This post has been wearing on my heart.... for awhile. I have written, deleted, written again, waited until midnight when I could really concentrate, and then tried it again. So here goes another post on Adoption and Adoption Disruption/Disolution.....
Please bear with me.
And for my dear friend, who has struggled for years with 2 children who are no longer at home.... I love you. I want you to know FOR SURE, this post is not about a parent who has to protect themselves from a child with severe mental illness. Many biological parents are in the same boat.
You have NOT disrupted your children. You are still their parent. :)
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that we adopted our sweet Sarah, from Adoption Disruption/disolution.
I recently posted an article by Russell Moore, because I find it to be a good article.
But I remember, about 2 years ago, the Southern Baptist Convention announced an emphasis on Adoption..... On one hand, I say, that is good. On the other hand, I say that isn't good.
There are many reasons people adopt. And yes, it is true that Scripture calls for people of Faith to CARE for the Orphan and Widow. (James 1:27. But, just like you would prepare to care for anything, in your life, PREPARATION is needed.
One of my favorite lines in the movie "Martian Child", was that of a girl who said, "Most people study more about how to raise tomato plants than they do children." And, that is not too far off.
When we were adopting Anna, we mentioned that we would be taking parenting classes from the Local Child Advocacy Center. You would have been shocked at the response. "Why, you have already raised 4 boys!" "Do they think you don't know what you are doing?" "That is stupid!" and I could go on, but I'll spare you. ....
And the most famous comment we got, "You can't adopt! Don't you know you can't spank!" LOL
I found that one the most disturbing. Golly, I hadn't even thought about finishing the paperwork and this person already had us spanking our child.....
And there were many statements along those lines which made me wonder, what kind of person bases their decision on if they can spank or not? LOL
So, once again we began to delve into the adoption world in preparation for our daughter. We studied "Heart Felt Discipline" by Clay Clarkson (which is not about adoption) With Anna, I hadn't come across any real adoption books I knew about, so our classes sufficed, along with the book, "A Child Called It!"
There was enough information to help us see where our sweetie was coming from emotionally, and with my own personal background experiences, we were on our way to becoming a family.
When our Social worker said we would LOVE Bryan Post and Heather Forbes, we studied books by them, "Beyond Consequences Logic and Control, Beyond Consequences Logic and Control 2.
After Sarah and Before Erika, we added to our collection, Karyn Purvis, "The Connected Child", "Primal Wound", (which was VERY interesting) many blogs, and Daniel Hughes Books , "Building The Bonds of Attachment in the Deeply Wounded Child", "Facilitating Developmental Attachment",
and then, we were reading Bruce Perry's book, "The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog"....
Along with all that reading we read our Bible.
All of these books are good books. They all offer bits and pieces of information that may help to put pieces together as you study your child and get to know them and learn HOW to love them.
However, No child is a one size fits all child, and there is not one, "One size fits all" book, outside of scripture.
I know many, wonderful parents who have worked very hard, to learn to parent their child according to that child's needs.
But in all the book reading and preparation, there is nothing like the real deal to let you know what kind of sin exists in your own heart, how much change YOU need to make for yourself, and just how many issues you have put on the back burner to not deal with, and now all the pots are overflowing. :)
Adoption is not for the faint of heart, nor is parenting. Put the two together, and get ready for a ride! :)
But, what a ride is CAN BE! Our experiences have moved toward the positive. But our family is not perfect. No family is.
I was listening to a sermon yesterday on Moses and that he didn't enter the promised land because of his disobedience to God.... wow.... He was not a perfect man, but I know I have a long ways to go before I ever resemble a Moses. Yet God, has brought these children into our lives to lead and guide into adulthood, and into the Hands of the Lord.
If we were to guage our children based upon their first 6 months home, I'm not really sure what I'd say, other than, maybe, we are moving in the right direction. :) The work was hard, and took place minute by minute, hour by hour, meal by meal, day by day, step by step..... it was continual and full!
And then, each little girl began to branch out, blossom and grow in different areas at different times, but going in the right direction non the less. It took some a little longer to get to a "norm" for us than others, but those 3 steps forward 2 steps back and sometimes what seemed like 4 steps back, would always keep us on our toes, trusting the Lord to guide us, and remind us of how HE sees US!
Can you tell I'm having a hard time expressing this?
So here I get to the disruption part.
Many people will look at blogs and families and think everything was easy to get to where they are.
That couldn't be further from the truth. Parenting ANY child is hard, HARD work.
Some families will wind up going into adoption, because the "church" has called for it, or because they are bored, or because they don't have children, or because they are truly called. (these are actual words spoken)
They go through all the work to bring their children home, and then..... it gets hard. They haven't taken the time to try something different. They say "this is how I did it with the others, or this is how my parents raised me, and this kid will have to fit into OUR lifestyle", they don't read those "psychology" books.... and they don't seek out help.
And then, behind closed doors, there is abuse, emotional neglect, and worse.... and then in desperation they dissolve or disrupt. I used to think it wasn't that common. Sarah was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing. And we still can't imagine the why with our Sarah. But she has experienced the devastation of being twice rejected. (first at birth, and then after adoption)
Yes, she is happy. Yes she is very much our Daughter, Yes, she has her own personal pain that she will have to deal with the rest of her life. That is reality. It doesn't consume her, and it isn't the end of her world... but she is STRONG. She is SO STRONG. I don't know that I could be as strong as she is.
Maybe it IS true that adoption isn't for everybody; parenting isn't for everybody. But caring for the orphan is. What about supporting those families that are trying to adopt? What about getting involved in their fund raisers, or donating to funds to get children home? How about not judging families who bring children home and those children struggle with behaviors that are not normal? How about not judging the children! (we have had that one recently) How about praying for families who bring children home? Prayer is a powerful tool. Pray that God will give these families wisdom and discernment in raising their children.
I don't know that there is any way to prevent a disruption from happening, if the parent isn't willing to try thinking outside the box, but in many other cases, where parents are simply struggling, we need to be open and have helpful hearts. We need to be willing to come alongside and hold the hands of those who are despairing. There IS success, GREAT success, when we reach out, and especially when those in need reach out for help. Peer help is available. Keep reading blogs, attend the BCLC parenting classes on line. Watch Karyn Purvis's videos online. GET HELP. It is available, and it is worth it.
Please don't suffer in silence. Reach out, and keep your family together. But remember, change will come with YOU.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)