Saturday, August 16, 2008

Red Letters Campaign- Older Child Attachment --PART 2

I am hooking up with Red Letters Campaign to promote awareness through my blog for orphans and adoption. So occasionally you will see me post an answer to an adoption question here on my blog.
This week's question caught my attention because of the things we have been through with our 2 daughters who were adopted from Romania at ages 9 and 10. t The answer is very long and I probably could write a book but I have tried to shorten it for blogging purposes. I felt that now was the time to share our story in some detail so parents going through this would know that someone understands. So they would know that there is HOPE. Your child and your family can have hope that attachment can happen even in the direst of situations. I have talked to my girls about sharing this and they have agreed that it is ok. I have only used a letter in place of their names to help with privacy.
I have actually cut this into several parts so bear with me.

Question: Older Child Attachment. . oh yes, that again! The ever present question with adopting older children. Please, give us specific strategies that worked for you in attaching as well as examples of conversations that you may have had with your child that may help others!
Answer: I will try not to make this too long but hopefully through our story (which has been going on for 6 years now), someone else will be helped. I am going to be a transparent here because I think it needs to happen. There are too many families out there struggling in the closet." I want to help them and tell them , you are not alone!"

My custom in the mornings was to pray before I left my room, asking God to release His love and joy into me so M. would see it. M. was an early riser so I knew she would be sitting in a chair in the living room. I would always come in and cheerfully say, "Good morning, M.! I would always without fail get a grunt back. Well, I came in and told her hello and she responded with, "Hello, Mama and smiled!
Well, I about dropped my teeth, I was so shocked. I ran and called Duane! There was hope! throughout the day, I noticed that there was life in her eyes and I began to thank God for the miracle that had happened. I have no idea what went on in M's bedroom that night between God and M but I do know that God cut the ropes that bound her and kept her from experiencing abundant life.
Things began to dramatically change in M's life and we were all excited about it. We continued to pray for her Salvation. In March, God lead us to a new church and my teens got involved with the youth group there and started growing spiritually at a rate that amazed Duane and I. S. accepted Christ as her Savior. Life was getting better and better. Duane and I had traveled to China in January '07 and had brought E. home. E had spinal surgery in June '07 and we watched God heal him completely. Then in July, M. accepted Christ as her personal Savior. So... now here we are 21 months later from that day we offered Grace and Mercy and we have watched our daughter miraculously change. Then 3 weeks ago,(August '08) we were sideswiped by a sudden change in M. Her attitude was terrible, she was dissatisfied with everything, she stopped eating, she complained constantly, and she continuously mocked me among other things. This change pointed to a couple of events that had recently happened to her. God had shown me in the recent weeks myself that M. still had some deep wounds in her heart that needed healing and I had been praying for a time to address them. The events, brought them to the surface. I believed this was a test to see how I would handle it. The enemy kept throwing thoughts at me, "You help other families, but now you can't even help your own. You hypocrite." You are a failure, she will always be wounded, no need to even try anymore. Forget it." I tried to push the thoughts away, but they kept bombarding me. Things came to head finally and M. was threatening to run away and she was talking S. into going with her. M. had stirred up "freedom hopes" in S.
I knew I was reacting properly and in love towards her. But I still was devastated. I couldn’t really cry but I prayed, I literally had no idea what to do. And I think that is what God wanted. For me to do nothing. That night after everyone was in bed, and the house was quiet and dark, I curled up in my big chair and just wept. I sobbed ‘til it drained me. The only words I could mutter in prayer was, ”HELP, God HELP us.” Then it was almost as if I felt his arms around me and he said, “Ok, let me have her. You let go.” Ok, I am giving her to you.” I went to bed and prayed that God would post His Angels around the house, so M. would not be able to leave. Then I peacefully drifted off to sleep. I awoke the next morning to find that M. was still around and rejoiced that God had not let her leave in the night. Later that afternoon, M.came to me, asking me if she could talk. My hopes went up. "Oh, this is good."(M. never sits down to talk) But as we sat down in my room, she began to talk her head off. As if we were having a normal conversation, she calmly told me everything that would have in previous years sent me over the edge in a rage. "You are not my mom, I hate you. you have me in a prison. I have never had parents and you and dad are not mine. I wanted to be adopted by an Italian family. I would have been happy there. I am running away after I finish my chores. I need my money out of the bank. I am going to buy a plane ticket."On and on she continued. I sat there in amazement. I asked her several questions, about how she was going to get a job as she was underage and where was she going to sleep and M. told me she had a plan. She also said, “Oh, if you touch me while I am walking out the door, You wait to see, what I’ll do to you and then I’ll tell whoever you beat me.” She left and went and packed a suitcase.

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