The holidays are often a very difficult time for some of the people in our family. Each year I forget how hard it will be. When the difficulties arise, it often catches me off guard. But not this year. This year I’m on top of it. Probably because life at our house has been a little bumpy lately-even before the holidays hit. I find myself being on my guard, praying that we can effectively work through the next emotional melt down.
We are so blessed because we have Christmas angels who for the last few years have taken from our shoulders the burden of gift shopping, buying, and wrapping. Any parent can appreciate the generosity of this gift. But, if you are a parent of children who come from hard places, then it is especially helpful. Instead of worrying about the stress of the gift giving, we can spend our time helping our children walk through this very difficult time of missing their birth families while simultaneously dealing with painful holiday memories.
A couple of nights ago three different children came to me complaining that Michael was not being nice. Michael is our 9 year old who has been with us for 2.5 years. Towards the end of the evening I finally had a chance to sit down with him and see what was going on. Michael is not a mean child and is usually very easy going, so I figured he was having some feelings he was contending with. I cut to the chase and asked him, “Michael, are you having some feelings with it being Christmas time and you aren’t able to be with your mom?” Immediately tears poured down his cheeks. Yes, he said, he was having sad, lonely, fear. His fear was about maybe never seeing his mom again. Ugh. My heart aches for his little broken heart. Some of my kids are dealing with such intense pain. They have parents whom they love, and for various reasons are not able to live with their family. It.is.hard. We keep talking about it with our kids. We know that allowing them to walk through their pain with us and teaching them to take their pain to Jesus will help them as they journey through this difficult time.
I know we will all make it through this holiday season. My hope and prayer is that we can make new Christmas memories that will soften the blow of the loss of the old. I continually pray that our children have the ability to walk through their feelings now, so that as they grow into adults they won’t have such pain surrounding the holiday season.