I received an email this week from an adoptive mom who struggled in silence for years. She had just read the first chapter of my book, A Place I Didn’t Belong: Hope for Adoptive Moms; someone had left in the break room at work. This was the first time she felt understood and not alone. Her email began a dialogue between us that included the following from her. I share it, with her permission, knowing it will resonate with many of you.
“I would like to share a few thoughts with you. I am sure none of it is news to you, but I want to express what I see in my community.
MY EXPERIENCE: After we brought our daughter home and I started to realize that reality wasn't matching up with my expectations, I thought something was wrong with me. We were in contact with a pretty sizable community of couples that were adopting from Ethiopia at the same time....we traveled with many of them. They all seemed so happy. They didn't talk about problems or disappointment, so we didn't either. She came home in February of 2011...it's been HARD. We have two biological children, ages 9 and 7 and our daughter from Ethiopia, who is 5. It's been hard for the older kids too. There is much to say about my story, but that is a very long email ;)
OTHER ADOPTIVE MOMS: Over the years, I have encountered a few "honest" adoptive mothers who have shared their experiences with me. I have come to the realization that adoptive parents (moms especially) live in isolation. They are afraid to talk about their "ugly" thoughts and feelings.
WE NEED EACH OTHER! We need a place to express ourselves honestly with people who get it and won't be horrified by the things we say. How do we get this?
we need a safe space
a respected, knowledgable, experienced person
to bring us together
to say outloud
the thoughts, the feelings
that we experience in our isolation.
There is a sea of emotion locked up in the hearts of so many adoptive moms. If we create an atmosphere in which that emotion can flow out uninhibited, we would need A LOT of kleenex! I know it would be powerful a tremendous blessing to so many people. Your book is doing this for me. There is so much stuff inside me that spills out in a unique way when it is evoked by feeling understood.”
My response is prayer: Oh Father, hear our hearts. Heal the broken places. Help the church, our friends and families understand the unique calling on our lives. In the name of Jesus, and for His sake, protect our children, our families and the souls of these precious warriors we call “mom”. Your arm is not too short to rescue…come to our rescue now! Protect us from the lies of the evil one. May you strengthen, comfort and renew our hope as we entrust our broken hearts to you.