Sometimes the Past Haunts Us

I originally posted this 3 years ago but this message has been going over and over in my heart lately, hope it touches you too.

As many of you know, we adopted Lauren from China a little over a year ago. She was 2 years old when we brought her home and she had lived in an orphange for all of her 2 years.

We struggled for several months and still do at times, with her attachment to us. I would say she is strongly attached now, but it has been a struggle.

We have come leaps and bounds and I believe she is very securely attached to me, but there are so many little “quirks” that she has that reveal the past fears and insecurities. Sometimes I really wish she could tell me about the things she has seen and experienced. We get glimpses, but never the whole picture.

That brings me to what happened the other day. I was unpacking all my Christmas stuff and she was sitting with a basket of last years Christmas cards looking at each one of the pictures. She was there for a good 10 minutes just studying them while I was busy decorating. Suddenly she yelled “MOMMY!” and ran over to me with a card in her hand. With a very sad and upset face and tears in her eyes, she kept yelling-

Mommy! No Mommy! No Mommy! and shaking her head.

I looked at the picture and this is what is was…

She was very upset and said, NO MOMMY!….MOMMY GO BYE-BYE…!!!

She kept repeating it over and over and I realized that she was saying that the little girl in the picture was sad because her Mommy had left her. That’s when I saw that the little girl was Chinese.

My heart just broke and I held her and assured her that this little girl’s Mommy had not left her, she was just praying to Jesus.

I wish I could get inside that little mind and know all that she thinks and how she processes things, but it is clear that she has glimpses of the past that haunt her.

Our job is to love Lauren and protect her and pray that she will be healed from her past and that it won’t affect her future. I believe God has big plans for my little darlin’ and He will use her past to bring healing to others.

So………………………………. what about you?

Do you ever have glimpses of the past that remind you of past pain? Does a picture or memory send you reeling in grief?

If so, the Holy Spirit is there to bring the love of God into your heart and show you the protection and security that only God can bring.

Eph 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
NIV

I pray you are able to trust that Your God loves you and will never leave you, and that you can put your past behind you and be made new in Him!

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Comments

  1. Monkey Giggles says:

    I will be praying for her too.

  2. A Stone Gatherer says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I have to admit at times there are memories that quickly come and try to discourage me in my walk with the Lord, but I have learned to speak against them, and tell satan, Christ paid it all! Praises to him!

  3. I will pray too for your gorgeous girl. At first I felt that sadness, but as I came to type this comment I felt incredible hope. She is able to express these emotions now when so young and to have such loving parents in her life, who chose her and prayed for her, well the picture I had was of you and your family linking arms surrounding her in a circle and Jesus enfolding his arms around all of you. I do love your new layout too by the way, just wonderful.God's biggest blessings on you all.

  4. Sue. Wow. It has been one kind of weepy day for me and you have me going again! I will pray for your sweet little Lauren, too. And for you as you love her and love her and love her until her past no longer haunts her.Hugs…Susan

  5. Sue,I can relate on several different levels. I have a sister who is adopted. My parents adopted her at birth – but, there was still alot of unanswered questions about alot of things. She is now 24 and met her birth mother in June. It was interesting. Alot of questions were answered – but, more importantly everything that had been sowed into her life and prayed over came forth like a waterfall. It was amazing. Looking back over the years – through all the hard times – it was like everything just came together. God is so faithful. My husband and I also do orphanage mission work in Russia and Guatemala – and have alot of friends who have adopted overseas. Be encouraged…God is writing an amazing story into the life of Lauren…and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! I will be praying for you, as Lauren's mother, as well as praying for Lauren!

  6. Heather C says:

    Beautifully touching post. I'll be praying the same for Lauren… God will use her mightily in the years to come. I'm sure of it! Praying wisdom and discernment for you as you try to help her come to grips with the past, and imagine the future. (((((((Sue))))))))Heather

  7. How heartbreaking for you and your angel, I am believing and trusting that every single gap in sweet Lauren's life will be completely filled with Him…Blessings on all of you.

  8. Sue @ Praise and Cof says:

    You all are so sweet, thank you for the prayers. We knew it would not be an easy road for her, but I praise God for how far she has come! She has brought so much laughter to our house!! A lot of noise too… but lots of laughter.:o)

  9. My Girl and I were looking through all of the photos of Lauren and My Girl was just overwhelmed by all the photos and thoughts you posted about adopting her. Thank you for sharing all of this…

  10. What a precious, precious post, Sue! Oh how I wish you could help my friend, Gwen. She just brought her second girl home from China. Her sweet Maggie has some HUGE obstacles to overcome. You can check out her story and progress at http://www.oatsvallteam.blogspot.com. They are very challenged right now, but trusting God every step of the way!!Blessings,Dori

  11. This post has me in tears. I certainly understand this because we too, have had so many little things with Hannah when it comes to bonding and her past. We just have no idea what our girls have been thru in the past. So many times I've just prayed because I honestly didn't know what else to do. I will pray for Lauren and you as well. Like you said, I do believe God will use all of this for His good in the future! Thank you for sharing from your heart once again. That is why I love coming here!

