Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Need prayer!

Calling all prayer warrior friends to pray for two wonderful boys who have been on the shared waiting list for nearly five years.  I can’t imagine why they’re still waiting as both boys have such wonderful things written about them by everyone they meet!  They are smart, talented, and kind.  They are reportedly good big brothers to the other foster children in their homes and are in age appropriate school grades.  Please commit to pray for these boys as they have no advocate other than those of you who are willing to stand in the gap.  Put their picture on your fridge and remember them when you pray with your family.  PLEASE listen to their stories - first is “Gage.”

He is described as very, very smart and an excellent artist.  He drew a few sketches for some visitors recently and they were very impressed.  He adds many details to his paintings.  One agency representative says that “he is always on her mind – he is a very special boy.”  He is gentle, kind, and  ALWAYS smiling.  He is good at long distance running.  His special need is the same as our dd’s:  his ears did not form correctly but he hears fine and has titanium implants and surgery to open one of his ear canals wider.   Like our dd Jenny, his speech is not perfect, but it is very good.  Like our dd again, he loves to talk to people and is very outgoing and friendly.  He is 12 years old and really wants a family of his own.  Please help him to find one!

In the same city and foster care program is “Gideon.”

I love this gentle boy and can even imagine him in our family full of girls! J  His special need is a mild form of Hemophilia.  I have already had his medical information evaluated by our local Hemophilia clinic and can make that info available to any interested family.  He cannot play contact sports, but loves to run, play chess, and read.  He is a straight A student and is loved by all his neighbors.  He is said to be a good big brother to his younger foster brothers.  He is 11 years old and you can see a video of him HERE.

Both of these boys are in an excellent foster care program, but have little hope for a good future due to their orphan status and special needs.  Please let me know if you can faithfully pray for these boys.  After advocating for six months, still not one family has asked for more information.  I know their families are out there somewhere – please help to find them. J  There are no surprises in their files – just nice boys who need a mom and dad to love them.  Any agency can pull their files.  I can give you the name of one agency whose staff has met them both.

Last but not least, I recently read an article about a 30 year old man who is now facing cancer.  Because he was never adopted, he will face it alone.  The pain of not having a family NEVER goes away.  Please pray that these boys will know the love of a family before it’s too late.

Blessings, Kim

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beach Evangelism!

We met an evangelism team on the Beach this morning.  They've been out all week - but this time Sarah really hoped they'd come and talk to her some more about Jesus.  But they passed us by every time.  Finally, she made her way over and one of the girls asked if she could play.  I told them she REALLY wanted to talk about Jesus and they were excited to spend some time with her. :)

They had a great time talking with the girls - and Sarah told me that it really helped her to understand more. The team read some scripture with all of the girls and played some games.  They had a great time!

They were a sweet bunch of girls with a Baptist team called Mfuge.  I hope they know they planted yet another seed in our sweet Sarah's heart. :)

The kids persuaded big bro' to hit the waves with them - which gave me time to close my eyes and pray a little for the teams.

Hoping God opens hearts to the Good News.  It's hard for folks to stop and listen during their busy lives and vacations.  It was great seeing such a big group of kids giving a little of their time this summer to talk about Jesus with strangers.  What a fun day on the beach!



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Golf and Knitting!

The two classes the girls really wanted to take were BOTH this week - we had some crazy days! :)  

Mornings started with Golf Clinic.

Then on to the beach.  Then back to knitting class in the afternoon.


And finally finish on Friday!

I need a nap.  On the beach. :)  
Happy Summer to all! 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bragging a little...

It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. Daniel 4:2

This is a pic of Sarah with her 1st grade teacher this year.  We were fortunate to have one of the most talented and experienced teachers in the 1st grade.  Sarah also had a wonderful "Reading Recovery" teacher, a special program only offered for 1st grade.  This is for students who struggle with reading after kindergarten, and since Sarah barely knew English, she was a candidate for this program.  We thank God for His provision!

The girls and I all attended her end of year "Author's Party," where Sarah and the other children read original stories they had written.  It was a proud moment for us as the girls and I worked very hard reading at least 5 (mini) books a night with her - every night - for the entire school year.

The next day, we received Sarah's test scores from the end of year testing.  She scored the highest score possible in all reading and writing skills for 1st grade, and most of the math skills as well. This is amazing when you consider that she has only been home and learning English a little over a year.  It is a testament to God's work and gifts in this little one's life, and the many, many helpers at school and at home. (big sisters) We are so thankful to the many people who mentored her this year - especially Tricia Spradlin and Sally Martin.

