I borrowed some of this from a web-board that I am on and adapted it for my situation. Everything in it is true. I just want you all to have some idea of the things I will be working on when we get home. I think this will also help you understand why I am not going to be out and about and as social as some might want me to be. I hope to post some more information tomorrow night as well.
Thanks so much!!
Here are some ways that you can pray for me and my girls. Parts of this might sound pessimistic and scary, but I don't feel that. Yes, my brain is terrified, but my heart knows this is right. I am excited about getting my kids, but I understand that the next year will probably be a very difficult one for us. No matter how difficult it turns out to be, I am certain that this is God’s plan and that He has called me to parent these kids, and I am honored by that. Having said that, there are going to be incredible adjustments we will all be going through. Here are specific areas we are asking for prayer in:
Emotional: The addition of 2 older children will be very disruptive to my previously fairly carefree lifestyle.
· As a parent, I will be trying to find balance and strength to parent 2 children with very special needs. The adoption process is such a “high” with excitement and anticipation and then the reality of returning and making all these adjustments causes most adoptive families I’ve talked with, especially moms, to go through a post adoption depression, very similar to post-partum depression. I am happy to know before-hand that this is “normal” and that it is only for a time and that there is a light at the end as I trust God to reshape us.
· It’s also crazy to think about the fact that I am choosing to love 2 children that I’ve never met, cannot communicate with, already have their set personalities and are having their own life crisis. We may not “feel” love instantly but I pray that God will develop a love for each child regardless of the struggles.
Kidist and Meskerem: One comment well-meaning people say to adopted kids is “I bet this is so much better than where you are from” or “aren’t you lucky you have a new family”. Well, for them, they may not feel so lucky. Yes, we realize they are from an area and situation where they didn’t have much hope of a future or family, but it was the only life they knew. It was home to them. Most of the time, kids don’t even understand what was “wrong with” their previous life. All they know is that they left everything: friends, community, language and culture, to live with people that look nothing like them, they can’t communicate with and they may never return to their “world” again. Because parents are lacking in Ethiopia, the village raises the family. Kids pretty much take care of themselves and come and go as they please. They are not used to household "rules". It will take awhile for them to trust us and understand that we are not going to leave them and for us to teach them what it is like to be a part of a Christian American family. Meskerem will probably struggle with having someone in authority over her. My guess is that she has been "mom" to Kidist for the last few years. Kidist will probably have trouble seeing me as mom rather than her older sister.
These children have gone through a major trauma and it will take a long time for us to work through all of it.
Physical: Please pray for health.
Coming back from Ethiopia, we will be jet-lagged, possibly having stomach “issues” and thrown back into the business of everyday life but with some major changes. We will need physical strength and rest to deal with the emotional “stuff”. The kids are in overall good health but we will be dealing with malnutrition, parasites and deficiencies. All fixable but can be taxing (especially the parasites!). Kidist has a yeast infection on her scalp, but that shouldn't be too bad. Meskerem definitely has parasites and one of the more difficult ones to treat. I am blessed that God has given me the knowledge to take care of these sorts of things. Please pray, though, that I leave the "doctor" hat at work and only take the "mommy" hat to Ethiopia with me.
Anyway- This may seem like doom and gloom to you but it’s not to me. I have been preparing for these difficulties knowing that “all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose”. Families say it takes a full year to feel like there is any “normalcy” again and a new family emerges. Just know that if I seem tired or discouraged at times that it is OK. Just continue to pray for us.
Again- remember… I have a peace even though I am nervous. I am very excited! I can’t wait to get back and start the adjustments so the new family can begin!