Sunday, August 23, 2009

2nd Year Challenge

As you are going through the adoption process, you read a lot about what to expect the first year. You hear about how hard the first year is and the possibilities of issues that could come up. I haven't really heard or read about things / issues / challenges of the second year. I wonder if adopting older children - there really isn't that much out there. The things I read and hear are mostly of younger children. So I thought I would write a post on what challenges / issues we are facing the beginning of our 2nd year with the girls.

We started our 2nd year with separating the girls into their own classroom. Rita had a very difficult time with this separation. Racheal did very well and loves having her own classroom and teacher. It took Rita about 3 weeks to be comfortable with this new change in her life. She has begun to process this whole adoption thing. She has begun to recognize her feelings and she is trying deal with them. Rita has been the one (this first year) who is pleasing to everyone. She doesn't tend to go against us as much as Racheal. Racheal is very strong headed, while Rita is not.

The last couple of weeks, Rita has had dreams of her birth mother and me together. She says her birth mom comes to America and I tell her she can't stay with us. This is her dream and she wakes up crying. This is a dream that has brought out some of her emotions to this adoption. We talk about it and how difficult and expensive it is for her birth mother to come to America, so I don't think it would happen. I talk to her about how her birth mom had to decide she couldn't be their mom any more. We talk about how God has planned for us all to be together and how He has a plan for their birth mother. The one comment Rita has said to me that I think of often is "Mommy, I wish my birth mom would die and go to Heaven." I, of course, ask why she feels that way. She replied, "Because then I won't have to worry about her and she will be with my birth dad". I honestly have to say, I wish the same thing.....only so she doesn't have to feel the responsibility of worry about her. Now I would never wish for someone to die, but to hear the pain in Rita just kills me. It does seem like it would be easier for them to deal with this if she had passed away. But, because she is still living, they think of things like this. Rita has had some very well thought out questions like: Will I know when my birth mom dies? If I go back to Africa when I am 25, will my birth mom know who I am? Why does God not help my birth mom get money for food?

Those are such tough questions. I believe in being very honest with the girls and all of the children. I really encourage an open relationship. But, sometimes questions come up that I don't know they are really hear the truth.

Racheal has handled this in a completely different way. She shows her independence with us. She will argue, complain, and basically do what she wants in secret. I know her all to well, and she doesn't get far with us. I have eagle eyes on her. She will do very well for a while and then slip back into this mood of hers. It's like she is testing us more now than before. I feel like this is the way she is handling the feelings of all of it.

Looking back at their last couple of years......They were brought to Eban House and stayed there for a year, then I came and got them, which they have been with us for a year. So I can see now how they are really beginning to understand they are here with us FOREVER and this has got to be scary.

I wonder if any other families have dealt with this type of issue. I am sure they have but I don't hear or read much about it. I know we can expect thoughts, questions, and issues to come up here and there. It just is sad to see them have to think about this and to try to process it. It's tough being an adoptive mom emotionally - I think. I love them so much and I hate to see them have to deal with this.

My Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, please wrap your arms around Rita and Racheal to let them feel your security, protection, and love for them. Lord, help them to understand this is Your plan and how You have such great Blessings to give them. Lord, I ask you to give Jarett and I the wisdom to help them understand what has occurred with them in joining our family. We ask You to help us speak to them honestly, lovingly, and biblically. Only You Lord, knows what is in this plan for them and for us. So continue to help us walk the path you have for all of us. In only Your loving name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change Is Good! Right?

Last week happened to be everyone's first week of school. This was a huge change for us because this year we have quite a bit of different things going on. Karleigh is in Jr. High. She is now in 7th grade. Oh Brother - this was huge for her. It seems like in just a week, she has grown up. She loves her classes and teachers. Every day she has a different story to share. It's great!

The biggest change for our family is that Rita and Racheal are in separate classrooms this year. They had high anxiety with the change and knowing they weren't going to be together right before school started. They kept asking why we did this to them. It's hard to explain that giving them this opportunity to learn in different classroom will help them in the long run. We talked about how they will be able to learn better being in different classrooms. This will give them the chance to learn all by themselves. Last year, they would answer for each other, do each other's work, and stick together. This year they will make their own friends, answer their own questions, and think for themselves.

Rita has had the hardest time adjusting to this new situation. She walks by Racheal's room and peeks into the classroom. She is hugging Racheal all the time (which she really never did). She has been much more clingy to me. It very weird how many steps backward she has taken. I honestly feel like this will be really good for her to be able to grow and accomplish things all by herself. Now, on the other hand, Racheal seems to be doing really well. She absolutely loves being in the classroom she has so far. I am really proud of her. Actually, I am really proud of both of them. They have never been separated like this so overall they are doing pretty good with it.

Karson is in 3rd grade also. This means we have 3 - 3rd graders. All in different classrooms. I hope I can stay up on it all. Kaiden is in fourth grade and really doing well so far. He is trying his best to get straight A's.

So overall, everyone is doing fantastic and growing the way God has planned it. We believe God is working in our family to make more changes. We are still praying about them and when they become final, we will share. You may be thinking.....adopting again....No we are not, nor are we pregnant. Nice Try though!