Laying on of Hands
Several years after the adoption, the kids and I were having our morning prayer. We stood in a circle holding hands. Eldest daughter unexpectedly broke circle and laid hands on a brother. After she circled each sibling; next eldest did the same. It was a prayer time I will never forget. The Spirit of the Lord was on my children to heal, to proclaim liberty to the captives and proclaim the acceptable time of the Lord (Isiah 61:1-2). Chains fell off my children. Each of them experienced a measure of healing in this powerful prayer time.
“The power of touch, even on a human level, is an amazing thing. But when you add the power of God to the equation, it sets the stage for something supernatural.”
My adopted children needed touch on a regular basis to make up for the lack of loving touch in the early years. Children with attachment disorders need planned purposeful contact. I couldn’t wait for my children to snuggle with me. I had to find ways to make contact with them. Morning hugs. Shoulder to shoulder on the couch while reading. Holding hands on the way to the park. Night time hugs and prayer times. One year I made it a point to hug each child every morning. Maybe you don’t have children with attachment issues and this sounds like a ridiculous thing to have to plan. For those of us who parent children with these issues- you understand. Unattached children want to be in control. They want things on their terms. So, for more and dad to have a hug on demand is a challenge.
I find it interesting that God heals through the laying on of hands. Hurt children need touch. Touch heals.
“Research shows that touch has the power to fight viruses, relieve stress, improve sleep, and help us recover more quickly from injury.”- Mark Batterson
Touch can hurt too. Many children in foster care or orphanages have been hurt by physical contact in their previous life. It is a painful thing to accept healing through the instrument that hurt them.
Letter from Sam to his birth mother from Adopting the Hurt Child:
I am writing this to tell you I hate you. You were mean to my brother and me. You didn’t take care of us or feed us, and you let your boyfriend have sex with us. You left us outside when we were so little we got sunburned and had to go to the hospital. You said you would be back for us, but you lied.
I have a new family now, and I have been mean to them because I am mad at you. No more. My scars from the sunburn are still there, but you are out of my life.
Your ex-sun, (Sam’s slip of the pen)
Sam’s story resonates with my children’s stories. Any one of my adopted children could have written a letter similar to this one. Their beginnings were not with loving, healing touch. How about yours?
When entrenched in the day to day, feeding, clothing, schooling, taxing of our children, the depth of their pain takes a back seat even though it is evident in their reaction, their tone, their hypersensitivity and their meltdowns. Lay hands on your children. God knows the depth of their pain. If they wiggle away, just keep trying. If they hide under the table, hide with them. If they can’t stand a hug, try placing one finger on the arm, then two, then a hand. It is a long, but rewarding process. Be patient. Lay your hands on softly. Quietly speak words of encouragement.
“It is our firm belief that children hurt by abuse and neglect can learn to love and trust adults in a family setting. Growth and development continue throughout the life span, and it is rarely too late for a child to change.”- Adopting the Hurt Child
Don’t forget to check out Maria‘s post!