Posts in category Adoption Story

Resolve

If you have been there, then you already know that these words are true….

No matter how much you wanted to adopt, how desperately you prayed, or how often you checked your email for news, the days and weeks following your child’s homecoming are a strange mixture of elation and exhaustion.

Regardless of your extensive preparation, the books and articles you poured over, the time spent with a caseworker, the blog reading, and the conversations with experienced families, there are still questions and sudden uncertainty after the homecoming.

Here is the truth.  Adoption will rock the boat. The family that you had is introducing a new member.  For some, perhaps a little tilt of the boat here and there. For others, the boat is darn near tipping.

My job is fantastic because when every other person is told that they need to give the family time to nest and bond, to please come visit in a few weeks when the family is more settled, I get to quietly come in and observe for a few hours in those very early weeks.   In most cases I have worked with the family for many months and sometimes years. I have seen their excitement and heard their promises of dedication and determination. I have been the one that they cleaned the house for and tucked in the kids shirts for and put their best face forward during that home study process.  But, my favorite is the day I get to pop in and all is a mess.

For me, this is the day that matters the most.

Recently, I sat at a dining room table full of play-dough, buttons, broken crayons, and tissues. The little girl had been home for three weeks. Her parents and I have worked together for over three years. Let me tell you something. They wanted her. They fought for her. They sacrificed. They hoped. They didn’t give up when all seemed hopeless. After three years of waiting, financially supporting her and her entire orphanage as best they could, and traveling to her country of origin twice, she came home in a whirlwind of activity and excitement.

Three weeks later I sat and watched her pull so hard at her Momma’s arm she nearly knocked her out of the chair. Three weeks later I watched her lay on the floor and throw fit after fit. Three weeks later I saw her manipulate her parent’s emotions and reject her father’s attention.   The visit, which had begun with “we are so great” turned a corner and finally came the admission of truth.

THE. BOAT. IS. ROCKING. HARD.

Once her mother said the words, hot tears began to flow down her cheeks.  She cried and cried. Her daughter has been home only three weeks and this smart, capable, loving woman sat before me and sobbed.

Do you know what she was most afraid of? What she confessed? What had been burning in her heart and mind all day for the past few weeks?

If she told people the truth of the hardships, would they doubt her love for her little girl?  If you have already adopted then you know this part.  There are times you want to tell someone that you have no idea what is going on. There are moments when you wonder if you were the right person for this. There are times when all is overwhelming and it is hard to see the sun rise coming tomorrow morning.  There are days of hot tears streaming down your cheeks.

No one said that the molding and making of a family into something new was easy, but until you are in the midst of it, it is impossible to know just how it might shake you up and wear you out.

This Momma sat with me and confessed that she felt so alone in her feelings. If she told her extended family or friends that these past three weeks had been so very hard, they might doubt that she loved this little girl. What if someone said, “maybe you shouldn’t have done this”?  She would rather keep the hurt and hardship to herself than let that happen.

Just because a family that has adopted says that it can be downright hard, does not mean that with all of their might they wouldn’t do it again and again. Admitting the hardship is not an admission of regret, it is evidence of the resolve.

This is the most important day for me as I get to witness the fulfilment of the words they promised in the home study. “No matter what, we will do our best, we will give her what she needs to thrive…..”

Once the little girl picked herself up from her third intense fit in just thirty minutes, she looked over at her mother of only three weeks.   I watched as her mother wiped her own tears and put on a sweet smile. As tenderly as possible she opened her arms and welcomed her child onto her lap. She kissed her cheeks and spoke love into her ears.  “Mommy loves you so much. Mommy will not hurt you.  Please do not hit Mommy. Our hands are for love. My hands love you. Please show me love with your hands too.” She whispered it again and again.

The boat has been rocked and it will be teetering for some time. The family will not be the same.  But, they will grow into themselves the way a child grows into pants that were once a little big.  There will be growing pains, stretching and pulling of emotions, time, finances, relationships, expectations, health, sleep, and more.  But eventually, their growth will finally fit.

On my way home a few days later, I called the family to check in. The mother started crying. The fits have continued, although they have shortened.  She is exhausted and her daughter is testing every boundary. But, she laughed hard and joyfully through her tears because as she was on the phone, out her window she watched her precious little girl still so fresh in her own grief and confusion reach out and grab her father’s hand as they walked down the sidewalk.  This had never happened before.

Resolve, dear friends, not regret.  Both may look like hardship, but the difference is that one hopes and cares to the point of grief while the other bothers not with either.

mom and daughter

Visit us at our website at http://www.madisonadoption.org

A family we are so proud of!

A family we are so proud of!

Just Joel

 

Want to read a beautiful story of love?

Hop on over the Love Without Boundaries today for a story that will inspire and encourage! Plus some amazing photographs.

