It was an arduous process. The classes, the statistics, the videos about childhood neglect and pain. I drove home many night with tears in my eyes. I wanted to adopt every child and give them all the love they never had and all they love they deserved!
Their words were all kind and good, but did not have the power to take away my shame and failure. What mother doesn’t love their child? What kind of monster was I?
When I release my feelings for her from the idea of what love should be, or the comparison to other hues of love, I can finally see it for what it is: love. Though it may not have been as strong as I’d liked, it is still love nonetheless. This love for her led me to realize this next truth.
Then one more answer came quietly one day, as I was pondering love: It isn’t my love that will save her. It is His.
A mother's note:
One of reasons I've never shared this before is because I am fiercely protective of my daughter. I do not want anyone to judge her harshly, or see her in a negative light. A traumatic childhood can create issues for nearly any person. This post is about me and my struggles- not a letter of dissatisfaction or complaint about her. This was about my struggle, not hers, or any deficiencies she might have (we all have them, right?). Her behaviors are what I struggled with, and when I began to realize my false expectations and further truths about love, and also that I wasn't required to love her behaviors, but to love her, I found peace and truth.
She has her struggles, but we all do. My daughter is awesome. She is confident, quick to help and eager to forgive. She loves to make people happy. Her laugh is infectious. She loves God. She is strong and growing and blossoming into a beautiful young woman. She is making choices that bring her joy.
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Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com