  12. Lauren is just beautiful! I pray with you Sue. You are such a fine woman of God and an amazing mom to this very special girl. I admire you deeply and you have just blessed me through your words. Praise you Jesus for freedom through Christ. Praying for all of you!Fran

  13. i wonder what pathway of encouragement Jesus will lead little lauren on? and how many broken hearts little laurens will encourage and help heal?

  14. I am lifting your precious daughter up to the Lord in prayer. He has a glorious, brilliant life planned for her, and I know that He can overcome anything in her past. What a blessing you are to Lauren, as I know she is to you. :o) Praying God's abdunant blessings on your family!!!!

  15. Wow.It is so true that God placed in us a desire for security. A security that can only be filled by Him.Life is orchestrated by God so that He can show us over and over again just how much He loves us and will never leave us.You and your husband are going to be able to teach her so much about A God who will never leave her just by being Godly parents.It took me years to have a honest picture of God because it took God so long to get rid of the warped picture I had of what a Dad was supposed to be like.Just love her.The past that has bound her will be easily unchained by the love that you give her. You have the key.You share the key with her.You share the key with us.LOVEThank you

  16. Sharon Lynne says:

    I loved this post. The story about Lauren pulled at my heart. Yes…God can do the impossible, and he can heal our hearts from the past and give us hope for the future.

  17. Hmmm, can I come over and hold you both?love you;Kimmiemama to 6one homemade and 5 adopted

  18. Penless Thoughts says:

    What a sad/sweet occurrence here. Thanks for sharing it with us. It's such a comfort to know God knows our beginning, our ending and ALL in between. God is GOOD!!!Susan

  19. Wow! I can't imagine this! I'm sure God has wonderful things for this little girl…the best is that He led her to you! We watched a movie last night called "Christmas Child". We got it at the Christian bookstore. It was about adoption. It has Steven Curtis Chapman in it. I'm sure you are aware of his adoption story/mission. It was very touching. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It made me think of you!Hope you are having a great week!GOD BLESS!

  20. Lady_MSnow says:

    Oh my…it would be hard enough to go through that as an adult, but such a small child. I will pray for her. ((((HUGS))))

  21. BunnyGirl says:

    Sue, that's so heartbreaking for your little girl. How awful that she associated that picture with abandonment. I pray that he protects you all and that she learns that love is there for her as is Love itself, God.Yes,I have certain triggers that will cause me to reflect on past pain. I have a number of ways of dealing with this and not all good.But I am learning the right way.

  22. Your little girl is so blessed to have you there to comfort her. No matter how old we are, or how strong our faith, there are moments that can trigger some insecurities, if only for a moment. It's part of what makes us human and reminds us to cast our cares on Him because when things are going well, I know I tend to feel a tad too self suffficient. Don't you?

  23. Sue @ Praise and Cof says:

    Yes Terry I do!Hugs to Kimmie & lady msnow!Gina, yes I am aware of SCC ministry- it's awesome. One of his concerts was when God spoke to us about adoption. I haven't seen that movie though, I'll have to check it out.All,Thanks for all the sweet comments!

  24. What an amazing post! WOW~ yes, I do understand past pain and how I feel when it comes to surface. I love that we Have the Power of Christ to sustain us and pull us through. I will pray for your little princess~ I have a heart for little ones from China~ God is greater than all our needs…He will hold you and your family!Thanks for sharing so deep!

  25. Jenileigh says:

    This just breaks my heart. I am so grateful for people like you that God has called to adopt these precious children. I so wish that my husband and I could adopt. We can't because of his past in his teenage years, he got into trouble and its on his record. We have filled for his civilian rights back and plan to seek a pardon…if it is the will of God He will bring this to pass.I will be praying for you sweet little girl. {{{hugs}}}

  26. Bless that little girl's heart. May God use the way she processes things…the obvious deep emotional capabilities that have been carved into her heart…to bring emotional healing to others. May she be able to just look at someone and feel what they are feeling…and speak God's Truth and Life into that place.The enemy intended to strike her down in fear and rejection. But she WILL rise up, armed with the type of anointing that only comes from having "been there", and break Fear and Rejection to pieces.And may God give you wisdom in raising and loving that little Warrior-in-training.

  27. Beautiful post, Sue. I know you are just what your little girl needs to heal. She may never forget, but she CAN be made whole again.

  28. Oh, what a touching story, thanks for sharing this, and using it to remind us of God's faithful love for us.Give that precious daughter of yours a big hug for all of us…Blessings to you!Susan

  29. That was beautiful, Sue. I can't imagine what she must feel like. Thanks for writing about it. I want to know the truth about all this stuff so that i can know what we're dealing with when baby Beth FINALLY joins us….:-)Your sweet little girl, how much you must just want to hold her and assure her you're not going anywhere. But you are so right….only God can truly take away our pain.

