Helping Tyler Heal…Helping Tyler FLY!


“There are wounds that never show on the body, that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”  -Laurel K. Hamilton

Here is the question I lay awake at night pondering:

Am I willing to sacrifice today’s comfort for the promise of life long peace.

The answer seems simple, right?

What if I present it this way…

Knowing that your child will battle a threatening, painful, chronic disease 20 years from now would you be willing to remove an infected limb today. Would you be willing to allow pain, discomfort and loss today for the hopes of a more promising future tomorrow?

That one is a little bit harder. Isn’t it.

As parents our lives are driven by this instinctual, basic need to protect our children. We would jump in front of a train for them. We would fight off a Grizzly to protect them. So when faced with the knowledge that to protect their future you must allow them to feel pain and discomfort today…well that is a hard pill to swallow.

This is the reality we are living. We are choosing to allow our son to feel horrible/ heart breaking pain today with hopes that it will save him from a lifetime of heartache in the future. But you can believe I would shoulder that pain in a minute, and save him from one more minute of hurt, if I could.


The walls are falling down.

Miss Tina, Tyler’s therapist, is doing amazing work.

Tyler is doing amazing work.

God is performing miracles.

After years of firmly cemented walls circling Tyler’s memories we find ourselves watching the bricks begin to fall. It all began with Tyler creating a road of his life in therapy. On a large piece of paper we have mapped out a road. Along the road we have drawn in milestones of his life. He is choosing the memories to add to his road. We are working to help him remember his life before us.

And now that we have chipped open a crack in that wall, the memories and emotions are flooding out. And Tyler is drowning in the waves. The result: paralyzing fears, terrifying nightmares, scary images in his head, triggers, tantrums, and tears…so many tears. This past week I have found him hidden and crying many times, trying so hard not to be caught in his “weakness.”

It breaks my heart but also causes my heart to sing praises, because tears mean trust. Tears mean attachment. Tears mean felt and shared emotions, and ultimately tears mean healing.

This week I found him crying in the bathroom. I sat down beside him on the cold, hardwood floor as he squeezed his hands to the sides of his head.

“Can you name your emotion?” I asked.

He shook his head, “No.”

Then he tentatively suggested, “But maybe I could color my feelings.”

Praise God!

I was singing the Hallelujah chorus inside as I gathered markers and paper. He took the art supplies, crawled under the dining room table and began releasing the feelings locked inside in frantic scribbles of black, red, purple and blue.


As he colored he informed me that black= fear, blue= sad, purple= really sad, and red= mad sad.

He asked me to sit at the table as he worked.

As I sat at the table listening to the sounds of scribbles beneath me Tyler began to talk. In the same manner that he was coloring, the words tumbled out of him at a frantic speed, as though he couldn’t hold them in any longer.

The questions were powerful and profound and heartbreaking. They came from the deepest recesses of his soul and poured out as the flood of memories washed over him.

He began with, “I’m sad my brothers can’t live with me.”

Then asked, “Why did our birth parents not keep us?”

And then, “Was it because we were so bad?”

As I paused to consider my answers, I prayed, “Help me, Lord. Give me the words…Your words.”

I answered what I could and made notes for Tina on the things he said.

The words kept tumbling out.

The questions kept coming, not only that night but all week long…

“Why did my birth mom not love me?”

“Why could no one handle all us kids?

“Why couldn’t Michael just take care of us?”

“Every family always got rid of me. It is because I am so bad?”

“I want to remember what my birth parents looked like.”

“Why did God take all my memories of my mom away?”

“If I remember, will that turn me into a bad dad like my birth dad?”

Oh, my heart broke and my eyes leaked as his heart and greatest fears were laid bare on the floor before him.

And then he climbed from under the table, his paper in hand, to show me his work. It may not be worthy of a place in the Louvre, but I must say it is probably the most moving piece of art I’ve ever seen.

It is my son’s heart.


“I feel better now, Momma,” he declared with a quick hug and a bounce.

“I think Miss Tina is going to be proud of me.”

I know she will be. We all are, Tyler! ❤

As a Momma I’d give all that that I have, all that I am, to take away the hurts and heal the hidden wounds. I wish there was some way I could save him from the painful journey that lies before him. I wish healing could come from sealing off the hurts and cauterizing the wounds, but that is never a lasting fix. The only way those deep down, infected, throbbing wounds heal is by opening them up and releasing the infection within.

These sort of hurts must heal from the inside out, which means opening wounds that have long been scabbed over. It is heartbreaking, as a parent, to know you must purposely rip off scabs and open hurts that have been sealed off, and allow for short term pain, all with the loving hope that the long term result will be feeling… and then healing….

And then my son will fly.

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And as a result of his powerful example

we will learn to soar too!

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2 responses »

    • Thank you! He is, with the goal of being able to do some EMDR work with him (for PTSD) once we have built stronger coping skills. He is a BRAVE kid. Thank your for your kind words! 🙂

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