Monthly Archives: January 2012

Behind the veil 4

Arrogant, cocky, prideful.

Sensing he has free reign to attack, Destroyer kicks his low-level archers into position.

“Aim your arrows directly at the child’s heart.”

The combatants elbow each other, jostling for position, and take aim.

FIRE!

Shame releases his arrow.

FIRE!

Abandonment cackles as his arrow pierces the young heart.

FIRE!

Rejection shoots an entire round of arrows at the child.

FIRE!

Betrayal releases two arrows, one at the mind and the other to the center of the heart.

Destroyer shouts angrily “Did I not tell you to aim at the heart?!? Idiot!”

The Guardians watch, tears escaping with every arrow that hits its mark.

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Things I Choose To Remember

Christmas parties. Lots of cousins, cheesy games, wondering if the ties grandma gave to the guys was a joke, or her ‘for real’ thinking they looked nice.

Motorcycles, mini-bikes, snowmobiles. Fast through the fields, down the paths, down the dirt road, (were we supposed to have a license?) along the creek.

The creek….one of my favorite places. The fish, frogs, snakes. Yes, I loved being fast enough to catch the snakes with my bare hands. Not very ‘girlie’, but I didn’t care.

Open fields, softball diamonds….softball games.

Trees to climb  –  hundreds and hundreds of them. Bummer when the nailed-on steps broke and the nail went into my leg. Proud of the scar.

An aunt who made the world’s best “sticky buns”.  Still haven’t found any like them.

Going fishing, learning to water ski, grilling burgers in the park by “the river”.

Always a garden. Hated weeding; loved the vegetables. Adopted dad somehow knew something no one else seemed to know about growing sweet corn, his was the best.

Being taken for a ride in a big semi truck that he drove. The truck was so big; I was so little. Felt so special to be along for the ride.

The family loved jokes & pranks. Helped adopted mom “plant” a rubber snake in the entryway; watched as she screamed in mock fear when her husband came home. He, bravely, proceeded to pound the snake to death with his thermos.

Church was an important part of adopted mom’s life for as long as I can remember; dad became more focused on his faith when I was a teen. Went to church with her, learned about God in Sunday School. Memorized Heidelberg. Knew from a very, very young age that God was real, that He was watching, and someday He had something very special planned for me.

Developed insatiable curiosity for the words written in the Bible. Kept looking for my name, always expecting to be part of the Story.  Accepted Jesus at a roller skating party a friend took me to. Baptist altar calls are the best.

Writing. Always writing. And reading. Studying, learning, stretching my mind. Memorized everything, usually not on purpose.

When I think about my childhood, these are scenes I choose first to remember, creating my own Shalom as foundation for my heart.  For on a foundation of peace, rainbows of life shine, thunderstorms rage, and the core stays intact.


Behind the veil 3

The Guardians returned.

“We did not finish, Sir. There is still too much suffering in the young heart.”

There is no strength like that which suffering produces.

“Sir?”

The strongest steel is forged by fire, the strongest skin is formed by scars, and the strongest hearts are victorious through deep pain.

“Will she heal?”

The most profound Healers have themselves been deeply wounded.

 “Allowing this is for a purpose, then?”

When she becomes strong and steps into My calling for her, it will be evident that her strength is from Me, and not of herself.

“Will this season be brief?”

Silence.

“Sir, even a casual observer can see that this path is stony, steep, riddled with thorns. Many hearts will be hurt.”

More silence.

Shuffling is heard outside the Realm. Destroyer has readied his troops.

Shame. Abandonment. Rejection. Betrayal. Despair.

A menacing gathering of dark forces moves toward its young target.

The Guardians prepare to follow.

 Keep her always in your sights, but do not interfere.

“Yes, Sir.”


The Orphanage

Shortest period of time  –  only about 30 days long.

Yet it held the most irrevocable consequences, impacting countless lives for many years to come.

