Monthly Archives: October 2011

Honesty

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I have sat down to write this post a thousand times.  Well, maybe not a thousand, but quite a few :).  I have to confess that I am spending a lot of time reading other people’s blogs, especially post-adoption blogs instead of writing my own.  There is an understanding and a camaraderie there that I cannot explain.  I am so encouraged by reading their stories and by knowing I am truly not alone in this. 

In all honesty, this is hard.  Adoption is hard.  We have an enemy.  He wants our daughter to remain an orphan, at least in her heart.  He wants Chad and I to feel completely inadequate in every way.  He wants our other children to feel abandoned.  He wants us in complete isolation and alone.  He wants to separate us from those who support us.  His goal is to seek out the weak and destroy them.  And some days I feel like he is winning.  I feel like I am the weak one and he is destroying every bit of joy in my life.  I have cried, I have been angry, I have been overwhelmed.  

The good news is that I know those are just feelings and I know the TRUTH.  The truth is that as long as we HOLD FAST to God he will not abandon us.  Ever.  He will mold us into a family and HE will write a great story.  I have said before, (and cringed every time) that there is SUCH POWER in being broken-hearted for the things that break God’s heart…and to go through the hard things FOR God and WITH God has blessings that are unable to be counted.  But in the midst of them, they are hard. 

Do not get me wrong…….I do not regret this and would do it again.  Vanessa is a fabulous girl and she IS OUR DAUGHTER.  We will never question if this decision was right.  We know it was God’s plan for us…we know that we know that we know.  But it is kind of like having a baby or getting married or any big life change.  The lead up is so exciting and then the honeymoon is over and you’ve had your first big fight, or your baby is peeing blood because she is not getting enough milk (poor Lizzie), or your adopted daughter cries for hours and is sick all night because she is simply overwhelmed with grief.  And you feel like she is miserable here.  And this was supposed to be a good thing. 

That my friends, is the honest truth.  If you see me and I look a little on the edge, it is because I am.  If I smile and say “Everything is great!” I might be lying so that I do not come unglued and cry all over your shirt and embarrass you in the grocery store (or McAllister’s sorry Little family).  Some days everything is great and some days it is so hard that it literally takes my breath away.  Some days I stand in the shower and cry…and some days when I get home from dropping the kids off at school I lay on my bed with a catatonic look on my face.  But I know that the God we serve can handle this and he is a master at healing and redemption and restoration.  HE CAN DO IT.  We will fight our enemy and we will win.

My favorite quote of all time is from the last scenes from Return of the King.  It is Aragorn’s speech.  There are moments when I feel like I am standing at the Black Gate.  Here it is….
http://youtu.be/EXGUNvIFTQw

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

Can I beg you to pray for us???  ♥amy

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A New Adventure

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Well, our sweet girl started school last Friday and had a great day!  For all of you who prayed GOD ANSWERED.  She did meet a friend on the very first day, a girl who is in each and every one of her classes (miracle).  She talked about her several times this weekend and was looking forward to seeing her this morning.  I am so thankful.  As you can imagine she got a fair amount of attention from the *ahem* boys.  Her dad told her this weekend to let them know that he has guns…  🙂  She thought that was hilarious.  Which makes me wonder if she has ever hoped for a man to FIGHT for her honor.  Even if she hasn’t known to hope for that, she has it now.  And I think she likes it. 

I asked her if she is starting to feel a little like this is her home, or does it still feel like a vacation.  She says she is not sure, but I see little things from time to time that make ME think she is starting to feel more at home here.  She gets food without asking which is a HUGE step from where we were in the beginning and she also is willing to tell me what she wants, even though it takes a while sometimes. 

All in all I think we are settling in very well.  The charade is coming to an end and I feel like she is experiencing the “real us”.  I read a great blog post today that talked about “Fake Family“.  HOW TRUE IT IS in adoption!  I had this vision of how our family would be once she arrived and really, we are the same ole messed up people we were before…we just added a new person.  Fortunately, our new person is crazy also and loves to sing and dance just like the rest of us!  You don’t get a fake family when you get adopted, you get a real one, and I am certain we are the right one for her.

♥amy

Flexibility

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Hi everybody!  For anyone who is still reading this blog…thank you!  We have been home 7 weeks today!  Wow!  I was looking through some papers yesterday and saw a stack of sticky notes, all together, that were all my notes from booking our flights…it was stuffed under all the paperwork we brought home from the Philippines.  Boy did it take me back.  I was literally shaking and had butterflies in my stomach and did not sleep again after booking those tickets!  As I was looking at them and how meticulously I had written EVERYTHING for our travel plans down (hence many post-its) I was amazed.  Who was that girl (me)?  And then I remember.  She was excited, amazed, overjoyed, and SO HOPEFUL for all that was to come!  I am still that girl, but 8 weeks ago I was not the same woman I am now.  Every step of this journey has brought more amazement, more joy, more challenges, and more of God than I ever could have imagined.  He has taught me PATIENCE (which I never pray for).  It is HARD to adjust to a new culture and somewhat challenging to watch someone adjust to a new culture.  I have learned the strangest thing.  I really didn’t “know” American culture before.  I guess no one does…until you watch someone who has never experienced it.  I catch myself explaining things all the time that I thought were just human nature, but they are really just American 🙂  God has poured out his GRACE on me.  Oh man…this is the biggest one…GRACE that is never ending.  On days when I shouldn’t be able to breathe…I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and thank Him for the grace, because there is no way I have the ability to just keep going.

Vanessa has had some very sad and quiet days.  Our social worker warned us on our first meeting with her this would happen.  Our girl is grieving.  Not all the time, not every day even, but it comes and it goes, it ebbs and it flows, like all grief does.  She has a hard time verbalizing what she is feeling most of the time…just quiet and sad.  Don’t get me wrong, we are having a lot more happy times than sad, but the sad breaks my heart.  As a mom I just want to make it all go away, but that is not really my job.  The best thing I can do is point her to God and promise her that it will get better and PRAY PRAY PRAY for her.  I would love for her to REALLY open up to me, she does tell me a lot already, but I think she is not really sure what she is feeling, so it would be really hard to explain it to me.  Poor girl. 

On another note…the title of this post is “Flexibility”.  I am not sure who shared this with me, but it has been invaluable.  Someone told me during our time of waiting that we would have to really work on being Flexible…don’t get too tied in to one way that we aren’t able to change.  They were right!  So, we have decided that Vanessa is going to start attending school.  She is completely on board and started the conversation with us.  She wants to make friends and is used to going to school.  I am sure staying home with me has gotten to be a little on the boring side.  We have done a good bit of testing and evaluations and she is going to start in the 8th grade (same as Lizzie) this Friday.  She is nervous and excited all at the same time.  The school has done a good job of getting her in so that she can get to know the teachers as she does her evaluations, so hopefully that will bring her some peace as she begins.  She and Lizzie will have one class together…Lizzie wanted them all together, but I said no.  They both need to have their own friends or I think it could put a strain on their relationship.  American school is very different, larger classes, more homework, etc. than where she was going in the Philippines, but I think she will adjust with time. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!  This begins another period of adjustment to her life here.  I have heard stories of people coming home and only waiting a week before starting school…by the time she starts we will be a few days shy of being home 8 weeks.  Please pray that her teachers would give her TONS of grace and that she would make a friend, even on the first day.  I pray God will protect her from feelings of “not measuring up” and that she would even feel SUCCESSFUL…thank you in advance for your prayers. 

♥amy