Sep 17, 2009

4 Girls in Need

4 needy girls + 2 overwhelmed parents = our crazy family of 6

Our whole family went to counseling with Chloe this past Monday and it was very eye opening. I've heard repeatedly that adoption will bring to light any issue a person may have. This has proven to be true in our family too. Our other 3 girls have certainly been affected by the stress and transition of the last 18 months. There have been many changes that have had an impact. I have 1 girl who is sad about it, 1 girl who is mad about it, but in denial, and 1 girl who was too embarrassed to show any emotion and instead used non-verbal communication to get my attention through nearly the entire session. I though life was busy enough with an unattached 2 year and 3 kids playing on different soccer teams. Quite frankly, I am just plain overwhelmed. How can I possibly meets the needs of all of my children, maintain my marriage, and at some point find time to take a shower! I am so thankful to be working with Artleta, who is an expert on bringing an adoptive child into an existing family. However, this doesn't change our present circumstances. I ask for your prayers for wisdom. How do we choose what is most important? Which child should have my attention first? How do we divide up our time? When do I take time away from them in order to be a better parent? How will giving more attention to the other girls have an impact on Chloe? These are all questions for which I have no answers. So we too will be praying for clarity of thought and leaning on the promise that God will provide the grace we need to fulfill His calling.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk not be faint." Isaiah 40:31

Please be praying for a little girl named Mia. She was adopted as a special needs child 2 months ago and has undergone 2 open heart surgeries. There have been a lot of complications and the family would appreciate your prayers. Their blog is:

Sep 8, 2009

Glimpses of a New Girl

Chloe and wedding bubbles

Yes, this is our little busy body holding still and taking in her world, a vital step in her growth process. Calmness had almost never happened before therapy began and was one of the first signs of change. Change that is becoming evident to others around us also.
For the first 2 weeks after our intensive bonding therapy, Chloe very strongly rejected me (Mom). She wouldn't have anything to do with me if Greg was available. That was pretty tough to take. It was like giving your child medicine they needed and then having them angry with you all day long for how bad it tasted. According to Arleta, our therapist, because Chloe needs to bond to me first and I am the one doing the daily holding therapy, she was doing all she could to resist. Also, Chloe knows that I am not her China mom and she is trying very hard not to attach to me. Thankfully, her rejection began to fade over the last week. There was even one time last week I was rocking her to sleep and she did all she could do to get my attention.
We have also tackled Chloe's talking issue. She is no longer allowed to use non-verbal communication since it was a form of control. Chloe is capable of saying over 100 words, but she would much rather point and grunt. However, the strategy has been working and just last week, her talking started to kick in. We laugh almost daily at what she chooses to say. It certainly has made church a lot more challenging and noisy :) Chloe was very frustrated for a couple of weeks, yelling "no" a lot when she wasn't speaking clearly enough to be understood. Thankfully that too has eased some.
Unfortunately, true to the 2 steps forward and 1 step back that we were warned about, Chloe has once again become very insistent on self-soothing by sucking on her arm like she did in the orphanage. Initially, she had let this habit go relatively easily, but now it's back with a vengeance. We also continue to work on Chloe's aggression toward her sisters through holding. She gets held to help her calm down and then she is required to apology and do something nice in return.
We go back for family therapy next week. Chloe is not the only one effected by this family transition. The stress of the last 18 months has had a big impact on each of us. Arleta will help us recognize just what those effects have been on our other girls. We were told that adoption intensifies any problem you might have. That is obviously very true.
Chloe got to go camping with our family for the first time this past weekend.

She loved the pontoon boat ride.

I'm sure this was only the first of many trips to the camp ground. We had a great time.