Grief is a thief. It comes when you least expect it. It takes you off guard. Why did it slink in today? Why during car line at the school when I'm about to pick up the kids? There was no thought or memory that triggered it. It wasn't a song on the radio or something I saw. Suddenly, I was grieving over Macayla. I miss her so much.
Why then? God had a reason today. One of our twins was struggling. I could tell there was a lot of anger just waiting to boil over. I decided to press and see what was driving it. In the process, we had a God-sighting...
Adopted children often have much to grieve. Ours have lost much over the years. They lost their biological family when it was discovered they were unsafe. They lost foster families along the way in the four years that followed. They have lost friends as they moved from school to school. This grief is what fueled the anger I saw today.
Our child was "angry at everyone in our family" and didn't want to listen to anyone. This anger drove our child to want to be neglected and alone. Basically, the desire was to be back in a situation similar to that into which they were born. Once this came to the surface, it was apparent that our child was experiencing grief over what was lost, even if what was lost was unhealthy or evil.
That is when God used the thief who struck earlier in the day. I was able to share about my grief and explain that grief is a special kind of sadness we feel when we lose someone. I was able to share how grief hit me hard today because I had lost Macayla. This was like the grief our child was experiencing over the loss in their lives.
My grief connected to the grief in my angry child. Through a long discussion, which amazingly our child stayed engaged throughout, we discovered a common grief over loss. Loss of not just what was, but what could have been. "What would it have been like if I had stayed with my family?" our child asked. What could have been if their biological parents had been safe? Likewise, I often wonder what Macayla would have been like as an 11 year old this year. What would it have been like to walk her down the aisle at her wedding in a few years?
This is where 2 Corinthians 1:1-5 is helpful. We are able to comfort others with the comfort we have received. Suffering and loss are in great abundance in this world, but the comfort of Christ is in greater abundance. Through this, our child went from rage to peace. Our child went from desiring isolation to wanting to snuggle and even comfort me as I shared my grief. It was the deepest we have ever connected. Thanks be to God!