we went per request of my hubby. he had a gnarly week planned and asked if we could get away while he was going to be in the weeds. so he was able to work a 73 hour workweek without us being in the house messing up what little sleep he was able to get.
added bonus.. it was a great chance to spend time with my mother and sister's lovely family. it was a perfect opportunity to have the new cousins meet each other. after all, it had been three years since our last visit-too long. it was fun. it was blessed. we will even do it again next summer-God willing.
BUT, it was also a good time to escape. you see, i have been hiding.
there is someone in my life that violated my trust and said some pretty awful things about my parenting and my adopted children. i know they said it as a defense mechanism, but it put me into a protective state. i spent days crying. sought pastoral counseling. had nightmares. i second guessed God's decision of allowing us two more children to raise. it generally put me into a big ole funky depression.
i stopped writing about adoption and instead focused my blog into more of a scrapbook style. that way this person could not use anything i wrote to their advantage. also they couldn't gain access into my personal life. i was living in fear of what they would do to me and my children. they already had tried messing with my support system.
i considered changing churches. i considered making my blog private. then i thought if i made myself invisible, maybe they would go away and leave me in peace.
today when i took a look at what was really making me depressed...it was the hiding. being evasive with those i was closest to so that they wouldn't mistakenly share information with this person.
i avoided my blog. i forced myself to add blog entries for my
my blog is my way of getting my thoughts and feelings out of my head and into a place where i can gain new perspective. it is my therapy. why would i let a personal conflict change that?
yes, fear was a factor, but also, i didn't want others knowing what was going on. i didn't want to hurt the person who was wronging me. i didn't want to use my blog as a weapon. but i did. it was a weapon that hurt me. stuffing my life has damaged me. it distanced me from those who love and support us.
so much has happened in the past month. happy stuff....hurtful stuff...adoption stuff.
so in an effort to reclaim my life, self-esteem, and writing therapy...i will write again. it may not always be funny. but it will be real. it will be mine. hopefully it will help someone else reading it. maybe it will speak to someone who is on the fence about adoption. maybe it will raise up another person who is having a tough day. perhaps it will break another's heart and cause them to champion the plight of the orphan. at the very least, maybe it will move people to lift us up in prayer.
i prayed just before God told us we were adopting. i said, "LORD, USE ME TO BE YOUR HEART, HANDS, AND MOUTH." He did. just a few short weeks later we started our adoption journey.
so i say now...
LORD, USE MY BLOG, MY COMMUNICATIONS, AND MY EVERYDAY INTERACTIONS TO DO YOUR WORK. USE ME TO SHOW COMPASSION, GRACE, AND JOY TO THOSE WHO NEED IT THE MOST. HELP ME TO GET OVER MYSELF AND BE BOLD IN ALL THINGS FOR YOU.
so now i share...
on our trip to my sister's home many things came out. i knew that by adopting older children, we would hear stories of hard lives coming from their own lips. their lives had to have been hard. no matter how clean and beautiful any one orphanage may be, human life-orphans' lives are not valued in China.
one night i was playing with B and i tapped her rear end with a plastic hanger. just a tiny love tap. she swung around to face me with a challenging look in her eyes. she ripped the hanger from my hand and said, "in China, they went like this and this to me. all over me. i no love hangers." as she proceeded to whip and strike the air Mommy Dearest style and then pointed to her arms, legs, and back. my heart stopped. if she hadn't been able to see me, i would have fallen to me knees. DEAR GOD?! i calmly asked her, "so they hit you with hangers?" and she nodded miming the act once again. i told her that i would never ever hurt her. she is precious to me and i love her and i will not let that happen to her again.
someone beat my sweet girl. the joyful light of my life. they beat her. i did something in play that brought up these ugly memories. my heart broke. again, i knew that there had to have been awful experiences. i had prepared myself for the grafting of "hurt" children into our family. but hearing it and seeing her whipping the air. i will NEVER get that image out of my mind. what if we hadn't said yes to adopting her? would she still get beaten? what would have become of her when she aged out? would she be a beggar? a prostitute? sold for body parts or slavery?
there are some that hold the opinion that adopted children's lives and stories are for them alone. they own them and it is not our right to share them with others. i have tried to be respectful. but really? if your heart isn't broken for the orphan hearing real life stories...if you think adoption is for others and not for you. take another look. can you do without big vacations every year? can you do without grandiose ideas of what your empty nest/retirement will look like? can you imagine loving a child whom you did not birth? can you get over the race to store up earthly treasures?
