I made it public, officially on Facebook and my blog. Igor is coming back.
I hesitated because I was nervous. I was honest about our struggles this summer. I didn’t know how people would react to finding out we are having him back again.
Mostly positive response, which is good. Lots of private messages from friends.
It’s hard because I get several different responses when I talk about what it’s really like, the nitty gritty of life with a traumatized child.
Some people just want a happy ending. They gloss over the trauma and the hard work required. Which isn’t necessarily bad, it just is what it is.
Other people only focus on the trauma and hard work, and aren’t afraid to say that it’s too risky, not worth it, etc. That’s more difficult for me because I know first hand how hard it is, believe me. My kids know how hard it is too. And they still want to love this kid despite EVERYTHING. I put no pressure on them to do so. They asked me. They chose Igor.
And you know, we’re not doing this because we are special people. We’re not stronger than everyone else, richer than everyone else, or whatever. We’re normal, imperfect people. I promise. My house isn’t perfectly clean. My children aren’t perfectly behaved. My finances aren’t perfect.
Few people seem to truly understand the journey. It’s not easy to explain, even through words, pictures, and videos. It’s difficult to find people we can trust with our struggles without getting one of the two common reactions I mentioned above.
I’m thankful to have met so many other families through the host program–families that have adopted and hosted, families that aren’t going to tell me it’s too hard and to give up, or think that I am a hero of some sort. Friends that won’t run away screaming when I tell them our honest daily struggles with Igor, or judge us–those friends are much needed.
Besides, I don’t think it’s heroic to love someone unconditionally. Especially from a Christian standpoint. This is the entire gospel story in a nutshell: That we are loved unconditionally even when we don’t deserve it. Even when we least deserve it.
To lay down your life, your own dreams and desires, for a higher purpose even when it’s scary, even when you want to run in the other direction, even when you instead want choose an easier path of simple selfish creature comforts. To give up your own plans and follow on faith alone.
And even when it’s hard? It feels good. It feels good to be fully alive, to live with a purpose, to give something of yourself to someone else in need. I will be forever thankful to Tanya, Misha, Mariana, and Igor for teaching my family what it means to truly, unconditionally, freely, and deeply love another human being without expecting anything in return.
I often ask myself who is rescuing who here.
“And remember, the truth that once was spoken: To love another person is to see the face of God.”
? Victor Hugo, Les Misérables