My hero was faced with an excruciating decision. Recognizing her own inability to care for me, and seeing the harm the state foster care plan was causing, she chose the path of adoption.

She also chose on that day, and in the years to follow, to keep her maiden name a permanent part of her legal name. Years later when she married, her maiden name became her middle name. The rationale? To keep that name in all her public records, in case her little girl ever wanted to find her.

My father surrendered his rights quickly, then began a life of deception by not telling anyone about my existence. It worked, for many decades. He forgot one important truth: No matter how we try to drown them, lies always manage to find their way to the surface.

A family was quickly located to complete the adoption.

Too quickly, according to some.

Carelessly, in the opinion of others.

The legal file acknowledged the family was adopting out of personal need: Having been told they could not conceive, they believed it socially unacceptable to be childless….so they adopted. First a boy, then a girl. The façade of a perfect family was created.

Case workers identified the father as emotionally distant, unable to properly nurture. The mother was described as already being overwhelmed with the task of raising the young boy they had adopted. It was unlikely she could handle the daughter they were seeking.

The last, tragic paragraph of the file read: “We recognize that this home is not the best fit for this child. Maybe having an emotionally wounded child will force them to become emotionally supportive parents.”

To the parents, it was communicated that the young girl they were adopting had been in the care of her mother and grandmother, and the grandmother became ill, leading to the need for adoption.

They were never told the journey I had already been on.

No matter how we try to drown them, lies always manage to find their way to the surface.


Touchstone 2

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd…..He leads me…He comforts me.

Though I walk through a valley, I will not fear….He is with me.

Isaiah 55

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways…

As the rain and snow….so shall My Word be.

It shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

When you cannot see His hand, trust His heart…..


A time of Shalom

Recognizing their initial plan wasn’t working, the State stepped in once again. I was abruptly removed from my mother’s care and brought to a “more permanent” foster home. There were two things that had been consistent in all the moving around: a favorite doll from my mother, and my name. Even though my birth certificate said “Lorri Jo”, from as early as anyone can remember I was called JoJo.

JoJo, and her doll, were placed into the care of Mr. and Mrs. K.

There were other children in the home, and a ton of love to go around. The only baby picture I have is from the K’s place; it says “JoJo, 14 months”, on the back. I’m told I had a habit of getting into things, especially a certain sugar jar that they tried to keep “out of reach” on a table. Climbing things was, apparently, an early love.

It was with the K’s that my birth father saw me for the only time during my childhood. He visited once, saw me standing in a crib, and walked away. Birth mom and grandma tried to ‘out-do’ each other in buying gifts & dropping them off; then they, too, walked away.

There was eight months of love, laughter, stability, a sense of belonging. Proper discipline (especially around a certain climbing habit) and family value began to be instilled.

Then the K’s did something that would have dramatic consequences for them, and me. They decided they wanted to adopt me, make me a permanent member of their family.

Unfortunately, according to the laws of our state at that time, it was illegal for foster parents to adopt. As a result, they lost their foster license and I was removed from their home.

I was removed so abruptly, the K’s didn’t have time to pack the doll that was so precious to me. Mrs. K put the doll away, in a safe place, just in case…..

I was taken to the local orphanage at 18 months of age with the only thing that had been consistent since birth: my name.

Stability, belonging, security……tragically, tearfully, come to an end.


Behind the veil 2

The Guardians entered, responding to a summons.

“Sir?”

You are writing the next chapter. Fill it with peace, love, acceptance, and faith. Bring joy, laughter, stability, and belonging.

“Yes, Sir! We will need quite a bit of time, to properly heal from the earlier chapters.”

Silence.

“Sir? There’s been so much harm!  Surely You will agree that at least as much time is needed to accomplish this task fully. We really should have longer, to make sure the foundation is solid and the heart heals completely.”

Silence.

“We will sow the right seeds, Sir, and trust that You will empower us to watch over them.”