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Saturday, March 10, 2012

More of THIS

After more than a month of smooth sailing with our "RADish", I feel I can safely type that the corner has not only been turned but is firmly in our rear-view mirror!
For more than a month, we have been without:
1. lies
2. sneaky behavior being uncovered
3. long crying jags of an unknown origin (or any crying, really)
4. emails or phone calls from concerned teachers about various transgressions
5. adults overhearing unsavory talk or unkindness to the youngers

We continue to praise the Lord for his new mercies! I know His word says His mercies are new every morning but for us, it feels like the verse should read "new every six years".

As I mentioned in a previous post, every professional we have read or consulted has
assured us that Reactive Attachment Disorder is an incurable plight with a dismal prognosis. I don't pretend to know more than any expert. I DO know what's happening inside our home and it is starting to look like a cure to me!! Our gracious God repeatedly has done more than we asked or imagined in paying for our adoptions, providing for the needs of our family, guiding us in a plethora of parenting issues, opening doors for service for us and even healing loved ones of illnesses . . . why would I ever think for a moment He would withhold healing our son? He wouldn't if it was His will to do so.

Lemuel is so much more than just a kid with RAD. I fear that when I blog, I fail to communicate that properly. He is a caring big brother, a star athlete, a hard worker, a loving son and he has the kind of perseverance that most people covet.
With the RAD-colored glasses removed, I am able to see him as so much more than the sum total of my heartache allowed.

He talked to me today out of the blue about one of his former placements. We were standing at the sink and he said "Mrs. 'Smith' lied to me". I asked him what he meant by that seemingly random statement.

He replied "she said when they dropped me off at the hospital they were coming back to get me but the next day they came to tell me they weren't keeping me. She's a liar".

My first reaction was to defend this woman who wanted very much to parent Lemuel but just didn't. She just didn't. He was tough to handle to be sure and she counted the cost and said "it's not worth it". (side note, it's ironic that his talk centers only around the mother in this case. There was a father. A "nice dad" according to my son).

Rather than defending her, I just agreed with him. It seemed the right thing to do plus, I've never spoken to her. I don't know why she threw in the towel after six months. I can only guess. He was a tough case.
He went on to thank me for not giving up and assured me that he knew God wanted him with us and that's why things didn't work out in the other families... Seeing his rejections through the plan of a Sovereign God is the only way for a child to make sense of what has happened to him. And it makes sense because it's true.

One more brick laid in a brand new foundation for a child who has been here such a long time but really just arrived . . .


I can't promise a single one of you who are walking the RAD path that in six years, you will see great progress with your child. I can promise you that many parents give up before the harvest and they miss something wonderful.

Can you hang in there just a little longer? One more week? Two more months? Just a year or so? It seems too much to ask when you're in the fray, doesn't it?
It is. I would have taken ANY out that seemed reasonable at the lowest of times. I would have sent him back to his country if that was allowed. In fact, I remember praying that I would be diagnosed with some terrible illness so that I could disrupt the adoption and blame it on my own sickness. It would have felt legitimate. People do it all the time.
Thank you, Jesus, for NOT answering THAT prayer.

Instead, the bigger prayers of my heart were answered. For six years, my prayers were for God to infuse me with genuine, heartfelt, I-would-die-for-you love for this child so I could stick it out through the hardest of times. He fed me that love piecemeal, just enough for the day but never in enough abundance for me to let down my guard and stop clinging to Him like a life raft in a tidal wave.

I prayed for REAL connection to Lemuel so I could know that I have his heart. I prayed for him to trust us enough to know that we're not taking our last name from him when he messes up.

But ultimately, as much as this journey is teaching me, it's not ABOUT me much at all. It's about the value of one life - Lemuel's. It's about trusting our Heavenly Father when it seems we've lost hold of His hand. It's about sharing with anyone who will listen that God is faithful and more than able!

But to him, a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.

Sometimes the hard times felt like they lasted a LITERAL thousand years.
And there may be more to come. . .

But I have blessed assurance that God is bringing about His purpose in His time and in His way.

We always said "use us, Lord . . . take our lives and do what you want"

It appears He took us up on the offer.

I am so glad He did!

Lem (left) and Ky (right) on paddle boats at our agency picnic


  1. WOW, WOW, WOW! I also know the prognosis of RAD...but I know the God who is bigger than all things! I'm so so glad you've continued to pray and He has heard and answered your prayers! Rejoicing with you!

  2. Nikki, this is so wonderful to read and I have to say that we are at the six year mark with our Littles and are also seeing some significant changes. We are no way walking the road you have walked, but similar stuff, and it is such a blessing to us to be seeing these changes.

  3. Praise the Lord! God can do anything, can't He? Those who continue to have deep struggles with their children (with or without the RAD diagnosis) have to resist the temptation to evaluate God's performance on whether they see the hoped-for improvements. We might be tempted to think that God is not good enough to answer our prayers, or that He is not strong enough to change that heart!

    He is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine," and He is the definition of "good." A lot of times, the suffering that we want to be over is just what we need to develop a heart that is desperate for God, no matter what!

    Thank you for your example of a tenacious faith. May you continue to develop a deeper and deeper desperation of heart for the Lord, for it is our reliance on Him that is the best word of our testimony, and God uses the circumstances of our lives (good or "bad")to uncover the truth about Himself to a world that walks by sight.

    In Him,
    Jeff McSwain

  4. Man can't cure RAD. Only God can. Praising Him with you!

  5. What a beautiful picture of God, our redeemer. So thankful that your family has stuck through the hard times to reap the harvest of a life redeemed for God's glory.