Monday, July 2, 2012

Their Grief Hurts

I struggle a little about how to share this tonight.  My newest children, Noelani and Clive, have had their moments of grief and missing their old home in China.  And goodness, I completely understand that!!!  A few nights ago Noelani began to cry at bed time and she said something about China.  This isn’t normal for Noelani anymore.  She is so happy and content to have a family and to be living in America.  However, she had been reprimanded by daddy for not settling down for bedtime and I knew she was feeling sad about that.  So anyway, when she began to say that she missed China, I sat beside her, and just began to give her “permission” to miss her first home.  I told her that I imagined that she missed her teachers, nannies, friends; the old familiar foods, smells, sights, and sounds.  She cried and I tried to comfort her.  Then I asked her if I could pray for her.  She wanted me to, so I did.  Then a precious thing happened for my little daughter who is still struggling to give or receive hugs....she hugged my after I prayed, and kissed me on the cheek.  Then she said “Thank you Mommy.  I love you.”
HOWEVER, this grieving process is a whole different thing for Clive.  And his grief hurts...
it hurts him for sure;
but it also hurts me!  And that is my struggle.  
Do I share how I hurt WHILE he hurts?  
So much is written about the grief that children go through when they are adopted into a new family.  I have spent years studying and training under some of the best about this very topic.  And I am completely empathetic about the painful precess that these tender children have to walk through.  
But tonight, it became personal for me.  
We went camping this weekend, and Clive was “apart” of everything, but not really “involved”.  Yesterday he told Noelani that he wanted to go home.  She told us and we told him that we were going home tomorrow.  He was all excited and that was that.  This morning as we were packing up the camp site to come home, he was so happy that we were going home.  I thought, O.K., he just needs the security of “home” before he is ready for the greater “out doors”.   WRONG
As we drove into our drive way, Clive began to cry and wail.  I recognized this sound. It wasn’t fussing or normal was the wailing, crying sounds of a broken heart,  I knew as soon as I heard it coming from Clive’s side of the van what was wrong.   This wasn’t the home that he wanted to come home to.  He thought he was going “home” to China.
In that moment, my heart was breaking for him.  But here’s the part I don’t feel that I’m suppose to share with “the world”... my heart was breaking because I want to be his mother, but he isn’t ready for that.  I tried to hold him and comfort him, but he wanted nothing to do with me.  He shoved my hand away, and so I put him down...sad, because he was grieving, and hurting because he was rejecting me as his mother.  He just isn’t’ ready.  And one part of me understands that and will fight to give him the time he needs.
Yet, there is the more vulnerable part of me that cries because he isn’t ready to accept us as his family.  We aren’t “his” yet.  
And tonight, his grief hurts me too.    


  1. Shonni,

    It is so hard, isn't it? Oh how we long for our adopted children to accept us and love us as their parents. It makes me think of how God loves us and wants us to be His and yet, he patiently and persistently loves us into that relationship with Him - but still, we have to choose it.

    I am praying for Clive tonight, that he might be able to see past the hurts and fears and will truly see your love for him. That he might be able to trust you as his mama.

    Love, prayer, and understanding from a mama who's been there!

  2. I think...there is not much harder....then being pushed away time after time. Hopefully, that will change with Clive in time and he will learn to trust and allow himself to love and be loved. But speaking from someone who has been pushed away for almost 4 years doesn't get any easier on the Mama if it continues :(

  3. My heart hurts for you! Remember that this is just a moment in God's great plan. You are faithful to Him and He will carry you through this. And then one day you will both look back and not remember the pain because of the great love that together with God you grew. I too read Steve's earlier post and wished we could have you over to dinner and playdates. If you're ever in the South Bend area... (long time follower, first time poster)

  4. I will be praying for all of you, and especially Clive.

  5. Oh man, that is so hard! I pray that Clive's heart will be softened and able to receive your love very soon. And I am so glad that Noelani is doing so well, that is great- hard, but good. Hang in there, you are doing a great work for the Lord!

  6. Ohhhhh how it hurts!!!!!!! Praying he lets you in! I know the hurt you feel! Love you and thank you for your encouragement!

  7. Ouch. I'm so sorry. I'm praying for you right now, and for poor Clive. Dear God, redeem and mend together!

  8. Oh how I know personally how hard this is! I'm so sorry for him and you! Hugs and prayers! I'm always here if you need me!


  9. I understand what you're saying, Shonni! I do! So painful. I grieve for our now nine-year-old who misses her foster mommy and daddy and the four foster siblings she's lived with for the past five years, and I would guess that she will continue to grieve for them the rest of her life -- they were, from her perspective, her real family, and one day we came along and took her away from all that -- my worst childhood nightmare played out on another child by my own actions on her behalf. It's a double-edged sword that cuts very deep. But I do also grieve the moments when I know that our love is not enough for her, and that what she really wants deep down is her foster mama and the home she grew up in. I WANT our love to be "enough" for her, even as I recognize that I would probably have felt the same way she does, had the same thing happened to me at her age. What a jumbled mess of emotions! I give it all to God. I don't know what else to do. May He bring in His deep, compassionate healing for us all. I am praying for you and all your little ones, and especially for Clive.

  10. praying for you and Clive with a mother and grandmother's heart ..
    your love .. patients.. and ..determination is amazing .. May the Lord
    give you refreshing peace as He walks with you through your ongoing journey ..
    your praying sister
    jackie in florid

  11. Ouch, Shonni. My mama heart feels it with you, too. May the LORD do a wonderful work in your son in His time. And may He comfort your heart and encourage you in the meantime. Love and HUGS, Chenning

  12. Oh Shonni, this is so hard. I am sorry that you are hurting and sorry that Clive is hurting. Please feel free to continue to share this hurt on your can be so healing to know that others care. Plus, then we can pray for you!

  13. I know this hurt too too well. After several months, I STILL see it. I still hear, "I want to go home" when a certain one gets disciplined. I hate it. I HATE that she has never EVER had healthy attachments and her brain has a hard time even knowing what those ARE! And yet, regardless of the things she feels I am her mama. And I know one day she will choose to be my daughter. And be glad of it.

  14. Oh Shonni...sitting here in tears! Praying like crazy for Clive..for your entire family!!! HUGS mama!!!


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