Friday, October 18, 2013

1 year mark - finding our place and keeping our head in the game

The word "soccer" is used in our home numerous times a day.  Our family lives and breathes soccer.  Within this past year, I have spent half of my life at the soccer field watching and cheering my boys at their games.  There is not one day/night of the week where a soccer ball is not moving around me. I am surrounded by soccer. 
I'll admit, it gets weary dragging the cooler full of lunches/snacks, water bottles, umbrellas, blankets and chairs from one game to another... but I do it because I want to be there for my kids.

Nothing drives me more crazy than when one of our boys loses his position or forgets to mark his opponent. All I can hear is my dear husband in sync with their coaches..." FIND YOUR POSITION!!!"

And that's when I cover my eyes because it literally terrifies me to watch my child's team get defeated because he or another player lost their position. 

Before a game, the coach assigns each player their position with the understanding that their players know what is expected of them.
Soccer is a team game and everyone should be expected to cover all parts of the field to prevent their opposing team from scoring a goal.

Nothing describes our family as well as the game of soccer.
In addition to the behavioral challenges and attachment struggles, this past year has been all about our children finding their place of belonging and adopting us as their parents.  We have been consistently reminding our children where they belong and who they belong to.  As a result of our children's disrespect and resistance to accept me as their mother, I often feel "disqualified" to be their mom.  Then again, attachment cannot happen until my children understand where they belong, who they are and who they belong to.
For the past 12 months, I have felt like a basket case of emotions.  Every morning I drag myself out of bed and cheer myself on... " You can do this Chris! Yes you can!" 
As much of a lunatic as I often feel I am, I am hopeful for the day that we will see healing progress.
Through all the thick layers of fog of confusion and pain, THERE ARE rare moments where we get to see signs of healing as our children begin to accept us.

There is a lot of grief in acceptance.  When we accept and adopt something new, we are forced to say "good-bye" to the past. 

Each one of our children walk a different journey.  As our children settle into our family, none of them will feel, communicate or display the same emotions. As one child begins attaching, another will detach. 

A couple weeks ago, after grueling conversations... our eldest son told us that he didn't want to be part of our family anymore. He wanted to "shop" for a new set of parents. After spending some intense vacation time with extended family, he suddenly got confused.  He detached himself from us and began to behave carelessly.  As in the game of soccer, our son lost his position. Without warning, he removed himself from the game. Every day, he needs his coach (dad) and referee (mom) to remind him where his position on the field is and that he has no choice but to play with this team that God has chosen for him. 
As a result, if has often felt like our kids are constantly scrambling to try and find their position with hopes of covering for our son's position. 

Unfortunately, our 3 year old daughter seems to lose her position quite frequently or perhaps she hasn't found it yet. Every time a stranger/friend gives her the slightest attention or acknowledges "her cuteness," it consequently leaves her feeling lost and results in defiance. Somehow it pushes her out of position and she forgets who/where she belongs to. It has frustrated me to the point where I have had to boldly ask others to "PLEASE refrain from giving her attention." 

Our 8 year old son who plays club soccer often struggles with keeping his head in the game, staying in his position and finding confidence in his skill and ability. 
This past year of adding 4 new siblings to our family completely shoved him out of birth order and placed him in a state of confusion. Watching his coach speak confidence and belief through my son has moved me to tears as I see my son gradually regaining strength and experience healing. His coach has become a safe person that consistently reminds him how to stay focused and keep his position.

I hope for the day where I can become that "safe voice" to my children.

Win or lose, we made it past the one year mark. 
None of us did it perfectly... but perhaps all the trials, resistance and battles improved our game and has made us to be a stronger team than last year. 
I can only hope and pray that my kids decide soon enough to stay in their position and keep their head in the game. 
  • "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
    -- Mia Hamm


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful update. I pray for you frequently and think of you all often. Especially when I am having a hard day with my daughter with these same issues. God is so good. She has come so far. When she has a hard day, I often think of all you are going thru and shoot a prayer your way. You and your husband are doing a great job. Keep taking one day at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time. The sacrifice that you have given is not hidden. God sees you obeyed His call and others do as well. You are all not in this alone. So many people care and uphold you in prayer. You are loved and not forgotten. May God continue to give you His strength as you walk the walk for the Lord. May He lead and guide you in amazing ways to reach and help the children He gave you heal, attach, learn, grow, love and have a conscience and heart for God. Big hug and blessings from the North Georgia Mountains. Blessings!

  2. We are at the one year mark here too.

    Tough stuff.


    God has given you such a special job.. raising children who are hurt! There is a reason why you went through all you went through before you got your children. And there is a reason why He chose those beautiful 4 kids for you!
    Dont ever forget the battle you went through to have your kids becoming yours. I have 3 kids in care. One adopted, one through DPC and one through the agreement of the parents.. Since years.. God has been faithful all those years. God is the major soccer coach!! Btw, I am German, so I am hoping that Germany wins the World cup next year!! Maybe something you guys can all watch together! Its fun, believe me :D
    God bless you!

    Somebody just posted this link above.. God can do everything.. I see hurt children every day. My heart breaks for them. I can only do what I can do. But they are all HIS children. And yes, arent we just like yoru kids when it comes down to us being adopted to God? I am for sure..

  4. I love following your journey through adoption and seeing God work through your life! Praying for your family as you continue to become knitted together!

    Thank you for sharing and giving others a REAL account of the daily struggles and joys!

  5. I was glad to see you all were still in the game -- trying, but totally following God's plan. It was good to get an update. Want it be amazing to see PERFECT LOVE in heaven. Working towards it here can be difficult-- but to see Christ and His perfect love for me and my family will make it all worthwhile.

  6. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your journey so honestly and selflessly.

  7. It's so nice to see so many great "happy endings" when trying to adopt a child. My husband and I have looked into the adoption process in Orlando, FL. We've tried to get pregnant for such a long time & have looked into adopting for such a long time. I'll keep the faith! Thanks again for sharing this special occasion.