Saturday, February 21, 2009

Think about it! Maybe God is calling you!

This post was taken from another persons blog. I think it is so important for people to read this and know this. You are not adopting a clean slate at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 13 yrs old. You are adopting a child that has a life and has a history- you need to know that, respect it  and work WITH it. These kids are incredible and so deserve our admiration, time and love. It has been a joy for us to adopt our daughter Sarah at 8.5 yrs old but it does come with challenges. 

While preparing for Sarah's adoption I read many books. The information was hard to hear- I often had to put the book down and pick it up a couple days later. While reading it I would be praying for her and hoping that she would not have all the issues I was reading about. We have seen many of the institutional characteristics in Sarah but in a mild, manageable form. When I see them, I also see how she needed them to survive- it is not a bad thing. 

I know we will be adopting another older child. It has been such a joy and such an adventure! Pray about it, think about it, read about it and consider it! Thank you, Jesus!

One last thing- a friend said to me after we got home. When you were in China did you look at the other children and wish you had a younger child. With all honesty I was able to answer "No, not at all". Thank you, Jesus! (again and again and again)

Letter posted by Amy E. of Love Without Boundaries

"I most definitely wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that just as many parents are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are reading.There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage, and who head overseas to pick up their "China doll" only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat...and on and on and on.While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan (Hotel where parents stay in China) to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having.I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), "she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom).I guess since I live China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case.I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues.It was sobering to me.Babies in the NSN (non-special needs) as well as the SN (special needs) path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more.Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents leaving soon and to realize they are not prepared. One family was adopting from our foster care program, and when I told them that the child was DEEPLY attached to the mom,the father said, "guess she might cry for an hour or so then?"An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year!I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour.I told them to please remember the 72 hour rule.......that after 72 hours they would probably see her spark, but that she would probably grieve for a long time after that as well.I think for many adoptive parents, they just don't want to read the "bad stuff", and so I do think that ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves.There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues.I think adoption from China is very similar to giving birth.. it is much more rosy to only read the happy stories on APC (another website for adoptive parents), but I now encourage every family I meet to read the harder ones as well.It is always a very sad day for the orphanage and everyone involved when a child that they know is absolutely fine, but perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed".I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them.The truth is, and everyone must realize it...a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China, and all of their experiences are shaping who they are.The one thing I have learned over and over again about the kids in China is that they are fighters and survivors.But for some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.Recently, one of our medical babies that we had met several times in person was adopted, and we all knew that this child was a "spitfire".When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt.She absolutely was not what they expected.I think all of us, who do realize that delays occur and that babies can usually overcome them, should be these children's advocates by continually trying to educate new parents on what to expect in China.By helping them be better prepared, we just might help stop a disruption in the future.I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart, and it is my life's work…but I also want every family who goes to get their baby to go with their eyes open and to be as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake."

Amy E-
Love Without Boundaries"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Survival Skills

We have been having a wonderful vacation in Florida! Lots of great family time! But there has been something that has been bothering me. It's not big, just a little something but I couldn't pinpoint it until today.

I happen to be married to who I think is the nicest guy in the world! he is an easy going sort of fellow and has very few needs- in other words he is low maintenance! We have been married for 27 years and in the beginning- I probably was a bit bossy- let's not hurt my self esteem by being too critical. Over the years we have both become fairly easy going, we just work together to get things done. The evolution has been good and blessing to our marriage. 

So here we are in Florida, having a nice time but the kids are away from their usual schedules. Our dear daughter Sarah was described as having a strong personality and I must say- that was accurate! I feel like since we have been down here our sweet daughter- being away from her schedule, is starting to take over- I finally had to say to hubby- dear we are all in big trouble if we let an 8yr old who doesn't have a complete understanding of the english language lead us through out the day. The last straw was when she was successfully insisted he come and watch Barney with her instead of doing his work on the computer. BTW- he was going to do it until he thought what am I doing- I have to get this work done! My dear hubby was being bossed around and it wasn't even me doing the bossing! Yikes.

Once I could pinpoint what was bugging me I shared it with him. Thank goodness he was beginning to see it too. It is not even good for Sarah to let that behavior continue. When you are in a family you work with the family. Things don't always go your way- you have to compromise. 

She is an incredible child and we love her so much! But we will have to make sure she knows her boundaries and make sure she knows who the parents are and what their/our roles are! I am sure this personality characteristic is what helped our little girl survive in an orphanage in China for 8 yrs. I don't want her to lose her survival skills- we just want her to learn more appropriate ones for her life here in a family in America. She is an incredible little girl and we are so blessed to have her in our family! Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Well because I am who I am... I have a little trouble with waiting... I feel that it is important to be ... proactive, assertive, on top of things...etc.
So... of course I am already scoping out the children ready for our next child to pop up and say "I am yours"! If only it were that easy! 

