Our Family Is Broken

“But I want to live with my OTHER MOMMY!!”

The words were shouted from trembling lips set in a face that was nearly purple with rage. I felt my heart literally break in two. I’ve heard this before. Many times in many different ways. But today it hurt more. Today I had come to the end of what I thought I could bear. Today I recognized something in a way that I had never fully seen before.

Our family is broken.

Broken means violently shattered into parts.
Broken means not working properly.
Broken means damaged or altered
Broken means not complete or full.
Broken means disunited.

I’ve always known this. I have never been ignorant of the fact that we are building a family out of brokenness. But today, today when I heard those words, I was struck anew by the reality of the family that we have built together.

The words that were shouted and now echo through my mind caught me by surprise. Not because I had never heard them. But because I had never heard THIS CHILD say those words. This was a child I had known since infancy. A child who has no physical recollection of this “other mother” that is now desired. And suddenly I realized that all of my children will always be broken, and incomplete. No matter how young they are when they come to my arms, no matter if I get my special, secret wish to bring them home from the hospital, there will always be someone missing from their life. They are violently separated from a person who has given them life. Their lives will forever be altered. There is no way to fill that “hole.” There will forever be missing moments, missing memories, and missing emotions. They are broken.

And this truth, these thoughts, point to how broken I am, myself. I fight these truths, I grieve, I rage. I see and understand how truly broken my own body is. My broken body cannot heal this brokenness inside my children. This is a broken that I can never fix in them. This is a space in their heart that I can never heal.  I can never create a child without it. There will always be battles for attachment, and belonging, and continuity with my children. I will always share those most intimate moments with others. With strangers. And that physical brokenness reflects like a mirror the brokenness of my spirit and the struggles I will always face. I weep. And I look down at myself, around at my life, and I feel the brokenness.

Violently shattered.
Not working properly.
Damaged. Altered
Not complete. Not full.

I have wrestled long and hard with this reality for the past several months. I have come to a new understanding of my brokenness. I have come to the end of all my own strengths and wisdom daily. I have begged for answers, for help as I sink deeper into the realization that my life and the lives of my precious children will never be without “holes.” As I have fallen, completely encompassed within my own brokenness, I have recognized a strength that is not my own. A wisdom that is beyond any earthly thought. And hope. Bright hope for the future.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning:
Great is Your faithfulness.”
~Lamentations 3:21-24

And so…
As I sit and grieve the utter brokenness of each precious member of my family.
As I rage against the injustices that have befallen innocent children.
As I fight to give a voice for those that don’t have one.
As I fall, completely broken and at the end of my own strength.
As I fail, as I sin against those that are so precious to me.
As I give up, even for a moment, and allow myself to be crushed by my exhaustion.

I see in all the brokenness around me, reflected in perfect clarity, the image of my Savior. My Savior who bore all our brokenness upon His cross, in His body. I see Him crush it, and conquer brokenness by rising from the grave. I see Him rise, away from this world of brokenness to create a place where brokenness can never be. And suddenly strength is renewed, mourning is turned into laughter, ashes into beauty, heaviness into praise.

“We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.”
~Ernest Hemingway

And now I rest. In the midst of so much brokenness. I acknowledge it. I no longer try to hide it. No more fighting. No more wishing it away. Because I know. I know that I am here on this broken world, in this broken form to simply reflect the light that glistens off the shattered shards of my existence. Because that’s how the light of Christ shines through to a broken world. And to my broken family. My broken spirit. And my broken children.


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One Response to Our Family Is Broken

  1. Deb Peabody says:

    Thank you for being vulnerable and real and showing to others the reality of kids in the foster adopt arena who no matter how young have been broken by rejection and unmet needs. My heart breaks for these little ones as well as those who love and parent them. Praying God meets you in your brokenness, grief and exhaustion. May He extend needed grace so in your weakness He is strong and He is glorified through you and Justin.

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