Saturday, August 01, 2015

Love Me

It has been a little over 3 years since Sweetie moved in with us. In that time we have been through more trauma than I could have ever imagined. Many times it seemed like we were not going to make it through to the other side of everything. But we have and boy it is pretty amazing. Sweetie's relationship with Spartacus really seems to be the key to her healing. I have watched her bloom over the last month or so. She just adores Her little brother. She is incredibly sweet with him. We were prepared to deal with intense jealousy with the potential for her to lash out at him. But it has been the complete opposite. She is happy around him. And I get to see more moments of pure joy when she is playing with him than I have seen in the last 3 years combined.  It is miraculous the difference we see in her. Where there was once constant rage there is now peace. A kid who was kicking and punching is now hugging and helping around the house without being asked. Instead of being cussed at we are now having conversations. It has become a pleasure to have Sweetie around.

Sweetie has recently taken ownership of her Reactive Attachment Disorder diagnosis. She is learning about how it developed. She is also learning how to cope and  how live with it. She has begun to wholeheartedly work on her trauma history. She recently wrote her biological father a letter and in it she told him how he hurt her and how she feels sorry for him, but right now she cannot forgive him. That she wants to, but he scares her. She also wrote about us in this letter telling him that we are the only people that ever showed her real love. That we have given her anything she could ever want and more than she needs. That we protect her no matter what. Another thing she did was write a rap song.
One of the lyrics went something like" Oh no not another one, I want it to stay just me. But then I looked into his eyes and I could no longer disguise that I love him". Spartacus has been her reason for working through the hard stuff and for really trying to get better. She list him as her motivation when she is working on her goals. She wants him to be proud of her and also doesn't want him to do the behaviors that she had previously done. My heart is so happy to watch this bond grow between them.

Sweetie will be stepping down to an IAFT in less than 3 weeks. If her behaviors continue to improve like they have been, we would like to have her back home for good by the holidays. We will see how it goes. I do not want to pressure her too much or push her too fast. Her progress has been remarkable and I do not want to risk everything because I am pushing. In the IAFT home she will be able to practice the skills she learned in the last year in the PRTF. I am currently praying  that she keeps working and that the healing will continue. She has become so insightful. She is able to express her emotional needs better than most adults I know. She is able to tell me that even though she likes to hear that she is doing a good job and that we are proud of her. But that it also makes her feel scared because she doesn't want to disappoint us. When she told me this I was doing a happy dance in my head. I wanted to shout with joy " She really cares!!! We are finally getting through! We finally matter!!" Over the weekend she has apologized for many of the individual events that have happened over the last 3 years. She apologized for being a giant "B" for most of the time and she thanked me for sticking with her. For loving her through all of it. I am sure we will have more challenging times. She is still a teenager and even children who grew up in happy homes have moments where they make poor choices.

I sit here tonight content. My house is peaceful and quiet. What has stuck with me the most is the fact that all she needed was for me to love her. Truly love her. Love her like God loves us. Unconditional and unwavering love. Even in the darkest of hours. I think we all want that and many of us don't  receive that kind of love. We surely don't love ourselves like that. I can only imagine how all of our lives could  look if we did understand that we are love like this. I mean really believed it in our heart of hearts. Can you imagine the transformation it would create? I know how inspiring it is to watch as it happens to my girl. I feel honored to be chosen to witness it and be part of this kind of love. I am grateful what loving someone like this has helped me grow to being more like Christ.

I know so many who are in the trenches with their kids form hard places. It is a war zone most of the time. It is hard, it is dirty and it is exhausting. But sweet friends there is hope. We are getting through to our kids. Even when we feel we are defeated and want to throw in that towel. They see us there, fighting for them, sacrificing for them. Don't give up! The healing may not be today, tomorrow, next week or even next month. But it will come. Love always wins.

Why, why are You still here with me
Didn't You see what I've done?
In my shame I want to run and hide myself
But it's here I see the truth
I don't deserve You
But I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need You to love me
I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me
I just never saw how You could cherish me
'Cause You're a God who has all things
And still You want me
And I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
yeah, yeah
Your love makes me forget what I have been
Your love makes me see who I really am
And Your love makes me forget what I have been
And I need You to love me, yeah
I need You to love me, yeah
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have (2x)
I need You to love me, yeah ..

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