  30. Jewels of My Heart says:

    This broke my heart…. I see this pain in my little ones at times. Healing will come. Will pray for your sweet daughter to know God's peace and have the security her heart and mind long for.The picture touched me…. It is so beautiful… Thank you for the reminder that we are forgiven and to not walk in condemnation! Oh, how the accuser of the brethren is good at what he does.Thank You Jesus that he is the defeated one and You are VICTORIOUS!

  31. Mel's World says:

    Poor poor baby…one can only imagine what she has seen with her tender little eyes.What a blessing she is to your family, and that your family is to her.Melissa

  32. Bless your little girl's heart. It WAS a pretty dark picture of the little girl. I pray God will totally heal her. I enjoyed your sweet post.

  33. The Preacher's says:

    Hey Sue! Pop by my blog when you get a chance…You made my CWO post this week…:))Lisa

  34. That was a truly beautiful post. I know God can heal those memories and replace them with new ones. And you are certainly His tool in the process.

  35. North Carolina Gran& says:

    Thank you for sharing…very touching. I think we all share in having moments when we might remember something in our past that was hurtful to us, however small and insignificant it might have been…but we still remember.I just found your blog. I am adding it on to my blog!

  36. Sue @ Praise and Cof says:

    Thanks North Carolina Gran'ma and everyone else who added a link!!!

  37. I got all choked up reading this post. I agree with you that God will use this pain she experienced in her life to help others one day.What a good mommie you are.

  38. Momma Roar says:

    I cried at this post because I have a niece that was adopted from China 6 years ago.God has chosen you to be her parents and has placed her in your care – He will guide you in her healing process! How wonderful for your open heart to adopt – and she is such a beautiful girl!

  39. Connie Pombo says:

    Oh Sue, that was the best blog I ever read…what a story (that should be your Christmas letter this year!). My tears are all over the keyboard and I can't get them to stop! If you haven't written the book about your adoption story, that needs to be the first chapter. I'm in the middle of writing "six" book proposals and I'm going away this weekend to sequester myself, but I will carry your story in my heart. Love it (you are a phenomenal writer!). If I were a liteary agent, I would be passing your proposal all over the place! God bless you and your AMAZING story! And God bless your precious Lauren (I always wanted a girl and so I'm adopting Lauren in my prayers!)–okay?HUGS!

  40. Sue @ Praise and Cof says:

    Connie,Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I pray that your weekend will be fruitful!!Blessings,Sue

  41. This post deeply touched my adoptive mama's heart. Our oldest is just gaining enough awareness now to begin to realize the impact that drug addiction had (and has) on her birth family. She sometimes makes comments that tell me she, like most adoptees, will need to work through some grief and loss issues as she gains a sense of the identity God has predestined for her. It's so very comforting though to know that He will walk her through those moments of sorrow and loss, just as He will for your precious Lauren.Blessings,~Toni~

  42. What a window into the little child 's heart. May the lord heal your little baby. She is Jesus ' little lamb.I 've had to struggle with the past, names, street, songs many such things filled me with fear. The Lord has given me victory over them.

  43. Like everyone else, I can't get over the way this just tugs at the depth of my heart. Beth Moore, in Living Beyond Yourself, talks to adoptees in one of her sessions (I'm doing the study online). I was a child of divorce, so she spoke loudly to me, about rejection and loss. To be an orphan is such a great rejection and loss. To be adopted, to be found, is tremendous. And so difficult to receive. Kelly understands, I'm sure. Lauren is blessed beyond measure, and I know that you and your family will not let her forget that.

  44. Sue @ Praise and Cof says:

    Flea, I didn't realize Beth talked about adoption…which week was that? I did the study a few years back.

  45. I'm so glad God blessed you with Lauren and her with a faith-filled family like yours. That story brought tears to my eyes – it's hard when we don't know the hurts our children suffered before they were ours. Thankfully God does and He can heal them.And yeah, I have stuff in my own past that tends to rear its ugly head now and then…again, thank you for a wonderful post.You are such an amazing woman!

  46. I've read all your posts about Lauren. Loving the orphans is very important to me and I enjoy hearing about people who are doing it. I can't wait to see what God has planned for my family, concerning orphans.

  47. Lindylou says:

    This is a priceless explanation of what so many little adopted children go through, especially from China.I have heard of this type of incident over and over from mom's of adopted children.Attachment can be developed in the brain at any time. Get the book by Daniel Siegel, "Parenting from the Inside Out"; in this book he explains the brain stage development and how to nurture this area to grow.My favorite part of understanding the brain is to see that God created us with the ability to nurture a child's brain at any age…even after adulthood. She needs all the nurturing that would have been giving to a newborn to 2 year old in order to have those areas of her brain sculpted. Think of it this way. We all have two "moms" our birth mom that give us nature part of our brain (genetics and in womb experiences), but the adopted mother is the nurture mom. You are a brain sculptor for your little treasure and you have a powerful role in helping her to develop to be the person she will end up becoming. You really do change, effect, sculpt her brain!You can give her all she is missing in past attachment.

  48. Great post! We are just beginning that attachment journey. We just brought our little girl home from China yesterday, and we are so looking forward to the day when we see her have a strong bond and attachment to us!I have enjoyed following your adoption story!