Be Kind To Yourself

Yeah, ok, it’s been 8 months since I last wrote a blog. I have grand plans of relaunching this thing ya’ll. But, this came to mind and I thought to write about it.

I’ve said before that one of the biggest lies in the world is that kids are resilient, that they’ll just bounce back. It’s worth repeating. Children are sponges. They absorb it all.

From the outside, you can’t readily see the things that are bothering them. They find all of the nooks and all of the crannies and place their doubts, fears, worries and inner demons carefully out of sight.

Once in a while you’ll get a glimpse. A this will happen or a that will occur. They’ll allow a peek into these spaces. It’s one of the saddest things imaginable. You feel powerless. In the midst of a thousand happy things, you’re at the whim of intangibles tucked away in nooks and crannies.

But sometimes, something cuts through. They score a goal at soccer. A friend invites them to their house. They learn to multiply a fraction. Okay, that hasn’t happened yet. This week it was a song.

Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite artists. A few weeks ago, a familiar song hit me with new meaning.

You got all that emotion that’s heaving like an ocean
And you’re drowning in a deep, dark well

Those lines smacked me in the head. This is my child. This is his reality. It’s as if this is written directly to him (we have all boys).

When the voices in your mind are anything but kind

I wasn’t there for the first few years of his life, I know it was horrible. Probably way worse than we could imagine. Young children only know the experiences around them. Those times have spoken darkness into his life for years — doubt, disbelief and denial.

Trust me, it doesn’t disappear when your child finds safety. That’s when the real clean up begins. The only thing that works is love. Love wrapped in faith, love wrapped in therapy, love wrapped in discipline and even medicine. Love comes in many forms.

I love you just the way that you are
I love the way He made your precious heart

This lines helped him open up a bit to my wife. He shared things tucked in those nooks and crannies. If only for a moment, he let her see inside. The facade, the one he’s carefully crafted for years, came off for just a moment.

Foster care is messy. Adoption is intense. Cleaning up the mess that others create in our children is not pretty. But, seeing a glimpse of what’s possible is everything. This week, we caught a glimpse. And it was glorious.

Oh, the song. It’s “Be Kind to Yourself.”







About Andrew Sawyer

A dad of four (plus mom) living a adoption/foster care adventure. Been fostering since 2011. Join me on Twitter/Instagram at @TheAFCDad or on Facebook at @AFCDad. We may not be experts, but we have experienced quite a bit. This is purely an attempt to share with others on a similar path. Follow along on our journey at
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2 Responses to Be Kind To Yourself

  1. ouradoptionexperience says:

    I love that song. I haven’t listened to,it for a while, but it was a breath of fresh air in a really tough season a few years ago.

  2. treenewt says:

    Beautifully written, my friend. Proud of you

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