The mindset that a child from hard places is "rescued", is slightly off. Yes, they've been given new hope. Yes, they've been brought into better surroundings than they were found in. Yes, they now have needs met.
But the impact from that hard place doesn't just go away, once a child is moved into a new home. Yet, our culture seems to have this idea that a "rescued" child will just blend right on in. That they'll have some imbedded ability to be grateful for being "rescued". That the new, good memories, will eradicate the old, painful reality.
It would be ideal if it worked like that, but it doesn't. Reality is, a child from a hard place requires far more awareness, than a child raised in a loving home from birth.
I would love it if my son would immediately know social cues. It would make my life easier, if my son fully trusted that he is safe and loved.
My son came from this:
His body was covered with worms.
His stomach was full of intestinal worms.
Infection oozed from his eyes.
His belly was swollen from malnutrition.
He was neglected, no one came when he cried.
For the first three years of his life, this was his reality. There was no fun. No one told him he was important. No one held him, when he was sad or upset. His emotional and physical needs were not met.
Sure, once we met our son, we worked tirelessly to get him into a safe place. He received proper nutrition, medical attention, and was beginning to be shown love. Even in the best situation, troubles still followed.
In the ideal orphanage/crèche, bad things still happened. It's impossible for caregivers to keep watch all the time. Older children would often prey on the younger; threatening them if they didn't share food, demanding sexual favors that no child should even know about.
Yet, once in America, this stigma of "rescued" child, buried his very real pain.
My son has grown tremendously in his emotional stability. He's learning to accept love, and that it doesn't come with strings attached. He's learning that no matter what, I'm not giving up on him. He's showing so much healing, and I'm truly amazed at the progress.
But every step of healing, comes with cleaning out an old wound. This often brings old reactions to the surface.
Extreme fits still happen.
Purposeful destruction still occurs.
Defensive and hateful, adult like words, still spew from his seven year old mouth.
Inappropriate attempts for attention, still draw the wrong attention.
Social cues still confuse.
Other kids still don't fully understand.
But to expect my "rescued" son to already be completely healed from his five years of hard places, is unrealistic.
To be entrusted with such a child, is a blessing that I often forget to appreciate. To be a part of the healing process, is humbling. I feel inadequate. I fail. But despite how many times I drop the ball, God never lets go.
My son was not "rescued". But he is being rescued daily. His healing is transforming his life, and providing a testimony to tell. His truest heart is emerging from the place where he's accepted God in.
He may not fit the mold that our society expects him to fit. However, he perfectly fits in the hands of an all loving, all knowing, miraculously healing God.