Guest writer Lissa Schneckenburger is a musician, adoptive parent, and activist in Vermont. Her most recent album “Thunder in My Arms” is a collection of original songs inspired by foster and adoptive families on the topics of developmental trauma, attachment, and resiliency.
There are seasons when my child is the most beautiful and exquisite being I have ever laid eyes on. He is funny, thoughtful, charming, earnest, sweet, and a hard worker. He is gifted, and smart, and we sing together, go on adventures, and share books, movies, and funny stories. In these seasons I have time for work, and even sometimes hobbies. I write music and record albums, I volunteer. In these seasons I watch with pride as my child begins to discover and recognize his own worth.
Then there are seasons when all of my child’s words have teeth, when he is a torrent of exploding chaos, and he wields anger like a powerful weapon. All of the turmoil and abuse he endured before we found each other are broadcast outwards, and hatred rains on everyone around him. It is relentless and exhausting, and we spend the days fielding not just his feelings, but yet another call from the principal, or an upset parent, a concerned neighbor, and yes, even the police.
We try through it all to help ease his pain and loneliness, to help him see what a wonderful, lovable creature he is, but it is incredibly hard and relentless work through every season, good and bad. I am frequently lonely, tired, and jealous of other parents.
I am also petrified. What if we work this hard to support him and we still fail? What if he never finds peace, or learns to love himself . . . even a little? Being a parent is feeling your heart break a bit every day. Through the hugs and the punches, it’s knowing that doing everything you can might still not be enough.
It’s these tiny heartbreaks that turn into songs. Memories, stories, and emotions get woven into melodies, and fortified with chords and harmonies. Sometimes inside the inner sanctum of a song I find momentary relief, the strength of full expression like fresh air—calming and holistic. I’m grateful for the moment when it comes, and then I soldier on to parent my magical, miraculous, brave, and scarred child another day.
Since the Day We Met
Since the Day We Met
by Lissa Schneckenburger
You can run away, I love you
You can cry all day, I love you
You can kick and scream and shout,
Turn your insides inside out, and I love you
When the night is long, with demons coming on
I can help you ﬁnd your peace, I will sing you back to sleep
Everybody makes mistakes and
We get up and try again
But make no mistake, you were no mistake
I’ve loved you since the day we met
You can change your name, or you can stay the same
You can be the one you are, I never will be far
You can deviate, stay out way too late
When you’re a rebel with a ﬁght, I’m your anchor in the night
When my footsteps slow, and you are up and grown
Someday when my hair is grey, you will hold my hand and say
Interview With Lissa Schneckenburger
In this interview, Lissa talks about how she wrote each of the songs for her latest album, "Thunder in My Arms," inspired by her own journey as a foster and adoptive parent. The songs are on the topics of attachment, developmental trauma, and resiliency, and are meant to be supportive for anyone whose life has been affected by foster care or adoption.
Written by Lissa Schneckenburger
To learn more about Lissa Schneckenburger's music, please visit www.lissafiddle.com.