_DSC0627When we knew we were called to adopt, we knew that there were issues we could face. We hadn’t influenced our son’s early years. We weren’t able to lay a foundation for his life spiritually, emotionally, physically, and relationally. We knew we came in late in the game when he became a member of our family at age 9.

What a joy it has been to watch him flourish. He found God and had to write his birth parents to tell them that Jesus loved them. (No, he never heard back from them.) He discovered his love of hard work and dreamed of owning his own construction company. He  flourished in physical education at school and has toyed with the idea of being a person trainer. He loves woodworking and has dabbled with making his own furniture. It has been a joy to watch him discover who he is and how God has made him!

On the flip side, however, it has been heartbreaking as he has dealt with the rejection that is often inherent in adoption.  He has struggled to know where he fits into the family unit that he feels so different from. He doesn’t know how to accept the love of a family that he spent the first 9 years of his life dreaming about. His diagnosis of PTSD, RAD, and Clinical Depression have landed him in the mental health ward of the hospital on two occasions now.

He has graciously allowed me to share this with you. “If my story can help someone else, mom, then it’s ok to share it,” he said to me in March before the Hearts at Home conference and he repeated to me the other day as I visited him at the hospital.

I wouldn’t wish this on any mother, or any father, or any son, or any daughter, but it is real.  The mental health maze is very difficult to navigate.  There is no one place you go to figure out how to find the care and the resources your loved one needs.  This week I am piecing together a puzzle that I didn’t even know existed two weeks ago.

Forgive me for not posting as frequently as I usually do this week and probably over the next few weeks.  Forgive me for sharing more than one guest post in a week. I’m juggling my usual daily responsibilities with additional meetings, phone calls, conference calls, and research trying to find the right help for a loved one who needs it.

If you are navigating the mental health maze, you are not alone. As I always do, I’ll share what I learn because it just might help someone else out there.   I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else…but I know I’m not the only one walking this road.

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