About 10 hours and I couldn't sleep any more! I was awake by 4:30 this time, which is 6:30 MN time and laid in bed another hour to think, which isn't always a good idea.
Mercedes is about to push me over the edge. I rarely ground anyone, but I decided it was necessary and she is refusing to be grounded. So I have got to figure out the next step. That got me going around and around the track in my head this morning.
I'm trying to switch gears now to decide exactly what I want to say in my keynote this afternoon. The conference is going to be made up primarily of Christians who have adopted over the past several years as part of the adoption and orphan care initiatives that many churches have started over the past ten years. I believe that they, like all of us, were fairly naive as to the kinds of behaviors and challenges that the kids would face and now, 4, 6, 8 years later life is HARD. This conference is to realign their thinking and to help them realize that they CAN do it. My keynote is called, "Hope, Humor and Healing: The Journey to a New Tomorrow" and I am feeling a lot of responsibility to do it well.
My dear friend Kari texted last night to let me know that she saw that Mike is back in jail (because she's like that -- creeping on the jail roster website). I had just told people last night that I was proud he hadn't been in since August. Maybe I jinxed it. I'm really hoping it is for a probation violation so it's only for the weekend and he can still hang in there and stay in school. But as he has said, how can he be expected to have a job, go to school, and follow probation without a place to live. And I know he expects us to provide that for him, but that's a line I won't cross. Financially we can't afford to get him a place and he can't live at our house. You who have followed my blog know that.
I don't blame him for being angry with me. But I'm not going to be angry with him. He didn't make the choices that were made for him before birth about how his brain would be developed. He didn't choose to be unattached to caregivers. It is now his lot to navigate that combination and our lot to do what we can without putting others in danger -- whether it is physical, financial, or emotional. But I'm grieving again this morning.
Isn't it interesting how grieving in adoption really doesn't stop? There is grieving when a child comes already walking and we know we've missed seeing those first steps. There is grieving when a 6 year old can't make friends in 1st grade. There's grieving when a 10 year old can't stay on a little league team. There's grief when middle schoolers are being typically torturous and won't stop bullying. There is grief when everyone else goes to dances, when their classmates graduate and they don't, when they are arrested, have children they can't take care of, and on and on and on.
But today my keynote is going to talk about the hope cycle that I have mentioned many times on my blog that comes from Romans Chapter five. I'm quoting from memory (yeah, too lazy to even google it), but says, "We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. But not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings. For we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us. For God has poured out His love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit He has given us."
That's what we have to hold on to. It's carried Bart and I so far... and it will carry us through.
So today, even though health-wise I am finally having to conclude that I am compromised, I am hoping and praying that today that message of hope -- not in me, or anything I have to say -- but in God -- will permeate each person there and send them home with the knowledge that they CAN and WILL survive.