Emerging From Silence: A Family Update

The past four months have been our most intense yet on our journey of foster care and adoption. It’s ongoing, because even after the adoption decree, there is lifelong healing in progress. I am ready to emerge from the recent silence on this page to provide some personal updates to our family, friends and followers.

Mental health is a key component of this journey. Never one we expected, but here we are. God arranges all things according to His good pleasure, so we embrace it and are learning all we can to love our children well. We struggle with talking about it publicly.

On one hand is the southern “hide your crazy” upbringing, in which mental and behavioral issues are not talked about. There’s also the right for our children to own their own stories with dignity and respect.

On the other hand, how will people know how to pray for us if they don’t know. After all, we are called to bear one another’s burdens. A friend recently reminded me that we weren’t designed to struggle alone.

Within the past week, we have placed two children into two specialty facilities in two states. One child is nearly 5 hours away, the other not quite two hours away. One stay should be relatively short. The other is not scheduled for discharge until Fall 2021. And, with a pandemic raging, there are no visits. Period. Thankfully, we will be able to have video calls on a limited basis, but that doesn’t replace hugs.

At the same time, we are working toward “family wholeness” through an intense judicial process. I’m not allowed to discuss more at this time, but it is a major element of our current life that rivals the other. And, we’re just coming out of a mandatory quarantine (somehow I was allowed to drive out-of-state during) which has kept us laying low and without real human contact for about two weeks. And, yes, we all tested negative.

This pandemic has been incredibly isolating for everyone. It certainly is so for our other son. He’s home, struggling with the weight of all that is happening while distancing from friends and normal life. The toddler is hard at 2 years old but he’s hilarious — he’s our source of comic relief and entertainment.

Chrissy and I are doing ok, but like you, are feeling isolated during this pandemic. We are experiencing the full range of emotions that you can imagine with this situation. Our bodies and minds are tired.

Unlike a physical ailment, there is no clear cut path to healing — just a unending marathon with more twists and turns than a mountain road. But we believe that our Creator is not done creating our children and he’s certainly still working on us.

We’re thankful to have a small circle that’s helping us navigate this experience. But it feels disingenuous to not open up a bit and share what’s going on inside our family walls. Fake it till you make it only goes so far.

And finally, another reason I didn’t write is that I don’t have a good answer for what to say when people so kindly respond, “what can we do to help?” I’ve cobbled some things together below, but just know that we have everything physically we need at the moment. And we appreciate all of you, thank you for reading through this.

  • Pray for healing for our children, for favor in the legal issues, rest and renewing for us, resolution for this pandemic and the work instability it brings. Pray for Justice as he feels isolated and friendless.
  • Support us through our normal business work. For me, consider allowing me to book your travel- even if its something you can do yourself. If you’d like to have your nails always on point, ask Chrissy about Colorstreet. If you’d rather have new jewelry and like accessories, ask Chrissy about Plunder, her newest side gig. Our finances are ok, just unstable at the moment, as I’m just coming off furlough, and travel hasn’t largely resumed. God is meeting our daily needs. The legal expenses are very real though.
  • Advocate for mental healthcare reform in America. We’re living it day-to-day and see the shortcomings of our current system. Sharing this or previous posts on mental health is a way to get started. I’ll be writing more based on our experiences soon.
  • Engage. We’re working on plans to help support and encourage our son in long-term treatment. And, we’re working toward a plan to tackle the legal expenses. More to come on both.

3 thoughts on “Emerging From Silence: A Family Update

  1. You all have our continued prayers. I’ll be reaching out to Chrissy for some jewelry for Christmas presents. Your willingness to share your family journey is appreciated. I don’t need intimate details but what is their diagnosis?

    Sing Praises to God. Psalm 47:6

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  2. Kudos Andrew for finally releasing your challenges! Holding emotional “silence” doesn’t help you or your family. “Showing your crazy” is the only way to live free and clear.

    As I have said before, our family went through a lot with our children over a decade ago, and it was severe. But, because we shared everything with everyone, we always had an amazingly strong support system. And as a New Yorker, we don’t hold anything back…its what makes us real to the core! If there’s one thing you can count in, its me being straight with you.

    I am HERE my friend. Always ready to listen, and be an ear when you need one. I can also share my own experiences…they may not be the same, but emotionally, we may have huge similarities.

    In the meantime, keep being the amazing Dad that you are. I miss you and will keep your family close at heart. XO

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  3. Thank you SO much for sharing your heart with us so we can help bare your burden through prayer! Keep us posted please! Love you all! Diane Michael

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