Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The attachment dance

"I want new Mommy" he says as he pushes me away from giving him a good-night kiss.  Putting his hand over his face to block the in coming kiss, he turns his head away from me and into the pillow.  I know he's angry at me.  This, the punishment he returns for discipline given.  I know he's angry, but the truth is - sticks and stones will break my bones AND words do indeed, hurt me.

One year, one month and 22 days.  That has been "our Forever" together and yet, it feels like so much longer.   I work to look back over the year - to see progress made - but that night, the only thing I see is the dark dark cloud that resides in my heart and over my house.

Adoption is hard.  Redemption sucks!  The enemy ... he's ruthless!

 The hard, unspoken, ugly truths of adoption often go unmentioned.  Who would put out there for all the world to see and know the things that really happen in our homes or in our hearts?  I mean, for heaven's sake, we're all so busy spreading the need and blessing of adoption so that you will adopt ... that we neatly and conveniently post only the fun, the cute, and the aww moments on our Facebook status's.  Our blogs are full of all the special occasions, "Firsts" through their eyes and the beautiful side of adoption.  Besides, the truth is, the truth makes us me feel ashamed.  For months, sometimes years, we've asked for your prayers, cried and pushed through each step of the long journey and dreamed of that picture perfect "gotcha" moment of when we'd finally meet and be a family.  If we told you that now that we were home, we were frustrated, you'd be frustrated.  If we told you that some days we wished we had never done this, you might judge us.  If we told you that the reality is, sometimes you don't just love them instantly, you'd question our hearts.  And worse yet ... if we told you these truth's, you might not adopt.

But the truth is ....

  •  When you say "Wow, he talks so much" or "he can say so many words" - your right!  But the truth is, he talks that much because he is struggling with attachment issues.  A kid who incessantly talks is also a kid who needs to have the attention always on him/her.  This is absolutely exhausting and well, frankly, knowing it stems from such brokenness, it is crushingly sad.  
  •   When you say "He's so inquisitive", the truth is, his 500 questions he's just asked is because once again, he has attachment issues.  RAD (reactive attachment disorder) lists a child who asks incessant questions or "asks questions that he/she already knows the answer to" as one of the indicators of many on the list for RAD.   This is not only exhausting, but heart breaking.  Attachment is a dance and a process.  Some days, I don't know whose leading and whose following.  I do know ... it feels more like a race that doesn't have a finish line.  The truth is, sometimes, that feels defeating.  
  •  "Aww, he's so affectionate" you say as he puts his hand into yours and walks away with you.  The truth is, what you didn't see was how he turned his head around and smiled a callous smile at me as you walked away.  You didn't see the manipulation in what you thought was a sweet gesture.  You didn't see that he/she was using you to manipulate/hurt me as one more test ... "will she stay"? (because you also didn't know/understand what happens in a child's heart when they've been abandoned)  You also didn't know that often these kids will "Mommy shop" because they've had so many caretakers in their life.  The Mom, me - just another Nanny.   What does that mean?   It means that he/she has no clue what a Mommy is.  The truth is,  He/she isn't being affectionate with you because you are special.  No, he/she has no clue the proper boundaries and you are just another "Nanny" that will give them what they need/want.   Now is that moment as cute?  The truth is hard and sometimes, painful.  
  •  "Wow, she's/he's such a leader" you say.   The truth is, she/he struggles with control issues.  Her/his inability to follow, her/his desire to always be the one in charge and the fact that she/he is always "helping you", isn't because she's/he's just helpful.  If she's/he's helping ... she's/'he's the one in control.   This too an attachment issue.   Being a leader is a positive quality.  Being someone that has to control everyone and everything around them at all times is a stronghold.  
  • The truth is, the kid isn't the only one who can have attachment disorders.   This is an adoption reality that I am learning the hard way.   The truth is, love and attachment is a two way street.  Just as they have to learn to love and trust us - we have to learn and trust them.   The truth is, many days I still feel like their is a stranger living in my home.  Many days, I am still wondering where those parents are of the kid that was dropped off 1 year, one month and 22 days ago.  I am learning that love is as process and it may not happen over night.   The truth is, this feels shameful and many days the enemy uses this truth to tell me that I am a horrible Mom.
  •   The truth is, often kids adopted at an older age will lie, cheat and steal.  This is because it's the only thing they have ever learned and was absolutely necessary to survive.  The truth is, I have watched so so many families dealing with these strongholds and they alone, begin to destroy a family.  These habits are incredibly hard to break.   The enemy knows this.  He's ruthless I said!  
  • The truth is, even after you've read all the books on attachment, done all the coursework and gone through the process ... it is still a constant struggle every day to figure out if the behavior your child is exhibiting is a 'personality trait" or an "adoption related attachment issue".  The truth is, parenting a child by adoption is like a massive puzzle with lots of missing pieces ... that you may never find.  

Adoption is the by-product and God's solution to brokenness.  The first sin of Adam and Eve separated us from our loving God and forced us to be cast out of the Garden.  Because of our lies and sin, we were no longer worthy to be in His presence.  Only through the blood of Jesus, were our sins washed clean.  Only through the death on the cross, were we able to be adopted as sons and daughters.  The truth is, our own adoption process was brutal, bloody, shameful and hard.  

The truth is, it's THIS truth that keeps me going each day!  He paid a price for me.  He gave up his own life for me!  The truth is, adoption is not only hard but there is nothing comfortable/convenient about it. 
Wasn't for him ... why should it be for me?  

