Wow, can you say regression?!? I can! So can our kids. We had a wonderful few days last week that felt so much like we were a “normal” family. Boy and Girl have taken huge steps backwards since Friday, perhaps testing if we really meant “we’re going to love you and take care of you forever.” Also because Satan is not into seeing brokenness be redeemed. But, God tells us to take care of orphans (James 1:27). Not only when they’re sweet, lovely children, but all the time. His Word never returns void. So we continue on.
I came across a GREAT blog post this week. Please, go read it. All of it. If you don’t want to read all of it, please read this part:
No amount of research, adoption classes or book reading can prepare you for life with a traumatized child. They call older child adoption “special needs” adoption for a reason. Her special needs are real and they are vast. Fear, anxiety, anger, grief, shame and confusion are swirling around inside her all the time. It is not uncommon for her behavior to reflect all the pain she has inside. We get it. We understand. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard or that we don’t get overwhelmed, exhausted or lose our cool sometimes.
One of the hardest parts is the isolation. It is very difficult for people to understand all that you’re going through. A loving home is not enough. Your child doesn’t just need “time to settle in”. Traditional discipline structure or parenting styles are usually ineffective with traumatized children. People become uncomfortable with the truth about how things are really going at home, so you stop sharing. Traumatized children often act very differently when they are around others than they do at home. You may start to get the feeling that people think you’re the source of the problem.
Parents of kids with trauma and attachment issues need to be seen as the authority figures all the time. An attaching child needs to learn to depend on their parents to meet their needs, comfort them, keep them safe and give them affection.
…Older child adoption is doable. It’s worth it. Progress, hope and healing are attainable.
This is great insight into the reality of adopting older children. It is really hard. We have to do things differently than probably every other parent you’ve ever met. If you wonder why we do things a certain way, please ask. I can almost guarantee you that we have a reason based on the knowledge of people who have much more experience helping troubled children. Unless we’re just acting in sin. Because we do that plenty.
We love our kids. We hate days like these. God is good and worthy to be praised.
P.S. about the title…the kids are having trouble obeying any instruction, so we are spending lots of time “practicing” obeying very simple commands. Think "Simon Says”. All. Day.