 

Special Focus: What We Didnt Know

Special Focus: What We Didnt Know

 

We had her picture on the counter of our kitchen for two weeks and we were quiet about her.  The information of a little girl that Madison Adoption Associates was hoping to place in a family sat before us.  Adoption was not new to us, in fact it is where we started as we built our family. We had two children, wild and hilarious boys, running around the house. Both were healthy.  What did we know about adopting a child listed as “special focus”?

What did we know about special needs?

We knew we were overwhelmed. We knew we had a lot of learning to do. We knew we had to talk to doctors, and specialists, and seasoned parents. We knew we had to have faith in the Lord and trust in one another as well.

I remember one evening after we had said the YES to her I cried and cried to a friend about the “what if’s” and when the crying was over I straightened my shoulders and resolved that whatever we didn’t know would be ok.

Sure, there have been a few medical procedures we had not planned. Yes, there has been more intensive speech therapy than we knew to expect.  It is true that she is sensitive in ways that the boys are not, some due to trauma of abandonment, and in other ways just because of her spirit.  I don’t want to lie to you.  Adopting a child labeled as “special focus” has had surprises and we have at times walked a road that led to exhaustion and tears together.

But, if your asking. If your asking me what is it like to adopt a “special focus” child then this is what my answer would be.

Last evening as the sun was setting on our farm my husband roared his 1947 Massey Ferguson tractor and the baby of our family, just 18 months old, went wild with excitement. He could hear it from inside and he wanted a ride. It was freezing outside. I bundled him from head to toe in warmth until he could sweat even in a freeze. As I put on my coat I noticed that she was there bundling up too. We walked out together and she took his little glove covered hand and bent low. With one hand around his back so that he could not fall and the other in his she walked him across the acre to their Daddy. She walked so careful, so tenderly, with such purpose. She walked that baby in safety and when they reached the tractor she turned to me and waved. And, from the porch where I had watched intently I melted into a muddle of tears.

You see, there were many things we did not know when adopting a special focus child. And one of those things was that we were saying that YES to one of the most compassionate souls we have ever met. We didnt know we were saying YES to a little girl who would bundle up, stoop low, and walk her baby brother across a frozen field just because she wanted to love.

Special focus children hold the hearts of Madison Employees in their hands. They are special focus because they tend to be more difficult to place due to their age, special needs, and medical needs.  Madison offers grants to help place “special focus” children into loving families.  I dont know what your questions are about special focus children, but I want you to know one thing for sure.

There is more to that child than the special needs glaring at you from the page, and there is more to you than the uncertainty you may feel in your heart about adopting a child with special needs.  Bring their huge capacity for love together with yours and even a frozen field in February can be warmed.

 

Proud of one of our MAA families!

Proud of one of our MAA families!

Making a genuine difference in the lives of children is our first love. Working with amazing families that love children and work diligently to give them a hope and future is our second.

This story is from a family we are so happy to have worked with. Its INSPRIING. HAVE TISSUE READY. BE PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR PASSION LIT UP FOR THE WORLDS ORPHANS. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL STORY.The Oasis Blog

http://www.roepnack.blogspot.com/2015/10/more-children-less-orphans.htm

MAA family Story

MAA family Story

This is such a beautiful adoption story! Written by MaryAnn Roberto on Wonderbaby. Its a fantastic read for anyone, but especially if you are considering adoption or have adopted a child that is visually impaired. Click here to go to the story.

 

Roberto family picture

Snapshots: Together at last!

Snapshots: Together at last!

We are celebrating with one MAA family that has just returned from China with their boys.

Photos like this make our day, who are we kidding, they make our year!!!,  Thank you for sharing photos like this with us!

The joy on their faces is brilliant and this is why we do the work we do.

Congratulations to the McKinney family!!!!!

021 097 IMG_0350

Extraordinary!

Extraordinary!

 

DSCN2764

You must take two minutes and read this. Its amazing. Its extraordinary.

Two biological sisters, their lives and stories intertwined from the beginning, but they do not know of one another.

Two friends, both girls from China, enjoying a beautiful close friendship and living right down the road from one another.

After celebrating together, family and friendship and fourth of July, , one of the Momma’s is admiring the snapshots and she realizes something….

This is more than a beautiful friendship.

They. Are. Sisters.

Read, MAA families. This is beautiful., 

 

NACAC Message~ Words to Read and a Life to Remember.

NACAC Message~ Words to Read and a Life to Remember.

 

 

For Melvin – A Message of Love and Unconditional Commitment

 

It is with a very heavy heart that I write this week,,…¾‚s CCN news. Our youngest son, Melvin, lost his battle with heroin addiction this last Tuesday. , He was only 21.

