Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Chat About Crying

The "I am really angry" cry

When our 4 year old foster son is punished-he looks like the picture above. He is MAD! No doubt about it-pure and simple ANGER!! Spewing out in all kinds of explosive ways. It's not nice. Partly because it is SO loud, and SO violent and SO mean-I don't feel compassion towards that kind of crying. In fact, I often have to just walk away and regain my own composure so I don't join in the tantrum myself!!!!!

The "I got caught and I'm not happy about it" cry

 This is what I see when our 6 year old foster son cries. It just happened. I sent him into the bathroom with the same instructions he hears every night. "Pee, flush, wash hands, brush teeth." 
He goes in. He comes out. WAY TOO FAST! So, I question: "Did you wash your hands?" 
"Yes" He replies to the floor. I take his hand. You can see his eyes spinning as he tries to quickly come up with a reason for the perfectly dry hands. Without missing a beat he says, "I only used soap, no water." Well, that was a new one for me, but easily proven wrong! So..we had a little chat about how good Mommies who love their children want hands washed-Mommies who don't care, well-they just don't care. Since I love him, he must wash his hands. He nodded in understanding-with an expression of almost "yeah, you love me, that's nice". Until the bomb dropped. I say, "Ok, so we both understand. Now, go back into the bathroom and wash your hands for real, and then go to your bed. Your punishment for lying to me is that you have to go to bed now instead of playing." 
Then, I get the picture above. The tears start to flow. Interesting. There were no tears of remorse when he knew he was wrong. Only once he realized he would be punished.

The "I am hurting Mommy, help me!" cry.
  Awww, this one melts my heart. Today, my baby had to have 2 teeth pulled. My brave husband took her because I couldn't do it. She did great-but when she is hurting-she looks like that. Makes me want to scoop her up and hold her close- kiss the boo-boos and make it all better.

The "I am hurting. For real. Deep down inside. I need love" cry.

This is the one that not only melts my heart. It breaks my heart. This is the one that led me to wanting to foster and adopt children in the first place. This is the one where you can almost see right through their eyes into their souls and feel the pain, the loss, the despair. This is the cry that I respond to with the most compassion. The one where I realize that even though Mommy Mode wants to take over and kiss the boo-boos; it won't make it all better.

Then I know it's my turn to cry.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." 
Psalm 34:17
""I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:1-2
"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; 
O Lord, hear my voice. 
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy."
Psalm 130:1

Lord I pray you will fill me to overflowing with your great love-your mercy-your compassion. For ALL the cries I see and hear throughout the day. I pray I will learn to really "hear them" and desire to "deliver them from their troubles." Please help me to stop what I am doing and "turn to them when they cry" and be a firm and safe place they can trust. Lord let me follow after your ways and help me to be attentive to their cry for mercy."

Note: the photos used in this post are not my children.


  1. What a blessing you are to your children. Keep up the great work, your doing a wonderful job.

    We must teach our children today good health mammers. So mnay parents just do not do that.
    I even say to my honey, did you wash your hands????

  2. Oh such cute crying pics. You understand he is hurting as he cries!