If anyone says, "I love God", and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. -1 John 4:20
Children who have been neglected and rejected from birth have a thorn in their hearts. The one person, their mother, who was supposed to love them and protect them, didn't. They carrot that thorn, not knowing why, into the world. The thorn grows and chokes out every relationship from then on, until there is a ball of thorns that surround the heart keeping anyone and everything out. They are tortured in an isolated cell of their own hard, thorn-bound hearts. They desperately want love but they can't let it in. Their horrifying fear is rejection, yet they push love away to ensure it on their terms; a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We bring these wounded children into our homes, unaware of what lies beneath their chest. We dream of bringing them "home", loving them, teaching them about Jesus, but then reality hits and the thorns around their hearts prick ours. They cannot love Jesus until they can love us. God made babies to look to their mommies as the first God-like image, sacrificial love, provider of needs, sustainer of life. That didn't happen with their birth mother, so it needs to happen with you, their real and forever mom. It takes time to unwind the thorns around their heart, but oh how worthwhile it is.
Forever mommies sacrifice to love thorny hearts with a high level of nurture that they didn't get when they were babies. Forever mommies also sacrifice to love thorny hearts by providing 2-year-old boundaries, even with kids who are teenagers. This perfect mixture of forever mom love unwinds the restricting thorns, and little by little, their hearts dare to let safe love in. And Jesus, in His perfect timing and will, skillfully and completely removes the thorn, heals their wound, and makes them a new creation as they surrender their heart to Him.