Posted by: ramonamom | October 14, 2008

Disruption Adoption #1 – Our Story

For an explanation of terms and an introduction to this post, please read this previous post

In 2003, God began to lead us once more into an adoption journey.  Although we assumed we would be returning to Russia for more children, God took us in a much different direction.  An urgent email from an adoption ministry email list we were on took us to the Northwestern U.S. rather than Russia.  The email told of a sibling group of three girls who had been adopted internationally by an American family but desparately needed a new home.  God brought our hearts quickly to these girls and we began talking with the agency who was handling the situation. 

Prior to receiving this email, we had no idea that parents could “disrupt” their internationally adopted child after bringing them home to the U.S.  This was very disturbing to us and was only intensified as we learned more of the situation with the girls.  We were on a plane within a week of getting the email, traveling to adopt a 12 year old daughter from another country.  The list of problems we were told she was causing were quite vague and nothing we had not encountered already with our other adopted children. 

After arriving at our destination, we made contact with the adoptive mother and arranged to meet her and her daughter.  She dropped our daughter-to-be off at the home where we were staying and left us to become acquainted.  I was surprised to find that this was a very quiet girl who was apparently disturbed by all that was going on. She spoke limited English, but we were able to communicate and she even read a story to me from a children’s book.  It did not take us long to decide that we indeed wanted to make this girl our daughter, and we arranged to have the court papers drawn up so that we could take custody of her. 

This was done very quickly and, if I remember correctly, we were at their home the next day, picking “our daughter” up.  The scene in the driveway of this home will be with me always.  The adoptive mother, the daughter, a biological son, and I were there.  The adoptive mother gave me what information she thought was necessary about this child and then she pointed out all of the physical “defects” on her body to me, none of which have ever been a concern to us since that day.  My heart was breaking for this very sad little girl, and we could not leave soon enough for me.  Saying goodbye to the brother seemed particularly difficult to her and she was even hesitant to leave the family dog behind. 

Being new to this part of adoption, we did not seek to bibilcally counsel the parents who were disrupting these three girls.  Looking back now, I realize that there was so much anger in the mother that it would not have been welcomed, though.  There were no apparent Fruits of the Spirit in her life, and working with her was difficult, as she also seemed to begin despising me soon after we took custody of our daughter. 

Due to Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) rules, I stayed in this city with our daughter for three weeks, while my husband came home to return to work.  This was a difficult time for us all, as communication was not always easy with our daughter and she was obviously miserable at the thought of being separated from her sisters.  I saw signs of passive rebellion in her during those three weeks, but more than anything, I saw tremendous pain and sorrow.   

Over the next few months and years, we began to get a more clear picture of the lives of our daughter and her sisters in the nine months they were with their first adoptive family.  It became apparent fairly quickly that the mother was not able to handle the rigors of parenting these three girls, nor was she prepared for the unique challenges they presented, medically, emotionally, and physically.  According to what we have heard from our daughter and the other adoptive family heard from her sisters, they were physically and emotionally abused in this home.  The situation had reached a critical point when we took custody of our daughter, as they would have soon turned her over to the custody of the state (or at least attempted to do this). 

We did see some of the behaviors in our daughter which had been mentioned by the first adoptive mother as time went on and she began to become more familiar with our family.  She missed her sisters intensely, and this was probably the most difficult obstacle to overcome as we longed for her to truly give us her heart.  We learned that she had promised her dying mother and native relatives that she would “take care” of these younger girls, so being separated from them caused her to feel as if she were breaking those promises. 

It would not be honest to say that the journey was easy with our daughter.  Although outwardly she was a very sweet and compliant girl, she continued in her passive rebellion and the deep pain within her heart caused us much grief.  At the depth of her frustration and personal pain, she ran away from home.  When I found her at a neighbor’s home, she was holding a piece of glass to her wrist, threatening to kill herself. 

In the wonderful Providence of God, He brought her to the cross that night, though.  None of us would understand the full ramifications of what took place until months later, but she slowly began to respond to the Gospel and give us more of her heart as we went forward from there.  Although the pain from her past was not eradicated, once she began to truly understand the truths of Romans 8:28-29, we saw dramatic changes in her life.  “And we know that for those who love God all things work out together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”  Gradually, our daughter was able to understand that the many painful events in her past would indeed work together for good – even witnessing her biological mother’s death and being separated from her sisters. 

In retrospect, I wish we would have had the opportunity to counsel our daughter’s first adoptive family to not disrupt her and her sisters, but it was apparent that they were far past the point of being receptive to such counseling.  We believe that God was not pleased to see this family broken apart and that the actions of the parents were sinful.  However, just as God used ungodly persons and situations to bring forth His will in the Bible (the Babylonians, Joseph’s brothers, Judas, etc), He also worked this situation together for good and for His glory.  His light shines from the face of this dear daughter now, and for this we will be forever thankful.



  1. this is encouraging to me. i adopted a boy originally from Romania through a disrupted adoption. he is 19 now and still struggling with intense jealousy. I see God in his life changing him, molding him while I am waiting because I know what God can do.

  2. We have a foster child who was disrupted from two homes, and two of my adopted children had originally been committed to by other families. Yes; some adoptions are disrupted because the children are so behavior-impaired that they are not suitable to be placed in a family…but I think that more often, parents are just not sensitive, cannot empathize with the children’s grief and pain, do not understand the difficult behaviors as stemming from fear…. So many things. I hope your daughter is still in contact with her sisters. What a shame they could not have been placed together.

  3. […] after bringing our daughter home from our first disruption adoption, we received an email from a friend regarding another girl who was in need of a new home.  This […]

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