Little Lion Man had a doozy of a tantrum this afternoon. We had been doing slightly better in recent weeks. But it was late in the day and someone crossed him and he ROARED in that sibling’s face with so much anger and hatred, I couldn’t let it go…We let lots of things go…Choosing battles is a hobby of mine. And I chose this one.
So I asked him, guided him, to a quiet corner to talk and he raced away…running to his room and hiding. Refusing to make amends or even look at me. At this point, I should have known, I had already lost.
Instead I dug in, unfurling his tight grip on the sleeping bag he was burrowing in. I sat him, flailing, on my lap and tried to talk to him, and a full-on tantrum ensued.
As is our habit when LLM is out-of-control, I hold him. While this may sound lovely, it is actually quite a nasty business. If I don’t hold him, he will bite and kick and scratch and throw things and hurt me and himself, so I have to hold him. But it sucks.
While I am holding him, hugging his arms from hitting, I feel the tell-tale drip on my hand…a nosebleed. Not uncommon and given the amount of raging he was doing, I was not surprised. He’d had a nosebleed earlier in the day and it was not uncommon for them to occur in clusters. So I grabbed the closest blanket on his floor and wiped us up, then resumed holding him while he raged. But the nosebleed continued, and he continued raging, til we sat there, sweaty and sticky from his blood.
Finally he calmed. We talked and cuddled and he was once again the darling boy I know.
I handed him off to my husband so I could clean up. And as I glanced at myself in the bathroom mirror before I stepped into the shower, smeared with my child’s blood, I couldn’t help but think, “At least I look on the outside how I feel on the inside.”
And as I washed the sick smell of blood off my skin, I thought about what we need.
I thought about how what he and I need is to bond like a baby does to his mother. We need to establish trust through the monotony of caregiving. We need baby-wearing, and heeded-night wakings and cuddly feedings. We need all that we missed. I grieve all that we missed. We can never get it back and we pay for the lack each and every day.
I thought about how people tell me it was “always God’s plan” for LLM to be in my family. I can’t accept this. I can’t trust a god to whom can be credited a plan such as the one my dear boy’s life has followed.
God had a plan…and we ruined it.
Sin ruined it.
God’s plan was for us to be with Him in the Garden. God’s plan was for my sweet boy to be someone else’s sweet boy-namely, his birth mother’s. But sin stole that from her. Not just her sin-a millennia of sin before she even had a chance.
And you know what pays for sin?!
You know how it’s all set right? You know why I can wake up tomorrow, when I know I will get spit on and yelled at and emptied by a little boy for whom I feel like I am dying inside to love?
Thick, sticky, Blood.
But not LLM’s. And not mine.
But by the blood of another boy, taken from his home, ripped from his mother and sacrificed on a cross for his enemies.
By his stripes, we are healed. Because of his wounds, we can be redeemed and set right for eternity.
I don’t pretend to understand God. He is big and wild and mysterious. He and I disagree on a number of things…
But I know He is good.
And I know He is powerful. And I know He is at work on setting all things right. I believe that He created adoption to be part of that plan.
So although I don’t fully understand His plans-His original plans or His redemptive plans, though I am covered with blood some days, and feel hopeless many others…I am not without hope.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12