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Saturday, January 7, 2012

What Do You Do When Damaging Words Are Spoken?

I wrote a blog post a couple of days ago called "THINGS NOT TO SAY!" 
I wanted to give an update on what happened and why our WORDS are SO VERY important.  I also want to share how I personally feel about situations like this, and what good can come from them.

If you read my linked post, a relative visited and said, "If you don't like this home you can come home with me!" 
This statement was made to a child who has been removed from her first home into an orphanage, then adopted by Americans, rejected by them, then sent to respite care, rejected once again by the first family, then sent to a Psych Unite for Evaluation, rejected once again by the first family, back to respite care then on to another adoptive family and rejected by them once again.  BOTH families spoke things I cannot write here. Things that SHOULD NEVER BE SAID.

Now, this relative KNOWS this.  She also KNOWS that Alli is fragile. She is doing well, has been doing very well, but she is still fragile.
To say I am upset about it is an understatement.  I am mama-bear angry.

Alli has struggled the last few days to gain her stability back.  She went from being a family member, to feeling like an outsider.  She has been dysregulated off and on and still says the statement really scared her.  It put her RIGHT BACK WHERE SHE WAS BEFORE SHE CAME HOME.
It has been hard work over the past couple of days to reassure her of our love for her, that she is not an outsider and does not pick her family when this one doesn't work out, because THIS ONE WILL WORK OUT! 
She was already worrying about what she was going to do and where she was going to go. 
Logically she knows she is staying.... but emotionally, she was walling up and protecting her heart, which means she began to lash out. 
To the average person, that lashing out made no sense.  But to us, it made total sense.
I have to say, I have the most awesome  husband and daughters.

They are all outside playing together right now, and being very forgiving.  Working through all the hurts of the past really HURTS.... A scab was pulled off and is beginning to heal once again.

A scab was pulled off for me too, and my wounds hurt too.... this relative is just difficult.

As for Mike and I, we made the decision FOR the forseeable future.... that this relative will not be able to come to  our home.   We will not be bringing the girls to their home.  We will make calls and be kind, but I cannot take this chance again.  It has happened before with our other girls, and we have been very guarded as to not cause our girls undue injury to their hearts.

I am saddened that Mike's mom and dad are no longer alive to be grand parents to our girls. :( 
But, we have the local nursing home and Miss Joy brings all of us Joy every week when we see her for Church. :)

Today, started out hard, with our sweetie once again feeling sad and totally vulnerable, convinced this family was not going to work, even though she is quite happy. Poor kid. :(

This afternoon, after praying and talking and just letting her talk it out, and her listening to me talk too, we are doing much better.

I was also able to use this a little for our good. I say a "little" because I'm still upset.  But we did talk to our girls about how to respond when people say stupid things.  We can take them and own them, or we can reject them as dumb comments that have no value or meaning.  It is like letting rude comments fall on deaf ears.
It is time for Miss Alli to take her stance on this and say "I AM A MINICH!"  And this may catapult her into having more ability to do just that! 

WE ARE TEAM MINICH~!





6 comments:

Claire said...

People's unthinking comments can hurt so much. I remember when I was 17 and at boarding school one of the house mothers laughed at me for studying hard. I was not able to study in the same way afterwards, no adult had ever laughed at my studiousness before, it HURT! Alli Minich, you are and always will be a Minich. If I ever needed an adoptive mother, I would want yours.

Mike and Christie said...

Thank you so much Claire! :)

Julianne said...

What a sad, sad, situation. From a slightly different perspective, I am the aunt of 2 adopted nieces - their situation is quite different from yours because the girls were adopted as infants. However the last couple of years have still been a big learning curve - learning more appropriate adoptive language and how to respond to and respect my nieces racial differences. My sister-in-law has always been very diligent in firmly, but kindly correcting others misstatements about her daughters/adoption/their family situation.

Unfortunately we live in what I believe to be a very naive world at times - and most certainly in the area of adoption. Although it clearly sounds like this relative KNEW better I know that as an aunt I sometimes made innocent comments that I really did not think were hurtful, but could def be perceived that way. My prayers are with Alli and your family - and that she may truly understand she is forever a part of your team...and will be able to stand up for herself and your family against any other ignorant and hurtful words she might encounter in the future!!

Blessings,

Julianne

Mike and Christie said...

Julianne, thank you for posting. It really is sad. :( This person does not visit often. I cannot write down why I know she knew. Typically I err on the side of mercy and grace, and we were graceful even the other day, but my concern is that Alli not be hurt further, at least not before she is ready.
You can never get away from comments like, "are they your real children, or how's my little orphan, etc. Or, how many real children do you have, or "these are her adopted children"... I could go on and on..... :)

Those are statements towards me. I often answer "we have 8 children" or all of our children are real. :)

In the case of these statements, they are truly said in ignorance.
I will never forget Sarah telling the man who asked, "How's my little orphan?" rather drolly, "I'm not an orphan, I'm a Minich!
the man started to laugh and said, "You certainly are!" :)
Unfortunately, this person is not open to change. Never has been.

Today, has been a really good day and I think we are finally back on track. :)

Holly said...

I definitely think you have made the right decision here. If this person is aware of why their comment was harmful and yet STILL does not bother to censor themselves appropriately then you absolutely need to do that on their behalf.

Alli's mental health and well-being is much more important than your relative's "right" to say whatever they like whenever they please! I would have been annoyed too. :/

Mike and Christie said...

I am so happy to say that Miss Alli seems to be back to normal. :)

I am so relieved for HER and for US!
She is happily doing her school work with Erika, and enjoying her day.

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