Written by Tammy Berry
Twelve years ago, my husband and myself decided to open our home to foster/adopt children. We had great expectations of changing their little lives and giving them everything they never had. We ended up adopting three children and although we didn’t know it at the time, one who was special needs.
We were sent from doctor to doctor, medications too long to list, hospital admissions, multiple diagnosis’s, therapists, counselors, court proceedings and finally residential treatment. Although, it’s been a hard road, I know there was no other alternative for my child. I was devastated. I thought as her mother I should be able to fix this and I couldn’t. I now look back and see how much damage was being brought into our home by mental illness.
I had to look at the big picture, the other children were living in a home of constant chaos, locked knife drawers, alarms on bedroom doors, and everyone wondering anxiously when the next meltdown would occur.
After she went to residential treatment the guilt I felt was unending. I still wrestle with this guilt daily, but I visit her weekly and bring her home for holidays. Is this perfect? No, but I look around my home and we are able to live peacefully, go places, enroll the kids in sports programs, our doors are unlocked but the scars are still there. My youngest has anxiety and is unable to sleep alone but is getting better. My oldest wants his bedroom door as well as mine open.
I don’t know God’s plan in all of this, but everyday is better. It may not have been the outcome that I wanted but my family is safe and when we are gone I know she’ll be taken care of. Is it hard? Yes! I would not have been able to this without God’s love, strength, and wisdom. I encourage everyone going through this to concentrate on God’s word to help you through the pain, guilt, anger, and frustration.
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness.