Another holiday is upon us, and though this is the ONE day of the year our family values and celebrates more than others because of the sheer impact it makes on our Jesus-loving hearts, it’s still a holiday. And we still struggle a bit. You may not see much of your adoptive or fostering family friends this weekend, and I wanted to explain why.
The Egg Hunt.
Fun? Yes. I won’t disagree with you. This tradition is one of our family favorites, and a favorite across the board in many American families. But for some kids? It’s fun with a twist. It’s fun with a major sense of losing control over circumstances. It’s fun with extreme anxiety concerning the number of eggs received, the amount of candy in the basket, the sheer amount of kids surrounding them. It’s sensory overload, and an inability to cope with the noise and colors surrounding them.
It’s fun. But not fun for everyone.
The School Break.
Hurray! A long weekend! Fun, right? Yeah, it’s fun. Unless you’re the kid for whom schedules are life. If you’re the child who panics when the norm changes, even if what’s going on is something enjoyable, school holidays bring the need to control what’s going on around you in ways that may disrupt family life to some degree. Some of our children don’t thrive in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of environment, and so school holidays are hard for them.
The Family Gathering.
Regardless of whether the child’s extended family is supportive of their specific needs or not, regardless of whether your relationship with your extended family is good or not… family gatherings are yet another situation where our children may find themselves feeling overwhelmed and unable to regulate their emotions well. For us, participating in our family Easter gathering is important, so many other activities tend to fall to the wayside for us to be able to do this one. We have to prioritize differently, and manage our schedules differently. It’s worth it, but it’s why you may not see much of us outside of this one event.
We attend church very regularly, and serve regularly. Our children are very used to being at church, but our church, like many others, looks a little different on Easter Sunday. There are more events to consider, and the normal schedule may look a little different on Easter morning. We love it, but it’s another something to process as far as how to do these things as a family is concerned.
The Bottom Line?
Easter is the ultimate expression of Grace. Jesus choosing obedience, even to death on the Cross so that we might have the hope of eternal life with Him forever. This is the Best of News, the Gospel truth, and what we live for, and this grace is necessary because we’re not perfect. We mess up ALL. THE. TIME. There are many who think that families who foster or adopt live a little closer to Perfection, but it’s not true, not at all. We depend on the grace of God daily, and during these more challenging, upside-down, topsy-turvy times of year, we hope for the grace of those who love us a little more, too.
Friends, if you see us making the quick escape from the egg hunt, shoot us a text letting us know you were glad we made it, even for a short time. If we RSVP “yes” to an event but end up as a no-show, check in with us and let us know you noticed our absence and you missed us. If we look a little frazzled at the family dinner, know that we truly value being there, but that our mind is going in a million directions trying to help our child process what’s going on around them. If you see us and wave hello and we completely ignore you, know that it wasn’t on purpose, our brains and emotions are on overload as we process life with our sweet little ones.
All of this may not apply to all adoptive or fostering families, and I’m not trying to make blanket statements, but one statement I believe I can make for all of us is this – we love you, our village of supporters.
Whether we see you or talk on a daily basis, or not,
whether you are family or friend,
whether you know us in person or just “know” us via social media,
you are doing a grand thing in walking with us through these seasons when our crazy train seems to want to derail. Jesus gives grace, and one of the ways He gives it is by giving us you. You are showing love to the fatherless in a unique and special way by showing love to adoptive and foster families, and we see you. HE sees you, and He delights in you.