I have seen many children that I would love to bring home and be a part of our family. It makes me wonder how will I really know who is our child when I fall in love with so many of them- God bless these precious children.

I found a little one that stole my heart. I new it would be a long shot BUT there was some hope. Hubby was open to it but cautious. We prayed BUT not enough. I knew my answer was with the Lord. We found out more info but with each step there were obstacles. At first I would step back and then feel challenged and wanted to push forward even more. No one should get in the way of a mother and her child. I continued to try to gather more info but never could connect with those I needed to talk to. I prayed through out the days, hubby prayed. 

By the end of today a feeling came over me... be patient, trust me, live in the present, be peaceful. This child is so precious, she so deserves a family, I will pray for her but I will not be her Mom. It makes me sad because I know we could do it and do a good job at it, but country restrictions make it impossible. What a shame... God Bless her...

Later in the evening as I was talking to my sister and I mentioned that I had her Bible that mom gave her when she was confirmed. As I was talking to her I opened it and found 4 pieces of paper, handwritten quote from the bible by my mom on "patients, wait for Jehovah". 

Psalm 27:14
Wait for Jehovah
Be strong and let thy heart
take courage.
Yea, wait thou for Jehovah

Our child is out there... God will lead us to her in his perfect timing.
Thank you, Jesus.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Until You Are 8 yrs Old...

Hubby and I try to connect in the evening to make sure we are both on the same parenting track. This weekend Daddy took over many of the responsibilities because I was just feeling like I needed a little break. We have a family wedding coming up and I needed to get something to wear and get something for the girls. Just so you know that is not an easy task- if you did not buy a dressy holiday dress in December you are out of luck because now we have the spring line- in MN., oh please- don't I wish! So the girls are wearing a dress from the GAP cruise line WITH a little sweater and thank goodness I was able to get tights to match. Not exactly what I was looking for but it works. We will be dropping them off at the door and hopefully doing some serious dancing to warm up!

Hubby realizes that it is very busy and a bit tiring with the girls all day! - although very fun and not too tiring to add another special little girl to the family- I just want to make that clear JUST in case my agency is reading this post!! So we are talking about the fact that we have to set limits and if we bring them to an event ... okay lets just say big brothers soccer game that we do not need to hand out quarters for candy and little worthless prizes throughout the whole game. Yeah , you guessed it- Daddy is a favorite now!

Well again- I need to get back on track- so we have set a few limits-
1. We happily carry Sarah in the house whenever we can. We do not carry her outside of our home.
2. No gum- IF you have been following along you will know that we have been to the dentist/endodontist 7 times. NO gum and no sticky candy or fruit snacks.
3. As far as bargaining goes- Mom and Dad make the decisions. We listen BUT we make the final decision
4. We are done with school when we are done with what we need to get done. No bargaining about that either.
5. love is never ending- we will hug, kiss and hold anytime.
6. okay, there are more that we discussed but they are evolving. We will be working something out for that 4-5:30 timeframe when we all are tired, a little crabby, hungry and maybe need a little space (hello- me!)

So then hubby says to me can you imagine not being loved until you were 8 yrs old............

Gulp, I was speechless. I have never thought of it like that... it breaks my heart. She is so incredible, so precious, such a gift from God and we love her so much! It almost takes my breathe away. Older child adoption is so wonderful, we love it, we love her, we love our family with her in it. She was the missing piece to our family puzzle. Bless her sweet heart! I feel like canning the rules and I think patience will be the theme for this week... and the next... and the next...! 

( I know that Sarah was deeply loved by her birth Mom but was unable to experience that love due to their separation.)
(yeah- right now I just want to forget the rules and go hug my sweet little girl)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Dream

It is a family thing that once someone passes away they usually show up in their families dreams. I have seen my husbands parents , my father and my mother. When Mom and I talked about it, she was all set to come back pretty quick- I made it clear- no weird, scary stuff. After she passed away I prayed that I would not see her in my dreams because I wasn't ready- I knew I would cry and cry. Well, 9 months have gone by and I am feeling stronger. I miss her so very much but I am doing just fine. I want to share these beautiful children with her- I know she is enjoying them from heaven! Slowly sweet Momma is making her way into a few of my dreams. At first she would just be there- they didn't seem to have any meaning. The other night I was with her (in my dream of course). We were having a great time, talking a mile a minute- about everything! We sat down, I looked at her and I said "I love you so much, I am going to miss you so much when you die." I hesitated on the last word because I then realized what I was saying. She looked at me and smiled with eyes that said "I know"- the dream was over but hey it was a good night with MOM!

On a side note- I just want to let Mom know that in the dream her teeth were very white! She always wanted white teeth! She always had such a good sense of humor!