Today is our oldest daughter's 15th birthday. She is not living with us. She is living in a home for children with severe emotional problems. I see now that the damage that was done to her in infancy by her abusive birth mother was so great that she never could have had a normal and delightful childhood. Unfortunately, I doubt she will have the happy, productive adulthood we all wish for our children. We had such grand hopes and dreams for our Goldilocks when we adopted her at age 2. We did everything the doctors and therapists told us to do. But it wasn't enough to heal her, and for 11 years we lived with a child with extreme behavior issues who took chaos to an entirely new level. Today, Goldilocks is an angry teenager who is testing her house mother every single hour of every single day and in strange and unpredictable ways. She has made it clear that she doesn't want to come home (yet) and hasn't seen her siblings in almost two years (because the state requires her to do so, she does see her father and me several times a month but refuses to see her siblings). We are still praying that we will find some program or miracle that will improve her quality of life and the quality of the lives of those who are trying to care for her. She intentionally creates chaos (she admits to this) and thus wears people out, so they can only take her chaos for short periods of time. All we can do for her is to keep praying.
Finally, I am getting to the year 2015. What words would I use to describe 2015? This year was calm and filled with healing for the rest of our family! When I look back on the biggest moments of the year, they are small but happy ones. Nothing life altering and major happened in our household. The hardest thing was the loss of our dog of 16 years. The most delightful things were watching our kids dance, traveling to new places, enjoying endless hours of board games, homeschooling and family laughter. I love to see my family laughing. There were no major changes to my husband's job, our marriage, our housing, our finances, our family structure. There were no major medical setbacks for any of our children (that is huge in my world). I am so grateful for a calm year. I've tried very hard to make only choices that would create calmness, even if it meant giving up something that was fun (but hard to pull off).
So my goal for 2016 is to KEEP CALM! I absolutely crave calmness. Of course, much of life is out of our control. But we can control some of our choices and the ones I can control I intend to make calm and peaceful choices. Yes, I still hope to travel a bit in the next year and do new things. But I only want to do things that benefit our family in healing, calm ways. We all have been through enough turmoil for a lifetime. So I pray that we will remain healthy and continue to grow and heal as a happy family. Here is praying for another CALM year!