Winning and Losing

by Rachel

It's a game. Sometimes a constant one.  At any point in the day my mind can be spinning and trying to "play the game," or at the very least, remember that I'm in a game.

The game is different for each kid. I have three who play it,  so everyday, I'm in three different games.

For one the game is, "I'm trying to make you love me." This is tricky, because you never really know when they're being real. You can't gauge if what they're saying is just to please you, or what they truly think. In this game, I can't read too much into anything. I can't assume anything that's said is permanent, true, or what he will continue to think in two minutes, two days, or two weeks. This game can end and turn into a different game. And when that happens is completely unknown.

For one of my kids the game is, "I'm trying to make you stop loving me." This one is RAD. It's a blast for everyone {insert sarcasm}. This one is so ready for a fight he comes swinging before we even open up our mouths. The swings are meant to be deadly. They're meant to be the final blow each and every time.

With this one I have to know that everything is opposite. "I hate you" means "I am scared to love you."  Anger means he is masking hurt. Running means, "If you chase me, I'll know you love me" (bear in mind you're being shoved away the entire chase). Throwing word punches are a test of your ability to stay standing, and quitting the family means, "How much do you even want me to stay?"  Everything is opposite and everything has hidden meaning. Until some healing comes, there is zero stability.  However,  with this one, the equation has stayed consistent. Which means I can actually "play the game" accordingly. For now.

The last game we play is the most exhausting for me. It involves the one who spent a long time trying to make us love him (though our love came with no strings attached), and then was angry that he had to make us love him, and that we didn't love who he truly was. Even though he didn't give us the chance to even know who that was. He carries a grudge regularly. Everything he does is some sort of manipulation, but the equation changes daily, and I'm at a loss for what it is.  I'm not sure anyone really knows this person at his core, least of all himself.

This is the one I have let push me away the most, and for the life of me, I don't even know if he cares.  This game I am certainly losing, because I don't know the rules, the object of the game or the strategy. This one I have to leave to God constantly.  There is nothing else I can do. I have no idea if he will come to Christmas, his own birthday celebration, or even want us in his life when he gets married one day. This one is a puzzle, one where I have lost the box top and I'm pretty sure four different puzzles got thrown into the mix.

When we started adopting kids I didn't know about the games.  I didn't know each one played a different one.  I didn't know some could be mastered and some you might feel like you're losing at daily.  I knew none of that.

What I knew was I was committing a lifetime to this child, to be MY child. I knew that no matter what, my love could never stop, even when I'm at my wits' end.

So no matter how hard the games are, or how bad I can be at them, they aren't really the point are they?

Somedays, I just need to remind myself of that. And trust that God has the instructions to all of them.

rachel bio pic.jpg

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.