Sometimes I have to step away from a situation when I am deeply involved. This is often true with my children when we are in the midst of conflict because when I am up close-- I often can't see the whole picture. So I step back. This has been a wonderful parenting tool-- when I remember.
It gives us both the opportunity to offer up peace through our silence, and gain patience when our frustration levels are high. It allows us the chance to humble ourselves-- if we so choose.
Stepping back to take a deep breath is a powerful parenting tool indeed.
I think it is a life skill worth carrying into adulthood-- and applying to all areas of your life.
I may know this, but often I forget it.
A few weeks ago, I was emailed about a teenage girl who was being disrupted yet again-- a total of four families-- one of the families twice. Before stepping back, my reaction was no way. So was my husband's.
We felt that the family had to keep her no matter what-- because of the circumstances. We most certainly would not, could not, be this girl's new family.
That is, until we stepped back.
After trying unsuccessfully to get the family to keep her, we realized that this child would be put into foster care if a family wasn't found.
After much prayer and consideration, John and I were ready to take her in through guardianship until she was ready to say yes to adoption. It is hard to explain the peace we had with this decision,but it was there. In no way was this going to be easy, we were sure to lose a few friends, but we knew it was right.
Tickets were booked by the disrupting family. I was nesting like crazy because she was set to come. Our hearts were prepared...
And then at the last minute, the family changed their mind... again.
It is hard to get anyone to understand-- that we grieved. We were kind of quiet-- keeping it inside-- but there was still a sense of loss. My girls felt it too. We had prepared our hearts to love another person and now that person wasn't coming.
From what we have been told-- the family is doing well. They are moving forward with the adoption-- for sure. That is what I hoped for initially, so I think it is a good thing. :) I think that once they had emotionally stepped away, they realized what they would be losing-- and they changed their minds.
I wasn't sure whether or not I would ever share this. As adoption dissolutions gain popularity amongst struggling adoptive families now more than ever, I myself struggle with the idea that making ourselves available to these families is in a way encouraging them. The last thing I want to do is break up a family.
I think that God knows this struggle that I have. He was able to use this situation to show me once again that struggling adoptive families need to be encouraged, supported, and that I need to make myself more available than I do. Being a support to these families isn't always enabling them to give up their children-- it is also enabling them to keep trying.