Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Loving through the pain, brokeness and rejection

It all started last Thanksgiving 2011... I stumbled upon these beautiful faces that were posted on our agency's waiting child list.
I can still recall the feeling of being overwhelmed when I heard God tell me that "these were OUR children!" A week later on Tuesday, November 26, 2011... Sol and I said "yes." We made the phone call to our agency to begin the mounds of paperwork and well... the rest is history.

Our children have now been home for nearly 10 weeks and yet it feels like they have been with us forever. Blending our family together has been one of the most difficult things Sol and I have ever experienced together and yet even on a day that is full of meltdowns, defiance and manipulation... it is still beautiful. 
Beautiful Chaos.
 
All 6 of our children have literally thrown all of their struggles, pain and grief at our faces with hopes and expectations of  "please help and heal me..."  It is exhausting, overwhelming and yet in the depths of our hearts... we know we wouldn't want to be anywhere else or do anything else. We pray and we hope that God's healing, powerful and unconditional love would penetrate through us and pour out to our children. 
If I went down the list of challenges we have faced with each child, I think I could literally scare a family out of adoption.  Then again, I'm not the type of person to paint a "perfect" picture of adoption.  Adoption is exceptionally hard. Adopting a sibling set of 4... well, I'm sure you can fill in the blank.  We get enough public stares and smiles a day for us to know that we aren't the "normal" family. BUT in spite of all the obstacles we have faced... I will ALWAYS believe in adoption.  EVERY child DESERVES to be loved and fought for.  Through our love for them.... they WILL heal.   Even though sometimes it feels like we take one step forward and 10 steps back... I still believe there is at least 1 oz. of love poured into and received in their beautiful broken and wounded hearts...everyday.

After fighting a 2 month battle with our 7 year old daughter who doesn't understand the meaning of love and did everything to reject our love... she finally told me yesterday "how much she loves her mommy..."  - She poured love back into my weary and exhausted soul.  Words cannot even begin to express how much those words meant to me.  We have wondered if she would ever express any emotion of connecting with us... but she is... it gives us hope and we can only continue to live in hope that God will heal her and continue to show her how much we love her. 

One of the greatest challenges we face EVERYDAY is homeschooling 4 and entertaining our other 2. Unfortunately, we were told by their previous school in Ghana that all of our kids were academically at their appropriate grade levels and received perfect grades. To our surprise, our 10 year old is barely at 2nd grade level and our 7 year old is between K-1st grade. It has been a rough road for all of us. In the beginning, they displayed a tremendous amount of defiance towards learning and would cheat their way through their schoolwork.  It was an ongoing battle. Their street smarts were nearly overtaking us. On top of that, we have a 2 year old who has the street smarts of a 13 year old, with an attitude of a 50 year old. She will do anything within her cute little self to manipulate all 5 of her siblings and her parents to get what she wants.  Fortunately, we have learned to outsmart her. One day, she will make a great dictator or politician.
To keep this ship from sinking, we always have to be a few steps ahead of her and the rest of our children. 
Needless to say...there is never a dull moment.

 In spite of all the crying and meltdowns, the sound of laughter always rings louder from our house.  All 6 of our kids are learning and growing to love each other and accept the new boundaries from Sol and I.  As we love our kids with very defined boundaries, our home continues to provide for them an extremely safe and secure environment. 
 
Tomorrow provides me its challenges... but it also gives me the joy of watching all 6 of my beautiful blessings learn from their weaknesses and grow in their strengths.
 

12 comments:

  1. It will get easier. Hang in there!

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  2. If you ever want to talk with me about the homeschooling challenges, just pop me an email (contact info. in my right side bar of my blog).

    I have homeschooled my children for 22 years. Nothing could have prepared me for the challenges of homeschooling my 3 adopted children from Ghana. We brought them home at ages 6, 9, 12. We were told they were very bright and had no academic problems. Not true. :) It was unbelievably hard . . . for quite some time. I would love to chat with you about the challenges, if you'd like.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you all walk through this most difficult of transitions. (The 3 we adopted were right about the ages of our 3 youngest bio., which gave us 6 kids in a 6 year age span.)

    Hugs & Prayers!

    Laurel
    mama of 12 (ages 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 23, 25, 27, 28)

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  3. Glad you are keeping it real! I hope and pray things start to fall in place sooner rather than later! They are such beautiful children!!!!!

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  4. Thanks for updating! Have been wondering how you are doing. Praying for you and your family as you learn life together.

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  5. God Bless you and your beautiful family. Thank you so much for updating as I to have been wondering how things are going. Praying for all of you.

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  6. We are adopting a sib group of 4 from Nicaragua! My husband came here to Nica 7/3 and the kids moved in the second week of July and I came with 2 out of our 3 teens (one in college) on 8/13! We are here waiting for the finalization of the adoption and are right now considered foster parents. Thanks for writing! I can relate!
    Karen Twombly

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  7. Been there girl! Hang in there and keep praying. The first 6 months are the hardest but joy comes in the morning!
    Joy

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  8. Wow, I was just writing a post on the dark side of adoption. That parents are often afraid to be real with others about the struggles of adoption. It happens and its real and we are not failures as parents because we admit it IS hard. We're humble enough to say "I can't do this on my own".

    We are 3.5 yrs into life with our first adoption (only 2 months into our 2nd) and one of our children took a mental/emotional turn for the worst...but we're hooking up with the resources we need to help him heal. Long story short? This is the most beautifully painful journey ever!

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  9. Thanks for keeping it real. Been wondering about Y'all! Plase know that I will pray for you! Janet

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  10. Oh boy. I totally get the "street smarts" thing. It is so hard.

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  11. Thanks so much for the update. I have been praying for you & wondering how it was all going. We adopted two older-ish children from Ghana 3 years ago. The first year was definitely the hardest. At times I thought I was nearly becoming mentally ill from all the mind games. They are wonderful kids - they were just wounded, so wounded. However, we are all doing pretty well now & are really looking forward to adopting more precious kiddos asap! Blessings & joy to all of you!!! Do you have any needs? I think there are many who want to be praying for you all.
    Patty

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  12. Thank you for your honesty ... I have been following you for a while now (from Australia) and think of you often. Praying that your journey will continue forward (even if it's bumpy) and that you will all find peace and healing soon x

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