April 28th, 2007
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Categories: Abused Children

Three Children (c) Lynda Bernhardt

If you are hoping to adopt a child who has been abused, you have an adventure ahead of you. You are choosing to adopt a broken child and provide him with the love and kindness that he needs to melt the ice inside and heal from his emotional wounds. Many children will blossom in the warmth of your love; some will not.

If the child chooses not to heal, don’t blame yourself. This is in response to the harm that was inflicted upon him by evil people. Some children are simply not brave enough to risk loving again. It takes an enormous amount of courage and strength to risk loving and trusting after being so deeply damaged. As frustrating as this can be, we cannot judge those who do not have the strength to recover from their wounds. Unless you have been that deeply wounded, you cannot possibly understand what it takes to recover from the pain. The healing process can be nearly unbearable at times. Some people do not have the strength to survive it and, instead, choose to live in isolation even while surrounded by love.

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If your child chooses to heal and embraces you as his parent, you will have the honor of watching one of the most amazing transformations that exists in this world. You will watch this caterpillar spin its cocoon and emerge as a beautiful butterfly displaying brilliant color. You will see a child grow into an adult who will bring beauty to this world. Those who do the hard work of healing from deep trauma are not generally satisfied with “just getting by.” Surviving is no longer enough; they want to THRIVE. Abuse survivors who heal become some of the most passionate and life-affirming people you will ever meet. You will also have a friend for life when your child is grown. Abuse survivors are intensely loyal to those who loved them when they did not love themselves.

I have often wondered how I turned out to be a good person despite all that I endured as a child. The answer is love. Although I did not find love in my abusers, I found it in my sister, my friends, and in a few teachers who saw the good in me that I could not see in myself. If a few teachers could have that powerful of an impact on my life, I can only imagine what a difference it would have made if I had been adopted into a loving family. May God bless you for choosing to love a broken child. You may never fully appreciate how profoundly you change the life of your child.

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2 Responses to “Adopting an Abused Child: Some Final Words”

  1. John says:

    Faith, what a wonderful post, we are lucky to have your unique perspective. From the adoptive parents standpoint, it is the ride of a lifetime. This is the stuff you can’t explain to other people when you decide to do it again. John

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