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― C. S. Lewis


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Adoption Disruption and Thoughts I Can't Express part 3

I have been mulling over a few thoughts on disruption once again.  I wrote 2 posts directly about adoption disruption here and here.  Anytime one writes on such a subject, they can be accused of all sorts of things, beginning with not being understanding or being too harsh.

This is NOT my intention AT ALL.  In fact, I am VERY happy that our girls who have come to us BECAUSE of disruption are with us.  I am happy because they are my sweethearts, and because I do know that God has moved in all of our lives, and they are flourishing.

Russell Moore recently wrote a post called "Don't Adopt".  That is not actually what he means.  He means, "If you are looking for the perfect child, or for somebody to fulfill your need, don't adopt."
He also said, he no longer believes that all Christians should adopt.  I am really glad he said this.
Because he is right.

I don't know the circumstances of his post.... meaning why he actually wrote it. But my guess is, that he has come across and been made aware of adoptions that have failed, or adoptions that are devastating to both the parent and the child.

It really isn't uncommon to hear about. And frankly, that is so very sad. :(
Since I wrote those last 2 posts, we have adopted THROUGH DISRUPTION once again.  We prayed when we got the call that the Lord would either open the door wide, or slam it shut. We do not want what HE doesn't want.  And unexpectedly, after we thought the door was shut, it swung WIDE OPEN.
We stepped in once again, and have not looked back.

Our sweet Alli is the oldest child we have ever adopted. She is 11.  She was disrupted twice.   Sarah was just 5.  She barely remembers what happened anymore, because she was so young.  But Alli.... sweet Alli, remembers. And those memories come with feelings.  They come with feelings of total and complete rejection.  Some people say that children who are considered RAD, won't care who they live with, because they don't attach.
I disagree.
Alli CARES.  She was very confused by the decisions made before us. She was told one thing, and another thing happened. She didn't connect her behavior to being sent away. Why? Because she is a child.... and SHE IS THE ONE WHO WAS ABANDONED AND HURT IN THE FIRST PLACE!

She didn't connect that FOREVER love was CONDITIONAL.  She really didn't.  And she RIGHTLY didn't connect it!  Forever is SUPPOSED to mean FOREVER! 

The other day, she had a hard day.  And in the end, she was scared that we were going to boot her out. She broken heartedly said, "I'm really trying... do you know how hard it is to change?"
"YES, dear, I DO know..... I do"...."And I also know the one who can help." :)  As we sat and snuggled she poured her heart out, and her fears out.... this was an act of TRUST.  I am so thankful for those times.
I cannot say, "forever family" to her. She doesn't receive it.  I can only say, "I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER give up...EVER!"  and neither can you. :) and then we talk tools. :)

I read the other day where disruption was similar to divorce.  I may have said that myself before.... but I don't believe that to be true anymore.  Legally, it is divorcing your child, but it is vastly different than divorcing a spouse.
Disruption between two adults can be devastating.  There is nobody who walks away unscathed as a consenting, agreeing adult.  An adult makes a choice and has a choice. They move on with their life, and they are in control of their own destiny.
But with a Child..... the child has no rights, no decision, no voice... no representation to hear "their side of the story"; NOTHING.  They don't even get to keep their name.  Disruption is not friendly.
It is ugly and painful. The child is labeled without cross examination, without defense.  RAD, ODD, FASD, PTSD, DEFIANT, REBELLIOUS..... and the list goes on.  Nobody mentions hurt, rejected, scared, loving, tender, sweet, kind.....

And on the other side.... there is a reason for disruption.  If things are so bad, that nobody is functioning.... if the family is terminally broken.... then disruption may be the best thing for parent and child.  If a parent gives up, the relationship will go nowhere.  If the leader ceases to lead and there is no direction, that would be devastating.
THAT DOES NOT mean disruption is ok.

I was thinking the other day when somebody asked, "But don't you believe that God brought your children to you? "  That is a very good question. YES! I do!
I also believe that Christ coming to bring Salvation to a fallen world was NOT plan B! It was plan A!
But that doesn't take away the guilt of Adam. God knew he would transgress.  He was still guilty.

Why am I writing this?
I am writing it because if I can persuade ONE family, to prepare themselves, to educate themselves, to  be ready to dig into the trenches of LOVE, NOT BATTLE FOR CONTROL,  BEFORE they bring home their child.... then just maybe another child won't be hurt, or damaged further by a dysfunctional relationship.
I am writing this because there is HOPE for the hurting child and family.
I am writing because our ALLI is FLOURISHING... and we just aren't that special. :)
I am writing this because I know of another child who has anguished over rejection.
I am writing this because there are OTHER ways.
I am writing this because we as a society are a throwaway society.
We give up....way too easily....
I am writing this because NO PARENT is perfectly good and the child perfectly bad!
I am writing this because disruption is becoming MORE common, and it is being BLAMED
on the child.

Yes, I am being passionate. YES!  Because if a family keeps on doing  what ISN'T working, how will things change???
If God has called you to adopt, then do it. But don't question it when things are hard. God doesn't bring things into our lives for easy street.  He may call us to walk a difficult path. WALK IT.

