Posted by: ramonamom | March 8, 2009

Disruption Adoption #2 – Our Story

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

Shortly 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 girl was younger than the daughter we had just brought home, but not by much.  The major difference between the two situations was that the second girl had been with her family for three long years, rather than only a few months as her soon-to-be-sister had.   Although we were hesitant to bring another child into our home so soon, we contacted the family to see if we could help them work through their struggles with their daughter.  Many emails went back and forth and it was clear that they had moved past the “looking for help” point and were firmly rooted in the “get rid of the problem” stage. 

 The problems which had led to this step were reported to mostly be a lack of bonding between the family and daughter – specifically the mother and daughter.  We were given some examples of her behavior which was considered rebellious and troubling, but none of it seemed out of line with a child adopted at the age of 8 who had previously spent her entire life in an orphanage.  It broke our hearts to see a family torn apart by adoption issues which we believed could be worked through, but their decision had been made. 

Our family came together in prayer as we considered the possibility of adopting again, only a matter of weeks after bringing a new daughter home.  The overwhelming majority was in favor of at least meeting this girl and seeing how the interactions went with her and our other children.  Since this family lived in a neighboring state, they were able to make a weekend trip to allow their daughter to visit us. 

The family tension was thick as they dropped her off at our home and then left to spend the night at a local hotel.  Although she must have been very nervous and confused, their daughter seemed to have a wonderful time with our girls (we did not have her interact much with the boys at that point, due to her vulnerability).  I will never forget the look on her face when her parents arrived the next day to pick her up.  It was like a mask dropped suddenly and the change in her countenance was immediate. 

We knew that problems in adoptive families are rarely one sided and there was certainly some truth behind the reported behaviors.  However, we also firmly believed that parents are to be God’s instruments of change in the lives of their children, being obedient Him by teaching them and training them according to God’s ways.   From the short amount of time that this young girl had spent in our home, we could see that she was very angry and hurt and that most, if not all, of her behavior issues stemmed from those issues.   As a whole, our family decided that we would begin the process of bringing this girl into our home, resting in the knowledge that the finality of the adoption was in God’s hands. 

Having recently been through the same paperwork mill, the procedures were familiar to us.  A couple of months later, I drove to the home of our daughter-to-be and witnessed a heart wrenching time of goodbyes between her and her family.  It was clear that she loved her younger brothers and older sisters a great deal, although she made a brave attempt to brush off her pain.  I made certain to take plenty of photos, including one of her with the entire family.  Then, we loaded all of her belongings into my van and drove off to the home where we had made arrangements to stay during the ICPC process. 

Getting to know this new daughter was like dancing with fire.  I gave her plenty of space and put few boundaries on her during our stay in her home town.  We talked a bit, but mostly she giggled and laughed for hours on end, occasionally making statements regarding how “bad” she was and how she doubted our ability to handle her.  During this time I looked through her school papers and was greatly dismayed to find that most of the corrections which had been made were due to her lack of language skills, corresponding easily with only having spoken English for three years.  Yet, she insisted that she was “stupid”, due to the grades she had received and what she had been told repeatedly over those years.

Over the next few months, my husband and I worked on finding the heart of this angry child, while providing as much love and boundaries as she could take (although more than she thought she could take).  The process was a long and difficult one, made even more challenging by her lack of trust in us and refusal to call us Mom and Dad.  Having been added to a family who was already working to incorporate one hurting child into the mix, she struggled to find her way. 

Ever so slowly, we began to see into the heart of this child and understand why she had lashed out in rebellion in her previous family.  Bit by bit, we helped her to see God’s hand at work in her life and over the months and years her true personality began to emerge.  It took her three years to get to the point where she could/would call us Mom and Dad, but once she did (as a Christmas gift to us, no less) she never turned back. 

This past year, she and her sister who was brought into our home only a few short weeks prior to her arrival, both publicly confessed their faith in Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism.  What a time of rejoicing that was!!  Time and healing has diminished her pain and anger, but I still find myself talking with her about her time with the first adoptive family.  She has admitted her many sinful behaviors and told me the reasons behind them.  My husband and I have spent many hours helping her work past the pain and get to the point of understanding that God will use those years for her good, ultimately. 

The personality of this child today can best be described as “sweet”.  She gets along with her siblings probably the best of all of them, although this does reflect a deep seated dislike of confrontation.  We are able to reason with her from scripture and it has been a pleasure to see her grow in her relationship with the Lord on a daily basis.  My own relationship with her is a very open and friendly one and my husband often states that he feels like he found a diamond in someone else’s trash heap.

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Responses

  1. What a beautiful testimony of God’s healing work and how important it is for us to focus on love – not punishment or obedience but the heart of every issue. Getting them to fall in love with Jesus so that they can truly fall in love with us. WOW! The work you have done is inspiring and give many great hope! Thank you for blessing me time and time again with the honesty in which you share your life and the stories of adoption!

    Blessings and grace,
    Jill

  2. […] a year after having brought home a second daughter from a previous adoptive home, we were called upon to help a couple who were struggling with their […]

  3. You story is very encouraging. We are just getting ready to leave this week to adopt a child from a disruption. I am sure I will want to be encouraged by again in the near future!

    If you have time I was wondering if you could e-mail me at ……… I would like to ask how the child was told about the disruption. Thank you for your encouragement. Pam


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