Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Gift of Being Needed

It's hard to admit, but I have often been less than sympathetic when one of my children has come to me wanting a kiss on an owie. I have seen it as an interruption to whatever I am doing that is "so important" to have to stop, bend over, and kiss just the right spot on a hand. Miss, and you are told that wasn't it! And try again. Okay, all better, and off the babe runs to play again. I am pretty sure I won't be taking this need to be needed for granted anymore. Now I have a boy who doesn't run to me when he hurts. In fact, when he hurts or is sad or angry, he usually wants to get alone and just cry. And that's when I have to work harder. Take hold, keep close and tight and assure him of my love.

When you give birth to a child, or maybe even if you adopt a child at infancy, there is a natural molding to mama that occurs. I'm sure that it's a little different with every child. Still, I find myself wanting to know that I'm not alone. That I'm not the only one who wonders how long it will take before he stops stiffening when I put my hand on his back. Before he stops giving me the quickest hug goodnight that he can get away with. Months? I can deal with that. Years? That's a little more disheartening. A lifetime? Before he needs me- let's himself need me? I want him to know I'm a safe place. I want him to see me as more than the lady who fixes his food, reminds him to change his underwear, teaches him how to speak English. I want him to fight for the spot next to me on the couch. I think he's learning- slowly, but surely. We have rough days when I think we have hardly made any progress. Then there are glimmers of hope.

Today I took the kids for a bike ride. The older kids wanted to walk down a trail into some woods near our subdivision. Teshome wasn't thrilled with the idea and as he stepped forward tentatively, he reached for my hand and said, "scared, mama." A glimmer. For a second, the gift of being needed.


Sarah said...

My girls seem to be a little more accepting, probably due to their much younger age, but I understand and am sure it will come. There are many times where neither of my children will come to me and it is heart-breaking. I pray these times will lessen with your family.

Janet said...

You are not alone. It took a LONG time for Adam to attach, and he still has problems at times. I would say a good two years, but by the end of the first year, things were so much better. I can not TELL you the number of times I cried because he showed absolutely no affection for me. (Well, he sometimes would...but it was ALWAYS in public) He wouldn't even look me in the eye. He did things on purpose that he knew I disliked. He arched away when I tried to hug him or touch him.
Rachel, PLEASE keep heart. There IS a light at the end of your dark tunnel. One day he will voluntarily hold your hand. Or he will rest his head on your shoulder. He just needs TIME. And lots of it. But it will get better.
I hope I have encouraged you even a little. My heart goes out to you because I know how utterly frustrating and disheartening it is to WANT to love someone but to have them constantly push you away. And the GUILT! It's incredible, isn't it? You WANT to love him but, OH! It's so very hard when he doesn't want to love YOU.
My prayers are with you.

Daniel's Helpmeet said...

you are not alone. My friend who has adopted 11 (in the process of adopting another sibling group of 4) has gone through this. Not all of hers have accepted the family. Of the 11, 5 have hardened their hearts and turned from family and God. The other 6, after time, gave their hearts to the parents and are walking with the Lord. When talking about the hardships they have gone through, she is constantly talking about how God continuing to give grace and strength to make it through. I pray that you and Pete will feel that way also and that the hearts of your family will be knit together.

dkt said...

I hope and pray that attachment happens quickly for you all and that he will soon be coming to you. But like Janet said, don't loose heart, it may take years. I wish I had realized this in the beginning--when we were just a few months in. But I didn't and I was so depressed at our 2 year mark. At our 3 year mark, I could finally see improvement, but even now at 4 years, it still is far from perfect. Prepare yourself for the long haul, but keep the faith that God can always choose to work in a powerful way any time!

banana8742 said...

My heart goes out to you and I hope that you both are able to adjust to each other soon.
As I read, I was blindsided by how similar your story was to the way we are with God at the times we need Him most: giving the quickest of hugs when He is just waiting for His chosen to "let (us) need (Him)." How when we hurt, we don't think to go to Him and then He has to work harder to take hold of us and assure us of His love.
You are His vessel for Teshome and you are showing him your unconditional love. I hope to hear many more of these wonderful stories inadvertently or purposefully correlate with the story of our salvation. Love you all!