How does you love when it’s hard to love? How do you continue to offer grace? Especially with children from hard places, but even with biological children who have their own struggles to work through, loving hard-to-love children day after day can be exhausting and demanding. But, thankfully, there is hope in Jesus!
I asked a couple of foster/adoptive moms for their thoughts and tips on loving the hard-to-love, and I really appreciate what they had to share!
First, remember your own position before God as a forgiven and loved sinner.
When the kids do something crazy, I frequently recognize how I do the same things with God. How I’ve argued, disobeyed, not cared, broken stuff, treated people badly, etc. And it reminds me of God’s amazing love, the kind of love and forgiveness He calls us to. That humbles my spirit every time, and increases my love and patience for the kids.Cory
Second, remember God gave you this child for their safety and care, and also possibly for your own character development.
A million nights I said: I can not do this tomorrow. I reminded myself with God all things are possible and that each child was chosen for me to love, that they needed me and that my safety for them was a blessing. Many days have been survival mode, but eventually we adopted our daughter and I’m so very glad for the gift of her and having had the chance to mother the children that were in my care. They will always be a part of making me a better woman.Jean
Third, remember that therapy can be very helpful and don’t forget to give yourself lots of grace.
Therapy with a trauma specialized therapist has helped so much. We are still working our way through years of trauma, but I am confident that as our son begins to heal, our family will too. I also want to add some good advice from a very wise friend. She told me I needed to let go of all my “shoulds.” I put so much pressure on myself to do everything right. I should be doing this . . . or I should be doing that. Remembering to not only give grace to my son, but to give grace to myself too. Parenting a child who has experienced trauma is hard.Angela
Fourth, remember to surround yourself and your child with positive and supportive community.
We had a foster daughter in collaborative care; she did amazing with horse therapy. We had an awesome contact who let her come out to the barn and clean the stalls, groom the horse, walk with it. She bonded with the horse instantly because it was a rescue horse. This was my lifeline to have a friend who was willing to step in and just be a friend and offer her time.Heidi
Every child and family is unique, but I hope these reminders are helpful as we strive to care for and to love well the children in our home. God sees the hard road we walk and He is faithful! “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).