Sarah and Jenny, and the many other children who make such a big transition from one culture and language to another, are heroes in my eyes.  Despite overwhelming amounts of things to learn, catch up on, and become familiar with, they move forward with smiles and confidence.  I'm not sure that most adults could do the same with such optimism and trust.  Much like Daniel, who left the familiar for the schools of Babylon, these children display the mercy and Glory of God in their everyday life.

We are so proud of their courage and hard work - whatever the results.  Praising God and learning a little each day from our children.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dual Adoption, Regression, and Attachment

     Our last few weeks have been full of end of year parties, graduations, baby showers, and welcome home and birthday parties.  We’ve had a great – but exhausting time.  

     During all the excitement, I noticed some eating issues with one of our new children and should have known something wasn’t quite right.  (spending LONG periods of time eating – still at the table after cleanup, eating so sloppily that food is all over her face, super large portions on 2nd and 3rd helpings, etc.)  At one party, she parked herself by the dip and literally ate the entire bowl!  (ok – I’ve done this – but it was out of character for her!)  Grandma was shocked when she licked the serving spoon and put it back in the dish.  Things that she knows aren’t right.

     I also noticed that this same child has an affinity for adults (including strangers). While the other kids were off playing with children at the various parties, she went from adult to adult making manic conversation EXACTLY the way she behaved during our travel in country.  This child is with me all day, so attention is not the issue – it is an attachment related behavior – and surprising to me that it would become evident after over a year home.  Several times this week I received the “limp hug,” with arms drooped to the side on her part.  This is a huge step backwards.

     I’m not sure what set it off – finally feeling secure, not feeling secure, too much activity or all of the above.  But old habits die hard, and after only 15 months in a new home, (after nearly 11 years off dysfunctional, abusive living) there’s still more history and hurt to work through and overcome.   But our new girls have adjusted so well that I forget those things sometimes - they feel (and look) “like they’ve been here forever.”

     The final straw was bullying.  I don’t monitor playtime as much (now that one child has learned that hitting and kicking is not a method of resolving arguments.)  I figured my meeker “home girl” could handle herself better when the two new girls banded together.  So while I chatted with friends one evening, some real bullying was taking place.  Thankfully, I caught sight of it – but not before it had gotten out of control.  Oddly enough, both new children have visible special needs that caused them to be bullied continuously at school (and play) in their home country.  It saddens me to think that someone who’s experienced such hurt could do the same to another, but too much freedom – without correction and instruction by monitoring adults – was probably a bad idea.

     So we are once again keeping them close.   I don’t understand the sudden food thing – would love some insight from others.   I’ve made it clear that there is a zero tolerance for hitting or bullying in our home.  They seemed to understand.  But regardless, I’ll make sure there’s no opportunity in the future since they will be with me all the time until I feel comfortable again.  We have switched up rooms to make sure a “home girl” is with each new child.  The more physical child is with my oldest.

     If you’ve made it through all of the above, you can see that both children struggle with different issues.  Dual adoption is easier at first because they are support for each other, but separating the different issues and working through individual problems can be difficult when there are two with completely different backgrounds.  One is struggling with attachment and a history of physical abuse, the other with bullying and no boundaries, but neither are role models for the other and separation is best but impossible.  We are reconsidering our schooling plans for next year and trying to figure out what will be best for each child.

     We don’t feel ill prepared, but are somewhat surprised by this step backwards.  We have experienced attachment disorder (and healing) and read all the books, and know that when children start to feel close to a parent it can scare them.  The last pic before the bullying episode shows Jenny with the first sincere smile since she’s arrived.  Her 4th grade graduation, surrounded by loving friends and family was so exciting for her.

     Her joy was evident, and I should have recognized the fear it could be causing in her hurting heart.  But I didn't.  I just lumped her in with all the other kids having a good time and left her to enjoy herself while I was distracted.  She and her sister still need constant guidance - especially in large social situations, and I will be much more attentive in the future.  I'm sorry it took me so long to see where they were struggling.

     We adore these girls and they are so brave.  It’s easy to forget where they’ve come from when they’re doing so well - sometimes it's hard to remember how much they've missed.  For the most part, they are doing incredibly well, and I thank God that he brought them into our home and gave us an opportunity to show them the love and security that they deserve.  We’re praying for wisdom to help them resolve their pasts and move forward in the future without fear.