does anyone know how hard this is?

oh, i know some of you who read do.  but the people around me, the people directly around me, my family and friends-they have no idea.  i’ve been reading  twenty things adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew by sherrie eldridge and it’s putting into words things i feel, things my kids feel.  it’s giving me insight into their minds, into their hearts.  it’s helping me understand things they are unable to verbally express.  i have heard mixed reviews of this book, some people like it, some people don’t.  if you’ve read it, i’d love your opinion.  anyway, somethings really jumped out at me after wilbur’s break down last week.  here are a few:

-“unlike other losses we have come to expect in a lifetime, such as death and divorce, adoption is more pervasive, less socially recognized, and more profound.” –being adopted:  the lifelong search for self by dr. david brodzinsky & dr. marshall schechter

-“grief is the natural response to loss, and those touched by adoption must be given permission to revisit emotionally the place of loss, feel the pain, scream the anger, cry the tears, and then allow themselves to be loved by others.” -twenty things adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew by sherrie eldridge

-“we must be careful not to sanitize sentimentalize, or even glamorize the pain of adoption;  it really is miserable stuff, and it is intensely personal.  it is interior.  the pain of adoption is not something that happens to a person;  it is the person.  because the pain is so primal, it is virtually impossible to describe.” –the spirit of open adoption by james gritter

did you see that?  “the pain of adoption is not something that happens to a person;  it is the person.”  this isn’t something my wilbur is feeling.  this is my wilbur.  this is his life.  and today we met another family that understands that.  another mom and dad who adopted a sibling group of three.  a daughter, and two sons, just like us.  and the kids are the same ages, the boys being just a couple months apart from our boys.  we met for lunch at mcdonald’s. i know, so lovely.  but we thought it would be a good place because the kids could play and parents could talk.  and we did.  and i feel like we could talk a lot more.  so we will.  isn’t God amazing!?!?

we haven’t had a picture update in a long time.  mainly because we haven’t updated in a long time.  so here’s a picture update, picking up where we left off from feb. 5th, orville’s 4th birthday.

i was helper in wilbur’s class.  we made patterns and had 50’s day, complete with a sock hop.

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amelia and i had mother daughter night at church.  of course no pictures were taken of the two of us.

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we celebrated orville’s birthday with family and friends.

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he received a substantial amount of clothing from grammy.

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and the orderly little guy that he is, he felt he needed to immediately take his new clothes to the laundry basket in his room.  right in the middle of his party, he just marched right up the stairs.  it was too cute!

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i was helper in amelia’s class for her valentine’s day party.

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josh took the garland down from the porch and used it to pretend to be a monster.  it was pretty funny.

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we finally got to play outside.  my nephew joined us.

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i was helper in orville’s class again.  grammy joined us.

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the boys and i had a special day out.  wendy’s for lunch, then a park for playing and riding bikes.

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amelia and i had a very special night out at secret keeper girl.

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amelia had a hearing test at children’s hospital after failing the school hearing test twice.  she’s just fine, but can’t hear very faint sounds.

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orville and josh had daddies night at pre-school.

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i was greeted one morning by the kids doing yoga.  so hilarious!

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josh and amelia had a daddy daughter date.  chuck e. cheese and taco bell.  all amelia’s choosing.

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we went to columbus to visit our very dear friends.

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during our stay we took a trip to the columbus zoo.  very nice.  very big.

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orville fell asleep on the way home from the zoo.  then everyone had some much needed down time.  including the dads who fell asleep.

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just friday, the kids, my mom and i, went to the cleveland children’s museum to have a fun time on our last day of spring break.  the special feature right now at the museum is a room filled with tons, literally, of sand.  we went back in january of ’07 too.  the kids have changed so much since then!

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4 Comments

  • allison

    Thank you for sharing your adoption story. We are new to this process (foster to adopt- suddenly parents doing well, mixed emotions) and i appreciate your insight. We have sibling babies 12 months apart. Our prayer is for the best home for these kids. We love them so much. Wow, adoption is who they are. . .

