I recently read a blog post that wonderfully expressed the process and feelings that are happening in the adoption of older children in the first year, and I decided to share the link at the end of this post. The post is a sincere, open, difficult, funny, and encouraging story of the authors heart; and I laughed and cried all the way through; but whereas the author of the article was writing about the common stages of adoption, and she was describing those stages within the course of a year, I can say it still applies eight years later. There are cycles that continue and repeat in a milder degree of expression as the years go by. For those of you who are still in some stage of the adoption process, saying that isn't meant to seem discouraging, just let it be a reality check, to help undergird your perseverance. Things get better every day, week, month and year, but the struggle to "become" a family is always in process. Most of us start this journey with a calling in our heart to reach out to some very precious and hurting children. We think that in a short season we can reap the joys and rewards of that task. We imagine the joyous bonding and loving relationship of parent and child to take a week, or a month, or even a year, but it is really a life long journey. We think our children will be so happy to "at last" be in a safe and cozy place, that they will love us and enjoy us and life will be great in a short time. But it doesn't usually work in that kind of a time frame. When little souls are wounded even from their mother's womb, healing needs to begin in order for bonding to begin and healing takes time.
It has helped me tremendously, to come to the realization that success is a journey, your calling is worked out in a life time. So, if you are in the middle of this adoption journey, take a deep breath, give yourself a break and don't be so hard on yourself, give your children a break; don't place burdensome expectations on them….and don't take upon yourself the rejection they have had to overcome; let go of your expectations, give your Father in Heaven a chance to do His work, get a nice box of Kleenex, a cup of tea and sit down and read a little and you will be glad you did.
Here is the Link:
by Jen Hatmaker on August 21st, 2012
Here are a few pics of our kids through the years, starting with this one at our first meal together in Russia.
Eddie and Russell Eating the Piroshki's we had all made.
Russ and Eddie when Russ first came home after being assigned in the Navy.
Here's Russ that same trip.
Aren't they cute. I love them.
They have caught a few fish with Steve over the years.
Eddie graduating from 8th grade.
A Holiday meal together.
Some fun in the snow.
For more about our story click here and here. As a conclusive note to our own story, our children are doing well. We stay in touch via phone, e-mail, Facebook and texting, since they live in Arizona and California now, and we live in Florida. We are in a different phase of our life with them since they are grown and making a life for themselves. We got the sweetest card from Russell this Christmas (he writes us cards and letters that bless us beyond words and he always gets us choked up…. truly a reward… but let me say all three of the kids have written us some very precious notes and letters; these are what we cherish from them). I mentioned in a previous post that Eddie is living in Phoenix with Olga, and all in all they are getting along pretty well. We rejoice in our children, and in the family God has given us. We are all still in process, but we have also had the joy and reward of love. Our constant prayer for them is that they continue to seek out the abundant life that is found only in Jesus.