The Wounds You Cannot See

by Kia Carter

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Physical wounds often get more attention than our emotional ones. I believe this is because we can see our physical wounds and so can everyone else, so we know that we must tend to them.
For many of us, if we can not see the injury we assume there must not be a wound that needs
healing. However, the most significant wounds we suffer are often hidden from our sight. Physical wounds can leave physical scars, but emotional wounds scar our ability to trust others. To be sure, both types of wounds always leave a mark, but emotional hurt erodes trust and chips away at relationships.

At its root, trauma emerges out of our woundedness. This can be one of the toughest parts about fostering or adopting. As a foster parent, you have to earn back the trust that you never violated; you must work to redeem the hard places that you never created. You must
heal wounds that you never inflicted. Emotional wounds can heal, yet the scars will always remain. However, I believe that the scares of these children are capable of telling a beautiful story of redemption.

No child enters foster care or becomes available for adoption unless something beyond their control has gone wrong. Those who gave life to the child, who was supposed to care for them, protect them, teach them, and support them could not, would not or did not. As such, the parent-child relationship, one of the foundational and most important of all earthly relationships, was broken or severed. This is an emotionally-wounding experience. We want our children’s story to be one of beauty and gain and not one of loss and pain. But we must remember that God is not writing fairy tales with our lives. God is writing a real-life story that involves broken people living in a broken world. But this story does not end in brokenness—the story of God is a story of hope.

Foster care and adoption is an invitation to enter a child’s world, an invitation to enter into the trauma that they have faced and become an agent of God’s healing power. It is in this healing that we find hope. Dr. Karyn Purvis, the author of the book, The Connected Child, reminds us that children who were harmed in a relationship will come to experience healing through positive relationships. God’s grace and redemption entered the relational trauma of humanity and into our lives.

A miracle is an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.
The miracle of foster care and adoption is that through loss, and despite it, God chooses God’s infinite goodness and kindness to make something beautiful—weaving the broken pieces of our lives together into a place where hope lives and wounds heal.