Saturday, August 16, 2008
Red Letters Campaign- Older Child Attachment --PART 3
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!"
I went outside to call Duane. As I told him what had happened, the tears returned and he firmly told me, “You have got to let her go”.
I hung up and called a friend, but didn’t get hold of her. The, unexpectantly a friend pulled in my driveway and noticed I had been crying. She immediately asked what was wrong and prayed right there for M. and me and then said, “You have got to let her go.” She then went on to tell me about her daughter who ran away when she was 15 and was gone for 2 months. It was hard but she had to put her daughter in God’s hand.
This confirmed to me what God had told me the night before.
Later, my good friend, BB, who earlier, just showed up at my house, to let me cry and talk. While she was there, Maggie walked out the door. Calmly I waved bye and told her I loved her, but inside, I was about to come apart. BB called a policeman friend and found out the protocol for reporting a runaway and about 30 minutes later the Deputy showed up and took the report. By this time Duane had come home.
We filed a report. He talked to us and then they went looking for her. I honestly believe, the man was an Angel. He had an older partner but he didn’t speak much. He was reassuring and very nice. You could sense he cared. I looked on his uniform for his name but couldn’t find it. He told us that if they found her, they would talk to her and scare her a little.
Then bring her home. They did so. When M. walked into the house, she had been crying. She sat down and the officer told us some of what he told her. He also asked her if she ever read the Bible. It had the answers she was looking for.
Wow! This man continued to tell her that he cared and he hated his job because sometimes, he never found run away girls. And if he did, they were either barely alive or dead.
He then kindly said bye and left. He didn’t even leave us a copy of the report but told us he would keep it on file until we called the station.
We sat in silence the living room. Neither Duane nor I chewed her out for leaving. Neither one of us showed anger towards her. You could tell she was bracing herself for it. Instead, I reached over and gave her a big bear hug and told her I loved her.
Then I stood up and shouted to everybody, “M’s Home, Let’s have a Party!” We ordered pizza, made brownies, had sodas and watched a movie!
Would you believe her demeanor changed! She ate two huge pieces of pizza and several brownies and kidded around.
God, then reminded me of the parable of the prodigal. That dad had thrown a party too! That was what he had wanted us to do. LOVE with His Love. Like he would. I would like to sit here and tell you that M. is just fine and dandy right now. She is not. There are still some deep wounds that need to be healed but she is starting to understand the love we have for her. It is no love we have of our own selves. It is Jesus. He is the LOVE. We have to be willing to empty out ourselves so we can be vessels for Him to pour His love through us out onto those who need it. Too many of us adoptive parents have not grasped this. We have been loving of ourselves. In our own strength. We cannot do it on our own when we have kids with such deep wounds that only God sees.