"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ecclesiastes 4:12~

International adoption is in the news again. I am sure most of you have read about this story. This on the heels of the death of Lydia Schatz (a little girl who died at the hands of her adoptive parents) is very distressing for us all. I am so thankful this mother did not harm this child physically, but still what was done to him is wrong and harmful.

****Edited to add-I have friends who have found themselves in the hard situation of having to disrupt their adoptions. This is not a judgment on disruption. There is a difference in making a plan for a child you are unable to parent and what happened in this situation.

We look to each other and ask how and why this could happen? What went so horribly wrong?

The adoption process is not an easy one. It takes a considerable investment of time, effort, emotion, and money. There are many hoops to jump through and many obstacles to overcome.

These parents wanted to parent these children. They actively sought them and I would hazard a guess... spent many days and nights dreaming of the day they would be home. How then could they have reached the point that they did?

I truly don't have an answer. As I went to sleep last night I was praying for the little boy who was sent back to Russia and the Holy Spirit prompted my heart to pray for the adoptive Mom too...honestly, at first I resisted. I didn't want to..but she needs prayer too. It is very hard for me not to be angry with her. I have many questions ..and I will leave it at that.. Much will be discussed about her and about this boy and about adoptive families.

Sadly, those in process to adopt from Russia (like those who were adopting from Liberia) will suffer. Doors will close. The process will become harder. Children without families will sit in orphanages.

What can we as an adoptive community do?

1. We can pray. We need to pray for children and families that God will surround them with wisdom and grace.

2. We must reach out to each other. Our children who come to us through adoption are many times children who have experienced great hurts and wounds. It can be different parenting them than our biological children. Please, don't misread what I am saying. I didn't say we love them any less or they are less than.. it is different parenting when children have been hurt. There are times when we have to dig deeper and longer into our spiritual and emotional reserves. It takes time to mesh into a family and to truly know one another and work together. It can take years.

This is where we adoptive parents need each other. We all need a "moving buddy" if you will. We are all on this journey together and there are going to be times when we are tired. We need someone who has been there or is there to talk to. We need someone to let us know we are moving in the right direction even when it feels like we are stuck. Or someone to tell us that it is o.k. to be stuck. We need someone to cheer the victories that others may not understand (I can remember when one of our sons came home he used to gorge on food or anything he could eat. It was such a happy day when I realized I could turn my back and he wouldn't be shoving Play-doh or dog biscuits in his mouth. It's not a victory most Moms in my Sunday School Class could relate to, but I was blessed with friends whose children had been there and who understood how great this was for him.)

As adoptive parents we have a great resource in each other. We can storm the gates of heaven together for our children and for each other. We can encourage and help one another. We may not all parent the same or follow the same parenting philosophy but that is o.k. God is leading us all to parent our children in their uniqueness and individuality. None of us are experts and none of us have all of the answers but we can give you a word of encouragement.

So please, if you are struggling and need a kind word or prayer reach out and let someone know. There are many wonderful families who would love to talk with and pray for you or who may need you to pray for them.

By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped. Ecclesiastes 4:12~ (The Message)

-Has everyone picked a moving buddy? Woody (from Toy Story)


faithfulremembrances said...

I think one of the greatest things we could do in the adoptive community is to BE OPEN HONEST with each other. It is hard when your children come home. Does it mean there are not good times and blessings...no of course not. However, for the most part, I don't see moms and dads being honest about the struggles, so those who are reading blogs and connecting (as they should be) as they are waiting for their children to come home, are not getting the full picture. We are not doing them a service by just talking about all the good times. On the other hand, we would be helping immensely if we talked about xyz situation, how it made us feel, what God's word says about it, and how we handled it. I know when I got home home, I had read so many blogs and message board posts, and never once did I read, "I am really struggling with.....please help." It made me feel like I was alone, everyone but me had an easy go of it...so there must be something wrong with me...my children...our situation. When I finally did read a post expressing some of the very same feelings I was experiencing, and some of the very same struggles my children were having, I breathed a great big sigh of relief. It made all the difference in our home. I know we struggle because we want people to know what a blessing adoption is, so we want to talk about all those blessings. Why not the struggles? When a woman is having a baby she hears all about the joys of having a new little baby...she also hears all the troubles too. No one is afraid to tell a new mother about all the hard times she is going to have with that new sweet baby...why is adoption any different. Raising children is HARD WORK, but the blessings are bountiful no matter how children join our families. We have to stop sugar coating everything, and truly help one another walk down this difficult, confusing, and abundantly blessed road.

Shonni said...

Good post! I know that so many of us do want to be there for each other and it's good to say it again.

Ginger said...

Would you consider adding a Subscribe element to your blog? Look under blogger elements and add it to your sidebar.
I'd be really thankful! :D

Janet said...

Do you mind if I link this post? It is SO good. And so VERY, VERY true. Seems like only adoptive parents really "get" the struggles we have faced.

I also agree with Melissa...we need to be open and honest!!!

Ginger said...

