Christ’s Power Made Perfect in Weakness

The scissors flew past my face. “I hate you,” my daughter screamed. “I wish you were dead!”

My spirit withered. My daughter didn’t want to go to bed, and I didn’t have the energy to fight back. You’ll have a consequence later,” I warned. I dragged myself to my bedroom, closed the door, and planted myself in front of it so she couldn’t get in.

My daughter fumed. She kicked and pounded on my door. “Let me in,” she demanded. “Let me in! Let me in!” I refused. “Scaredy cat,” she mocked. Still, I didn’t budge. She scratched the hallway walls in anger. I took a deep breath. My emotional energy drained. I yearned to be alone.

Perhaps, if I’d felt strong, I could have picked up my screaming, kicking, wailing child and sent her to her bedroom for a time out. Maybe, if I’d felt strong, I could have reflected on her emotions and tried to reason with her. Or perchance, if I’d felt strong, I could have at least stood up to her so she’d see I was in charge. But on this day, I was anything but strong. I felt weak. Overwhelmed. Spent. And frightened.

“God, help!” I cried. And then I phoned my husband and texted a good friend: I need a miracle.

Continue reading “Christ’s Power Made Perfect in Weakness”

3 Strategies for Overcoming Fear when Parenting an Adopted Child

Fear rips my heart and tears me to shreds when I let it consume me. I have struggled with fear all my life. Why then am I not drowning in it when parenting my adopted child? After all, she comes with baggage – a history of neglect, difficulties attaching to people, prenatal brain damage due to alcohol and drug abuse, Tourettes, severe attention deficits, hyperactivity, and a learning disability. The answer to that question lies in my growing trust in God.

Here are three strategies, rooted in trusting God, which I find helpful when fear strikes:

Continue reading “3 Strategies for Overcoming Fear when Parenting an Adopted Child”

How to Find Hope Beyond Labels and Doctors

I slumped in my chair as I listened to the doctor speak. “Your daughter’s unpredictable behaviours and social difficulties will reappear once she returns to a mainstream classroom……There’s no point in making a referral for her Fetal Alcohol Effects. Her brain is impaired and can’t be fixed…..Your daughter isn’t a candidate for effective ADHD medications due to her Tourette’s.” Then came the blow: “There’s nothing more I can do for her.”

A cloud of gloom threatened to envelop me. The weight of despair was ready to consume me. The bleak future the doctor painted could have easily left me feeling hopeless. But I couldn’t let it. I fought back.

Continue reading “How to Find Hope Beyond Labels and Doctors”

3 Ways to Fight the Good Fight

I remember the day well. Our third family therapist in three years greeted me and my husband with a smile as she led us into her office.  I forced a smile back but my frowns, crinkled above my nose, likely betrayed my true thoughts. Will you be the magic one who can help us make our adopted daughter behave?

Reality sunk in over time: There are no perfect solutions or cookie-cutter strategies. Every day is different, every situation is different, and behaviour issues change.

As parents, we are in this for the long haul. So how can we fight the good fight? Here are some thoughts based on 2 Timothy 2:3-6.                          Continue reading “3 Ways to Fight the Good Fight”