01 October 2016
I’m Praying For You
I have the privilege and heartache of speaking with many adoptive families from across the United States. Sadly, most are calling our organization exhausted and desperate for help with their child who is experiencing severe behavioral and mental health challenges. The most recent call was from a mom who has 2 adopted sons. I could tell from her voice where she was emotionally. I, too, have been there. She is in the angry phase. The phase when you realize you are totally alone in this journey. The phase when you realize no one warned you about the issues that may come up and no one is there to help. When strangers and friends greet you with judgement. When your school and church have asked you to leave. The phase after you have sold the house and drained the retirement account to pay for treatment; yet after years of treatment, the extreme behaviors still exist. And the children are still in need of intensive therapy but there is no money to pay for it. The point at which you are helplessly watching your family implode. After expressing her situation and frustrations, this mom said to me, “I am so tired of hearing ‘I’m praying for you’ and not seeing any action. If these people are really praying, God would move them to action. Why aren’t they offering to help?” Which was then followed up by “I am obviously in the angry phase!” I just wanted to reach across the miles to the east coast and give her a big hug. And I did not end our conversation with “I’m praying for you”. Many adopted children need more than their parent’s love, just as the parents need more than a prayer. Don’t misunderstand, prayer is huge. But I think this mom has a point….when there is a need, God will be nudging you to do something about it in addition to praying. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. I tell people all the time “I am praying for you”, but what am I doing to follow up? A card, text, email, phone call? An offer to run an errand or watch their kids for a couple hours so they can take a nap or clean up the house? Here are some practical ways we can show support and love for a family, WHILE lifting them in prayer:
- Provide RESPITE
- Lawn care
- Money for therapy
- Car Maintenance
- Attend court/visitation/doctor appointments with your friend.
- Ask questions to better understand the situation, this helps to eliminate judgment
- Simply ask “what can I do to support you”?