Monday, April 28, 2014

Mothers and Children

My children are adopted, I almost forget that sometimes.  They are unique individuals and extremely different.  My girl, almost 30, happily married and employed at the same place for years now, is stability and responsibility personified.  I do not worry when it comes to her.  We are certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Gilmore Girls is definitely based on us, someone unseen observing us from afar.  She will always be my best cheerleader and confidant.  She came from Korea at 6 months old, sweet and compliant, and though what lie ahead was out of a nightmare, she survived and is still sweet...not compliant in the best possible way and has grown in her relationship with Christ through the years.  She is married to a wonderful man, equally as responsible and stable as she, and my husband's son.

Then there's my boy.  We got him when he was only 4 weeks old.  He was our first child after 10 years of marriage, 8 trying to have our own.  So my happiness and joy were off the chart.  The world became all about him.  I loved him so very, very much.  Each victory was celebrated, each attempt was celebrated, every birthday, Adoption Day (the day the adoption became final) and Placement Day (the day we actually got him) also celebrated.  This child grew up knowing that he was cared for, loved and beyond.

Because I don't want this to be about what i'm going to say, it will be simple and brief, though it has encompassed our lives and I suspect in large part, responsible for my son's decisions.  My husband left me for someone he met at work, shattering our home, my son then 7, my daughter only 3.  That one selfish decision sent the 3 of us on a path we never wanted.

So my son set off on a journey just before his Senior year ended that sent us all into a tailspin.  The details aren't important, just that those bad choices have continued, and now, 14 years later, he sits in a state prison.  He is due out in 2015.  I will make no excuses for him, other than at such a young age, his whole world fell apart and he did not handle it well, he was 7.  I was 35 and I didn't handle it well either.  But my faith in Jesus Christ is what literally saved me.  My son decided early on, God could not be trusted and would simply not do what he wanted Him to do, so God was not for him.  We see where that choice has brought him.
Thing is, all this is true, but i'm still his mom.  When I look at him and pictures of him, I still see the little boy, full of life, running as fast as he can from joy to joy, black hair shining in the sun and laughter that came easily to him.  And my heart breaks to know where he is, no matter how well-deserved. 

When you love someone, they can make terrible decisions, do dumb things, act without thought of others, all that doesn't change how much you love them...particularly mothers.  When the incident took place, I just thought I would shrivel up and die.  Not to see him, or talk to him, except through letters is agony, and it is.  To know his potential, truly, he is a wonderful artist and writer, charming, handsome and hard-working when he likes what he's doing, and know that potential is most likely never going to be used is so very sad and frustrating.

What triggered all this is that he called last night.  This is an extremely rare occurrence and I recognize the number when it happens, hold my breath until I hear his voice.  However, last night, before the call could go through, I was asked to verify who I was and it wouldn't accept my information, so I never did get to talk to him for those free 3 minutes.  My hand grips the phone so tight as I enter the info and put it back to my ear, did it twice, only to be denied.  You imagine all kinds of things.  Suppose he's sick, or hurt and needs my help and because of this stupid system that is automated and doesn't work right, I have no idea what he wanted.  I hang up, feeling so crushed, surprised by how badly I wanted to hear his voice.  I go in the bedroom to cry a bit and I know it doesn't help anything, but sorrow has to come out somehow. 

My sweet man comforts me as best he can.  He loves my son even when other step-father's might not, and he loves me with big love and would do anything to remove this sadness.  I have supportive friends and family that love us and love my son and pray for him, for which I am ever grateful.

But there is this "thing" between my son & I, and I suspect between many mothers and their children.  It is different than my daughter and I, she doesn't need me like my son does.  By his own admission, i'm all he has.  I love my kids equally, but different.  And this bond that this little black-haired boy and I had has only grown through the years.  Josh can make me laugh when no one else can, he "gets" parts of me that no one, even my husband, doesn't "get."  Only thing I can figure is that he was older when "The Divorce" (for indeed it really had a life of its own) happened.  He was devastated and his young heart crushed.  The years that followed were no better.  All this took a toll, and we came out of it, me, him & his sister, much like veterans of a war.  No one can know that experience but us, we were there for each other, and without each other, we wouldn't have survived. 

The problem when this happens is that you feel so bad for your kids that you can be too easy on them.  When the other parent is cruel and harsh, you want to be the opposite.  Still, I disciplined when necessary.  There were so many issues, I won't go into them.

I really just wanted a commentary on mother-child relationships and that the depth of feeling and love cannot be fathomed by other people.  Every mother will be convinced that yes, other mothers love their children, but not like I love mine.

I know that if Josh truly surrenders to Christ, there is hope, otherwise I fear for his future.  I can see him remaining in prison for something else because it is too hard for him on the outside without LOTS of help, more than I can give, though I will try.  He has 2 beautiful kids, hopefully that will be reason to try. 

The point is the love, my love has never wavered, never, no matter what, through all the years, all the antics, the scary stuff, everything, and the thing about love.....

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.    ~ I Corinthians 13:4-7

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