Who Will Love Me For Me?
Isn’t this the cry of all our hearts? A desperate cry to be loved in spite of what we have done or because of what we have done, to be loved not for our potential but for exactly who we are today. It’s a cry that I hear not on my own behalf but on behalf of my children who are wounded. Slowly, over the past couple of months, I have been coming to accept that the issues with my youngest two children are not going to be resolved anytime soon and not without a lot of effort on my part. I am so ashamed to admit how disappointed I have been in the years since we adopted them because the life I had pictured in my mind was nothing like the life I was living. Just as a mother anticipating the birth of her newborn child, I had dreams about these children both literally and figuratively, and in the convening years those dreams have been smashed to smithereens.I was reading a blog post the other day written by a mom, Linda Pederson, who has five children with special needs she and her husband are parenting. I was just clicking around on various topics to hear what this Mama had to say, and I came across this post about the truth about reactive attachment disorder. I felt I was reading my own thoughts, my own heart. She linked to a song at the bottom of the post by JJ Heller called “Love Me.” It is a beautiful song which I am linking to here. Please listen to it. It asks the question in the refrain,
Who will love me for me? Who will love me for me, not for what I have done or what I will become. Who will love me for me, ‘cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means?”
This song makes me cry, not because of the first verse but because of how I know that neither of my kids could even make that request because they did not, and still do not really know what love means. As a mother, it rends my heart wide open to say to my child, “I love you. I love you forever and always, to the moon and back, no matter what,” and to have that child stare blankly back at me. It hurts. It hurts to know that my child doesn’t know that love or that they might never love me. This quote hit me square in the heart:
It was with a sweet naiveté that I had them join our family, believing that love can cure all. Despite our family’s best efforts, love did NOT cure all. To pretend that it did does a disservice to all of those families living with similar children.
In our culture, we tend to think love will solve every problem. If we just love children more, they won’t do (fill-in-the-blank). If we just love our neighbor more, they won’t do (fill-in-the-blank). If we just love God more, then (fill-in-the-blank) won’t happen. But we live in a fallen and broken world and sometimes love can’t fix the problem. Our love can not conquer all. It doesn’t mean we stop loving, it means we love anyway, in spite of, and because of who they are. Just like God does for us as witnessed at the end of the song,
I will love you for you. Not for what you have done or what you will become. I will love you for you. I will give you the love, the love that you never knew
My children may never be “cured.” They may never live completely “normal” lives. Many of the behaviors that my children and other RAD children display come from fear, a fear so deep that it may never go away but may only be “managed.” They may never understand my love for them. But I have faith and confidence that just as I know the Father’s love, my children will one day know it too.