  • Diana

    Does anyone understand? YES!!! Absolutely. I think there’s been a rash of this feeling going around, though. I’ve been hit by it pretty hard myself (check out the last few posts on my blog and you’ll see it.)

    What I’ve found though, is that my best support network isn’t necessarily “in real life” people. A few get it, a few more try to get it, and about 98% of the IRL people I interact with (often including my family) don’t get it. They honestly have NO IDEA how hard this journey is. Really, unless someone has LIVED this journey themselves, it is pert near impossible to truely understand.

    That’s exactly why I blog. That’s where my support network is. It’s through my blog that I’ve found friends I can turn to that really do get it. They lift me up when I’m down, they put more strength back in my bucket, they understand how hugely significant it is that my little son prays for his grandma’s knee to get better completely on his own – and rejoice with me about it as well. They are the ones who understand how isolating this journey can feel, and how draining and all encompasing it can be. My IRL friends and family are wonderful and I couldn’t do this without them, but it’s my bloggy buddies who really “get” it and keep me sane.

    As for the reading quotes…I completely agree with all but one tiny part of it. The pain of adoption is indeed very real and cuts very, very deep. It must be honored and accepted without strings – and it certainly must not be trivialized. But I don’t believe it is the sole axis of the person. That definition and assumption that it IS a persion offers no hope, no room for genuine attachment to a new family, no room for growth, and most sadly, no room for the healing grace of Christ.

    Even my two little RADlings who have a whole alphabet full of other acronyms behind their names thanks to the pain of adoption are not “just” their pain. Nor is the sole focus of their life the fact that they were adopted. Adoption is something that happened to them – something huge in which they had no control over. So is every painful thing that happened to them before the adoption that made it necessary (and possible) for them to be adopted. But adoption is not WHO they are. Who they really are are children of God with a divinely appointed purpose and destiny.

    Regardless of all the pain they’ve experienced, the one thing they do have control over is their healing. Yes, the process is all encompassing at times and yes it does even seem like a tsunami that threatens to completely engulf them (and me.) But through the miracle of faith and hope and the atoning blood of our Savior, my kids ARE healing and they are becoming so much more than pain and adoption. They are becoming the people God intended for them to be when he created them.

    Slowly but surely, they are learning to release and process and reframe that pain as they are ready to do it. There are no shortcuts through it, it isn’t fun, it is HARD on everyone around them, but it also won’t be this way forever. Sadly, my kids will always have some pretty large chucks of their identity and early childhood missing. But I am confident that with a lot of work, and a lot of faith, and a few miracles, those holes will someday be divits in the road that shape their character rather than gaping sinkholes that threaten to destroy them.

    Many blessings to you – and keep on bloggin’ 🙂

  • bri

    I have heard so many others talk about this book. I am going to have to read it to get my own opinion apparently… I also have heard both sides of the coin on it!

    I am not sure how this is all going to play out but I do know that people (like our friends and family) have no idea how hard this is and what price comes with adopting. I mean it is not a match made and you get your precious baby and you all live happily ever after. It is indeed this child’s life because of other circumstances that still have an attachment to the child/ren. Although they are removed (far) from the situation, that old life it is still a part of who they are! We can never erase that and we will have to always allow that to be part of the child/ren if they so choose!

    tough stuff to chew and swallow but there are friends lurking on your blog 🙂 “hello” that will be here when that time is tough and you need an ear! (or a pair of eyes) :).

    Good to “see” you and the fam again! Welcome back!

  • bri

    wow. okay I am just now seeing Diana’s comment up there… totally in agreement. Through Christ there is complete healing and in that will come a new purpose, a new being and a new life completely!
    Right now we are in the process of fostering our youngest and so with that he still has visits. It is SO hard because that old life still visits him… but when he is with us he is so free and completely different. He is marred for a couple days after visits but with prayer and love he heals and continues on in our lives. He is sadly not going to remain with us forever (*unless God so chooses:)) So I pray for him that his healing will still come even after the transition back home.

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