“I cannot change my child, but I can change me…”

These words from a testimonial in the book A Place I Didn’t Belong* jumped off the page. This was only my third time through this devotional but for whatever reason, the truth of these words had not hit me square in the forehead like they did this time. My head really knew this long ago, but this time the truth reached all the way into my tired and broken heart.

*If you are or know a post-placement adoptive or foster family, this is a MUST HAVE.

The last two years have been the darkest and hardest of my life. As the words sunk in, I realized that I had asked God to bless our efforts to find the best nutrition plan, the most effective therapies, and everything else I had calculated that our kids needed to be “successful,” but I was still holding that I had some semblance of control over how things went. I believed we (with God’s help, of course) could find the systems that would solve the depression, the closed-mindedness, the poor comprehension, the lack of social/emotional development, the anger, and the hurt. After all, that’s why God put them here, right?

The phrase, “…or die trying” is ringing through my head. To be honest, if God hadn’t beat me over the head with the opening quote, I may have. I was literally pouring my life into my kids, and they were either rejecting it or just letting it flow right past. There was almost no return on investment and by bank was in the red.

Meanwhile, all my efforts were backfiring. The systems were creating chaos and the emptier my emotional bank became, the more I transformed into a person I didn’t recognize–mean, nasty, spiteful, and resentful.

I can’t change the manipulative, self-centered, self-protective behavior.

I can’t change the meanness.

I can’t change the irresponsibility and the developmental mismatches.

I can’t change the attitude.

I can’t change the ridiculousness.

However, I can change my expectations, how I react, and how it affects me.

Sing it with me, LET IT GO!

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