Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Will We Do?

I asked my friend Laurel if I could re-post this, and since she agreed, I'm going to copy and paste what she wrote, add a few of my own comments and link to her blog.

Laurel's post:
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.

Family #1  

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?"

Family #2

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."

Family #3

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.

My comments:
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


Cheryl said...

Prayed for each family! My heart breaks for each one of them. Our children are our hearts!

Joy said...

My heart goes out to these families. Such a hard situation but God knows their every need. Interceeding for them!

cara said...

My prayers go out to these families. It is so tough, we have been there. I would be willing to offer respite care for the little girl if they r anywhere near sd. Sending out prayers, cara

Marie said...

Will be praying! Wish I could do more...

likeschocolate said...

I will definitely say prayers for these families.

Chris said...

There are a lot of families in their situation. The families I know have children from the foster system and from international adoption. There are residential treatment facilities, they vary in type and I hear that some are good and some...
We have not personally faced this, but I hear the struggle and hurt in my friend's voices. And yes, the families that I know are Christian families that come from family oriented background, but most of them say, "we just were not prepared", even the trainings they did have just did not sink in at the time.

Jodi said...

All the training in the world can't prepare you for some times. Not that training is bad or worthless - it's just hard to remember the training when you are in the thick of things.
We need to be there for each other. We need to be real. We need to be okay to say "this is hard stuff" and to allow our children to say "this is hard stuff".
We often try to hide the hard stuff for fear of hearing the ..."you knew what you were getting into." "you have no one to blame but yourself for bringing this into your family." and more and more.
I truly believe that the Church needs to step it up! The Church needs to be more supportive to those who are serving the 'least of these' in their own homes. All to often people are willing to say - "What you are doing is so amazing - what a blessing you are..." blah blah blah... but they turn and walk away when you share the hard times.
Men need to be there for the men! we forget the daddy's way too often!!!

okay, I'll quiet down now. :) Will be in prayer for these families - please let me know if there is anything I can physically do for them!

Julie said...

Sometimes the road we are traveling with our hurt children is SO HARD! I don't think that training of any kind can truly prepare someone for the worst case scenario. At our house, some days are easy...she is a loving and lovely 6 year old. Some days are LONG and difficult and she is more like 18 months old (her age in our family). I worry constantly whether we are doing the right things for her, if she will be able to support herself as an adult...and on and on. I am right there with these families...If it were not for a few very wise mommas we would be a lot worse off. I feel like we are getting better...we will just keep working at it.


J.C. said...

Maybe you can have your friend contact this blogger?

connie said...

Thank you all for your comments and your prayers! J.C., thanks for linking Vickie's blog. she's a friend of mine :)
I agree that all the training in the world can't prepare us for real life. It's like the difference between taking a class and learning from a book...and applying what you've learned.
We can at least help families realize they are not alone.

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