Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Your child is scared.

I have been thinking of all the ways people think of adoption.
One idea of adoption is that the child is being rescued. 
You and I know this is true that adoption into a forever family is
redemption. A child who is adopted is brought out of a life of pain and suffering
in a tangible way.  There is no denying it is the best option for the child.
The fleshly part of us is proud of the fact we are making a difference in the child's life.

BUT...  your child is scared.

When adopting a child, please, be mindful that even though you KNOW it is best for the child to
be brought into a forever family they are being torn from everything they know.  Most likely they will not be happy about their situation -- possibly for days.  Maybe longer.

You child only knows life as they have lived it.  They don't know it will be vastly better.  They are used to having noise around them, beds close together, eating certain foods, and most certainly a routine.  They are losing everything they know when they are adopted.  This will be a traumatic event for them.

This trauma may cause them to stop eating and drinking.  They may not make eye contact with you.  They will want to keep their dirty clothes on and their shoes. They will not want to bathe.  Anything they can do to get some kind of control for even a minute.  They are shocked and have no idea who these people are with the round eyes and big noses.  Its unfamiliar to them in every way.

Be prepared for the crying - it may last for days
Be prepared for the entire shut down of their emotions
Be prepared that your child may be mean or aggressive
Be prepared they will not comply - at all - for days.

If  you can make it through the heartache you child is suffering and show them love through
their messy behaviors, you have made it through some of the hard part of adoption.  

Be ready for them to blossom
Be ready for them to open slowing like the tulip in Springtime
Be ready for their heart to heal and accept your touches
Be ready for their eyes to slowly be opened to a whole new BETTER world.
Be ready to be a witness to the redemption power of LOVE.

Take your cues from your new son or daughter-- especially on your adoption trip.
Be WITH them fully.  Don't use the trip as a sightseeing trip.  Keep their new world small and allow them to slowly grasp what is happening to them.  Over stimulation brings out the ugly, the doubt, and the fear.  Just the hotel room with running water, a TV, and light switches for them to play with may be enough for the first few days. The books, play dough, and bubbles will satisfy their curiosity and allow them to "play".

 Play can bring a distraction to their ongoing insecurity and allow them to see your kindness and love.

Your child has no idea what is happening to them or that it WILL be better for them.
They don't trust you.  EARN their trust slowly.  Don't be surprised if it takes weeks to earn their trust and feel secure.  It may take months or years.  It is a slow process but they are healing as they begin to trust. 

Your child is scared.
They need time and love.
Its not easy but you will make it through.

Draw near to Him when you are scared.  Allow Him to be a guide to parenting this hurt child.
He has placed you in an important role and He has faith in you.  You were chosen by God to parent your new son or daughter just as your child was chosen.