I was crying. It was not a pretty, dotting-your-eyes-gently-with-a-handkerchief cry, either. It was a big, sad, ugly cry. My friend sat beside me on the floor. She knew that I was crying for my son.

We’ve recently adopted a seven-year-old boy from China. He came to us with the clothes on his back and a small bag of candy. But he also came to us with invisible baggage from a life lived in an orphanage without a family.

Long before we met him, he experienced several medical challenges, including an open-heart surgery with no one by his side. As a result, his spirit is often restless, and his body is filled with anxiety. It’s difficult for him to understand that he now has parents and three sisters who love him. In fact, it’s been a struggle for all of us.

I looked up at my friend with a tear-stained face and said, “I don’t know how to help my son. I’m his mom, and I don’t know what to do.” I felt so helpless—and sometimes I still do.

My husband and I want to comfort our son and help him adjust to life in our family. He is such a smart and sweet boy, but he has endured much trauma in his young life. His past—plus the present struggle of understanding our language and his ever-changing emotions—has created a difficult situation for us all.

In this season, one thing has become very clear: I need to draw close to God. Knowing this, I have sought comfort in God’s Word continually. My friend has comforted me as well, often reminding me of God’s truths—yet I continue at times to feel that God is far from me.

Have you ever felt this way?