I think of my sweet Mom, Dabba,  who is 91 years old. She has been such an example to me in my life.  Her daughter was born with Schizophrenia.  She was her first born, and it was back in the day when the understanding of mental illness was really somewhere in the dark ages.  Dabba NEVER EVER gave up on her daughter. They went through a LOT together and I loved my sister in law Aunt Lee Lee.   She suffered from mental illness her entire life, but had the unconditional love of her family through it all.  I remember one Christmas Eve having to take her to a psyschiatric unit once again, because her life was so controlled by mental illness.
I cannot help but wonder.... Had Aunt Lee Lee  been adopted, would her family have stuck by her? Would they have loved her like we loved her? Would their love have been conditional? Would they have sent her away?  Aunt Lee Lee is no longer with us. But my memories of her are fond, in spite of her mental illness. 
I am SO THANKFUL that my DABBA taught me so much about unconditional, sacrificial love.
I will LOVE her FOREVER for her impact on my life.  She taught me to look beyond the hurt and see the good. She taught me to love, and when it hurt, to LOVE MORE.  

Remeber, your children have had years of trauma BEFORE you met them.  And YES, foster care, orphanages, EVEN "good ones" whatever they are, divorce, death of a parent, abuse, SEPARATION FROM A BIRTH MOTHER, coming to a NEW country and NEGLECT are ALL forms of TRAUMA. Don't expect them to be miraculously transformed overnight.  They didn't get to where they are in one day. Healing takes time.
I actually feel like we are on a miraculous speed with Miss Alli.   She really is doing amazingly well. And she is the REAL DEAL!  Somebody actually said that we should "watch out" because these kids can fool you."   UGH!
And they wonder WHY kids don't trust!
Yes, we have days that are stressful. Alli is right.... It IS hard sometimes.  And I am not perfect either.   I ask for forgiveness all the time. :)

I tell you... I LOVE this little girl.  She is mine through and through.  She is our SWEET ALLI!
And Anna is our Sweet Anna! And Erika is our Sweet Erika! And Sarah is our Sweet Sarah! :)
Oh yes they are!


Anonymous said...

Love it. Commitment is the word we chose to cling to as we began our journey.

We knew that we were going to Ukraine to adopt Alina before we met her. We did not care her history, her medical condition, or emotional stability. We had determined, before we bought plan tickets, that we were all in for life. This was our approach. We were not going to meet her and spend time together and see if there was a match. We met Alina, spent ten minutes with her, she walked out, and we told the orphanage director, start the paperwork, we would like to adopt her.

So when we got home and the honeymoon was over and the crap hit the fan, we did not blink because we were already committed to our daughter, through thick and thin, for life.

Moore is right, if you are seeking the perfect child, don't do it. Turn around and go do something else. But if you are willing to stand in the center of the fire and not shrink back- commit- then go for it!

Adoption is so hard, especially when we apply traditional parenting methods. But once you start figuring things out, it feels good and you find love. Everything is counterintuitive.

Great post as always. Blessings.

Keri said...

Amen amen amen amen AMENNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You took the words right out of my mouth. Well, not really...I could not possibly express my feelings about disruption as kindly and eloquently as you. But I THANK you for doing it for me!

Amen, SOOOOO happy you wrote this.

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

We adopted our precious 6 year old daughter through disruption two years ago. We have three bio kids. We've recently received a call about an eleven year boy. We are at the point of praying that God will either open wide the door or slam it shut.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences on your blog.

L said...

Sorry, Christie, but you are wrong. Dead wrong.

When you write "we just aren't that special", there is nothing further from the truth. You are special in ways you don't even know! And your whole family as well!

Jen said...

I love this post - it brought tears to my eyes.

Our daughter is our daughter. Period. No caveats. No anything. No matter what.

Jen said...

P.S. Hi, by the way. I'm Jen. I found your blog on FRUA chat and have followed along for awhile now but I think this is my first comment. So, nice to "meet" you.

Christie M said...

Nice to meet you Jen! :)

Annie said...

I agree that you are special.

You are so right about the horrific trauma to the child, too. Anastasia frequently brings up the family who "didn't want" her - a host family who had her only a week or so. Yet, she feels it as rejection. And the orphanage caregiver, who had her home for the night a few times; she "didn't want" Anastasia either. It is as though these incidents are all stored up because they "compute". Not being wanted makes sense. Being loved is so hard for her to believe.

Lillian Marsh said...

I LOVE reading your blog, particularly posts on adoption, disruption, and your sweet girls!
My husband and I have five bio children, ages 7-almost 15. Last December we adopted two little boys in Odessa, Ukraine. They are bio brothers.Nathan is now 4 and Alex is 3. They have a sister who we wanted to adopt, but her bio father came forward and wanted to adopt her instead. She is now 8 and is a beautiful little girl. We so wanted to bring her home too. We would like to adopt again in the future, as the Lord leads and provides. Your blog was an encouragement to me before we traveled and also now that we are home and coming to a new normal. Our four year old had more trauma but is too young to tell us things. We are learning to help him on hard days. The Lord has blessed us so much! Thank you, and I agree, you are special! Lillian
P.S. I also like the gluten free recipes. We are gf here too.

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