Friday, February 26, 2010

Prayer Requests Answered!!!!!!!

Many of you were praying for two little girls, whose files crossed our family in their adoption journey. The first little girl was matched to her family a few weeks ago. I cannot tell you the joy & peace that we felt knowing that God's plan was for these little girls to be in a family and that our Annalee is still out there waiting for God's timing to reveal her to us. God has so richly blessed our lives in praying for these two sweet girls and their forever families.
When the second little girl we reviewed was photolisted, we learned that a family on the Holt forum/bb would be asking to review her file. I quickly messaged this contact, she sent me her phone number, and for the next thirty minutes I told this adoptive mom about this wonderful little girl. At the time little did I know that today a committee would meet and out of mulitple families this family would be chosen as this sweet baby's mommy! WE ARE SO HAPPY FOR YOU!
It is amazing how God works, isn't it?
All day today I have been anxiously awaiting news, knowing that the committee would meet today and praying for my new friend that God would bless her and the family with peace as tey waited. I cannot imagine the flood of emotions she had this week and especially today as she waited for the call to say either, "You're a mom or sorry we decided on another family." 
Many people have asked us how difficult the wait has been and we have to admit we are blessed. We cried so many tears over these two sweet girls, that it would have been so difficult to accept a referral knowing they were still waiting! Thanks be to God that we do not have to wait and wonder anymore if we made the right decision.
Please continue to pray for these sweet girls and their families! Also, we covet your prayers for our sweet Annalee! We are praying for God's protection over her little life and hopefully wait for the day she will be in our arms!
Have a wonderful last weekend in February...spring is on it's way!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cross-Cultural Adoption by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz

Book Review # 4 is of the 2nd book that we read in our adoption journey...I'm working backwards here!
Anyone that has adopted or been adopted and the adoption is know about by family and friends is undoubtedly going to receive questions by curious supporters. Hopefully the adoptive family can not just prepare themselves, but also prepare others around them to be sensitive in what they say and ask around the adopted child.  Sometimes an innocent word spoken at the wrong time or question asked in the wrong context can cause hurt to a child who may not have yet processed or fully understand what adoption means in their life.
The book Cross-Cultural Adoption takes questions that could pop-up in casual conversations and interactions with both adults and children. Each question has two answers...first it provides an answer for a young child, then it provides a more in depth answer for the older child and adult. Not only does this provide basic ways to avoid insensitive mishaps, it is a fabulous resource for adoptive parents to share with family and friends to provide "adoption literacy".
So what types of questions will you find answers to in this book?
What does "Adopted" mean?
Is she my really cousin?
How much did they pay for her?
In addition to the eighteen questions the authors discuss, there is also a "Do's and Don'ts for Grown-Ups". This is a really great section for well meaning family members and close friends. An example "Do" us "Do respect her privacy" and an example "Don't" is "Don't tell us we're sure to have 'our own' now". As you can see these are very important areas of blunder that adoptive parents often experience in discussing their adoption with well-meaning supporters...a book is a great way to share what may be offensive without directly telling someone, "Hey, can you just shut-up, you insensitive jerk!" Just kidding, but if you have/are adopting you know there have been times that phrase has probably crossed your mind!
The last section is provides a country specific summary so that adoptive families and friends can learn more about the child's birth country. The section on The Republic of Korea (a.k.a. South Korea) shares about the "Geography and Population", "History and Government", "Economy", "Culture and Holidays", "Food", "Interesting Facts", and "Literature and Books for Further Reading".
We are so thankful to our homestudy agency for gifting us this book! Now, I think I will have to review the literature and books for further reading and see if they have them at our local Library! Stay tuned...although there was only a five book requirement...I think you will probably see many more book reviews to come as I read and wait!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Family Credit / Reading Now Complete!!!!

We are so thrilled that we have completed the 10 hours additional requirement by reading five books about adoption. Our family has a love of reading, so we knew this would be a great learning tool for us. We have been so blessed by the understanding the authors have given us through their personal adoption journeys.
So does this mean my reading and research is done. NO! There is one book our library didn't have "Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents by Deborah D. Gray, which they are going to try to borrow from another library or may order it, so our library will have a copy. (That of course would be the best option!) I also have a book on Toddler Adoption that I am going to try to read by March 1st, when it is due back to the library.