Totally agree about being open & honest, but it is very hard to do. I posted a honest blog post about the difficulty we've had w/ one son. Adoptive moms came out of the woodwork to say how grateful they were for that post. Non-adoptive moms also came out of the woodwork to tell me what an awful mom I am.
I remember when we first introduced our three Liberians to my in-laws. They had only been home a couple weeks. Youngest son wanted cake like everyone else. We gave him a small piece. Horrible comments of judgment. How could we be so stingy with the poor orphan child? Then when he cried because he wanted more, you can imagine how they judged us even more. We were such cruel parents, they thought.

Kathy C. said...

Soemtimes parenting adoptive children is hard. You can have a child who is outwardly charming (and manipulative) to others but hateful in the home. When you try to talk to anyone about it, they don't believe you because the child seems to be fine and soooo well behaved. Generally people think you are the problem. I feel for this mom who thought she had no choice but to send the child back. Really, it is hard to get help. The state doesn't provide it for internationally adopted kids, insurance doesn't cover a residential placement and those places are very expensive. NOt saying she should have done it, but that I do understand. I 've had a child in a home for troubled youth for four years and compared to her child, mine was very very mild.

Prayers please for one of my children who used another child's personal laptop to access porn and now the computer is a mess. All his course work for his college classes is on the computer but he can't use it. All computer in the house are password protected and all but that one have PG 13 settings but the owner of the laptop had left a program running when he left for work and left his computer in his own room not expecting a sibling to violate his trust. Especially after he'd let the sibling play his Wii for an hour. Right now the offender has no true remorse. This is the first time the child has been left unattended but he'd asked for a chance to prove himself. I need prayer that I can separate the child from the hateful behaviors he is displaying right now.

Mama of 5 said...

Thanks for the great post. I know it will help many families.

Grateful for Grace said...

Renee- would you be willing to email me? I have some qs regarding adopting older children.
If not, I understand.



Julie said...

I really like the way you "said" that. I am a mom to a boy adopted from Russia so this story hit me hard. I wonder why the mom couldn't or didn't reach out to someone who could help.
She sure could have used a moving buddy or 3.

Leah-Joy said...

You are so encouraging and eye opening Aunt Renee! THank you for this reminder to continue to pray for those going through adoption. I have to admit that hen we were going through ur's I would remember to pray for others in the same shoes but now that we through I continuosly forget. Thank you for this reminder that they still and always will need prayer!

Shana said...

Good post. You're right, we do need someone we can "move" with and be real with. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are going it alone, or like you are the only one who has gone-through / felt-like this. Also, for what it's worth, I feel like the "dark" side of adoption needs to be talked about more. It isn't all roses, all the time, and I think people need to know that. When I first read that article about the russian boy, I found myself empathizing with the mother. Not condoning what she did, but understanding the desperation she must have felt.

Shauna said...

HI! This is the first time I have seen your blog and I love this post. Do you mind if I link it? When I had babies I could call my mom or sisters - with adoption I have no friends that understand and if I were to talk about an issue then I think people would look at me with a "well you asked for it - you better deal with it" attitude. I do have an online community and am so very thankful for that. Thank you for your honesty.

ajnrileysmommy said...

i hadn't heard this story. so sad.

laura mouro said...

Great post. Yes, it is tragic, all these stories recently of these adoptive families. What she did was not right, and she must have felt so desperate to do something so outrageous.

You are right, we who have adopted, need each other--to share each others' burdens, to pray for one another, to share our crazy stories!

Thank you for this post.

In Christ, Laura

The Straight's said...

Great post, thanks! I may have to link it ;)

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Thanks Renee, for the well-written post ... and thanks for sharing that you are not judging those of us who have disrupted an adoption.

While I do not agree with what this mother did, I must say that I fully understand her desperation. I, too, was at a very desperate point last summer. I, too, considered the possibility of returning my son to his home country (a fleeting thought, but a thought none the less).

Only this mother knows how many times she asked for help. Only she knows how many phone calls she made. Only she knows how truly difficult things were in her home. Yet, so many people have judged her without having any of that knowledge.

When we were in our crisis situation, we made more phone calls than I could count.

The police didn't want to help, they felt sorry for "the poor African boy". Our local police detective actually said, "So, National Geographic is right?" (asking about life in Africa)

The social worker for an adoption agency gave the most unprofessional and horrific "advice" ... I cannot even repeat her words here for you.

The state CPS department wouldn't get involved. We practically begged them to take a report ... but they wouldn't. They, too, felt sorry for the "sweet boy". They told us that we just needed to "love him unconditionally". (The health and safety of our 5 younger children was at risk.)

The adoption medical clinic at our state university wouldn't even let us make an appointment. "No. We aren't the right place for you."

You suggest that adoptive families need to be more honest about the struggles. I agree. However, being honest is not for the faint of heart. Our entire family has been impacted deeply because I have been honest on my blog. We have had one of the most difficult 10 months ever ... and we knowingly made things worse because I chose to speak honestly about our crisis. We even walked through a 4 month CPS case, based on false allegations ... because we chose to be honest on our blog. No ... honesty is not for the faint of heart.

Sorry to have written a whole book here ... just think that you readers need to hear from someone that has "been there, done that" ... with both honesty on a blog, and with a disruption.

Our son's re-adoption was finalized yesterday. We are ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

Thanks Renee, for being a WONDERFUL Bloggy Friend, and a supporter and encourager for others walking the adoption journey.

Laurel :)

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