Someone once told me that they thought it was "fair" and "right" that a family would pay as much as they did for the International Adoption process.  To them, if the child was worth it .. the family would be willing to "sacrifice" ... that their finances were their "investment".  
I've been thinking about that for a while and have but one thing to say ...  the sacrifice of adoption is our lives.  He laid down his life for me - and through the adoption of our child/children, we have to lay down our lives for them.  I don't know a greater sacrifice or a greater investment than that.  

The truth is ... even in all these truth's, it's still worth it!  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Warancha ... First quarter of 2013 update

Thank you in advance for all our sponsors!  We now have 105 of the 200 children profiled sponsored.  That is 52% of the children.  Your dedication to sponsorship is what is making these things below possible!  Here is the update for the First Quarter.  


 Dear Donors and Sponsors,
 Welcome to this edition of our quarterly newsletter!
 I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to those of you who are graciously supporting the desperate children and needy community through Children’s HopeChest Ethiopia. Your contribution would enable us to provide opportunities to further develop survive, thrive and succeed programs. The organization has been providing basic necessities to all the registered children and making positive influences. Children’s HopeChest Ethiopia is also involved and committed to supporting youths through our Youth Development Program (YDP). The new model project, YDP focuses on young girls and boys to continue their high school and college education. Through YDP, the number of young girls receiving support has increased from 4 to 9 girls; an additional young boy’s home has been established and 7 boys have been enrolled in the program. Those in the program are housed in a gender-specific group home for girls and boys. Each home has a home supervisor acting as a big sister and a big brother consecutively for the girls and boys. This project holistically addresses the desperate needs of abandoned youths and has the potential to expand it’s ministry in different parts of the country.
 Children’s HopeChest Ethiopia is partnered with 23 local churches and local NGOs, and supports more than 3,000 children through partner CarePoints. CHC office has been supporting leaders and staff at different partner CarePoints in all courses of action. Capital project implementation has been benefiting sponsored children, their families and the whole community located around our partner CarePoints through construction of schools, wells, health clinics and other infrastructures.
 One of the devastating effects of poverty is illness. CHC strives to support those children suffering with various curable diseases. With the support of our donors and sponsors, plans and medical funds are created for this purpose. With that in mind we are also working to construct health clinics in different places to protect the children from life threatening diseases and provide primary and preventative healthcare.
 I would like to thank you all for your generous support and the continuous impact you’re making on numerous desperate children and their families.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Mr. Tesfatsion Tsegaye
 This quarter’s discipleship lesson theme was “Jesus Blesses Children.’’
 In this quarter, we have been discussing children, as those who are blessed by Jesus.
 One day, Jesus was teaching people early in the morning. As he finished his lesson, he went to a disciple’s house to get rest. Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
 The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. (Matthew 19: 13-15, Mark 10: 12-16; Luke 18: 15-17)
 From this lesson, the children understand that Jesus loves and blesses them whenever they believe and live in him. They also learned that they belong to the kingdom of heaven, and that they are not despised in front of God.
God Bless You All!
 For the school year the children received exercise books, pens and pencils, textbooks, school uniforms, school bags, and personal hygiene materials.
 During this quarter many activities were carried out at Warancha Hiwote Birhan CarePoint. Among these activities were:
  • Supporting children with no family by providing clothing that were sent from donors
  • Distribution of educational supplies
  • Bible class is taught every day as a subject matter and children who are attending enjoy the class
  • Witnessing the word of God for children’s families by the social worker as a result of this, five parents confessed and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior
 My name is Ayelech Atote Jofie (ET3004053)I would like to forward my gratitude to my sponsor family for their commitment to share their life with me. I have been benefiting a lot from the sponsorship program at Warancha. I have been getting supplementary food, school supplies, a school uniform, clothing, and my school fees are paid for, and an opportunity to learn spiritual lessons about Jesus. My life is changing and I can see a bright future. Once again, thank you so much for what you have been doing for me and your prayers too.
I wish you a Happy New Year.
 First of all, I would like to extend my appreciation to our beloved sponsors and donors, connect community leaders and Children’s HopeChest for your unreserved commitment to serve these children. Even though we struggled a bit with limited amount of money coming to us due to low sponsorship, we have been able to serve the children in various ways. Out of 201 registered children, over half of them are not yet sponsored. As a result, the church elders as well as CarePoint staff members are getting a number of requests from unsponsored children families. Moreover, we were struggling to serve the children with limited money as per our plan.  Currently, we have been seeing a good progress on the sponsorship rate and the revenue that our CarePoint is receiving from our sponsor donor community has increased.
 On the other hand, the teaching and learning process is in good shape. I can’t explain how many children are able to attend at our school these days those otherwise don’t have any other options that staying at their home. Their families’ have understood that education is key to the future of their children. I hope these children will be able to join university some times in the future and will support themselves their by contributing their part in building their country.
 I believe that God will change our challenges to blessings for his glory and the benefit of the children. The church and CarePoint staff members are always praying that God will bless and protect our sponsors and donors.
Sincerely yours,
Mr. Philipose Yosef
CarePoint Committee Chairperson
  • Pray for our children’s health condition this time of the year, as malaria is a danger
  • Pray for the CarePoint leaders
  • Pray for the school teachers and CarePoint workers
  • We praise God for giving this opportunity of getting sponsor for our children

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