Sorry I've been quiet for a few days. I was actually about to post something earlier this week and decided to hold on to it a bit. It shares some personal things about one of my daughters and, although she's given me permission to post it, I want to give her a few days to make any edits to respect her privacy.
I first want to say thanks to all you sweet people who read my ramblings and many who even take the time to comment here and on Facebook (some of my pre-blog friends comment there). Many of you cracked me up with your comments about my snake story last week.
When I first started writing my blog, I was a bit nervous about sharing such personal information and photos that complete strangers could see. I seriously thought about making my blog private. But then I wondered if perhaps our story could encourage others who were going through the same things, so I prayed for God to only send readers who I could call friend. Thus far, every faithful reader and loyal lurker has been worthy of that title.
Okay, I mentioned a bit last week about Daniel's broken arm, but didn't go into details. I think I'm in denial about the whole thing. I just feel like a stinky parent that Daniel lived three years in an orphanage and never broke a bone but has not even been home 4 months and is wearing a cast. Ugh! I've nominated myself for Most Negligent Mom.
It happened Saturday, April 10. We had spent the day at Brad's mom's beautiful wedding and reception. When we got home that evening, it was still daylight. He offered to take the kids outside to play. Daniel had just recently learned to ride his bike without training wheels and wanted to take it for a spin. (Perhaps crash would be a better word than spin.)
I was still changing out of my wedding clothes when Ava ran in the house screaming, "Come quick, Daniel is hurt." Not words a mom wants to hear. I followed her down the street to our cul-de-sac and he was sitting crying next to his mangled bike with Brad rubbing his back trying to assess his injuries. I was so relieved that he was wearing his helmet and I didn't see any blood. (No blood equals mom not passing out.)
Brad relayed the story and Brady reenacted it in his super slow-motion. Daniel started down the hill on our street, panicked as his speed increased, and forgot how to break. He plowed into our neighbor's van parked in their driveway, but as he reached out to keep from hitting the van, he hurt his arm.
Daniel stopped crying and there was no swelling, but when we saw what he had done to the van (also needs pricey medical attention), we knew he'd hit it pretty hard. Brad took him to the ER and an X-ray confirmed that it was broken. He was proud to have the honor of being the first child in our family to break a bone. We were not proud that the ink on our Daniel's new insurance card is still drying, yet we've hit every dentist, eye doctor, pediatrician and ER within a 10 mile radius.
Daniel has been so great about it. I think he has really enjoyed the extra TLC after so many years without it. We got his permanent cast a couple days later. He chose a red, white, and blue star design and announced this was his "welcome to America" cast. I love it. It's perfect for our new little American boy.
He asked me why he needed the cast to fix his broken bone. I tried to explain that the cast would protect his arm while it healed. It keeps his arm from moving too much and shields it from things that could re-injure it.
It made me wish that I could put his broken spirit in a cast--to hold him tight and protect him from further harm. Perhaps we can wrap him with love, surround him with scripture, cover him with prayer. His arm cast only needs to be on for 4 weeks, but I wonder exactly how long it will take Daniel to heal from his brokenness.
Sometimes I forget he is broken because he looks just fine on the outside. They don't make X-rays for the spirit, yet there are times he cries out because it hurts where he has been fractured. Like the stress he felt when we went on vacation and left the cats home alone for a neighbor to check on. He worried and cried about them the whole time, only to later learn that his birthmom had left him alone for days at a time with just a little bit of food.
Then there was the time at the grocery store when I was about to pay and realized I'd left my debit card at home. He watched me closely as I searched my purse and even had beads of sweat starting to run down his face. I could see that he was about to break down and he asked, "What do we do if you don't have any money?" He relaxed when I told him I could just write a check. Later he shared that often his birthmom didn't have money for the food they needed and had to leave the store with nothing. Sometimes she'd send him back in to steal something.
And just yesterday he grabbed for some paper towels and accidentally knocked the iron stand that holds them on the floor. I was cooking dinner and didn't see what happened but hearing the crash I turned around to find Daniel crouched down covering his head. I assumed it had fallen on him and asked if he was okay and he cried out, "I'm fine, I'm just so so sorry." He was covering his head because he thought I might hit him. I assured him that even if the stand had broken, he wouldn't be in trouble and I would certainly never hit him. He exhaled and smiled at my response, but I knew I had simply given some verbal Motrin to a kid who had much to heal from.
It seems he will need his emotional cast for a while. And there may be days that it will itch and he will insist that he doesn't need it anymore, but we will keep holding him close, surrounding him with scripture, and covering him with prayer.
Daniel may be the first in our family to have a broken arm, but he's not the first to have a broken heart. But the good news is that you can never be so broken that God can't heal you. I am living proof.
More Than Lots,