children’s case, for a variety of reasons. Even so, we’ve always believed that part of our children’s healing would be to regain some contact and build a new, healthy relationship with their older sister.

This part of their story is so very sacred to me; I feel fiercely protective. It is uniquely their story, so I’m unlikely to say much about it here or elsewhere. What I will say without hesitation is that we are incredibly blessed to witness the amazing amounts of healing that has taken place in both Brenden and his older sister’s life. The amount of time I spent running on that treadmill in my local gym, crying and praying for this precious little girl and her future family…that time was not wasted. Her family is incredible. They are the parents who were meant for her. I cannot say enough good things about them and their love for her. We are honored to call them friends, and our families are uniquely and forever entwined now. The shared commitment to our children’s future – to their health, healing, wholeness – it’s beautiful. Truly.

That doesn’t mean that this visit wasn’t hard…for me. I had no doubts about this visit ahead of time. I knew, as much one could know these things, that this was the right time. The right place. The right families. This visit, everything about it was right. I had complete peace about the decision…up until the moment we left the house to go to the park. Then, the weight of all of the emotions that I thought I had forgotten came crashing down. I wasn’t second-guessing, but the feelings were overwhelming. The pain of all of those ill-advised visits we had attempted during their foster placement, the memories of the rage and traumatic behaviors of my little boy during that time, the recurring fears that our children would not, in fact, get to be our children forever. In this way, I can understand a bit of who my children are. The memories of trauma can be nearly as difficult as the trauma itself.

I came home from this visit, which was very successful by the way, and just cried. Not from regret or anger or disappointment. It was pure relief. Both from the uncertainties of what the visit would be like, but also from the letdown of the memories of all those painful emotions. All that trauma and grief, I continue to lay it all down. Again and again. Sometimes I want to wish all that pain away. Sometimes I wish our family’s journey was pretty and pain-free and all joy, but honestly, that would just make it less. It was is hard, but that’s what makes it beautiful. It was is full of brokenness, but that’s what makes the healing that much more miraculous. I am just so honored and awestruck to get to be a part of this story.

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