Or is it? I know in our home the holiday season is one of the hardest seasons we face! As a matter of fact we call it “freakout season” when it is just Ray and I talking.
Why you ask? Everyone of our adopted children struggle with so much during this season.
First, they struggle with their feelings of excitement, happiness, and expectations. So often the amazing members of their team feel guilty for what these children go through while in the system, so at the holidays they find so many ways to get funding to get these children their biggest desires (apart from reunification). Once they are adopted this disappears!
Second, no matter how much their lives have improved on a day to day basis and how stable their lives are now, they still worry about their biological family. The holidays are a time to focus on family and making memories or following traditions and while they are in a loving family they still worry about where their mother and father are, as well as if they are safe.
In our family traditions are a huge part of the holidays, however as we have blended the four families together we have worked hard to honor the traditions of each family! What does this look like? Jumping through hoops that are on fire while wearing clothes soaked in gasoline! Often we attempt to create new traditions as a whole …. which has resulted in even more activities.
Most families would find this a blessing, however when you have children who have experienced trauma, have autism, have cognitive delays, or PTSD changes in routine are triggers for “big behaviors”.
So now we are left working to provide these children with the best holiday season we can while helping them to manage their emotions, concerns, and frustrations!
Ray and I are well aware of just how stressful this season is to navigate through and we just want you all to know you are not alone, your are doing good (even when you feel you are not), and you are making a positive impact in these children’s lives, even when they are unable to voice or show it!
With all this being said, we want you to know that we are here for you! If you need suggestions on how to handle specific situations, reach out to us. If you just need to vent your frustrations, we are here to listen. We are always praying over your families, however if you need specific areas prayed over let us know. Over all we are saying that God has brought us to this point to be a mentor or partner in your journey and we are willing to walk through the holidays, the hard days, the hurtles, the blessings, the joys, and celebrations with you!
Our parting words on this post are … you will survive this season. You will be changed, you will be frustrated, however you will also be blessed beyond measure for walking alongside these special children, so don’t give up!
This years Christmas tree decorated by a child who has experienced multiple traumatic events and was able to focus her 8 year old brain on something that she loves for almost an entire day. What a great way to loose yourself in joy right? (And since everything on the tree is none breakable it was stress free for us as well!)