You would think I would be tickled pink to have this requirement fulfilled, but the last book that we read was so disturbing and has struck such a discord that it left a deficit in my mind. The author presented her own personal theories and assumptions regarding the adoptee and adoptive family with a biased and jaded twist. The part that saddens me the most is that she is an adoptive mother and works in the field of counseling...I just cannot imagine the pain this book must have caused.
The book is The Primal Wound Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier. Not only does she put adoption and the adoption triad in a very negative light, but she presents some views that were disturbing to a very extreme and offensive degree. I strongly caution anyone considering this book and especially if you have children in your home that may happen to pick up the book and read through part of it.
I guess the biggest lesson I learned that if there are alarm bells going off that something is not right, then it probably is not right! Also, we must really be cautious in the counsel and support we seek in educating ourselves about adoption and preparing our families. Anyone can write a book, give a speech, and present their opinions it does not mean they are of any value.
After reading five books, The Connected Child is the best book with the most useful information that we have found so far. There are two more book reviews to share, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


As many of you following our journey know, in January we reviewed the file of a photo listed little girl, whom we nicknamed "Sunshine" and she just stole our hearts away. However, due to some very major medical risks we decided not to proceed to committee. (see below for a link to the previous post.)
We were so heartbroken, but were at peace that we had made the right decision for this little girl and our family. It is strange to be at peace and grieving so deeply at the same time. So, daily we have been praying for this sweet girl and her family to be matched.
The next week we received a second file and we were in self protection mode. We felt no attachment to the pictures and information, and although we really tried to be open minded, in the end we just knew the child had greater health needs than we could care for at this time. It was another very hard decision and between the two weeks we were just exhausted.
God has granted us a time of rest as we have continued to pray daily for these two beautiful little girls and last week I was able to speak with a family that had requested the file on the second little girl. We have just hoped and prayed for the day their photos would change from "No longer accepting inquiries" to "I have a family".
We have in our prayer requests at the bottom of this page a note requesting prayer for these girls to be matched to their families. We feel that God placed them in our paths, so that all of our friends and family would pray them home with us!
Tonight I checked the photolisting and sweet Sunshine HAS A FAMILY!!!! Hubby and I sat and just smiled and excitedly looked at her photo with the new tag on it! We are so thankful that she will have her forever family and that our God continues to lead us and answer prayers on behalf of the orphans. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for this sweet girl and have been praying for our hearts to heal. We now have closure knowing that she is safely placed with a family and we now feel that we can be open to a new referral that will come our way without that "what if" doubt clouding our judgement!
Please continue to pray for the sweet little one still waiting for her forever family!
Also, please pray for our I600A paperwork to process smoothly. I goofed on the address, so after about 20 days we received it in returned mail. I resent it Monday and it should have been delivered today by 6pm, but I have not received notification of it being received...this paperwork provides us advanced approval to adopt internationally from the US Government. THANK YOU PRAYER WARRIORS!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis, Ph.D., David R. Cross, Ph.D. and Wendy Lyons Sunshine

I must begin this post by saying a huge...
"THANK YOU" my adoption friend Janet, who allowed me to borrow this book as one of her highest recommended books on adoption! Not only is this a great book for adoption, I think it is one of the greatest parenting books that I have ever read! Why, well it teaches parents to empower their children to make wise decisions and how to build life values.
In fact, chapter five is titled, "Instilling Life Values". The first subject header in the chapter is Respect...a life value that so many of our youth today have missed out on. This chapter also discusses Using Words (parents too), Gentleness and Kindness, Consequences, Making Eye Contact, etc. This chapter is followed with "Are You the Boss", "Dealing with Defiance", "Nurturing at Every Opportunity", and "Proactive Strategies to Make Life Easier". As you can see these are not just topics that impact adopted children, but all children.
This book showed me:

  • It is important to interact with my boys, not just send them off alone to complete their household tasks or to go play by themselves.

