Four years ago today, I admitted to myself and to lots of people around us that we were in a state of unraveling.
Kalkidan could no longer function in the school where she had once felt safe and loved. The pressure was too great and the impact at home was unbearable.
On October 10th, we transferred her to our neighborhood public school where we could request an IEP and more support for her emotional needs.
The new school (the one Wogayu now attends) was wonderful. They embraced us, supported her, and met her needs as well as they could.
Unfortunately, the speed of the downward spiral was rapidly increasing and despite a wonderful therapist, EMDR, all of the therapeutic parenting we could implement, respite, prayer, and a loving community, the first day of Christmas break led us to a crisis of such proportion we found ourselves in the emergency room followed by hospitalization.
The gift of that crisis was unexpected – and we didn’t see it as a gift at the time. Kalkidan was finally able to get the real help she needed in residential treatment at a wonderful program, Intermountain, in Helena, Montana.
Initially, we felt such a deep sense of failure and shame – we weren’t enough, all the help we had sought wasn’t enough, our love wasn’t enough.
This cut to the core of who I believed I was as a mother.
But we serve a loving God, and he began something beautiful. When we were reduced to nothing but ashes, his spirit blew over us and he began to heal and restore. It’s a long story, too long for this post, but He truly does make beauty from ashes.
He began the slow, painful process of healing our beautiful girl and healing us.
I want to add a note to those of you who are in the very hardest places. This cutting deep to my core – this shattering of my identity as a mother – I know I am not alone. Many of you are also working through the tearing apart, processing, and rebuilding as you walk through your journeys of parenting children from “hard places.”
Know that you are not alone. Know that this is a journey and you need others with you. You may need a professional to guide you or a wise friend. I send you my love and wish you were sitting at my table with me – with big mugs of tea and coffee, and a box of kleenex being passed around as we talk. I think of you and pray for you right now.
Thank you for sharing your day, for showing up and reading my words. If you were with me four years ago, thank you for remembering with me.
With courage and hope for the journey,