April 21, 2014

Yes, You CAN Get Through Secondary Rejection!

I know about what is known in the adoption world as "secondary rejection" from first-hand experience. It happened to me and was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to overcome.

There are a lot of things I want to say about this, but today, my thought for those of you who face this is:

You CAN get through this.

“Well Deanna, you got through it because your mother changed her mind.”

No, she didn’t.

Yes, we were in reunion 20 years before she died this past August. 

But that didn’t happen first because she changed her mind.   

It changed because I showed up on her doorstep anyway.
And then, she made the decision to stay connected.

Don’t think it wasn’t hard, or isn’t still hard now at times, for that matter – to know that she would have never changed her mind and gone back for me if I hadn’t shown up.

How do I know that?

I asked. You're crazy to ask this stuff, Deanna...

What I have never seemed to be able to handle is the not knowing.

So I ask the hard questions.
And, sometimes still don't get the answers.

There’s still plenty of unknowns to be had, even 47 years later.

I can’t say that those things ever get easier.
But I can tell you that I get stronger.

I'm not the same person even though many of my circumstances have stayed the same. 

I've learned my situation can change because I make the decision to change. (One variable changes it. That variable has most often been me.) 

I've also learned this:

Getting through it is INTENTIONAL. 

There’s nothing accidental about getting through a secondary rejection. Please, if you have any inkling that time alone is going to heal it, or that you are just going to wake up one day and miraculously feel different, dispel that myth right now.

The after-affects of secondary rejection don't just fade away with time. You MUST address them and go to the hard places to get to the healed places. 

Getting through it is A PROCESS.   

Please, remove the clock from this process. And remove comparisons as well. You’re not in a rush or a race. You will get through it if you are intentional and it will be in your own unique timing.

Caution: "Getting through it" does not mean you will never have another sad thought. Or that you won't have to determine to forgive again. And again. Getting through it and living an overcoming life doesn't mean things are perfect and you will never have a sad moment. Know what that's called? HEAVEN. And we're not there yet.

Getting through it is POSSIBLE.

There’s nothing you will ever face that God can’t and won’t help you get through. One thing I do know is that God won’t do anything with something you are unwilling to give to Him. Over and over again I’ve had to give him the broken areas of my life. He didn’t cause my secondary rejection. But He did work it for my good as I kept giving the pain to Him.  

Do. Not. Give. Up.

Refuse to let secondary rejection kill you, physically – emotionally – spiritually.

You CAN overcome that which you are convinced will be the death of you, I promise. 

If you have just experienced it, you are finding it hard to breathe.

Every part of you hurts.

And you are trying to hold your life together the best you can and not spill out emotionally all over the place while you get your work done each day.

I remember it like it was yesterday...

How it Happened for Me

My secondary rejection took place when I was pregnant with my second son. My boys are just a year apart. Having them so close, I got a double dose of the magnificence that is motherhood. Experiencing motherhood for the first time and then so rapidly in succession while also experiencing secondary rejection made me ask, "HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?????????????" 

It was too overwhelming for me to even comprehend.

More than once, trying to wrap my head around it sent me to a sobbing heap on the kitchen floor, crying out to God to please help me.

Usually this happened while Dustin was napping in his crib and I (pregnant with Jordan) was standing at the sink doing the dishes. There were times I was so overwhelmed with the thought of how I could possibly let go of my babies  and why someone ever let go of me...25 years prior and then the previous year AGAIN...that I just dropped to the floor and wailed until I was as limp as the dishrag in my hand. 
"God, please help me," I prayed. "I can't face the magnitude of this realization, alone."

"You're never alone," He always spoke back, in the still small voice in my heart.

I wasn't alone then and I'm not alone now. 

Neither are you, my friend. 

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