Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our new ride

Oh, we LOVED our Honda Odyssey. It was very good to us for the past 10 years. But, hey, we need a car that fits 8 now, and thought it was about time.

The plan was to buy the new car once we had the successful court date. No, we don't have a court date yet.

A huge motivator -- we leave for a 21 hour trip to Florida on Thursday. All of a sudden, it seemed crucial to get the larger car NOW. Oh, you know it totally made sense...we want an "enjoyable" family vacation, and with a tad more breathing room during the loooong trek, hopefully the new car adds to the enjoyment.

So we are now driving a "new-to-us" Yukon XL. So I thought we were getting a Suburban, but I found out these Yukon XL's and Suburbans are exactly the same. Goes to show the wonderful efficiency of the American auto industry. Must be why it is doing so spectacularly right about now.

My favorite extra -- the heated seats. Toasty! Hey, what can I say? We live in Michigan....

Oh, and just had to add a picture of my girls.

We got the double/single bunk beds so there would be lots of room. But they both usually crash on the bottom double, with the dog, of course. The other night I could not resist capturing this moment.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

God pursues us

Okay, so I read lots of books to the twins. We have a ton at home, and we go to the library every Monday to get a boatload (or at least a heavy armload) more. We read in the morning, often during the day and always at bedtime. They have had the opportunity to read lots of great stuff.

So, recently, they have begged I read these two bible story books. One is a children's board book about the Easter story, and the other is a devotional that teaches the truths about God. After I do a couple of the "truths", Kume says, "Read more because I loooooove this book" (insert lots of Kume's emphasis). So I read more and more. These books are average as far as great children's books go, but they adore them.

This morning, I woke up to my alarm, with the 2 books on my bedside table. I glanced at the books and it hit me. God is pursuing them. That is why they want to read these again and again. They are drawn to the truth. It resonates with them. It makes sense. They don't have all the different walls adults put up that keep them from embracing the truth. They accept it as children, because they were created to want this story, understand this truth.

How cool is that?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

experiences and thoughts

Most of the adoption literature focuses heavily on the child's attachment, while giving very little focus, or none at all, on the parents' attachment to the child. So, I am not going to discuss the child's attachment process here, since there are much better writers who have addressed this comprehensively.

I am writing this post as I have had the chance to encourage and pray with others that recently adopted and are stunned by their own feelings, or lack of them.

These are wonderful parents who "completely fell in love" with their children at referral. Then, once home for a week, a few weeks, a couple of months, the adrenaline is wearing off, and the exhaustion is seeping in. Along with it comes an evaluation of their emotions. These families were stunned, surprised, disappointed, despondent, some even despairing over their lack of emotional attachment.

I have been given the opportunity many times now to share with families some of the normal feelings and reactions parents experience. First of all, it is quite rare (although a wonderful blessing)to have instantaneous connection to your older child at placement. That makes complete sense to me. If someone put a child on my lap at the church nursery and said this child was now mine, I certainly wouldn't be completely attached to him. It takes TIME. Second of all, attachment DOES come. Some families shared the fear that they will never feel connected. Yes, they will. The more nurturing things they can do with their children, snuggling, rocking, picking up, carrying, hugging, stroking, tickling (yes, definitely even an older child)... the more those maternal juices flow.

After I returned home and knew I was committed to these kids, but not completely attached to them, I did some searching on this subject. God graciously kept bringing adoptive moms of older kids into my path. Many, many adoptive moms of older kids have stated that it generally takes half the child's age to the child's age at adoption to feel fully attached. If you are adopting a 6 month old, 3-6 months is no time. If you are adopting a 5 yr old, that time is significantly longer at 2-5 years. But remember, it is a continuum of attachment, not from unattached to fully attached in one moment. So, even during the process it IS good. I just thought this might be something to be aware of for those families that are waiting to bring their little ones home. This is TOTALLY not to discourage you, but actually to help you understand what many families experience, and if you are experiencing it, too, that is OK. Then, share your feelings with trusted people. These people can pray for you during the adjustment, and that is powerful and effective. And there are families that do experience the more immediate attachment. Awesome! Just give yourself permission to feel the way you do, without guilt. And bring it to God. But do love. It is an action word, anyway.

Tomorrow I have the privilege to meet with a dear woman who brought home their 4 yr old daughter recently. She is overwhelmed, discouraged, afraid. I am excited to bring her HOPE. This is part of the journey for many, but it wasn't meant to be walked alone. Certainly, God is THE daily strength and hope, and as she was able to be honest and vulnerable with me, I can also be a support, encouragement. I am excited to walk this road with her and celebrate with her when her little one is snuggled beautifully in her heart.

Friday, March 06, 2009

dossier DONE

Do you know where your dossier is?

Because we are pretty sure ours is on its way to Ethiopia.

Now we just wait for that SPEEDY court date we have been hearing so much about.