 

Mel came to us at 2 ,½ years old with no language, no understanding of what it meant to be part of a family and no capacity for receiving affection. Every day with him was worthwhile ,,,¦‚“ he challenged us, he caused us hurt and worry and he brought us such joy. Melvin,,…¾‚s smile, his laugh could light up the world.

 

As a fellow adoptive parent, I know how difficult it is to love and stay committed to a child who is unable to receive, appreciate or reciprocate that love and caring. In fact, that pain is one of the contributing factors to adoption breakdowns. We wonder if anything we have done or can do will make a difference. We wonder what will become of our children. But our children are not intending to hurt or anger us out of choice. It is their response to loss and trauma beyond their control and understanding. I firmly believe and have seen the proof that if we can just hang in there long enough, we can and do make a difference.

 

Many of you have heard stories of Mel over the years and listened to me talk about how much he taught his father and I. There were countless moments when he pushed us to the limit and today I can only say how grateful we are to have had the time with him we did and to know that we never stopped loving, believing in, and being there for him.

 

I want to share the most recent and most important lessons he taught us. Close to three years ago, Melvin overdosed for what we later found out was the second time. The doctors told us that he would not survive the traumatic brain injury and we all prepared for his death. All of us except Buddy, his dad, who knew he would survive. If you have attended a training or lecture of mine, you know that Dr. Bruce Perry later told me the constant massage and touch we gave him were what saved his life that time. I wish we could have been with him last week to hold and save him again.

 

As the doctors predicted, he was not the same person after his miraculous recovery. We received the greatest gift; Melvin opened himself up to love and appreciation. He came home within two months ,,,¦‚“ frustrated that his basketball shot was way off, walking a bit slower, forgetful, and without any memory of what happened or his time in the hospital. Those were challenges, but were nothing compared to the positive changes. We had a whole new boy who could give and receive affection, appreciation, joy and hope.

 

For the last fourteen months, Melvin struggled to find and maintain sobriety. I have lost count of the number of programs he graduated from, was discharged from, or was kicked out of for all kinds of infractions. Each time, he get right back to another and continue to try. He wanted to ,,¦…œget right,,‚ and become a drug counselor for other young people struggling with addiction. I have been reading dozens of messages from people he touched ,,,¦‚“ every one talks about how he helped them stay strong, how he inspired them or gave them hope.

To his father, his siblings, his niece and nephew, his aunts, uncles and cousins he could finally say ,,¦…œI love you.,,‚ Throughout these last months, there has not been a text, message, phone call or meeting with him that has not included the words ,,¦…œThank you, I appreciate it,,,‚ and ended with the words ,,¦…œI love you.,,‚ Now that we can,,…¾‚t say or hear those words again, we truly understand the importance of treating each moment as if it could be the last.

 

Melvin wanted to do something good in the world for others and I believe that he has and will continue to do so. His big sister called me earlier today to tell me that she has finally found a job after being unemployed and unemployable for several years. She has enrolled in a local community college and will start in September. She says she was inspired by Melvin and wants to make him proud ,,,¦‚“ he is the angel that will sit on her shoulder and help her along the path. His brothers have made it possible for Buddy and I to get through this horrific time. His other sister is doing all she can to stay strong and stay healthy. And his recovery community has asked to participate in his memorial so they can bring a message of recovery to other struggling young people as well.

 

Today and every day I am asking each of you to honor Melvin,,…¾‚s memory and support his desire to do something good in the world,,‚¦

 

Parents ,,,¦‚“ stay committed to your children no matter what. When you think you cannot do it for another minute, that is when they need you the most. Look to other parents to help you hang in there. If we can keep our kids connected to us, they always have a chance to heal from their wounds. It takes time, it is not easy, but it is the promise you made and you must keep it.

Child welfare workers ,,,¦‚“ commit to ensuring that no child grows up and leaves care without a family. When you meet with resistance, fight it. When you get discouraged, seek hope. When you run up against a barrier, challenge it. For every child there is a family and each child and youth has a right to one. The question you can keep pushing is, ,,¦…œWhat will it take?,,‚ and then pursue that.

 

Community, providers, courts, and legislators ,,,¦‚“ do your part. These children belong to all of us. Vow to not let stigmatization, budgetary issues, politics or indifference guide your choices. With every action, vote, decision you make, ask yourself, ,,¦…œHow will this affect this child, all children?,,‚ If you aren,,…¾‚t satisfied with the answer if it were your child that would be impacted, then it is not acceptable for any child.

 

Finally and most importantly, youth ,,,¦‚“ know that you are special, that you are worthwhile, that you have a voice you need to use, and that you are loved and valued. Ask for what you need, find allies in your peers and adults, believe that you deserve and can have a family of your own, and believe in yourself.

 

With love, deep sadness and hope,

Kim

This article came from this website.