i am not saying adoption is for everyone. it isn't. but helping orphans is our call. every one's call. give to charities like smile train, or donate to personal adoptions. there is a family racing to bring two teenage girls home and a chip-in fundraiser going on. go give something. http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/
there is a family working to help raise awareness in India http://humbled-aerni.blogspot.com/
there is a family that just found out that their teenage daughter has brain damage sustained as an infant in China... http://whenlovebringsyoutome.blogspot.com/
what are you doing? is it enough? i say these things with love and not condemnation. my eyes were blind up until a couple of years ago. i don't condemn anyone. i love the orphan. i will advocate for the cause as long as i draw breath.
because miracles happen when we do.
even though my child is starting to share stories of her former life, she also has the capability to love.
other people have been used as instruments of grace. Tim danced with B in China and then passed her off to me. she danced about a measure and then let go, but it was the first time she touched me willingly. you can read about it here...full disclosure. it was only day two of having the children and i was having a tantrum about being in China that day... http://www.provided4.blogspot.com/2012/03/meltdowns-and-progress.html
then B hugged my mother goodbye one night and i teased her that she had never given me a hug...she then gave me my first one. http://www.provided4.blogspot.com/2012/04/state-of-my-heart.html i get goodnight hugs every night now. still no kisses...maybe someday.
well, now God has used my sister and her children for our next breakthrough. the night before leaving NE we told the children that we would be returning home the following day. B cried. what crying? over leaving? does this mean she attached? it is every parent's fear that their child will have attachment disorder. not being able to attach to caregivers causes many issues. scary stuff...here is a wikipedia link... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_disorder#Diagnosis
being able to attach to caregivers is the one thing we all hope our older or hurt children can do. it means that they have a fighting chance of having meaningful relationships and/or marriages. it means that they might be able to be good parents someday. without the ability to attach these things are in question.
so, back to my story...the next day B sobbed leaving my sister's house. she calmed down after a trip to good old McDonalds. shameful tactic, but we had to eat and it did make her stop sniveling. E too for that matter. that night we were unable to get one hotel room, so we divied up the kiddos. mom took E and A and i took the other two. B approached me and asked for a hug. i complied, to which she promptly broke down sobbing. she hung on to me for dear life. i sat on the bed rocking her back and forth while she wept. she said, "i love aunt lori. i love amara, zach, luke, mary...." oh precious Father...she has attached. after she dried her tears, she snuggled with me and watched some television. the dam has broken. now i can't get her off of me. it used to be S who was always all over me. now it is sweet B. A has to compete with two sisters for mom's lap now. i rejoice in it though.
before our trip, i was not allowed to comfort B. if she was sad or hurt she would turn away from me. she hid her tears. they were shameful to her. if i tried to hug her, she would present her back to me and would not hold onto me. know what? she even has been asking for zubbers on her tummy and neck before bed. kisses are getting closer. i wonder whom God will use to open her up to kisses from mommy?
so the graft is taking with that one.
now for the other. S is wayyy more involved than i thought she was initially. her English is not really coming in. she uses phrases, but only as exclamations. she can say some prayers, but i don't think she knows what she is saying. her learning disability is severe. she is almost 14 and cannot do simple math without counting on her fingers. she has watched an ABC video a half dozen times and still cannot recall the sounds they make. i wouldn't have noticed the slow progress if it wasn't for B. she knows her phonics after watching the DVD a few times. she speaks in sentences. she describes things and communicates memories clearly. S cannot seem to learn anything without great difficulty. she kept to herself mostly while at my sister's. she spent hours sorting legos into bins of like colors or shapes. yes, she hugged and kissed her cousins, but that goes with attachment disorder too. affection for anyone. she seemed to like their dog the best. she didn't shed one tear when leaving. just went along with us without any emotion. she is a mystery to me still. i cannot figure her out. looks like some level of Autism. i am seriously struggling with how to school her. where to get her evaluated. how to get a diagnosis. and on and on.
the beauty of it all is that i know God has it all figured out. when i struggle with one child, another gains headway. when my bio kids are having a tough time, God sends in family and friends to lift them up. all is well.
in regards to my personal trials...God is teaching me how to deal with adversity in a manner befitting a Disciple. He is showing me a way that isn't in our nature. i will take what i have learned about myself and others and share my wisdom with my growing family. He gives all Good Gifts for a reason and when we have trouble seeing the Good, we need to keep our chins up, because looking up is looking towards the One who can do all things.