Catholic Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton
Catholic Mom Columns
Hear It For Resilience
Last week an adoptive “online buddy” of mine blogged about how much she
hates it when kids are called “resilient.” She said in part, “There are some
things no kid should have to deal with, and saying they are ‘resilient’
doesn’t make it any better…. They may bounce, but they bruise.”
While I can appreciate her empathetic perspective – and, to be honest, I
share it most of the time – there is also a part of me that will always be
grateful that my kids inherited the “bounce” gene. Yes, they bruise as well
– and those bruises took a good long time and a lot of loving to start
healing. But as a foster mom I had no choice but to believe that they would
not always be the angry, scared, fearful little urchins they were when they
came to us. I could not have gotten through that first six months if I had
thought the next eighteen years would be more of the same.
Happily, the little boy with the wild eyes and the roundhouse punch that
once caught Father’s midsection when he stretched out a hand to bless our
son, is now an amiable, imaginative, affectionate child. He still cries
about once a day – I’m told it’s not unheard of, for this age – when life
overwhelms him. But he also colors wonderfully detailed pictures of animals,
and does the best dinosaur impression this side of Jurassic Park. He also
asks about his siblings and birth parents fairly regularly, which reminds me
that while his “forever family” connection is strong, it does not – may
never – replace the biological one.
Yes, Christopher’s resilience has challenged me to take a good, hard look at
my own. During the three years we were perpetually in a holding pattern, we
got through it by looking straight ahead of us and not letting our hopes
wander too far afield. Now that the situation is resolved, we are more
secure in the permanency of our family – and yet, there will be plenty of
opportunity to “bounce” ahead of us. During those times we can hold on to
each other for balance – or let go to rub our own bruises.
Dear Lord, when the ground beneath me is unsteady, You alone are my Rock.
When I am bruised and sore, You alone are the Great Physician who binds up
all my wounds. You are the great “Forever Father” who has given me the gift
of resilience – to use, and to pass on to the children you have entrusted to
me. Make me worthy of that trust. In the name of the Father, and the Son,
and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
|Heidi Hess Saxton and her husband
Craig are adoptive parents of two children
Christopher (6) and Sarah (4).
the editor of Canticle
magazine, the “voice” of "Women of Grace".
A convert to the faith since 1994, Heidi is also a graduate student of
theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and a
frequent contributor to CatholicExchange.com.
Read more of Heidi’s writing through her website
www.christianword.com or visit Heidi's blog
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