Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Older Child Adoption, Part III

Recently we've been asked if there is an adoption book we recommend regarding older children. I'm not being flippant when I say the o.n.l.y. book I can recommend at this time is the BIBLE!

If you've adopted before or are in the process of adopting, you've skimmed read the laundry list of books required by a social worker. Some of them contain valuable information, warning signs and advice, but all of them I've read are written from a secular point of view. Don't get me wrong, I've read lots of secular books, but when it comes to adoption, there is spiritual warfare going on, and the required reading doesn't cover anything that can prepare us for such a battle!

When Kayden came home at the age of 15 months, we had read all fifty two (ok, maybe ten) required books cover to cover and yet when she screamed in terror many times a night for months we totally forgot about the one chapter we'd read addressing 'night terrors.' Once diagnosed, we could deal with it, but we knew it was more than a physical battle. See, we had taken this little girl from a very dark place, we were praying over her, we were exhausted, we were clueless, we were doubtful, weak...and yet, God's grace was sufficient. His grace allowed us to endure the sleepless nights without losing our cool, to parent our four children, even in the fog.

We had no idea the battle that would be waged over our recent adoptions, and the only book that addressed the issues we faced was the BIBLE. The battle continues. There are souls involved. One person commented that older child adoption is a clear picture of the Gospel, and as I have pondered this I agree that adoption IS bringing the Gospel to life, and adoption of an older child reminds me so much of myself before Christ!

Something about that age, 13! I'm speaking generally here because I've raised two boys past 13 and 1 in the midst. A child this age can be particularly unlovely, willful, selfish, unable to determine right from wrong, inconsiderate. Yep, that's me before Christ! All those characteristics fit me to a T. And yet, for 36 years the Father pursued me, loved me unconditionally, and desired better for me. He sacrificed for me. He didn't ask me if I would accept His gift, or if I even recognized all He did for me...He just did it!

Now that He has adopted me, He still desires to grow and change me, but I must be willing. I still don't know what's best for myself and must trust His parenting. I may question the plans He has for me, but when I reflect back, I realize He has always been faithful, always present, leading me, confiding in me. But when I turn my back on Him, I lose my way. And yet He's patiently waiting for me to take His hand and ask for help.

And so it goes with an older child with a language barrier. Veering down the winding path, looking for the way...but at the end of the day he is loved by two people who want the very best for him, whether he realizes it or not!


Sweet Pea said...

WOW! You are such an inspiration to me! Thanks for your posts! Praying for you and Clayton as you raise your precious family! :)

April said...

We know that we go through certain times in our lives to bring us closer to God and to be able to help someone else in the same situation!!!!! I say this because you are such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you for your wonderful words, Godly ways and love you show to your family and all those around you! Keep your eyes on the Lord, because He WILL get you past this part of your life, and soon the hardships we be a distant memory! Love you!

Adeye said...

I admire you so very much! You have chosen the road less traveled--and you're STICKING to it. Your yes is yes...unconditionally. I am so glad you're a blogger--because so many people need to get it...I mean truly GET IT!

Thank you for sharing your heart so openly, dear friend.

Sophie Neri said...

Wow, what a powerful post! Thank you for this. You are right about teenagers having the most unpleasant charachteristics but while we are viewing the outside only God can see what is happening on the inside and what magnificent plans He has for these children. I often need to be reminded of this as I raise my teenagers.
Blessings :)

Tammy said...

You hit the nail on the head!! As my kids were growing up I reminded them that it is good to read books by other Godly people but always remember that they must read the Bible and measure everything by it and the Holy Spirit. And you are exactly right-the secular books don't get it! Praying for you all! Wish everyone would read your blog and be encouraged by it like I am!

Lori said...

I totally agree, Connie! It is a spiritual warfare for sure. And God's Word, which holds answers to ALL life's challenges is the ultimate answer to helping us through adoption.

Naomi said...

It is a good reminder... that there is a spiritual battle over our children adopted or by birth. Though I do not know what it is like adopting an older child, I can only imagine the difficulties and blessings that come.

Thank you for sharing!

Nicole said...

I have to say, I couldn't agree more! I have often told people what they can do with their "experts advice". If the BIBLE says, "love never fails" than I am going with that!
Great post!

Anonymous said...

Leveta here again.How did you know that we have been struggling the last few days.What you said SO hit the nail on the head with what we need to do.More soul searching,more
time in the word and on and on.Thanks so much for sharing your heart.
Leveta-wife to Carl,Mom to Chad 17 (bio) Sam 14 from India through Dillon International home at 9 years of age,and Kaitrin 10 also from India through Dillon,home at
16 months

Kim said...

He has placed our children in our families and He gives us the strength and LOVE to see it through...
I often wish for a book, one that is not secular in nature, and silly is right before me.
Love ya friend
Kim(and the chili peppers)

The Ferrill's said...

OH I've had to catch up! First, I'm so glad Kooper had a great first day of school! And I LOVE your little monkeys below! All beautiful! Especially Mom and Dad!
Older child adoption...yes, you've stated it well: It is me in my sinful state! Candie was eight. Kooper is thirteen. That is a big difference, yet they have many similarities. (Though I must say, Candie is not all about getting muscles! Grins!) It really doesn't matter what age child we bring home, they've all got their issues. And like I tell my biological children...We've ALL got issues. And thank you Jesus He is the ONE who gets to the bottom of our issues. Never giving up on us, just like you never give up on your children. Hmmm...if we made a list of what we've learned through adoption, it would be quite exhaustive, don't you think? Perseverance may be at the top. Oh Connie, I think I've still got SO much to learn! I think adopting Kevin is going to teach me possibly more than all my other adoptions combined! Just a feeling!
Staying in the WORD...that is the KEY!
Love you!

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