Monday, January 5, 2015

Thoughts About Adoption 8 1/2 Years Later

This June, our family will celebrate our nine year anniversary of the adoption of three of our children.    The years have gone by quickly. It is hard to believe 8 1/2 years have come and gone since our kids came home from Russia. Olga turned 23 in December, Eddie turns 19 tomorrow and Russ will be 24 in another week. That is a big wow! for Steve and I. I rejoice and give thanks when I think of all that God has done in these 8 1/2 years.  It hasn't necessarily been an easy journey, but a rewarding one.  I am amazed that God reached down and transplanted these three children from a very sad situation into a fresh start.  It was rough for them, and it was rough for us, but we have all grown greatly through it all.

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.

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.

Russ and Olga together a few years later.

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.


  1. Talk about getting this sister of theirs all choked up. I love how you wrote this Mom. Everything so well written…. You are my inspiration!!

  2. Dear Pam, this was a really nice timeline and with so many happy memories!
    You and your whole family has made this adoption a success. Being a family is a life long process.
    Yours, Roxy

  3. Hello Pam!
    Such special memories and blessed treasures you have in all of your journeys through adoption. You all have come a long ways and they are so very blessed to have such great parents. You are an inspiration to many and I cherish all that you have done.

    I hope you are enjoying your new home in the sunny state. Miss you all so much!

    Hugs to you,

  4. Dear Pam,
    I had no idea you had adopted children. ;) It was fun to read some about your journey. ;) Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed all the pictures.

  5. That was beautiful. To see them starting out and sharing about the growth of struggles of becoming a family. You are a dear Mama.

    What a blessing indeed, to be in a family filled with love.

    hugs~ Cinnamon