Welcome to your twenty-five day countdown and thriving guide.If you have been following this series, scroll down past the picture for today’s tip! Make sure you click the follow via email button on the right to receive your “25 Days of Thriving through Christmas” in your inbox each day! Raising children from hard places is challenging. Surviving the holidays with a smile on your face while parenting is even more challenging, that’s why the Positive Adoption Team has put together this handy little series. Don’t stress. It’s not a huge to-do, not more than a paragraph or two each day. Easy peasy and encouraging. So, take a minute each morning, open your inbox and read. This year, let’s not just survive the Christmas season, let’s thrive!
Different things are triggers for different people. I get weepy around Christmas. I hear an Amy Grant song. I put up the Christmas tree. I hear a church bell and I think of my mother. Midnight mass in the choir loft. Pumpkin pie in the oven or cooling on the gas range. Christmas dinners with tables end to end all the way across the length of the living room. Great memories. Mom left this earth almost twenty years ago and yet a trigger, a smell, a sound, can make it feel as if it were yesterday. That’s the way with triggers, they transport us to another time, another place and more importantly, another feeling- whatever that was.
We adoptive parents must remember that our children have a past. Some of it is fresh in their memory. Some of it is buried so deep, they cannot tell the story. But, let them smell something in the air, hear a sound, or taste something and they are transported to another time and place. They may not know why or where or who. They may not be able to vocalize it. Instead, they will act it out. They will meltdown. Be prepared. Be patient. Be prayerful. Be proactive if you have any information that will help you avert those triggers!
And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God. And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David, And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.- Luke 1:30-33
Sometimes we just need to remind our children not to be afraid. Something wonderful may be happening to them, but because of old triggers fear rears its ugly head. We must minimize the stress by being patient, compassionate and explain things in detail. “It’s okay!” is a phrase my granddaughter likes to use when she’s not sure if it is okay or not, she is looking for the reassurance that it is, so we say, “it’s okay” back to her. All children need reassurance. They need to know what is going on now and what is happening next. Children from hard places need simple assurances and details. The angel Gabriel gave Mary some reassurance and a detailed agenda for the future. Let’s follow suit for our children this Christmas season!