The Miracle In You

If you're a mom (or even if you're not,) you may be saying "Awwwww, how sweet." But you also might think that it's not so extraordinary.

You may think you understand when I say that this makes me choke up and practically hysterical. If your child has or had a life-threatening disease, then you do understand. A woman like me, who a close buddy described decades ago as "like glass - shiny and hard but breaks," has been shattered. To smithereens.

I am not weepy in a Hallmark or Kodak kind of way. No, not weepy. But I weep because it is Redemption. The power of producing Good out of Evil. What could do that? Who? This month 6 years ago, the 3 of us via Seoul, Taejon and DC, arrived back in Pennsylvania. Even then, as a 7-1/2 month old, we are sure he could sense our relief, that this, finally, was our last stop. He fell asleep on the sofa, into that arms-over-the-head I-give-up nothingness.

Our home, but not his. His was back in Seoul, with that other family he knew as his own. In that garlic aromad, seaweed souped, crowded apartment.

He never let me rock him. He never hugged me out of joy or affection. He never sat in my lap. For more than a second. Never mimicked me the way toddlers do. When he was 2-1/2 years old, I distinctly remember laying down behind him while he slept. I reached out to touch his shoulder and he flinched to shake me off. Time and time again, night after night I tried. Weeks of moving bit by bit, a hand, an arm. After months - of emails, phone calls, one therapist then another, this book then that, changing my entire focus and approach, neurological reorganization - this boy, this boy. . . became my son.

During the night, 3 and 4 times, I go to his room and watch him sleep. I touch him - and now - 6 years later, he leans into me. Now he seeks me out to fall asleep on my breast. He was lost but now am found. The miracle in you.



Third Mom said...

*Deep bow* to you for the honesty in this post.

This is the part of adoption that many people don't realize. For some adoptees, the flinching never ends, there is no end to it. For others who do find their way in their new families, it may remain there throughout life, under the surface.

All we can do is love our children with every fiber, support them through the pain, and pray. I'm guessing this is exactly what has made this photo possible.

It makes me want to run to my son daughter and hug them hard. Now that they're teens, they're flinching again, although for different reasons. But I'll find a way to sneak a hug in when they don't expect it.

blackbelt_oma said...

I didn't pray enough. Thankfully (I believe) the Spirit intercedes for me that which I don't even know I need prayer for.

It was love and his pain that spurred me to therapy and attachment parenting and neurological reorganization. Love was not going to be enough.

Grace said...

Thank you for sharing this. I could never have imagined that he would be so impacted at 7 1/2 months. How blessed he is that God placed him with a persevering mother. Through Jesus, you and HH are his redeemer. This is a beautiful account in so many ways.

AmyP said...

Well said, Grace. I know how hard you have worked (and researched, and prayed, and cried). Such a difficult journey for all. I'm glad you shared so honestly about it.

Ansley said...

This post is beautiful. Thanks for laying it down.

(and thanks for the reminder to PRAY- sometimes I don't do that enough.)

Third Mom said...

Ditto Ansley. At Mass today this was the topic of the homily. I need to take those words very seriously and make a lot more room in my life for prayer.

Happy Sunday, all!

Samantha said...

That is an amazing story. He is precious.

Carla said...


rosemary said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I don't yet know what shape our life will take but I hope I'm grateful to learn all I can now.

Rebecca said...

Wow. What a beautiful entry. I've been doing some reading lately about God using our children to do sanctifying work in us, as well. Your account here points to just that, God working in both of your lives.

This is one of the most encouraging things I've ever read on a blog.

JulieKP said...

Oh how you just struck a cord with me. My younger daughter was adopted at 14 months. That was 14 months of total sensory deprivation. Her basic needs were met in the orphanage but nothing more. She was fed, warm, and dry. Never held. Never talked to. Never comforted. She had no idea what to make of her new family when we came to get her. We wanted to love her and hold her. We wanted to comfort the deep fear you could see in her eyes. But she would have no part of it. She was catatonic at first. Then she just screamed. Finally she bit everyone that would come near her. You would think that at 14 months she wouldn't be affected but she was. Now she is the most loving five year old ever. But it took a LONG time to get there. It was hard and it was ugly but we are there. I cried. She cried. But now I cry to think what a beautiful and precious gift we have in each other.

So I do understand how such a normal picture of parental love and bonding can make you weep with joy and pain in the same instance. Pain from the memories but joy for where you are now.

Thank you for posting this. This is why blogs are so important. You let me know that I wasn't the only one who endured this pain.

Kristine said...

I my. I am in tears right now because I so understand! It still amazes me every time Noah relaxes in to me and lets me cuddle him, even though it is routine to him now and he craves it.

So very, very different from the infancy and childhood of my youngest.