Thursday, September 17, 2015

memories

Fall at our house can be painful.  10 years ago, I was completely oblivious to the depth of pain a tiny heart can hold.  When we first saw this little man…

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…we were so na├»ve!  We had taken the classes and read the books, but there’s nothing that can prepare you for the hurt of a small child’s heart, and their inability to verbalize that pain.  After a while (again naively), we thought that love and security would be enough, and that he would simply be ‘healed’ from the pain of loss.  Uh huh.  Not sure what we were smoking. 

It’s been almost 10 years since that baby boy was placed in our arms in a hotel room in China.  He was sad and afraid then.

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One of the best things we did was take his big brother along when we traveled to bring him home.  Brent was 16 at the time, but not so cool that he wouldn’t spend time with Ryan.  The two of them forged a bond that was amazing to see.

Brent left home for college when Ryan was 2.  Every time he came home to visit, though, Ryan would tear through the house yelling “Brent!  BRENT!!” and LAUNCH himself at his big brother.  Then he’d snuggle in, with his face nestled in Brent’s shoulder and heave a huge sigh of contentment.

That adoration of his big brother has never changed.  Ryan’s changed some, in that he doesn’t always launch himself at Brent any more.  The contentment at being around big brother though?  It’s never wavered.

When we were home in August, we had the privilege of seeing Brent for a few days.  (He lives in one state, we currently live in another, and home is in a 3rd state.)  This was a common scene any time Brent was seated…

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…with Ryan tucked on his lap, and Brent’s dog Maximus feeling a bit displaced!  Smile    The hardest part of not seeing Brent often is Ryan’s sense of loss.  The first week he and Brent were apart after this visit, Ryan did some sleepwalking (with his bedding in his arms) looking for Brent.  Broke this mama’s heart!  He’s finally settled from that, but with October quickly approaching, we are back to night terrors and sleepwalking and horrible nights.  Does he know he is loved?  Of course!  Is he securely attached to us as his family?  Sure.  Is the sense of loss as great now as it was 10 years ago?  Yes.  And so, as we feel our way through the hurt and the agony, we continue to pray for healing in his heart.  And for his China mom and China dad—they also lost out when Ryan was left at the orphanage.  There’s just not much else we can do except cling to the promise

“Who breaks the power of sin and darkness         Whose love is mighty, and so much stronger              The King of Glory, the King above all kings…

Who rules the whole earth with awe and wonder      Who makes the orphan a son and daughter…

This is amazing grace                                                This is unfailing love                                                     That You would take my place                                         That You would bear my cross                                    You would lay down Your life                                       That I would be set free…”

~This is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham