About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

From My 15 Year Old Son on Adoption

This post I'm going to share is an essay that my 15 year old son wrote. His was asked to write an essay on whatever he wanted for his online school. He chose adoption and this is what he wrote:

In my family adoption has been the most common way to build a family. My parents love adoption so much that they have adopted seven times, with a total of eleven kids being adopted. I was adopted at the age of eight, along with my sister, Unique. The joy that struck me when I was adopted was just amazing! From that day on, I knew that getting adopted was probably going to be one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.

Experiencing a feeling like this is one of the many affects that a child could have if he or she knew that they have been adopted. Though this child wouldn't be the only one who experienced this feeling, the entire family would. Beacause they know that the child is happy that they have a home and a family that loves them. This is one reason why my parents adopt and to why they have adopted so many.

My house may seem like its a bit crazy because of the eleven kids and not to mention the one that's biological. Though really its not all that crazy, it's actually quite calm, even with eleven other kids running around. All it basically means is that they're getting along pretty well, which could be a shocker at times. That's one of the joys of adopting and having as many kids as my parents do.

This is why I think that everyone should adopt at least once, if not five to ten times like my parents. All you have to do is just give it one try and then if things don't work out the way you thought, at least you can say that you tried. Really, I think that once you've already experienced adoption you'll want to continue, just like my parents. Adoption can change everyone's life.

Now as you can imagine I am one very weepy and proud mom. Teenagers can be pretty cool. Denzell had some rough spells, but WOW I am so blessed to see what God has done with him. I know "adoption" is debated by many. I can proudly say that I believe adoption is a gift to a child who needs to know that they have a forever family to love them and the family who gets blessed with a child to have forever as well. I know that I am very blessed. I also know that as long as God keeps blessing - I will keep receiving with a very thankful heart.

Good Stuff on the RAD Front

Please don't tell them. It is a huge secret! lol Crystal and Andrew are doing REALLY WELL. They took advantage of the clemency and are doing great. Andrew was the 2nd one done with his school work today. He is ROUNDING, which he had previously declared he couldn't do. Crystal is the only one of the five 3rd-5th graders who hasn't memorized for first 20 presidents. She has memorized 10 though and is very close to getting all 20!

Andrew is doing the best right now. He has been here the longest of the 3 RADishes. He has been living with us full time for 4 years and 7 months. He was 5 years old when he moved in. I am seeing huge improvements with him. At this moment he is playing just like everyone else! He is being helpful. He is polite. He and Dayton are playing almost like they did when they were little and he wasn't with us full time yet. (See he didn't have RAD behaviors until he had been with us a little while full time and we had done respite for him for 18 months before he moved in full time. Back then they were best of friends. After he realized that he was here to stay, he went from a very active child, to a full blown RADish. He began the behaviors, like screaming incessantly and tearing things up, that his foster mother had to deal with during the time before that.) It is so good to see them reconnecting. It is so good to see him being the smart and sweet little boy that I've known was in there this whole time.

Crystal is doing good. She still has a "look" in her eye that I know means we've still got a ways to go. She suffered so many moves that I know it is harder for her to trust. I see her looking for a chance to "snag" a pair of underwear before I get them locked in the closet. I know that she is wanting to resort back to peeing on her underwear and hiding them. I am being very diligent. She wants to sneak and do it, but she isn't. Otherwise she is doing ok. She is back and forth between "chatter" and "silence" with me. She is playing well with the other kids. She isn't doing anything particularly bad. I will take that! She has only been here for almost 3 years. She was 8 when she came. We still have a while to go!

God is so good!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Update on Clemency

So far so good - I think. (Please no one walk up to them if you know us in "real life" and tell them they are doing good or they will resort to bodily functions!)

Andrew and Crystal are RADishes. I know what to expect from their "good times". It is going about the same way as I expect. (In case you are wondering raising my expectations will result in my looking off guard or feeling disappointment, not a change in behavior - so please don't tell me to expect better of them.) They are both trying every little chance to "get away" with something. It is their lives' desire to somehow feel like they are a step ahead of me. I have to be as overvigilant as they are. They try to go past their limitations in how far from supervision they can be. They try to get into the kitchen area without being noticed. They try to "borrow" things from the other children in hopes that the other kids might let their guard down and receive something broken back or not at all. They try to get more of the "family books" off of the shelf than they are allowed to have at once. They try to do ANYTHING that they aren't allowed to do. If I don't catch them on something then they will try to go a step farther. Their hope is to "gain control", "manipulate", or "deceive" most of the time.

That being said, they are doing well considering. Their attempts are quickly met with a quick reminder that I DO see them. I DO know where they are heading. I will not let them get by with it. After probably 100 attempts in the first 24 hours at getting by with something - ANYTHING, they have slowed down a lot. Andrew has been saying "I am sorry" when he loses a privelege or gets a verbal reprimand. He has complied with doing his "remedial math" that is necessary until he quits playing dumb on his normal math. This is good since I am making him write his numbers over and over, which he hates the redundancy of doing. He even admitted to playing dumb on his language assignment and apologized after correcting. Crystal is doing ok. She has a look on her face too much of the time that says she is not wanting to attach further. At other times she is more willing though and is giving some real hugs at bedtime (I think).

Forrest and Jose are very glad to have received clemency as well. They don't have full blown RAD. They have more what would be called "attachment issues" or I think it is more "foster care issues". They are the issues that every child who has come to me ( at least the ones over age 4 when they moved in full time and I don't know about some of the others yet) seem to possess. They tear up clothing, or have food issues, or lie alot, or try to get pity from others, or are set in mediocracy with feet dug in and refusal to try to succeed, or constantly trying to get something by in some set area, or testing to see if they are really loved, or push to see if you'll really "keep" them. Those are just behaviors that I expect. I know to expect them and I generally know how to modify them as well. It can be slow going. It is NOTHING compared with the RAD kids. RAD kids do all of those behaviors all at the same time and add in a lot of other components as well. They seem to appreciate that they didn't have to finish those reports that were piling up. They also seem to not want to go "back" to that hole that they were digging for themselves.

Clemency worked out very well. I don't recommend that you ever do it often. I don't want my kids to ever have hope that it might happen to get them out or they might not care to dig that hole. I do want them to know that I loved having a good weekend with them all. I loved seeing them all out of trouble at the same time. I loved movie time where everyone had priveleges. I loved seeing all the boys playing ball together without anyone sitting out. I loved seeing what it will be like when God brings them all through their rough spells. I remind myself that God is going to bring them all through. I praise Him for that.