I was reading an article where a child had been adopted to replace a child who had died.  The thought of that makes me cringe.
No person can replace another person.    And it is of utmost importance that we as parents don’t make decisions towards adoption if we are thinking a new child will replace somebody we lost.
As I continued to read, the little girl who was adopted asked her mother if she would have adopted her, had her other daughter not died.  The mother was offended by the question.

Our kids are going to ask us all kinds of questions, and we need to be prepared to answer them with respect and kindness.

Reading this caused me to reflect on something that happened in our own family a few years ago.
My daughter was newly home.  In her last adoptive family she had horses.  As I was rocking her, she looked at me sadly and said, “I would have rather had a horse.”

You know, I probably would have rather had a horse too, if at 11 years old I had just been through my third family,  only to lose my horse by being sent to yet another family!

I felt compassion for her.  I told her that I understood how she felt.
As parents, we can’t just fix grief in a nice little package of cliche’.
I could have said, “People are more important than animals” or “You are in your new forever family.”  Ummm. yea. That would have gone over like a lead balloon.

The one thing that we did not do, even though it was suggested to us, was to buy her a horse.
I wasn’t able to put into words why. But it just seemed like the wrong thing to do.
Today, as I read that article, the thought process became very clear.
We didn’t buy her a horse, because you can’t replace one horse with another, just like you cannot replace people with other people.

She suffered a loss. It was the loss of a friend; her horse.
To just give her another one would have been a cheap attempt to solve a problem that wasn’t about the horse.

Her problem had to do with not being able to stay in a family and identify with and attach to people!

So, we worked on relationship.  We worked hard and she did too.
And over time, she learned to trust us.

A year later, as I was rocking her, out of the blue she said, “Mama, I love you more than a horse!”
“Why thank you sweetie!”

Those words were precious to my heart.
They were more than just a nice thing to say. She meant what she said. She was saying that she was able to connect with people once again and not hide in  giving all her affections to animals.

That is a real victory.

Our children are going to ask questions and say things that might make us feel uncomfortable or even defensive.  We need to be very aware of WHY we might feel that way, and work past it.  They have every right to ask, the WHY questions.  And they deserve kind and loving answers that will help in the process of healing their hearts.

Comments warmly welcomed!


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