Preparing to Comfort

I have been taking in as much reading about adoption as I can in preparation for ours sons coming home someday. The books include those that are helping us to prepare our children already in our home for many different circumstances that are possible. We are talking about things in an attempt to be as proactive as possible about the reality of what their brothers have been through in their precious lives. Even just how hard it will be to be in a different culture with a different language, different food and people surrounding them who look different.
One book in particular as grabbed my attention. It is entitled: The Primal Wound, by Nancy Newton Verrier.  If you are adopting, plan on adopting or have adopted, this book is for you. Or if you just want to better understand your own children’s needs and others pain, this is a good read. It has definitely made me rethink some aspects of adoption and the hurt, loss and pain involved in every single adoption that exists. In God’s original design, adoption would not exist. The husband and wife would give birth to their child that was knit together in the mother’s womb and would love and cherish that child and any more born to them! The mother would hold the baby in wonder and nurse her and smell her and never ever want to let go. But, sin entered the world through the fall…and with that sin came sad consequences. Sometimes a mother dies, sometimes a mother is on drugs, sometimes a mother is so poor, and sometimes others tell her she can’t raise her child. Whatever the reason, then adoption has come in. I do realize in a greater way how important it is for a child to stay with the mother if at all possible. From the beginning that baby knows its mommy. He hears her heartbeat for 9 months, he knows her voice, he just knows. This book demonstrates the scientific proof to that. And so, we enter the hard part. The part that means every child that is being adopted has already suffered loss. This is a fact we cannot deny. If we try to gloss over this reality we set ourselves and our adopted children up for a difficult path. They need to feel their loss, their grief, their pain. They may need one day to find answers to questions about their adoption.
In the chapter entitled, Abandonment and Loss, it begins with the following quote:
“Loss of a loved person is one of the most intensely painful experiences any human being can suffer. And not only is it painful to experience but it is also painful to witness, if only because we are so impotent to help. To the bereaved nothing but he return of the lost person can bring true comfort; should what we provide fall short of that it is felt almost as an insult….there is tendency to underestimate how intensely distressing and disabling loss usually is and for how long the distress, and often the disablement, commonly lasts. Conversely, there is a tendency to suppose that a normal healthy person can and should get over a bereavement not only fairly rapidly but also completely.”
John Bowlby

I think of Jesus with the death of Lazarus and the sadness he felt at the loss of his friend and the loss for Mary and Martha. Some joke that perhaps he cried because he was going to have to bring Lazarus back from heaven and was sad for him. Well, I guess that could be so. I just know from the Jesus I read about in the gospels he constantly had compassion on those that were hurting in any way. And indeed Jesus victory on the cross has removed the sting of death and we have the hope of His redemption in bringing a new world by His coming. A world without tears, pain, suffering and loss. And while this gives us hope and puts that seed deep in our souls, let us not forget the reality of the pain in the human aspect of our hearts. The pain of loss, the hurt for today of that loved person not being there. So it is with children who have lost parents to death, or maybe to abandonment or maybe just because they knew they could not care for them, or for those around us who have lost a dear loved one, a child or a spouse. Let us not expect them to be instantly get over this difficult loss. Let us be patient in their grieving. Let us be prayerful for them, praying in the Spirit that He can comfort them in ways we do not understand and thus our prayers are those that are the groans that words cannot express.
Help us Jesus as we prepare for our sons, who have great hurt and great pain. Help us not to shy away from walking through this pain with them. Help us to see it by your Spirit and enable You to guide the way. And continue to write the story….of how redemption wins, of how love wins, of how the enemy is defeated at the foot of the cross.
Amen.

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