Our 5-Ring Circus

Our 5-Ring Circus

Scooter, Quab and Bugs

Scooter, Quab and Bugs
Serving the Princesses since 2004

Tiana and Goose

Tiana and Goose
They really need all of those big brothers...

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Truth

Yesterday, JCICS encouraged all bloggers to share the truth about adoption.

"We Are The Truth – an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 blog about your adoption or the adoption of someone you know. It doesn’t matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!"

I typed it all out. It took two hours to compose, edit, proofread, and then came the emotional release that lasted into the early morning. It was an ugly cry. In the end, I couldn't bear to see most of what I wrote and I started over this morning. So here is the truth.

Our international adoption was the hardest thing I have ever done. We fought against Satan and his minions every.step.of.the.way. If something could go wrong, be delayed or cause trouble, it did. If it could break, need replacement and cost money that we didn't have, it did. Faith was replaced by doubt, patience by impatience, trust by disappointment, joy by sorrow and peace by anger. Nothing about this story turned out the way we expected, except that we did bring home our little girl. Really, that is the only thing that mattered in the end. Every week I learn a little bit more about her past that sends my thoughts to revenge and justice (in that order). I spend a lot of time angry, not at her but for her. When you read books about attachment, adoption, older children, orphanage behaviors, trauma and abuse you will be tempted to close the book and say "I'm sure it's not that bad." It broke my heart to think about anything in those books happening to my little girl. Most of it has. My friends, it is that bad. It is that bad and then some, and it is possible and even likely that any older child (meaning not a newborn) you adopt will come home with a host of emotional and physical issues to deal with for the rest of her life and yours. If you prepare yourself and face the reality of it head-on, you will be fine. Open your eyes and prepare your hearts. Find the resources you might need before she ever comes home. Read, learn, talk. Arm yourself, so to speak. You will have friends and acquaintances who support you even on the ugly days. Keep them close because you will call on them over and over. They, and a whole boatload of prayer, will get you through the times that you feel like you have nothing else to give. If you are committed to the child who will be placed with your family, NO MATTER WHAT, then by all means join us on the adventure of international adoption. It's not for wimps. It's not for people who can't stand to see filth, starvation, disease, poverty and corruption. It's not for families who get the child home and realize he is nothing like they thought and send him away on an airplane. Our daughter has been home for almost 6 months. Have there been days that we wondered "What the HELL have we done?" Yes, absolutely, and there has been more than one night that I tucked her into bed and breathed/sobbed a huge sigh of relief because we both made it through one.more.day. Truth, remember. She is here to stay. Every one of us loves this girl as much as we love any other member of our family. We will fight for her (and have fought) against any enemy who dares to take us on. We are her armor in this battle.

We went down this path of our own free will, even in the face of a lot of people telling us we must be crazy. We're no idiots, we didn't expect it to be anything like our first adoption (domestic healthy newborn, frst child, big agency, piece of cake). Independent or private adoption is full of stress even here in the US. Doing it in a third world country, well, it sucked for lack of a better word. I came out of the experience wondering who could be trusted, if anyone. I lost faith and gained more. I learned things that made me physically ill and continue to keep me from the peace I crave. Yet, I can't say with 100% certainty that we wouldn't do it all again if the Lord called us to. Maybe our friends were right-we are crazy. At least I am.

I have a beautiful African daughter who I loved the first time I saw her in a picture. Yes, you can love a child you've never met. Some days she loves me and some days she hates me. I never know which it will be when I wake her up in the morning. But she smiles here and there and it is like sunshine coming through the clouds. She adores her biggest brother and it is beautiful to see. The two children who share no common blood belonged to each other the instant they met. She is a tough little girl but she has many things, ugly things to work through before she will be whole again. And we, her parents and her brothers and sister, are here to do whatever it takes. WE ARE FAMILY. And that is the TRUTH.


Tracy said...

Heather, wow. I think you are AMAZING. Thanks for sharing the real stuff. I know I don't know the half of it on either side of the equation--how hard it really is or how absolutely custom made you are for this job. She is soooo very lucky to have you as her family.

Jennie said...

An amazing post Heather. I love it when people are real and don't pull any punches.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I wish you guys all the best. Just as we have hope for our own little family trials and helping Jackson to succeed, I have hope for you as well. Some days, when it is really tough, I hang on to that hope for dear life. She is lucky to have a mom who loves her so much.

Kara Busath said...

Heather, I love this post!

Anonymous said...

Heather, I know exactly what you are talking about. We have brought home 3 girls from Haiti. 2 in Janurary and 1 in Feburary. You know these are your children given to you by God, but the first time they turn on you, you wonder was this what God wanted or did we jump before him. Then like you say there are those sweet momemts, which are becoming more frequent than the bad. If you have never been to Haiti you would never believe the way some of the children have to live. The children in the orphanages are the lucker ones. Our middle daughter was a restevec which to those that dont know is a child slave. She was beat very badly. Most of the time she has a beautiful smile and she happy but she does get into these sad moods that she will not let you in. I just wanted to let you know that God is with you on the bad as well as the good days and he will carry us all through. After all they are our gift from God and he is in control.

FullPlateMom said...

Beautiful, Heather!!! For our Bubbly and your Tiana, and all the other kids who were hurt, there will be justice. But, there is also family now, which is SO much more important. Thanks for reminding us of the truth.