By:  Gari Lister

Parents Go to the Moon

“We choose to go to the moon . . .  not because it is easy, but because it is hard . . . because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.. . . ” John F. Kennedy, Jr. (Sept. 12, 1962 at Rice University)

Today is the 50th anniversary of the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, and this famous quotation is one of many played on television over the last few weeks here in Dallas.  It resonated with me – and you can probably guess why.

First of all, being a mom to ANYONE is not easy.  But being a mom to a hurt, angry, sad little person is a definite challenge.  It is hard to have children who scream for hours at a time.  It is hard to keep your marriage strong when you have little ones who need to sleep with you, and it is hard to hug little children – and smile lovingly – when they don’t want to hug you back.  It is hard to listen to all the worries, all the fears and all the anger that a traumatized ten year old can feel.  And, boy is it hard to forgive a child who has broken your heart.

So why do it?  Do it because it is hard.  If it were easy, anyone could do it and there would be a lot fewer traumatized children.

And we do choose.  Really.  Whether your child is adopted or biological, you are on this journey because you chose it.  Oh, I know the whole I-bought-a-ticket-to-Italy-and-I wound-up-in-Holland story.  But regardless, my husband and I wound up in Holland.  And once in Holland, we had a choice.  We could have stayed on the ground – we could have chosen to listen to the first expert, done what he suggested and go no further.  But every time we reached for something else to help, every time we listened to our gut and searched for a different expert, a different therapy, a different approach to parenting, we were choosing to go higher – we were choosing to go to the moon.

We haven’t gotten there yet, but we will.

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