Thursday, March 3, 2016

Let's talk heart.

Can I take a day off blogging?

This would be that day.  My heart felt like it was shaking throughout the day yesterday.  We did fun things. ZhenAi had moments of wonderfulness.  Yet my heart was ... shaking.

This reminds me of when Tirzah was 3 days old. All of a sudden it hit me and I don't know if it was post partum depression or just emotional crash but it happened.  For three days I cried at everything and everyone and my life felt like a blur.

That's what yesterday was like.  We did amazing things and made amazing memories and all the while my mind was racing...my heart was racing and inside I felt like I was dying.

ZhenAi definitely has developmental delay.  We knew there was possibility of this with her brain MRI reports in her medical file that show "strange sheet like appearance". I think because of parenting Taizi and how hard that has been for me and the total surrender needed daily and the daily sacrifice of myself and how it's not natural for me....and ...

Can't you feel my heart racing? My palms starting to get sweaty?

In a moment it's so easy to look at only what you can see.

No...God...please...not development delay.  Please.  You know I'm not super human right? You know how frail I really am...right?  Please God...please...

Then I remember.  How crystal clear He was when He called us to her.

Yes...she's beautiful. Yes...she's special. Yes...she's worthy.  Yes.  I'm not saying no to any of that.  I'm not saying no to anything.

I'm merely being open and vulnerable and extremely transparent.

So today...I'm blogging about my heart. Not about our day.

Many of you have shared your stories of adopting a 2, 3 or 4 year old with me. And while I appreciate the sentiment...I too have adopted young children. Even "old" children...our twins were almost 6years old. There is zero comparison to adopting a 12 year old child.  She's almost a teenager. It's a crazy journey. For her and us.

Today we were talking with another family and together it was easy to conclude she was never given much attention. No education. Yes, you read that right.  No schooling whatsoever. She has no concept of drawing or writing. No numbers, letters etc.  Nothing.  Very, very small vocab in her language. The guide says she kind of says the same words over and over and they are very slurred.  There is a definitely slurring of her words.  For example if we say " say please" she says "peasssssssssseeeeeyyyyy" and really drags it out. Every word.  It's almost as if she was written off and a child that would never amount to much so she wasn't given the help.  And oh...that's all about to change.  She has so much potential. So very much.

She's beautiful. She's ours. Her whole life is about to change and so is ours.

Thanks for walking this journey with us in some small way.  We can do hard things. And God has called us to hard things.  There is no question.

18 comments:

  1. I am crazy exited to see the change in her, because I to think she finally will reach her potential! I have a little boy who on paper was just fine, but as time goes we see all the damage done to him because of orphenage-life. I need your perspectiv, and I think it is why I "drink" all you write 😊 You Are Amazing!

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    1. Yes, there's no doubt. Good things to come. ZhenAi never was in an orphanage which makes some of her behaviors more concerning...she was foster (same family) since 1y. We got this!

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    2. Ok that is a bitt conserning. Makes me Wonder about the fosterfamily and their experiences. I totally get your troubled mind. I was so affraid in country with my son that I begged my husband to go home without him. Not my finest moments 😉

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  2. Janice, you think you are "not" all these things. Clearly, you are. With God's help you ARE. Do not sell yourself short, do not think that God didn't put the seeds of these gifts within you. You are. All that you think you aren't, all the ways you feel burdened, God gave you the gifts. And He's empowering you to make it through. I'm glad yesterday's break from blogging wasn't sickness for you or the family. You are strong. You are powerful. You are living God's love. Thanks for sharing it with us all. -Kristi A

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  3. I believe that her NOT being taught and the fact that she is very delayed is a good thing. You will be able to nurture and care for her mind and her physical body in ways that you couldn't do with a girl who is not delayed. Can you imagine how a typical pre-teen would react to someone providing the help she needs? They would freak out! I think this will allow you to start from the beginning and be able to teach her how to do self-care, while giving her the bonding experience that she did not get as an infant and young child.
    Your reaction when Tirzah was 3 days old was suddenly coming to realize that YOU were responsible for the very life of that teeny-tiny person. And, look at her! Look at all of your gorgeous children! They have thrived in your love and care. Some are harder to teach and nurture, but you do it. And, now you get to do it with another Babe. I so look forward to watching ZhenAi grow in your family. She got the Mama and Papa that He intended her to have. Hang tight, Friend...Take lots of deep breaths. Hold her, Love her like you did with your new babies. You are an intense, deeply caring Mommy and ZhenAi will respond to that. I continue to pray for all of you. Hugs - Jo

