>Turn-Keys: Prayer


I’ve written a number of posts on turn-keys in adoption. {Enough of them that if you want to go back and check them out (and please do!)  it’s probably easiest to do a search on the phrase “turn key.” }
Here is another one that I’ve been thinking about for awhile but have hesitated to post because many of you will scoff or immediately click away.  It’s not out of character for me and for this little blog but it’s not always a popular subject.  But, regardless, it’s integral to me, this blog, and this post.

So, here goes:
This turn-key is about prayer.
If you are parenting a kid from hard places, or an older child new-ish to your family, or yes of course, any of your kids…..prayer is simply key.  A turn-key.  Perhaps THE turn-key.
But it’s not nearly so pat or simple as you might presume.

I think prayer works as a super skeleton turn-key in that it unlocks that attachment in both directions.  Read that again.  Prayer helps the bonding and attachment and healing, in both, or all directions.
No surprise that, eh?

I prayed novenas to bring our Marta home.
I prayed novenas after Marta was home to help us grow through those difficult first months.
I prayed the rosary, every day, for over a year, to help bring Marta home – to help her heal from her TB, to help us have the faith and courage to go get her.
I prayed the rosary most days, but not all, after she got home; and am back at it now, more diligently again.
Others, friends and family, have and do pray the rosary then and now, on behalf of our girl, and me.
I don’t of this praying of mine to say I’m all that. Because I’m so not, if anything it reflects how low I can go, and how great my need is. Ever.
But I put this out there to say that ALL of these prayers, and the intentional action of doing them, have carried us to this Now.
I can’t even begin to imagine trying to undertake this without all that prayer, those rosaries, those novenas, the Mass.
{I should also insert my a declaration of my endless bottomless gratitude for all of you who have prayed on our behalf, you know who you are, and oh, my, thank you and please don’t stop!} 

But another important angle in all this is Marta’s part in those prayers.
We have had to teach Marta how to pray, these prayers.
Well, we haven’t had to teach her, but she wanted to be taught.
Even before she had/has the language sufficient to say the prayers in full, still, she understood immediately that this was prayer that she could do with us.  It was similar enough to some of her Ethiopian Orthodox prayers that she could feel a bit of familiarity.
The Mass worked the same way for her.
Marta, from the first day we met her in Addis, has asked us to go to church, to Mass, to pray.

She asks to pray rosaries with me, with us, even though she still doesn’t have all the words down yet.  She asks to go to Mass, every chance she can get (Which is really every day, Mass is a daily event in the Catholic Church, thanks be to God).   She doesn’t get to go EVERY day, but she goes every day we can get her there, of her own volition.
Because she sees that we value this, she can hold onto one of the deep values from her life before us.  She can even grow it into deeper faith and understanding, of faith, of family, of what it means to love….and that’s just pure gift to us all.

More, when  you pray for someone for a year, or every single day…you cannot help but attach to them, to some degree.  The point of prayer is not that WE transform God’s mind, rather it’s that the praying transforms our hearts.

 Prayer, praying, and especially praying together, however rudimentary, transforms each of us little by little into a closer image of God.  And as God is love, that is precisely what we need in this hard road of older child adoption and attaching and healing from hard places.
I need to transform my stony heart into God’s heart, big enough to love someone, all ones, who cannot love me back, not really.
She needs to learn to open her heart to love and trust this new family, letting God himself in more and more by love.

Praying brings us to common ground.
It’s no longer our big old established family and her small tiny new hurting self; it’s each of us, opening our heart’s to love.
Prayer is the key to that door.
It’s a familiar, well worn key….but it’s a golden turn-key.
Because that familiarity, that common ground of praying as a family, WITH her, FOR her but with her, has been a huge, gigantic, encompassing tool for her to find her way to us and us to her.

As prayer should, when it’s at it’s very best, it brings us home.

3 thoughts on “>Turn-Keys: Prayer

  1. >It's strange to me that I am uncertain in my own faith, but I am quite happy to believe in the faith of others, especially you. If someone says they will pray for me, I take it as a high compliment, if someone asks for a prayer from me, I also take it as a compliment. And I do pray, because if someone I care about asks this of me, how could I not? I love that Marta feels grounded in your family through faith. This is a beautiful post, M.


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