We had Vacation Bible School this week. It was a fantastic, exhausting, deep, exciting, crazy week.
Last year, for VBS, I walked around with Cupcake and spent the entire time being her personal teacher. She had only been home around 6 weeks and her behavior and language issues were too much to ask a normal teacher to deal with. I wanted her to get as much out of it as she could. She loved it.
So, on Monday morning, she expected me to walk around and be her personal teacher.
"Uh...I can't Honey. I'm teaching the big kids."
She's been going to Sunday School and Children's Church by herself for almost a year, and it never occurred to me to prepare for this difference from last year.
She did okay during class, and seemed happy enough all day. But, that evening, when it was time to come in after playing with the neighborhood kids, she started disobeying and things quickly went downhill.
I, of course, was tired after a full day and not in the mood to be therapeutic mommy.
It was ugly. More accurately, I was ugly. I blew up and said regrettable things to my precious daughter. My tone of voice was scary. My body language screamed rejection.
Let's just say, if I were 8 years old, I would have deserved a good spanking. And I probably would have been grounded for a year. And I'd have gotten a mouth full of soap.
We both said we were sorry before bed, but I slept fitfully with a pit in my stomach. We have worked so hard to heal her broken heart. One lousy reaction like that can set us back months and months.
Bad mommy syndrome.
My unconditional love for her had conditions.
One of the main things that many adoption parenting books miss is the power of forgiveness. They all talk about the right thing to do. They emphasize the need for consistency. They encourage you to live outside the emotional whirlwind and respond with perfect maturity.
That's all well and good if you're perfect.
What do you do when you screw up?
The next morning, a very contrite Mamita got on her knees and asked a very subdued Cupcake to forgive her. I listed my sins against her. I told her that I was wrong to do that. She did not deserve that. She is lovable.
A very sweet and sincere Cupcake forgave me.
That morning, at VBS, the kids were asked to share any God-sightings they had had the night before. (Things like "I saw the beautiful sunset God made", "My sister helped set the table", etc.)
Cupcake gets the microphone, and says, "My mommy loves me." She smiles and waves at me.
I sat four rows back on the other side of the church and cried.
My baby loves me.
Forgiveness is a good thing.
Love covers a multitude of sins....and I'm so glad.
Blessings to you,
I Can't Afford That!
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