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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Emotional Engergy Filled Days........

It is 6:00 and I am ready to sleep from Exhaustion! What I thought was a "routine" Dr. visit, turned into a Chest X Ray to make sure Sarah's past TB is still in the past. It is, but it always makes me nervous. Then, the Dr. gave information about her hand condition and said she needs to have surgery. SURGERY! We just got over all those surgeries between the 2 girlies. I thought this just might be a year without one. But... that is not to be. :)

The biggest thing is, that in between all this, is the combined realization of "hand" surgery, 3rd anniversary memories and a book we read that had a shocking page in it.
All today. All at once. Poor Sarah.

Sarah has handled most surgeries like a trooper. No issues really at all. But this surgery is different. She had 2 hand surgeries when she first came to the United States from Ukraine and was in a different family. Her memories of those, combined with the recovery is not good. It brings back floods of memories of some bad things that happened to her, directly related to the surgery.

Those memories are already on the "surface" right now because this is that time of year when they flood in. We brought Sarah home the first week of May, 3 years ago.

But for us, the worst part was a book we read in the waiting room. We were both blind sided by the book and I do plan to go back and write the author of the book a note, as I'm sure she had good intentions. They just happened to devastate my daughter in her fragile state today.
Maybe any other time, it wouldn't have bothered her so much, but today of all days, was just too much.

However, I always look at these difficult situations as ways that we can be presented with something, discuss it, understand it and ourselves better and heal.

The Book was about Family Trees.
It was quite interesting and was the 5th book Sarah read while we were waiting.
She loves showing her reading skills which are quite good. The book started with a family tree and explained what a family tree was. The setting was in a school room with harmless little kitties. The kitty teacher explained to the kitty children all about family trees. Sarah was so proud that she already knew what a 2nd cousin once removed was, because that is what Parker is for her. She was beaming....
The next page however had in big huge letters:

"Is Anybody in this Class A D O P T E D ?"

It said some blaze' thing about adoption and that not everybody has the same family tree! WHAT????? The author does NOT understand adoption.

THEN.... the next pages were about divorced parents, step children, etc. etc.
While I understand the idea behind the book, there was this "feel" to it that said, YOU aren't the same, you really DON'T have a REAL family.

Sarah hung her head, and she is NEVER down! Then the news of the surgery, and the memories flooded in. On the way home she was sweet but contemplative. Then she started talking about how she was dreading the hand surgery and that she remembered some unfortunate events after her last hand surgery. We were able to discuss those memories privately in the car on the way home. My heart breaks just thinking about it.

After we got home, I knew I needed to talk to her about the book, so I brought it up during afternoon discussion time and included everybody.

She did what I expected. She burst into tears. She said, "What about my real mama? Will I ever see her? Who is she? Why did she leave me? "How come I don't have a picture?"(Anna has a picture) All these questions we have discussed before. And so we talked about them again. I was holding her in my arms and rocking her and I told her I was sorry for her pain. She looked at me and started laughing and crying at the same time, and said, "Me too, you're the one who brought it up!"

"Well, yes I am... but I think we needed to don't you?" "Yes," and her beautiful smile returned.

I told each of the girls that many people don't understand adoption, because they don't understand our God. I talked to them about being "grafted into the vine" and what that REALLY means. Fruit cannot grow unless it is truly part of and taking nourishment from the vine.
God has adopted us as sons and daughters, he doesn't refer to us as lesser children.
He calls us his CHILDREN, plain and simple. Then I talked to them about their birth certificate. Those birth certificates say that on June 15, 1999, Daddy and Mommy were in Kharkiv Ukraine and gave birth to Sarah. In Reno Nevada on November 1998,and in June of 1998 for Erika we were in Ukraine. That is WHAT THEY SAY. Adoption is one and the same with giving birth to a child according to the law.

So when it comes to a Family TREE, you have been GRAFTED into the TREE just as if you had ALWAYS been there. There is no separate place on that tree for adopted children.
They are right there next to all the others. PARKER IS your 2nd cousin once removed.
FOREVER. PERIOD, no matter what any book says. :)

They were all smiling.

Now I know that they all know they have a birth family. There is no doubt. And at another time and place, if their curiosity causes them to search for that person that is fine and I will support their efforts. I do wish Sarah had a picture of her birth mother. It would put her mind to rest more. But she doesn't, nor does Erika. So for now, we look at handwriting. They both have their birth parents handwriting on documents.

I know Sarah will get through this. From the looks of her tonight, she is doing great. She just happily went running through the house saying, "Dear Sister, lets go care for the animals" in her best British accent.:) I know more of this will come up in the future. It is the nature of adoption;
Great loss and great gain.

I'm starting to see God's plan in this Hand Surgery as a way to help her to get past the bad memories of the last one and be able to fill her mind with good memories about this one.Some of the things that happened to her previously, post surgery, were so traumatic, and one of the questions she asked me in the van when we first met her, had to do with her hands.
It still breaks my heart.
You might be thinking, "Can a person have good memories of surgery?" Yes they can. We can make them, by being comforting parents, soothing, consoling, and also making sure they get to have some fun once the IV comes out. The hospital is a great place for this. They make sure the kids have good memories.

If you think about Sarah over the next few months, please keep her in your prayers.
She is very worried about being in a cast during the summer and is hoping it won't be on her birthday. I promised if we can't go swimming on her birthday, it will be Chucky Cheese, for which she was very happy. :)

Now, to find out who wrote that book and set them straight. :)

6 comments:

deanna said...

I am sorry to hear about Sarah's surgery but you will be able to replace bad memories with good memories. I will keep you both in my prayers.

The Carlson Clan said...

Please do set that author straight! We had such a hard time after Dan adopted Moira in the first grade (step-parent adoption). There were a few kids at school that kept insisting to Moira that Dan would always be her step-dad because he wasn't her bio dad. So frustrating! Many nights of tears. We used the birth certificate too to show how the state even says he is the real and only father. It did help.
Wish Sarah only the best for us in her upcoming surgery. I know you would take her place if you could.

Melissa E. said...

I am glad that you were there to see her read that book so you could be ready for what was ahead!

I am tucking away what you said about the branches which are grafted into the vine for later use. I think that it will be a wonderful illustration when our "moment" comes. Of course, I have noticed the Biblical passages that speak directly of adoption but that one is so perfect and will be a much better picture for them as they understand their place in our family as well as in God's family (someday).

Not only that, but it helps me understand that passage more fully.

Your children are blessed to have such a wise mother.

Tony & Dawn said...

Sorry to hear your daughter was made to feel different because of a silly book. You're right, folks who have not adopted, not matter how well intentioned, do not understand adoption. God adopted me into His family and I am forever grateful...

Michelle said...

I just want you to know that your discussion with your kids touched me in a special way, I can't wait to be an adoptive mom! I got goosebumps, this was beautiful. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

Mike and Christie said...

Thank you all for your Kind words.

Michelle, I hope your future child gets home to you soon.

You Are Still Holy

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