Archive for May 11th, 2012
Jack Kornfield wrote a book titled The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace. He reasons, “Forgiveness releases us from the power of fear. It allows us to see with kindly eyes and rest in a wise heart.”
Who wouldn’t want to see with kindly eyes? Who wouldn’t want to live with a wise heart?
Adoptive parents know that forgiveness is the necessary beginning for healing. But knowing isn’t doing. It’s human nature to cling to our anger and fear.
In the world of adopting there is plenty to make us angry. We hate what has happened to the children.
We loath the abuses, neglect, systemic delays, and misguided good intentions. So we have lots of chances to exercise forgiveness.
Any of us who know Kathy are very aware that she and her adopted son, Wayne, are incredibly close. But loving from a wise heart took a bit of time.
In the first months after adopting, Kathy remembers how fearful she was to share with her husband that she wasn’t emotionally attached to their son in the way she thought she should be. The admission itself brought immediate relief. Hearing her husband express his own fears helped set the stage for her to forgive herself for not being the perfect mom.
The ability to see herself, her husband, and each of their children through what Kornfield calls “kindly eyes” began to take shape.
Thirty years have passed. Wayne’s disabilities mean that Kathy and her husband are not empty-netsters like most of their contemporaries. They never will be. And Kathy says, “That’s okay with us.”
I think Kathy learned long ago not to try to change everyone else. But love changes the one who does the loving. Today when Kathy speaks about her family and the future, it is obvious that her words are spoken from a “wise heart.”
And I’d have to say that she has in fact been the perfect mom for Wayne.
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