I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m working on a book about adoptive motherhood, but I didn’t want to get too deep into talking about it until I’d actually signed a contract to write it. Well, that day came. Last month I signed with Thomas Nelson–happy dance!!– and have a December deadline–eek!
This is the book my wonderful agent Angela Miller has been asking me to write for years, and for years I’ve been hemming and hawing and vaguely thinking that I need to be further along this journey before writing about it. Finally I realized that a perfect-sounding, happily-ever-after, tie-a-bow-on-it end of the story might not come til heaven, and that’s not what other mommas need from me anyway. We’re all a work in progress, parents and kids alike. The story that really needs telling is about God’s faithfulness along the journey, not some
illusionary ‘perfect ending’. And so I’ll be sharing how God is using the twists and turns of my own journey to grow my faith, to teach me more about Him, and more about mothering my precious ones—yes, exactly here when things look lumpish and I can’t quite see the end of the journey. Are you there right now too? Good. Then we’ll keep each other company.
Along with sharing about my story, I also want to better equip mommas for this important job. Mothering children who’ve experienced loss can be hard, but it feels more doable when you’ve got insight and tools and ways to cope with the tough days. Since different things work for different folks, I’m going to continue to ask for your help and your input. I’m truly touched each time someone takes a moment to share your insights along this journey. The more you can share about your experiences and your successes, the better this book will be.
This week I’d love to hear your thoughts about helping newly adopted older kids settle in. As much as I tried to prepare myself for challenges when adopting our older girls, I don’t think I truly had a grasp on how hard this life change would be for them. I started out feeling very compassionate towards them. But once they’d been here a year or so, there was a part of me that expected them to move on already, and felt frustrated we were still working through the same stuff.
The longer I walk this road with my kids, the more I realize that grieving great loss is a life-long journey, not an experience it is possible to tuck away neatly after a few months. My recent reading of Daniel Siegel’s book The Whole-Brain Child gave me a lot of new insight, and also a renewed compassion for the way a child’s past impacts his future. I wish I’d read the book much, much earlier. (Praise God for being there to redeem my feeble efforts!)
What about you? Have you brought home a child older than age 2 on homecoming? What worked well in those early months and years home? What helped you connect? What was hardest? How did you make it through the most difficult times? What do you wish you’d known from the start? Please share your thoughts below, or write to me privately and anonymously if you prefer. mary dot owlhaven at gmail dot com . I so much appreciate your wisdom and your sharing!