This post is completely based on my reflections after taking a class entitled “What About ‘That Child?'” at the national Hearts at Home conference last Saturday. The course was taught by Rachael Carmen. She has raised a “That Child” and lived to tell about it (in addition to having six other children).
Her class was very impactful to me, as I have been struggling with our “That Child,” Nasko, for some time now.
Many of the truths Rachael shared spoke directly to me; I want to remember these truths from this day forward. I hope I will look back and reference this post on the hard days. This post is for me.
I am writing this post to Nasko, as I know that I owe him some apologies for my negative mentality, and for the times I have forgotten to show him love and grace. This post is for him.
I know that many of you have struggled with your own “That Child,” as I have been flooded with emails since writing “The Ugly“. This post is also for you.
Dear Nasko, I’m going to lay out a few facts:
You are difficult.
You are unpredictable.
You are freaking fast.
You are exhausting.
The world sees that you learn differently. You don’t sit still and cut nicely on the line. You practically jump on top of the line while chopping at it, instead. Because of this, the world would label you as a burden.
Recently, I have allowed the world to impact me, and I have agreed. I felt that you were a burden.
But you know what? God (who is bigger than the whole entire world) reminded me that you are not a burden. You are a blessing.
For real. He wrote about it in His story book – the Bible. It says specifically in Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord.”
Nasko! You love gifts! You can totally understand this.
You know how excited you get when it is Christmas and there are big boxes all wrapped up under the tree? Remember how you spend days saying, “Bus? Dogs? Toys? Neck Pillow? Horses?” You spend hours guessing what could possibly be inside, and then when it is time to open the gifts, you can hardly contain yourself as you rip off the paper!
Those gifts make you so happy! You cherish them, love them, and play with them.
Nasko, YOU are my gift. God brought you to me – not in a box with wrapping paper, but on an airplane, from an orphanage! I spent years guessing what my “gift” would look like, but when God finally brought me YOU, I was SO excited.
I am not being punished by having a child who doesn’t learn and grow in the same way that other children do. I am blessed to receive a gift so great as you.
Nasko, in your three short years home, you have taught me so much.
I am the mom that I am today because of YOU.
I never used to care if an airplane was flying overhead, or a bus was driving by. I rarely even noticed the neighborhood dogs before you came home. And can you believe that we used to kill off those yellow
weeds flowers that grow all over our yard? And finally, have you seen my toe-touch on the trampoline? I mean, killer.
Nasko, I grow tired of asking you to pay attention to the tasks at hand. I feel like I could record myself saying “Please leave the dog alone.” And I know I probably say “Stand still and listen to me!” in my sleep every night, but those traits are part of what defines YOU.
And YOU are a blessing. You are a gift. And you have taught me how to be a mom.
Nasko, I don’t know what your future holds. I don’t know how far you will go. I don’t know if you will ever even have the ability to read and comprehend this letter, but I do know that God knows. He knows exactly what your future holds.
I have spent many of my recent days worrying about your future. I have wondered what you will be capable of, and where you will go. I have wondered what might hold you back, and what you won’t be able to do.
But you know what, Nasko? When I worry, it is like I am telling God that He is no longer allowed to be the boss. It is as if I am telling Him that I know more than He does, and I can take care of everything.
If I am going to put God on His throne, and allow Him to be the king of my life and the king of your life, then I have to trust Him. I have to stop worrying.
If I believe that God, the boss of our lives, the king on His throne, cared enough to take you from a past of trauma and abuse and place you into our loving and safe family, I can trust that He has your future completely figured out as well.
Nasko, thank you for being a gift that was worth waiting for. And if you continue to teach me all about being the best mom that I can be, I promise to trust God with your future and enjoy each and every day that I get to spend with you.
Your forever mama
A copy of the audio from Rachael Carmen’s class, “What About ‘That Child?'” can be downloaded here.