Monday I wrote the post, My Learning Curve: Infusing Hope in Children. As I wrote it, there was something rattling around in the back of my head, but I didn’t have time to let the thought develop enough to express it. It’s been nagging at me all day, so here it is.
The hardest thing about infusing hope in our children is that sometimes we don’t feel very hopeful ourselves. How do we give our children something we don’t have?
While Honeybee may struggle with a lack of hope for her future, I struggle with my own feelings of, “Am I really strong enough to mother these children?” “Am I ever going to be the same?” “Am I doing a good enough job?”
When parents lose hope, children and teens respond with bitter anger. After all, if your own parents have lost hope, then you are in a sorry state! (Deborah Gray, Nurturing Adoptions, p. 153)
How do we remain hopeful in order to give our children hope? Dinner needs to be on the table in twenty minutes, so I am going to start a list here and ask you to add to it.
- Get counseling for your child and yourself, especially if your child is from the “hard places” and you are having a tough time with attachment. We would not be where we are today were it not for the help we receive from our therapist.
- Find a few supportive friends and talk to them regularly. Ask them to check in and see how you are doing if you feel yourself sinking too low.
- Dive deep into your faith. I have spent many a day and night praying the simplest of prayers, “Help me, Lord!” “Give me Your peace.” and when I am in serious need, I turn to this ancient prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
- Try to get some exercise. Running, walking, and breathing deeply have been essential to my sanity. If you can’t manage to exercise, at least get outside a little bit each day and breath some fresh air.
- If you are married, run to your spouse’s arms. You may feel that you are both on a sinking ship, but you are not sinking alone. If you feel that your marriage is suffering from the stress, get help from your pastor, an older couple, or somebody else you can trust.
- Try to maintain your sense of humor and make room for a little bit of fun in your life. Russ and I have a date to watch LOST online every Wednesday night and we look forward to it all week. I also have a few blogs I stop by that nearly always make me smile.
- Talk to other adoptive parents and read blogs that encourage you…I hope mine will be on that list!
Question: What helps you to maintain hope?
We are heading to Seattle this afternoon for a whirlwind day of appointments on Thursday, so I may not be able to approve your comments until I am home Friday morning. I look forward to reading your thoughts!
Let’s encourage one another.
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