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I’ve had a busy day! But, I didn’t forget my promise to bring the aftermath of adoption full circle. How could I? This is my favorite part: the part where faith and hope get to shine. Extreme belief is needed. Fortunately for those of us who are lacking, God is merciful, meeting us where we are and leading us to a place of wholeness – both for our children and us.

Last February, my friend, Candy, attended a conference for adoptive families. As you may remember from yesterday’s post, just a month earlier, she had spied orphanage dust in Igor… again. Here is what she shared after her time at Create for Care:

 One week after the Create for Care conference, I am still soaking it all in. It was amazing to be with 250 adoptive mamas and hear from so many speakers who have adopted. 

 There were many amazing speakers but two spoke to me when it comes to orphanage dust. One mom has four adopted children from Russia and the other has EIGHT from Russia! The age ranges of the children at adoption were about 5-14 years old. These moms have been home for 10 years. I am so encouraged by them because they have been where I am now.

 By spending time learning and being encouraged by other adoptive parents Candy received a fresh dose of HOPE:

Joel 2:25 – I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.

Candy was also reminded to continue BELIEVING that Igor’s wounds – those emotional holes – would heal:

1 Peter 2:24 – He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Candy left with tools to speak words of life into Igor’s brokenness:

I realized that Igor knows who God is, but may not know how God sees him. These words will give Igor language to help him think about who he is in God’s eyes.

 And so, I say to Igor:

 Igor, you were wonderfully made by God. He knew you before you were born (Psalm 139:14).

God CHOSE you! (John 15:6)
The love of Christ lives in you! (John 17:26)

Igor, did you know that you are a child of God? He has given you the ability to be slow in becoming angry? (James 1:9)

 Finally, I should call things that are not, as though they are:

           When lying – Igor, you are not a liar. You are a young man of integrity.
            During or after a meltdown – Igor, you are a young man of self-control
            When filled with rage – Igor, you are filled with love and compassion

 Post adoption can be an incredibly stressful season. And it tends to drag on; often in fits and spurts. Candy shares some resources and advice for those of you who may be feeling especially overwhelmed by your child’s needs and behaviors (especially related to attachment issues):

If you have felt some of the things I have shared, DO NOT GIVE UP! You can do it with help!

 Read:

            *The Connected Child: Bring hope and Healing to your adoptive family
            *Help for the Hopeless Child: A guide for Families (With Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child), Second   Edition(Paperback)           
            *When Love is Not Enough

 Have your child evaluated by an international adoption doctor. Follow their advice. Talk to someone – a counselor, your social worker, a therapist, clergy – find someone who will listen to you concerns, your hurt, your anger and disappointment. Allow yourself to grieve what you thought your family would be like. Then move forward. Call your agency; find out if there is an adoption support group of if there is another family on the other side of what you are going through.

I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s post the beauty that comes from volcanic ash. I offered it as a ‘coincidence’ but I think it’s really anything but. No, I believe the beauty which rises from the ash is just another miraculous example God gives his children to show them what power He has over sin, death and the ugly grip of a fallen world.

By the way, Igor is an amazing artist. Inside that very busy head of his, images live in vivid color. Then he creates it on paper for the rest of us to experience and be in wonder at a young boy’s talent. He even has his own Etsy site.

Surely, if God can bring beautiful life and art from volcano ash, He can bring forth healing and wholeness to our children, who He loves so much more.

 

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