One term I've come to embrace over the last few months is "process". Everyone is looking for the finished product, the quick fix, the happy ending. I feel like people are waiting for the day that I announce little Max has been cured of his horrible past and now he's a shining star.
Um. That's not going to happen.
There isn't a formula for fixing a broken child. There's no "bippity boppity boo, I love Jesus and now you're better." That's not the way this works. He's not a product to finish and he never will be. He's a work in progress, just like the rest of us. We all have a cesspool of junk that's simering below the surface that we don't want people to know about. His junk just comes to the surface faster and uglier than yours and mine. Living in an environment where people consistantly treat each other with love and respect helps, having parents who pray relentlessly helps, but it just takes time to learn healthy ways of dealing with emotional scars.
There's a small part of me that wishes I could just go into his little brain with my magic eraser and scrub out all those yucky parts that make him act out. But there is a much bigger part of me that embraces those yucky parts for what they are. Part of a perfect plan that is somehow going to glorify God.
When you adopt an older child, you have to know that the child is not going to be as easy to raise as an infant would be. We walked into this arrangement knowing that Max wasn't going to be as easy to raise as our other children were. We didn't want an easy one, we wanted him. We knew he would be full of scars and junk, and we didn't care. We knew God had an amazing plan for his life and we wanted to be a part of it.