He Threw a Punch: Adoption is Complicated

It wasn't a good punch. That's what Russ said. And he was right. It was badly timed, badly formed, and kinda slow. Thank you Jesus.

Because that punch? Was aimed at his little brother. "Yeah," you say, "welcome to  having boys!" I'll chuckle with you on that one. I get it.

But inside I'm heaving a huge sigh of relief. He is the good kid. The perfect kid. The almost too perfect kid. And he threw a punch.

Details on his early life are scarce, but you can count on this he has been in survival mode for the vast majority of his five years. He has lived hyper-aware and always "on." Without meaning to, he always places himself in a position of control. Everybody. Everything. Get it under control.

He threw a punch.

When hearts, no matter how young or old, break, the cracks get filled. They can get filled with concrete, steeling themselves against anymore rifts. Each time they break reinforcement comes in the from of more mortar.

Strengthen. Control. Don't crack.

People can live their whole life with the gaps in their hearts petrifying into an unbreakable mass.

Right then? My boy's heart cracked.

Until then, he hadn't fully trusted us to parent his brother. He certainly hasn't trusted us to fully parent himself. Sure, he'll play the game. Yes, we have moments of absolutely genuine tenderness. But the control switch is always on, just in case.

I have good news:

When hearts, no matter how young or old, break, the cracks get filled. They can get filled with light, surrendering themselves to grace. Each time they break reinforcement comes in the form of love unspeakable.

Surrender. Grace. Light.


He is sad like he realized something. That's what Russ said. And he was right.

It wasn't the sad of an angry person that lost control . It wasn't the sad of despair without hope...

It was the sad of someone who cracked.

It was the sad that is about to make a choice. Concrete or light.

So he threw a punch and I was relieved. Because adoption is complicated. Because to fill the cracks with grace means a painful breaking down of mortar of control.

For just a minute there, he started trusting us. He trusted us to care for his brother when he didn't. He trusted us to love him when he was unlovable.

Faith is built on a foundation of light. Until the light shines through we can never trust. Until we surrender we never can never fully know the power by which we are held. By which we are loved.

We aren't going to make it out unscathed. We probably won't make it out of today unbroken. We have to fill in the cracks.

Concrete or Light?

We choose.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart. Psalm 51:17

We choose.

Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:45

We choose.

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 11:19

Today let's choose to fill our hearts with grace, let's let His light shine bright out of our broken places.