I heard a statistic today that made my heart sink: Children’s brains are 80% developed by the age of three.
The radio announcer was encouraging parents to begin reading to their children at a young age. He spoke of how those early years are so critical in the formation of who our children will become.
I wanted to cry.
I was not a part of those formative years in my children’s life.
I felt like the radio announcer was telling me that someone else gets to determine 80% of who my children will become.
We love my children’s parents. They are a part of our family. Their pictures hang on our walls. Their names are a part of our vocabulary. These two people gave me one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.
They also wrote the music that is permanently engrained on the record player of my children’s mind. Because no matter the details of the individual story, adoption is always born of loss.
My children have a track that plays over and over and over. It sounds something like this: You are not wanted. You are not loved. You are not worthy.
This is the background music to their life.
It is always playing, barely beneath the surface, just loud enough to permeate their thoughts. I can hear it break through at times.
When I ask my son to stop talking back disrespectfully and he responds with, “I feel like I can’t ever talk in this family. You don’t ever want to listen to me.”
When my daughter finishes her meltdown and finally allows me to wrap my arms around her in an embrace. I say, “Thank you for letting me love you.” And she responds, “I can’t make you stop loving me, can I?”
When my daughter says, “The only reason you adopted me is because God made you.”
I can hear the music. It isn’t pretty.
The sounds of our everyday lives usually covers it up. The love we have worked so hard to grow in our family is often times sufficient. Love is powerful enough to drown out the tune for a while.
Until something happens to turn up the volume on their own special music. Suddenly it is all they can hear.
The volume was turned up recently when we made the decision to take our children back to Ethiopia to visit their mother and little sister.
This is something we need to do. For them and for us. This is something God has asked us to do. This is not something I particularly want to do. But I have learned that some of God’s greatest blessings are born from life’s biggest sorrows.
When I am willing to surrender my own desires in order to follow God’s leading, there I will find joy. Even in the midst of the pain.
We leave in four weeks.
The emotional upheaval will be impressive. It has already begun. They are listening to their track: You are not wanted. You are not loved. You are not worthy.
This music is infecting our family.
And today He is gently reminding me that He is the one who determines who my children will become.
Isn’t this a glorious promise, mamas? Our children will not be broken or healed because of us. Oh yes, we will play our part. What happens within the walls of our homes will greatly impact their hearts. And yet we can rest in the assurance that God is the one who formed our children from the inside out, who designed their lives from the beginning to the end, and who holds their future in the palm of His hand.God can write a beautiful song with each of our lives. May I be His instrument today.