In the past 3 days, I have gotten 3 emails from or about families
that are REALLY STRUGGLING with their adopted children.
All 3 families are in serious trouble.
All 3 families are considering disruption.
All 3 families came to me for help . . . support . . . advice.
My heart is BREAKING for them.
Oh how I wish I had the perfect answer
(or magic pill to "make things all better).
Oh how I wish that I could take away their pain.
But . . .
. . . oh how glad I am that they knew they could write to me.
. . . oh how thankful I am that I can show them love and support
(where others may be giving judgment and condemnation).
. . . oh how thankful I am that they know I will pray for them.
Adopted 2 boys from Africa about 5 years ago. Oldest son has brought them severe challenges since day one. He has been in and out of treatment. Mama is at the end of her rope. "What should I do?"she cries out. She does not want to disrupt . . . but does not want to destroy her marriage and the life of her other son if she keeps the eldest at home.
"I love our son, how could I not want to bring him home and raise him. Yet, how can I sacrifice the ability to thrive for our other son."
"Do I want to look back in ten years and realize I lost both children, neither of them thriving, and my husband because I was hard headed and thought I should be super woman? What level of unsafety do I embrace?"
Adopted a 16 month old a year ago. Yes. A Baby. She also has 2 young boys, and is unexpectedly pregnant. (I received this email from a friend of the mother.)
"Her marriage and pregnancy are suffering from the stress this little girl is bringing into their lives."
"She is a Christian woman who believes she can do all things with God's help but at the same time is watching her life and family crumble before her very eyes."
Adopted 2 teen boys just 6 months ago, and they are looking for a new home for the oldest.
I share these little tidbits of their stories for three reasons:
#1 Please pray for these families.
They need us to storm the gates of heaven on their behalf.
#2 They need resources.
If you know anyone or any organization that works with families
that are in need of disrupting an adoption, please let me know.
(you can post a comment, or email me privately with this information)
#3 They need love, support, and encouragement.
They need to know that they are not walking this journey alone.
And . . . just so you know . . . I will not tolerate ANY condemnation nor judgmental comments about these situations. Those comments will be deleted immediately, and never mentioned.
These families have trusted me with their most difficult stories, and I am only sharing them because I know that some of you may be aware of resources that I am not yet aware of . . . and I know that some of you have walked similar paths and may have just the right words to say (even though you don't have a magic pill, either).
THANK YOU for PRAYING with me for these precious families.
Will you please join us in praying for these families?
I wish I could tell you that these families' circumstances are an anomaly.
But there are so many families struggling today, for various reasons.
Sometimes families are given no information on their child(ren).
Sometimes families are given misinformation on their child(ren).
Sometimes families are simply not prepared.
And too often when things turn south, families are too afraid to seek help.
Why is that?
In my estimation, the number one reason families don't openly ask for help is judgment.
I would also guess the next reason is simply a lack of resources.
If my child has a cold, there are over 100 physicians nearby.
If my child has emotional or mental illness...and is adopted..., there are a handful of options within 500 miles, and many have little to no experience with attachment disorders, cultural differences and post-orphanage behaviors.
So where does that leave a family?
Alone. Wondering what they were thinking. Wondering how this could happen. Wondering how long they can hang onto what's left of their family.
Please don't hear me say that the majority of adoptions are this difficult.
I'm not discouraging adoption!
I'm encouraging education.
I'm encouraging agencies and families to ask those probing questions. (although, we must realize that oftentimes both will not receive answers.)
And when a family finds themselves in crisis, they need a safe place.
I wish that the great resources like "Empowered to Connect" conferences weren't so far away and so costly to attend.
So, what can we do?
*First, we can pray. Sovereign God has not lost sight of these families. He started the family. He understands pain, suffering and loss. Let's take it to Him.
*We can be a safe place for such a family. If they have finally come to the place of sharing the trauma in their home, the last thing they need is judgment. They need safety. They need confidentiality. They need comfort.
*We can offer to help. Offering to babysit the kids so Mom and Dad can have a 2-hour dinner alone is priceless.
*If a family can benefit from a conference or seminar, we could offer to keep their kiddos, or even to pay their way.
*Most of all, we can love. Parents have the very best intentions when adopting. They expect to love their child(ren) fiercely. And they feel as if they have failed when their love isn't enough to heal the scars of their child's past.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
1 John 4:19-20