  • It is good to empower and teach children to make good decisions, which at an early age can diffuse frustration for the child with allowing the child to choose between two options.

  • Eye contact increases the bond...when starting this and giving my youngest instructions, he would avoid my gaze when I would say, "Show me your eyes." I was quite shocked at how quickly he would divert his gaze...after about two weeks he will look at my eyes through an entire sentence.

  • A lecture is lost on children...too many words and they will tune you out...KISS can be used at all ages...Keep it Simple Silly!

  • Sometimes we set up our children for bad behavior - is it an hour past dinner time? were we inconsistent in our expectations & consequences? is there a trigger to meltdowns that we are overlooking? I have found that if it is past dinnertime - our youngest gets do I when I'm hungry! Late bedtime for both boys results in oldest to being very slow in getting ready in the morning and the youngest to having morning meltdowns...most of which often result in a Mommy meltdown :)

  • Sometimes to heal our child and help them grow, we need to reflect on our lives and heal or grow.

  • For children with sensory issues/sensitivities, often alerting them to what is coming next can help avoid meltdowns. I have especially used this with our youngest.
Our oldest son is smiling more as we listen, spend time together, and work on making good choices for him. With our youngest it is amazing how much the skills with eye contact, alerting, confirming, and praising have helped. Between those skills and recognizing and working to remove triggers our home has had fewer meltdowns in the past two weeks. Other than Mondays...we are still working on Monday mornings for all of us!
Page 216 has one of the most valuable tool to take with you after reading the book. It is a checklist to help you meet your goals with your child. These questions really push you as a parent to evaluate the priority you are giving your kids with your time, evaluates your consistency, and whether or not you are empowering your children as they grow.
The questions and concepts are very simple and common sense, but laid out in a way that makes you think about these things in a whole new light! The authors encouraged reflection and change with a very positive approach.
Are you curious? I hope so, not only do I recommend this book for adoptive parents, I highly recommend this book to all parents! We are so thankful to these authors that take the opportunity to help parents to love, guide, and enjoy the children that God has placed in our lives!
Philippians 2:14 KJV "Do all things without murmurings and disputings:"
Also translated in another version to say:
Philippians 2:14 NIV "Do everything without complaining and arguing,"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella

When adopting there are certain training requirements parents must go through to ensure you are ready to adopt/parent a child. We get tickled because anyone can have a baby - no training required, but after nine years of parenting, we need to meet all of these training requirements before we can have our baby!
Don't misunderstand; I am not far we have learned so much, even after years of parenting. Since we have learned so much I wanted to share the information with others, because some of these books are so educational. There is a lesson to be learned whether you are adopting, have biological children, or are just in a ministry or profession with children.
The first book I will discuss is The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella. I picked this book up and in the first sitting read the first eleven chapters! I could not put the book down; the writer has such a profound way of sharing the story of her daughter that it just draws you in. The next day I read every chance I had and in less than 24 hours had devoured the entire book!
As quickly as I read the book five days later I am still processing and in awe of the examples of Christ and motherhood that are shared in this book. Not just the honesty and realism of the adoptive mom in this story, but the unconditional love and example of daily pleading with God by the four year old girl for the child she left behind when she was adopted. Kind of weird phrase...a four year old mom...however, in this particular type of orphanage often the older children take on parenting roles for the smaller children. I have never read of an example of a "mother" that was so committed and adamant in her prayers to God for her child.
This book has convicted my heart in my love and prayer life for my children. Do I daily plead with heaven for my children and their needs? Do I have the focus, determination, and selflessness to put my child's needs before my own? There is so much to be learned in the example of this child.
The author of this book also provided a glimpse of the reality of the trauma a child can experience when they are whisked away from the people, sounds, culture, smells...basically everything they know and moved to a place where they look different, do not understand the language...basically everything is strange and different to them.
As life proceeds with my family, I pray that we can take the life lessons and examples of hope, faith, and love and live them in or lives. That is truly what each of us must do daily, take the lessons provided and work to make this world a move loving and kind place in which we are making an impact on eternity.
If you are interested this book is available at the Hopkinsville/Christian County Public soon I return it that is :)