Just came across these precious pictures from the year we met Lilly, Alex, Abby, Chrissy and Elizabeth while teaching art and music at their orphanage. The children were ages 6 to 16 when they became part of our family. They are now 11 to 21 the oldest is out on her own now.
I remember how I just knew they were mine from the beginning, and felt so sure everything would work out for us to adopt them. We didn’t know if we could even get approval to adopt five kids, but we had faith and were willing to work through so many challenges to bring them home.
Adopting older kids is never easy. I had no idea how hard it really would be. They had been through so much before coming to us, and healing from trauma and loss is a life long journey. Some hurts never really heal, some memories never fade, some pain never stops throbbing. No child should ever have to suffer the loss of their mother, and no one can ever replace her. It’s been an especially hard road for our oldest adopted daughter who moved back to Ukraine on her 18th birthday. She just turned 21and needs a lot of prayer right now.
She was only with us a little more than a year and we couldn’t even speak the same language during much of that time, I couldn’t be what she needed. She needed her mom, and her mom was sick, poor and dying in another country.
It breaks my heart that my daughter carries this pain and I wish I could be part of her healing, but trying to reach her just causes her more pain.
The mom hole in the heart of a person who has lost their biological mom is so deep. Now my precious daughter is a mommy herself, expecting another child.
And the mom hole is as deep as the distance between our hearts right now.
I haven’t had a clue how to be the support she needs, and we both know it.
Have patience Sarah! Give her space! Don’t worry!
I may have more patience than the average woman, my kids have trained me well, but there’s a fight in me to have no rest until all my kids are safe. I have faith but the reality is bleak! Trauma makes safety feel scary. And there’s a fight in the hearts of people with trauma to flee the feeling of safety.
It’s really hard for kids who have lost their moms to ever trust again, when they start to open their hearts and feel comfort, peace, love, safety and affection… it’s fight or flight. And it’s not pretty.
I’ve read a lot of books, taken a parenting course for those who adopt kids with trauma, we have been in family therapy… but it just feels like a year together in one home, not speaking the same language is no foundation for mothering.
Just sharing my heart. We need prayer.
But the other four, it’s tough with a couple of them but we have so many victories! They may have a lot of symptoms of RAD and trauma but they love me dearly, they come to me for comfort and affection and we talk. Their hearts have opened up and they are feeling safe and happy most of the time. They are becoming more and more joyful and are overcoming their barriers daily.
We are working through a book on Therapeutic Parenting and wish we had found it when we first adopted.