A kid can make a list of all the things he wants in a world: a family, parents, siblings, a home, stability. You can give them all those things, pour everything you have into them, and they can still choose to walk out of your life.
We have one who is old enough to make this choice. He's done it more than a few times: he just leaves. We hear almost nothing from him until he needs something. Then it's like nothing ever happened, for a few days.
We are in one of those seasons right now.
Some nights I dream of him and I'm just angry at him in my dreams. I wake up mad and hurt.
I'm angry that he tosses us aside, I'm angry he isn't willing to fight for us, I'm angry everyone else seems like a better option to him. I'm angry we have given him everything he wanted in life, and all he sees is the negative.
He won't make any time for us. He acts like we are nothing to him. I want to say screw it, just stop inviting him, we don't need him. This would feel good to me. It would feel just. If I stopped inviting, I would stop being ignored, or turned down, rudely responded to. I would stop being hurt.
Then I remember who I am in the equation. I am the adult. I am the mom. I am the healthy one. I am the committed one. I am the stable one. He is none of these things. If I stoop to his level, how far will we get? Backwards, real fast. That's where we would go.
I know how my wounded kids think. If I don't constantly reach out to them, even if they're nothing but shitty in return, they count that as me not loving them.
What I am learning is, when my children are being unlovable, I have to love them even more. That is when the rubber meets the road. That is when it starts to count in their book.
So no matter how much I want to walk away, I don't. And I won't. Because it is MY JOB not to.
I find myself picturing 10 years down the road. Him being healthier and more mature, I picture him hugging me and thanking me for never giving up. For always being there for him no matter how rotten he was to me. That is the picture that gets me through.
I am aware that scene might never happen. I do know that. However, it certainly won't stand a chance of happening if I do give up. If I am the one to let him just walk away. I might as well just kiss that dream goodbye. And that ending would be my fault.
So I go to God, forgive my son again, and remind myself over and over of who I am in the equation. I am his mom. I am the committed one.
Rachel is a 32 year old mom with 6 kids married to the best man she knows, Joey. Her kids are 2,4,7,16,20, and 21. God keeps bringing them teens and asking them to adopt them. Like crazy people, they keep saying yes. What could seem like the worst possible age to adopt in the world, has become God's beautiful redemption story playing out right before their very eyes. And it is good.