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    1. While in theory that might sound best, I'm not sure I agree. We have a large family and of course, God knows that. I'm a realist...I'll just lay it out there. There's a hard road ahead. And yes...I can do hard things. I don't think developmental delay and lack of education make the path any easier. :)

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  4. HE will not be shaken. That's the good news we just hold on for the ride. Can't wait to see the outcome!

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  5. Praying for your heart Janice, it is hard adopting an older child. What I have found helpful is realizing in your care they are just toddlers. So much for them to learn. But you can do hard things and ZhenAi is so blessed to have you as her new Mama! God has it all figured out and I look forward to seeing her progress under your care and love. Praying you let God hold your anxious heart and comfort you while you do the same for ZhenAi. 💕

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  6. Sweet Janice <3 I am in awe of your story, His story. I have been following your blog these past few days on this adventure you've been sharing greatly anticipating the next post. As I've read I've had tears of sadness for what's been lost in this precious little ones life and tears of joy for what's been gained through the new life she has just been given. Beauty for ashes. Thank you for sharing some of your most tender, hard, sweet moments through this. I have taken them to heart and God is using them in my life too. Such tenderness, gentleness, and self-control, love, and hope...all these things He is doing through you so tenderly in this little girls life so she can trust and love most likely for the first time. I know it's not easy but oh the BIG things He's doing through your willingness to follow the call through little moments of surrender of yourself. THANK YOU for sharing. I am in awe and blessed beyond words...and I, too, am praying you through this <3
    Gina

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    1. Gina...it's at our frailest moments when we have nothing of ourselves left to give...that He shows up. And that makes it all beautiful. XO

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your family and this particular journey with us. I am devouring every word you post... and praying along with them. We adopted a nearly 9 year old daughter just over a year ago. It felt so lonely on our trip in China when all the other families were adopting littler ones and didn't understand when she would strike out at us (me usually) in anger ... or what looked like anger... it was really fear. It wasn't who she is at all. This year has been the hardest, and the most beautiful ever. She also had very little education. Thank you, Lord for the gift of our girl.. thank you for the gift of ZhenAi Poppy.

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    1. Thank you Kirstin. So wonderful to hear from someone who can relate. XO

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  8. Dear Janice, I have missed you!!! I haven't been reading for what SEEMED like only a few days but tonight, as I play catch up, I realized I haven't read since the post about Azlan's appointment! I can't believe I missed that much!
    I am so happy that you and your husband and girls have made it to your beautiful Zhenai! I can't imagine what that sweet girl must be thinking and how initially scary it must be for her. And I also know it is a time of joy but stressful and anxiety provoking for you and the rest of the family at times.
    God has led you and as you know, He will continue to provide you with strength, patience, peace and support for the journey!
    Love you guys and will be praying! Lori

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  9. Your faithfulness is inspiring to all of those around you and your honesty regarding your fears is refreshing. I encourage you to just do what you do best- mother and nurture Zhenai as you do your other children. Our oldest adopted child was 13- she had a history of alot of physical abuse, and I have struggled so much because it was such a one-sided relationship. It took over a full YEAR before she even said Thank you to me. Finally after 2 years, I realized that maybe I was supposed to just continue to mother her to help her heal and not expect anything in return. Getting rid of all my expectations of her and turning it over to God helped my sanity and allowed me to help our daughter without letting my fears or anger get in the way of helping her progress. She is turning 17 this month and we have a much better relationship than I ever imagined we would- it is still very limited, and it's a big deal if I get the occasional hug, but I have learned to accept it for where it is. She also has extreme cognitive delays, epilepsy, lupus, and had a stroke as a baby, so she will need to have supervision as an adult. It's still hard somedays to show unconditional love- we are human, and sometimes I have to accept that she won't show love in return like my other kids do. I guess it's her journey to learn to trust adults again and show love, and it's my journey to give love without expecting it in return. It's hard and I admire you so much for your faithfulness!

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