How do I begin to explain...
How do I begin to explain to my 5 year old adopted son, that he didn't have a home and he lived in an orphanage? How do I explain to my son who has been with us now about 3 months that this is your home? How do I explain to my son that I am his daddy? and my wife is his mommy? How do I answer the heart ripping statement: "I WANT TO GO HOME?" Here's the story and here's how we handled it...
It was one of those nights...
It was one of those nights and Farah and I were both tired and mentally just needing a break. We had just spent a long few days visiting family in Indiana for Thanksgiving (the kids first long trip) and we had just spent an exhausting week trying to recover and get back to some sort of routine (like we have a routine!). Farah had just started back to work after her FMLA leave and it was one of those nights.
I was attempting to finish some much needed work on the computer since my day had been spent taking care of our two new adoptees. I was attempting to do the right thing for them, which put me behind on the things for everybody else. So I was going to buckle down and get it done. Farah had come home from work and was finishing up supper when she noticed Roman was sitting very quiet and still (he gets this sad look on his face). I noticed she was holding him, but just thought it was some long over do "mommy time". I was wrong!
What she was doing was attempting to answer the question and figure out what to do next because Roman was sad because he wanted to go home! Roman was sad also because he was told "no" and that he had to "make a choice" - that didn't help with the situation. Farah though was caught with a what do I do now situation. I have to be honest, my great dad senses didn't pick up on this soon enough. My other son, Jaxon, didn't help and Adia was crying for her mommy. What happens next is the eye opening part for me...
Matt: "Farah can you just please pick Adia up!" Farah: "I can't Roman says he wants to go HOME!"
Me in all my glory: .........ugh........OK........sorry?
Farah: I'm trying to deal with it...help me!
I would like to say that it hit home for me at this point, but it didn't. It wasn't until I hear the bedroom door close and lock and Adia go to a whole new level of intense vocal activity (that's to say she was CRYING!!) So at this point, I think to myself - "I should do something?" But honestly I didn't have a clue.
I move to the bedroom to find Farah holding Roman, both of them with sad looks on their face. We just couldn't figure it out. What HOME does he want to go to? Africa? Does he really want to go back to Africa? Does he remember it? What have we done to set this off? Why is he asking about going home? Why? Why?
After some talking and holding and repeating "this is your home" and some more holding and some more talking, we finally just seem to move past it. We have not yet resolved why or where home was. But we did make a decision that we had done too much with too many people lately and he was confused about HIS HOME. We realized that he did want to go sleep at a friend's house and that maybe he was really not talking about "home" as we would describe it, but maybe was more like "HOUSE" or something like that. Whatever the reason he changed his demeanor and we kinda just moved on (not really knowing how to answer) (and to be honest - we still don't!)
Only choices made in love are compassionate. There are no exceptions. Do you have the courage to act with an empowered heart without attachment to the outcome? If not, you have no ability to give or experience compassion.
Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.
4 Answers to "I want to go HOME!" - Discipleship Lessons
Answer 1: Home isn't about where I live; it's about how I'm loved and how I in turn love back.
When dealing with the feelings of loneliness or feeling like you are not connected to anyone; the church is an unusual place to associate with such feelings, but it's true - it's a fact. Why would Roman want to go home? Wasn't the environment we have provided good enough? Haven't we provided for his needs? Hasn't this place been good to him? Haven't we consoled him in past hurts and challenges?
The answer is yes to all of them. And to be honest the answer for most people in church yes to all of them, but yet they still feel out of place and alone. They still don't know how to call "church" - "home". Many who sit in our pews and our chairs deal with not feeling "at home" within our walls. They just haven't found what they are looking for; nor do they believe anyone there really cares. This feeling is really about an internal feeling of fear and unknown expectations. When faced with making hard choices, there is a part of us that really just wants to click our heals together and go back to Kansas and wake up and it be all OK.
The reality is that it's not. The reality is that life is hard and full of difficult decisions that will cause us stress and heartache. We can forever move from "house" to "house" or "church" to "church" and never feel at home. We can move from family to family and never experience the fulfillment of being loved by people who truly do care. We can blame our circumstances and our "feelings" on many things, but until we move past our own personal isolation and break down the walls that we have put up to protect ourselves - we will forever be on an unending journey to "GO HOME".
Answers 2, 3 and 4: Don't try to figure them out, until you have mastered #1.
To be honest, I'm still working on #1
How do I answer Roman when he says "I want to go home!" or how do I answer the person who moves from place to place and church to church always trying to find a reason for their decisions? The truly is the same..it all depends on how I receive love and give love. When I'm looking for a family or a home - what I should be really attempting to do is stop asking what can they do for me - but really what can I do for them.
I first need to show others that I care for them, love them, have the desire to serve them and then and only then can I begin to know what a HOME really is. You see I didn't know how to explain to Roman that he was part of this family - so all I could do is show him, hold him, talk to him and trust that he on some level was getting it.
All I could do is LOVE HIM!
At the end of the day, following Jesus and being a part of God's family is less about what we get out of it and more about what we can do for others. Learning how to gain trust, obedience, and openness from an orphan who just wants to go home - has been eye opening. Maybe this is how God feels about me...
God truly does want me to trust Him and learn from Him. God really does love me. God truly does have the best life for me, if I would just follow. God wants to bless me. God always provides for my needs. The problem is that I haven't figured out that God is my refuge and strength. I am fighting for things that I really don't want.
I scream: "I WANT TO GO HOME!"
Truth is I'm already home and God is there...the problem is...I've only seen God's love through a broken window!
Philippians 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)
Live as Citizens of Heaven
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
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